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Esprit Cam, a review

If you don't think that's a reasonable request for the MTBs, why do you think it's a reasonable request to make of the CAM companies? There's only like a dozen halfway credible CAM systems (Esprit, NX, Mastercam, Fusion/HSM, FeatureCAM, Hypermill, Powermill, Camworks, Solidcam, Gibbscam, Partmaker, maybe BobCAD and Sprutcam if you consider them legit - maybe I've missed a couple, but there aren't millions, and Autodesk owns about half of those) whereas there's thousands of machine models out there, all with wildly different capabilities.
Why do I think it’s reasonable request for the CAM companies to build the posts? Maybe cause it’s their software, they developed, built and the posts are part of their software. 🤷‍♂️

I'm pretty sure Haas cooperate quite closely with AD. They may not be the ones who do the first-iteration writing of the posts, but someone is verifying them for AD, someone is providing AD with good CAD of all their machines for simulations etc.
Sure maybe HAAS cooperates with AD, but IMO HAAS posts are probably the easiest post to build, probably the most basic G&M code there is. I haven’t built or edited a post in years but I know damn well I could open CAMWorks post builder they include with their software and build one from scratch fully functioning on the first try.

Everything for HAAS is easily found on their own website, full G&M code list and functionality, available to all. So any CAM company or any user has ease of access.

CAMWorks has free off the shelf HAAS posts available directly from HCL as well. CAMWorks reseller Hawk Ridge Systems provides them also, fully functioning. I use a free HAAS post for my SL20, functions great. The only reason I have a “custom” HAAS mill post is because I have quite few “custom” functions otherwise the free one included in the post files would work just fine.

Someone is providing AD with good CAD models?! Seriously……do a little research, HAAS CAD models are available to all on their website, you can download them for any machine. Full machine model, with all components.

This is straight from HAAS:
We did not start offering 3D models for customers until circa 2013. If you want the archived files, please email [email protected] and they will send them to you via TEAMS file share.

HAAS even has a YouTube tutorial on how to download their machine CAD files……

 
^ Guess I'll have to beat that drum again :)

A standard output from cadcam systems would solve these problems. Maybe you guys should put some pressure on the vendors to make that happen?
Standard outputs have been tried. Way too long ago and mostly before my time, so don't ask me for details!

Reality is there is way too much dissimilarity / specialisation in contemporary cam systems and way too many differences in how these systems are used for a single unified output system to ever be possible.
 
No, I fully understand that the MTB is not the CAM manufacturer, but from a practical standpoint the problem is when and more importantly WHERE the post validation happens: you can't verify the post if you don't have the machine. While software is relatively inexpensive to ship to another location, people and machines are not. Who has more DMG NTX1000s and associated NTX1000 engineers sitting around and able to spend a week proving out a post, DMG or Hexagon? DMG or Autodesk? DMG or Mastercam? etc etc.

If any MTB (besides Haas who are already seemingly doing a decent job, at least with Fusion) promises to ship their machine with a fully functional, vetted post for any given software, I am personally putting that machine at the top of the list. So while the MTB can certainly legally wash their hands of any responsibility, it's pretty pathetic that few if any of them are putting their hands up and saying "HEY BUY OUR MACHINE BECAUSE WE CAN GUARANTEE YOUR POST ACTUALLY WORKS PROPERLY, FOR WHATEVER SOFTWARE YOU WANT".

The whole "you get a custom post with our software" thing we get from the CAM companies is really "we're doubling up on our own work to deliver a worse product at a much higher price".
you expect each MTB to develop a post for each of their machines, with different configurations, for EVERY single CAM system out there? are you fucking HIGH? you want prices on machines to double?
 
You can get machine cad files on taobao for a whole lot of machines, usually about ten bucks. They may not be perfect but it's a lot easier to adjust one than make it from scratch.
HAAS provides CAD models on their site for any and everyone...........
 
^ Guess I'll have to beat that drum again :)

A standard output from cadcam systems would solve these problems. Maybe you guys should put some pressure on the vendors to make that happen?
Standard outputs have been tried. Way too long ago and mostly before my time, so don't ask me for details!

Reality is there is way too much dissimilarity / specialisation in contemporary cam systems and way too many differences in how these systems are used for a single unified output system to ever be possible.
Not to mention CAM companies are in business to make money, they make money off posts, why would they agree to standardize posts that can be used across all CAM systems?
 
If you are upset with your CAM system not providing free posts, you are free to move to another system, shop around and find one that provides the post you need, it will be basic and come a time you want to add a function you will pay for it if you are unable to edit it yourself.

I looked at HCL CAMWorks to see what they provide, and I was actually surprised with how many they provide, they even provides the SRC file for editing as needed................................I was more surprised at all the 5 axis posts.

Hawk Ride Systems, CAMWorks reseller provides quite a few free as well.


