Tag Archives: Turning

Blower Wheel Machining with TopSolid 7


In this 7 step video series, you will learn how to machine a blower wheel within TopSolid 7.  This will include preparing your cad data, defining your stock model, selection of a machine, adding a fixture, and adding your MPS file to cut.  From there, you learn how to use Turning to machine as much as possible prior to moving on to 4 axis continuous roughing and semi finishing.  Lastly we will cover a few different types of 5 axis finishing.  Oh and don’t forget that you will also learn a lot of tips and tricks along the way too!

Prepare Data for Blower Wheel

Create an MPS document for the blower wheel in TopSolidIn this sample, we are assuming that the first operation has been completed by someone else.  So you will need to create a stock model that is representative of that. In Step 1, we will focus on building a custom assembly so that you can define your stock correctly.

In all reality, you have two choices here. You can create the custom stock directly within a MPS file (Machine Part Setup), or you can do it within an assembly file.

If you choose to use a MPS file, the creation of this custom stock will be tied to that MPS file.  This means that in the parametric world that is TopSolid, the birth of this custom stock block will be tied to the existence of the MPS file.  Now if this is a simple, one off part then this method works well. However if there is a chance that you might use this stock model another way, it is better to use an assembly first. Besides, if you start with an assembly, you will have more freedom as to how you design the stock model.  The video below will show you how to build the assembly first and then how to use it within a Machine Part Setup Document.

Setup the machine

Like in every real job, you have choices to make.  You need to select a machine to run a job on…choose fixturing and tooling and of course you need to setup the machine.  In TopSolid, it’s no different.  In TopSolid, we always start with machine selection.  It is a critical part of the manufacturing process that will affect how you hold the part and how many setups are required to machine the part. In this sample, we will choose a DMG CTX Beta 1250 TC to machine our blower wheel.

Select a machine for the Blower Wheel project in TopSolidIn Step 2, you will start by creating a new, empty machining document.  From there you will use the “select a machine” command to browse to and select the CTX Beta.  After TopSolid loads the machine definition, your next step will be to select and add the correct chuck and jaw combination.  In this case, you will browse to a sample chuck library and choose the 3 jaw Rohm chuck.  You will use standard windows drag-n-drop to include the chuck into the machining file.  Next you will use standard TopSolid constraint positioning methodologies to position the chuck.  Play close attention to the fact that the jaws on the chuck move in and out according to the stroke of that specific chuck as well! Continue reading Blower Wheel Machining with TopSolid 7

Step 3 – Programming a Multus U3000 – B Axis turning with TopSolid

Using the U3000 B-Axis to turn with

In the third video of this 25-video series on programming a Multus U3000 with TopSolid, you will learn how to use the B-Axis of the Multus U3000 to continue roughing the part.  As always, you will begin by selecting the geometry to machine.  From there you will select a neutral style turning tool that is mounted on the B-Axis of the machine.  Once you have the geometry and the tool selected you will learn how to set the B-Axis angle of the turret.  Finally, you will learn how to re-use the cutting conditions from the first operation by simple drag-n-drop.

Smarter Software with fantastic visualizations

TopSolid checks the insert angles for use with the U3000One of the first things that should be pointed out is that machine simulation and tool simulation are much more than just pretty pictures on the screen.  During this step, play close attention to the preview of the tool path based on the orientation of the neutral tool selected. You will see that TopSolid always is checking both the forward and the back angle of the insert based on the orientation of the tool and the angular solution of the B-Axis.  This is done automatically and in real time so that you are always sure to have the most accurate tool path possible.

Setting the B-Axis angle

Set the U3000 B-Axis angle in TopSolidWhen working with a machine like the Multus U3000 from Okuma, it is critical to understand what the machine can and more importantly cannot do.  It is crucial that you know that the machine is going to do exactly what you tell it to do.  In this example, you will learn how to set the B-Axis of the machine to be at 45 degrees.  What’s cool is that as you tell TopSolid to set the axis to that condition, TopSolid listens to you in real time and updates the graphic on the screen to reflect the change.  This way you are sure that you have entered the information correctly!

The simplicity of re-usability

Drag-N-Drop in TopSolid makes programming the U3000 even easier!One of the key development points behind TopSolid was re-usability. And TopSolid takes this to an entire new level.  In this video, you will learn how to reuse the cutting conditions from the first operation by simply dragging and dropping the first operation onto the cutting conditions button of the new operation.  The simplicity of this action is fantastic as the complexity of what’s actually happening is enormous!  When you drag-n-drop an operation onto one of the specific operation buttons, the software automatically copies all common parameters over to the new operation. In the case of cutting conditions this can be 10-15 parameters that get copied.  However, try doing this on other operations. For example, take an existing operation and drag-n-drop it onto the settings button of the new operation.  And presto!  All the common variables are now copied over!

Setting the correct driven point for a U3000

Set Driven point accurately for U3000 with TopSolidWhen working on a mill/turn machine like the U3000, it is important that you understand how to define the correct driven point for your turning tool when you are working on the B-Axis turret.  In the case where the B-Axis is either vertical or horizontal, you can use the standard driven points of the tool. However, if the turret is at an angle outside of vertical or horizontal, you will need to do some additional work to set the point correctly.

