Reduce time to CNC with NX CAM automation, part 2: CAM dialogs

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series NX CAM automation

This instruction shows how to redefine the NX CAM dialog boxes and save them as templates in order to record best manufacturing practices. The advantage of the method is simplicity, all customization work is done inside NX. Step-by-step instruction is given.

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Model is taken from GrabCAD

90% of automation in this video is done with this method:

Why building NX CAM templates via dialogs?

  • When creating a template, you reuse a set operations, each with its own individual parameters — tools, feeds and speeds, cutting parameters, etc.
  • You make simplified selection for the actions that are unique for the new parts you manufacture with the template, this means that best practices can be reused and revised
  • If best practices are recorded, less experienced users can be appointed to more complex tasks

Area of use

  • Detailed templates can be done if parts have similar geometry but different sizes
  • Templates can be done to contain only frequently used operations, in this case the rest of operations is created in the regular way
  • The required skill level for making such templates is quite low, meaning the user who has enough skills to manufacture the part, has enough skills to build a template for it

Step-by-step instruction

Preparation

  • Select the model to manufacture and create a new setup
  • Make the CAM operations for machining the part, and while you make them make notes of your actions
  • In your notes mark the actions as following:
    • ones that can be stored in template and will not change, like feeds and speeds
    • ones that are needed to be selected every time, like selection of manufactured surfaces, that change with each model

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Setting new dialogs

  • Right-click on the manufacturing object and choose Object, Customize
  • Remove everything extra from the dialog box, we only the things marked “need to repeat each time”
  • Write a title for the operation, which also may include sequential number of the operation
  • Take a screenshot of required action and put the picture into dialog

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  • Add the dialog option, that is required for the action
  • Repeat actions for the next action

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Save and test the template

  • Save the template
  • Load another part, that is planned to be manufactured with this template
  • Test the template and make required corrections

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Conclusion

The templates take time to be defined, but subsequent parts can be manufactured faster. I would recommend to define and test templates that contain frequently used operations first. If you find them useful, switch to more detailed templates.

Have you tried defining templates in the way described above? Did you find it useful?

Please, leave a comment if this instruction has helped you and tell us how.

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