Welcome to ESPRIT 2010 | 1
Welcome to ESPRIT 2010
ESPRIT has all the power you need to machine any part...
ESPRIT is a high-performance computer-aided manufacturing
(CAM) system for a full range of machine tool applications.
ESPRIT delivers powerful full-spectrum programming for 2-5
axis milling, 2-22 axis turning, 2-5 axis wire EDM, multitasking
mill-turn machining, and B-axis machine tools.
ESPRIT’s high-performance capabilities include machining
any part geometry (solid, surface, or wireframe), universal
post processing to format G-code for virtually any machine
tool, and solid simulation and verification with dry runs
rendered in dynamic solids for optimal part quality and
ESPRIT’s multitasking component provides powerful
capabilities for driving mill-turn machines, multi-axis
lathes, and Swiss-style machine tools. ESPRIT provides
synchronization of simultaneous cutting cycles using any
combination of turrets and spindles for milling or turning,
factory-certified post processors for all the leading
multitasking machine tools, and dynamic solid simulations for
dry run verification of the machining processes.
Get Started with ESPRIT will teach you all the basics of how to
machine your parts, plus show you advanced techniques to
help you get the most out of ESPRIT.
Installing ESPRIT................................ 2
ESPRIT 2010 System and Component
Hardware Key........................................... 2
Install ESPRIT from the DVD......... 3
Use ESPRIT................................................. 3
ESPRIT Support................................... 4
Phone Support........................................ 4
ESPRIT Help on the Web.................. 5
Software Maintenance Contract
2 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
ESPRIT 2010 System and Component Requirements
The installation program verifies all requirements before proceeding. If the system does not meet
requirements, the installation will abort until the system complies. Existing users should review
their computer systems to be sure that they comply with the latest ESPRIT installation and system
The following are minimum hardware requirements for ESPRIT 2010:
• 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) processor or greater1
• RAM requirements of a minimum of 1 GB
• 128 MB SVGA video card (1024 x 768)
• 40 GB hard disk drive
• 3 GB of free hard drive space
• DVD-ROM drive
• Parallel or USB port (required for ESPRIT security)
ESPRIT requires certain operating system components to be installed to function properly. These
are prerequisites of installing ESPRIT. These components must be installed prior to installing
ESPRIT. Systems failing to meet these criteria will cause the ESPRIT installation to fail.
• Microsoft® Windows® XP SP323
or Windows® Vista™ or Windows® 73
• Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 6.0 or greater
Processor must support the SSE2 instruction set.
ESPRIT 2010 will be the last version of ESPRIT supported on Microsoft® Windows® XP.
ESPRIT is compiled as an x32 bit application. When run on an x64 OS ESPRIT will be run as x32 bit.
Plug your ESPRIT locking device, normally a hardware key (security dongle) provided by DP
Technology, into the appropriate USB or parallel port on your computer. If you have a parallel port
security dongle, plug it into the primary parallel port (LPT1) at the back of your computer. Do not
plug it into a serial port.
ESPRIT will not function if the security dongle is not inserted correctly.
Take special care to protect your security dongle from loss or damage. It is an integral component
of the software and your license.
The only device you may attach to the back of a parallel security dongle is a parallel printer.
Important: Do not plug any tape backup systems, portable CD-ROMs, DVD players or recorders,
Zip drives, multi-function office systems (all-in-one printer/fax/scanner/copier devices) into a
parallel security dongle. These will damage your hardware key.
If your security dongle becomes damaged, your ESPRIT software will not work until a replacement
security dongle and new password can be shipped to you at your expense. Security dongle
replacement is not covered by Software Maintenance Contracts.
Lost or stolen security dongles are your responsibility. Please check with your insurance carrier to
be sure your business insurance has them covered for the full value of your ESPRIT software.
Welcome to ESPRIT 2010 | 3
Install ESPRIT from the DVD
Please set your computer’s date correctly before installing ESPRIT and do not change the date
Important: An incorrect date can damage the security module and render ESPRIT inoperative. Your
ESPRIT software will not work again until a replacement security module and new password can be
shipped to you.
1. Download and install the latest Windows® service packs.
2. Disable any anti-virus software.
3. Open the file “ESPRIT_ReadThisFirst.pdf” on the DVD.
4. Follow the instructions to perform a new installation of ESPRIT 2010 or to upgrade from a
previous version of ESPRIT.
ESPRIT is a single instance application and does not support multiple instances. ESPRIT does not
limit the number of instances running, but you may experience unexpected and undesirable results
in choosing to run more than one instance of ESPRIT at the same time.
Double-click the ESPRIT icon on your Windows desktop
From the Windows Start menu, select All Programs » DP Technology » ESPRIT.
Other ESPRIT menu items:
NC Editor: NC file editing tool
Settings Manager: Saves the ESPRIT configuration to allow it to be backed up or transferred to
KnowledgeBase: Database setup and management
4 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
The DP Technology web site provides a wide variety of information about the company and its
You can access the web site at: http://www.dptechnology.com
For support issues, please send an e-mail to: email@example.com
Contact your reseller first. Resellers of ESPRIT give specialized information related to the custom
solution they provided to you. This is the best place to start.
If you do not have a reseller, contact the nearest DP Technology office.
1150 Avenida Acaso
Camarillo, CA 93012
Tel: +1 805 388 6000
Fax: +1 805 388 3085
10275 West Higgins Road
Suite 420Rosemont, IL 60018
Tel: +1 847 297 8100
Fax: +1 847 297 8107
8535 Cliff Cameron Drive
Charlotte, NC 28269
Tel: +1 704 594 9551
Fax: +1 704 594 9802
Level 28, Shinagawa InterCity Tower A
2-15-1 Konan, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 3 6717 2896
Fax: +81 3 6717 4545
458 North Fu Te Road
Building No. 2, 1F
Wai Gao Qiao F. T. Z.
Tel: +86 21 5868 3696
Fax: +86 21 5868 2803
68 Allée de Mycénes
Tel: +33 4 67 64 99 40
Fax: +33 4 67 64 99 41
D-96 148 Baunach
Tel: +49 9544 98756-0
Fax: +49 9544 98756-29
Via Iacopo Nardi 2
Tel: +39 055 2342286
Fax: +39 055 2347858
Welcome to ESPRIT 2010 | 5
ESPRIT Help on the Web
Get the most current information about ESPRIT, new product features and enhancements, latest
releases, post processors, advanced tips, and creative solutions. The ESPRITWeb is a family of
websites dedicated to serving the needs of the ESPRIT community. Register for the ESPRITWeb at:
• The ESPRITWeb home page is the central point for the ESPRIT online user community. It contains
up-to-date information on all ESPRIT products and includes links to all other ESPRIT online areas.
• Discussion is a discussion group that provides you with an open forum for discussion on any
topic related to ESPRIT. Ask questions and share your ideas, solutions, and experiences with
other ESPRIT programmers.
• Technical Bulletins is a web-based library of technical information and tips about ESPRIT,
including a library of ESPRIT@Work technical training guides for SolidMill, SolidTurn, SolidWire,
Post Processor, and ESPRIT API.
• SupportWeb is a web-based three-step technical support system. Start by using the Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) to find a solution to your problem. If your initial FAQ search does not
answer your question, search the solution database for answers. Finally, if you have not found
your solution in either of these places, you can submit your question to our technical support
engineers directly from the web and subsequently via e-mail.File Library is a web-based library
of post processors, macros, and other data files useful to ESPRIT programmers.
The ESPRITWeb is only available to registered ESPRIT users who have an active Software
Maintenance Contract (SMC).
For more information on SMC, go to http://www.dptechnology.com and click on the link to
Professional Services. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions on how we can
improve the DP Technology website. Send your comments via e-mail to ESPRIT@dptechnology.com
or even better, post your message on the Discussion group.
Software Maintenance Contract (SMC)
Our goal is to build successful ESPRIT users. We believe the best way to do this is through the SMC
• Unlimited phone support
• Continuous ESPRIT software and documentation upgrades
• ESPRIT de Corps Newsletter, our informative and technical newsletter
• Opportunity to participate in and gain from cutting edge field testing
• 24-hour web access to the DP Help Center and FTP site
• Invitation to ESPRIT World Conference
For more details on the DP Technology SMC, please call 1+ 805 388 6000.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 7
Before you begin the lessons in this guide, you should
familiarize yourself with how to work with part files in ESPRIT.
