Wednesday, 30 July 2014

CAM Mode In WorkNC V21 (Introduction to CAM keywords..)

Hello Again..
Happy holy month of Shravan to all of you. The climate here in Pune is at its best as its raining continuously. It is the time when we roam across the various tourist places along periphery of Pune.

Now lets come back to our tutorials where we left off last time. in this thread we will see how to use the CAM mode of Work-NC. First of all we will see what a cam mode window looks like.

User Interface In CAM Mode

Basically you can observe there are four different section at the left side of the screen. 

  1. Preparation Window
  2. Part Geometry Window
  3. CAM Entities Window
  4. Toolpaths Window
1. Preparation Window: The icon shown by the "Enable Active Preparation Mode" is used to switch from CAM mode to CAD mode. It enables us to draw boundary curves, new surface addition, define the geometry of model. For now simply keep in mind that this icon is used to switch from CAM to CAD mode and we will see it in details in next post

2. Part Geometry Window:  Here we can see the actual geometry we have selected for machining under Geometry To Machine tab. Also we see and edit he Stock Model for the part on which we are going to do machining operation. 
Under the CAM Axis tab we get to see the Machine Zero Position or Machine Origin where the operator sets the zero while setting the job on machine. Also we can see the list of UCS we have created in CAD mode. 
  • To activate a particular UCS we have to right click on the name of that UCS then select Apply as Machine Axis.
  • Then again right click on UCS name and select Activate. (Note: Remember the UCS will not get activated even you don't activate it after applying it as Machine Axis)
3. CAM Entities Window: This window shows the list of various CAM entities such as surfaces, curves, points below single tab. Two important tabs here are Curves and Points.

  • The curves imported from CAD mode are enlisted under Curves tab. To create a new curve you can right click on curves tab and then the Curve Creation Wizard opens up.
  • Also we can create new points by right clicking on the Points tab and the Points Creation Dialog box opens up where we can create points by various methods such as three points or circle selection.
3. Toolpaths Window: This window shows the no of Toolpaths we have generated in our process. You can renumber them according to sequence of operations, edit them, copy or move them, set various parameters regarding them form here. We will see that in details in next post. 
  • Also we can see the for which Toolpaths postprocess has been carried out as shown in pic above the Postprocessing of toolpaths 1,2,3 & 4 is carried out and it is shown below the toolpaths as "Concatenated Postprocess 1234" (Note: Postprocess means the the output of the various toolpaths merged into a single file using various G & M codes which can the read by the machine controller. It can be a .txt file on most of the controllers. )
That's all for this post. Next time we will see different toolbars in CAM mode, Toolpath strategies, Creation of Workzones etc. 

Thank you reading the blog. Keep visiting for more updates. Keep sharing.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Setting Up The UCS, WCS in CAD mode.

Hello again, 
Sorry for the delay in posting this thread. Took some time out for myself. :)

So lets move on with our next tutorial. In last module we have seen how to import an IGES or STL model into WorkNC. We have learnt to change its orientation, different view-ports and we dealt with the toolbars. I haven't explained every other toolbar in detail because we are going to see those in details while doing programming itself. 

So lets see how to set up an UCS (User Coordinate System) and deal with MCS (Machine Coordinate System). I have explained what UCS and MCS does in previous threads so i'm not going to explain those things again. UCS can be seen as the Basic Reference or the Origin of your NC program. It represents the homing position for the tool when you start your machine and load the program on it. 

Now to set UCS on your part WorkNC has provided a toolbar called as Working Plane or UCS Creation Toolbar.

1. At first we have to set the orientation of the work-piece. It depends the features of the WP which are to be machined. In the example shown below the features to be machined are round pocket and holes which lie in the X+ direction of WP hence I will click on X+ in the view orientation toolbar and make those features perpendicular to the screen. This position shows the exact position of the WP when it is loaded on the VMC.

2. After setting the orientation click on Fit To Screen option in View orientation toolbar so that the model of WP is placed at exact center of the viewing window. This is compulsory if you want to set your UCS at the center of the WP. Generally we use UCS at center in case of symmetrical and circular work-pieces. 

3. Now click on UCS creation button as shown below then a pop up box opens up where we can find various option to set the UCS. Now there are three options by which you can set the UCS. 

