Before you start CAM programming

Before you can create CNC programs you will have to make some preparations. The three essential tasks that have to be accomplished before a tool path can be computed are:

Importing a CNC machine

In order to start CNC programming a CNC machine is needed. Total Engineer can import various machine tools from XML file. To import a settings file for a machine tool go to the Machine Tool Library Explorer, select the document you work on and create a new group (right-clicking and choose Add Machine Tool Group) to organize your machines. Right-click on the created group and choose Import …. Some sample machine tools can be found in the TE installation folder – just browse the examples subdirectory. When you select the imported machine, its properties will be shown in the Machinist window.

There you can see and change the name of the machine. Besides, further information on the machine are shown like the kinematics and the control type. However, those settings cannot be changed by the user. If you need some customization regarding the machine tool (including postprocessing of the CNC code) do not hesitate to contact us.

Creating a tool

The next thing that you need in order to start programming is at least one tool. Tools can be created using Tool Library Explorer. Select the document you want to work on and create a new tool group (right-clicking and choose Add Tool Group). Right-click on the created group and choose Add Tool. Alternatively, you can also import tools. Unlike the machines, tools can be freely created and modified in TE. Thus it is possible to export and import created tools.

Select the created tool using Tool Library Explorer and adjust the parameters as shown in the picture above.

Creating process plan

Now it’s time to create a process plan. Again, select the document you want to work on, right-click and choose Add CNC Program. Now select the created program and right-click again choosing Add CNC Operation. This should create a structure as in the picture below.

Here you you can find more on how to set up your programs and program structure.

In the followings posts I explain how to create a drilling and a millturning CNC operation.

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