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A faster way to set stock for parts

[ Edited ]


I'm currently trying to figure out a faster way to setup my stock for my parts. 95% of the time my initial process is the same, which I'll show in the video I'm posting with this comment. Keep in mind that I know or have set stock dimensions to work with. I try to keep the part centered in this stock in the X and Y directions. I add .010" to the top of the part for a facemill finish pass. The bottom offset depends on the thickness of the material I can get from the vendor.


The big take aways are:

1) I know the stock size I'm working with

2) I keep the part centered in the stock in the X and Y directions

3) I add .01" to the top for a finish facemill pass

4) I connect my MCS to stock box 


Is there a faster or better way to do this than what I show in my video? 


P.S sorry for the background noises. We are a machine shop after all.




Re: A faster way to set stock for parts


I would first like to address your problem with bounding block not orienting to your MCS. The reason is because your workpiece geometry is located above the MCS and therefore has no MCS to inherit so it uses the absolute coordinate system. If you move the workpiece under any of those MCS's your have in the tree, the bounding block offsets will move in the direction you intend.


However, from what I see about your workflow in the video I still think you may have an issue using Bounding Block instead of Bounding Body because of the dimensioning you place on the created stock model. Currently, Bounding Block does not create an object you can do something with such as place dimensions on, it's all internal to the workpiece. This is why Bounding Body is being developed.


I think you can still use Bounding Body in the manner in which you desire though. Did you know that the small conical arrows on the faces of the Bounding Body are dynamic and allow you to create an offset for each side? Try it. Begin creating the Bounding Body then find those arrows in the graphics window. Drag one of them out or just click on it and specify the distance. Let me know if this helps.

Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

That makes perfect sense with the bounding block non orientating to my part the way I thought it would. Never even thought of that. The issue I have with the bounding block method is first, I can't use in to attack a MCS too. Second I still have to do that math to keep the part centered in the stock. All while not keeping the part centered in the Z (my .01 Face pass for finishing.)

You mentioned Bounding Body being developed, is this something new?

Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

Bounding Body is a modeling feature, that is available from within CAM:

bounding body in CAM.jpg

The workflow is to create this first, then locate your MCS relative to the solid. For example at u.5 v.5 on the top face of the block. Be sure to set the dialog to "More" to see all the options.

There are also vb and grip programs that do this. I would invest in an API program that does exactly what you want.

The attached grip program is an old example to give you the idea. Run it and pick your part. It will create a CSYS you can select for MCS. Inthe workpiece, when selecting blank, enter the name "BLANK". I would do something like this, but use the new bounding body feature.


Mark Rief
Retired Siemens

Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

Hi Mark, do you know of an API that would do what I'm trying to do?


Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

[ Edited ]

Imperial wrote:
Hi Mark, do you know of an API that would do what I'm trying to do?


I have a few samples using the basic block, but I don't know for which I have the author's permission to distribute. Attached is one that will make a block using a vb journal that may be a good starting point.

Going forward, I would use the new bounding body, which is ToolingBoxBuilder in the API. To get an idea of what is possible, record a journal, create a bounding body and set all the parameters. Stop recording and edit the journal vb file and you'll see how the code works.

For more help, I would search and ask for more help in the Programming and Customization forum.


Mark Rief
Retired Siemens

Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

It should be possible to just use the regular associativity that objects are able to create on their own, so there would be no API needed.

  1. A MCS can be associative to a datum CSYS
  2. A datum CSYS can be associative to a control point of a line
  3. A line can be associative to two corner points of a bounding body
  4. A bounding body can be associative to the body of a linked body

This way no API is needed and if the source of the linked body changes, everything referenced to it will change too.

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Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

Maybe a better way would be to do the same method that I'm doing right now but somehow add something to the offset formulas.
Something like:
(VariableStockSizeX - PartStockSizeX) / 2. For stock in the X directions
(VariableStockSizeY - PartStockSizeY) / 2. For stock in the Y directions
For the top stock I just offset the bounding body by .01
(VariableStockSizeZ - PartStockSize + .01). For my bottom offset.

Are there ways to add Custom Formulas to the formulas sheet that I'll be able to select and fill out?


Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

I think you will end up doing what you are doing, but with a journal.

I would rely on the bounding body to center the block about the part. with the size rounding set to .25 the sizes come out to what you show. Then you could offset the top to .010 off the part, and the bottom a larger nominal size.

Finally watched the movie... When you position the MCS to the block, I don't understand why the Z is sideways. Did you get in to the CSYS oreintation for IPW flow? I was not sure. 

Mark Rief
Retired Siemens

Re: A faster way to set stock for parts

Yes, Jkane posted the solution at the top as to why the csys was sideways. I haven't tested it though because I never setup my parts with that method.


As far as journals, I have never worked with them. Are they fairly straight forward to setup?

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