Machine CAD, Models and External Alignments

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  • Machine CAD, Models and External Alignments

    Good morning,

    I'm looking for a bit of help. My work have recently bought a machine and it has arrived with an aluminium plate bolted to the table. I'd like to get this set up to constantly show the plate in the graphics and also create external alignments for each grid reference. I don't have a model for the plate yet, but I'll model that up on solidworks myself.

    I've tried to create an external alignment previously and whenever I save it, then open up a new program it doesn't show up in the drop down menu as an option.Does anyone know why this could be happening?

    Also I'd like to show the actual model of the CMM machine in the graphics, the only problem is when I toggle on the machine graphics it shows the part at a completely different position on the graphics from where I actually have it sitting on the table. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I could sort this? FYI the machine is a Global 07.10.07 and the machine runs PC-DMIS CAD ++ 2011.

    I am a beginner so if you could break it down for me in layman's terms that would be great. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #2
    Hi

    Originally posted by carfinbear72 View Post
    good morning,

    i've tried to create an external alignment previously and whenever i save it, then open up a new program it doesn't show up in the drop down menu as an option.does anyone know why this could be happening?

    are you going to insert > alignment and then recall? Then from the drop down list selecting external? Then you change the final external to the save name you called the saved alignment. Make sure the external alignment is in the part program folder as doing it this way it will look here first.

    also i'd like to show the actual model of the cmm machine in the graphics, the only problem is when i toggle on the machine graphics it shows the part at a completely different position on the graphics from where i actually have it sitting on the table. Anyone have any suggestions as to how i could sort this? Fyi the machine is a global 07.10.07 and the machine runs pc-dmis cad ++ 2011.

    you will have to transform the machine position so that they have similar co-ordinates and then just play around until the part is in the correct position compared to the machine. Press f5 and go to the part/machine tab for this.
    This is just a visual aid anyway so it doesn't need to be too accurate. I very rarely use the machine cad at all so this may not be as easy as described


    i am a beginner so if you could break it down for me in layman's terms that would be great. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    gary

    Comment


    • CarfinBear72
      CarfinBear72 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, yes I was trying to select it from the 'alignment and recall' and it wasn't showing up as an option. I think it's how I was saving it.

      Cheers for the tips

  • #3
    Hi Gary,

    I would create an alignment from features on the plate (holes for example) and offset to the first grid number, then go to insert > alignment > save, save as grid number "grid1.aln" then offset to the next and save as “grid2.aln” and so on (depending on your grid reference numbers) do this to you have all the grids saved. You shouldn't have to, but you can run the program to make sure the external alignments are saving.

    They should save to the following directory C:\Users\Public\Documents\WAI\PC-DMIS\2011.1, .... The .aln files that you have created in here need to be transferred to offline machines same directory, or you can run the program on the offline machines so that you will have those external alignments for offline programming.

    If there are no features to align from, or the plate is out with the CMMs travel you could also use a ground block or slip. Place at the first grid position, probe the table for Z0 then the block for X0 & Y0, this doesn’t need to be perfectly accurate as it’s only an external alignment for positioning the part to find it. You will be aligning from the part once it’s found at that grid number anyway.

    As for the machine in the program I don’t think it’s necessary, it can be handy for large parts which are at the outer extremes of the CMM envelope when programming offline, as it helps keep the probe movement within the CMM envelope for that machine. I never bother with it.

    Hope this helps

    Geo.

    Comment


    • CarfinBear72
      CarfinBear72 commented
      Editing a comment
      Cheers for the advice Geo,

      The parts I'm going to be working on can be quite tight at times as the larger machine is usually in use so sometimes I need to squeeze it onto the smaller machine so it would be good to know if I am working inside the envelope.

      Also when I have modelled up the plate for the CMM do I have to import and transform the plate into position for every program I create or is there a way to make sure the model of the plate is always in position relative to the external alignments before I begin?

      Cheers,
      Gary

  • #4
    No Problem,

    Bigtall has pretty much explained how to shift the model to suit the CMM co-ordinates.

    In reply to the plate, as long as it is modelled in Solidworks with the origin in the right place it will import to the correct position, but you will have to use the first grid position at bottom left corner of the CMM for it to align properly. Whatever external alignment you load will have its corner datum in the physical grid system of the CMM, the datum on the model when loaded will line up with this, that’s why it’s important to align the model and use the 1st grid position so it’s always in line. Once you have the model where you want it you can always store the .CAD file somewhere and load that when you need it

    Geo.

    Comment


    • Schlag
      Schlag commented
      Editing a comment
      X 2 . Add coordinate system to the model inside of solidworks so when you import you need 0.0 more work on CAD. I would do this on all my models as well. I think doing this in CAD is easier than transformation inside if DMIS, not everyone has CAD software so obviously everyone does this different .

    • bigtallanddopey
      bigtallanddopey commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not allowed to change the part CAD co-ordinate system so I have to transform everything else.

      This may be a good point for the OP as well, when you transform the CAD it changes the co-ordinate system. This isn't a problem if you don't need it in car line etc and can have it 0,0,0,

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