Archive for month: May, 2018

May 29, 2018
29 May 2018

MecSoft Releases CAMJam 2018

Irvine, CA, May 30, 2018: MecSoft Corporation announces today the release of CAMJam 2018, the Video Training Companion for their popular VisualCAD/CAM®, RhinoCAM®, VisualCAM® for SOLIDWORKS and AlibreCAM® Milling modules. CAMJam 2018 is a video archive of training sessions conducted by the support staff at MecSoft Corporation. It includes all of the CAMJam 2017 version videos as well as updates for the new 2018 products.

“We’re very excited about our new CAMJam 2018 video archive. It builds upon previous versions and now includes videos on all of our CAM modules including MILL, TURN, NEST and ART. It also includes 5 axis milling, multi-axis robot machining, additional bonus videos and links to our popular Learn CAD/CAM blog series and case studies, all organized, indexed and searchable, so you know exactly which video to watch to get questions answered.” said Don LaCourse, Senior Application Engineer at MecSoft Corporation and one of the principals involved in the creation of this product.

CAMJam 2018 includes:

  1. Over 60 new instructional videos covering the complete suite of the MecSoft CAM module functionality including MILL, TURN, NEST, ART and MESH!
  2. CAMJam 2018 PDF document for the organization and easy retrieval from the video library.
  3. All of the source part files referenced by the CAMJam video archive!

Sample of topics covered:

  1. The NEW Automatic Feature Machining tools in the 2018 release!
  2. A complete “What’s New” video and discussion on all of the new features in the 2018 release.
  3. New bonus videos: Best Practices in 2½ Axis and 3 Axis Machining!
  4. Machine Setup, Stock and Geometry considerations for 2½ Axis, 3, 4 and Indexed 5 Axis setups.
  5. 2 through 5 Axis machining strategies.
  6. Creating User Defined Form Tools for custom 2½ Axis Profiling operations.
  7. The Post Processor Generator and Setup for 2½ Axis, 3, 4 and 5 Axis milling.
  8. Implementing custom Tool Libraries and Rules-Based Machining Knowledge Bases.
  9. Implementing User-specific defaults databases.
  10. Using 2½, 3 Axis Machining Regions and Control Geometry effectively.
  11. Viewing, Simulating and Editing your toolpaths operations.

About MecSoft Corporation

Headquartered in Irvine, California, MecSoft Corporation is a worldwide leader in providing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software solutions for the small to mid-market segments. These solutions include products VisualCAD/CAM®, RhinoCAM™, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS® and AlibreCAM®. These software products deliver powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for users in the custom manufacturing, rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, mold making, aerospace, automotive, tool & die, woodworking, and education industries.

For the latest news and information, visit mecsoft.com or call (949) 654-8163.

May 29, 2018
29 May 2018

XY Instancing of Toolpaths in AlibreCAM

In the Professional configuration of AlibreCAM you can take advantage of the XY Instance operation. This allows you to create linear or circular XY arrays of one or more toolpath operations. Here’s how its done using a part example submitted by Erik Granberg of Granberg International, located in Pittsburg, CA.

The fixture plate shown in this example is part of the Jergan Quick Exchange Die system Erik has implemented on each of his seven Haas machining centers. The instance is for the four ball lock guide pin and bushing locations. Here are steps for setting up the XY Instance operation in AlibreCAM.

1. Create the toolpath operations for the initial (master) toolpaths.

2. Create the XY Instance. From the Program tab, select Create Misc Operations and then XY Instance.

3. From the XY Instance dialog select the type of instance and specify the spacing parameters and then pick OK. In our example, we are creating a Linear Instance with an X Spacing of 16” and a Y Spacing of -12”. The +/- values are relative to the original toolpath location.

 

4. An XY Instance folder will be added to your Machining Job Tree.

5. Drag & drop each of the toolpath operations into the XY Instance folder in the order you want them to be posted.

6. Selecting the XY Instance folder will display all instances in Alibre Design graphics window.

7. Now right-click on the XY Instance folder and select Post to display the posted g-code. You will notice that each toolpath instance is posted.

More about Granberg International

A special thanks to Erik Granberg and Granberg International for allowing us to share their AlibreCAM success story! For more information about Granberg International and their available product line we invite you to visit them on the web at https://granberg.com/, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

May 22, 2018
22 May 2018

AlibreCAM Helps Manufacture the Alaskan® Sawmill

Granberg International, located in Pittsburg, CA is a second generation, family owned company and a world leader in the design and manufacture of chainsaw accessories. They say that “Necessity is the mother of all invention.” Well Erik Granberg, President and CEO tells the story of how his father started the company in the 1950s after experiencing the difficulty of clearing timber on a ranch the family had just purchased in British Columbia. 

