What Machine Simulation Can Do For You – Part 3

Build your virtual machine carefully
If you are going to use CAM-simulation, then you will need to create a model of your machines within the CAM software. Although this may sound like a daunting prospect, creating the machine model is usually quite straightforward. Mastercam makes it easier by providing an extensive library of generic multiaxis CNC machines, which can be used as a template for developing the model from your specific machine. Modeling involves inputting specific dimensions taken directly from the machine or from the OEM’s literature.

G-code simulation involves a much more extensive modeling process, which is typically done by the software provider.

Resolve post processor issues
The post processor is intermediate software that translates code generated by the CAM software into G and M code that is understood by a specific CNC machine. CAM software is shipped with generic post processors that must be tweaked to satisfy a myriad of machine specific options. The user can optimize his post processor so that his machine will behave as desired (and provide accurate simulations) by working through documentation provided by the post processor vendor and activating or deactivating various “switches” in the post. Or it may be faster and more satisfying in the long run to hire an expert to install and clean up the posts.

In either case, machine simulation will only provide good results if you have a clean post.

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