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Release Date: December 16, 2015
In this latest version of BobCAM for SolidWorks, V5 Build 2173, BobCAD-CAM has packed more features, modules, and all around system improvements than ever before. This version adds two completely new modules: Mill Turn and BobART. Various system improvements include a brand new Flowline toolpath for the Multiaxis module, which only requires a single surface selection. With revamped mill drilling, the addition of custom tools, tabbing for profiling, and wrapped/4-axis toolpath enhancements, this is the most versatile version of BobCAM for SolidWorks yet. Read on to learn more about BobCAM for SolidWorks V5.
The powerful artistic modeling module, BobART, is now available directly inside of SolidWorks with the BobCAM for SolidWorks V5 product. From engraving customer logos, creating raised or sunken text, all the way to sculpting and creating artistic models has never been easier inside of SolidWorks. Use all of the powerful machining features available in BobCAM for SolidWorks on your BobART models to create unique parts and machine them quickly and efficiently.
The new BobART module includes the ability to open vector files, vectorize images, and create emboss models. The BobART module is easy to use and contains 14 different emboss features to help you create beautiful art models for machining. You can create stand-alone models or incorporate them into your CAD designs. Loading vector files or vectorizing images lets you easily create sketch geometry from documents or images, which can be used to create machining features, emboss models, and of course used with other SolidWorks features. This is a great module for creative industries, especially sign or cabinet makers, artists, and anyone that wants to get creative with CAD design and machining. View Example BobART Models
The following model was created by loading a vector file and creating two emboss features. The non-embossed areas of the model are removed and a partial wrap is applied.
The following emboss models were created simply by laying multiple emboss features.
The following is a custom guitar body created using BobART. The machined result is shown in the second image.
BobART provides many tools to help you incorporate your emboss models into your other CAD models. Wrapping emboss models and using the Emboss from Surface feature are just two ways to combine your CAD and emboss models as shown in the following images.
With BobART in BobCAM for SolidWorks, you can import vector graphics in the formats: .ai, .pdf, or .eps. These files already contain vector graphics and BobCAM makes it easy to incorporate these into your designs, existing parts, or business logos. Do you have a .pdf file with your business logo? Just select a plane, load the file, and go. View Vector File Example
Vectorizing an image is a raster-to-vector conversion in which BobCAM for SolidWorks analyzes an image and creates sketch geometry based on the color in each pixel. The Raster To Vector dialog box makes it easy to define the vectorization strategy using either the 2-Level (Black and White) strategy or the Multi-Color strategy. Just adjust the strategy (or colors) as needed to create sketch geometry. View Vectorization Examples
The following images show a vectorization example using the Multi-color strategy.
The following shows an example of an image vectorized using the 2 Level Black and White strategy.
Due to many customer requests for increased levels of vectorization, the Multi-Color Strategy of the Raster to Vector dialog box provides up to 64 separate colors for vectorization. This quadruples the previous number of available colors to give you more control than ever before. New to BobART in BobCAM V5, you can now select whether or not to create spline geometry in the vectorization result. Just select or clear the With Splines check box in the Raster to Vector dialog box. View the Raster to Vector Dialog Box
BobART supports just about any image type for vectorization. View List of Supported File Types
The emboss features in BobART provide various tools for creating art models, which can also be used with other solid models. The foundation of most embossed models starts with the Regular Emboss, Swept Emboss, and 2 Rail Sweep features. You can also create emboss textures, apply material appearances to the emboss stock, wrap the model, remove the non-embossed areas, and even suppress individual features. After creating an emboss model, you can save it as a component to use with the Emboss from Component feature. The BobART module is packed full of creative tools that allow you to quickly create models and even reuse them for other projects.
The BobART module includes the following Emboss features:
|Regular Emboss||Swept Emboss||Emboss 2 Rail Sweep||Emboss from Image||Emboss from Surface/Solid|
|Emboss from BobART Surface File||Emboss from Component||Emboss Texture from Primitives||Emboss Texture from Image||Emboss Texture Weave|
|Emboss Texture from BobART Surface File||Mirror/Invert||Sculpting||Smoothing|
The remaining sections of this document highlight some of the key features of the BobART module.
Wrapped Emboss Models
Embossed models can be wrapped to create cylindrical style models. This means that BobART users can now take advantage of 4-axis functionality such as Indexing, Wrapping, and the Rotary feature. Jewelers, furniture makers, and other artistic industries now have a great new tool to make parts that could not previously be created using BobART. View Wrapped Model Examples
A flat model is created. Two examples are shown next.
With just a few clicks, the model is wrapped.
Remove Non-Emboss Area
The non-embossed areas can now be removed from an embossed model. This means that you can remove the undesired areas of the model to create only what you intended. View Remove Non-Emboss Area Example
The non-embossed area is shown in green in the following images.
With just a few clicks, the non-embossed areas are removed from the model.
With the Remove Non-Emboss Area option, now you decide what to include in the model. You can save the model with or without the non-embossed areas (when using Save Whole Emboss as Component/STL or Save Whole Emboss to BobART Surface File).
Save As Component/STL
Individual Emboss features or the entire embossed model can be saved as a component/stl file. Components can then be used to create Emboss from Component features. Because the component is saved with the .stl extension, any .stl file can be used as a component. This provides you with the ability to create many parts that can be reused with various models.
