I am a newbie to this forum here and cnc as well. I have recently completed a conversion of my Lathemaster milling machine to ballscrews and cnc servo system. See my thread on the zone Benchtop machines titled.." Finally getting started.." I have since been reviewing the available reasonably priced software for cad and cam. I recently was advised by my new pal Art to try sheetcam and have downloaded the free trial. Let me start by saying that this software is the most understandable and simple to use of the ones I have tested recently. The layout makes sense to me and the program just plain works... I, of course have to work inside the line limits imposed by a free trial until I purchase the program which unless something else really special comes along will probably be Sheetcam.
I have been able to machine a few nice parts and despite my own induced errors, the sheetcam posts have done everything they were supposed to do, I just gotta learn to use this stuff better is all as I find myself making a lot of simple rookie mistakes. Thanks to Art I have been shown clear of some of the more problematic issues I could not find my own way thru. Usually with a silly look and OH that is what that means.... haha..
Anyways, I have recently been thinking about the whole cnc experience and have started wondering why I have not seen machining operations setup in sheetcam or any of the other programs I have sampled that would automate a boring head operation. Now I understand that these operations can be hand written or so to speak but It seems to me that the use of a boring head is something that has a specific place in cnc. My machine is decently accurate and can interpolate a nice hole as well as any homebuilt I would imagine, however, the idea of using a boring head for say a high precision hole such as a bearing pocket or somesuch would be much better achieved with a boring head.
The thing I do not get is why is this not a selectable machining operation in sheetcam or any of the other ones I have seen. You take a drilling operation, for instance, you select the tool, set the depth of the hole, the feedrate, the peck retract distance, and the software located the hole with your drawing and gets it done nice and automatic. Why could it not be done the same way with a boring head? You would click on a boring operation icon, opening a dialog box, Select the feedrate, the depth of the hole, then instead of a peck retract distance, there might be a safe Z distance and shutoff spindle, so that you can adjust your boring head manually, then repeat the plunge following an operator input or another cycle start or whatever and then bore down and up and z+ to a specific adjustment height, then spindle off again to check width. The setup could be continued until another operator input is done and the hole is complete. Then commence to the next step in the program or toolchange or whatever to finish your part. Again this is easier to do than to type so I am just curious as to why it is not part of these programs no different from a drilling, profiling, or pocketing operation? I could sure see a use for it.....
Understand that this is not a gripe, rather a curiosity about this new software and cnc machining in general. I am QUITE happy with my short Sheetcam Experience and would like to openly thank the creator of this software for such a user friendly system. It has made my presumably steep learning curve feel just a tad less steep!! Thanks and nice to meet you all....peace
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