Interested in tweaking an HSM (Inventor CAM, Fusion CAM, HSMWorks) post-processor yourself?

 By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

The “SolidCAD Universal FANUC” post processor (free on our website) contains a large number of parameters that can be set on-the-fly through the “Post-Process” dialog, without needing to change anything inside the post-processor.

If you require other changes, SolidCAD offers a post-processor modification service to adapt this post to your machine and to your best practices.

If you wish to make changes yourself, you are free to do so. Indeed, the “SolidCAD Universal FANUC” post-processor and all the post-processors available on the HSM Post Library website are unlocked and open-source.

The HSM Post Library is found here: https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts

A post .cps post-processor file is merely a text file. It can be opened and edited in Notepad or any other text editor. There is unfortunately no user interface; changes must be made to the code in JavaScript language.

However, the good news is that Autodesk publishes a free manual to guide you through the process, covering the basics of JavaScript and explaining the various sections of a post file.

The manual can be downloaded here: https://cam.autodesk.com/posts/posts/guides/Post%20Processor%20Training%20Guide.pdf

If you can’t find an answer in this 200-page guide, you can consult the vast archive of the HSM Post-Processor Forum, and even post your question on this very active forum. The forum is located here:

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/hsm-post-processor-forum/bd-p/218

 

 

Do you know about Adaptive Clearing?

By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

Hey CNC’ers!

Do you know about Adaptive Clearing? It’s the intelligent roughing strategy at the heart of HSM CAM that has changed milling forever. Increase your profitability by getting to near-net-shape in a single, highly-efficient, tool-sparing operation.

To learn more about the advantages (as well as pitfalls) of this game-changing technology, download the following article:

 

https://www.solidcad.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/A-few-words-on-Intelligent-Roughing-by-Louis-Martineau-.pdf

and visit our website at: https://www.solidcad.ca/partner-products/autodesk-cam/#hsmcam

You can also watch the video down below :

Curious about the hype around Autodesk’s HSM CAM?

By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

 

Hey CNC’ers!

Curious about the hype around Autodesk’s HSM CAM? And now you’re looking for more information and possibly a demonstration? Well, you’ve come to the right place! SolidCAD is not only Canada’s biggest reseller of Autodesk manufacturing solutions, but also the only Canadian Autodesk reseller with a dedicated team of CAM specialists.

HSM CAM is the comprehensive and powerful CNC programming add-on for Inventor (Inventor CAM – included with a subscription to the Product Design and Manufacturing Collection ), Fusion 360 (Fusion 360 Manufacturing – built into Fusion 360), and even SolidWorks (HSMWorks – included with a subscription to Fusion 360).

Please visit our HSM CAM page to read about all the advantages of this integrated CAD/CAM solution and to find lots of technical resources: https://www.solidcad.ca/partner-products/hsm-cam/

Also, try our SolidCAD universal milling post-processor, compatible with a wide variety of 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis machines that accept FANUC-style G-code. This open-source post-processor generates nicely-formatted NC code, and is chock-full of features to make it as flexible as possible. These features include:

  • Safe restart feature after M00 program stops
  • Automatic date and time stamp function
  • Tool table feature in header
  • Operation name, tool name, and cycle time at top of each operation
  • Activation of accumulated pecking depth feature for G73-style drilling
  • Activation of the Manual NC code pass-through feature
  • Property to toggle between 3-axis / 4-axis / 5-axis configurations
  • Property to set maximal spindle speed
  • Property to toggle tool preload on/off
  • Property to toggle rigid tapping on/off
  • Property to assign an M-code for rigid tapping
  • Property to toggle between G54-G59 and G54.1 P1-P300 work offsets
  • Property to toggle between G28 and G53 retracts
  • Properties to set M-codes for 4th and 5th axis brake lock/unlock functions
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of rotary axis positions at every operation
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of M01 optional stops at tool changes
  • Property to toggle on/off automatic spindle gear changes
  • Property to set a spindle gear change crossover speed
  • Property to toggle between French and English for the output of comments and messages
  • Property to toggle on/off lowercase support for comments
  • Property to set the rapid rate used for operation time calculations
  • Property to toggle on/off the automatic creation of sub-programs for patterns
  • Property to toggle between 4 digit and 8-digit program IDs
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of the tool list in the program header
  • Property to toggle between relative or absolute coordinates for IJKs
  • Property to toggle between automatic tool changer or manual tool changes
  • Property to toggle between M30 and M99 for program termination
  • Property to toggle between returning to home or going to parking position at program end
  • Properties to set X- and Y-coordinates for parking position
  • Property to convert from feed expressed per min. to feed expressed per second
  • Property to inverse Z direction convention
  • Property to disable output of all coolant codes

This post processor is available here:

https://www.solidcad.ca/solidcad-generic-post-processors-download/

Customizing the Inventor Marking Menu

By Shannon Lundrigan, Technical Specialist MFG,  at SolidCAD

A few years ago, Autodesk introduced context-sensitive radial menus called Marking Menus, in Inventor. These menus provide a quick and visual way for users to select the most commonly used commands in each environment. Over the years every-day users have no doubt become quite familiar with these menus and the available commands, but did you know you can customize it?

