This won’t be a long post today but it will be one I have wanted to make for a couple of months now. It revolves around a topic dear to me and that is just how does your software supplier of choice vet what he does before you see it. Privileged information will drive you nuts sometimes as there are cool things you know but have been asked to not talk about. It is the price you pay to be taken into confidence.
Autodesk is a paradox to me in this regard. They are an odd mix of things to talk about and then not doing so. One of these is just how do they determine that the code for HSM is improving and worthwhile? I don’t know how many actual chip cutting users they keep in contact with who do testing and then report back. On the Inventor side of things it is a bit fledgling so the community in all it’s aspects is not quite in place yet. I believe that in the next few months it will be so up to and including the regular almost weekly at times updates the SW HSM guys have been getting for years now. And I expect the increasing participation of users in the soon to be regularly scheduled beta releases and in feedback from actual achieved results in the field.
I am fascinated with the concept of High Speed Machining. Even though it has been in use here for over a year it still seems a bit magical when it is set up and cut loose. Things have to be right though when doing this because at these speeds and feeds every problem from eccentric tool holding and unbalanced tool holders to software algorithms is amplified and proper conditions make the difference between success and failure. Since Al W was so kind as to mention “The Spike” in the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnusVpKip4 I figure I can talk about one of the tools used by HSM and Autodesk to verify the validity of what they are doing with the Adaptive and other I assume tool paths in HSM. Information on the spike is found at http://www.pro-micron.de/en/products/sensory-tool-holder-spike/ I would have to think there must be some equipment somewhere they might be using this Spike on to so I would conjecture a machine lab of some sort or at the least access to machines somewhere here in the states where they verify the software with chips.
If what I have observed in person in my shop is any indication, and I have both current versions of Volumill and HSM to play with so I can form a pretty good idea of real results, HSM is winning the high speed machining AND the ease of use war. These people are serious about what they do and make real efforts to put field tested productive tools into your hands.