Alignex Blog

Getting Started with CAM: Creating a Basic Workflow

John Marks on June 13, 2019 at 11:30 AM

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The Getting Started with CAM series of videos is designed to give the basics or a starting point for using SOLIDWORKS CAM or CAMWorks. These videos are not intended to replace formal training of the software but to help you get started using these powerful and time saving features of the SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks (Computer Aided Manufacturing) Add-ins for SOLIDWORKS.  

This series helps you learn the basic steps used to generate mill toolpaths and NC code. Learning these steps in part mode is a great way to get started. We hope that you already have the knowledge on how to model basic parts with the understanding of the SOLIDWORKS environment.

 

Getting Started with CAM

These basic steps are the same for SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks.

 

Understanding the CAMWorks and SOLIDWORKS CAM interface is important.

Getting Started with CAM

Getting Started with CAM

Within the video we will walk through,

  1. Defining the machine and an overview of the options.
  2. Define stock and some of the options.
  3. Define a coordinate system.
  4. Extract Machinable features.
  5. Generate an operation plan.
  6. Simulate the tool path.

Exercise 1: Defining the Machine

Getting Started with CAM

  1. Right click and select Edit definition. From the Machine Tab, highlight the machine and then click the select button.

  2. Select the Tool Crib Tab. Select the appropriate available tool crib by highlighting and then clicking on select.

  3. Select the Post Processor Tab. Select the post processor for your machine by highlighting and clicking select.

  4. Select the Green Check to accept and exit editing.

  5. In this example, SOLIDWORKS CAM standard is being shown.

Depending on the SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional or CAMWorks bundles, along with custom Post Processors for your machine, other options may become available when editing the definition of your machine.

Exercise 2: Defining the Stock Manager

Getting Started with CAM


  1. Right click and select Edit definition.

             From the Stock Manager user interface window,

             Select the Material that is to be machined.                                     

  1. Select Bounding Box as the Stock Type
  2. Highlight the axis boxes for the three axes

Under the Bounding Box Offset.

  1. Enter .250 into the X+ and Y+. This will give you a uniform offset of a ¼ in in both the + and – direction on each axis.
  2. Select the Green Check to except and exit editing.

There will be a more detailed walkthrough of the definitions within the stock manager in a later video.

Exercise 3: Defining the Coordinate System   

Getting Started with CAM

  1. Right click and select Edit definition.
  2. Select the Stock Bounding Box.
  3. Select the back-left corner by selecting the small ball or vertex point.
  4. Select the Green Check to except and exit editing.

There will be more in-depth details in a future Coordinate System video.

A brief explanation on what the CAM system found or did not find:  

  1. Part Perimeter Feature was not found. This feature was not turned on in the CAM options. This is not on by default. The reasoning is, the system does not know how you are holding the part. This can be turned on but clamps and vise jaws need to be taken into consideration when editing the operations for the perimeter cuts.
  2. Why the Rough Mill operation did not generate tool path? The tool with the side allowance was too large to produce tool path without violating the part.

There will be a more detailed walkthrough of the editing of operations in a later video.



Thanks for checking out the Alignex blog! For more information on SOLIDWORKS CAM or CAMWorks, make sure to check out our CAM Resource Library below!

CAM Video & Resource Library

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