Solid Edge for Manufacturing, Guitar Die Corner Rounds

Here is the first actual part in this series. But before I go on there are some important comments I need to make.

First off I do not represent myself as an expert and what I show is how this user with his knowledge does things. There may be better ways to do this and if so and you know this better way I encourage you to share it here.  One of the things I want to promote here is the exchange of knowledge in the hopes that by the end of the day each of us will be a bit better at what we do. I know how ZW3D and Solid Edge work but don’t really know how other CAD programs work in depth as an actual user and so I am not going to try to make point by point comparisons with them. You guys know how your stuff works and you can watch how I work and draw your own conclusions about what is more efficient.

There are other CAD and CAM integrated programs out there so this idea is nothing new. What IS new with this integration of SE and “Camworks” (HEY, I saw it by name on Novedge today from a Solid Edge guy so I can say it too right?!) is the power of the synergism of Synchronous Tech direct editing and Camworks with its own class leading time-saving capabilities. The combination of the two is going to create I believe the most powerful and efficient mid-range MCAD and CAM integration in the market place.  I have played with it and I have seen the tool paths and later this week and next week I will be cutting parts with it. And yes for those of you who wonder how I can tell what cutting will be like the tool path generation gives you a very concise prediction tool here and it all looks really good. In addition to this we have proven capabilities where this program of Camworks is integrated with another CAD program and these carry over in full plus some to Solid Edge. By the way, one of the interesting things I have heard is that integration between Solid Edge and Camworks is better than that of Camworks and Solid Works. This is because per someone who told me and who is in a position to know that the Solid Edge guys have made every effort to support integration and have fully opened up the API to Geometric to work with whereas Solid Works has not. In a short period of time the Geometric Cam integration will be best done for Camworks inside of Solid Edge.

I am tremendously excited about this whole thing and just wish I could invite all of you over to watch. After the SEU2013 convention (you are signed up aren’t you? ) I will be able to share as time permits video of how it all works out on YouTube.

For the next month I am really busy between beta testing and SEU2013 and work orders that had to arrive in the middle of all this so I won’t get as much out there as I want to. Of course during SEU2013 I will have some updates if they are not covered already at length elsewhere and my impressions about the new goodies and future direction in any case.

In the mean time here we have a common problem. This one I made myself with a .125 radius inside corner in various places in the part I applied without thinking because I was in a hurry. After cutting the first one I discover that both a .25″ ball end mill and a .25″ x .03R bull nose end mill have the same issue of chatter because of loading up the end mill as it dives into a same diameter corner. Now you can do things like slow the feed rate down as it goes into the corner but high-speed machining was meant to give you quick times to produce parts. Having to significantly slow things down in corners partially defeats this. Substituting a smaller end mill can work sometimes but it too brings it’s own set of problems especially when you have to reach this deep into a part cavity.  We all know this type of design problem is one of the favorite things engineers or designers who don’t cut love to do. Even if you are an experienced machinist and CAD guy these things happen so quick and easy on the spot remediation with part editing is a wonderful solution. Oh, did I forget to mention that I don’t have to worry about where the part came from?

Now you don’t get to see the CAM stuff here but you can see how I address this corner round problem with this part.  There are relationships in the .25″ corners that make editing difficult or impossible if you just grab the corner round and try.  So the first steps are those that involve isolating the features we wish to change. Remember that deleting features to get at what you want is one of the nice things about ST. What you can remove swiftly you can re-apply just as swiftly so the mind set you history only based guys have about what to do here is old hat. This will work just as well on imported parts by the way. As you will see in the video once the rounds are isolated it is easy to change to .13″ radius, re-apply removed features and go from there.  Of course as you may imagine since we now have integration I bet we also might have associative tool path regeneration. Ain’t life grand 🙂

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