As a native Windows-based application, the ESPRIT interface
and its menus and toolbars should look familiar to you.
This chapter introduces the ESPRIT work environment and
explains how to work with ESPRIT part files.
You will learn:
• How to use ESPRIT menus and toolbars
• How to open and store ESPRIT files
• How to select, or group, elements using various selection
modes such as HI, SNAP, and SUB-ELEMENTS
• How to control the display of elements with views, masks,
XX Before beginning to use ESPRIT, you should have a working
knowledge of your computer, the Microsoft® Windows®
operating system and its conventions. You should know
how to use a mouse and standard menus and commands.
To review these techniques, refer to the documentation for
The ESPRIT Graphical User
The Smart Toolbar..............................10
Other Toolbars........................................ 11
Displaying the XYZ Axis and the
UVW Axis...................................................... 11
Opening and Storing Files in
Creating a New File...........................13
Opening an Existing File................14
Saving a File............................................14
Selecting Elements in the Work
The Group Command.........................15
Selecting Items in the Project
Controlling the Display of
Shaded and Wireframe Displays.20
Pan, Zoom, and Rotate the View.21
8 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
The ESPRIT Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Let’s start by taking a look at the ESPRIT screen. This window is displayed when you create a new
file or open an existing one.
The ESPRIT window contains:
1. Menus and default toolbars along the top of the screen. You can select commands from the
menus or from toolbars.
2. A graphic work area where you can view your work. This is the largest area of the screen.
3. The Prompt area, at the bottom left of the screen, displays prompts that tell you what to do
next. Always pay attention to what the prompt is telling you.
4. The Status area, at the bottom of the ESPRIT screen, provides dynamic information about the
current work environment. As you select commands or move the cursor, the information is
ESPRIT also provides two specialized windows that provide additional information about the parts
you are working on and provide an excellent way to manage your work.
5. The Project Manager consists of a tabbed set of windows that list every feature, every cutting
tool, and every operation in the current session. The Project Manager lets you manage,
sort, and reorder these items. To view the Project Manager, press the F2 key or click Project
Manager on the View menu.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 9
6. The Property Browser displays the specific properties of any item selected in the graphic work
area or the Project Manager. The types of properties displayed depend on the type of item
selected. You can view and change individual properties for the selected item. To view the
Property Browser, click Properties on the View menu or hold down the Alt key as you press
Commands are located on eight menus. Most of the menu commands are also available on the
• File: Open an existing file or create a new one. Save files that have changed.
• Edit: Copy or delete items, move the origin point or change the orientation of an imported
• View: Set the display of the work environment.
• Create: Draw new geometry and dimensions, create features, surfaces, or solids.
• Machining: Set up the machine definition, create cutting tools, create and simulate machining
• Tools: Set the system unit, create macros, load add-in programs, and personalize ESPRIT.
• Window: Create new windows and arrange the display of multiple windows.
• Help: Access the online help files or learn about your current version of ESPRIT.
10 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
The default toolbars are located near the top of the ESPRIT screen.
1. The Standard toolbar has file management commands that let you create, open, save, and
print files. This is also where you can find the Copy command when you want to copy elements
in the work area.
2. The View toolbar has several commands that let you control the display in the work area, such
as zooming and rotating the view plus commands that let you choose whether to display parts
in shaded or wire frame modes.
3. The Edit toolbar gives you selection tools that let you filter the types of elements that can
be selected or automatically select (group) multiple elements from the selection of a single
4. The Layers and Planes toolbar has commands for creating and selecting work planes, layers,
and view planes.
The Smart Toolbar
Use the Smart toolbar to quickly display and hide ESPRIT toolbars based on the type of work you
want to do.
The first three icons on the toolbar relate to the machining modes in ESPRIT: milling, turning, and
If you click “Switch to SolidMill”, the toolbar is updated to display commands that let you create
milling tools and operations. If you click “Switch to SolidTurn”, the milling commands are hidden
and new commands display that let you create turning and mill/turn operations and tools.
If you want to create geometry, just click the Geometry icon to activate the Geometry group of
If you click Milling Tools, the geometry toolbars are hidden and milling tool commands are
displayed. All visible toolbars activated from the Smart toolbar will always be shown in the same
position so you never have to hunt for a command.
1 2 3 4
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 11
In addition to the Smart toolbar, you can display other toolbars.
To display other toolbars:
• On the View menu, click Toolbars... and then select a toolbar from the list. Any toolbar that has a
check mark next to the name is already displayed on the screen.
• Right-click on any visible toolbar and select the toolbar
you want to display
• To show toolbars for machining operations, select
the machining type on the Machining menu, such as
SolidMill Traditional, and then select the machining type
again on the secondary menu.
To hide a toolbar:
• On the View menu, click Toolbars... and select a toolbar
that has a check mark next to the name
• Right-click on a toolbar and select the toolbar you want
• To hide a machining toolbar, right-click on the toolbar
and select Hide
To move a toolbar, place the cursor on the double line at
the top or to the right of the toolbar and drag it to a new
location. When you drag a toolbar near the edge of the
screen, it will automatically snap to the edge.
Instructions that describe how to create your own toolbars or customize existing toolbars are
available in ESPRIT Help. Press F1 to display the help and then click “Customize” in the index.
If you would like to customize the Smart toolbar, click “Smart Toolbar Add-In” in the index.
Displaying the XYZ Axis and the UVW Axis
You can display two types of axes in the work area:
XYZ Axis: The global axis positioned at the global origin point
UVW Axis: The local axis of the current work plane
The display of the two axes is controlled on the View menu.
12 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
The XYZ axis shows the position of the part model in relation to the global axis.
The UVW axis shows the origin and orientation of the current work plane. You will learn more
about work planes in the lesson “Working with Geometry”.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 13
Opening and Storing Files in ESPRIT
When you start a new session in ESPRIT or create a new file, you are given the choice of starting
with a blank file or basing your new work session on a predefined template.
The <Blank Document> option opens a new file that uses the ESPRIT defaults. A template file
contains user-defined elements and settings for the way you machine parts at your company.
You can create templates that include regularly used tools, machine setup configurations,
simulation settings, repeated geometry, and KnowledgeBase settings. As you become more
familiar with ESPRIT, you can create templates that make it easier and faster to work on similar
types of jobs.
As a new user, select <Blank Document> and click OK.
The commands on the File menu or the icons on the Standard toolbar (located near the upper left
of the ESPRIT screen) are used to manage part files.
The display of the template dialog is controlled by the “Display Template Dialog” option on the
Input page of the Options dialog, available on the Tools menu. By default, the template dialog
For more information about how to create and use template files, please refer to the ESPRIT help.
Creating a New File
Clicking the New command closes the current file so that you can begin work on a new file. If
changes have been made to the current file, ESPRIT will prompt you to save those changes before
the file is closed.
14 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Opening an Existing File
Clicking the Open command lets you open native ESPRIT files (.esp extension), native 2D and
3D files from other CAD systems such as SolidWorks or Pro/E, stereolithography (STL) files, and
translated files such as IGES and STEP.
Since ESPRIT is based on the Parasolids kernel, it is adept at opening a variety of solid model files.
After you click Open, you can use the “Files of type” pulldown to list only files with a specific
extension. This makes it easier to browse for the file you want. If the file you’re looking for has an
unlisted extension, select “All Files”.
XX The list of available file formats is based on the licensed options. For example, if your license
does not allow you to open CATIA files, this option will not display in the “Files of Type”
Saving a File
After working in ESPRIT, you’ll want to save your work so you can retrieve it later.
The Save command stores the current file as a native ESPRIT file or as another type of CAD format.
ESPRIT files are saved with a “.esp” file extension. If you want to convert the file to a different file
format, select the “Save as type” pulldown and then select a file extension.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 15
One of the most important tasks in any CAD/CAM system is the ability to select a variety of
elements in the part file. A single part file may include one or more solid models, wireframe
geometry, surfaces, and toolpath.
In addition, you must have the ability to select individual components of an element, such as edges
on a solid model or the endpoint of a line.
Selecting Elements in the Work Area
Elements in the work area can be selected individually, as a group or by type of element.
• Use your mouse to select an individual element in the work area
• To select more than on element, hold down the Ctrl key as you select elements or drag a
selection box over a group of elements
• To select a group of connected elements, hold down the Shift key as you select an element
Use the Selection Filter to select elements by type. If Geometry is chosen, you will only be able to
select geometry elements in the work area. When you are finished, remember to set the Selection
type back to All.
