Our KipwareXC® – G Code Conversion application has become an industry LEADER since it’s introduction in the ’80’s. We are now engaged in a new upgrade for KipwareXC® which involves our creation of specific CUSTOM PROFILES for specific G code conversions … and we are pleased to announce the initial release.
First … let me explain a little about the philosophy and design of KipwareXC® in case you are unfamiliar. KipwareXC® is what we refer to as a “soft coded” application … whereas our CNC XChange® conversion application is a “hard coded” application. In a hard coded app … all of the G code format conversion is built into the software with only a minor set of options defined by the user to handle non-industry-standard programming code … M codes for example. Hard coded apps are designed for specific G code format conversions … like say Fanuc to Okuma … and it’s all built into the source code. In a soft coded application like KipwareXC® … the user defines all of the what-to-convert-into-what using what we call a PROFILE. This gives the software unbelievable flexibility and power … but requires the user to set up the configuration in the PROFILE. Another powerful feature is that the user can create as many different PROFILES as required to handle many different format conversions … the number of conversion types is therefore unlimited.
Our new UPGRADE strategy is to create and define specific code conversion CUSTOM PROFILES and make them available to the public … but still maintain the ability to tweak the PROFILES as well as the ability to define new Profiles and enhance existing Profiles. It’s the best of both worlds.
1st CUSTOM PROFILE release :
Fanuc to Dynapath – Milling
Our first CUSTOM PROFILE … created per a user request … was for milling G code to convert between FANUC format to DYNAPATH event type format. Below is a video clip outlining the new PROFILE.
We are excited to introduce CUSTOM PROFILES and will be adding new PROFILES as we move forward and receive feedback and requests for from our users. If you have a need for CUSTOM PROFILE to enhance your shop floor machine compatibility … please contact Sales@KentechInc.com or call 508-754-1198 Ext 1.
Over the last 2-3 months we have seen a growing interest from Fusion360 users for our Kipware® conversational CNC programming software. We have been polling those users as to why they’re interest has peeked and overall we have received answers along the same line … complexity vs. simplicity.
Let’s start with the MAIN fact … CAD/CAM was NEVER designed to be a G code generating tool FIRST and FOREMOST … it is a design tool first and foremost as the name clearly states. Everything starts with a drawing … period. If you designing … and then looking to create G code … yes it may the tool for you. If you are not designing and primarily looking to create G code … the smarter move is to DUMP the CAD and KEEP the CAM with Kipware® conversational.
For users looking at Fusion360 as a CAM package … they are finding it all to complex … confusing ( as in not intuitive ) … and just plain overblown. These factors are leading to slow G code creation that leads to lost profits and related inefficiencies that basically eat away at profits. Most of the reasons expressed confirm our “sales pitch” as outlined in our many blog posts … full links are below and recommended reading if this topic has spiked your interest.
Of course for CAD and design work … Kipware® conversational is not in the same ballpark as Fusion360 … it includes a CAD / drawing package and we do not … we are focused on the CAM side of things.
But for creating G code programs and as a CAM package … where design work is not required ( say in a job shop setting ) … Kipware® conversational basically blows the doors off of Fusion360. KipwareM® ( milling ) and KipwareT® ( turning ) offer users a G code creation tool for the common, everyday type workpieces with ease-of-use, an intuitive interface, and powerful features that allow novice to expert machinists to create powerful G code programs quickly and easily.
And what about being cloud based … with nothing to install or maintain … and able to be accessed through any device from anywhere. BOOM !! Kipware® conversational is also offered with a cloud based delivery through our Kipware® Cloud. Complete information can be found HERE.
If you have been looking at Fusion360 as a CAM alternative … we encourage you to take a look at Kipware® conversational. We invite you to request a live, one-on-one online demonstration … or attend one of our Live Events … we where we can show you the full Kipware® conversational experience and you can ask question / get answers in real time. Links are below.
Our Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® software continue to be the industry leading tools for removing the “control incompatibility” issues from today’s shop floor. Today’s typical shop floors contains many different CNC machines with different CNC controls … and the inability to quickly move G code programs from one machine to another means loss productivity and efficiency.
