G-Code verification How machining processes can be accurately simulated and verified
UK — NC programming errors can prove to be costly, if they result in damage to raw and completed material, the cutting tools or workholding system. While everyone involved with CNC machining understands the importance of checking and verifying the machining process before applying a cutting tool to the raw material, you should consider what are you really checking? More importantly what are you missing?
With multiple lines of code NC, program errors are a common cause of machine crashes and the two main sources of errors are programmer mistakes and errors introduce by the CAM system’s post-processor. For programmers and machinists the task of manually proving out a process can be a slow — checking line by line, block by block to make sure there are no errors in the program. The machine is held up, production time is occupied and the chances of missing an error that could ultimately result in a very costly crash are extremely high. Especially on complex multi axis machining systems.
An alternative to the manual prove-out or AM simulation and verification software is the use of independent third party simulation systems, such as Vericut. This independent G-Code verification software verifies post-processed G-Code instead of the CL data. This is the exact same G-Code that runs within the NC system of the machine, so the software is able to carry out a comprehensive machine simulation based on the same data that will operate the machine.
Unlike CAM verification, the machine features, components, fixtures and stock are identical to the physical process and it offers accurate feature-rich models, cylinders, cones and so on. Multiple setups are supported as cut stock is automatically transferred between set-ups in the proper orientation. All cut history is maintained from the first set-up to the second set-up and so on. This allows the user to quickly and easily identify problems, with a click of the mouse.
Measurement and inspection tools allow the user to check and verify the dimensional accuracy of cut models, something most CAM verification systems cannot do. With in-process measuring, known as X-Caliper in Vericut, cut stock can be measured at any time, including hole depths, volume removal, model thickness, air distance, diameter/radius, centre of gravity and many more.
While the Auto-Diff feature compares the CAD design model to the simulation to detect differences, gouges or excess material. This way the user can be certain that the final component precisely reflects the design intent.
Vericut not only simulates and verifies the accuracy of the machining process, it can also optimizes the G-Code by adjusting the feed rates for each cut to make the process safer, faster and more efficient. It drastically reduces cycle times so inadvertently you get faster turnaround, less out-sourcing, reduced tool breakage and longer tool life.
Simulating, verifying and optimizing the machining process with independent G-Code verification software eliminates any fear of a new NC program and reduces setup time. The checking is done during production planning before any real machining starts. So, users never waste valuable machining time and will be confident that the process will deliver accurate parts with no machine crashes, while adjusting feed rates to optimize machining time and prevent broken cutters.