The Group Command
If you want to select all elements that fit specific selection criteria, you can use the Group
command on the Edit menu.
The Group command lets you select all elements using the following criteria:
• Element type
• Work Plane
16 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
After you identify the selection criteria, click OK to automatically select all elements that meet
Five selection modes are provided in the status area at the lower right of the screen:
• HI (highlight) mode
• SNAP mode
• SUB-ELEMENTS mode
• INT (intersection) mode
• GRID mode
When a mode is grayed out, that means the mode is disabled. Click on a mode to enable or disable
When HI mode is enabled, ESPRIT always asks you to confirm element selections. This allows you
to select from elements that are close to, or even on top of, each other. For example, you can use
HI mode to select a solid model, an edge on that model, or feature created from a solid model.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 17
When HI mode is enabled, ESPRIT will prompt “Is this the correct choice” and highlights an element
near the selection point.
If this is not the correct element, answer No by pressing the right mouse button.
ESPRIT will highlight the next closest element. In this example, you want to select the feature but a
segment is highlighted instead. You would click the right mouse button until the feature highlights.
When the correct element is highlighted, answer Yes by pressing the left mouse button.
18 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
When SNAP mode is enabled, the cursor recognizes the midpoints and endpoints of
lines and segments and the center points of circles and arcs as valid point selections.
With SNAP enabled, the cursor changes to:
when you hover over the end of a segment or arc
when you hover near the midpoint of a segment or arc
when you hover over the center point of a circle or arc
When SUB-ELEMENTS mode is enabled, you can select the individual sub-elements of
solid models or features in the work area. For example, you can select the faces, faces
loops, or edges of a solid model. You can also select the sub-elements of features.
The selection of sub-elements is extremely useful for selecting the individual faces
on a solid model that you want to machine. The Grouping Properties command relies
on the selection of sub-elements to automatically group faces for several types of
features: Holes, Pockets, Draft Feature Recognition, Turning Profiles, and FreeForm
When INT mode is enabled, the cursor recognizes the intersections of segments, lines, arcs, and
circles as valid point selections.
With INT set on, the cursor changes immediately to and remains as the INT cursor until an
intersection is chosen. The cursor exits INT mode immediately after an intersection is chosen.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 19
ESPRIT uses the grid configuration settings from the Options dialog box (from the Tools menu,
select Options and then the Input tab). This lets you select from a defined invisible array of screen
locations in response to prompts for points, angles, distances, and so on.
You may want to set the grid spacing to match your part drawing values.
To deselect all items simply click anywhere in a blank area of the work area.
Selecting Items in the Project Manager
Features and machining operations can be selected directly in the Project Manager. Most of the
time, this is much easier than selecting these items in the work area.
When a feature or operation is selected within the Project Manager, the same item highlights in
the work area.
20 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Controlling the Display of Elements
ESPRIT provides a variety of methods that let you control how your parts are displayed.
Shaded and Wireframe Displays
For solids and surfaces, you can set the display to shaded or wireframe mode.
Shaded Wire: Creates a shaded image with wireframe. The display of
the wireframe is light source dependent. Wireframes will appear in
different colors and/or disappear depending on the part orientation
with respect to the light. Silhouettes are not supported, only true
Shaded: Creates a shaded image. Has no effect on geometry elements.
You can also shade the simulation of cutting operations.
Hidden Wireframe: Displays visible solids, surfaces, and geometry as
wireframe depending on the orientation of the part. Elements that
would normally be hidden by a shaded view are not displayed.
Wireframe: Displays all solids, surfaces, and geometry as wireframe.
ESPRIT provides several standard view orientations.
When you change from one view plane to another, the display in the work area rotates to the new
view orientation and the display automatically zooms to fit all elements within the screen. You can
control the rotation animation speed on the Workspace tab of the Options dialog (available on the
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 21
You can also store your own view orientations. Pan, rotate or zoom the view to the orientation you
prefer and then create a new view to store the view for later use.
Pan, Zoom, and Rotate the View
Commands on the View toolbar let you fit, zoom, pan and rotate the display of your part in the
work area. However, it is faster to use the mouse and keyboard to modify the view.
Hold down the Ctrl key and the middle mouse button, or scroll
wheel, and move the mouse to quickly rotate the view.
If you hold the mouse button down over an axis or geometry
element, the view will rotate about that element.
• Click the Rotate command on the View toolbar
• Hold down the Ctrl key and press the up or down keys to rotate
15° around the horizontal axis
• Hold down the Ctrl key and press the right or left arrow keys to
rotate 15° around the vertical axis
• Hold down the Alt key and press the right or left arrow keys to rotate 15° around the normal axis
• Hold down Shift+Ctrl and press the up or down arrow keys to rotate 90° around the horizontal
• Hold down Shift+Ctrl and press the right or left arrow keys to rotate 90° around the vertical axis
Spin the scroll wheel forward to zoom in. Spin the scroll wheel backwards to zoom out. The zoom
takes place from the location of the cursor on the screen.
• Use the zoom commands on the View toolbar: Zoom, Zoom Previous, Zoom Dynamic
• Hold down the Shift key and press the up or down arrow keys to zoom in or zoom out
22 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Hold down the Shift key and the middle mouse button, or
scroll wheel, and move the mouse forward to zoom in or
move backwards to zoom out.
With Smart Zoom, the zoom takes place from the center
of the model regardless of the position of the mouse.
That way, the model is always visible when you zoom.
Hold down the middle mouse button, or scroll wheel, and
move the mouse right, left, forward, or backward to pan
• Click the Pan command on the View toolbar
• Press the right, left, up, or down keys
Press F5 to redraw the screen.
Press F6 to fit all visible graphic elements on the screen.
Press F7 to switch to a top view.
Press F8 to switch to an isometric view.
ESPRIT Fundamentals | 23
The Masks command on the View menu lets you hide the display of specific types of elements.
Press Ctrl+M to display the dialog. Items with a check mark are displayed. Select any items you
want to hide to remove the check mark. All elements of that type will be hidden in the work area.
To display the elements again, select the item in the dialog.
Layers are very useful for controlling the display of different types of elements in a complex part
file. For example, you can set up different layers for machine components, the initial part stock
or casting, the finished part, roughing tool paths and finishing tool paths, or any other type of
When new elements are created, they are placed on the active layer. Layers can be turned on or off
to hide or show the different aspects of your part. The elements are not deleted, just temporarily
hidden. You can turn a layer back on at any time.
Elements can be placed on a different layer by first selecting one or more elements and then
changing the “Layer” property in the Property Browser.
Working with Geometry | 25
Working with Geometry
A basic requirement of any CAD/CAM system is to provide
functions that allow the creation of 2-dimensional and
3-dimensional geometry. For machinists, the ability to create
geometry to aid in the creation of proper tool path is critical.
ESPRIT provides functions to create two types of geometry:
unbounded and bounded. Unbounded geometry has no
end point or start point, such as an infinite line, or the start
point and end point are the same, such as a circle or ellipse.
Bounded geometry is limited to a start point and end point,
such as a line segment or arc.
Some geometric elements are neither bounded or
unbounded, such as points, rectangles, and polygons. In
addition, ESPRIT lets you trim or extend geometry, or add
fillets and chamfers to corners.
The intent of this lesson is to teach you the basics of creating
2-dimensional geometry in ESPRIT.
You will learn:
• About the commands for creating geometry
• About work planes and how to modify their location and
• How to draw lines, rectangles, points, and circles
• How to trim geometry and fillet corners
• How to draw a hole pattern from an array of points
Geometry commands.................... 26
Unbounded Geometry...................... 26
Geometry creation modes............ 28
Work Planes........................................ 28
Saving a work plane.........................29
Draw 2D Geometry......................... 30
26 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Geometry commands are available on two toolbars: Unbounded Geometry and Bounded
The Unbounded Geometry toolbar displays automatically when you click Geometry on the Smart
Point: Creates a point using a reference element or entered values. The user can enter XYZ
coordinate values, select grid points, or choose a reference element to create a point: on a Snap
location (end point, midpoint, or center point), at the intersection of two elements, at a specified
distance along an element, or at a specified distance and angle from a reference location.
Line 1: Creates a line from one reference element. The line can be created through a point,
tangent to a circle or arc, or parallel to another line, segment, or axis.
