Speeding up CNC machining with ZW3D tool path editor

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During machining, perfect parts always require great manufacturing skills and experience. Have you ever spent a lot of time and gone through a lot of trouble adjusting the parameters, simply to get …

During machining, perfect parts always require great manufacturing skills and experience. Have you ever spent a lot of time and gone through a lot of trouble adjusting the parameters, simply to get the appropriate tool path? Do you long for a way to edit the tool path in CAM simply like you edit parts in CAD, allowing you to create the right tool path without complex operations? If this is a problem you can recognize, then this white paper may interest you.

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  • 1. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper March, 2014
  • 2. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 2 / 9 Overview During machining, perfect parts always require great manufacturing skills and experience. Have you ever spent a lot of time and gone through a lot of trouble adjusting the parameters, simply to get the appropriate tool path? Do you long for a way to edit the tool path in CAM simply like you edit parts in CAD, allowing you to create the right tool path without complex operations? If this is a problem you can recognize, then this white paper may interest you.
  • 3. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 3 / 9 Table of Contents 1. The Time-Consuming Way of Generating Tool Path.........................................................5 2. The Time-Saving Tool Path Editor of ZW3D......................................................................7 2.1. The Power of ReOrder...........................................................................................7 2.2. The Power of Trim .................................................................................................8 2.3. The Power of Extend. ............................................................................................8 2.4. The Power of Transform ........................................................................................9 3. Conclusion.........................................................................................................................9
  • 4. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 4 / 9 Index of Images Figure 1: Tool is cutting the part with guidance of the tool path..............................................5 Figure 2: Programming by using auxiliary surfaces...................................................................5 Figure 3: Programming by using region definition and limitation.............................................6 Figure 4: Using tool path editor to re-link the tool path...........................................................6 Figure 5: Using tool path editor to delete the unexpected tool path .......................................6 Figure 6: Re-ordering the tool...................................................................................................7 Figure 7: Time saving by re-ordering tool path.........................................................................7 Figure 8: Erasing the unexpected tool path by the Trim tool....................................................8
  • 5. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 5 / 9 1. The Time-Consuming Way of Generating Tool Path The tool path is the key to guiding the tool to cut parts accurately, however tool path generation can cost up to 80% of programming time. Figure 1: Tool is cutting the part with guidance of the tool path Why does it cost so much time to program? Let’s take a look at a couple of cases: 1) In order to get the expected result, we must use a wide variety of machining techniques and create auxiliary surfaces. Figure 2: Programming by using auxiliary surfaces 2) In order to get the required tool path, we must carefully define the different regions, which involve setting a lot of parameters.
  • 6. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 6 / 9 Figure 3: Programming by using region definition and limitation It is obvious that it can be pretty difficult to handle these particular cases. Huge effort is required to optimize the tool path in most CAM systems. With the tool path editing technology in ZW3D, this problem has been solved simply. 1) Auxiliary surfaces are not needed, meaning programming time can be saved by 15% Figure 4: Using tool path editor to re-link the tool path 2) Any unexpected tool paths can be erased by the tool path editor, saving programming time by at least 20% Figure 5: Using tool path editor to delete the unexpected tool path
  • 7. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 7 / 9 2. The Time-Saving Tool Path Editor of ZW3D With those simple examples of the tool path editing technology of ZW3D, we can see tremendous time saving potential through programming efficiency for more complex parts. Let’s explore deeper in to the tool path editing technology of ZW3D 2.1. The Power of ReOrder Most parts include a lot of regions, which will involve the extra movement of the tool. The more time you spend on moving the tool between different regions, the less machining efficiency you get. A simple re-ordering of the tool path is used to overcome this machining challenge. Take figure 6 for instance. By re-ordering the regions to generate more efficient tool paths, the movement of the tool can be reduced, resulting in a decrease in machining time of up-to 80%. Figure 6: Re-ordering the tool Figure 7: Time saving by re-ordering tool path
  • 8. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 8 / 9 2.2. The Power of Trim Everybody knows how to use an eraser to erase an accidental pencil drafting. It is just as simple to do in 3D CAD modeling, but is rarely provided by CAM solutions. Take the following figure for instance. With an eraser, it would be very easy to delete the redundant parts of the tool path. This is why the Trimming tool of tool path was developed. Figure 8: Erasing the unexpected tool path by the Trim tool With the power of the trimming tool, we no longer need to spend a lot of time adjusting the operation parameters and defining the regions to get the optimum tool path. By selecting the relevant tool path to edit and trim, the expected tool path shows exactly we need quickly. 2.3. The Power of Extend. Without complex settings or any additional surface creation, the tool path can be extended along the tangency of the surface, enabling the machining of the exact surfaces. Figure 9: Extending the tool path
  • 9. Speeding Up CNC Machining with ZW3D Tool Path Editor ZW3D CAD/CAM White Paper 9 / 9 2.4. The Power of Transform If you look around at the products you use every day, such as cell phones and fans, you might find that most products have several pattern features that require the CNC programmers to replicate. With tool path editor’s transform feature it is easy to transform the tool path to the other faces that need to be machined, saving huge amounts of programming time if you have a lot of features in machining parts. Figure 10: Transform the machining face What we have mentioned shows the power of the tool path editor. The idea of the tool path editor is to provide the most efficient tool path with an aim of boosting the programming efficiency, freeing the CNC programmer to focus on more creative things. 3. Conclusion In all areas of programming, everybody desires a one-click fix for everything. Unfortunately there is no perfect tool to do that, but we are closer than ever. The tool path editor of ZW3D is developed as a tool to allow further modification of the tool path after generation. It is not only a simple editor, it involves gouge detection, tools check, tools life extension, surface quality, as well as many more tools to fulfill any designers' wants and needs.