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CAD/CAM

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Newbie

CAD/CAM

We've been using Creo and Windchill for several years and have a pretty good handle on using them for concepts and design.   Now we'd like to extend them to manufacturing our robot.  

We have access to CNC machines, plasma cutters, laser cutters, and more in our local FabLab.   But we're new to exporting 3D CAD data to tools like MasterCAM or as lines and curves for our plasma cutter.   Does Creo do any of this natively or do we need to export in some format and then import into other tools?

Rande Johnson

FRC4931

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1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
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Re: CAD/CAM

Yes, you have the ability to create an NC Assembly in your Schools edition software. I don't have the link handy, but I have done at least 1 or 2 RoboTALK sessions on Creo NC in the past. If you want to expand that out to more sophisticated mfg applications, you'll need to request a University license from the PTC FIRST team which will come with the post processor you'll need to create G-code for the specific machine you want to communicate with.

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5 REPLIES 5
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Re: CAD/CAM

PTC does sell CNC products, but there is a lot of work to set them up, just like there was for MasterCAM. Since the set up is unique for each set of tools to be supported it makes sense that PTC would not want to be in a position to support every educational installation for free.

The main advantage to keeping models within PTC products is that the programming that is done on a part is not lost when a change is made, such as if a hole is moved, the NC module will update the tool paths to accommodate the change. This is of particular advantage on very complex parts.

The main advantage to using dedicated CAM software in a lab environment is that experience with that piece of software is applicable to any CAD that can generate a file it can import, which is handy. Rather than making learning and adapting the CNC for Solidworks and the CNC for Inventor and the CNC for Catia and the CNC for Creo and the CNC for ... a requirement to support the lab.

Highlighted

Re: CAD/CAM

Yes, you have the ability to create an NC Assembly in your Schools edition software. I don't have the link handy, but I have done at least 1 or 2 RoboTALK sessions on Creo NC in the past. If you want to expand that out to more sophisticated mfg applications, you'll need to request a University license from the PTC FIRST team which will come with the post processor you'll need to create G-code for the specific machine you want to communicate with.

View solution in original post

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Re: CAD/CAM

Great, I'll look for those old Robotalk sessions and see how it works out.   We were just finding the effort to get it into MasterCAM a little challenging (learning curve) and also liked the idea dschenken mentioned above: keep it all within the same set of tools.   We'll keep playing.

In the meantime, how about converting to 2D lines and curves for a plasma cutter?   Right now we're exporting to DXF, and importing into the FabLab's Rhino software and removing the 3D artifacts manually.   Is there an easier way to do this?

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Re: CAD/CAM

Create a drawing of the desired model at 1:1 scale and save as DXF. This will create a 2D DXF which will be much easier to work with in the CAM software.

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Re: CAD/CAM

That worked beautifully, with no translations required.   We did have to watch a few steps though:

  • Turn off the format display (and remove any artifacts that are not removed)
  • Make sure all extrudes in the part are done in the same plane
  • Put part in lower left part of our drawing (that matched the home position our plasma cutter is expecting)
  • Export as DXF with no splines (again, a requirement of our cutter)

This will make part creation & fabrication MUCH faster and easier.

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