Line 2: Creates a line from two reference elements. The line can be created between two
points, tangent to circles or arcs, or perpendicular to another line through a specified location.
Circle 1: Creates a circle from one reference element. The circle is centered at a specified
location or created concentric to another circle.
Circle 2: Creates a circle from two reference elements. The circle is created through or tangent
to two elements or Snap locations.
Circle 3: Creates a circle from three reference elements. The circle is created through or
tangent to three elements or Snap locations. The radius is calculated from the three locations.
Ellipse 1: Creates an ellipse centered about a point or Snap location. The user is prompted for
the center point, angle of major axis, major radius, and minor radius.
Ellipse 3: Creates an ellipse from three points or Snap locations. The user is prompted for the
center point, a point that defines the angle of the major axis and the major radius, and a point
anywhere on the ellipse.
Fillet/Chamfer: Creates an arc (fillet) or segment (chamfer) between two reference elements.
Depending on the selected geometry, the elements are either trimmed or extended to the end
points of the fillet or chamfer.
Keep: Keeps the portion of an element between two reference elements and trims the rest.
This command can also be used to convert an arc to a circle, a segment to a line, or a bounded
ellipse to an unbounded ellipse.
Trim: Trims the portion of an element between two reference elements.
Point Array: Creates multiple points at evenly spaced intervals. The user can specify the
number of points to create in a linear array, circular array, or grid array. In addition, the user can
choose to automatically create a PTOP feature from those points at the same time.
Horizontal/Vertical Line: Creates a line parallel to the X-axis (horizontal) or the Y-axis (vertical)
at a specified distance.
Working with Geometry | 27
Rectangle: Creates a rectangle or cube from two points or Snap locations. When the reference
points lie on the same plane, a rectangle is created from four separate segments. When the
reference points lie on different planes, a cube is created from twelve separate segments.
Polygon: Creates a closed shape with any number of sides centered about a point or Snap
To display the Bounded Geometry tool bar, click ‘Bounded Geometry’ on the Create tool bar. Most
of the commands are the same except that you can create segments instead of lines and arcs
instead of circles.
Segment 1: Creates a segment from one reference element. The segment can be created
through a point, tangent to a circle or arc, or parallel to another line, segment, or axis. The user
specifies the length and angle.
Segment 2: Creates a segment from two reference elements that define the start and
end points. The segment can be created between two points, tangent to circles or arcs, or
perpendicular to another line, segment, or axis.
Arc 1: Creates an arc from a center point, a radius value, and start and end angles.
Arc 2: Creates an arc with a specified radius through or tangent to two reference elements.
Arc 3: Creates an arc from three reference elements that define the start point, a point on the
arc, and the end point.
Ellipse 1: Creates an open ellipse centered about a point or Snap location. The user is prompted
for the center point, angle of major axis, major radius, minor radius, start angle, and end angle.
Ellipse 3: Creates an ellipse from three points or Snap locations. The user is prompted for the
center point, a point that defines the angle of the major axis and the major radius, and an end
point. The second point selected also defines the start point of the ellipse.
Each geometry command displays a series of messages in the prompt area (located at the lower
left corner of the screen). The messages typically prompt you to select a reference element in the
work area, such as a center point for a circle or an end point for a line, and then prompt you to
input a value, such as a radius or distance.
You can accept the displayed value by pressing the Enter key or you can type a new value. As soon
as you begin typing on the keyboard, an input box displays.
28 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
You can type the value or you can enter a mathematical expression to calculate the value, such as
SQR(PI*3) or 10/3.
Geometry creation modes
When a geometry command is clicked on the toolbar, its mode of geometry creation is activated.
The mode stays active until you press the Escape key or click another command. For example, if
you click the Circle 1 command, you can create one circle after another.
When geometry is created, it is drawn on the current work plane. Work planes let you draw
geometry on a plane other than the default XYZ plane. The location and orientation of the current
work plane is shown by the UVW axis. To display the UVW axis, click ‘UVW Axis’ on the View menu.
ESPRIT provides three work plane orientations, all starting at the system origin point:
• XYZ: U, V, and W share the same orientation as X, Y, and Z. Geometry is drawn
on the XY plane.
• ZXY: U, V, and W are aligned along Z, X, and Y respectively. Geometry is drawn
on the ZX plane.
• YZX: U, V, and W are aligned along Y, Z, and X respectively. Geometry is drawn
on the YZ plane.
In ESPRIT, the tool axis is always aligned along the W, or Z, axis.
Users have the ability to create their own work planes in any orientation and location using
the commands on the ‘Modify Work Plane’ tool bar. This tool bar displays automatically when
‘Geometry’ is clicked on the Smart tool bar.
Working with Geometry | 29
Work Plane from Geometry: Creates a work plane from selected elements that define a plane.
Any of the following can be selected: two intersecting lines or edges of a surface or solid, a line
and a point not on that line, three points not on the same line, a circle. The first element selected
defines the U axis, the second element defines the V.
Parallel Work Plane: Moves the UVW axis incrementally according to the U, V, and W values
you enter. Follow the prompts at the lower left of the screen. If the UVW has the same orientation
as the XYZ axis, Parallel Work Plane works the same as Translate Work Plane.
Translate Work Plane: Moves the UVW axis incrementally according to the X, Y, and Z values
you enter and according to the orientation of the XYZ axis. Follow the prompts at the lower left of
Rotate Work Plane: Rotates the UVW axis any angle about a selected line or segment.
Rotate UVW: Rotates the UVW axis any angle about the U, V, and W axis.
Symmetry Work Plane: Moves the UVW axis symmetrically with respect to a selected plane.
You can select elements to define the mirror plane (see Work Plane from Geometry) or use an
existing plane as the mirror plane. To do so, type the word “name” and then enter the name of the
plane you want to use.
XX After a work plane is repositioned, you can use it immediately. The position of the elements you
create will be based on the new location and orientation of the UVW axis.
Saving a work plane
To save the current position of the UVW, open the Work Planes dialog (press F10) and click New.
Enter a name for the new plane and click OK.
When “Include View” is checked, the same name and orientation is added to the list of View Planes
so you can change to that view at any time. The view is created with the ‘W’ of the UVW axis
pointing out towards you so that you can create elements on the UV (or XY) plane. An asterisk (*)
displays after the new plane name in list for both Work Planes and View Planes to indicate that the
work plane includes a view.
30 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Draw 2D Geometry
In this lesson you will learn to draw points, lines, and circles and become familiar with how to trim
You will draw the geometry using the dimensions in this drawing. All dimensions are in millimeters.
Create a new ESPRIT document
You will start with a new document that does not have any geometry at all.
Open ESPRIT or, if ESPRIT is already running, click New.
Make sure System Unit, on the Tools menu, is set to Metric.
Set the view to ‘Top’.
Make sure SNAP mode and HI mode are active.
Working with Geometry | 31
Draw the part boundary as a rectangle
The outer boundary of the part is the perfect shape for using the Rectangle command. The
Rectangle command requires the entry of two point locations that define the opposite corners of
the shape. You will learn how to enter a point location when no points exist in the document.
On the Smart tool bar, click Geometry.
• Click Rectangle .
• You are prompted to “Select First Reference Point”. Select the origin point located in the
middle of the screen.
• You are prompted to “Select Second Reference Point”. You do not have a second point, but
you do know that the part boundary measures 120 mm wide by 90 mm high.
• Type the letter N to indicate there is no point and press the Enter key.
• You are prompted to “Enter X Value”. Type the number 120 and press Enter.
• You are prompted to “Enter Y Value”. Type the number 90 and press Enter.
XX You could also enter all the values for a point location in the input box as a single string. For
32 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Draw the boundary lines for the pocket
The edges of the pocket are offset from the part boundary by 5 mm. Now that you have the
boundary geometry, you can use it as a reference for additional geometry. You will use the
segments in the boundary to create parallel lines.
• Press F6 to fit the rectangle in the window.
• Click Line 1 .
• You are prompted to “Select Reference Element”. Select one of the segments.
• You are prompted to “Enter Distance”. Type 5 and press Enter.
• You are prompted to select an offset direction of “Up, Down, Left, or Right”. Digitize inside the
Working with Geometry | 33
Trim the pocket boundary
• Click Keep .
• Select a line by digitizing it inside the pocket boundary since this is the portion of the line you
want to keep.
• Digitize the other three lines in the same way so that all the lines are trimmed.
• You are again prompted to select a reference element. Select another segment in the
• This time the distance defaults to 5, so just press Enter.
