Cimitron9, The jury is still out!

Is it great, or is it shit?
I can't make up my mind.
The stuff makes error free toolpath 100% of the time, but...
It rapids more than anything Iv'e ever seen, this stuff can't seem to keep a tool down. The sad part is lots of people bitch, and their answer to it is it's more efficient toolpath to rapid all over the place as opposed to keeping the tool down.
Maybe. But I don't think so 99% of the time.
Iv'e aggressivly tried to keep tools down, researching, asking, trying, and it's just not designed to allow it most of the time. But.... Because everyone bitched they added a couple of optimisers that "help in keeping the tool down more". Ok.... cool right? lol no. The help files has a click to show image of without and with the optimiser. The caption says you can see the tool staying down significantly in the second image...uhhhh, they both look exactly the same? Jeesh.
That aside, and a bunch of other things, it's pretty cool stuff.
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the scary thing about excessive rapids is that eventually it will hit a clamp that was needed to be placed in an odd location; then you have to stop the machine, replace the tool, check and fix the location of the part, move the clamp, edit the program to pick up where it was left off, run at moderate speed until you are comfortable that all is right.
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And there in lies "dirty little secret No 1" of all cam systems. Most of us in aerospace spend a large percentage of time on this issue. Molds? Maybe not so much. Lights out machining and newer high speed machines. If you can leave it unattended overnight and have a fast machine... who cares? But if you have a very large gantry with slower rapids, no trochoidal path abilities, and long production runs - no way. While NX does a great job with Cavity Mill on open areas, if there are dozens of pockets there's a good change it will hop around as it will hit it at levels first rather than complete each pocket. So I break it down to Planar Milling ops to ensure a very sequential tool path with no wasted movement. My last project was 260 hrs of programming. I could have cut my programming time in half with "canned" routines. Run time would have been much longer though. Since the part will be running for months to years, it's worth the programming effort.
-- Bill
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Hey Bill, that 260 hrs includes surfacing the geometry or just the toolpaths ? By project, do you mean one part or several ? Can you share any info ( automotive, stamping etc.) ? I am impressed and very curious....
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It was a wing rib for an Airbus A380 aircraft (the BIG one). Stock was 10' x 6' x 4" thick. The model was supplied by the customer. No real surfacing but driving toolpath on open and closed angle walls and ribs. Average wall thickness is about .25" when completed. Those hours are for the left hand part programs with documentation (very detail spreadsheet). Once it's bought off I will create the right hand files which will take another 20 hours or so. Ya, they're a lot of work but I like it as they leave me alone for a few weeks at a time.
-- Bill
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Thank you for your reply. I don't know if I'm envious of your task or not; sounds cool, but 3 weeks + on the same doodah sounds awfully monotonous as well as well, let me say I would not want to be the operator who goes up to you and suggest a few preferential changes.
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It's more like 5-6 weeks in all. That said, I follow a process outline given by my client on exactly the order of tools and cutting parameters to use. These types of parts are costly so they've come up with a basic process that works. Also, we run it through Vericut with Optipath at final posting for feed optimization. Unless tools are breaking or ribs are being ripped off, the shop floor has little to say how it runs. <g> Matter of fact, most us programmers never actually see one run - just an inspection report.
-- Bill
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The jury will be out permanently on Cimatron in this place. Why? nobody uses it here, besides Vinny (lucky stiff). I still use the 10yr old IT13, by what I've heard........ they utilized some of the IT toolpaths in E, just renaming them. Cimatron has "LOTS-O- TOGGELS" to make it behave the way the driver likes. Being unfamiliar with them, leaving them set default, can cause lots-o-rapids. Even choosing different toolpath types will do undesireable - not required machine moves. But like you say, its very reliable, gouge free toolpaths. The rapids initially drove me crazy too. Why TF is it doing that? Oh well, pay no attention to all those moves, we'll see what the part looks like when done. Cimatron is not an easy software to use. It takes time, trial & error & hopefully a few corporate training classes to understand "its thinking" Its not like any other I've used, but once you get it, you'll never look back. The biggest problem it finding a knowledgeable instructor. I know of exactly 2 that have worked for Cimatron more than 10yrs & have moldmaking backgrounds. I'm sure there are others, but most likely in business themselves.
BTW nice try on trying to get the cimatron trolls out of the woodwork. & once more its cim A tron <g> (add to dictionary)
-- ~g~
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wrote:

The jury will be out permanently on Cimatron in this place. Why? nobody uses it here, besides Vinny (lucky stiff). I still use the 10yr old IT13, by what I've heard........ they utilized some of the IT toolpaths in E, just renaming them. Cimatron has "LOTS-O- TOGGELS" to make it behave the way the driver likes. Being unfamiliar with them, leaving them set default, can cause lots-o-rapids. Even choosing different toolpath types will do undesireable - not required machine moves. But like you say, its very reliable, gouge free toolpaths. The rapids initially drove me crazy too. Why TF is it doing that? Oh well, pay no attention to all those moves, we'll see what the part looks like when done. Cimatron is not an easy software to use. It takes time, trial & error & hopefully a few corporate training classes to understand "its thinking" Its not like any other I've used, but once you get it, you'll never look back. The biggest problem it finding a knowledgeable instructor. I know of exactly 2 that have worked for Cimatron more than 10yrs & have moldmaking backgrounds. I'm sure there are others, but most likely in business themselves.
BTW nice try on trying to get the cimatron trolls out of the woodwork. & once more its cim A tron <g> (add to dictionary)
-- ~g~
******** I finally found planer milling. NOW I got some tools I can work with! It's my favorite electrode roughing routine. All I need now is a good spiral cut for high feed milling of trodes. Would be good for hardcutting holes also.
Your right about the switches, problem is if nobody points em out, you have no clue why things are acting like they are.
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Vinny, are you talking about roughing, finishing, or both?
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wrote:

Vinny, are you talking about roughing, finishing, or both?
**********
Both.
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