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SmartCAM v2014 Verification Improvements

Improvements to the ShowCut and ShowPath toolpath verification modules expand the use of standard tooling by providing better visualization of turning tool holders, and allowing milling tool holders to be used with parametrically defined tools. Program errors are now more easily detected with new collision reporting and holder checking capabilities.

Improved Turning Holder Support

The ShowPath and ShowCut toolpath visualization tools now display a flat, color-filled toolholder when a holder profile has been defined in the custom tool graphics (CTG) file associated with the tool. Tool visualization and error-checking are improved by the use of this new option.

Color-filled Turning toolholders in ShowCut and ShowPath
Color-filled Turning toolholders in ShowCut and ShowPath

ShowCut Toolholder Collision Checking

A new ShowCut Holder Collision Checking function helps to improve toolpath quality by graphically highlighting collision issues where the holder has violated either the process stock or fixture models.

The holder collision checking function is available in all SmartCAM Milling and Turning applications.

ShowCut Holder Collision Checking in Milling and Turning
ShowCut Holder Collision Checking in SmartCAM Milling and Turning Applications

Holder collisions can be caused by simple programming errors such as using incorrect tool extensions, wrong clearance heights or insufficient stock- or fixture-avoidance moves.

ShowCut Collision Reporting During Verification

The ShowCut toolpath verification panel now includes a checkbox option to enable collision reporting in the SmartCAM diagnostics window during verification.

SmartCAM ShowCut Dialog
SmartCAM ShowCut Dialog

When collision reporting is enabled the following collision conditions are reported whenever:

  • A tool RAPID move collides with either the process stock or fixtures
  • A tool FEED move collides with fixtures
  • A RAPID or FEED move causes the holder to collide with either the process stock or fixtures

Additionally, the error report references the toolpath element number that caused the collision.

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ShowCut Collision Reporting

In the example above, the clamping arrangement has been placed too close to the area being machined. SmartCAM ShowCut has reported the collision and the model element that caused it.

Milling CTG Containing Holder-Only

SmartCAM Custom Tool Graphics (CTG) files for milling toolholders can now contain models for the toolholder-only in addition to the previous functionality of containing models for both the cutting tool and holder.

The holder is positioned along the tool axis by the cutter length value defined in the job planner or by the preset length value for the tool if it is non-zero.

Milling tool holder-only, positioned by tool length or preset
Milling tool holder-only, positioned by tool length or preset

Global Holder Color Independent of Step Color

A new Holder Color option enables a user-preferred color to be used when displaying milling and turning custom tool graphics (CTG) holders in ShowPath and ShowCut toolpath simulation.

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ShowPath and ShowCut holder display User Color Preference