Take The CADCAM System Chaining Test

See the Jon Banquer blog and find out how your CADCAM system stacks up against SolidCAM.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.blogspot.com /

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jon_banquer wrote:

That seems like an awful lot of mouse clicks to chain IMHO....
At least compared to VX.
I modeled up a similar part. And made a VX cam plan. And used camtasia studio to do a screen cast. It's not perfect, but it'll get the job done :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?vlByymz7BZA

It's not as clear as I would have liked, so I'm encoding an HD version of it, but will take more time to process.
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In the SolidCAM video the bottom face of the pocket is picked and the periphery and all the islands are automatically chained. Please show how VX can do the same thing and I'll be happy to add VX to the list and credit you on my blog for CADCAM systems that can do this.
Thanks,
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.blogspot.com /
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jon_banquer wrote:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpWIZvQya14

Watch the entire video. Now keep in mind, VX can do this with both imported, and native geometry. Can solidcam do this with imported geometry?
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Not sure if SolidCAM can do it with imported geometry. I'll find out.
In my opinion, SolidCAM isn't really doing Feature Recognition for what is shown in the video where as VX needs to do Feature Recognition to do it because VX CAM is based on Feature Recognition like say CAMWorks is. Mastercam can do this as well with Feature Recognition.
My position is that a user shouldn't be forced into a methodology of ONLY using Feature Recognition. Feature Recognition should be an option if you wish to use it like it is in Mastercam or NX.
I appreciate the video posting. While I'm not a fan of VX CAM for production or 2 1/2 axis mill prototype work, I do feel at this point that fully integrated CADCAM is the ONLY way to go.
I also feel it can be an advantage when just one company can provide both the CAD and the CAM but what's even better is having the option of choosing a third party solution like say HyperMill running inside of Pro/E AND ALSO having the CHOICE of being able to also choose Pro Toolmaker or Pro/NC from PTC.
Ill add some positive comments to your VX CADCAM video because its by far the best example of how VX CAM works on YouTube.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
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jon_banquer wrote:

But, it's not really "Feature recognition". There is no pre-processing whatsoever on this part. It's doing this all on the fly. The "Face region" selection is doing all the work, really. And internally, it's recognizing the curvature of the faces and applying arcs and such.

Well, VX cam in 2D is all feature based. But it's logical, if you think about it. No matter what, in 2D, You're machining features. Be it pockets, slots, holes, etc... But there is more than a single method of achieving the results.
In 3D, there are actually 2 different machining "kernels" internal in VX. There is Quickmill, STL based, and normal 3D, which is more nurbs based. Quickmill has some really cool strategies. But, it's a bit slow on some of 'em IMHO.

And, to tell you the truth, I've not used VX cam much at all. In fact, I've run 2 small parts for work, and 3-4 parts for "government" jobs, just to learn it.
So I take it, VX earns your "Seal of approval" for chaining? :)
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Lets examine VX CAM a little further with some practical real world examples where Mastercam X3 MU1 badly fails and SolidCAM shows how it's been better designed for change.
Lets say we have a part where in Operation #1 we machined the Contour of the part. Now in Operation #2 we need to flip the part over and machine the back. In order to do this we need to make soft jaws because the part has a shape can't be held in a vise with standard hard jaws. In order to make the soft jaws we need to use a Pocketing toolpath. In Mastercam you can't change a standard 2 1/2 axis Contour toolpath to a Pocketing toolpath. Mastercam forces the user to start all over from ground zero. In SolidCAM you can copy the Contour toolpath in the Machining Operations Manager and then change it to a Pocketing toolpath so you don't have to start from ground zero. Mastercam will probably be able to do this in X4 when its released but the fact is that Mastercam should have been able to do this starting with version X. Unfortunately Mastercam X was very poorly conceived when it comes to its user interface which was billed as a total rewrite from version 9.
Question: Can VX easily change an existing Contour toolpath to a Pocketing toolpath?
Now lets take this a few steps further. When youre creating many CAM part programs, like we do in our very busy prototype shop, having a very modal CADCAM program like Mastercam wastes massive amounts of your time and is a very serious drawback.
In SolidCAM I can do the following that I cant do in Mastercam with a machining Parameters dialog box open. I can save the machining Parameters to the Machining Operations Manager and keep going with another Machining Operation in SolidCAM without having to close the machining Parameters dialog box by hitting a button on the bottom of the machining Parameters dialog box that says: Save And Continue. In Mastercam I cant do this. I have to close the machining Parameters dialog window and start the process of creating a Machining Operations all over again.
Question: Can VX do what SolidCAM can do?
I can solid Verify or Backplot with a machining Parameters dialog box window open in SolidCAM. In Mastercam I cant do this. I have to close the Mastercam machining Parameters dialog window to Verify or Backplot . If I want to make a change when I see something I dont like Backplot or solid Verify I have to open the Mastercam machining Parameters again.
Question: Can VX do what SolidCAM can do?
I can create a new Work Coordinate System with a machining Parameters dialog box window open in SolidCAM if I didnt realize I needed to create a new Work Coordinate System ahead of time and now need a new Work Coordinate System to work with in SoildCAM. In Mastercam I have to close the Mastercam machining Parameters dialog window, go create a new Work Coordinate System and then reopen the Mastercam machining Parameters dialog window.
Question: Can VX do what SolidCAM can do?
If I need to add or modify a chain in SoildCAM I can create or modify a chain with a machining Parameters dialog box window open if I realize I needed to modify or create a chain ahead of time and now need to do this. In Mastercam I have to close the Mastercam machining Parameters dialog window, go create or modify a chain and then reopen the Mastercam machining Parameters dialog window.
Question: Can VX do what SolidCAM can do?
SolidCAM has been designed to be far less modal that Mastercam and this saves serious time!
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.blogspot.com /
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jon_banquer wrote:

It matters HOW you setup the feature. But yes, it can be done quite easily.

By your explanation, it seems that your non-modal system would promote confusion IMHO.

I don't think so, and I just don't see the advantage of this either.

Again, I don't see the advantage.

Yes. I can create a new WCS, or "Frame" as VX calls it.

Modal dialogs tend to be less confusing. Lets say you have half a dozen dialogs open at once. Quick, which one is which? :)
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Not at all. As the video links on the Jon Banquer blog clearly show, the machining Parameters dialog box disappears and only comes back when you are done creating a new WCS, when solid Verify or Backplot is done, when you are done modifying or creating a chain, etc.

Suggest you think more about having to create many machining operations while reusing portions of what you have already created instead of starting from scratch over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Many CADCAM programmers don't get it perfect the first time. It's nice to be able to make a change and not have to close and reopen a machining Parameters dialog box over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

A well designed non-modal user interface simply doesn't work this way. Watch the video links I have posted on my blog and read what I wrote above.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.blogspot.com /
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People that refer to themselves in the third person piss me off.
IMO, all cam systems suck balls. Good thing they do, BTW....keeps illiterate morons who can't learn from reading a manual or help menu from using the software properly.
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On Feb 1, 10:28 am, snipped-for-privacy@rise.zzn.com wrote:

So do most CAM users who have absolutely no clue about the tools that are badly needed in CADCAM systems or the benefits of say video training over very poorly written manuals.
Perhaps one of the reasons that manufacturing in the U.S.A has so many problems is that the CADCAM systems most of us use waste massive amounts of time.
Without a doubt the Israeli developers of SolidCAM have taken the lead in creating a system that stands head and shoulders above many U.S. designed CADCAM systems.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.blogspot.com /
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jon_banquer wrote:

Ahh, but if you watch my video, I have checked the "inherit all" box. It inherits the previous machining parameters, tools, features, etc...
If I just select "Inherit settings", it just inherits the machining parameters.

Surely you jest!

I don't know if I've ever needed to do it "over and over and over and over again".

I just don't agree it's that useful or time saving<shrug>
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On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 12:45:45 -0800 (PST), jon_banquer

Didn't see anything impressive or all that special.
What exactly do you see in the video that impresses you Jon and why?
Barn will hold his breath while we wait for you to actually respond by answering a direct on topic question.
Say high to Haywood and Larry for us......while they are giving you Google ratings.....LOL.
-- Tom http://tinyurl.com/5okkgz
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Slick canned presentations mean little to experienced users, although the novice user will always be impressed. Simply elongating 2D parts is not really that impressive. Stretching looks good but what about working to minute specs vs dragging a part simply to be longer without holding a dimension. Software companies can make anything look simple, why don't these clips show something complex being modified?
Feature recognition is a required functionality, especially when the user doesn't know how to recognize what is in front of him.
Synchronous technology is possibly the snappiest software to be born during economic straits that will prevent it from being a huge success. Over the next 3-4 years companies will be turning to "bang for the buck" not kazamm and kazoo for the buck.
The proven Cam softwares will hold the market in the next 3-4 years. Budgets will not permit extravagant expenditures that require extensive training.
Sorry Jon, ST has evolved in a minimum spending era. No Sale.
--

Michael Gailey
3D Laser Scanning, Digital Object Reproduction
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