• Again digitize inside the boundary.
• Follow the prompts to create the next two lines for the pocket.
34 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Add more detail to the pocket
The upper portion of the pocket is 35 mm across. There is also an angled line that starts 45 mm
above the bottom of the part boundary.
• Click Line 1 .
• Select the left pocket segment and enter a distance of 35.
• Digitize to the right of the selected segment.
• Select the bottom segment of the part boundary and enter a distance of 45.
• Digitize above the selected segment.
Working with Geometry | 35
Draw the angled line
With Line 1 still active, click INT mode to activate it.
• Move the cursor over the intersection of the two lines you just created and click to select the
• You are prompted to “Enter Angle”. Type -10 and press Enter.
• Click ‘Select’ and then select the horizontal line. Press the Delete key since you do not need
this line anymore.
36 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Fillet the pocket corners
All the corners of the pocket have a 6 mm fillet except for the intersection of the angled line,
which is sharp.
• Click Fillet/Chamfer .
• In the dialog, set the Radius to 6.
• Select the segments at each corner, digitizing on the side of
the segment that is inside the pocket boundary.
• Change the Radius to 0.
• Select the angled segment to the right of the intersection.
• Select the vertical segment above the intersection.
Working with Geometry | 37
Draw the first point for the hole pattern
From the drawing, you know that one circle is positioned 8 mm away from the top right corner
of the part boundary. You also know the width and height of the part, so you can calculate the
location for the first circle.
Click Point .
In the dialog, select ‘Cartesian/Center’.
For the X value, enter 120-8 (width minus the offset).
For the Y value, enter 90-8 (height minus the offset).
Set Z to 0 and click Apply to create the first point.
38 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Draw an array of points
The holes in the hole pattern are evenly spaced 64 mm horizontally and 30 mm vertically. The
easiest way to create a hole pattern is to use the Point Array command to create the center
• Click Point Array .
• In the dialog, select ‘Grid’.
• Set ‘Number’ to 2 horizontally and 2 vertically.
• Set ‘Distance’ to -64 horizontally and -30 vertically. Negative values
are used because you want to create the array below and to the left
of the point you just created.
• Set ‘Angle’ to 0 horizontally and 90 vertically.
• Select the first point of the hole pattern.
Working with Geometry | 39
Draw the hole pattern
The last step is to draw the 7 mm diameter holes using the points you created.
• Click Circle 1 .
• Select a point.
• You are prompted to “Enter Radius”. Type 7/2 and press Enter.
• Select another point and press Enter to accept the default radius. Create the other two circles
in the same way.
• Press the Escape key to exit the Circle 1 command.
Working with Features | 41
Working with Features
Features are an integral component to the machining
functions in ESPRIT and serve several purposes:
• They describe the shape of the parts you want to machine.
ESPRIT uses standard manufacturing terms for features such
as pocket, hole, profile, face, and so on. In this way, a set of
features can describe the shape of an entire part.
• Features contain machining properties that control where
material removal should occur. These properties include
cutting depths, draft angles, cut direction, entry and exit
points, and lead-in/lead-out points to name a few.
• When a feature (or features) is selected before a machining
command is clicked, ESPRIT will automatically load the
machining properties from the selected feature onto the
operation technology page. This saves time and prevents
the errors caused by entering values manually.
• Features help automate machining processes because
they provide a single source of information about how to
cut a part. Any number of machining operations can be
associated with a single feature. Associated tool paths are
easily updated whenever a feature is modified.
The intent of this lesson is to introduce the user to the
importance of features in machining operations and
to provide an introductory lesson on how to create
2-dimensional features from the geometry in a drawing and
modify those features to add 3-dimensional properties for
You will learn:
• About the different types of features
• Commands for creating and editing features
• Properties assigned to features
• Work planes assigned to features
• How to create 3-dimensional features from a 2D drawing
Types of Features............................42
Creating and editing features.43
Work Planes assigned to features
Import a CAD drawing..................47
Position the part for machining
Create 3D features from a 2D
42 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Types of Features
When a feature is created, it is classified as one of the following:
An individual feature is considered to be a chain
feature. A chain feature could be the boundary
around a part, a simple pocket, or a path constructed
of wire frame geometry. A chain feature defines
the start location, direction, and end location for a
Chain features are quite simple and are used when
you want the cutter to follow a defined path.
Typically, these are contouring or profiling operations.
In most cases, the tool can be centered on the chain
feature or offset to the right or left.
A PTOP (point-to-point) feature defines a path
connecting a series of holes or points.
PTOP features are typically used for drilling
operations and can also be used for manual milling.
The tool will follow this path to drill each hole.
PTOP features contain information about the depth
and diameter of holes along the path as well as
information about chamfers and counter bores.
A collection of individual features that comprise an
area to be machined is considered a feature set.
Feature sets are represented by a folder in the
Feature Manager. A feature set is typically a Pocket
feature that has sub-pockets or islands or it can be
a Part feature containing all features found within a
All EDM features created with the Draft Feature
Recognition command are custom objects. Custom
Objects also have an associated Feature Type that
designates the feature as a Draft Conic Feature (2-
axis) or Ruled Feature (4-axis).
Working with Features | 43
Creating and editing features
Features are created using the commands on the Features toolbar. To display the toolbar, click
Features on the Smart tool bar.
Two toolbars display: Create Features and Edit Features.
Features are created from commands on the Create Features toolbar.
Manual Chain: Creates a chain feature from manually selected elements or point locations. This
command can also be used to re-open a chain for editing.
Auto Chain: Creates a chain feature automatically from elements that form a closed or open
shape. The feature can be created from grouped elements or a manually selected start point, the
next element in the chain, and an end point.
Manual PTOP: Creates a PTOP feature from grouped or manually selected circles or point
Holes: Automatically recognizes holes on a solid model using criteria that defines the allowable
range of diameter values.
Face Profiles: Creates a profile feature from any combination of solid faces, face loops, solid
edges, or wire frame geometry. Face Profiles also processes any holes within the selected face like
the Holes command, using the allowable range of hole diameters defined in Feature Parameters.
Pocket: Recognizes pockets, and any internal islands, found within a closed boundary and
creates features on them. A Pocket feature can be created from a solid model, a face or face loop
on a solid model, or a chain feature.
Feature Parameters: Defines the parameters used for automatic hole recognition in the Holes
and Face Profiles commands and the recognition of milled holes in the Pocket command. An
additional setting controls the creation of multiple pockets when the Pocket function is used.
Part Profile: Creates geometry or, optionally, a chain feature at the intersection of the UV plane
of the UVW axis and a selected solid, NURB surface, or composite. For solid models, a cross-section
is created at the UV plane. For NURB surfaces and composites, the geometry marks the silhouette
of the part projected along the W axis onto the UV plane.
Turning Profiles: Analyzes a part to find OD, ID, or face projection profiles and generates a
profile for use in turning operations. A turning profile can be created from a solid model, solid
faces, surfaces, surface composite, or STL model. The calculated profile can be created as a chain
feature or as individual geometric elements.
Draft Feature Recognition: Creates a 2-axis or 4-axis EDM feature automatically from a solid
model, grouped wire frame geometry, or solid faces. This command is only available when the
machining mode is set to SolidWire.
Gear: Creates a chain feature of an inner or outer involute gear from specified gear data.
44 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Cam: Creates a chain feature of a cam profile based on values provided by the user.
The Features tool bar also displays commands you can use to edit features.
Insert Point: Inserts a point in an existing PTOP feature.
New Start: Changes the start location on a chain feature to any element defined in the original
Remove from PTOP Feature: Removes a point from a PTOP feature.
Move Back: Removes any number of elements, from last to first, on an existing chain or PTOP
feature. This command is available only when the Manual Chain function is active.
Modify Sharp Corner: Places arcs on corners (non-tangent junctions) of a chain feature. Arcs
can be applied to the entire chain or any portion of a chain.
Modify Internal/External Corners: Analyzes a chain or EDM feature to find and identify all
corners, then automatically applies a user-defined corner style to those corners. A corner style can
be applied to all corners, internal corners only, external corners only, clockwise corners, or counter
Find Shortest Path: Optimizes the travel distance between points in a PTOP or Hole feature.
Reverse: Reverses the direction of a curve, chain feature, or PTOP feature.
Commands to edit EDM features
Several commands on the Edit Features toolbar are designed specifically for EDM features.
