Viewing entries tagged
Autodesk HSM

Part count reduction

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Limiting the number of parts required to produce a design saves time, space, confusion, and alleviates jigging concerns.    The upright components of this steel weldment would normally be fabricated from 4 miter cut tubes (8 parts per assembly) which would require a lot of careful alignment and handling of many parts.

Rather than fabricating parts in that way, we machine holes and reliefs for bends which brings the 8 parts down to 2.  Putting a steel tube across a CNC mill also ensures quality of cut squareness, length, and hole position.  Our new bent tube also reduces welding and grinding by 6” (a 25% reduction).

Then, fold it up!

Eat your wheaties.

Eat your wheaties.


When a jig is required for final welding, the laser and brake can make quick work of that.   This jig features easily interchangeable pieces and bolt together construction.

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Mill and Turn all in one

Our awesome new Okuma lathe isn't just a lathe! This machine can turn round parts but can also mill perpendicular and parallel to the part.  Here is a video of us making weld flanges for piping assemblies.  The entire part is done in one process instead of turning the part in a lathe and then sending to a mill to put the bolt pattern in. 

The CAD drawing for the part shows the blind, tapped holes. 

The CAD drawing for the part shows the blind, tapped holes. 

 

 

Automated feed, turning, threading

Automated feed, turning, threading

This post is a continuation of our previous post: http://www.leanmachinecnc.com/news/2016/12/27/lathe-machining-cost-reduction

Whenever possible, we program our parts on several different machines so they can all be run simultaneously to shorten overall cycle times and give us redundancy of resources.

With our Okuma dual spindle lathe and Autodesk HSM we are able to automate parts that have several operations.  The programming and setup time are intense but the result is a part that can run in a fraction of the time with very little human interaction.  In this example, we took a part that required several hours of total human attention to a 45 minute unmanned operation.

Here is the Inventor drawing of the part.  It's a small brass adapter with different threads on either end.

Moving from CAD to CAM seamlessly is the key to our engineering process.  If we change a size in the 3D model the tool path will automatically update.  Below is a screenshot of the HSM programming for this part.

Like our previous gang-tool setup this turning strategy uses Iscar's latest technology Pentacut.

The Iscar pentacut uses a 5 sided insert.  The insert is a strong design put into a rigid holder and has a chip forming profile which makes for accurate parts and a great finish.

The Iscar pentacut uses a 5 sided insert.  The insert is a strong design put into a rigid holder and has a chip forming profile which makes for accurate parts and a great finish.

The video below is a run through of the cycle.  What the video doesn't show is that the main spindle will bar feed the secondary spindle so we can run a longer bar without interruption.

Below is the finished part ready to ship!

Steel High Speed Machining

This post is about a cute little steel part (yes, steel can be cute) that started as a quick brainstorming session in engineering and resulted in a cool finished product for a Saskachewan electronics manufacturer.  Even the smallest job at Lean Machine can involve all of management, engineering, administration, and of course our machining department.  There are some pretty neat circular machining marks left on the part due to a unique machining method that we will explain below.

This part looks like it could be made from steel flatbar but here at Lean Machine we almost never use pre-cut shapes.  This started as a laser cut blank off our HK Laser then we put it through our Haas VF4 mill and this is the resulting part.  By not using pre-cut shapes we can reduce our inventory (as you can imagine we would almost never have the correct shape and qty in stock) and shorten our lead times because we can custom cut whatever we need out of a large plate.

This part looks like it could be made from steel flatbar but here at Lean Machine we almost never use pre-cut shapes.  This started as a laser cut blank off our HK Laser then we put it through our Haas VF4 mill and this is the resulting part.  By not using pre-cut shapes we can reduce our inventory (as you can imagine we would almost never have the correct shape and qty in stock) and shorten our lead times because we can custom cut whatever we need out of a large plate.

Below is the difference between traditional machining vs high speed.  The idea is to take smaller (thinner) cuts at a faster rate.  We try to achieve a cut with the entire diameter and height of the cutter engaged in order to spread the chip load over the whole tool (instead of just the leading edge).  High speed machining also gets super technical by trying to match your cutting frequency with the resonant frequency of the machine but we will leave the explanation of that for another post.

Here is a pretty accurate description of the old (we'll call it traditional to be nice) machining method vs the new better, faster way. 

Here is a pretty accurate description of the old (we'll call it traditional to be nice) machining method vs the new better, faster way. 

The is a top down view of a cutting tool.  By burying the cutter deep into the material you can take thin cuts that load the tool around more of the diameter which distributes the load evenly.  Dropping the tool down into the middle of the material used to be a scary thing to do if you just tried to plow through as you would quickly overload the cutter and it would break.  Now we can even use smaller (cheaper) tools because they spin faster to eject the chip (and the heat).

The is a top down view of a cutting tool.  By burying the cutter deep into the material you can take thin cuts that load the tool around more of the diameter which distributes the load evenly.  Dropping the tool down into the middle of the material used to be a scary thing to do if you just tried to plow through as you would quickly overload the cutter and it would break.  Now we can even use smaller (cheaper) tools because they spin faster to eject the chip (and the heat).

We use both MasterCam and Inventor HSM to complete our machine programs.  This is a screen shot of what MasterCam calls "Dynamic Milling".

We use both MasterCam and Inventor HSM to complete our machine programs.  This is a screen shot of what MasterCam calls "Dynamic Milling".

Autodesk HSM and Compound Miter Machining

Autodesk HSM and Compound Miter Machining

The topic of the post is two-fold: one, we need to introduce Lean Machine's integration of Autodesk's HSM programming for all of our mills and lathes; second, we want to show a really cool compound miter cut on the end of a steel tube.  Below is a CAD model from Autodesk Inventor.  The really neat thing about HSM is that it allows us to program directly inside of Inventor so there is no need to have a translation file in between CAM (Computer Aided Machining), or a separate CAM program.

The steel tube that we are going to cut has been changed to semi-transparent for illustration purposes.

The steel tube that we are going to cut has been changed to semi-transparent for illustration purposes.

Doing a compound cut would normally require a 4 or 5 axis milling machine.  Instead, we created angled and twisted jaws for our vises.

Here is the finished tube mounted in the vise to show how it turns it on the exact angle so the operation can be completed from just one top cutting plane.

Here is the finished tube mounted in the vise to show how it turns it on the exact angle so the operation can be completed from just one top cutting plane.

This is the top view of the set-up. Note the marking lines on the back jaw to make sure they go back in the machine correctly.  The same marks are in the CAD model, so everything matches when the machinist sets up the job.

This is the top view of the set-up. Note the marking lines on the back jaw to make sure they go back in the machine correctly.  The same marks are in the CAD model, so everything matches when the machinist sets up the job.

This is the top view of the clean precise cut that the mill provides.

This is the top view of the clean precise cut that the mill provides.

These are the front and back vise jaws removed from the vise; they were machined from solid aluminum.

These are the front and back vise jaws removed from the vise; they were machined from solid aluminum.