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SmartCAM v2017 New Verification Engine

The SmartCAM Toolpath Verification system has been completely revised and updated.

The toolpath simulation modifications delivered in this release are in response to functionality requests from the SmartCAM user community.

A result of SmartCAMcnc's new partnership with ModuleWorks GmbH - whose toolpath and simulation technology expertise is widely recognized throughout the CAM industry - SmartCAM v2017 includes wide-ranging toolpath verification improvements.


SmartCAM Toolpath Verification


We thought it helpful to include here information for the benefit of our existing SmartCAM customers, who have experience of SmartCAM toolpath simulation. There have been some terminology and reference changes made for the Version 2017 release.

The "ShowPath" and "ShowCut" terminology has been replaced with the implementation of the new "Verification" theme.

Verification can be viewed with Material Removal Off (the previous ShowPath method) or with Material Removal On (the previous ShowCut method).

Out goes the old ShowCut and ShowPath.

In comes a re-developed Verification tool for Toolpath Simulation and Stock Removal complete with a new, streamlined User Interface.

Comparison of Previous and New Toolpath Verification systems
Earlier VersionsEnabled from Version 2017
Dynamic ViewingIn "ShowPath" onlyChange View during Verification
User InterfaceSeparate for "ShowPath" & "ShowCut"Combined and simplified interface
Graphics"ShowCut" was in a separate WindowAll verification now
within the SmartCAM Graphics Window
Batch ProcessingIn "ShowCut" onlyRapid Processing of the selected range in
Material Removal and non-Material Removal modes
Collision DetectionIn "ShowCut" only
Fixture collision checking now available in
non-Material Removal mode
"Pause at ..."
Not AvailablePause verification at the end of the
complete Toolpath Model,
at the end of every Toolpath Move,
Element or Process Step
Save Stock ModelSave the Cut Model using
a proprietary file format
Store the Current Stock Model as STL
Now easier to save at any point during verification

Dynamic Viewing

The view of the model can be changed in all toolpath verification. Simulation when showing material removal was previously in a static view.

The Dynamic View controls can be used to change the view of the model during verification in both Material Removal and Non-Material Removal verification modes. And with Verification paused, the keyboard view shortcuts and view commands that require input to dialogs can also be used to re-orient the model view before resuming Verification.

These changes greatly increase the benefit of toolpath verification compared to previous releases; the SmartCAM CAM engineer is able to much more easily follow and verify toolpath in all areas of the component using the improved Verification view controls, inspecting areas of particular interest or concern whenever necessary.

Change View during material removal verification
Change View during material removal verification

Streamlined User Interface

The individual user interface dialogs for ShowPath and ShowCut of previous versions have been replaced with a composite and more compact Verification User Interface.

The new dialog features multi-media-type controls that are used to Play, Pause, Rewind / Reset and Skip or "Batch Process" the toolpath elements to be Verified.

New Verification System User Interface
New Verification System User Interface

Verification within the SmartCAM Graphics Window

All toolpath verification is now displayed in the SmartCAM Graphics Window

Version 2017 Verification entirely within the SmartCAM Graphics Window
Version 2017 Verification entirely within the SmartCAM Graphics Window


The range selected for verification can be batch-processed when in Material Removal Verification mode in addition to when in non-Material Removal mode of earlier versions, removing the overhead of toolpath simulation or material removal.

A benefit of this enhancement is that processing time when handling larger amounts of toolpath - as is often the case in Mold and Die work, for example - is reduced, enabling the resulting stock model & collision reporting and the cycle time to more quickly become available.

Fast processing of Toolpath Model with Batch Processing
Fast processing of Toolpath Model with Batch Processing

Increased controls

New controls are available to pause verification after each element, after each step or at the end of the entire toolpath model.

The more compact Verification user interface also enables the SmartCAM user to more easily access additional options such as tool and toolpath display type, batch processing and the set of elements that are to be verified.

Fully revised Collision and Gouge Detection

Collision and Gouge Detection has been fully rewritten for SmartCAM v2017 Verification.

Previously graphical / pixel-based, Verification now references the stock and fixture models to check collision conditions.

Collisions with fixture items are now also detected when in Non-Material Removal mode, which is additional functionality since the previous release.

Conditions that are checked and reported are:

  • Tool Rapid Move into Stock or Fixture
  • Tool Feed move into Fixture
  • Holder Collision with Stock or Fixture

The Collision detection improvements enabled with SmartCAM Version 2017 provide more comprehensive and precise collision checks, meaning that a SmartCAM programmer has confidence that inadvertent collision errors have been trapped and reported.


SmartCAM Verification Collision Reporting

Store the In-Process Stock Model

The In-Process Stock Model can be stored in STL format for use as stock when verifying toolpath in subsequent Processes in any SmartCAM product, useful in the case when a component "hits the floor" between setups on different machine tools, for example.

Fixture elements derived from SmartCAM profiles can now also be optionally saved in the stored representation.


SmartCAM Verification Store Stock Model

More Display Options

We appreciate that it's a small detail, but a useful, practical change is that Toolpath, Rapid Moves and End Points can now optionally be displayed during verification when in Material Removal mode. In earlier versions these options were available only when in Non-Material Removal mode / ShowPath.