  • New UCS: Just click on new UCS button it will set the UCS according to current orientation of your work-piece. 
  • UCS by 3 Points: If you want to set up UCS at the corner of some rectangular block the you can use this option. Just click on the option the it will prompt you for selection the X, Y and Z direction corners. By selecting the proper directions you can set up UCS at desired location.
  • UCS on View: This is the easiest of all. After setting the orientation of the WP when you click on Fit To Screen then just click on UCS on View option then the UCS gets set up at the exact center of the WP as shown in the image below. I prefer using this option for symmetrical and circular parts as the references for most of the features in such parts are given from the center or origin while designing.

Setting Up The UCS 

After setting the UCS using any of the options above you can also edit the position and orientation of the UCS by using Translation/Rotation option given in the UCS creation form as shown above in the image. 

1. To edit a particular UCS at first you have to activate that UCS by doubly clicking on the red arrow below the ON tab as shown above. Green arrow indicated the Active UCS and Red indicted Inactive UCS.

2. If your desired UCS is inactive then you can activate it by double clicking on red cross below the ON tab.

3. After activating the desired UCS you can translate it by inputting the value in X , Y or Z direction in the window and then by clicking on Translate UCS. Then the UCS gets shifted to the new position as per values given by you.

4. If you want to rotate the UCS then you have to give the value of angle by which you want to rotate the UCS in desired direction input box and then just click on Rotate UCS.

5. You can also change the direction of machining i.e. Z+ by clicking on the Invert Z. You can use this option for second setup of the same work-pieces while keeping the reference at the same location. 

So by using these options we can setup the UCS for the work-piece and the machine. And this is the last module in Work-NC CAD mode section. From next module onward we will see about CAM mode in Work-NC. 

Thank you for reading the blog. Keep visiting for more updates.Keep sharing on Google Plus and social media..

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Importing A CAD Model in WorkNc & Dealing with Toolbars..

Hello everyone,
Happy Winter and Christmas. :)

In last session we have seen the basic user interface of CAD mode. Now we are going to see how to import a CAD model in WorkNc so as to start working with its machinable features. As i told in previous posts it is necessary to save the CAD model in IGES format before importing it.
The CAD model can be designed in any modelling software like Solidworks, Catia or Unigraphics etc. So to import these models in WorkNc we must save it to IGES format by following the steps given below,

1. Open the CAD model in respective software.
2. Click SAVE AS.
3. Then in file format drop down menu select IGES. Then save it.

Now to import that saved part, Enter the CAD mode first. Then click on FILE menu and select OPEN.
Refer image below,

Importing An IGES File 
When you import any CAD model by default settings it is loaded in Wireframe mode of display. You can change the display mode to Shaded by using the View Type Toolbar above the viewing area. It is also called Wireframe/Shaded Display Toolbar. Once you change the display mode to shaded then your part will look exactly like how it used to look in your modelling software.Upon importing the model in WorkNC you can orient it according to your needs by using the view orientation toolbar.

Now we will see basic functions such as PAN, ZOOM, ROTATE by using mouse button combinations.

1. PAN        -  To pan model Click on the model then drag the model by using RIGHT CLICK key.
2. ZOOM     -  To zoom just use the SCROLL WHEEL of mouse i.e. middle button.
3. ROTATE -  To rotate a part hold SHIFT key then use RIGHT CLICK key to rotate the model.


In CAD mode we have to deal with only one toobar known as CAD ENTITIES CREATION TOOLBAR.
It contains all the tools necessary for creating or editing a CAD model by using basic modelling functions such as drawing basic entities lines, rectangles, curves etc. Below is a snapshot of this toolbar,

Entity Creation Toolbar

The small triangular symbol at the lower right corner of every tool icon suggest it has an expandable menu. Such as when you click and hold on line symbol icon then the menu gets expanded and show Icons for creating Rectangles, Polygons, Points etc. It applies to every icon on the toolbar. We will not get into details of each icon as you will learn it yourself while using the software.

You can find this toolbar to the left side of viewing area and besides management panel by default. The various entity creation tools can be used in the same way as we use them on CAD modelling softwares. For ex. for creating a line we select first point then the second points, for a rectangle we select first corner and the second corner point etc.

Arcs and circles can be drawn in the same way. A circle or an arc can be drawn using specifying the center point and then imputing the radius or by selecting three points through which the circle or arc passes. We can also draw ellipses.

So this thread explains how to Import CAD models and basic toolbar in CAD mode. Next thread will be more important as it is about dealing with User Coordinate Systems.

Thank you for reading the blog. Keep visiting for more updates.
Keep sharing on Google Plus and social media..

Saturday, 26 October 2013

CAD Mode Basics.

Hello there,

Today we will see about the CAD mode in WorkNC. 

