By Anthony J. Lockwood
Carpentry has that old saw, "measure twice, cut once." Machining’s version of that is "verify the APT or CL file and cross your fingers." It’s not that you can’t cut it right after checking out these files, it’s just that you don’t really know if you got it right until you start cutting. The problem is in the verification: You’re verifying the output of your CAM system or a neutral toolpath intended for no machine in particular, not your machine. What you’re not doing is verifying the G-code that actually tells your machine what to do. So, "one never knows, do one?" — until it’s too late. With IMS Software’s IMSverify, you know what will happen once you’ve hit Go, saving you wasted time and material.
IMSverify is more than just a full-function NC verification and machine simulation solution in that it lets you verify that your G-code is fit to go. That sounds simple, but that is where you get in trouble. File conversion from CAM to APT/CL to G-code to machining is not complete without verifying that last step. When coupled with IMSpost postprocessor, IMSverify’s interface makes it easy to synchronize views of the APT/CL output, machine G-code, and graphic simulations of the machine in motion and material removal so that you can really analyze and tune a job.
And IMSverify simulates the entire machine environment — components, fixtures, tools, and tool holders — with clash detection. It’s compatible with major CAM/CAD software and supports CNC output for all major controller and machine tool vendors. Its user interface simplifies simulating any type of machine tool: You pick a controller, select a machine, and tune your job. A cool feature is the controller emulator, which lets you customize syntax and logical errors when processing the machine code.
Another cool feature is that IMSverify uses solids-based simulation. What this means is that you can verify material removal accurately because you are starting with accurate stock and fixture information and simulating/optimizing the entire process, one toolpath at a time if need be.
Optimizing your machining process is what IMSverify, now in version 2008, is all about. It has improved mill-turn simulations, support for multiple toolpaths, and offers what the company calls “true-surface” picking on the machined model to identify exact machined features. You can learn all about the new features in IMSverify 2008 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up and from links to datasheets and the like there.
The real takeaway today is that if you need to improve your parts, optimize your process, minimize waste, and run your machines at the highest level of efficiency, IMSverify’s ability to help you make sure you got the G-code right before you hit Go is where you should start. Because if you don’t have the G-code right, you’ll never really optimize your process.
Thanks, Pal – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine