At Lewis Pump (St, Louis, MO) round cast pump body workpieces frequently require complex fixtures to assure that the part is held securely and that the tool can reach all of the machined features in a single set-up. However, these unique fixture designs can create obstructions to creating optimal toolpaths.
Manufacturing Engineer Fred Frees creates 4-axis manufacturing programs for parts like these in Mastercam For SOLIDWORKS. Because this model environment includes both SOLIDWORKS CAD and Mastercam CAM, he can work back and forth between them as needed.
Using Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS, Frees creates the CNC Toolpaths with the part still in the fixture. Then he uses Mastercam’s simulation features, Backplot and Verify to check clearances and material removal. If there are clearance and tool presentation issues, he uses Mastercam to make holding fixture modifications that he sends back to engineering for approval.
Once these recommendations are approved, he can finish the part programming simply by modifying a few sections in the Mastercam program that had clearance issues without having to backtrack and write large sections of program due to lost associativity.