Taper Change - Inserts a pivot or gradual taper change into a draft conic feature.
Add Match Line - Adds a new synchronization line to a 4-axis ruled feature.
Remove Match Line - Deletes a synchronization line from a 4-axis ruled feature.
Add Slug Retention Profile - Adds small slots or grooves to an EDM die feature to prevent a slug
from staying in the die during a punching operation.
Remove Slug Retention Profile - Removes slug retention profiles from EDM die features.
Add Extra Cut-off - Adds an extra break point to an existing EDM feature at a user-defined
location and distance.
Remove Extra Cut-off - Removes an extra break point that was previously added to an EDM
Working with Features | 45
The Property Browser displays all the properties of a selected item. These include general
properties such as color, layer, and element type plus any machining properties.
Features always have machining properties.
To display the Property Browser, hold down the Alt key as you press the Enter key (Alt+Enter) or
select Properties on the View menu.
In addition to properties for the entire feature, each feature also has properties for each sub-
element such as the position of each point in a PTOP feature, the length of segments in a chain
feature, plus attributes that show whether an edge is open or closed. You can highlight sub-
elements in a selected feature using HI mode.
To edit a feature property, click on the value to the right of the property and make your change.
In this way, you can create a feature from 2D geometry and quickly give it 3D properties by adding
depth and draft angles.
46 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Work Planes assigned to features
Each time a new feature is created, a work plane is assigned to it automatically. The assigned work
plane property affects the orientation of the tool for milling and turning operations placed on that
feature. It has no effect on the orientation of the wire in EDM operations. You can view the work
plane property in the Property Browser.
ESPRIT assigns only one work plane to each feature, regardless of the complexity of the feature.
If you try to delete a work plane associated with an existing feature, ESPRIT protects you from
accidentally deleting the work plane by displaying a warning that your action is not allowed.
Working with Features | 47
The files for this lesson are available on the ESPRIT DVD in the ‘Get Started’ folder. The files are
also available for download from ESPRITWeb » File Library » ESPRIT 2010.
All dimensions in this lesson are in millimeters. Make sure “System Unit” on the Tools menu is set
If you would like to review and simulate the machining operations from this lesson, the completed
ESPRIT file is available in the folder “completed_parts”.
Import a CAD drawing
You will start by opening an AutoCAD file in ESPRIT. This drawing has part geometry that you will
use to create features. There is other geometry that you do not need, such as the drawing border
and title section. You will control the display of the geometry with layers.
On the Standard toolbar, click Open.
Browse and select the following file: drawing.dxf
In the dialog, click Options and make sure ‘File Unit’ is Metric.
Click OK to close the Options dialog.
48 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
If the Feature Manager is not displayed, press F2.
If the Property Browser is not displayed, press Alt+Enter (if necessary, drag the Property Browser
below the Feature Manager).
Turn off layers to hide elements
This drawing already has layers that were created in AutoCAD. When you imported the drawing,
you imported the layers as well.
Layers let you hide and show different aspects of your drawing. When elements of any type are
placed on a layer, you can turn off that layer to hide all elements on that layer. The elements
are temporarily hidden, not deleted. You can turn the layer back on at any time to show the
The CAD drawing has elements that you do not need for machining operations, such as the
drawing border and title box. You can hide these elements so you only see the geometry for the
On the ‘Layers and Planes’ toolbar, click the Layers icon.
Working with Features | 49
Uncheck all layers except ‘Default’, ‘Visible (ISO)’, and ‘Hidden (ISO)’.
Create and activate a new layer
You need to create a new layer for the features you will create. The active layer is displayed
with a red box around it. All new elements are created on the active layer. When a new layer is
created, it is automatically set as the active layer.
• In the Layers dialog, click New
• For the layer name, type ‘Features’ and click OK
• Close the dialog
50 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Position the part for machining
The origin point in the AutoCAD drawing is not located on the part geometry. To make this part
easier to machine, you will move the origin point to the lower left corner of the part boundary
since this is a good touch-off location for the machinist.
ESPRIT makes it easy to change the origin point without moving the part itself.
• On the Edit menu, click ‘Move Origin Point’
• You are prompted to “Select New Origin Point”
• Select the snap location at the lower left corner of the part boundary
Working with Features | 51
This drawing does not have any dimensions. You will draw some dimensions on the top view of the
part to see the depths of the pockets and the holes. You can then use those values to add depth to
the features you create.
On the Tools menu, click Dimensioning.
• Click the Text tab
• Make sure ‘Length Unit’ is set to ‘Metric’
• Click the Font button and set the font size to 12
• Click OK to close the Font dialog
• Click OK to close the Parameters dialog
52 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
On the Smart toolbar, click Dimensioning.
• Click Dimension
• In the Status area, select SNAP mode to turn it off
• Select a segment on the top and the bottom of the top view
• The system displays a preview of the dimension that moves with your cursor
• Move the cursor to the left of the geometry and click to place the dimension
• Select a segment on the top and a segment at the bottom of a drilled hole
• Place the dimension to the right of the geometry
• In the same way, add dimensions for the depths of the pockets
• Press the ESC key to exit Dimension mode
• In the Status area, enable SNAP mode
Working with Features | 53
Create 3D features from a 2D drawing
When a machine shop receives a drawing from a customer, it is useful to be able to use the
geometry in the drawing to create 3-dimensional features that can be machined.
ESPRIT lets you create features on 2-dimensional geometry and add 3-dimensional properties to
Create a hole feature
On the Smart toolbar, click Features.
• Click the arrow button next to ‘Max Diameter’ and select an inner circle from one of the drilled
• Click OK to create a hole feature that connects all the drilled holes
54 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Edit the hole feature
These holes have a depth of 15 mm and a countersink with a total angle of 90 degrees.
Change the view to ‘Isometric’ so you can see the updates to the feature as you add machining
• In the Project Manager, select the Hole feature
• In the Property Browser, select the value for the ‘Depth’ property
• Enter a value of 15 and press Enter
• Select the value for ‘Chamfer Diameter’
• Click the arrow button next to the value and then select an outer circle from one of the drilled
• Change the value for ‘Chamfer Angle’ to 90
Working with Features | 55
Create chain features for the pocket
You will create three features for the pocket: one for the closed boundary of the pocket, one
for the rectangular island, and one for the circular island. For features that define a pocket, the
cutting side is important because it controls where material is removed (on the inside or outside
of the chain). Cutting side is based on the direction of the feature and can be set to Left, Right, or
• Change the view back to ‘Top’
• Hold down the Shift key and select a single element in the pocket profile
• All connected elements are grouped automatically
• Click Auto Chain
• The start point for the chain is created in the middle of the longest segment and has a counter-
56 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
• Hold down the Shift key and select a single segment of the rectangular island
• Click Auto Chain
• Select the circle inside the pocket and click Auto Chain
• Select the feature ‘1 Chain’ in the Feature Manager
• In the Property Browser, change ‘Cutting Side’ to ‘Left’
and press Enter
• Notice that ‘Material Removal’ changes to ‘Inside’
• Select the feature ‘2 Chain’ and change the property for
‘Cutting Side’ to ‘Right’ and press Enter
• ‘Material Removal’ for the island feature is ‘Outside’
• Select the feature ‘3 Chain’ and change ‘Cutting Side’ to
Working with Features | 57
Add depth to the chain features
When several elements are selected, only the properties
that are common to all the elements can be edited in the
Property Browser. Since the features for the pocket all
share the same depth, you can update the depth for all
three features at one time.
• In the Feature Manager, select the three chain features
• Change the property for ‘Depth’ to 18 and press Enter
Create a chain feature for the open pocket
The area located at the upper right of the part is defined as an ‘open’ pocket because it defines
a closed boundary that has some edges along a wall and other edges that are open. You can edit
the sub-elements of a feature to define edges as open or closed.