 

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The person who has "gone through the process on the equivalent machine before" really should be the MTB - I can't believe there is no primary driver for this kind of stuff in most cases. Haas have done one brilliant thing with their marketing/sales which is to create solid posts for Fusion 360 for free, for all (or effectively all) their machines. You buy a Haas, you know 100% you'll have a validated Fusion post for the machine. Now I get that Haas don't have any multi-channel machines, nor anything particularly complex really, but why is nobody at DMG, Okuma, Nakamura, Citizen, etc selling their machine with validated posts for the major CAM packages? Because as I see it, there's far fewer software suites in use than there are machine configurations available - wouldn't be that hard for any of those companies to have a post specialist whose sole responsibility was to liaise with Autodesk, Hexagon, Siemens etc to ensure that the posted code was solid. Fair enough that some people have really specific/unique requirements but I think most of the time that isn't the problem, it's some dumb shit like the C axis rotating the wrong way because your particular MTB views the "front" of the spindle as viewed from behind the spindle or whatever.

Blows my mind that you can buy a $700k machine and a $50k piece of software and still nobody takes full responsibility even being ABLE to deliver a solid, validated post off the bat, when Haas do it for free (and do it well) for lower end machines using lower end CAM software.
Valid points.
However I dont think any major cam software has issues with Haas posts (i could be wrong). They are pretty boiler plate / simple.
The real pain comes in when coordinate systems start being transposed with different g codes.....and multiple axis' combined with a sim package.
 
Not to mention CAM companies are in business to make money, they make money off posts, why would they agree to standardize posts that can be used across all CAM systems?
I disagree.
Posts are a neccesary evil in the eyes of cam companies. They LOSE money on posts. You and I both know without a good working post the cam software is useless. They have entire departments dedicated to creating and editing posts. Every time the software comes with a new enhancement ....the post likely wont work with that enhamcement
 
I disagree.
Posts are a neccesary evil in the eyes of cam companies. They LOSE money on posts. You and I both know without a good working post the cam software is useless. They have entire departments dedicated to creating and editing posts. Every time the software comes with a new enhancement ....the post likely wont work with that enhamcement
i disagree, you think if customer A paid for a post for machine X, then customer B wants the same post - they rewrite it from scratch? i'm not saying there is 0 cost, because of minor changes/updates, but i'm willing to bet they are reusing 70-80% of a base post for every machine/control combination and just doing minor edits to suit each customer.
 
I disagree.
Posts are a neccesary evil in the eyes of cam companies. They LOSE money on posts. You and I both know without a good working post the cam software is useless. They have entire departments dedicated to creating and editing posts. Every time the software comes with a new enhancement ....the post likely wont work with that enhamcement
Do you realize how many companies DO NOT pay for posts? It's actually shocking! In 20 years, I've worked at 6 shops before I went on my own, and NOT ONE paid for a post, across 4 different CAM companies, they all used a free provided post and hand edited or had someone that could do some basic edits. For my first 3-5 years programming, I thought this was the norm until I really got into programming and actually was able to communicate with the reseller, and at that time, I approached the owner and asked if he would pay the $350 for the post to fixed, and he said no. I actually paid for it myself cause I was absolutely sick of posting out a program and having to hand edit 3 or 4 lines.

i disagree, you think if customer A paid for a post for machine X, then customer B wants the same post - they rewrite it from scratch? i'm not saying there is 0 cost, because of minor changes/updates, but i'm willing to bet they are reusing 70-80% of a base post for every machine/control combination and just doing minor edits to suit each customer.
Guaranteed, even if they say they are rewriting each one, I call BS! They have a catalog of posts ready to go or a base to start with and within their catalog everything is ready to copy and paste for 99% of posts.

Company XXX wants a HAAS post with this function, open HAAS base post, and find that function in where ever they have it saved, copy, paste. SEND IT!
 
I disagree.
Posts are a neccesary evil in the eyes of cam companies. They LOSE money on posts. You and I both know without a good working post the cam software is useless. They have entire departments dedicated to creating and editing posts. Every time the software comes with a new enhancement ....the post likely wont work with that enhamcement
Here ya go, perfect example:

When I added 4 axis simultaneous module to my CAM seat they informed me my post would need to be updated. My reseller quoted me $2k to do it! I negotiated down to $625 cause $2k was absolutely ridiculous....$625 was still ridiculous.