Since 1986 when we first started creating G code conversion software for Raytheon Corporation … Kentech Inc. has become the pioneer and leader in G code conversion software … enhancing efficiency and productivity in thousands of manufacturers by allowing all their CNC machines to operate seamlessly.
Today we are announcing the release of NEW features to our Kipware® CNC XChange … Fanuc <–> Okuma Milling Conversion application … that enables a “look ahead” feature for inserting the “next tool” call into converted programs. When converting Fanuc milling G code to Okuma OSP … this new feature will scan ahead in the Fanuc program to find the next tool being employed … and will auto-insert that call into the tool change line of the current tool. This insures greater efficiency by getting he next tool indexed and ready for tool change … saving valuable cutting cycletime in the newly converted G code program.
Here’s how it WORKS …
As with all features in Kipware® CNC XChange … and after living on the shop floor for 30+ years … we know that no two G code programs or formats are alike. That’s why we build customizable features into our conversion software … to allow the user to select and customize the conversion and output.
Initially … the user can use the powerful USER OPTIONS in Kipware® CNC XChange to set-up this “look ahead” feature as the screenshot below illustrates.
Users have the ability to customize the output by :
ENABLING or DISABLING the Look Ahead function … and if enabled to specify the LETTER ADDRESS to be used by Kipware® CNC XChange when adding the next tool call to the G code. In the above case … a Q# would be output with the # being the next tool number.
Users can also specify a TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE to be automatically inserted as a line prior to the tool change command line, This features gives the user the ability to customize the tool change return line per their own requirements.
Here’s the RESULT …
With a simple push of the CONVERT button … Kipware® CNC XChange goes to work … all automatically … in seconds … to execute this and many other conversions to produce the sample as illustrated below.
First the TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE was added as defined … and then the LOOK AHEAD Q# was auto-inserted onto the converted tool change line.
You can also watch the presentation video below …
Industry leading Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® can help any size shop remove the “control incompatibility” issue from their floor … and bring with it increased efficiency and productivity.
We get asked a LOT about the differences between CAD/CAM systems … such as Fusion360, Bobcad, Mastercam etc. … and Kipware® conversational software and our approach to “shop floor CNC programming”. We always love to take the opportunity to offer the explanation about our design and concept that differentiates Kipware® from CAD/CAM programming. We feel it is a major difference … and one that when understood can bring increased efficiency and flow to any shop floor from the production shop to even a home shop.
Let’s first start by stating that when we refer to “shop floor programming” we are not only talking about creating G code programs at the machine … on the shop floor … but are talking more about creating G code programs outside the realm of a “programmer” inside a “programming department”. Having qualified chipmakers have access to a tool to assist them in creating G code programs that do not require the training and knowledge required to create CAD drawings or function inside a complex CAD/CAM environment. Basically … G code creation for the masses !! This type of G code creation can include not only production type machine shops but prototype shops as well as even home shops … anywhere you feel the phrase “this job DOES NOT require a CAD/CAM system” rings true.
The ORIGINS of CAD/CAM
It is essential in ANY discussion about CAD/CAM to fully understand the history of where it came from. Way back around the late 50’s or so … the first CAD system was created and served as mere replacements for drawing boards. It is definitely an undisputed fact that the origins of CAD/ CAM lie in it’s drawing and design features. From these simple origins of computer aided drafting to the modern 3D engineering, simulation and inter-connectivity features … CAD is probably one of the most important tools in the areas of design and engineering. This is where it was born and is still where it’s main features lie. Look at any of the major CAD/CAM websites and you’ll see it’s all about design and the design features.
The CAM part of it came along later tagging on the design apron strings as a follow-up to CAD … but has always been an after-feature … never the main player. The simple fact that you CANNOT create any cutting toolpaths in ANY CAD/CAM application …. even to simply drill a hole … without a CAD model illustrates this fully. No Drawing … No Toolpath … PERIOD.
CAD and CAD/CAM were primarily developed as design tools … use as a CNC programming tool has always been secondary. If you look deep at an application like Fusion360 … it is primarily about design and collaboration regarding design work … which is great for someone designing and building a product. For shop floors and job shops that have the task of delivering machined components … it really makes less sense.
And herein lies the main difference between CAD/CAM and the Kipware® “shop floor programming” system.
Kipware® Shop Floor Programming VS.
The truth of the matter is … despite what CAD/CAM companies might have you believe … is that turning the above “pretty picture” 3D model … which CAD is essential in developing … into actual physical components is not as simple as clicking the mouse and watching the parts roll out of your CNC machine. It comes down to the more intense basics of fixturing and workholding, cutting tools, toolpath / G code generation, and actual CNC machining … for EACH of the components that comprise the model. There is no CAD/CAM MAGIC involved … it’s simple down and dirty, programming, chipmaking and machining. The picture may look fabulous … but making the actual physical components still requires a skilled CNC programmer / machinist.
AND this is the essence of why what we refer to as “shop floor programming” makes soooo much sense.
Let’s face the facts that not every skilled machinist is a skilled draftsman or CAD operator … but are still one of the most valuable assets on the shop floor. Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from the CNC programming process? Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from applying their skills to program / G code generation. We think that following that path is leading your shop floor down the road of extreme inefficiency.
Kipware® conversational allows skilled chipmakers but unskilled CNC programmers or CAD/CAM personnel to get involved in the programming process. Bringing additional layers of options and efficiency to the shop floor. Kipware® conversational gives them a simple tool to assist them in creating G code programs for the day-to-day type workpieces … leaving the more complex “stuff” to the “CAD/CAM guy”. Have a quick peek at our animated video below that illustrates a scenario we see time and again on shop floors around the world.
Chipmakers better understand the shop floor, their machine and fixturing and tooling. It is natural progression to allow them to process the part based on fixture / tooling availability as well as fixturing / tooling understanding. They know how to hold the part … the tools to use to cut metal … and so who better to create the toolpaths? Kipware® allows for employing multiple chipmakers to creating multiple programs … financially because a purchase includes (2) full seats out of the gate … but also because learning the software is quick and easy due to it’s intuitive design … unlike the complexity entailed with a CAD/CAM system. Any good chipmaker already has the basis for a good CNC programmer. While anyone can be taught to make the tool move around on a CNC machine … chipmakers and machinists understand the most important facets of actual metal removal. It’s not the other way around … someone with no chipmaking experience usually makes a lousy CNC programmer.
The REALITY of Part Programming
Taking a deeper look at the “pretty picture” from our 3D model reveals that it contains a ton of the simpler, every-day type workpieces that can easily be programmed with Kipware®conversational by tons of good chipmakers currently not involved in the programming process because of their “CAD/CAM ignorance” … usually their inability to create a drawing.
The reality of shop programming is that for 95% to 98% of workpieces produced every day in shops around the world … CAD/CAM is overkill … removes good chipmakers from the programming process … and can actually slow down production and contribute to inefficiency. True efficiency on virtually every shop floor dictates that NOT EVERY JOB should be put through the CAD/CAM system … through the “CAD/CAM guy” … nor requires a drawing to create G code.Efficient programming requires that you have an arsenal of tools available so that your CNC programming is not akin to forcing square pegs into round holes. CAD/CAM is one bullet … Kipware® conversational should be another.
The REVOLUTION is ON !!
If the points we have outlined here make sense to you … why not join the revolution? … the Kipware® conversational CNC shop floor programming revolution.Give us a call today or click HERE and arrange for a live, online demonstration of Kipware® conversational. Let us show you Kipware® in action and show you how shop floor programming can FREE you from the CAD/CAM shackles and bring new, improved productivity to your shop for the New Year !! JOIN THE REVOLUTION … say NO to CAD/CAM OVERKILL !!
Toll Free ( within the US ) : 1.888.754.1198
Voice : 1.508.754.1198
Email : Sales@KentechInc.com
URL : www.KentechInc.com
Kentech Inc. announces the release of a new conversational menu for KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for milling.
We created the menu based on a request from one of our clients who was looking for a menu that would allow him to create a G code program to face a part that is fixtured at an angle … as the below illustration outlines.
