The best thing about CNC machining is automating stuff, right?
I still get juiced when a process that has been designed goes well.
Do you know what I mean? Do you get a sense of gratification when you design or program something from scratch and you succeed? I know I do. Are you the type of personality that likes to tinker with your computer? Design stuff and program the thing yourself?
I would really like to pass on an additional experience to you all.
Warning: Extremely addicting activity ahead!
Well you know the same skills that make you a good CNC programmer, make you a good software automation developer. You know the software you use every day, better than anyone else you know. It's OK, admit it. You like this stuff! If you can master an easy to use application that does not cost much ($35.00), you can automate just about any Windows application process.
I'm telling you, if you can program CNC, you can automate software.
You can save yourself huge amounts of time and eliminate human errors. We know time is money, so lots of money can be saved here. I am not kidding around at all here. Your career can get that boost you need. It can happen to you too.
BTW, I don't personally know the company who developed this application; I just use their software and have found it to be extremely advantageous to me professionally. In todayís computerized office, it is easy to save 20 minutes a day, everyday from now on. That amounts to 1.67 hours a week, or 85 hours a year. Hey thatís more than my two weeks vacation!
I personally have saved many hundreds of hours, if not thousands of hours. When you calculate the dollar value of saving yourself or your company this kind of bank, its mind blowing...
I used to come home with cramps in my right hand from mousing, and clicking, and mousing, and clicking. No more! To me, this was huge! I was able to preserve my own physical health with this software automation program. Other benefits; creative opportunity, improved accuracy (computers just don't make mistakes-hopefully), improved throughput, professional acknowledgements...
An application that is like a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) program.
A Macro utility that is easy to use, powerfull in features & low cost.
Why? Well, you can create automation macros that are usually two or three keystroke launched (be carefull what keys you use, as your programs have short cut key strokes), and this macro executes virtually unlimited "actions" for you...
Anything you can do on your computer, can be automated.
Data can be automatically imported from one application, pasted into another.
Mouse movements can be stored, recalled.
Programs can be launched, manipulated, data can be input or whatever.
Imagine that you can use this application to connect all your "Windows" programs.
A lot of "Windows" programs have macro capabilities that are great, but you can't always import data from another application, now you can...
OK, this is where you start:
Download macroexpress (30 day free trial)
Install this application and get through the introduction and exmples, then do a few simple keystroke macros. Start simple, and think sub routines (call a macro from inside another macro) for stuff that might end up happening often. Orginize your macros so you don't forget what they do. Automate everything you do over and over...
We can post here stuff that we've done.
Could be benefit for all...
1) Calculator: Launch, wait for "Shift Key", when calc's are done, truncate value to 4 plc decimal, paste answer.
2) CAM: Design File clean up: delete duplicate entities, points, zoom extents.
3) CAM: Duplicate last machining sequence, select for edit, select settings to change.
4) CAM: Create groups of Holes, for automated selection.
5) CAM: Tool change, Open Excel, wait for tool select, store 9 different variables.
6) CAM: Re-open, select type of machining from a menu, paste the 9 variables in the required fields, if groups are used, automatically select those holes.
7) CAM: Set Dimension size, set all text settings by calculating the initial size, paste those text sizes in all required fields.
8) Menu: Macros most commonly used are one-button activated, or hot key.
9) Notepad: launch and paste contents of all 4 types of Variables (handy for diagnosing macros)
10) Launch applications, navigate the fields, login, user input variable statements.
11) CNC Editor, block one printed page worth of code, and print.
12) Type name
13) Type e-mail address
14) Type name, address
15) Powerpoint: create new slide, insert, resize, locate image file.
Summary of some macros, to give ideas, in some cases more than 50 keystrokes are reduded to 1, maybe 2... The best part, zero errors, less mindless data input, and automation is gratifying...