• Hold down the Ctrl key and select the segments and arcs that define the boundary of the open
pocket (the CTRL key lets you continue adding elements to a group)
• Click Auto Chain
• Change the cutting side of the feature to Left
• Change the depth of the feature to 24
58 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
• On the View menu, click Masks
• Select ‘Geometry’ to hide the display of
the geometric elements (do not close the
• In the work area, select an outer edge of the feature
• When the entire chain highlights, press the right mouse button to highlight only the edge of
• Press the left mouse button to accept this choice
• In the Property Browser, change the attribute for ‘Open Edge’ to ‘True’
• In the same way, select the other sub-elements on the outer edge and change the ‘Open Edge’
attribute to ‘True’
Working with Features | 59
• Change the view to ‘Isometric’
• You can see that the open edges are displayed as dashed lines
• In the Masks dialog, select ‘Geometry’ to show the geometric elements and close the dialog
Create a chain feature on the inside edge
Features along the edges of a part are useful for
contouring operations. This chain defines an open
profile with the start point and the end point in different
locations. After you select the end point of the profile, you
need to click the Cycle Stop command to let ESPRIT know
that you are finished selecting elements for the chain.
• Click Auto Chain
• Select the start point shown
• Select the angled segment to the left of the start point
• Select the end point shown
• On the Edit toolbar, click Cycle Stop to create the
• Change the cutting side to Right
• Change the depth to 24
60 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Create a manual chain on the outer boundary
A chain around the boundary of the part can be used for facing and contouring operations.
• Click Manual Chain
• Use SNAP mode to select the four corners of the part boundary (be sure to select the corners
• Change the cutting side so that material removal is on the outside of the boundary
• Change the depth of the feature to 30
XX To see the features more clearly you can mask the geometry.
Milling on a Standard Mill | 61
Milling on a Standard Mill
ESPRIT has very strong capabilities in 2.5D milling, providing
both ease-of-use and a high level of control over every aspect
of a milling operation.
The intent of this project is to teach you the process for
creating standard milling operations using the standard milling
technology in ESPRIT.
For this project, you will learn how to use the commands on
the SolidMill Traditional toolbar to mill a part on a 2-1/2 axis
You will learn:
• About SolidMill Traditional machining technology and
• How to create a milling tool
• How to create features for milling operations
• How to create a stock model
• Techniques to quickly remove stock material
• Two pocketing techniques: high-speed and standard
• Drilling techniques for hole patterns and a milled hole
• Simulation with Stock Automation
SolidMill Machining Technology
Saving Machining Technology..60
Feeds and Speeds..............................60
Milling Clearances............................ 62
Depths of Cut........................................ 64
SolidMill Traditional Machining
Open the part file...........................67
Create a milling tool....................68
The Tool Manager..............................68
Create milling features................72
Create a stock model................... 79
Remove excess material...............81
Cut the pockets and slot...........88
Mill and drill the holes.............. 95
Simulate milling operations.... 99
62 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
SolidMill Machining Technology
ESPRIT has machining technology that is designed specifically for 2-axis through 5-axis mills. This
technology is called SolidMill.
SolidMill technology lets you define the physical properties of your milling machine, create milling
tools and stock models, create specialized milling features with automatic feature recognition,
create milling operations and simulate them.
The technology for SolidMill machining cycles is displayed on a tab in the Project Manager. This
makes it easy to enter machining parameters and view the part model at the same time. The user
can also click on any of the other tabs in the Project Manager to make it easier to select features or
create new cutting tools.
The technology for a machining cycle will not open unless a valid feature is selected first.
The way that machining parameters are organized for all SolidMill machining cycles is consistent to
make it easy to learn and use the technology.
The interface is organized in three main areas:
• Toolbar area
• Vertical tabs
• Parameters area
Milling on a Standard Mill | 63
The Toolbar area contains commands to validate (OK) and close (Cancel) the current technology
as well as a Help button to open the help file for the current technology. The drop-down button
displays the context menu for the technology. The icon reflects the last command used by the user.
The vertical tabs are arranged to save space. Parameters are grouped on the tabs in a “top down”
approach, where you define the most general information about the cutting cycle on the General
tab, then move to the Strategy tab to define a bit more detail such as the cutting strategy or
depths, moving down each tab to add more detail about your machining operation.
The display of some tabs is controlled by a parameter setting. For example, if the parameter ‘Finish
Pass’ on the Strategy tab is set to ‘Yes’, the Finish tab will display to let you define parameters for a
final finishing pass. If ‘Finish Pass’ is set to ‘No’, the tab is hidden.
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The Parameters area displays the machining parameters for the current technology. Parameters
are grouped by category and each group control can be collapsed or expanded for visualization
As parameters are selected, the interface updates to show only the parameters you need. Options
that are not used are hidden. If the user changes a parameter, the interface updates to show or
hide a different set of parameters.
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For example, if the user sets ‘Trochoidal Move’ to ‘Yes’ for high-speed tool path, all the parameters
to define the trochoidal movement are displayed.
Otherwise, they are hidden.
When an arrow button displays next to a parameter, you can click the arrow and select an element
in the work area to load a value.
Features can also be loaded from the Features tab. Click inside the parameter field, click the
Features tab, select a feature from the list, and then click the technology tab.
If the value for a parameter is invalid or missing, an error displays next to the parameter. If
you hover your mouse over the error icon, a description of the error displays so that it can be
66 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Saving Machining Technology
Machining technology settings can be easily saved as a separate *.prc (process) file and used over
and over for the machining of similar parts. To save the technology for a machining cycle, click Save
on the drop-down menu. Enter a name for the file, browse to the location where you want to save
the file, and click Save.
After a technology file has been saved, it can be loaded in a technology page. Click ‘Open’ on the
drop-down menu, browse to the file, and click Open.
XX The type of technology in the file must match the machining cycle. For example, you can only
load Pocketing technology into a Pocketing cycle. For this reason, it is important to name the
saved technology file with the type of technology in the file.
Feeds and Speeds
The settings for feed rates and spindle speed are set on the General tab and displayed in two
columns that are interactive. The column on the left is for actual feed and speed values, while the
column on the right is used for chip load programming. If you enter a value in one column, the
value in the next column is automatically calculated. This allows you to “fine tune” your feed and
You can use ‘Cut Speed RPM’ (Revolutions Per Minute) or ‘Cut Speed SPM’ (Surface feet/meters
Per Minute). Cut speed is defined as the distance in feet or meters that the edge of the rotating
tool travels per minute. Cut speed is affected by the tool diameter. At a fixed number of RPMs, a
larger tool diameter results in a greater cutting speed.
Milling on a Standard Mill | 67
When a value is entered in ‘Cut Speed RPM’, the system takes that value and the tool diameter and
calculates and displays the value for ‘Cut Speed SPM’. The relationship of RPM to SPM is based on
the following formula:
SPM in Inch = RPM * PI * Tool Diameter / 12
SPM in Metric = RPM * PI * Tool Diameter / 1000
You can also go in the opposite direction. If you set Cut Speed SPM, the system takes that value
and the tool diameter and calculates the Cut Speed RPM. The system uses the following formula:
RPM in Inch = (12 * SPM) / (PI * Tool Diameter)
RPM in Metric = (1000 * SPM) / (PI * Tool Diameter)
XY Feedrate PM, PT
These values are also interactive. Feed rate is defined as units (inch/millimeter) per minute (PM) or
per tooth (PT). In general terms, the feed rate is the speed at which the cutter moves with respect
to the work material. XY Feedrate allows you to specify the feed rate for movement in the XY
To calculate the feed rate PT (per tooth) from the feed rate PM (per minute), the system uses the
PT = PM / (Number of Flutes * RPM)
Going the other way, the system uses the following formula:
PM = PT * Number of Flutes * RPM
XX The Tool Diameter and Number of Flutes are set on the tool page.
There are three types of moves possible in the XY plane. These moves are represented by the
following examples of NC code. The value you enter for XY Feedrate determines the feed rate for
these three types of moves.
Type 1: N15 G01 X_ Y_
Type 2: N15 G01 X_
Type 3: N15 G01 Y_
Z Feedrate PM, PT
Z Feedrate allows you to specify the feed rate for moves that involve the Z-axis. These moves are
represented by the following examples of NC code. The value you enter for Z Feedrate determines
the feed rate for these four types of moves.
Type 1: N15 G01 X_ Y_ Z_
Type 2: N15 G01 X_ Z_
Type 3: N15 G01 Y_ Z_
Type 4: N15 G01 Z_
Constant Removal Rate
This option can be set to Yes or No. When set to Yes, the feed rate is adjusted on arcs to maintain
the feed rate at the edge of the tool where it contacts the material. The feed rate increases around
exterior arcs and decreases around interior arcs in the NC code output. The Max Feedrate setting is
used to limit the increase in feed rate.
68 | Get Started with ESPRIT 2010
Max Feedrate PM, PT
Max Feedrate is used to place a limit on the feed rate increase around exterior arcs when Constant
Removal Rate is set to Yes.
