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Highly Intuitive 2D Drawing Tool For CNC Cutting Machines

Highly Intuitive 2D Drawing Tool For CNC Cutting Machines

Known as NUMcad, the new drawing software runs directly from the machine’s operator panel and also under Windows on any standard PC. Its user interface mimics that of many popular CAD packages and is highly intuitive, making it ideal for people with minimal design experience.


CNC specialist NUM has launched a unique 2D drawing tool that simplifies the design and creation of executable G-code files for CNC cutting machines. NUMcad is suitable for both design origination and design modification.

Simple drawing tools are provided for functions such as Line, Polyline, Arc 2P and Arc Center-Radius; and they are backed by a suite of editing tools such as Meet Two Lines, Shrink or Extend – and even Insert Micro-joint – which enables users to very easily customize and modify shapes. If a user already has a CAD file and wishes to modify it, NUMcad allows AutoCad DXF files to be imported. And in the event that the user does not have a DXF file, but has created the shape on the CNC cutting machine itself, NUMcad also allows this shape to be imported from their customizable parametric shapes library.

The NUMcad software package includes a post processor; shapes or patterns that have been drawn or imported can be automatically converted into an executable G-code file for the CNC cutting machine.

Using NUMcad, each segment of a cut can be set to rapid, marking, rough, medium or fine cut qualities, to achieve the user’s desired finish; the properties associated with the cut type are pulled from a Technology Table. Both standard shape and custom fly cutting functionalities are available, and associated functions include the ability to control the cut-side placement (kerf compensation) and tilt angle of the machine’s cutting nozzle. Nesting gives the user the option to create complex paths containing the same pattern. With settings like nesting type, number of pieces, sheet size, and scaling, the user can create a path that is sized and optimized to their liking. The added alignment settings allows the shapes to be rotated and offset for the minimization and optimization of uncut space–that could turn into scrap.

Much of the application development work behind NUMcad was carried out by the North American branch of NUM, which is based in Naperville, Illinois. According to Steven Schilling, General Manager of NUM Corporation, “We serve a large number of customers in the machine cutting industry, and wanted to create a software tool that would benefit as many people as possible. NUMcad meets this objective–it provides an exceptionally easy way to design or modify G-code files for 2D cutting applications.

Go to NUM CNC Solutions – North America website

References of Content:
[1] Press Release of NUM at FABTECH 2021
[2]
Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
[3]
AutoCAD is a registered trademark or trademark of Autodesk, Inc.

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Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

CNC specialist NUM has launched a new HMI (human-machine interface) software package that features a fully integrated CAM/postprocessor module to further simplify and accelerate the creation of part programs for CNC cutting machines. The software also includes two new real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications, designed to improve cutting accuracy and quality.

Many of the world’s leading manufacturers of water jet, laser and plasma beam cutting machines nowadays choose to base their products on NUM’s CNC systems, in no small part due to the inherent functionality and control flexibility of the company’s Flexium+ platform. Launched in 2012, Flexium+ has acquired an enviable reputation amongst machine manufacturers and end users for its control flexibility and ease of use – and NUM continuously enhances the platform to address users’ changing needs and new cutting machine technology.

The latest version of NUM’s software for CNC cutting machines is the result of significant development work. It embodies Industry 4.0 connectivity principles and features an entirely new HMI, known as NUMcut, which incorporates functionality that previously required separate CAD/CAM postprocessor computing resources.

READ: NUM Flexium+ CNC Enables Sheet Metal Laser Cutting System To Achieve Exceptional Accuracy

READ: NUM Launches Active Vibration Control System For CNC Machine Tools

Users generally prepare part programs for CNC cutting applications upstream of the machine in the production area, on some form of CAD/CAM system. A key element of this work involves post-processing the resultant ISO file to incorporate machine-specific cutting data. This is a highly iterative procedure, which can lead to interpretation errors and time-consuming resolution of machining issues.

To shorten the path, NUMcut includes a powerful, machine-resident CAM/postprocessor module. The only data that needs to be transferred to the machine prior to commencing cutting operations concerns the geometry of the part and the desired quality of each cut. This data can be derived from virtually any type of CAD/CAM software, running, for example, on a standard PC.

All other necessary data, such as cutting speeds, abrasive quantity as a function of the material to be cut, etc., are calculated by the control system itself. The CAM/postprocessor module utilises a technology database containing all the relevant information needed by the control system in order to automatically generate an executable part program. The values in the database are preloaded by the machine manufacturer, and can be modified or added to by users if necessary – for example, to accommodate new materials.

The database itself – which effectively contains the expertise of the production company – can either be located on individual cutting machines, or stored on a network drive so that it can be accessed by several machines.

The NUMcut HMI displays all files that are available to the machine operator in a clear, unambiguous style. Using the CNC system’s touch-sensitive screen, the operator can determine each successive machine action simply by clicking and dragging icons from the pool of files into a ‘job list’. Both the job that is currently being processed by the machine, and the current position of the cutting tool within the job, are marked graphically. If required, the operator can change the job list while it is being processed to accommodate different production needs, such as express deliveries.

NUMcut also offers two real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications. During water jet cutting, the processing speed needs to be decreased before corners in order to reduce the wake of the cutting jet and thus maintain the cutting quality. Using data from the technology database, NUMcut’s adaptive feed control (AFC) function analyses the path geometry and automatically optimises the cutting speed to best suit the curve radius or corner angle.

Another inherent characteristic of water jet cutting is that the shape of the kerf changes with the cutting conditions, which means that a significant change of gap width can develop, depending on the speed. If this inaccuracy needs to be compensated for, NUMcut offers a variable offset control (VOC) function. This allows the cutting path to be changed automatically, so that the final contour of the part remains true to size despite the changing radius of the cutting jet, thereby maintaining the dimensional accuracy of each cut part.

 

For more news and information, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

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