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> "Save Geometry as Form Tool" issue
bones288
post Feb 3 2013, 07:20 AM
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Hello all,

Sprutcam is something like the 5th CAM sw that I've investigated while researching the different programs that are available . . . and so far it's winning (by no small measure either).

I am having one problem though that I can't seem to find a resolution for. I've gone over all the tutorials I could find and have through the 600+ page user manual to no avail.

I'm trying to create a form tool in order to create a dovetail mill.

I've stepped through tutorial #3 from Eric and Sprutcam America (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1tRZI1PINQ).
I draw out the profile in '2D Geometry' but the 'Save geometry as form tool' icon does not highlight.

Is there some option or setting I'm not doing right that is disabling the 'form tool' icon?

Any and all suggestions on this are seriously appreciated.

Brad K
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bones288
post Feb 3 2013, 07:44 AM
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Odd and interesting update:

When I go to the 2D form tool and select any one of the three lines that make the sample tool I'm trying to create I can get the 'Save geometry as form tool' to highlight.

If more that one line is selected then the icon will not activate for me. Also, when I click the highlighted icon I get none of the options in the tutorial.

Odd.
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 3 2013, 07:32 PM
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Hi Brad, welcome to the SprutCAM forum.

Having looked at your screengrabs I can see that you seem to be doing everything ok, although you don't need to select any of the geometry (lines / arcs) before clicking the 'Save geometry as form tool' option.

One thing that can have an effect on how both SprutCAM 7 & 8 runs is ensuring that it always has full administrator rights. I've created this short video which shows how to do this if you aren't sure: http://www.download.sprut.co.uk/Forum_vide...inistrator.html

Are you running the SprutCAM Express version?

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 5 2013, 04:52 AM
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Hello Dave,

Thanks for your input on this issue, however it doesn't appear to have any impact. So far I've just taken the desktop SprutCAM shortcut icon and applied Administrator properties via the Advanced / Properties. I never set this option pre-initial install . . . only after the fact. Do you think reinstalling the program and pre-setting this option may be the resolution?

I'm running the SprutCAM 7 trial version Build 0.7 rev 34761.

Yesterday I was talking to a buddy of mine who is much more knowledgeable about CAD/CAM related technologies and he was trying to sell me on GibCAM.
So far. . . not interested.

Oh, can SprutCAM execute dovetail cuts? I see that a few years ago this wasn't possible but am hopeful that this is now a feature.

(What does 'sprut' mean, anyway?)

Thanks again,
Brad K
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 5 2013, 07:51 AM
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Hi Brad,

If your installation is running in a different manner to that intended, then it might be worth trying to reinstall with full admin rights.

I'm sorry, I've never heard of Gibcam and cannot offer any support or comparison of this for you.

I'm not sure what you mean about executing dovetail cuts? If you mean can SprutCAM generate cutterpaths for machining a dovetail slot(?), SprutCAM has always been able to produce toolpaths for this type of feature it is a simple '2D Contouring' operation. In some older versions it wasn't possible to simulate a cut taken with a 'shaped' tool, but that was resolved quite some time ago. If this isn't what you mean can you please describe what your requirement is?

I believe that Sprut (Russian) would be something like a 'spoke in a wheel' or a ' tentacle of an octopus', but I might have that incorrect.

If you are in the US then I would suggest contacting SprutCAM America and I'm sure Eric (the creator of the video) will be happy to take a look at your tool creation problem.

I created this video a while back which shows a form cutter being produced and used in SprutCAM 7: http://www.download.sprut.co.uk/Forum_vide...olute_gear.html

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 5 2013, 08:42 AM
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Dave,

I've found your tutorial to be quite informational and I look forward to attempting a few things that you've gone over in the video when I get up in a few hours (you're correct, west coast US).
I'm simply trying to create for myself a 60 degree dovetail mill which I was hoping to simply find online and download into SprutCAM but the more I couldn't find a way to make my own form tool, the more I wanted to.

If all else fails I'll go back and re-install the program as per your instructions in the first video.