By default, Autodesk has placed what they believe to be the most common commands in this radial menu however, you know as well as I do that from company to company and even desk to desk, everyone uses Inventor differently. The following are the quick and easy steps to customize this menu.

How to do it:

On the Tools tab in the Options pane, the “Customize” button will open the dialog box that lets you modify the 8 commands in the radial menu for a given environment and associated sub-environment. From 2D Sketch to Weldment and everything in between, you can put your favourite commands right at the tip of your mouse pointer.

Choose the environment and sub-environment you wish to customize the menu for. Next, select one of the eight radial menu options that you want to change (in this example we are changing the “Pattern Component” command in the standard Assembly environment).

In the menu on the right, search or scroll down to the command you want to add and simply click on it to replace the selected option (iProperties, in this example). It’s as easy as that!

Also; starting in 2018 Inventor began giving users the option to migrate these (and all other) custom user interface settings when you upgrade to newer releases. So, you no longer need to worry about starting from scratch!

Why is it called the “Marking Menu”?

In addition to customizing where your favourite commands are on the right click menus, did you know you can also right-click-drag to the command, without ever actually seeing the menu? The pointer will create a “mark” as you drag your mouse to the location of your desired command, as shown below. This will require some practice but could become quite handy over time when the location of the commands in the radial menu becomes second-nature.

 

PART 3 : Change Management (ECR, ECN, and ECO)

By Shaya Ghanbar, PLM Project Manager at SolidCAD

 

This is the third in a three-part series of Fusion Lifecycle videos. In this video, we will focus on Change Management with a specific focus on Engineering Change Orders.

In the previous video, we saw that the Bill-of-Materials was automatically extracted and transferred to Fusion Lifecycle for additional analysis, modification, export and so on. At a future point in time, someone may recognize a problem with an item in the Bill of Materials and wants to initiate a change. In Fusion Lifecycle, they can log a Problem Report. The Problem Report flows through a structured workflow becoming an Engineering Change Request(ECR) and then an Engineering Change Order (ECO).

When the ECO is approved, Fusion Lifecycle pushes the information back to Vault, where the impacted assembly is changed to a Work-in-Progress state. Designers can then make the necessary design changes and Release the revised assembly.

PART 2 : Bill of Materials (BOM) Transfer from Vault to Fusion Lifecycle 

By Shaya Ghanbar, PLM Project Manager at SolidCAD

 

This is the second in a three-part series of Fusion Lifecycle videos. This video, will focus on the Bill-of-Material transfer from Autodesk Vault Professional to Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle.

Vault Pro and Fusion Lifecycle can be integrated allowing data to move between the two systems. When Designers and Engineers have completed their work in CAD and Vault Pro, they will Release the assemblies.  The Bill-of-Materials is then extracted from Vault and transferred to Fusion Lifecycle as an Items BOM.  In Fusion Lifecycle, the BOM can be managed by adding or removing items.  When complete, the BOM is advanced to the Approval Stage using Fusion Lifecycle’s Bill of Materials Management capabilities.

PART 1 : New Project Introduction Process In Fusion Lifecycle

By Shaya Ghanbar, PLM Project Manager at SolidCAD

 

This is the first in a three-part series of Fusion Lifecycle videos. In this video, we will review the New Product or New Project Introduction process in Fusion Lifecycle.

Fusion Lifecycle and Autodesk Vault Professional can be integrated to streamline the Project creation process.  In our example, we will begin by creating a project in Fusion Lifecycle.  Upon approval, Fusion Lifecycle will then automatically create that project in Vault, complete with our defined folder structure.

Introduction to BIM Project Suite

By Daniella Delgado, Marketing & Communication Manager at SolidCAD

In case you were unable to attend SolidCAD and CTC’s webinar last week here is what you need to know…

Shawn Zirbes, a Guru for everything CTC, uncovered how the BIM Project Suite allows Autodesk Revit users to automate routine tasks, manage large numbers of content files, generate database information and much more in a lot less time, all within the Revit environment.

BIM Project Suite is meant for everyday users of all skill levels and used by firms of all sizes. To learn more about the some of key functionalities of the suite, watch the full webinar on our YouTube Channel.

Civil 3D Viewports

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

A little tip today.  Have you ever zoomed out within a profile viewport and your surfaces and alignments are not there?  The two viewports shown below are nearly identical except the one on the bottom doesn’t display any Civil 3D plan objects, such as the surface and alignment.  Why is this?  No, layers are not frozen or off in the lower viewport.

Civil 3D has its Plan Production feature which automates the creation of Paper Space layouts, typically for plan and profile construction drawings.  The way it has been implemented is that your drawing template (DWT) will contain a sample paper space layout containing pre-configured viewports.  And those viewports are required to have set a specific property called Viewport Type.

In the image above, the top viewport is set to Plan and the bottom is set to Profile.  When the viewport type is set to Profile, Civil 3D plan objects such as surfaces, alignments, and corridors are not displayed.  This is presumably to conserve performance, but if you’re unaware of this feature, it can be confusing.

Bluebeam Revu 2018.6

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

Bluebeam has released their latest update for their flagship PDF markup tool, Revu.  Please see this link to learn more about how to update your installation.  And then click here to find out which defects have been addressed.