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rhino:cncmilling [2016/04/29]
sandy
rhino:cncmilling [2016/04/29] (current)
sandy
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 **//"​How do I send my design to a CNC milling machine?"//​** **//"​How do I send my design to a CNC milling machine?"//​**
  
-This is a frequently asked question by people who are just getting into the prototyping or production of digitally created models. ​ The common misconception is that a CNC milling machine can simply import a complete 2D or 3D model and automatically produce a part.  This misconception is aided by the fact that there are now 3D printing processes that can do just about that. Practically all you have to do is hit the **Print3D** button...+This is a frequently asked question by people who are just getting into prototyping or production of digitally created models. ​ The common misconception is that a CNC milling machine can simply import a complete 2D or 3D model and automatically produce a part.  This misconception is aided by the fact that there are now 3D printing processes that can just about do that. Practically all you have to do is hit the **Print3D** button...
  
 <color red>​**//​Unfortunately,​ this is __not__ the case with CNC milling...//​ **</​color>​ <color red>​**//​Unfortunately,​ this is __not__ the case with CNC milling...//​ **</​color>​
  
-CNC milling is considerably more complex than 3D printing. ​ You cannot send **designs** to a CNC mill.  You need to send specific machine code that tells the machine exactly what steps to execute in what order to make your part.  ​This code is (in most casesalphanumeric (a text file) and can be read and understood by ordinary humans as well.+CNC milling is considerably more complex than 3D printing. ​ You cannot send **designs** to a CNC mill.  You need to send specific machine code that tells the machine exactly what steps to execute in what order to make your part.  ​In most cases, this code is alphanumeric (a text file) and can be read and understood by ordinary humans as well.
  
 ====The machine code to make your part is generated in several steps==== ====The machine code to make your part is generated in several steps====
  
-**1.** Your **designs** ​in Rhino (whether they be in 2D or 3D) are used by some CAM software (which can run inside Rhino or as an external application) to generate ​what are commonly called ​**toolpaths**. ​ This step needs your input to some degree (depends on what CAM software you're using and the complexity of the part). Generally you need to at least choose a tool or tools, a type of machining strategy to use, feeds and speeds, etc.  All of this info together defines the **machining parameters** for the operation. ​ Some CAM are more automatic than others in generating toolpaths, but, in any case, you do need to decide certain things.+**1.** Your Rhino **designs** (2D or 3D) are used by some CAM software (which can run inside Rhino or as an external application) to generate **toolpaths**. ​ This step needs your input to some degree(This depends on what CAM software you're using and the complexity of the part.Generally you need to at least choose a tool or tools, a type of machining strategy to use, feeds and speeds, etc.  All this info together defines the **machining parameters** for the operation. ​ Some CAM are more automatic than others in generating toolpaths, but, in any case, you do need to decide certain things.
  
-**2.** Once the toolpaths are generated with the correct parameters, you can see them on the screen, ​have the option to edit them, simulate them, etc. until you are satisfied with the result.+**2.** Once the toolpaths are generated with the correct parameters, you can see them on the screen, ​optionally ​edit them, simulate them, etc. until you are satisfied with the result.
  
-**3.** When the result is considered ​correct on the screen, you then run the entire machining sequence through another piece of software called a **postprocessor**. ​ This software is generally running inside the CAM program and is a translator from the generic toolpath format built into the software to your specific machine/CNC control combination (such as a Bridgeport model XXX mill with a Fanuc model YYY control). ​ The translation ​is done by the postprocessor (software) ​based on a custom configuration file for your machine -- usually called a "​post"​.+**3.** When the result is correct on the screen, you then run the entire machining sequence through another piece of software called a **postprocessor**. ​ This software is generally running inside the CAM program and is a translator from the generic toolpath format built into the software to your specific machine/CNC control combination (such as a Bridgeport model XXX mill with a Fanuc model YYY control). ​ The postprocessor does the the translation based on a custom configuration file for your machine -- usually called a "​post"​.
  
 The configuration will be different for every machine/​control combination,​ so there are literally thousands of posts available. CAM software manufacturers usually provide a set of standard posts that can be customized, as well as a way of creating your own from scratch. The correct post config file allows the postprocessor software to output a text file with exactly the code the machine needs to generate the part. The configuration will be different for every machine/​control combination,​ so there are literally thousands of posts available. CAM software manufacturers usually provide a set of standard posts that can be customized, as well as a way of creating your own from scratch. The correct post config file allows the postprocessor software to output a text file with exactly the code the machine needs to generate the part.
  
-**4.** If desired, this code can also be edited ​before sending to the machine ​if desired ​-- it's just text.  ​It can be reviewed ​in any text editor like Notepad, but there are also specific NC code editors which have specialized functions that make editing easier. ​ There are more or less sophisticated NC editors available, ranging from free to moderately expensive.+**4.** If you desireedit this code before sending to the machine -- it's just text.  ​You can review it in any text editor like Notepad, but there are also specific NC code editors which have specialized functions that make editing easier. ​ There are more or less sophisticated NC editors available, ranging from free to moderately expensive.
  
-**5.** The final code is transmitted to the machine.  ​In many cases this is via a direct serial connection from the computer to the machine. ​ In other cases (more recent controls) the machine is actually on the network, and the file is transferred via Ethernet. ​ In the first case (more common), there is another small piece of software that manages computer-machine serial communication. ​ For NC files, this is normally called DNC software (Direct Numerical Control). ​ Depending on the sophistication DNC software can handle from one to hundreds of machines simultaneously.+**5.** The final code is transmitted to the machine.  ​Often this is via a direct serial connection from the computer to the machine. ​ In other cases (more recent controls) the machine is actually on the network, and the file is transferred via Ethernet. ​ In the first case (more common), there is another small piece of software that manages computer-machine serial communication. ​ For NC files, this is normally called DNC software (Direct Numerical Control). ​ Depending on the sophistication DNC software can handle from one to hundreds of machines simultaneously.
  
-If you only have one machine, although it's a bit more cumbersome, you can even use something like built-in Windows Hyperterminal to transmit files. There are also some free DNC programs out there, and DNC is sometimes included in an NC code editing program. ​ If the machine //can// receive files via ethernet, DNC is not necessary.+If you only have one machine, although it's a bit more cumbersome, you can even use something like built-in Windows Hyperterminal to transmit files. There are also some free DNC programs out there, and DNC is sometimes included in an NC code editing program. ​ If the machine //can// receive files via Ethernet, DNC is not necessary.
  
  
rhino/cncmilling.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/04/29 by sandy