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Is there a CAM for lathe that doesn't suck?

I wonder if he ever got paid? Or the guy that wrote DraftPak? I spoke with Robert White on the phone many years ago, and he was still battling Baystate to get paid for his sale of FastSurf and FastSolid. This was probably a couple years after he sold his company to Baystate.

Robert White didn't get paid by Cadkey, and tried to overturn the bankruptcies court decision, even past the sale to Kubotek. He was unsuccesfull



Dave Reyburn was the coder who wrote the surfacing tools. He also did surfacing modules for UG that were being tested at McDonnel-Douglas in the early 90's. No idea if he got paid or not.
 
We just bought a new seat of mastercam. I was hoping the lathe module would be updated but it still pretty much the same as it was 10+ years ago. It does get the job done, much more control over details then with my old mazak. Easy to translate and make multiple parts etc. Im fairly happy with it overall.

I know a lot of people still code lathes by hand but its definitely faster with cam and you have more options, and its nice to get a good simulation.
 
We just bought a new seat of mastercam. I was hoping the lathe module would be updated but it still pretty much the same as it was 10+ years ago. It does get the job done, much more control over details then with my old mazak. Easy to translate and make multiple parts etc. Im fairly happy with it overall.

I know a lot of people still code lathes by hand but its definitely faster with cam and you have more options, and its nice to get a good simulation.
I've been happy with our single tool post, manual tool change TL-1 MaserCAM setup with a well tuned post, but I'm mindful of the fact that as soon as you have a rotating turret, the real problem is simulation and avoiding collisions with the other tools. It's good to hear you have the simulation working to your satisfaction. Did you get your reseller to set it up or is there a default that worked for you and are you able to set up tools easily? I haven't looked at lathe simulation, as with a single tool you can more or less figure it out from Backplot, though getting default home positions for the tools set up right is a help. It's funny that Mill and Lathe are diverging a bit, with Mill looking decidedly more modern in areas like the tool library.
 
I've been happy with our single tool post, manual tool change TL-1 MaserCAM setup with a well tuned post, but I'm mindful of the fact that as soon as you have a rotating turret, the real problem is simulation and avoiding collisions with the other tools. It's good to hear you have the simulation working to your satisfaction. Did you get your reseller to set it up or is there a default that worked for you and are you able to set up tools easily? I haven't looked at lathe simulation, as with a single tool you can more or less figure it out from Backplot, though getting default home positions for the tools set up right is a help. It's funny that Mill and Lathe are diverging a bit, with Mill looking decidedly more modern in areas like the tool library.

All you really need is a simulation of the current tools being used. Dont really need simulation of the entire machine.

The entire machine simulation is useless IMO unless you define everything exactly how it is in real life. Every tool stickout, every boring bar bushing etc etc. What about other common tools that you leave in the turret and not used for this job? Just watch everything really close for the first run and you will be fine. Be careful of adjacent ID tools hitting chuck and long tools hitting back of machine.

My reseller did supply a post for the haas no charge.
 
We ought not to get into a disagreement over semantics as that is the preserve of obstreperous humanities students, and as such, seems unbecoming on this forum. What @Seesecurity obviously means is if you have a non-trivial curve in your turned profile, it's very easy to do in CAM, and not easy to do by hand. But really all the other more common turning operations are also super easy and fast to program, and you have time to look at the operations see chances for better optimization while you're doing it. Right now I'd say, in answer to the question posed in the thread title, that MasterCAM lathe, once properly set up for your machine and tools, definitely does not suck.
 
We ought not to get into a disagreement over semantics as that is the preserve of obstreperous humanities students, and as such, seems unbecoming on this forum.
On this point I'll have to disagree with you. It's bad enough with manual machining - tell someone to put the collet chuck in the tailstock when you mean put the three-jaw in the headstock, people are going to go "hunh ?" but when you get into computer-aided anything, you damn well better get it exact. O and 0 even .... I'm not going to snivel over spelling but 3d surface on a lathe ? That has a specific meaning and it ain't "a bunch of curves". If you have a c axis ok but I'm pretty sure we weren't talking that.

What Seesecurity obviously means ....
I try that with the girlfriend once in a while. So far it has not turned out well :D

is if you have a non-trivial curve in your turned profile, it's very easy to do in CAM, and not easy to do by hand.
And I will say, not true. If it's on a print I can program it just as easy by hand, and do a better job. Turning cam sucks, imo.

But really all the other more common turning operations are also super easy and fast to program, and you have time to look at the operations see chances for better optimization while you're doing it.

Perhaps the difference is that I have hundreds of hours running production on an engine lathe so I have some pretty specific idea of what I want the machine to do. If you grew up on cadcam, then you probably don't have those preconceived notions, so what the software does is fine.

To me it sucks, but I am sure that a lot of people think it's fine.

Right now I'd say, in answer to the question posed in the thread title, that MasterCAM lathe, once properly set up for your machine and tools, definitely does not suck.

For someone who comes here to ask that question, I'd imagine you are correct :)

Seesecurity said:
This is a 2d surface I machine a series of, I'd like to see you hand program it...
That's a picnic. Toss up your print. All it is is a few arcs, bfd.

What's tricky is some face grooves (chip evacuation), undercuts in weird places, tight sections where you can't get the tool in, how to hold the part so it doesn't sing, how to hold the part at all; basically tooling problems, not shape problems. There are no difficult shapes on a 2 axis lathe. The trick is in making an efficient program, not drawing a curve or two.

And this is where, for me, the cam stuff is a failure. It's great at doing simple things (except canned cycles take like twice as long as longhand code and people get into more trouble with them - how many questions here about threading or radius comp that could be easily solved just by writing the program correctly) but when you want to do something weird, you end up having to hand code anyhow (as people have just mentioned). So flock it, if I have to hand code the hard parts, why not do the easy ones as well ? those only take a few minutes longer and I can finesse them the way I like.

Lathe programming is not a case of difficult geometry, like a mill. Lathe programming - good lathe programming, I mean - is a physics problem.

Maybe an interesting part here is that the only people who care about programs are guys who ran manual machines (and maybe automotive). We're all dying off. So in the future it won't even be a question, the kids can argue about which program has the snazziest buttons, not which one makes the best part programs. And that's fine, in the end it probably doesn't matter ... except that ... in China, there's dozens of schools teaching programming, with hundreds of young kids. You should see the math questions that kids get in third grade here. People are bitching now about china wrecking US manufacturing ? Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins ....
 
That's a picnic. Toss up your print. All it is is a few arcs, bfd.
:rolleyes5: There is no detail on the print for the form, only the ID/OD and OA thickness. There is no hand coding the geometry as it's all freeform.
The form is hand sculpted in plastic, chrome plated, rinse and repeat until the form is what they want. It's then digitised on a CMM, turned in to a 3d model and I then machine them in SS.
 
:rolleyes5:
The form is hand sculpted in plastic, chrome plated, rinse and repeat until the form is what they want. [/b]It's then digitised on a CMM, turned in to a 3d model and I then machine them in SS.

That means one of two things - they scanned it and gave you a series of points, or they then ran curve-fitting software against those points and came up with numbers for arcs which means you can easily write a program manually for that profile.

Since you mentioned a model, I'm gonna go out on a limb and deduce there's arcs involved, which means x's and z's, i's and k's. Half an hour's work to write a toolpath.

It's really not difficult.
 
I've also been searching for one and currently write the code by hand at the control. If nobody beats me to it, my plan is to create good lathe CAM software and make it free online after I finish the other software project I'm working on.
Hi, if you need som one to test your software. Let me know.
 








 
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