CAD/CAM

Overview:

CAD (Computer Aided Design): Software that allows you to draw a part in 3D space to better visualize features and geometry.

CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing): Software that allows you to develop a toolpath to manufacture your part in a CNC machine.

Post Processor: A specialized file that converts the toolpath generated by the CAM software to code that a specific Make and Model of machine can understand.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN CREATING CAM OPERATIONS, YOU MUST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED BIDC TA OR STAFF MEMBER TO DETERMINE IF CAM IS NECESSARY AND WHAT CAM PROCESSES TO USE TO MANUFACTURE YOUR PART

Tool Library:

The BIDC has developed a custom tool library that contains all of the commonly used tools on the CNC machines. The library is divided into different sections based on the material to be machined.

  • Mild Steels (P)
  • Stainless Steels (M)
  • Cast Irons (K)
  • Nonferrous Metals (N)
  • Super Alloys (S)
  • Heat Treated Metals (H)
  • Plastics (Pl)
  • Woods (W)

The speeds and feeds for each tool are preset for you based on the material in the subsection and the characteristics of each tool. Do not adjust the speeds and feeds unless instructed to do so by a qualified BIDC TA or staff member.

Download the BIDC Tool Library here: BIDC Tool Libraries

Post Processor:

The BIDC has developed a set of custom post processors to work with our CNC machines. There are three separate post processors currently available

  • BIDC Haas Mill
  • BIDC Haas Gantry
  • BIDC Haas ST-20Y

The proper post processor must be selected when post processing code for use at the BIDC. The ST-20Y post is to be used for live tooling operations only. All standard lathe operations should still be created in IPS or VQC. The posted live tooling operations should then be copied and pasted into the main code using a text editor such as Notepad. Any standard lathe operations that cannot be completed using IPS or VQC should be directed to a qualified BIDC TA or staff member.

Download the BIDC Post Processors here:  BIDC Post Processors

Installation Instructions

Autodesk Fusion 360

Tool Library Installation:
  1. Download and extract the Tool Library folder from the above link.
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and select Preferences. Navigate to General – Manufacture and ensure that ‘Enable Cloud Libraries’ is checked.
  3. Click on the 3×3 grid in the top left corner of the screen to open the Data Panel.
  4. Navigate to the Assets project under Libraries and then open the CAMTools folder.
  5. Click upload and then select the .hsmlib files that you downloaded.
  6. Once uploaded, the libraries will appear under the Cloud tab of the tool library.
Post Processor Files Installation:
  1. Download and extract the Post Processor folder from the above link.
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and select Preferences. Navigate to General – Manufacture and ensure that ‘Enable Cloud Libraries’ is checked.
  3. Click on the 3×3 grid in the top left corner of the screen to open the Data Panel.
  4. Navigate to the Assets project under Libraries and then open the CAMPosts folder.
  5. Click upload and then select the .cps files that you downloaded.
  6. When post processing, click Setup and select Use Cloud Posts to access these post processors.
Dovetail Fixture Setup:

This portion is only applicable if you are using a dovetail fixture, the Raptor RWP-013SS. Before you can use that fixture you need to machine a dovetail onto the stock. We provide a parametric model, pre-built tools and tool offsets that will allow you to machine the dovetail on a 3-axis machine. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Obtain the file, download it as a Fusion360 Archive and open it in Fusion360. File: Dovetail Maker
  2. Click on Modify in the toolbar.
  3. Click on Change Parameters.
  4. Change the Length, Breadth and Height depending on your stock.
  5. Switch to Manufacturing in the toolbar.
  6. Right-click on the Setup and click Generate.
  7. Run a simulation to validate the CAM. Have a Peer-Mentor inspect it.
  8. Generate G-Code like you would for any other 3-axis CAM.
  9. Send the file to the FileShare.
  10. Machine it on a 3-axis mill under Peer-Mentor supervision and have a Graduate Peer-Mentor inspect the part when it is done while it is still in the machine. (Note for Peer-Mentors: Use the tool offset table below and don’t probe the tools. Type the offsets in manually. If are unsure, reach out to a Graduate Peer Mentor.)

Tool-Offset Table:

ToolTool NumberHeight OffsetDiameter Offset
1/8″ Endmill13.15570.122
3/16″ Endmill23.3880.1875
Dovetail34.51510.7178
2″ Shell Mill43.01602.0042

CAM Process:

Fabrication Process:

Autodesk Inventor HSM

Tool Library Installation:
  1. Download and extract the Tool Library folder from the above link.
  2. Open the CAM tab of Autodesk Inventor HSM and open the Tool Library folder in the top ribbon.
  3. Right click on the My Libraries folder in the left browser of the Tool Library folder.
  4. Select Open in Windows Explorer.
  5. Copy and paste the .hsmlib files that you downloaded into this folder.
  6. Restart Autodesk Inventor HSM and the BIDC Tool Libraries will appear in the My Libraries folder.
Post Processor Files Installation:
  1. Download and extract the Post Processor folder from the above link.
  2. Open the CAM tab of Autodesk Inventor HSM and click on the Post Process button in the top ribbon (Note: You must have at least one valid operation to be able to Post Process).
  3. Copy the directory from the Configuration Folder into File Explorer.
  4. Copy and paste the .cps files that you downloaded into this folder.
  5. Restart Autodesk Inventor HSM and the BIDC Post Processors will appear in the drop down menu under Post Configuration.

Please check this page regularly for updated versions of the BIDC tool libraries and post processors for added functionality and bug fixes.

If you are participating in CAM training at the BIDC, please download the BIDC_CAM_TRAINING_TOOLS and install using the tool library installation instructions.