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Published by Yenyuri Ar Oz

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Published by: Yenyuri Ar Oz on May 31, 2012
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The decision to use CAM or not is largely dependent upon both the time and
geometry of the item to be manufactured. Often, users either already have
a CAD drawing or can rather quickly produce one to obtain any required
dimensions in which to reproduce the item. The use of CAM affords the user
to quickly yield a resulting tool path that, based on certain user-input criteria,
can be used in the physical process. The required user inputs will include, but
are not limited to, tooling used, depth per pass, plunge, and safe retraction
of the Z-axis for moves in between cuts, feed rates for both cuts, and rapid
moves, etc., all within the Cartesian coordinate system. Furthermore, all of
the aforementioned parameters are output in an order of operations such
that interior cutting functions are executed prior to peripheral operations,
allowing the part being machined to remain affixed in place.
The user may also manually produce the G code - in essence by bypassing
the use of a CAM tool. In this instance, it is the programmer's responsibility
to individually denote the order of operations that would resemble those
required to machine the same item if produced using a CAM software tool.
The process sounds straightforward; however, for large files the task can be
rather daunting. In addition, the G-code commands can either be saved into an
ASCII text format for automated controller execution, or the same commands
can be manually issued one at a time directly within the controller software
via the man data interface (MDI). When this approach is taken, it is generally
referred to as block processing.
There are yet other times when it can be advantageous to make use of
both CAM and manual programming techniques. For instance, if the same
item to be manufactured needs replication within a large sheet of material,
the programmer can often save the CAM output in a separate file naming the
file as a subroutine, thus denoting where on the sheet of material to repeat
the same cutting operation. What this achieves is to greatly reduce the overall
size of the cutting file by only providing the cutting parameters one time rather
than multiple times in multiple locations. Please note that detailed examples
demonstrating the use and operation of a main file calling a subroutine are
covered in Chapter 11.



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