Hello fellow NX users.
We have few problems using NX CAD/CAM and NX Drafting features in NX11. Since I could not get any satisfied answers nowhere I’m turning to this forum to find out how did other EXPERIENCED users use NX.
First I would like to mention that I/we have been using NX for appx. 17years. And also others in my company (some even longer).
I’ll be referring to NX 8, which is to our experience the last NX that work flawlessly, fluid and is actually useful. For that reason we still do not use other NX versions above NX8, like NX 11 or 12. (Although we have paid for the license!! But are useless to use!! We are frustrating!)
Here the things are more serious. And because of those problems we do not use NX 11.
1st. I would like to ask all experienced CAM users, how do you use CAM – e.g. how do you check your output? How do
you check if everything is machined OK, what are the leftovers and if you need to put another operation. Or just need to somehow optimize the current one?? Etc...etc..
So my question is how you VISUALIZE certain (or all) program and VISUALLY check the leftovers. I believe that everyone have to visually see what certain program do, and what is the output.
And also at the end, you see if there are any gouges or other unwanted machining results.
At that point in NX 8 you could make quick static facet output (static IPW). If you want more quality you simply put the higher IPW resolution. In any case the result was/is very good and very, very fast!! In our case this was the most common use of visual inspecting and without it, we cannot imagine CAM module!!
In NX 11/12 the static IPW doesn’t work anymore!! (it works in some strange cases… if you make one object in native WCS/MCS orientation, etc.. Cant described for sure how. But it fails first thing when you have more than one MCS, or rotated and more objects, etc.. etc.. Which is the case if you do e.g. electrode milling for a certain mould.)
OK, some will comment: “Use the 3D Dynamic IPW “. Yeah ... right … 1st its waaaaay to slow to use it in real life (When tested .. its appx 200% slower or more. Depend on operations, etc…). Imagine … you have a part with e.g. 50 electrodes. Each have two final stock (fine and rough). So, for one you have .. e.g. .. 6-8 programs. And then 2 different (final undercuts) It means 12-20 programs for one. (or even much more. It depends). And now you have 50 of them… I think you get the point how much more time is consumed for IPW. This is also the case if you are die/mould machining.
So at that point I’m seriously asking what type of visual checking are you using??
And thing get even MORE COMPLICATED. Even if I would accept 200-300% more time to generate 3D IPW. It doesent work correctly in some cases.
Ill try to explain the error. It happens when you have one part with two different stock. This is the case when machining electrode. Those who work with electro erosion electrode machining will know the case.
In this case you have one 3D model of electrode (one part geometry) with rough and finish electrode. Correct? So at end you will get two milled (coper or carbon) electrode with … e.g. one with -0,1 and second with e.g. -0,3 stock. Corect?
Lets try to do that in NX11/12.
Go to CAM. Make part geometry of certain electrode.
Let's make the operation now. First we will do the rough electrode with -0,3 stock. (well make just 2 operations).
After that well make second group for finish electrode with stock -0,1mm.
So we have 2 groups.
And geometry view:
Do the generate of the programs. All OK.
Now let’s make 3D dynamic IPW of one group (starting rough_-0,3). Since we don’t want to waste time, we will use “suppress Animation”.
IPW is generated.
After that we want to generate 3D IPW for fine electrode with -0,1 final stock.
If you look carefully you will see, that stock is the SAME as generated with -0,3 stock!!! So this is the BIG ERROR. In that case its impossible to use the CAM with visual inspection or generating IPW for other purpose!!
(it does work if you don’t put the programs under same geometry. In that case you should select geometry for each program separately or make additional groups. But I believe this is not desirable)
All this was working flawlessly in NX8. You could make FAST static IPW or even (slower) 3D for rest milling, etc, etc.
There is also other (smaller bug). When you go to e.g. 3D Dynamic IPW and generate it. Then click OK. And close the tab. Then again open same program. Go to verify and click on “Reply”. The toolpath is not shoving anymore. Another bug in NX11.
There is also one feature that is missing n NX (all versions). The feature for exporting so called “shop documentation”. It does exist in NX, but it’s very complicated to use. What is more important is, that there is no function where you could get value – how long tool do you need for certain operation. Again, the function is there, but ONLY for some operation and even this do not work correctly. The output values are false! Again, I cannot understand how NX doesn’t have the simple solution for all that. Many other “cheaper) software has it.
For all this I was using NX 18.104.22.168. (and in some cases testing NX 12)
I have a serious question. How do you cope with those things??
I would appreciate for some help / solution.
Sorry for long post.
As one who didn't CNC machine electrodes before, I am trying to understand your workflow here so I can see the problem more clearly. First, you say you are roughing the electrode to -0.3, and then you say you are finishing at -0.1. You also mention there are two different possible materials, copper and graphite.
So does this mean you are trying to fit two different possibilities into one workpiece? What I mean to ask is are you machining -0.3 stock for copper and -0.1 for graphite, or visa versa?
