There is no doubt that safety is the top priority of CNC machining. Programmers need to ensure that the toolpaths will not cause overcut, bring any collision between hardware, such as the cutting tools, fixtures, machine tables and other machine components, or exceed the axis travel limitation. Therefore, verification tools in CAM program play a significant role to guarantee the safety of machining. So today, I’m going to introduce 3 verification functions – Toolpath Verification, Solid Verify, and Full Machine Simulation, which are all available and further upgraded in ZW3D 2021. If you work on CNC programming, follow me!
Toolpath Verify can be used to display and check the movement of tools along the toolpaths step by step or continuously at different speeds. You can also check the tools’ cutting situations at specific points on the toolpaths. It is very useful when you need to simulate the movement of tools and ensure the accuracy of toolpaths.
Figure 1. Toolpath Verify
Now that the movement of tools can be verified by the Toolpath Verify, what about the stock? Solid Verify can help. It helps display the initial state of the stock and also the state after each operation.
Figure 2. Solid Verify
What’s more, the process of cutting the stock can be simulated, to help you find out problems in advance before machining. For example, in ZW3D, the program will stop if there is a clash during the simulation, to let you figure out what’s wrong.
Figure 3. A prompt will pop up when a clash happens
Besides, it provides tolerance and overcut analysis to help you intuitively understand the situation of the rest material, on which the following operations can be conducted.
Figure 4. Tolerance and overcut analysis
In addition, if you don’t need to observe the entire process of Solid Verify but want to check the final result directly, you can use the Rapid to end function, whose speed has been significantly improved in ZW3D 2021 – the final result can be shown in just a few seconds.
Figure 5. Efficiency of Rapid to end has been greatly improved
Full Machine Simulation
The above two verification functions are often used for 2 to 3-axis machining. So what tool can we use when encountering complex multi-axis machining? Full Machine Simulation, which can be accessed in ZW3D is the one, supporting simulating the actual machining process by taking the kinematic models of machines into account, helping you detect potential issues and ensure manufacturability. In the 2021 version, it has been further upgraded with new features like Machine Builder, Machine Register, CNC Controller, etc. Let me give you a general idea of how to use FMS to simulate machining process. Machine Simulation is used to load stock and tools on the virtual machine and generate NC codes, which are then used to simulate the whole machining process and can be displayed during the process. It verifies whether the post processor is correct, and provides clash detection and part comparison, which can help you find out problems in advance and ensure safe machining. You can follow the steps below to perform Machine Simulation: Step 1: Click Full Machine Simulation button under the Output tab to enter the FMS environment. Step 2: Specify Stock, Target Part, Machine and Controller in the FMS setting dialog box. Step 3: Adjust the position of the workpiece by specifying the attach point in Workpiece Frame Setting dialog box. Step 4: Set work coordinate system in Machine Tool Register. Then you can start running simulation. You can also refer to the video below to learn more.
You may wonder how to specify the machine at step 2 above. In ZW3D 2021, you can easily finish importing or customizing a machine by Machine Builder. There are predefined machine files in the machine library folder under the installation path. They can be used for simulation directly. At the same time, you can customize your virtual machine by inserting tool head and linear or rotary axes, and defining their parent-child relationship and also their travel limitation.
Figure 6. Use Machine Builder to customize your machine
That’s all I want to share with you today. Verification functions can help ensure the safety and quality of machining, and the three useful tools introduced above can be your good partners to detect issues ahead and better guarantee the safety of machining. Why not download ZW3D to try these 3 tools? And welcome to leave your comments below!