Announcing
SmartCAM V18 Turning: Sub-Spindle Support

Several new features provide basic support for lathes with opposing sub-spindle configurations. Turning and milling operations can now be defined for the main or sub-spindle, and code generation can conditionally output the necessary spindle and mode commands.

Turning and milling operations performed on main and sub-spindle to produce complete part in a single setup
Turning and milling operations performed on main and sub-spindle to produce complete part in a single setup

 

System Defined Sub-spindle Workplanes - V18.5

A new set of reserved default coordinate systems for the sub-spindle are now available. These are SUB_XY, SUB_YZ, SUB_XZ, and SUB_ZX. The sub coordinate system orientation is a 180 degree rotation of the world system about the X-axis. The default sub-spindle origin is aligned with the world origin, but can be repositioned using the Sub-spindle Offset command described below. These new planes eliminate the need to create additional user coordinate systems to define standard sub-spindle operations, and provide the additional context to code generation necessary to control sub-spindle machine functions.

Watch the "Sub-Spindle Support in SmartCAM V18.5" Video

Sub-spindle Coordinate Offset - V18.5

A new Workplane - Offset Sub-spindle option allows the sub-spindle origin to be located at a specified distance from the main spindle world origin. Toolpath and part geometry defined on sub spindle planes are moved to the corresponding locations. This feature makes it easy to configure the process model to replicate the machine setup in order to more accurately simulate main and sub-spindle operations during Show Path and Show Cut.

Sub-spindle Axes Display Option - V18.5

A new Display Modes - Sub-spindle Axes option allows the default sub-spindle axes to be displayed in addition to the main spindle world axes. The sub-spindle axes are displayed similar to the world axes, but using finite axes length. This option makes it easy to see where the sub-spindle origin is located relative to the main spindle origin, regardless of which workplane is active.

Turning and milling operations performed on main and sub-spindle to produce complete part in a single setup
New system-defined workplanes represent sub-spindle coordinate system. Sub-spindle coordinate system axes shown with sub-spindle offset specified.

 

User Defined Sub-spindle Workplanes - V18.5

In addition to the system defined sub-spindle planes described above, the Define Plane dialog box provides an On Sub-spindle option which can be used to identify a user planes as sub-spindle planes. This capability allows custom plane orientations and positions to be used for sub-spindle operations.

New plane setting allows workplanes to be associated with the sub-spindle, and corresponding list markers identify sub-spindle planes.
New plane setting allows workplanes to be
associated with the sub-spindle, and corresponding list
markers identify sub-spindle planes.

 

Plane Data Shows Sub-spindle Status - V18.5

Workplane - Plane Data includes an On Sub-spindle= status which shows whether the workplane is defined as a sub-spindle plane or not.

Plane Data shows new sub-spindle setting status.
Plane Data shows new sub-spindle setting status.

 

Main & Sub-Spindle Synchronization - V18.5

The 4-Axis Synchronization functionality now contains a new option that allows the spindles used to be specified. Turrets can perform synchronized turning on the Main, Sub, or Main & Sub-spindles. For synchronized operations on the Main or Sub-spindle, SMF question #213 can be used to control the output of spindle commands. For synchronized operations on the Main & Sub-spindles, SMF question #213 is not applicable, and the respective codes are output for each spindle, and the machining times are calculated accordingly. This capability allows more optimal utilization of the sub-spindle resulting in reduced cycle times.

New synchronize options allow dual turret turning toolpath to be synchronized for the Main Spindle, Sub Spindle, or Main & Sub Spindles.

New synchronize options allow dual turret turning toolpath to be synchronized
for the Main Spindle, Sub Spindle, or Main & Sub Spindles.

 

Code Generation Sub-spindle Support - V18.5

New template words #SPNDLNUM and #LSPNDLNUM can be used to track the current and last used turning spindles in order to conditionally output related spindle codes. The new #LTUROP word can be used to determine the previously used turret and operation type (either turning or live tool) and conditionally output the necessary codes when transitioning from one spindle to the other.

Code generator support for sub-spindle includes new prologue section and function for switching SMF file settings on-the-fly, and new template file words for spindle and turret status for conditional output.
Code generator support for sub-spindle includes new prologue section and function for switching SMF file settings on-the-fly, and new template file words for spindle and turret status for conditional output.