Which CNC programming style is best for your operation
In the most basic sense, the function of CNC Machining is to enable the machine tool to realize automatic, precise and consistent motion control. In order to perform this operation correctly, the CNC Machine needs a set of programming instructions to tell the machine tool how to run the part.
When developing these instructions, you can choose from three programming styles: Manual, Dialogue, and CAM.
1. Manual Programming
Manual programming can perform many calculations and verifications without a computer. The programmer must program in the same language that the CNC machine will execute to gradually create the commands that make the machine run accordingly.
● Achieve the best machine utilization enhancement (for example, reduce cycle time)
● There is no other way to have the same degree of intimacy as CNC machines
● Almost unlimited freedom in part program development
● Output CNC programs more efficiently than most CAM systems
● Trivial and time-consuming manual calculation and verification
● A large number of calculations will increase the risk of human error
● Intense process requiring full participation of CNC programmers
● The number of workers capable of programming at this level
2. Conversational Programming
The CNC machine with conversational programming function is very suitable for entry-level operators. It has a wizard-like mode that can hide the G code or completely bypass its use.
Through conversational programming, the operator can easily generate a part program on the machine in just a few minutes. Operators only need to prepare the part design, then they can go to the CNC, and then fill in a series of built-in data tips, which involve the geometry of the part, the workpiece metal materials and the tool.
● Easy to learn and use
● G code without decryption
● Reduced setup and programming time
● Reduce programming errors and reduce scrap
● More cost-effective than CAM system
● Limited to more basic part geometry
● Unable to support complex tool paths
● Does not provide the flexibility of the CAM system
3. CAM System Programming
Nowadays, as the cost of CAM systems becomes more reasonable, shops lacking highly skilled mechanics cannot afford any of the CNC toolkits. After all, the CAM system automatically generates the G code language responsible for controlling CNC machine tools.
CAM system programming comes in handy when the operator needs to program various machine models and it is difficult to maintain the intuition of each language. It has also proven effective in complex tasks that are difficult to program manually.
In most cases, the workpiece geometry can be defined in CAD and then exported to the CAM system. This saves a lot of time when dealing with complex custom parts, because the operator does not have to repeat the work of creating geometry.
● No operators are required for mathematical calculations
● Automated programming process to increase overall output
● Virtual simulation reduces machine crashes caused by programming errors
● Efficient programming management still requires basic manual programming knowledge
● The operator has no ultimate control over the processing process
● Program output efficiency is lower than manual technology
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