Is third-party G-code simulation software necessary to safely run Multiaxis?
The short answer is no, especially not starting out. Fundamentally, when we post out to our NC code, we are going from vectors in space to motion commands for our machines, with all their linear and rotary axes. The post processor is translating that motion into something that a specific machine can understand. In the past, this is where third-party simulation and verification software has been important; checking to ensure that the post output is predictable and safe. If you are starting out today, the best way to ensure this accurate translation is to start with a solid post processor. With Mastercam, we even have post processors that can be linked directly to our simulation to further enhance the accuracy of the on-screen motion in relation to the real-world physical machine motion.
Mastercam’s in-software simulation can be broken down into three levels: Backplot, Verify, and true Simulation. In Backplot, we are checking the toolpaths by driving the tool around on the screen with no collision or stock considerations. In other words, all we are doing at this first stage is guiding the tool along the path it’s going to take, to examine the basic tool posture. This would be done as a fast way to review motion as a programmer iterates on a path idea. From there, we step up to Verify. This is where we start to take into account things like stock removal and potential tool and holder interferences with stock and fixturing components. The next and final step is Machine Simulation, where we consider the actual kinematic motion of the machine. The part, tool, and holder are positioned accurately in a complete machine model, moving as they would in real life.
To sum it up, the in-software simulation provides more than enough capability for you to work with before having to consider moving to third-party simulation if you have the correct post for your machine. Typically, where you see multiaxis integrations fail is when companies purchase a Multiaxis software package but ignore the benefits of investing in a quality post processor. This is where you can lose that predictable translation layer and start having problems with your machines not matching up with what’s on the screen. Please click below if you would like more information on getting a custom post processor.