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> Optimised feed function
Sprut_UK
post Mar 21 2005, 07:40 PM
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Hi All, just thought I would post up a bit of info about the 'Optimise feed' function available in SprutCAM.
This feature is only available after an operation has been simulated.
What it does is it finds all moves that are done at feed, but are not actually cutting anything (fresh air cuts).
These typically occur with approach or retraction moves. The reason that it only works after simulation is that it compares the cuts against the workpiece material, and therefore you can be confident that they are indeed fresh air cuts.
To use it, in simulation mode right mouse click on the operation to be checked and select 'Optimise feed' from the options.
Then, in the dialogue, change the feedrate value, and see the time difference immediately. In the example below the feedrate for the operation is 500 mm/min

and after the idle time feedrate is altered to 1000 mm/min

you can see a time saving of approx 2 minutes.

Dave
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krisz
post Mar 22 2005, 01:16 AM
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Very nice !

Krisztian Toth
Tokay Tech Inc.
http://www.cnc-programming.com
http://www.sprut.ca
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Sprut_UK
post Mar 22 2005, 08:54 AM
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Hi Krisz, it's a really neat feature. Some of my customers are reporting quite big savings in machining time by using it.

How is business for you in Canada at the moment, are you keeping busy?

I have had a sneek preview of the new SprutCAM turning module, and it looks excellent!

Dave
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krisz
post Mar 22 2005, 10:30 PM
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Ahh finally great !!
Yes i am having some requests for turning programs that i can not do because of the delay of the turning part of SprutCAM.
Any news about the release date ?

Krisztian Toth
Tokay Tech Inc.
http://www.cnc-programming.com
http://www.sprut.ca

Edited by - krisz on 23/03/2005 01:40:32
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Sprut_UK
post Mar 25 2005, 11:23 AM
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sorry, no news of the release date, but I would 'hope' for the first release to be sometime around the summer.........

Dave
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MMcCawley
post Dec 6 2005, 10:21 PM
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Dave,

I came across the Optomized feed function and was curious as to how it works. Until now I thought that it was just to speed up the simulation process since it is found in the simulation tab. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are essentially changing two parameters when you use the feed optimization tool? For one, you are changing the rapid feed rates for all of the machine processes via the "Idle Step Feed" (ie from 500 to 1000 mm/min as you have done below). And two, you are taking all "fresh air cuts" and turning them into rapid movements? Is this a correct assumption?

Thanks,
Matt
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Sprut_UK
post Dec 9 2005, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (Converted Post)
Dave,

I came across the Optomized feed function and was curious as to how it works. Until now I thought that it was just to speed up the simulation process since it is found in the simulation tab. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are essentially changing two parameters when you use the feed optimization tool? For one, you are changing the rapid feed rates for all of the machine processes via the "Idle Step Feed" (ie from 500 to 1000 mm/min as you have done below). And two, you are taking all "fresh air cuts" and turning them into rapid movements? Is this a correct assumption?

Thanks,
Matt


Hi Matt,

I can see how you got confused by the fact that the 'Optimise feed' function is only available in Simulation mode. Actually, when the option first appeared it was in 'Machining' mode, but it was soon moved to it's current location.
I'll try and explain what the function does.....

I think that we have all probably stood and watched a component being machined on a CNC, the cutter rapids down in Z, changes to a feed move, it seems to take ages to feed in and start that first cut. Well, this is what the Optimise (sorry Optimize ;o) function is for.
What it does is analyse each 'feed' move that is done to see if that move is actually cutting anything, if it is not cutting anything i.e. an approach or retraction move, then we have the option of increasing the feedrate for that move which will shorten the total machining time.
The reason we can only do this after simulating the machining, is that it actually uses the simulation to find these 'fresh air' cuts, this gives you confidence that, providing you are using a workpiece the same size as the one selected in Simulation, the optimised feedrates will only be applied on fresh air cuts and not on cuts that are removing material.
This can give quite big savings in overall machining times when cutting tough materials where the feedrates are quite slow.
One of my customers reported a 2 hour time saving on one particularly difficult machining job, just by using the optimise feed function.

It does not (to my knowledge) adjust anything to do with Rapid moves.
The 'Rapid feedrate' value is generally only used to calculate an accurate cycle time, and is not usually output in a CNC program.
You should adjust the Rapid feedrate to that used by your machine.

I hope this helps.

Dave
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MMcCawley
post Dec 13 2005, 09:57 PM
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Thanks Dave, very informative. That is an extremely useful function. Do you know if it bases its "Optomise feed function" off of the "as seen" resolution of the stock material (for example, because of the resolution, a round disc appears to look more like a 12+ sided polygon) or does SprutCAM know that the stock is actually a perfectly round disc even though it displays it as a polygon? I hope that makes sense.
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Sprut_UK
post Dec 14 2005, 07:59 AM
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A very good question, and I have to say "I don't know" as the answer.
I'm pretty sure that the optimised feedrate is only applied for a complete move (arc - line) and SprutCAM doesn't split a single move down further to apply an optimised feedrate. The size of the polygon mesh is relatively small so I wouldn't think that it would have any noticeable effect.
What you may have to be careful of is if your CNC program includes a 'smoothing' command which are typically used for surface machining. This can have an effect because the surfacing function overrides the 'slow down' which normally occurs when a cutter approaches an 'intersection'.
A typical smoothing command would be G64 in G-code or M90 in Heidenhain.

Dave
PS, I think that there is a new simulation module making an appearance in the new year which I hope won't be using a polygon mesh model..... wink.gif
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krisz
post Dec 14 2005, 11:30 AM
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I think what Matt means is the rough visuals in the simulation mode where the circle is shown as a polygon. That's usually because your model quality settings. If you set it to higher resolution that slows down SprutCAM significantly. But give it a try anyways to see if the polygons are gone.
Click on the icon that looks like a hammer and a box in the simulation window for your visual settings. smile.gif

Krisztian Toth
Tokay Tech Inc.
http://www.cnc-programming.com
http://www.sprut.ca
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MMcCawley
post Dec 14 2005, 05:43 PM
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Dave,

I'll send you the model ASAP so you can take a look at it and see what you think.

Matt
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