If you are working on CNC machining, especially 4-axis to 5-axis machining, the red button is the last thing you want to press on, as it means there is something wrong in set-ups and you need to find out the problems before restarting machining. The results can be a waste of raw materials, production cycle time and even machine tools, undermining the production efficiency and reliability. Seldom manufacturers can bear it in today’s fierce market competition.
Figure 1. The red button to stop the running machine
Thus, the “perfect” machining process becomes the goal of most manufacturers — no waste of raw materials, no crash, no reprogramming. The operator pushes the green button and the workpiece is finished smoothly and efficiently. Is there a tool to make this happen? YES, that’s Full Machine Simulation. One more good news to ZW3D users is that now, you can have it in ZW3D 2020! Today, I am going to unveil this technology to you.
What is Full Machine Simulation?
Full Machine Simulation is the verification tool used to simulate the motion of the whole machine including the spindle, the table, the clamp, etc., inspect the risks which can happen during the machining process, like rapid clashes, gouging, and comprehensive collision on machine parts, and calculate the cycle time. Take a look at the video to see how it works.
Why do we need Full Machine Simulation?
You might ask: as we have already verified the toolpaths in programming, why do we need to verify again? Next, I am going to share with you the advantages of Full Machine Simulation.
1. It is conducted based on G codes. Though, most machining problems, including toolpath errors such as rapid traversing into the materials or excessive feed rate, as well as possible clashes can be detected in the very early stage by verification tools before generating G codes. However, same errors may happen after that. At this time, Full Machine Simulation can act as dual insurance before actual machining.
2. It simulates the motion of the whole machine by machine kinematics, including the spindle, the table, the clamp, and other parts of the machine, so that you can clearly preview the machining process, to know how every part of the machine moves in each step, and inspect the possible collision between parts.
3. It enables you to “foresee” and avoid machining errors. For example, you can set a machine travel limit to detect over travels or set tolerance range for part deviation to inspect whether there are rest materials which cannot be machined.
Figure 2. Set tolerance range for part deviation
Full machine simulation can help you ensure product manufacturability, control the risks of machining so as to protect operators and machine tools, and reduce the loss of raw materials, which all finally contribute to high-quality products.
How to use Full Machine Simulation in ZW3D 2020?
Reading so far, I believe you must understand what benefits Full Machine Simulation can bring us. Next, I want to show you how to use Full Machine Simulation in ZW3D 2020. It’s just a piece of cake for you.
Step 1: Build the machine library. You can build machine models in the ZW3D CAD module or use your own models in STL format. Then, import machine models into Machine Library and set the kinematic chain via Machine Builder command. ZW3D also offers some typical CNC machines including 3 axis, 4 axis and 5 axis.
Figure 3. Import machine models
Step 2: Choose the machine model. Click Full Machine Simulation command and select a customized CNC machine after outputting its NC file.
Figure 4. Click Full Machine Simulation command and select the machine
Step 3: Load the tools and work assembly including fixtures, parts and stocks, and define the original point of the workpiece.
Figure 5. Load tools and work assembly and set the original point
Step 4: Run the machine simulation. The simulation and verification are based on the G codes output from ZW3D, which makes the simulation more reliable.
Figure 6. Run the simulation
Full Machine Simulation is one of the most anticipated functions in ZW3D 2020, providing the second safeguard to machining. But nothing is omnipotent, so does it. How operators place the workpiece and run the machine also matters.
That’s all I want to share with you today. I believe you can’t wait to try such a “magic” tool. Why not download ZW3D 2020 now and have a try. Welcome your comments and see you next time.