That necessity led to the invention of the first portable chainsaw blade sharpener that is sold today worldwide! Hear Erik tell the story here! We recently sat down with Erik Granberg to learn more about the company and its use of AlibreCAM software from MecSoft Corporation.

 

The Alaskan® Sawmill

Following his early successes, Erik’s father then purchased the patent rights of what is known today as the Alaskan® Sawmill, a lightweight and innovative attachment that allows one person to perform accurate millwork onsite with only a chainsaw! Erik is continuing the Granberg family tradition of craftsmanship and innovation from their 12,000 sq/ft facility.

 

 
The Granberg Alaskan® Sawmill is a one person sawmill that allows you to mill rough cut lumber to exact widths from end to end using a chainsaw attachment.

Alaskan® Sawmill Video / More Videos

 

The AlibreCAM Difference!

Six years ago Erik began implementing CNC technology into their manufacturing process and currently has seven (7) Haas CNC machining centers running production full time. Erik has also implemented the Jergan Quick Exchange Die system on each of his Haas machines. This system allows his team to rapidly change setups, minimizing change-over time while increasing production volume and accuracy. Erik designs the many fixture plate configurations in-house using Alibre Design and uses the AlibreCAM plugin to generate the toolpaths and g-code programs needed to manufacture them. Let’s have a look.

Here we see Alibre Design with the AlibreCAM plugin loaded. The AlibreCAM Machining Browser is displayed on the left with the current Machining Job tree above and the current cutting tools listed below. One of Erik’s custom designed fixture plates for their Quick Exchange Die system is shown with toolpaths displayed for the four ball lock guide pin & bushing hole locations. (Top Right) The AlibreCAM toolpath simulation of the Hole Profiling finishing operation on the bushing hole diameter. (Bottom Right) The actual fixture plate mounted on the Quick Exchange Die in the Haas CNC machining center.

 

“Since implementing AlibreCAM and CNC six years ago we have increase our production volume here at Granberg International by 300%! AlibreCAM’s ability to quickly generate CNC programs from multiple Alibre Design configurations and iterations is one of the key factors of our recent success.”

Erik Granberg, President/CEO, Granberg International

 

 
Here we see the fixture plate being setup on the Quick Exchange Die in the Haas CNC machining center.

More about Granberg International

A special thanks to Erik Granberg and Granberg International for allowing us to share their AlibreCAM success story! You can read the complete case study here. For more information about Granberg International and their available product line we invite you to visit them on the web at https://granberg.com/, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

 

May 15, 2018
15 May 2018

Machining Accuracy with AlibreCAM at Granberg International

Six years ago Erik Granberg of Granberg International began implementing CNC technology into their manufacturing process and currently has seven (7) Haas CNC machining centers running production full time. Erik has also implemented the Jergan Quick Exchange Die system on each of his Haas machines. This system allows his team to rapidly change setups, minimizing change-over time while increasing production volume and accuracy. Erik designs the many fixture plate configurations in-house using Alibre Design and uses the AlibreCAM plugin to generate the toolpaths and g-code programs needed to manufacture them. 

 

 

One of Erik’s custom designed fixture plates for their Quick Exchange Die system is shown with toolpaths displayed for the four ball lock guide pin & bushing hole locations.

 

The Ball Lock Guide Pin Hole Operation Set

One of the interesting things from a machining perspective are the four outer hole set locations (shown in blue/green) for the fixture plate ball lock guide pins and bushings. In AlibreCAM, only one hole set needs to be programmed. The g-code for the other three can be generated automatically using an XY Instance operation. The Machining Job is shown here.

The critical dimension is the center thru hole diameter of 1.3765” for the press-fit bushing. The g-code for this hole is posted to 6 decimal places of accuracy using a Hole Profiling finishing operation. See Adjusting Toolpath Accuracy below for more information. 

Each hole set consists of two Drill operations, two helical Hole Pocketing roughing operations and a final helical Hole Profiling finishing operation. The first smaller Drill operation provides centering stability for the second larger Drill, which in turn provides the access needed for the two helical Hole Pocketing roughing operations. The second Hole Pocketing roughing operation provides the needed access for the entry and exit of the final Hole Profiling finishing operation which cuts the final hole to the finished diameter. More details for each operation in this set are provided below.

Center Drill
¼” Drill, 0.25” deep, 0.05 peck increment.

