The Post-Processor Decoded!


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MecSoft is proud to announce the new Post-Processor Decoded Guide. Many of you have specifically asked that we write a comprehensive and easy to follow guide on how the PPG (Post-Processor Generator) operates. This guide is included in the CAMJam Self Training archive, available to all MecSoft users who are active on their Annual Maintenance Subscription (AMS). Click here to learn how to download CAMJam.

What’s Inside

This guide teaches you about the Post-Processor Generator (PPG) and post-processor definition files and how they are used to format and control the out output of your G-Code files. We start with a basic example part that utilizes 12 of the 15 PPG sections, including Tool Changes, Circle/Helical Interpolation, Cutter Compensation and Canned Cycles. We then post a sample G-Code file and color-code every line with the PPG section that controls it! You will also learn about the macros and variables used by each section of the PPG for the sample G-Code and post.

You will learn about Cutter Compensation, the correct steps needed to implement it bot in MecSoft CAM and in your CNC controller.

The 2½ Axis Profiling toolpath has a Clockwise spindle direction, a Climb Cut Direction, Cutter Compensation enabled and arc motion loops at each corner.

You will learn how to post Arc motions in your G-Code for increased accuracy, smaller G-Code files, increased performance and less wear and tear on your CNC machine. This guide also teaches you about the I,J,K Arc format, how it is calculated and how to read it on your G-Code files.

How arc motions are defined for our sample.

You will also learn about helical motions and how they differ from Arc in the posted G-Code. How to make sure Arcs and Helical motions are being posted in your G-Code (G02 and G03) and also where to go in MecSoft CAM to control their format.

The 2½ Axis Hole Profiling toolpath has a Clockwise spindle direction and a Convention (Up Cutting) Cut Direction. Two full 360 degree helical motions are created. At the bottom of the hole profile two 180 degree arc motions are defined.

The guide does not stop there! You will even learn about canned cycles and specifically how to implement the G83 Deep Drill cycle and each of the variables that are assigned to the various Cut Parameters you see in the Drilling operation dialog. 

The Drill toolpath is set to Deep Drill (G83) and has an Approach Distance of 0.1 and a Step Increment of 0.1. Add Tool tip to Drill Depth makes the total drill depth 0.32 (shown on the G83 line) when the stock is only 0.25.

Want More?

How about learning about every PPG variable that was used to post the G-Code for these three sample toolpath operations and where the variable value was derived from!

Here is the complete Table of Contents:

What is a Post-Processor?
What is the Post-Processor Generator (PPG)?
PPG Variables & Macros
Decoding a Sample G-Code File
        The Setup & Post Processor
        The Sample Toolpaths
        The Posted Setup G-Code File
        The 2½ Axis Profiling Operation G-Code
        The 2½ Axis Hole Profiling Operation G-Code
        The Deep Drilling Operation G-Code
The Post-Processor Generator Dialog
        PPG > General
        PPG > Start/End
        PPG > Tool Change
        PPG > Setup
        PPG > Spindle
        PPG > Feed Rate
        PPG > Motion
        PPG > Circle
        PPG > Helical/Spiral
        PPG > Multi Axis Motion
        PPG > Cutter Compensation
        PPG > Cut Motion Start/End
        PPG > Cycles
        PPG > Misc
        PPG > Variables

Download the Resource files

As an annual MecSoft AMS subscriber you can download the source files for this guide as part of your CAMJam 2019 training archive package. It includes the sample part file with geometry and three machining MOps pre-defined in VisualCAD/CAM, RhinoCAM, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS and AlibreCAM.
Here is the complete source file list includes:

  • The part file and Toolpaths in *.vcp format (VisualCAD/CAM)
  • The part file and Toolpaths in *.3dm format (RhinoCAM for Rhino 6)
  • The part file and Toolpaths in *.sld_prt format (VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS)
  • The part file and Toolpaths in *.AD_PRT format ( AlibreCAM)
  • The Tool Library and Knowledge Base Files in vkb format.
  • The sample haas-blog.spm post definition file.
  • The sample G-Code file illustrated in this guide.

 More about MecSoft CAM Products

For more information about each of these Mill Module products, including data sheets, videos and other resources we invite you to visit the following product pages:

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Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse is an Application Engineer with MecSoft Corporation. Don brings over 20 years of experience in CAD/CAM operations in both automotive and mold design applications. Don also has extensive experience in documenting CAD/CAM products and is actively involved with writing the on-line help as well as creating training tutorials for MecSoft's products.

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