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CAM Customization siemens NX

CAM allows you to completely define the manufacturing environment in which you will program. NX is delivered with a manufacturing environment already defined. The advantage of the NX system compared to other systems is that the description of the environment has been greatly expanded and you have the ability to customize this environment completely in order to enhance your productivity.

Our recommendation is to copy the ${UGII_BASE_DIR}\MAH\resource folder and set the variable UGII_CAM_RESOURCE_DIR to point to your copy. Do all of your customization in your copy of the resource folder structure.

The following types of data that can be customized:

  • Manufacturing Templates

  • Definitions of Output formats.

  • Definitions of libraries and library data.

  • Process Assistants

A CAM environment exists from the time you first enter the Manufacturing module to the time you exit NX. The data in the environment is part file independent, which means it stays the same even if multiple parts are being used. This is logical because the same environment manufactures several parts.

This section describes each component of the machining environment and the benefits of customization. Later sections describe how the system is initially delivered and how to accomplish desired customization. Further details about each component may be found throughout the documentation.

Intent of the Customizing Tools

The Manufacturing environment consists of the following:

  • Manufacturing Templates

  • Operation templates

  • Method templates

  • Tool Templates

  • Geometry Templates

  • Setup templates

  • Output Control

  • Available CLSF formats

  • Tool-path listing format

  • Available Postprocessor templates

  • Available Shop Floor Documentation Templates

  • User defined events

  • NX Library

  • Machine Tool Library

  • Tool Library

  • Part Material Library

  • Tool Material Library

  • Cut methods

  • Feed and Speed Database

  • Process Assistants

Manufacturing Templates

The manufacturing templates are containers of procedures and option settings. They allow you to use the CAM system from different perspectives. You can use these templates to customize the workflow presented by NX and to customize the default settings for options. Using these templates, users can gain access to any portion of the full Manufacturing functionality, thus allowing for consistent and focused usage. Using these templates, users can also gain access to different sets of predefined values, which allow greater productivity in repetitive situations.

Five types of templates are available in the manufacturing environment: Operation, Method, Tool, Geometry, and Setup. Each one contains different data.

Operation templates are used to set values for all options within an operation. For example, there may be a template for point to point operations that includes all of the desired default settings for drilling. The data is stored as an operation itself, which is then retrieved to initialize the values for other operations.


Operation Templates initialize operation parameter values

Method templates control the setting of options that you want to be common throughout the setup. The options that can be defined as such are: stock, tolerances, feed rates and display parameters. The advantage of this capability is consistent machining throughout the setup while only having to specify values once.


Method Templates initialize setup option values

Tool templates control which types of tool assemblies (tool and holders) are available to be created in your CAM environment, and control the setting of default values for these tools. For example, you may want to limit the types of tools that can be created because you want to force the use of standard tools retrieved from a library. The advantage is great for customers with specialized libraries.


Tool Templates initialize available tools and their parameter values

Geometry templates control which type of geometry is available to be selected within the environment, and a machining sequence for that type of geometry. A geometry template can be defined for hole geometry, boundary geometry, face and body geometry, and turning boundaries. You can save a sequence of operation templates with each of the geometry templates. The advantage of this is that the user can establish a predefined process to machine a certain geometry feature. In the example, a sequence of center drill, drill and ream operation templates can be saved for the hole geometry group.


Geometry Templates initialize a sequence of operations for a given geometry type

Setup templates are used to initialize the entire CAM environment by providing any combination of operation, method, tool, and geometry templates at the same time. The setup is represented by all of the CAM data in the part.


Setup Templates initialize the entire manufacturing environment

Operation and group templates are classified with a user-defined type and subtype.

The type defines a collection of information that is used for one machining discipline. It is a part name that defines the part where the information is saved.

The subtype defines a collection of information that represents one specific process within that machining discipline. This specific process could be operation templates and/or group templates. For operation templates, the subtype is an operation within the part listed as the type. For group templates, the subtype is a group within the part listed as the type.

Output Control

You have control over the content and format of the output. The following outputs can be customized:

CLSF format

This is the format of the CLSF records. For example, NX includes three formats: Standard, BCL and ISO. You can then customize any additional formats.

Tool Path Listing format

This is the text format for output.

Shop floor documentation format

This defines the format for such capabilities as tool lists, operation sheets and process plans.

Machine Output format

This is the format of the PTP file. The format might be customizable depending on the desired machine tool/controller combination being used.

User Defined Events format

This is the format for output of postprocessor commands in the toolpath. This can be used to customize post sequences such as tool changes and load sequences.

NX Library

CAM offers the capability to store and retrieve information in libraries. This is very useful for information that is to be used repeatedly in many setups in a consistent manner. These libraries allow you to retrieve data into the setup. The libraries can be customized to include the exact type and content of data that is desired.

Library control is provided for tools, tool assemblies (tool plus holder), machine tools, machinability data (feeds/speeds), cut methods, and material (part plus tool).

Two versions of libraries are available; a text version and a full capability integrated library mechanism.

Process Assistants

Process Assistants allow you to control the sequence of NC programming activities to be presented in the user interface. The aid is a wizard like manufacturing process assistant. This processing assistant defines the sequence of NC programming activities to be presented in the user interface.


Geometry Templates initialize a sequence of operations for a given geometry

Manufacturing processing assistants control the sequence of interactive dialogs presented to the user for a sequence of operations. NX provides an initial set of Manufacturing processing assistants based upon extensive industry research. These are available within several products and product bundles. Currently, you may not create your own manufacturing processing assistants. This capability will be allowed in the future.

Manufacturing processing assistants are most productive when used in conjunction with manufacturing templates. For example, a geometry template can be used to define a sequence of operations (and their options) to be applied to a type of geometry (ie. a die). A processing assistant can then be applied to control the user interface. For example, the processing assistant can lead you to always be asked to select a tool or a Machine Coordinate System for each operation. A processing assistant can also allow the selection of tolerances to be by passed so that the default values are always used. An example of this can be seen by choosing the Mill contour die mold configuration, and selecting a mold or die sequence setup.

With these aids, you can customize the CAM interaction, process, and values to match your particular needs.

Configuration Management

The Configuration of the CAM system is the state of all of the customizable options at any one time. A configuration file keeps the record of these states and is the function used to define the customized environment.

The Manufacturing system is delivered with the configuration completely defined. There are several supplied configurations within which you can choose to work. If these are not appropriate, the system can be further or totally customized and then a new or modified configuration file used to define this new environment.

The supplied Configuration files include versions customized for each of three market segments: Mold and Die, Machinery, and High End.

The configuration file consists of a list of links that point to separate files. Each of these separate files, called reference files, contains the format for one type of customizable data.

All configuration files, whether supplied with the software, or created by the user, must have the same format: a key word followed by an environment variable. The key word identifies the type of data to be customized, and the environment variable identifies the location of a reference file that has the customized format for that data.

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