 

Pilot Drill
⅝” Drill, 1.35” deep (thru), 0.25” step increment.

 

 

2½ Axis Hole Pocketing
⅜” End Mill, 2.5” dia., 0.26” deep, 40% stepover climb cut, 0.1” stepdown with cleanup pass at each cut level (dark blue). The helical entry is 0.25” dia. x 0.25” deep.

 

2½ Axis Hole Pocketing (Rough)
⅜” End Mill, 1.300” dia., 0.74” deep, 40% stepover climb cut, 0.15” stepdown with clean up pass at each cut level (dark blue). The helical entry is 0.125” dia x 0.25” deep.

 

2½ Axis Hole Profiling (Finish) ⅜” End Mill, 1.3765” dia., 0.74” deep x 0.1” helical pitch, climb cut. The linear entry is 0.25” with a 0.25” radius tangent engagement. The retract is also radial at 0.25”with a tangent linear departure of 0.25”

 

Publishing note: This animated GIF is for web display only. The actual resolution and quality of the cut material simulation that you experience with AlibreCAM is much greater.

 

Adjusting Toolpath Accuracy

Internally, AlibreCAM tool motions are calculated at double -precision accuracy up to 14 decimal places. The GOTO motion values displayed in the AlibreCAM Toolpath Viewer are shown at 6 decimal places. Here are the adjustments made in Alibre Design and AlibreCAM to tighten the accuracy required for the final finishing Hole Pocketing operation. It should be noted here that accuracy is relative. As you increase accuracy you also increase processing and machining time.

1. Adjust the accuracy settings of the Alibre Design File Properties dialog. For example, set Length Precision and Angle Precision to 6 (Decimal Places).

2. In the AlibreCAM toolpath operation that requires a high degree of accuracy, set the operation Global Tolerance to between 4 and 6 decimal places. The Cut Parameters tab of the Hole Profiling operation dialog is shown below.

3. Before posting your g-code edit your selected post using the built-in AlibreCAM Post Processor Generator. From your Set Post Processor Options dialog select your post from the Current Post Processor list (we selected haas) and then select the Edit… button. This will display the Post Processor Generator for that post.

4. Select the Motion section on the left.

5. For # of Decimal Places, set this to 6.

6. Then also check the box to Show trailing zeros. These selections are shown below.

7. Now, go to the CAM Preferences dialog and from the Machining section, uncheck each of the Arc Output options shown below:

8. Now from the machining Job tree in AlibreCAM, right-click on the operation requiring a high degree of accuracy, and select Post.

9. Here is the sample Haas g-code output for this toolpath in 6 decimal places of accuracy.

More about Granberg International

A special thanks to Erik Granberg and Granberg International for allowing us to share their AlibreCAM success story! For more information about Granberg International and their available product line we invite you to visit them on the web at https://granberg.com/, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

May 7, 2018
07 May 2018

MecSoft Releases AlibreCAM 2018

Irvine, CA, May 7, 2018: MecSoft Corporation, the developer of industry leading CAM software solutions, has announced the availability of AlibreCAM 2018, the latest version of MecSoft’s fully integrated CAM solution for Alibre Design 2018.

AlibreCAM 2018 now includes the ability to perform continuous 5 axis machining operations on Alibre Design models. A picture of a turbine blade being machined using a Swarf machining method is shown below:

Release highlights include:

  • 2 ½ Axis – Fillet and Chamfer machining methods have been introduced
  • 3 Axis – Horizontal Finishing follow containment, performance & stability improvements
  • 4 Axis – Drive Surface machining
  • 5 Axis – Continuous 5 axis machining methods such as Surface Normal, Curve Projection and Swarf Machining have been newly introduced
  • Other Productivity and User Interface enhancements

“The newly released ability to perform 5 Axis continuous machining inside AlibreCAM along with the other numerous enhancements and additions opens up significant productivity improvements for our users. The powerful combination of Alibre Design and AlibreCAM, delivers functionality found only in products costing thousands of dollars more”, stated Joe Anand, President and CEO of MecSoft Corporation.

Free demo software of AlibreCAM 2018 can be downloaded here.

 

About MecSoft Corporation

Headquartered in Irvine, California, MecSoft Corporation is a worldwide leader in providing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software solutions for the small to mid-market segments. These solutions include products VisualCAD/CAM®, RhinoCAM™, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS® and AlibreCAM®. These software products deliver powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for users in the custom manufacturing, rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, mold making, aerospace, automotive, tool & die, woodworking, and education industries.

For the latest news and information, visit mecsoft.com or call (949) 654-8163.