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Free-form feature: Manually adjusting protected surfaces and plunge positions

I've automatically inserted all of the standard and free-form features in my CAD model using function "Identify features from geometries." Now I'd like to automate machining of these features. However, there are two critical points where I'd have to manually adjust protected surfaces and plunge position. What's the best way to do this?

Exact technical machining sequences can be specified for specific machining types using NCSets in NCSet administration. Protected surfaces and plunge positions have to be defined as variable in NCSet administration in order to assign them. They can then be separately selected for each feature.

Here's how you do it

1.

In this example, click the "Elements" button for the corresponding NCSets in NCSet administration. The "Elements" dialog opens.

2.

Open the context menu in the "Protected surfaces" area for the "Elements" parameter and select option "Standard." The parameter is now defined as variable. If necessary, repeat this procedure for the "Stock allowance" parameter. Confirm your inputs.

Hints

Ensure that "Automatic" mode is selected for the corresponding NCJob in the "Protected surfaces" area. 

3.

Click "Macro" in NCSet administration. The "Macro" dialog opens. Set the "Positions" parameter in the "Plunge" area to variable as in Step 2. Confirm your inputs.

Hints

Machining parameters can essentially be set as variable in all dialogs.

4.

Select the "Feature/Edit" function. The "Parameters" dialog opens.

5.

Select the first feature for which you want to define specific protected surfaces and a specific plunge position.

6.

Click "Apply". The “Edit feature” dialog opens.

7.

The "Variables" parameter in the "Machining parameters" area shows the number of parameters that are defined as variable. There are three of these in our example (protected surfaces, stock allowance on protected surfaces and plunge position). Click "Enter variables" (…). The “NC variables” dialog opens. Only those parameters are displayed that are defined as variable in NCSet administration.

8.

Select the protected surfaces and define the plunge position. Confirm your inputs.

9.

Repeat this procedure for all of the features for which you want to define specific protected surfaces and a specific plunge position.

10.

Now only the corresponding features in the Job Manager have to be selected for the respective NCJobs of type "MFeatE" (create toolpath using element features). As usual, the calculation is completely automatic.

Hints

You can learn more about editing free-form features by calling up the context-sensitive help for "NC2ax / MFeatE".

You can learn more about how parameters for features that have already been inserted in the CAD model can be changed by calling up the context-sensitive help for function "Feature / Edit".

You can learn more about managing NCSets by calling up the context-sensitive help for function "NCBase / NCSet".


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