You already mention the use case that would fix this I believe, which is to create two different workpiece geometry groups under the MCS for different stock allowances. One workpiece should be for the -0.3 stock and the other would be for the -0.1 stock. 3D verification is looking at the order of programs in the Program Order View for the workpiece geometry the operation is placed under. So, if all operations with different stock allowances are under the same workpiece, then NX will show all material removed as you have specified for that one workpiece.
Please explain why two different workpiece groups are undesireable as you say.
No, you did not understand fully.
Copper or Graphite. I mention this just as example material from which can e. be made.
Its not important in this matter.
We just have to focus to one geometry – e.g. part
And in that case (if you are making electrode…. You could do something else with different stock) you have to make one electrode. And therefore you have one 3D model. At the end you have to make 2 different pieces, with different stock. For rough erosion -0,3 and at the end, for fine erosion -0,1.
The normal and logical workflow is, as I described in first post. (the “partial solution” is just a way how I temporarily found a workaround. Its not a solution!)
And second. This thing worked normally in NX8 (I do not know for NX9). But its not working from NX 10 and up.
Its also the error, if you want to generate specific IPW from a specific operations, not whole group.
Two groups are not logical. Because you do not have two objects, but just one with different stock. Its one model.
And second. It makes harder to create additional workpieces and also it consumes much time, more things to edit, when creating new/additional ones .. etc.. etc.. (imagine working with 50+ pieces). And more possibility for errors. Etc..
Like said. It all worked OK in the past..
Let me see if i can understand your issue, you want to create 2 seperate electrodes, one with -.3 mm stock for roughing, and one with -.1mm stock for finishing. One single part file with both programs inside of it. One blank that willl be used for both programs, all roughing and finishing operations, and the model of the electrode that is to size. Problem is the IPW for the -.1mm stock electrode uses the IPW from the -.3mm program, and not the blank stock. So the operations in the -.1mm stock operations are not calculated from the full size blank.
OK, now I see where my misunderstanding was. I did work in a mold shop for a short time years ago, and although I didn't CNC machine the electrodes there, I do remember the workflow of the machinist who operated the CNC mill and EDM machine. My mistake here was thinking that your rough and finish descriptions are on the milling of the electrode, but you are actually describing the purpose of each electrode. In other words, the -0.3 electrode is for roughing on the EDM machine because it has -0.3 of stock, and the -0.1 electrode is for finishing.
In that case I have an alternative you should consider. Program the rough electrode just the same as you would before under a single workpiece making sure to use a specific machining method in the Machining Method View that has part stock set to -0.3000. When finished, copy and paste the workpiece under the same MCS. The operations will all be copied over as well. Next, create another machining method with -0.1000 of stock specified, and simply move the copied operations under that method. All those moved operations will now inherit the new stock value. Finally, create another program group in the Program Order View and move the copied operations under that as well. Now each set has its own program and method group, and each will show the IPW for only the workpiece they are children of.
A little cumbersome? Perhaps. But remember that you are actually creating multiple real parts using a single part file, and each of them have different sizes because of the specified stock allowances you are giving. Therefore, each part should have its own workpiece group since they are different.
»Problem is the IPW for the -.1mm stock electrode uses the IPW from the -.3mm program, and not the blank stock. So the operations in the -.1mm stock operations are not calculated from the full size blank.«
This is not correct, or I do not understand fully what are you trying to say. It has nothing to do with blank, or what blank is used in -0,1mm case.
Both program groups uses the correct and same blank. It does not uses the IPW from previous operations. But initial blank.
The problem is what is generated at the end. And it does not generate correct IPW - for the selected group. I think I described quite detailed in first post. And give the pictures. And once again. It worked in NX8.
And if you would read carefully, regarding static IPW. I wrote:
“In NX 11/12 the static IPW doesn’t work anymore!! (it works in some strange cases… if you make one object in native WCS/MCS orientation, etc.. Cant described for sure how. But it fails first thing when you have more than one MCS, or rotated and more objects, etc.. etc.. Which is the case if you do e.g. electrode milling for a certain mould.)”
So, it means I KNOW for that option to be turned ON! But it does not work, as I described. And to avoid misunderstanding again. It might work for you, if you’ll try to make just one sample with absolute origin and one MCS, etc, etc.. But it will FAIL when you move MCS to a different location and/or put more program operations and positions to the part. Again. Function is there, but it does not work!
Of course this would work, but I’ll have two workpieces now, for each operation. Which means more work to do, more room for errors, more data to change, etc... etc… Imagine that in part with … 30-40++ electrodes…??
And I do not totally agree. We are using one part – one model, just the machining output is different – with different stock.
And again. It all worked perfect till NX8. Would that mean that was wrong in the past?
Maybe just one more thought. The (undersized) stock is not defined in the part geometry. But in the program – for each program. So it should not be related to part geometry and the (IPW) output should be related to programs (or group) you select to be generated for a certain IPW