Thanks again,
-Brad K
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bones288
post Feb 6 2013, 02:27 AM
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So it appears that a newer version of the trial sw has resolved the issue. Finding an 'undercut' mill option was also a pleasant surprise.

(Only issue now is to figure out why the end mills are leaving a little stock behind when the job zone specifies the entire area.)

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Sprut_UK
post Feb 6 2013, 07:30 AM
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That is good to hear, thanks for the update. The new installer that was introduced with SprutCAM 8 makes updating the SprutCAM installation very easy.
The 'Undercut mill' tool type is available for all of the 'Contouring' operations as well as the 'Rotary machining' operation.

QUOTE
(Only issue now is to figure out why the end mills are leaving a little stock behind when the job zone specifies the entire area.)


If you prefer to explore / resolve this issue yourself then please post up how you resolved it............if you are completely stuck then feel free to post up your problem SprutCAM project (*.stc) on here.
It's best to zip the project up if you are attaching it to a post on this forum.

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 6 2013, 06:14 PM
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Actually, maybe I'll quickly ask to see if what I'm seeing is typical or not (seeing as I can't come to an answer myself):


When I perform a Roughing Plane job assignment on a model I'm working on, the 10mm endmill will always leave a little stock behind on the radial plane of the tool.
The axial will drop right down to the model and leave 0 stock behind but this isn't the case for the radial axis.

I've changed EVERY setting in the Parameters section, of that job assignment, and the only setting that makes any difference is the 'Step Parameter' entries in the 'Strategy' section.
But I'd rather not use Scallop'ing and I'd like to leave the default of 50%. (I actually want 0 stock for this roughing operation.)

I've gotten around this by using 2D Contouring instead of Plane roughing for the vertical walls of the model.

Does Plane roughing, by default, leave a little stock behind on the radial axis of the tool?

Thanks,
Brad K
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 6 2013, 09:42 PM
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If you post up your project that has the problem it will help to actually visualise the issue. It's very difficult to diagnose what is happening from your description.
I don't use the Plane roughing operation very often myself, but some of my customers who are cutting patterns (in modelboard) do use it very successfully.
If you post the project then we can see if there might be a more suitable operation to use.
Can you also indicate what material you will be cutting the part in?

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 7 2013, 08:17 AM
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Hello Dave,

Here's the prj I've been learning with. I'm hoping you can you take a quick look and give a few basic pointers for me to run off and go study?

I'd love to learn how to keep the tool from returning all the way to 'home' when successive job assignments use the same tool on the exact same plane.
Also, I'm not sure what the typical speeds/feeds are for milling through steel or 6061 Al and I'm sure the default values are slowing the entire operation down somewhat.
And the dovetail dimensions were just something I threw together and don't truly reflect a real mill.

This is part 1/7 and is clearly the most difficult, so if I can learn on this model then the others will be cake.

Thanks,
Brad K

PS Hard to tell from small image. . . Ducati?
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 7 2013, 04:22 PM
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Hi Brad,

You are doing well with that project, you are pretty much there with it.............I'll add a couple of notes that I hope you will find useful:

1: I would definitely use Waterline roughing instead of the Plane roughing for the first operation. Plane roughing calculates the cutterpaths by dividing the model into X passes (by default) stepped over in Y which will leave the 'cusps' of material when used on this type of part. You can reduce these by adjusting the 'Step parameters - Distance' to a smaller value, but this will increase the machining time. Roughing plane is very good for rough machining of shallow 'organic' 3D shapes in soft materials e.g. modelboard etc.
Waterline roughing calculates the cutterpaths by dividing the model into Z steps and will not leave behind any cusps of material unless you use the 'Parallel' option.

2: If you are using an identical tool from one operation to the next you will need to use the same tool number........otherwise, if they have a different tool number, SprutCAM assumes that you are changing the tool and will retract to the toolchange position if one is used (see attached image).

3: You appear to be using an auxiliary operation to index the 4th axis, which works, but, you can simply add the required rotary axis angle to an operation (see attached image).

