Fast Set-Up & Tooling

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The workpiece to be machined is defined in an easy-to-follow dialog, together with the chucking devices and a tool magazine allocation plan. Apart from being able to select the standard raw shapes cube, cylinder, tube and n-edged body, the user can import a pre-shaped workpiece from a workpiece file or as an STL -format import file with chucking depth, orientation and position on the machine table. The standard chucking devices provided include machine vises and chucks with 2 to 4 jaws of various types (stepped, prismatic and/or soft) as well as a modular chucking system.

To define the tool magazine allocation, TopCAT permits the utilization of all standard tool types in parameter-defined form (as templates). When the user selects one of the presetted tools, the (different) correction value data records are automatically selected as well. If no suitable tool is yet available, composed of its components tool holder, holder and insert, or tool chuck, collet and drill/end mill/milling head, presetted and then mounted.

The workpiece dimension origin can then be calculated from the defaults and information on the respective chucking devices. In set-up mode the motions of TopTurn and TopMill can be controlled manually allowing manual machining of the workpiece. This can also be used to determine the workpart zero point or tool offsets by touch probe operations.

Of course, the CNC simulators can also be set up automatically using a set-up sheet included in the header of the NC program. Conversely, it is possible to save the actual set-up state in a setup sheet. For this set-up sheet the MTS set-up format with keywords is available.

This universal tooling set-up mode meets both the industrial NC programming requirements as well as the requirement that CNC operator training be oriented to real-life applications and to independent, task-oriented work.