CAMWorks Tricks to Improve Your Efficiency

by Chris Lopez

1.  Modify individual moves in a toolpath

Ever have a single motion in your toolpath that you’d like full manual control over?   In your Operation Tree, expand the “+” sign to the left of the operation you’d like to edit, and then Right Click on the feature nested within.

That brings you to an interface where you can audit each move, insert or edit points, and change feedrates as you see fit, for full manual control of your toolpath.  Simply right-click on any of the motions in the dialog box, and you’re now able to edit the toolpath, line by line.  If you have any errant motions that you’d like to delete in a very direct manner, or need to change a feedrate mid-move, this tucked-away option gives you the flexibility to edit your toolpath exactly the way you need it to look.

The level of automation in CAMWorks is complemented by the flexibility of commanding a cutter exactly where you tell it to go, point by point.

CW1CW2

 

2.  Get to know your Tech Database, and set default parameters

Do you find yourself having to make a lot of the same changes, over and over again, to your toolpath, your cutter information, or any other parameters?  CAMWorks stands out from other CAM software packages by clever usage of the Technology Database.  Inside of the TechDB lives the brains of CAMWorks, storing your tooling information, any custom strategies, and a long database of baseline feed and speed rates to get you started cutting chips.  Once you know how understand how to control the TechDB, you can extract even greater functionality and efficiency out of CAMWorks.

Check out the “Default Operation Parameters” setting page in the DB (nested under Mill → Features and Operations).  Here you can set your default NC planes, toolpath strategies, and other details so they appear automatically when you generate a new Rough Mill, or any other operation.CW3The database contains many similar entries to set machine defaults, modify your tool cribs, store custom cutting strategies, and more.  The structure of the files is very eloquently explained by Mike Buchli in The CAMWorks Handbook, available from GoEngineer.  He has an entire chapter devoted to the layout of the TechDB.  Check it out, or inquire about one of our Custom Training options from our pool of experts at GoEngineer.

 

3.  There’s no place like G28 G91 Z0.

 

More than anything else, I spend my days fine-tuning post processors so G-code will be output exactly how it’s expected to.  However, I’ve met a few customers that seem to tolerate non-ideal code from CAMWorks.  If your post processor doesn’t output correctly formatted code, there’s a few things we can do to fix that.

The Universal Post Generator from Geometric gives you a robust tool to generate a post processor from scratch, to edit existing files, as well as the ability to compile the post processor so CAMWorks can use the file to translate G-code for your machine.  Also included with the CAMWorks software suite is EC Editor, which is a context-based text editor that lets you read the code in related groups.CW4


Another option is to contact GoEngineer’s certified technical support team and put your Support Subscription to work.  We’ll be happy to tweak your code to your specifications.  Drop us a line, tell us what you’re thinking, and we’ll be happy to work together to optimize your G-code output.

Happy chip-making!

What's on your mind?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *