With Prospector you don't need to spend more money and add another step in the NC programming process for a separate NC verification program. Analysis of the programs and simulation is all part of the complete solution Prospector offers.
High Speed Machining
Cutter path is double checked for cases where any high speed machining option(s) are invoked that would change
the CL data. For example if you choose to fit circular arcs where possible to smooth the path, the resulting
CL data is checked once more to ensure that the newly fit arcs don't gouge the part of cause a collision.
2D Program Verification
2D programs are checked for the same issues as 3D programs when you work with 3D part data.
Gouge and Stock Collision Detection
Failsafe Programming: Solving The Problems That Keep Shop Owners Awake At Night
Under no circumstances will Prospector allow a program be sent to a machine without first checking the program for
part gouges and collisions of the tool assembly with stock.
Prospector rigorously enforces strict verification of all cutter paths created in Prospector, edited in Prospector or imported from another
CAM system. Every program is checked against the 3D part data to determine if the path is free of gouges. Next the program checks the tool
assembly (holder, adapter, spindle...) for any possible collisions with stock. Until these verifications steps are performed, the operator
can not run the program on the machine tool because the post processing function is disabled until the program
Program generation in Prospector consists of 2 separate phases:
Generate the program by running as NC cutter path generator as separate thread(s) in the background.
Analyze the cutter path created in step 1 to update the remaining stock model to
reflect the effect of the program and simultaneously check
for gouge and stock collisions.
The important point to understand about this process is that the NC engine that generates the cutter path has absolutely nothing to do
with the verification of it. The verification process is done by an entirely different subsystem. In other words, the NC engine that
generated the cutter path doesn't check it's own work.
Finding & Fixing Problem Programs
The state of every program in the project is marked with a graphic
symbol to the left of the program as it appears in the project tree control. These symbols lets you see at a glance what the status
is of every program in the project. Of particular importance are these 2 symbols:
A green ball indicates the program has been inspected by
Prospector and does not gouge the part or collide with stock. It is ready to be post-processed and run on the machine. Green means good-to-go.
This program gouge symbol indicates that this program will either
gouge the part or cause a stock collision. This is a definite no-go until the issue is identified and rectified.
When a problem is detected, the features in Prospector helps can help you answer these questions:
What is the problem? Is it a part data gouge? A collision with stock?
What is the severity of the problem? By how much does is violate the part geometry?
Where is the problem? You will need to see exactly where on the cutter path the issue
occurred in order to take remedial action.
The Program / Inspect feature presents a dialog to help you understand what is wrong with the program:
Each entry in the dialog presents problem in a clear and concise manner:
Is this a collision of the tool or tool assembly with stock or a part data gouge?
How bad did the tool gouge the stock?
Where exactly in the cutter path is each problem?
Clicking on any entry in the dialog graphically places the tool at the point in the cutter path where the next motion gouges:
In many cases, the Select Points feature can be used to mark the offending locations in the cutter path. Once selected, the points can
be moved to correct the problem.
In the case of a stock collision, changing your tool assembly to use a longer extension can be tried to correct the problem. The
verification feature lets you experiment with different assemblies to find the optimal choice for any program.
For shop owners and operators alike, the full-time gouge and stock collision feature of Prospector provides peace of mind that costly
accidents just can't happen.
Checking Programs Created by Foreign CAM Systems
Prospector has the unique ability to import NC programs from other CAM systems. Once imported, the same verification process can be
performed against these programs to check for problems. Once a file is imported, it can be verified, edited, assigned a tool assembly
and post processed just as if the program had been generated by Prospector. Prospector can import the
following cutter path data files:
.nci - NCI files are ASCII format files output by Mastercam®.
.pt - APT data files are ASCII format and can be generated by WorkNC, Cimatron, ProEngineer, Surfcam, Tebis, CATIA, Vericut
and other popular CAM vendors.
.clf & .cl - CL data files are a binary format and typically conform the ISO standard.
If you're current CAM system has you unnerved, Prospector
can be the solution to finding and fixing problem programs before they start costing you big money.