In this step, you will learn how to do exactly that. It will start by duplicating the TopSolid driven point.  From there you will activate the duplicate and the choose to rotate the point.  This is the key element here…the rotation of the driven point.  Because of TopSolid’s ability to offer this, you can affectively drive almost any tool from any angular solution with relative ease.

Reviewing what you’ve learned

In this video, you want to pay close attention to a couple of key elements. First, the dynamic simulation of the B-Axis.  Any change you make to the orientation of the B-Axis or even the orientation of the cutting tool is dynamically displayed to you in real time. This eliminates guess work on your side and also costly mistakes.

You should also pay attention to the simplicity of how you can reuse cutting conditions from a previous operation.  It’s just simple drag-n-drop!

Finally, spend some time practicing how you set the driven point of the tool. When you use custom B-Axis angles, this is a critical step to understand.

Not yet a TopSolid user and interested in experiencing it for yourself? Sign up for a 30-day trial.

Looking forward…and backward

Did you go through the previous step?  If not, no worries…click here!

Are you ready for the next step?  Awesome…click here!

Step 2 – Programming Multus U3000 – Turn front face with TopSolid

Create your First U3000 Tool Path

In the second video of this 25-video series on programming a Multus U3000 with TopSolid, you will learn how to use the lower turret of the Multus U3000 to turn down the front face of the part. To do this, you will start by selecting the face to machine with the left mouse button.  Then you will right mouse click and choose Roughing from the Turning section of the contextual menu.   Once you get into the operation for rough turning, you will need to select your tool and set your cutting conditions.

Selecting a tool from the U3000 lower turret

Tool selection in TopSolid'Cam for the U3000To select the tool that you want to use, you need to click on the Tool icon from the operation icon bar.  Next, it is important that you select the turret where you want to select the tool from. In this samples case, it will be the lower turret.  Once you are viewing the lower turret, you can choose the appropriate tool by selecting the check box to the left of the tool number you wish to use.  In this sample, all the tooling is pre-loaded on the Multus U3000 Machining template.  This way, the common tools that are usually found on your machine are easy to use because they are already there!

Setup the rest of the operation for the U3000

Set Feeds And Speeds in TopSolid for the U3000Now that you have your tool selected, it is time to setup the rest of the operation.  In this first operation, you will use the Quick Settings Balloon to modify the depth of cut and the stock to leave.  As TopSolid is a fully certified Windows application, this can be done by just double left clicking on the field to modify.  If you pay close attention to the preview of the tool path, you will see that everything you change dynamically updates on the screen.

From there you will click on the Feeds & Speeds button in the operation navigation bar.  Once the dialog box is open, you will modify the settings to use constant surface feet. Once this is activated you will set the appropriate surface feet, chip load and finally the max RPM for the spindle.

Reviewing what you’ve learned

In this video, you want to pay close attention to the simplicity of how you create the tool path.  There are three main points to remember when creating any tool path in TopSolid.  You must:

  • Select an operation type
  • Select a cutting tool
  • Set Feeds & Speeds
  • Select geometry to machine
  • Tweak operation settings

That’s all that is required!  What’s even more impressive is that every single tool path command has the same requirements and the same way of being applied.  So really, once you practice a bit, you should be able to apply any tool path operation that your machine can handle!

Not yet a TopSolid user and interested in experiencing it for yourself? Sign up for a 30-day trial.

Looking forward…and backward

Did you go through the previous step?  If not, no worries…click here!

Are you ready for the next step?  Awesome…click here!

Cam Tips & Tricks: Setting the driven point for a turning tool

TopSolid Getting Started tutorial logoProgramming a turning center should be relatively easy to deal with. After all, there’s only two axes of motion. But what happens, when you add more capabilities to the machine? For example, what if we add a Y axis for milling? Or What if we replace the standard turret by a B-Axis turret that can rotate to any angular solution you desire? It is here that we will start our discussion.
As soon as you have a turning tool in your B axis head at an angle other than Vertical or Horizontal, programming can a bit more difficult. Why? This is because now you have to take into consideration where the driven point of the turning tool is while at the specified B axis angle.topsolidcam-driven-points
For many cam software’s, this is very difficult to manage. They may even tell you it’s impossible to do or too costly to develop.
Thankfully you use TopSolid. You use a CAD/CAM solution that understands manufacturing.
In this video, you will be introduced to how simple it really is to define the correct driven point of your turning tool…regardless of the angle you set your B axis too! Moreover you will see that with every change you make to the driven points, the tool path will update dynamically to show you the result of your change.
The dynamic nature of TopSolid helps you to visualize the result in real time. Being able to do this helps to empower you to program complex machines like this with total confidence. And after all…isn’t that why you purchased your Cad/Cam solution to start with?

TopSolid: Making the programming of a Mazak Integrex look easy!

TopSolid makes everything easier!
TopSolid makes everything easier!

Programming a B-Axis Mill Turn machine can be difficult. But if you are using the right tool, maybe it doesn’t have to be. With TopSolid, you have a product that really understands what these machines can do. Moreover you have a product that makes it easy to get these types of machines cutting. This video is a teaser of a new series that I am developing. That new series will show you step by step how to program a Mazak Integrex like this with TopSolid. Enjoy the video…and Buy TopSolid! 🙂