Of course a normal facing cycle could be used … but with a lot of wasted motion and “air cutting”. Based on our clients requirements … and the fact that other users might find the menu useful … we created a conversational menu that will create a G code program to face with no wasted or air cutting. The software calculates the depth along the angle for each depth of cut so cutting is done efficiently along the calculated length and width with no wasted motion. As with all KipwareM® conversational screens … inputs are simple yet powerful as with the simple ROTATION input that will allows the user to create facing motion along the X orY axis … or at any angle desired .. using ROUGH and / or FINISH cutting parameters.
This new Tapered Top Facing is now included standard with all KipwareM® purchases as of 12/2/2015.
Kentech Inc. continues to stand the conversational CNC programming software world on it’s head with constant innovation and unprecedented, ground breaking development.
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When we talk to programmers who are using a CAD/CAM system … and we love to do that BTW … the major complaint we hear is regarding their post processor. There are basically TWO TOP compaints …
The G code generated always needs to be “tweaked”
They have to purchase posts for various machines / controls
The next question is inevitably … Does Kipware® have a solution?
The Answer is DEFINITELY!! … and for both scenarios !!
KipwareXC® for G Code Tweaking
With tools like KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange … manually tweaking G code is SOOO yesterday. Like any good process … the more you can automate it and remove the “human factor” from the process … the more rock solid that process can become. Whether you are perfoming simple edits on the shop floor or complex changes including variables and line coordinate changes … KipwareXC®can automate the process … and once set-up, will allow anyone to perform the changes … even non-programmers.
KipwareXC®is a completely user defined application where the user can use a mixture of pre-defined conversion options and our cutting edge macro variable language to basically tell the software what-to-convert-into-what. This combination allows the user to automate virtually any G code conversion required. From simple stuff … like M51 to M75 … to complex line conversions involving multiple addresses on the line such as converting G71P—-Q—-U—-W—-D—–F—- to G85N—U—W—D—F—.
Pre-defined conversions are conversions that are defined inside the source code of the software … just pick it and it all gets done automatically. Some pre-defined conversions are :
ADD or REMOVE or REFORMAT decimal points
Convert from INCH to METRIC or METRIC TO INCH with a single mouse click
Tons of circular options like convert INCREMENTAL I/J/K to ABSOLUTE I/J/K … and reverse … or convert R to I/J/K.
Convert X from DIAMETER to RADIUS … and reverse … for turning G code.
Invert X coordinates … reverse G2/G3 and all related I/J/K information.
Convert Fanuc SINGLE line canned cycles to DOUBLE LINE commands … and reverse.
… and SOOO much more.
KipwareXC® allows the user to create an UNLIMITED number of Profiles ( the what-to-convert-into-what statements ) … that means you only need to purchase the software once … and ALL the machines in your shop are covered.
In addition … the cutting edge, real world design of KipwareXC® allows users to piggy-back Profiles … which adds a whole ‘nother layer of flexibility.
Kipware® CNC XChange for MASSIVE G Code Conversion Between Different Machines
Whereas KipwareXC® is completely user-defined … CNC XChange is almost completely defined inside the source code. This means basically that we have done all the work … the user does have options for non-standard code conversion like M functions … but for the most part all the code conversions have been defined inside the source code.
We build CNC XChange for specific G code conversions … our most popular is our Fanuc <–> Okuma version will auto-convert G code created for Fanuc controls into G code formatted for Okuma controls … and reverse. We do also have other versions available … for a complete list please CLICK HERE.
So if you have multiple machines on your shop floor … and suffer from the “control incompatibility” issue … re-programming for every machine / control … Kipware® CNC XChange has you covered. Just ask PETE …
So where a software sales guy might praise the features of their G code editor … we say, “editing G Code manually is sooo yesterday.” If you are making the same edits over-and-over again … or you have multiple machines and controls on your floor and suffer from “control incompatibility” … we invite you to explore KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange … and kick your shop floor efficiency into the next level.
Kenney Skonieczny – President
The place for all things Kipware® from www.KentechInc.com