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CNC Machine Simulation

Full Machine Simulation

Modern offline programming software can accurately simulate the movement of the full CNC machine

Advantages of machine simulation:


Collision avoidance


Avoid out of limits


Faster Cycle Times

CNC machine Simulation advantages

  • Simulation can flag up problems before the programs reach the machines leading to better reliability.
  • Simulation will show up collisions between the cutter and the part being machined or any of the moving or stationary parts of the machine.
  • Simulation will show if the program is trying to move the machine beyond it’s range of movement.
  • Simulation allows the programmer to try different strategies to choose the most efficient toolpaths, leading to faster cycle times.

Machine Simulation for Multi-Axis

Machine simulation is essential for multi-axis programming. We always create a virtual machine for our customers with multi-axis machines.
There is far more danger from collisions with this type of machine. So being having the programming software be able to automatically detect interference between all the moving parts of the machine is essential.

Apart from collision avoidance, the ability to visualise the position of the machine parts and the angle of the cutter relative to the workpiece is hugely beneficial. Especially when working in deep areas of the machined part.

The picture shows a 5 axis machine with an asymmetrical head. This can be especially tricky as the head clearance is completely different from one side to the other. Being able to visualise the head position in real time while programming is critical as there is always two possible rotary positions of the head for any given cutter vector.




Machine Simulation for High Volume

Typically, high volume parts are produced on machines where the 4th & 5th axis movements are provided by table rotations and tilts. This enables the head to remain very rigid, as on a 3axis machine. Machine rigidity means larger cutters, deeper cuts and faster feed rates can be used.

Collision avoidance is equally important for these types of machines. Especially when the table is able to tilt. Without simulation it would be very difficult to judge if the table, fixtures, vice, or workpiece could come in contact with the cutter, chuck or head.

Some of these machines also have different travel limitations depending on which way the table is tilting, so the ability to automatically detect if the program is instructing the CNC machine to travel to a position that is outside of it’s limits is extremely useful.



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