Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Create a Sandbox to Customize NX CAM

A sandbox in NX (Unigraphics) allows you to create a safe customization environment in which you can experiment in NX CAM without affecting the base install. 

Why customize NX? 

Every shop is unique and tailoring your NX CAM experience to meet your specific needs can greatly increase your productivity. Customizing NX can also offer these benefits:
  • Customization gives you the ability to set default values and limit the number operations available.
  • Reduce the number of errors in your operations by minimizing user input. 
  • NX CAM has broad functionality, which your shop may not use often. 
Where to start? 

Customization in NX CAM is best started with templates. Templates are easy to develop and share and allow you to reuse anything from a tool to the complete operation process. Using customized templates allow you to utilize best practices regarding reuse and enforces consistent programming. When customizing these templates you don’t want to damage your existing installation. Therefore, it is crucial to set up a sandbox to avoid complications.

Let’s Get to Work: Set Up a Sandbox in NX 

1. Create a folder in Users\username\named Demo.
2. Copy in some out of the box files you would like to work with
  • Locate the NX home folder. This can be done by opening up the log file and clicking on Help->log file
  • Scroll down to UGII_BASE_DIR and see where it points.

  • Copy the location.
  • Open up a new window and navigate to the home folder. 
  • Navigate to location and copy over MACH\resource\ folder into the Demo folder.

3. Change protection on folder.
  • Right click on properties.
  • Uncheck "Read-only" and Click Apply.

  • In the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box choose “Apply changes to this folder, sub-folder and files” and click Apply.

4. In the Demo folder create a folder named “usertools”

5. In the usertools folder create  “bitmap” folder and a “startup” folder.

6. Create a copy of ugii_env.dat to the folder above.
7. Open file.

8. Add the following:

#My resource area

# My bitmaps

NOTE: Replace your user name for highlighted text.

9. Save and close the file.
10. Click on Start-> Siemens NX 9.0, right-click and drag the shortcut to your Demo folder.

  • Right click on the copied shortcut and change the “start in” folder to the demo folder created above.
11. Run NX from the created shortcut and go to log file. *Notice locations have changed for CAM.

Now you are ready to begin customizing your templates for NX CAM! These templates are located in the Demo\resource\template_part\english\ folder.  

For example you can open up the mill_planar part and see all of the operations available for mill planar. You can remove operations or add new operations in order to fulfill the needs of your shop and also pre-populate tools in pockets to a specific template. How will you use Sandbox to customize your NX experience? 

By Matt Beisel, Application Engineer, Swoosh Technologies & Solutions

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

KeyShot LiveLinking Plugins for Solid Edge and SolidWorks

Let’s look at the Live Linking and Plugin capabilities of Keyshot. There are multiple ways to bring geometry into Keyshot for incredibly fast, high quality renders including the import function and direct export for plugin-enabled software such as Solid Edge and SolidWorks.

The first time I used Keyshot I excitedly started importing my Solid Edge files but could not get the rounded edges of my parts to not be faceted. After an email and a quick response from the Keyshot support group, it turns out there is a simple solution. All I had to do was download the latest plugin from the KeyShot website here and utilize LiveLinking. 

After using the plugin for Solid Edge my images went from this:

To This: 

Take a look at the following video demonstrating the LiveLinking and plugin for Solid Edge in action.

Check out the final render using Solid Edge and KeyShot:

By Dylan Malek, Application Engineer, Swoosh Technologies & Solutions

Monday, November 18, 2013

Surfacing in Solid Edge ST6

The first of our new live webcast series, Solid Edge Shorts, brings you helpful information on surfacing in Solid Edge. Swoosh Technologies’ Application Engineer, Dylan Malek, walks you through the basic surfacing features as well as the new enhancements in ST6.

Watch the replay below register here for the next Solid Edge Short where we will showcase the software's Sheet Metal Capabilities!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Create Single Spot Drill Operation for Multiple Sets of Holes in NX 9

Creating a single spot drilling operation for all the holes in your part in NX 9 takes some manual interaction. The hole making operations in NX 9 read the feature information from the model to create a single spot drilling operation because of the dynamic IPW. The following step illustrate a successful work-around. However, if the steps are not taken, the spot drill operation will drill the depth from the first selected hole. 

Create a hole making operation in NX 9 CAM 

Select the Spot Drilling sub type. (Within the create operation dialog, select your program, tool, geometry group, and machining method group).

Next select your geometry. The hole should be selected at the edge of the top surface you wish to be spot drilling.

Select your hole by selecting the ICON circled in red. After selecting the Icon, this dialog box appears. 

Select the first hole (Notice when selecting the hole it populates the list in the list section of the above dialog box; also if you view the graphics area inside NX 9, The dynamic IPW is displaying. The material that will be removed is displaying in the IPW).

In order to create a single spot drilling operation the next step MUST be complete.

The programmer must enter the depth manually in the above dialog box. Click on the lock to the right side of the depth value that is currently greyed out. Select the user-defined option.

Enter the depth that you wish to drill (Notice when you enter your desired spot drilling depth, the dynamic work piece automatically changes.)

This step must be done for each hole you wish to be part of your spot drilling operation. The depth of your spot drilling is derived from the surface in which the hole to be spot drilled was selected.  

If a hole is selected out of order and the programmer wishes to re-order his hole, the hole must first be selected on the list. The programmer must then utilize the up and down arrows to order the hole in the proper drilling sequence.

Note: If the depth of the spot drill drills a larger chamfer than its model, NX will give a warning that the part is being gouged. Simply turn the gouge checking off. NX will also ignore drilling the holes where the gouging is occurring. This is shown in the video below. NX CAM had the intelligence to know the user was drilling a larger spot drill and reported a gouge. Once the gouge checking is turned off in the operation, the software proceeds to drill the spot drill hole to the specified size.

To turn the gouge checking off uncheck the “Gouge Checking” option circle in the dialog box below.

Generate your tool path and select OK to accept it.

This concludes creating a single spot drilling operation with the new NX 9 hole making, spot drilling operation.

Written by Brian Brown, Application Engineer, Swoosh Technologies & Solutions