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hpmor
12-31-2008, 12:01 PM
Dear surfcam users,

I would appreciate if all the users of new velocity 4 write down its new features or pros & cons.

thanks

Cammotion
12-31-2008, 04:20 PM
Dear surfcam users,

I would appreciate if all the users of new velocity 4 write down its new features or pros & cons.

thanks

I ain't got it yet! But, the reseller is planning a user group meeting to demo all the new stuff. When that happens, I'll post.

Jason S
01-01-2009, 11:56 AM
I have it, just haven't loaded it yet. Hopefully when I do load it, everything still works!!!

Has anybody loaded the new Solidworks yet? What kind of surprises should we be looking for?

lkenney
01-02-2009, 12:21 PM
I have it loaded and it looks like they fixed the bug that stopped me from doing both lathe and mill jobs with the same version. Vel 3 would not convert back to 3 axis mill view after i programmed a lathe job. I ended up running the lathe on the Vel 2 and my mill on Vel 3. That is all I have checked so far. Put for me that is a big deal and I thank Surfware for fixing it.

Eagle

Charlie Gary
01-04-2009, 06:08 PM
I hope it's better than V3, though it won't matter for me because my employer refuses to pay any more maintenance to Surfware. V3 has some nice capabilities, but when the feed between moves started scrapping parts we promptly quit using it. Our last year of maintenance payments resulted in nothing more than us paying to be beta testers, and my boss gets really pissed about that kind of thing.

lkenney
01-04-2009, 07:58 PM
Except for the Lathe bug, VEL 3 was very solid for us and TrueMill was exceptional for increasing our productivity. Charlie, I am interested in your experiences with the movement between parts causing problems, What machine(s) are you programming for, how did the movement wreck parts? which post do you use? I want to avoid any problems in my work.

Thanks

Eagle

Charlie Gary
01-04-2009, 09:57 PM
Except for the Lathe bug, VEL 3 was very solid for us and TrueMill was exceptional for increasing our productivity. Charlie, I am interested in your experiences with the movement between parts causing problems, What machine(s) are you programming for, how did the movement wreck parts? which post do you use? I want to avoid any problems in my work.

Thanks

Eagle

I program for Milltronics controls, and I post with Mpost customized for our controls. These didn't have any influence on what happened, though. I found the gouge moves in the original SURFCAM toolpaths. 98% of what we do is 3-axis toolpath. The last part I programmed with V3 was about 65 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide, and the top surface I was cutting was slightly convex. I used a 3/4" bullnose, and I set it to climb cut with normal lead-ins and lead-outs. The first cut was like it should have been, but the first feed between move was a straight line between lead-out number one and lead-in number two. All the rest of the lead-outs/lead-ins were correct, but the first one wrecked my part even though I always look to make sure that gouge check on lead moves is activated. When I got V3 SP1 it said Windows2000 was supported on the package, but when I spoke to a Surfware representative about problems I was told Windows2000 was no longer on the list of supported platforms. That did not make me smile.
I always try to use the graphic verifiy, but my part files and programs seem to be much bigger than what will run on my computer. All the samples work great, but then they're not anywhere near the size of the part files I deal with. I've had programs run faster on the machine than in my verify. I've had others that wouldn't even start to run in the verify because they were so big (30-40 megs of g-code).
Most everything we cut is either aluminum or foam, so Truemill doesn't really help me because my max programmable feedrate is 320 ipm with 8000 rpm max spindle speed. Truemill likes to go 800 ipm @ 30,000rpm (roughly) and when I back the feeds and speeds down to what our machines will do I get toolpath that actually takes 2 to 3 times longer than what I can create myself.

lkenney
01-05-2009, 12:10 AM
Charlie,

I am cutting steel and found that even with my 7500RPM VF-0 1992 I could machine faster and better with True mill. Cutting soft stuff would make a difference. so far my files have not been as big as yours but Truemill does make a large file. I normally DNC the TrueMill stuff to get around the 64K of memory that I have. What software did you switch too?

Eagle

Charlie Gary
01-05-2009, 01:06 AM
Charlie,

I am cutting steel and found that even with my 7500RPM VF-0 1992 I could machine faster and better with True mill. Cutting soft stuff would make a difference. so far my files have not been as big as yours but Truemill does make a large file. I normally DNC the TrueMill stuff to get around the 64K of memory that I have. What software did you switch too?

Eagle

I went back to Velocity2. I've been using surf since version 4.1, and for the most part I really like it. V2's not totally bug-free, but all in all it's the best version they've ever sent me.

ossito
01-05-2009, 10:56 AM
Can anyone tell me if Trumill in V4 has other materials to select from other than mild steel?

PinnacleMachine
01-05-2009, 03:13 PM
I hope it's better than V3, though it won't matter for me because my employer refuses to pay any more maintenance to Surfware. V3 has some nice capabilities, but when the feed between moves started scrapping parts we promptly quit using it. Our last year of maintenance payments resulted in nothing more than us paying to be beta testers, and my boss gets really pissed about that kind of thing.


You can change the feed between - I assume you have your feed between side step mode set to direct instead of follow edge, you can also change the distance that it will put a feed between in vs a rapid move to return plane . So do you not verify your toolpaths before running?

It sounds like you are not using the software properly. I've been using Surfcam for almost 10 years now relatively problem free.

Wow windows 2000 - how old is your computer? For Velocity 4 to work to it's potential you need at least a dual core machine.

JP

dkyes@pearcedes
01-05-2009, 03:46 PM
whats up Chuck

tell that cheap bas-tared to pony up the cash

lkenney
01-05-2009, 09:04 PM
Can anyone tell me if Trumill in V4 has other materials to select from other than mild steel?

All the feeds and speed that normally found can be chosen from TrueMill but you will be better off to download the spreadsheet from the Surfware website. I seldom use the feeds and speeds that come with SurfCam. I am thinking about adding new materials with the f&S set for TrueMill. What do you need to cut?
Eagle

lkenney
01-05-2009, 09:20 PM
After many years of resisting I have finally come to the mind set that staying with the most widely used software levels is the best practise. I moved everything but my DNC machine (running W2000) to XP Pro including this machine that I set up last year. I am running my personal laptop on VISTA but that is more for me to train on for the next upgrade, maybe in a year or so. Any OS that lasts for 9 years is pushing the limit.

I used to manage the software for a large engineering based state agency with nearly 7500 computers when I left. We found that trying to support more than 2 levels of operating systems to be a false savings that bit us hard everytimne it was tried. Vista has gone gold and is the only OS generally available when buying new computers that means to me that W2000 has got to drop of the backend of the supported software. If your job is to program for machines and not be an IT tech then you need to update IMHO. I know I still get calls from other machine shops around here trying to run new software on Win 98 and W2000. It would be much cheaper for these CNC shops to upgrade but they know best or so they tell me. I can't afford the down time trying to fix computers and software. I run a pretty lean setup with no games on the systems and only my computer and the office computers have internet access. I do most of the programming on this machine.

Eagle

Charlie Gary
01-06-2009, 08:43 AM
You can change the feed between - I assume you have your feed between side step mode set to direct instead of follow edge, you can also change the distance that it will put a feed between in vs a rapid move to return plane . So do you not verify your toolpaths before running?

It sounds like you are not using the software properly. I've been using Surfcam for almost 10 years now relatively problem free.

Wow windows 2000 - how old is your computer? For Velocity 4 to work to it's potential you need at least a dual core machine.

JP

Yes, the feed between can be changed. The part that gave me trouble had all settings at default values. The only move that wasn't correct was the first feed between, which was a straight line between two cut moves. Gouge check on feed between moves is always selected, so the only mistake I can find is where the software didn't check itself.
I verify every toolpath small enough to actually run on my computer. Most of them are too big to run in any kind of effective manner.
Yeah, I know, W2000Professional is old. So is the computer I'm using. I would not grouse about it if Surfware hadn't claimed to support it until it didn't work, and then tell me to upgrade my OS to fix the problem. If an OS is not supported, the package shouldn't say it is.
You say your use is "relatively trouble free". That implies you've had some problems. For me it's also been relatively trouble free for the more than 13 years I've been using it. As for the assumption I'm not using it correctly, I'll leave that one as an assumption on your part.

Charlie Gary
01-06-2009, 08:46 AM
whats up Chuck

tell that cheap bas-tared to pony up the cash

Hey Dan,
I'm working on him. Tell those customers to start coming our way so we get the CFO to agree to some cash outlay.;)

lkenney
01-06-2009, 10:01 AM
It is not uncommon to find that a software package may run under several levels of OS through most of the testing but then find that through fixes, upgrades and builds it becomes too expensive to support more than two levels of OS and will cause a shift in support policy. I would bet that most of the programmers actually writing code for SurfCam are yound enough to have never developed applications in W2000 or earlier OSs.

Computers are so cheap now that upgrading to a new machine with XP Pro, at least 2 gig of memory, a HUGE hard Drive, screaming graphics fast graphics card and a couple of LCD monitors for tired eyes will cost less than $2,000. Check out Tiger Direct for some good buys.