Use Feed and Speed KB
This option can be set to Yes or No. When set to Yes, feed and speed values from the
KnowledgeBase will be inserted automatically.
Before setting this option to Yes, you must:
• Have speed and feed data set up in the Speed Feeds Manager in the KnowledgeBase
• Select a Speeds Feeds Standard and Material Class in KnowledgeBase Document Setup (on the
Common Machining tool bar)
• Select a tool in Tool ID
• Select a Type of Cut (the Type of Cut option displays only when Use Feed and Speed KB is set to
ESPRIT will combine the Speeds Feeds standard and material selected in KnowledgeBase
Document Setup with the tool and technology settings on the operation page to provide
acceptable cutting speeds and feed rates. The inserted speeds and feeds are affected by the “Tool
Material” and “Number of Flutes” specified on the tool page of the same Tool ID. The Type of Cut
selected on the operation page also affects the inserted speed and feed values.
Parameters that control tool clearances during milling are located on the Links tab. Clearances
define how you want to position the tool when it makes a rapid move from one location to
ESPRIT lets you define two separate distances for retract moves: Clearance and Full Clearance.
Once you define the two distances, you can use them to control the heights of retract moves.
• Full Clearance: This is an absolute value, measured from the origin of the coordinate system.
ESPRIT supports two types of coordinate systems: global (system default) and local (user
• Clearance: This is a relative value, measured from the top of the feature or the starting depth.
This is usually the top of the workpiece, but other situations may apply. Sometimes the top of
the feature is below the top of the work piece (for example, holes in the floor of a pocket). The
only time that clearance is not measured from the top of the feature is if the starting depth is a
Milling on a Standard Mill | 69
negative (-) value. In that case, clearance is measured from the starting depth since it is above
Both methods of measurement have advantages. When you know the heights of specific obstacles
on the work table, such as clamps and fixtures, you can use Full Clearance to make the tool retract
to a safe height that will always avoid those obstacles. To save time, you can set a minimum retract
height in Clearance that keeps the tool as close to the work piece as possible.
In addition to the retract distances, ESPRIT lets you control the behavior of the tool between
separate machining operations and between sections of a single operation.
• Return Plane: This setting establishes the plane position of the tool as it rapids to the beginning
of an operation and rapids away at the end of an operation.
• Retract Plane: This setting establishes the plane position of the tool as it rapids between two
sections of a cutting operation (for example, when the tool needs to move between two pocket
areas in a Pocketing operation).
Return Plane and Retract Plane share the same four options. However, you can use a different
option for each.
XX The Return Plane is always used. Whether the Retract Plane is used depends on the areas that
are being machined. If you are not sure about when the retract plane is used, it is a good idea
to set the retract plane and return plane to the same option.
Options for Return Plane and Retract Plane
Clearance: The tool retracts to the Clearance distance, measured from the Starting Depth. See
“Depths of Cut”. When the tool will encounter no obstacles during repositioning, this is a good
Initial Clearance: The value for Initial Clearance is specified on the tool page for the selected tool.
The distance is an absolute value, always measured from ESPRIT origin P0. When the tool must
avoid all obstacles (such as fixtures and clamps) while moving to the next position, this is a good
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Full Clearance: The tool retracts to the distance entered in Full Clearance. If you are outputting
from World coordinates, this value is measured from P0. If you are outputting from a local
coordinate system, this value is measured from the origin of the Work Coordinate used. When the
tool must avoid vertical obstacles on the work piece between operations, this is a good choice.
Partial Depth: The tool retracts to the Clearance distance measured from the tool location at the
time of the retract. When you know the tool will be repositioning to a lower plane, this is a good
Depths of Cut
The depths of cutting passes are controlled by the Depth settings on the Strategy tab. The depth
settings let you control the z-level where the tool will start cutting, the depth of each incremental
pass, and the depth of the final cutting pass.
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• Total Depth: This value establishes the bottom Z level for cutting passes. This value is measured
from the selected feature. A positive value cuts below the selected feature, a negative value cuts
• Incremental Depth: This value controls the distance between each Z-level cutting pass. The
values for Total Depth and Incremental Depth are used to determine the number of depth
passes. The depth of the last incremental pass may be adjusted depending on the value for Total
Depth and any stock allowance applied to the floors.
• Starting Depth: This value establishes the top Z level for cutting passes, measured from the
selected feature. The first incremental depth pass is measured from this top Z level. A positive
value cuts below the selected feature, a negative value cuts above.
• Retract for IDepth: This value controls the retract position of the tool before and after each
incremental pass. Since this setting controls a tool retract distance, it shares the Full Clearance,
Initial Clearance, and Partial Depth options that are used for clearances. You can also use the
None option to have the tool feed between incremental passes without retracting. The Surface
Clearance option is similar to the Clearance option except that the retract is either the clearance
distance above the feature or the clearance distance above the starting depth, whichever is
• Retract Between Cuts (Contouring only): This value controls the retract position before and after
each lateral contouring pass. If the contour does not have lateral steps, this setting does not
• Through Depth (Pocketing only): This value is used only when a pocket has no floor. Enter a value
beyond the depth of the pocket so the tool can cut completely through. When a value is entered,
the operation cuts to the total depth plus the distance for the through depth.
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SolidMill Traditional Machining Cycles
All SolidMill Traditional machining cycles are displayed on the SolidMill Traditional toolbar and on
the Machining menu under SolidMill Traditional. To display the SolidMill Traditional toolbar, click
‘Switch to SolidMill’ on the Smart toolbar and then click SolidMill Traditional.
Facing - Removes a flat portion of stock material based on a feature that matches the stock
perimeter. SolidMill Facing quickly removes material at the depth (or depths) you specify with
simple linear passes followed by a final contouring pass around any islands to provide a uniform
amount of stock on wall areas. The linear and contouring passes are combined into a single
operation to save you time and to guarantee a consistent amount of stock on floors and walls.
Pocketing - Removes material inside a closed boundary. Within a single pocketing operation,
you have the option to create separately definable phases for roughing, wall finishing, and floor
finishing passes that each let you use a different tool. When a pocket or face profile feature is
chosen, the operation automatically finds any subordinate islands within the feature boundary.
Trochoidal Pocketing - Removes material inside a closed boundary using the fastest possible
feed rates. Trochoidal Pocketing quickly roughs parts at a constant material removal rate and
provides multiple levels of control over tool motion pattern, feed rates, and cutter load. Although
developed for high-speed machining, Trochoidal Pocketing brings benefits to any type of machine
by providing a more constant tool load and a better surface finish.
Contouring - Creates vertical or tapered cuts along the contour of a selected profile. Within
a single contouring operation, you have the option to create separately definable phases for
roughing and finishing. The same tool is used for both roughing and finishing, although you can
define different incremental depths for finishing passes as well as different speeds and feeds.
Rest Machining - Creates an operation to remove material remaining from previous operations.
A rest machining operation can be applied to any existing SolidMill Traditional operation. The
previous operation becomes the “parent” operation and the rest machining operation applied to it
becomes the “child” operation. The child operation inherits many of the settings from the parent
operation. The parent operation is used as the basis for calculating the areas to machine.
Drilling - Creates a drilling operation. Several types of drilling cycles are supported, including
Spiraling - Creates either spiral or helical cutting passes based on the selection of a feature with
a circular shape or a PTOP feature.
Threading - Creates a standard threading or single-point threading operation using basic milling
Manual Milling - Creates rapid or feed moves based on manually selected elements or
coordinate locations. Manual Milling creates a tool path on the centerline of the tool without
Wire Frame Milling - Creates a milling operation based on wire frame geometry. This command
lets you create a simple freeform milling operation from planar geometry. Two separate profiles
are used. One profile is swept along the other to create a 3-dimensional shape for the toolpath.
Milling on a Standard Mill | 73
Open the part file
On the Standard toolbar, click Open.
Browse and select the following file: milled_part.esp.
Set the view to ‘Isometric’.
If the Project Manager is not displayed, press F2.
The files for this lesson are available on the ESPRIT DVD in the ‘Get Started’ folder. The files are
also available for download from ESPRITWeb » File Library » ESPRIT 2010.
All dimensions in this lesson are in millimeters. Make sure “System Unit” on the Tools menu is set
If you would like to review and simulate the machining operations from this lesson, the completed
ESPRIT file is available in the folder “completed_parts”.