Yes it is a Ducati S4 Monster which is a beautiful machine........but I no longer own her.........I'm only allowed one big toy at a time now rolleyes.gif
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bones288
post Feb 8 2013, 05:51 AM
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Hello Dave,

Two more questions when you get time . . .

1) Is there anyway for me to modify the .igs file, outside of SprutCAM, and then re-import it without having to recreate all of the job assignments?

and

2) Is the SprutCAM trial only 1 week?!? The open screen says I have 3 days left (2 in a few hours) but I first downloaded it on Sunday. One week seems a bit severe.

And thanks again for the recommendations they've been a tremendous help!
You know, with every problem that gets discovered and resolved two more are found. Onward and forward, right?
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 8 2013, 08:00 AM
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Hi Brad,

QUOTE
1) Is there anyway for me to modify the .igs file, outside of SprutCAM, and then re-import it without having to recreate all of the job assignments?


If you are using the 'Import' function to replace an existing model (you must delete it first), as far as I am aware the features (faces / curves) that make up the model are given random identities in SprutCAM, so if the number of faces / curves in the model which replaces the previously used version has changed, then it is unlikely that each feature will have the same identity (Face1 - Face2 etc.).
However, I am not sure if this holds true if your are using one of the SprutCAM (CAD) Addins.
The entities that have been selected in a 'Job assignment' are identified by the identities given at import time, so there is no guarantee that these will carry through to the revised model.

QUOTE
2) Is the SprutCAM trial only 1 week?!? The open screen says I have 3 days left (2 in a few hours) but I first downloaded it on Sunday. One week seems a bit severe.


I don't know what the default trial period is now. It used to be 1 month, but I know that this did change to 2 weeks.............I am unaware of any changes to this.
If you contact your local SprutCAM reseller they should be able to extend your trial period for you. If you have any difficulties with this, send me a PM and I'll see if I can help.

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 8 2013, 10:40 PM
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Well, I made the model changes and was able to implement all of the job assignments is relatively short order (5th times a charm and you really do learn better ways of approaching things with each pass).

So I have a new question that has come up in the past but, at the time, other questions took priority:

When using the undercut mill I noticed that, instead of clean sharp lines being in the slot, there was an odd vertical 'ledge' (see image w/ tool settings insert).

Any ideas?


(side note: if I joined the forum on the 1st after having struggled with learning for a few days. . .maybe I have been doing this for 2 weeks!?! Time flies.)
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bones288
post Feb 8 2013, 11:43 PM
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Apparently scrap that last post. When I push the speed bar all the way to the right and the mills fly though the stock, the dovetails show up correctly.
Looks like it may be a sw issue.
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 9 2013, 01:00 AM
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Hi Brad,

It's late here, so a quick answer for now:

It looks to me like you don't have the angle of the tool set to the same angle as the (angled) feature being machined.

If you don't know the angle of the face, you should be able to double left click on the angled face (geometry model), and you will be given the angle:



You can then enter this angle in for your Dovemill:



This is an end on view of the simulated machining and the cutter matches the Part:



HTH.

Dave


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bones288
post Feb 9 2013, 02:17 AM
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Interesting trick. But the angle in the Geometry model is set to 30 like the tool. Sometimes, when I simulate the operation repeatedly, the slot edges are sharp and other times they'll ave that flat vertical plane. If the model doesn't 'appear' to mill correctly the first time I can redo that step on high speed until it comes out looking right.

It's just a visual thing here and the actual code/paths that would be generated would come out fine every time.
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Sprut_UK
post Feb 9 2013, 09:49 AM
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Hi Brad,

You're right, it would be very strange if that is the case (wrong angle). Please post up the project used in your previous image and I'll take a look and will pass it on to the software engineers if there is a fault..........if that is acceptable to you?

Dave


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Sprut_UK
post Feb 10 2013, 07:25 AM
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QUOTE (bones288 @ Feb 9 2013, 02:17 AM) *
Interesting trick. But the angle in the Geometry model is set to 30 like the tool.


I am now wondering whether you have used the excluded angle of the part rather than the included angle. If this is the case then your part might be a 60 degrees in which case the tool should be set to the same value. This can be quickly ascertained when you send your project.

Dave


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