CPU Box $600.00 500 Gbyte hard drive (actually two 250 Gbyte drives) NVIDA DVI Dual port
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4008015&CatId=2629

Two 20" LCD monitors 170.00 Each total $340.00
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4108000&sku=S197-2018

3.5 floppy disk drive + $25.00
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4248725&CatId=630

Office 2007 upgrade $220.00
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2765093&CatId=300

So here is a hotshot system for $1,185.00

You can spend more but this should work pretty well. Others will have other opinions on Hardware but if I needed to put a system on the floor today this could fill the bill.

Lowell

chmillman
01-06-2009, 06:08 PM
For Velocity 4 to work to it's potential you need at least a dual core machine.
Is Velocity 4 (or 3 for that matter) multi-core aware? It would seem like toolpath calculation would be an ideal area of application for multicore multithreaded processes... Parcel the toolpath out in "buckets" like the render programs do and assemble it all at the end... You get an almost linear multiplication - 2 cores, twice the speed, 4 cores, 4 times, etc... Looks like dual quad (8 cores) will be the new standard soon, with the Corei7 from Intel... --ch

lkenney
01-07-2009, 12:42 AM
Just got this info from SurCam
Eagle

There are 4 new toolpath strategies in Velocity 4 that utilize multi-threading. Other than those four new HSM machining toolpaths, nothing else utilizes it.



Regards,



Darrin Bryant, Applications Manager

hpmor
01-07-2009, 09:22 AM
Ossito,
Answer to your question is yes. Truemill now have access to different material.

hpmor
01-07-2009, 09:23 AM
Can anyone tell me if Trumill in V4 has other materials to select from other than mild steel?

yes, now truemill has access to different material.

Thomas32
01-07-2009, 09:40 AM
Anyone have the new login info for the surfware site? We couldn't re-up our subs this year and I need to reinstall v3 but the install disc went bad, so I have to re-download it. The old login doesn't work anymore :/

Death Adder
01-07-2009, 10:59 AM
Just got this info from SurCam
Eagle

There are 4 new toolpath strategies in Velocity 4 that utilize multi-threading. Other than those four new HSM machining toolpaths, nothing else utilizes it.


Yes, we just recently got V4 and I like it a lot so far. The new HSM paths are quite nice and calculate quickly. 3D offset machining is actually usable now.

I really like the new pencil paths. They allow for multiple offset passes. This is nice as it's a lot easier on the tool and helps to prevent the usual scalloping one gets with pencil paths.

Pretty much once you get v4 you want to stay with trumill and the new HSM stuff wherever possible.

lkenney
01-08-2009, 10:22 AM
I just found this tidbit

http://www.komonews.com/news/37247994.html

Microsoft has just gone beta with Windows 7 which will replace Vista, You can download it now for testing. It should go GOLD next year. Drat, I thought I was doing well to be training and exploring Vista.
Eagle

Death Adder
01-08-2009, 10:46 AM
There are 4 new toolpath strategies in Velocity 4 that utilize multi-threading. Other than those four new HSM machining toolpaths, nothing else utilizes it.


As discussed in another thread here, the multithreading in SC4 is either a joke or doesn't work properly in Vista x64. I see a CPU utilization of about 53% when using the new paths in surfcam on a dual core machine.

chmillman
01-08-2009, 10:57 AM
I don't think there are going to be that many changes that you will be lost in having learned Vista (I'm going through the same thing). Underneath Windows 7 will be the same basic OS, with some cosmetic (and hopefully more user friendly) changes... Note this paragraph:

"The new operating system - which could be available for purchase on PCs within a year - uses much of the same underlying technology as its predecessor, the much-maligned Vista. But Windows 7 aims to resolve many problems PC users had with Vista. For instance, Microsoft pledges to make it easier to install peripheral devices and to have the software pump out fewer annoying warnings and notifications."

The thing is if you want a 64 bit Windows OS, Vista is currently the only real choice, as XP 64 hasn't been developed sufficiently and won't be in the future. So you may as well get used to Vista/Seven. Or switch to Mac... :-) --ch

PinnacleMachine
01-08-2009, 12:33 PM
As discussed in another thread here, the multithreading in SC4 is either a joke or doesn't work properly in Vista x64. I see a CPU utilization of about 53% when using the new paths in surfcam on a dual core machine.

I'm running into the same issue right now. My x64 Vista Quad core won't go above 25% CPU load. It multi threads correctly ie all 4 cores get used but it won't load them up. I reveived an email from Surfware this morning that they are working on it.

