I already posted this on the Gibbscam forum, but wanted to get some input from you guys.
Here is the problem.
We make carbide insert cutting tools on 5th axis machines here at my work.
Alot of the time families of parts we make use the identical pocket and insert from tool to tool, only differing by gage diameter, legth, tilt, and rotation of insert pocket. Basically they use the same insert pocket, just in a different position in 3d space.
Is it possible to program with Gibbs using Advanced Coordinate systems off of faces of solid models and keep your coordinate systems, Rapid points, and tool depths relative and associative to a solid model?
Does this make sense to anyone? This is very similar technique to ToolBody Boolean Subtraction method of modeling. In Inventor or Solidworks you can position a model inside another model and subtract the difference. The models remain associative to each other so if you move one model to a new position your subtracted cavity will update automatically. This allows for very complex feature re-use when modeling families of tools.
We are trying to simulate this type of work-flow in Gibbscam, only not actually doing any type of modeling operation, we are only using the positioning of one model to another and re-generating tool path automatically.
The work-flow in Gibbs would be something like; program all pocket, contour, or hole operations associatively off the faces of a solid model which represents your pocket. Next you would save as a new file, import your actual part model that would be getting the pocketing operations done. You would then re-position your associative pocket solid model using 3d Constraints or as Gibbs calls it "Solid Alignment" to move the 3d pocket to the new location in space "based off the walls of the new imported body."
Lastly re-do all operations so that the system can re-calculate the new pocket diameter, length, tilt and rotation. The end result would be full associative toolpath which can be quickly re-positioned using 3 3d constraints, drastically reducing programming time on complex cavity type machining.
I am aware the using full simultaneous 5th axis type operations remain associative to model faces, but we need to do this with Advanced CS type operations using Rough, Contour, and Holes.
Lastly I have been reading about the new release of Gibbs and the feature recognition. If this capability is not possible currently with 2010, will it be with 2011? Or do you know of any other Cam software that can do this type of thing?
Any input will be greatly appreciated.