New surfcam user coming aboard here, so I'm gonna be posting lots of questions until I get up to speed.
The shop I start work at uses SurfCAM 2003, B83. I'm a maintenance paying owner of GibbsCAM SolidSurfacer and SolidWorks so most of my experience is with solid modelers.
Todays question: what is the difference between the world coordinate and the view coordinate and when do you need to use each one? how do they affect toolpaths?
The way coordinate systems work in Gibbs, toolpaths created in a coordinate system (work plane) are always normal (parallel to the Z axis) to that coordinate system. If you are machining a part in a vise and will flip the part over to do the backside in the same program you create a second coordinate system, change the direction of the Z axis depth and create the toolpaths while that coordinate system is active. The default coordinate would be G54 and the second would be G55. The same would apply if you are doing any positioning on any rotary axis. You just create new coordinate systems as needed, rotate/translate wherever they need to be and create toolpaths in those respective coordinate systems.
Do the world and view coordinates in SurfCAM work the same way? I've been creating some 2D & 3D programs at home and I don't see any difference when creating toolpaths in either one. I definitely want to be set straight before I actually post and send my first program to the machine.
Here is the story. If you leave the Coord: button to world, all of the toolpaths are created normal to the world view. The indicator for world view is the one that is permanently positioned in the bottom left of your SC (Surfcam) window.
You can machine from different views or coordinates by switching the Coord: button to View and setting the CView button to the view you want to machine in.
The three buttons you need to understand are the View, Cview and Coord:. The View is the way you are looking at the model on the screen, the CView (or contruction view) is the view that all of your geometry and toolpaths are created and Coord:World/View lets you create geometry/toolpaths in the default view (world) or a specified view.
You can create your own coord-system by going to create/view and follow the prompts at the bottom of your window. This is great if you have a big file and you dont want to copy and flip it around to different orientations.
JUST MAKE SURE THAT IF YOU WANT TO CREATE IN A SPECIFIED VIEW TO HAVE SC SET TO COORD:WORLD AND THE VIEW YOU WANT TO CREATE IN IS SET AS THE CVIEW.
I hoped this helped. Any other ?'s just post them.
I know that it is a hard subject to bring up to a new employer, but you should suggest that they become current with Surfcam. 2003 is like 4 versions behind. Plus you get free tech support when you renew your seat. I use it all the time.
Yes, I totally agree with staying current on software, especially if it is a tool for business. I think I'll get a few months under my belt before I figure a way to "suggest" getting up to date. I was a shop owner until last month, so I know how tough it is to invest more money in something that may have been " working fine all these years".
What are some major changes in SurfCam 2005? Is it still wireframe, surface based, or can you machine from solids now? Can you extract geometry from solids?
There were a lot of internal updates. Their translator is a ton more solid. Also Surfcam now has associativity with Solidworks files. Any changes in Solidworks will update in SC. Also, they changed from Open GL graphics to DirectX. This didnt mean anything to me except you can view and rotate the model in wire frame, shaded or shaded with wireframe. I really cant remember the specific differences from '03 but I am sure there are a bunch. You can check out their web site at www.surfware.com .