JP

Death Adder
01-08-2009, 01:32 PM
I tried this out on my laptop which is a CORE2 Duo running Vista 32bit. It also does not multithread hardly at all. It appears as if the display code is a different thread from the toolpath code and so you can get a tiny bit of overlap but the toolpath calculations are certainly being single threaded. They seem to have botched it up good.

PinnacleMachine
01-08-2009, 01:39 PM
Here's whats going on when I do a new steep/shallow. You can see multiple threads of msjet40 and msvcr80. If I change the processor affinity of surfcam to just one core it will load that single core to 100% with the same performance as with all four cores being utilized at 12.5%.

JP

Death Adder
01-08-2009, 01:57 PM
It sounds like, for whatever reason, SurfCAM isn't really getting multithreading at all. I don't know why... Hopefully they figure it out soon. It would be great if toolpaths suddenly started running twice as quickly for me and four times as fast for you.

lkenney
01-08-2009, 03:08 PM
So I have to ask, (just playing devil's advocate) in the long run of things how much difference is there in actual parts out the door, if you are not multithreading your part develoment at more than 25%?

The CNC machine will read the Gcode as fast as it can produce the parts. The production of the g-code is develop once use many times functiion.

I am not suggesting that faster more effective speed is not needed or wanted but I know sometimes we focus on functions that are in a product production sense not that valuable. I know shops that are very productive as far as part production but are still running SurfCam 6.x.

I have a feeling that in the next several years the skill set to develop mulithread code will increase and it will become better but it is a new set of skills for most software programmers.

Eagle

Death Adder
01-08-2009, 03:20 PM
LKenney:

I see your point. The fact is, if it takes twice as long to calculate but runs twice as quickly then it's worth it. However...

In this case, they advertised a 5 speed stick and actually sold us a 3 speed automatic with no overdrive. Do you need to drive 100MPH? Do you need a 0-60 time of 5 seconds? Maybe not but you'd better be able to do it if that's what the dealer told you it could do.

Multithreaded programming has been around for a long time now. And, we aren't talking about a bunch of highschool kids slapping together a program in Visual Basic for their final exam. These are people with PhD's writing this software. They'd darn well better be able to figure out how to program properly. I'd expect that a program of this cost would do what it says it will do. This isn't supposed to be the Walmart special of software packages.

PinnacleMachine
01-08-2009, 03:29 PM
I do mostly mold work and when you are sitting around for an hour waiting for a toolpath to generate with a part setup in the machine waiting you take whatever extra you can get. I can see in a production shop where the is allot of 2.5D machining programming time it isn't as much of an issue but where programming equals 50% of the time on a job it's totally different.

JP

Death Adder
01-08-2009, 03:45 PM
I do mostly mold work and when you are sitting around for an hour waiting for a toolpath to generate with a part setup in the machine waiting you take whatever extra you can get. I can see in a production shop where the is allot of 2.5D machining programming time it isn't as much of an issue but where programming equals 50% of the time on a job it's totally different.

JP

We machine reasonably good sized automotive dies. So, the time spent calculating paths is somewhat of a consideration. However, I'd say that the actual path generation pales in comparison to the time spent first verifying that the path is good and what I want, and then actually running it. There are times when I spend 20-30 minutes making and verifying a path and then 10 hours running it. Sometimes running a 3D verify on a path takes a lot of time but nowhere near as long as running it for real. For me it's most important that the path is generated properly and verified properly. It's a real pain when you run a path, shut the lights off, go home, and then find out that the cutter plowed into a sidewall, blew the cutter, melted the holder, moved the die, and generally raised hell.

SurfCAM has been pretty good to me in this respect. Rarely do I really get a path which was bad. When I do it's usually my fault. For instance, I might input the diameter of the tool but not the length and then go to the mill and use a cutter insufficiently long to clear everything. This is called a whoops. Not surfcam's whoops though.

lkenney
01-09-2009, 06:31 AM
OK, guys, you have expanded my kowledge of how people work and reconize the difference in what you need and how I use Surfcam. I agree that in your world the faster multithreading is a true advantage. Through these forums we can alert SurfCam as to the need for more work in certain areas of interest. I hope this thread has done that./

Eagle

PinnacleMachine
01-09-2009, 06:30 PM
Well I've had a bunch of people look at the threading when Surfcam is supposed to be multi-coring and from the looks of it they are using a primitive form of threading that won't "call out" in a x64 environment even though it is running emulated. So it looks like if we want to get the most performance out of it we are better off running 32bit XP for now.

JP

hpmor
01-23-2009, 12:07 PM
Can anyone tell me if Trumill in V4 has other materials to select from other than mild steel?

Actually, you have to upload the material properties in 3-axis truemill.
The 2-axis truemill has the other material available. I think they did not update on the 3-axis.