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How accurate are your CNC programs?


Although CAM software has the ability to do so many things for you, some customers insist that the post processor output “canned cycles”. This makes the programs shorter is their believe. In some cases it may be true, but there are some coding methods for canned cycles which lead to inaccurate results.

Let’s take a look at a couple of Weidepoint commands. First the ARC/ command. There are four parameters for this command: radius, start angle, incremental angle, and number of hits.

The first hole should be very close to the correct location, but after that, each hole may be progressively farther out of position. The problem is the incremental angle.

If your Arc pattern is 12 holes, 15 radius, and 8 degrees apart, no problem. But what happens when the pattern is 8.135 degrees? The last hole is .014 out of position since the angle is rounded either up or down to satisfy the 2 decimal place input requirement of the canned cycle. The result, a bad part.

The LIN/ and GRD/ commands can have the same issue. The distance between holes may need to be rounded off for input purposes of the canned cycle and the hole pattern is now progressively off.

If your post processor outputs canned cycles, take a close look a the output to see if this error is possible. You may want to take action to avoid using these “canned cycles’ in future programs.


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