Bryan Carpio Felsher
Here's what I do....Say I'm programming aggresive machining with insert tools in a huge piece of steel or titanium. I program the roughing of the part. Then I post out just that one tool as an aptsource file. Then I drop the file onto an executable program I have. Here's how the executable works, and what it does...It's very, very useful and saves me TONS of time when a customer wants to make a change...this application has seriously paid for itself.
The aptsource file has just one LOADTL and it will just be the roughing usually with an insert cutter. I drop the file onto "BREAK.EXE", or call it with a batch program. It asks me for a variable of time...say 60 minutes. I also have a BREAK.CFG configuration file. The configuration file has several Macros. Reason for different macros is for different types of machines/post-processors, I may need to use different syntaxes, or I may just choose to do things differently. Anyways, at every 60 minutes of cut-time, the executable will insert, for instance, CALL/RESTR1. For this example, assume the machine has an automatic tool changer, and the tools can be loaded/unloaded from the back. Also assume I want to switch between two identical Insert tools (T1 and T2).Basically, my RESTR1 macro will retract the tool along the axis to the CLEARP, then insert a LOADTL/2. (I could just as easily call a different macro which would CLEARP/10, RETRCT, GOTO/SETPT, DISPLY/blah..blah..blah...for a manual toolchange machine). Then STOP, DISPLY/REMOVE T1 FROM CAROUSEL, DISPLY/CHANGE INSERTS AND RETURN TO CAROUSEL,DISPLY/CYCLE START WHEN READY, etc...Then, sends the tool back to the last point before the break, sets tool axis to last position and feeds back to the last point and continues with the program until the next 60 minutes, in which case it does the same thing but loads the original tool.
I'm sure I left out something, but I think you get the point. I can basically break up a tool for hard metal roughing into two identical tools at any time interval I choose. Obviously, often times, this amount of time will change, and this BEATS the HELL out of watching a timer on Vericut and manually editing tapes, or having to do it by looking at the listing file!
By the way, if anyone's interested, I don't want to pitch a sale on the Forum, but I can put you in touch with my man. He's very reasonable.
Well...this would be a nice feature in Catia for hard-metal roughing...I don't need it, but those of you without my executable might!
Trying to break up roughing with planes by time results in a crappy looking path, and takes way too long to generate the paths. I prefer to do it this way and if I'm using a canned "roughing" path, I will have just ONE MO, and don't need to worry about it if the customer changes their mind and decides the tool can run for 75 minutes instead of 60!