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    Default Edgecam Full 5 Axis

    Hi all, new to the site and to Full 5 Axis Machining.

    I'm using Edgecam and cannot get a tool path to work using the Advanced Full 5 Axis feature. The help on EC is pretty useless and the training package doesn't cover it.

    I realise that Full 5 Axis CAD CAM programming is a skill only achieved by experience, but with the myriad of choices within the feature I find it a little overwhelming.

    Does anyone have any experience using EC and the 5 Axis feature?
    What are your thoughts on EC?
    And is there any training material out there that might help?

    Thanks in advanced for any help.

    T

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    Not specific to EC but one of the big things I learned about 5 axis programming is that the number of parameter and controls is overwhelming. Essentially what you need to do is limit the amount of variables until you get a working toolpath. Then you can go back in and tweak it to perfection. Focus on getting your drive surfaces and tool axis control down...even if the tool is coming into the part from the wrong vector or angle, it is a starting point for you to see what is happening.

    Tool is coming in upside down! What variable can I change to modify how that tool is coming in? That’s your starting point. KISS.

    Part of the reason I am a huge mastercam fan is because of the forums and support. A lot of cam providers just don’t have the resources to learn available for newbies. I taught myself 5 axis programming because of the emastercam forum and a lot of trial and error

    You just need to narrow the problem down

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    Thanks for the advise. I'll definitely keep playing around with it.

    I have a case open with EC asking for help with the 5 axis feature as I want to use it for a part I am making. So far they have been very helpful but they are unwilling to share a 5 axis Machining file with me as I have no training.
    I find this a little frustrating as I really just want to see a few examples that I can open up and play around with maybe duplicate on another part.

    I understand its a difficult thing to master but I definitely learn best by making "controlled" mistakes.

    T

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    Quote Originally Posted by T__BRWN View Post
    Thanks for the advise. I'll definitely keep playing around with it.

    I have a case open with EC asking for help with the 5 axis feature as I want to use it for a part I am making. So far they have been very helpful but they are unwilling to share a 5 axis Machining file with me as I have no training.
    I find this a little frustrating as I really just want to see a few examples that I can open up and play around with maybe duplicate on another part.

    I understand its a difficult thing to master but I definitely learn best by making "controlled" mistakes.

    T

    That's my biggest frustration with Edgecam - very selective about help. Instead of help with code generators, I got lectures how they couldn't do that unless they built the code generator specifically for me on my dime. I had it since 1999, just let my maintenance drop last year.

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    So, I'm evaluating CAM systems right now and noticed that Edgecam, Mastercam, and Camworks(what we use now) all use Module Works' 5 axis toopaths. So, in the grand scheme of things, the parameters in the dialogues are the same. And the real funny thing is all the pictures in the dialogues between the CAM systems is the EXACT same!

    If you look up some video's on YouTube for either Mastercam 5 axis or Camworks 5 axis tutorials, you can get a little bit of a leg up from there.

    But you are 100% correct, the 5 axis dialogue is quite overwhelming at first glance and until you mess with it a bit, it will remain challenging.

    Since I have a Eval license for the month for Edgecam, maybe I can help a bit.

    Here is a workflow you can try:
    1. Get a toolpath - As others have mentioned, just get a toolpath on the part before making the fine tuning adjustments. Start on the surface paths tab and set your pattern. From there maybe adjust your parameters in the 'Sorting' section. This guides in to out, out to in, sprial, climb, zigzag. Try not to mess with the stepover, cusp heights, or surface quality for now. Then generate a path and ask "Is this kind of what I'm going for?" If not, work with these parameters a bit to you get a basic pattern down that you want.

    2. Next you want to deal with your tool axis control. If gouge checking is on, just turn it off for now, we'll get to that later. But the 'Tool axis control' tab controls the majority of the tilting of the tool. The pictures give you an idea and you will need to experiment with these as you go. Remember, there is a Help button in the bottom of the dialogue and the help should help clarify some of the things you don't know about.

    3a. Now for the fine tuning and gouge checking. Note: gouge checking increases processing time the more things you are gouge checking to. So, limit to the cutting porting and the shank if you can. In the strategy and parameters section of this tab, the first drop down menu is set to Retract Tool by default. Set this to Tilt Tool. What this does is it will tilt the tool away rather than pulling up. Note: it may muck things up a bit if it needs to tilt outside of the your limits on the Tool Axis Control tab so you may have to jump back and forth. Just depends on what you're doing.

    3b. In addition to gouge checking, you will most likely need to adjust your links to smooth out the tool path and fine tune it's trajectory. This to me is one of the most problem causing sections of this type of operation. So, that's why I put it last. Adjust one thing at a time here and look at the results. Learning the difference between the different types of links will help immensely.

    3c. If by now you still haven't gotten a sort of clean toolpath, then you might want to look into some of the other settings or maybe try a different pattern.

    4. If you have a nice looking tool path that you like, you should now go adjust your stepover, cusp height, and feeds and speeds.

    Truthfully, this is a pretty difficult module to master and takes a lot of trial and errors and errors and errors and errors. There is no real easy way around it, unfortunately.

    Hope this helps a bit. I don't get on this forum much, but may be coming back more often as I've seen some rather decent discussions here compared to other forums.

    --G

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Not specific to EC but one of the big things I learned about 5 axis programming is that the number of parameter and controls is overwhelming. Essentially what you need to do is limit the amount of variables until you get a working toolpath. Then you can go back in and tweak it to perfection. Focus on getting your drive surfaces and tool axis control down...even if the tool is coming into the part from the wrong vector or angle, it is a starting point for you to see what is happening.

    Tool is coming in upside down! What variable can I change to modify how that tool is coming in? That’s your starting point. KISS.

    Part of the reason I am a huge mastercam fan is because of the forums and support. A lot of cam providers just don’t have the resources to learn available for newbies. I taught myself 5 axis programming because of the emastercam forum and a lot of trial and error

    You just need to narrow the problem down
    I'll second the "working path" idea. Strip it down to the most basic (no comps or roughing depths) then work from there. Keep in mind most of the Cam softwares have almost identical 5 axis interfaces.

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    Why not get training?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    Why not get training?
    Probably same as usual. employer doesn't want to pay or have a week downtime from their programmer. I learned basic 3 axis programming mostly on my time, but I don't think I would do it again. There just isn't the money (IME) in full 5axis programming employment to justify me spending my money on it. Now if an employer did tuition reimbursement I might do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Probably same as usual. employer doesn't want to pay or have a week downtime from their programmer. I learned basic 3 axis programming mostly on my time, but I don't think I would do it again. There just isn't the money (IME) in full 5axis programming employment to justify me spending my money on it. Now if an employer did tuition reimbursement I might do that.

    I figured that but self teaching yourself 5 axis programming will be a bitch. I had training and follow up training about 10 years ago and without it I would have never figured this out in Camworks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    I figured that but self teaching yourself 5 axis programming will be a bitch. I had training and follow up training about 10 years ago and without it I would have never figured this out in Camworks.
    I would agree that teaching oneself 5 axis programming is a bitch, but I did it and I was successful in my endeavor. I spent a shitload of time on emastercam and watching lessons. Lots of trial and error, but I honestly don't think that a paid week of Mastercam training would have been that much better. You have to be a self starter for this to work.

    I always point people to VTPros. They do CAM training with great content and their price is very affordable. 100% recommend.


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