I submitted my PO for the updated post at 5:16pm and I had the new post by 6:08pm, not even an hour! You're going to sit there and tell me they lose money on post?! 😂🤣
 

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you expect each MTB to develop a post for each of their machines, with different configurations, for EVERY single CAM system out there? are you fucking HIGH? you want prices on machines to double?
Am I high? No, your math sucks. There’s way more machine models than there are CAM systems. So yeah, it makes more sense for each MTB, who actually has full access to each machine and configuration, to be the one validating the posts. You need to see a doctor if you think DMG can’t get posts built for a dozen CAM systems, even if they actually buy them from Hexagon/AD etc originally and just prove them/fix them at the factory. It’ll add $5k to the total cost of development of a machine model, or 1-2% the cost of a millturn machine, ten or so times over (once for each major CAM system). So we are talking about 5-10% of the cost of ONE machine. Sell 100 of those machines and we are talking 0.5-1% change in price. And realistically most of those posts will work across a family of half a dozen machines with minimal (or no) changes, so we’re looking at ~0.1-0.2% changes to machine pricing. Yeah, it’ll double machine prices…
 
Why do I think it’s reasonable request for the CAM companies to build the posts? Maybe cause it’s their software, they developed, built and the posts are part of their software. 🤷‍♂️

The post is the interface between CAM and the machine. It has to work with both - one is not more important than the other (or if it is, it’s the machine, because you can make that cut stuff without CAM but CAM without a machine is completely worthless).

It's easier to send software back and forth than machines, ergo it makes sense that you move the software to the machine rather than the machine to the software. Because machines are made in the MTB factory, that’s an easy place to send the software to for post development. By contrast, shipping a 15k lbs machine to Hexagon for them to develop and prove out a post is a little bit more expensive. The current “ship both to the customer and let them figure it out at their own expense” model sucks.

Fair play on Haas CAD, but either way Haas are making the info readily available for Autodesk, which is not true of many MTBs. And yeah, maybe AD did just develop about 50 haas posts on their own, but look how well it’s worked for both Haas and Fusion.
 
The post is the interface between CAM and the machine. It has to work with both - one is not more important than the other (or if it is, it’s the machine, because you can make that cut stuff without CAM but CAM without a machine is completely worthless).

It's easier to send software back and forth than machines, ergo it makes sense that you move the software to the machine rather than the machine to the software. Because machines are made in the MTB factory, that’s an easy place to send the software to for post development. By contrast, shipping a 15k lbs machine to Hexagon for them to develop and prove out a post is a little bit more expensive. The current “ship both to the customer and let them figure it out at their own expense” model sucks.

Fair play on Haas CAD, but either way Haas are making the info readily available for Autodesk, which is not true of many MTBs. And yeah, maybe AD did just develop about 50 haas posts on their own, but look how well it’s worked for both Haas and Fusion.
Give it up. The world does not revolve around Haas and Fusion.
 
It's never going to happen but wouldn't be that big a deal, if the asshole software companies would cooperate instead of looking for "competitive advantage". A standard input format is already halfway there, almost every cadcam program already can output tool motion in CL format. Oddballs like the integrex and some really complicated lathes would need custom interfaces maybe but run of the mill machine tools, would be easy.

For those who are aghast, it's already been done -- otherwise, g-code (RS-274) would not exist. And 3/8 coarse nuts fit 3/8 coarse bolts. Creating standards is not that big a deal, just requires cooperation.

Also, for all those continually squealing about "control integration", well, that's what this is. A standard output from cadcam software along with posts created by the builder (which is what they do anyhow, except currently the machine owner has to sit in the middle asking "How do you implement g02 ? R, IJK, signed distance from arc center to start point, or the other way around ? what's the machine's rapid rate ?" etc etc etc) .... Anyway, in a rational world this would be done, the same way that g-code was created and we managed to have a standard gauge for trains and even by god the metric system came along but ain't gonna happen in this world so. Too bad.
 
Am I high? No, your math sucks. There’s way more machine models than there are CAM systems. So yeah, it makes more sense for each MTB, who actually has full access to each machine and configuration, to be the one validating the posts. You need to see a doctor if you think DMG can’t get posts built for a dozen CAM systems, even if they actually buy them from Hexagon/AD etc originally and just prove them/fix them at the factory. It’ll add $5k to the total cost of development of a machine model, or 1-2% the cost of a millturn machine, ten or so times over (once for each major CAM system). So we are talking about 5-10% of the cost of ONE machine. Sell 100 of those machines and we are talking 0.5-1% change in price. And realistically most of those posts will work across a family of half a dozen machines with minimal (or no) changes, so we’re looking at ~0.1-0.2% changes to machine pricing. Yeah, it’ll double machine prices…
you live in lala land sir.
 
you live in lala land sir.
That's true, because software companies are cowards. They know their stuff is not very good, so anything they can use to keep you is what they'll do. If they were any good they'd want to make it easy to change products, because the good ones would get more customers.

Ali fought everybody - everybody - because he was confident in his skills. It's the second-rate products and cowards who don't want to cooperate.
 
That's true, because software companies are cowards. They know their stuff is not very good, so anything they can use to keep you is what they'll do. If they were any good they'd want to make it easy to change products, because the good ones would get more customers.

Ali fought everybody - everybody - because he was confident in his skills. It's the second-rate products and cowards who don't want to cooperate.
they're not cowards, they're looking out for their own interests.
 








 
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