CAD mode is provided in this software so as to provide the benefits of 3D modelling softwares. But it is in fact a 3D surface modeler. Here we deal with only surfaces of the part not the solid geometry. We can call the surfaces of part as skin. It becomes very useful when we deal with mold design or tool and die design etc. The surfaces of any 3D model are of the prime importance from CAM point of view. 

CAD mode also allows us to import part files from various CAD systems used for designing. WorkNC can import the IGES files and also recognizes the various feature used in that part without even reconstructing its geometry. It can recognize features such as holes, pockets, tapers, groves etc. 

To enter into into CAD mode simply click on New CAD file on left hand panel on the startup screen. The general layout of CAD mode is shown below,


In the user interface of CAD mode you will find,
  • On the top of the window you will find the Title Bar, which shows name of current CAD file and also the version of the WorkNC being used.
  • Below the title bar there is a Menu Bar which is similar to menu bar in any standard software. It includes commands like File, Edit, Display, Help etc.
  • On the left side of the viewing area there is a Management Panel which shows drawing layers by default. But its content changes according to the operations we carry out.
  • The main viewing area where we can see the CAD model we are using. At the bottom of the viewing area there is a status bar which displays the co-ordinates information. This area covers most of the screen.
  • At the bottom of the window we can find Command Input Panel where we can type the command directly and the execute it instead of selecting it from menus or sub-menus or toolbar on screen. 
  • On the right side of command input we can find O-SNAP Panel which basically acts as a filter in any CAD softwares. We can set object snap to midpoints, endpoints, tangent, perpendicular, near etc like any CAD software. Besides O-Snap we can find Rotate Toolbar where we can input value directly to rotate the component in desired direction.
  • On the leftmost side of the UI you can find Create & Modify Toolbar. It contains the basic drawing tools such as drawing lines, rectangles, circles, ellipse etc. It also contains basic geometry modifying features such as fillets, chamfers, extend, trim etc. We will see the create toolbar and its sub-menus in next post. 

So this was all about basics of the CAD mode in WorkNC. In the next post we will see in detail info about every toolbar in WorkNC. 

Keep Visiting, Keep Sharing it on Google Plus or Facebook as well.. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lets Start Using The Software WorkNC V21..

Till now i have introduced you to the various type of co-ordinate systems, basic types of offsets required to be considered while setting the work-piece on a CNC machine. I have also provided a light introduction to the type of tools used with CNC machines. That was all for the introductory portion. From today on-wards we are going to start working with the WorkNC software environment step by step from very beginning.

In WorkNC we are going to deal with WorkZone word a lot. So lets see what is meant by a WorkNC WorkZone.
  • A WorkNC workzone is the folder in which all the programming data, geometric model, post-possessed output is stored. When we import a geometric model into WorkNc and then we complete all the machining operations required by the work-piece then the output is saved in form of a workzone. The name of the workzone can be customized while saving it. DO not use space between words while renaming the workzone.
  • To import any geometric model into WorkNC, first we have to convert that geometric model (like .prt, .sldprt, .catpart etc) into a neutral file format such (.iges, .stp, .stl etc). To do so, if you are using softwares like CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, CREO etc then while saving the file just hit the save as button and in file type select any of the neutral file formats.


The WorkNC start screen is shown in the picture below. It consist of 
  1. Menu Bar (Top Left Corner) 
  2. New/Open Dialogue Box

The Menu bar consist of standard functions such as New/Open and Exit.

The New/Open dialogue box consist of big icons on the left hand side which are
  1. New Workzone: Used to create a new workzone by selecting a CAD file and setting various parameters related to the workzone
  2. Open Workzone: Used to search and open the previously created workzones/ machining sequence and loads them.
  3. New CAD File: This button is used to create a new CAD model in WorkNC itself by using CAD editing options.
  4. Open CAD File: Click to open the CAD files which are to be used for creating machining sequence. Here CAD files saved in neutral format can only be used.
And on the right side area which is also called as Preview Area there are four tabs as shown above which are,
  1. Recent Workzones: This tabs enlist the recently opened and used workzones list. We can easily switch to different workzones from this tab.
  2. Recent CAD Files: It shows the preview of the recently used CAD model for creating the machining sequence.
  3. Recent Sequences: It shows list of  recently used machining sequence from the various workzones.
  4. Search Workzones: It is used to find any workzone by entering its in name in the search box. Before searching we have to set search directory so as to search in a specific location.

So this is how to deal with workzones and importing CAD models in WorkNc. In next post we will see how to set various  workzone parameters, setting default directory for the workzones.
Keep Reading .. :)