The Emboss from Component feature greatly improves the process of creating emboss models using previously designed and saved component/.stl files. You can use the same component one or more times for a single model. The Emboss from Component dialog box provides the ability to scale, rotate, and/or mirror each component before placing it on the model.
The following image shows a dragon component that was added to an existing emboss model.
The following image shows a sign that was created using Emboss from Component. The sign itself is made of multiple components.
You can now temporarily remove emboss features from the model using Suppress/Unsuppress. This allows you to compare different versions of the same model or simply view a model without one or more features. You no longer have to delete and recreate a feature in order to view/create different versions of a model. This is also very helpful when saving various components or versions of a model. View Suppression Example
When you Suppress a feature, just Regenerate. The feature is no longer included in the model.
Custom Cross Sections
Previously in BobART, you were limited to using one of six predefined cross-section styles for the Emboss Regular, Emboss Swept, and the Emboss Texture Weave feature types. The cross section can be defined using a custom shape that you draw yourself. This is especially useful for woodworkers, sign makers, and anyone with a creative desire to customize these features. View Custom Cross Section Examples
The following three images show the same custom cross section applied to the Emboss Regular, Emboss Swept, and the Emboss Texture Weave features.
You can add a material or texture appearance to an embossed model, which can be merged with a color. Bitmap images (.bmp) can be added to the BobCAD-CAM Data\BobCAM V5\Images folder for additional material textures. View Material/Texture Example
Mill Turn Module
BobCAM for SolidWorks V5 marks the release of a brand new module for mill-turn machining. Mill Turn may also be called turn milling or multitasking, and it is the same as a lathe equipped with live tooling (a turret that can drive milling tools). Support is provided for all types of mill turn machines, including machines with Y-axis capabilities as well as multiaxis machines that include a milling spindle. BobCAM for SolidWorks can create programs for most available mill-turn machine configurations from single spindle/single turret to multiple spindle/multiple turret machines.
The Machining Job dialog box now includes the Mill Turn job. Just select the machine and go directly to the Stock Wizard to assign a workpiece, create stock, and then complete the Machine Setup to define the machining origin, work offset, and clearance parameters for the job. When you finish, the Mill Turn job is added to the CAM Tree with everything you need to start creating the program. View the Machining Job Dialog Box and Mill Turn Job in the CAM Tree
Mill Turn Machine Definition and Submachines
The machine definition now supports the creation of mill-turn machines so you can define a realistic virtual representation of your machines in BobCAM for SolidWorks. Set up your machine parameters and limits to create the proper posting output, and define the geometry for the machine to get an accurate simulation of your programs. Setup wizards are provided to help guide you through creating turrets and/or milling spindles for mill turn machines. View Mill Turn Machine Definition and Virtual Machine Examples
|Machine Definition||Virtual Machine|
|Machine Definition||Virtual Machine|
Submachines, or a grouping of machine devices that work together to perform operations (work zones), are a unique addition for Mill Turn machines that determine the posting output as well as providing ways to match the devices of one machine to another for shops that have more than one machine or may need to move a job from one machine to another. View Submachine Definition of Virtual Machine
|Submachine Definition||Machine Device Grouping|
The Adapter Library was added so you can define the tool holding equipment for mounting your lathe or mill tools to the machine turret and define the tool mounting locations on the adapter. The Tool Adapter Definition includes a preview window for visual confirmation of the proper settings. You can assign custom geometry to make your program simulation as accurate as possible. You can also organize your adapters to your preferences using custom categories. View More
Custom Adapter Geometry
Tool Adapter Definition
Mill Turn Tool Crib
A completely new tool crib was created to help you manage all of the adapter and tool mounting for mill turn jobs. You can easily add tools or tool adapters from the system libraries, and then mount them to the appropriate machine device. The Mill Turn Tool Crib even includes a preview window to display the machine device, tool adapters, and tools to help you visually confirm the proper setup. Just like the Mill and Lathe Tool Cribs, you can even save and load your tool crib to eliminate the need to repeatedly define the same information. Define the tool crib once with your most common or repeatable setup, save it, and then load it to use as a template and speed up your mill turn program creation. View the Mill Turn Tool Crib
Machine Simulation Pro
Our extremely powerful machine simulation now includes support for all types of mill-turn machines. With the tight working envelope of many mill turn machines, the pro simulation allows you to test and confirm your programs before running them on the physical machine, providing you with peace of mind. View Pro Simulation Virtual Machines
BC 2T 2S (Two Turrets, Two Spindles and Y Axis)
|BC 1T 1S (One Turret, One Spindle)||BC 1T 2S (One Turret, Two Spindles)|
|BC 1T 2S Y (One Turret, Two Spindles and Y Axis)||BC 2T 2S 5X (Two Spindles, One Turret, and One Milling
Head with Full 5 Axis )
The Mill Turn job also supports MDI, or manual data input, which allows you to manually define machine movement as needed for your mill-turn machining operations. MDI allows you to build lines of code by adding commands to move the various machine components as needed, for example, for handling part transfers, parts catchers, or tailstock devices. MDI is available for all operations in Mill Turn jobs. View the MDI Page
IMPORTANT: There is a known issue when using machine cutter compensation in Mill Turn simulation. For this release when using machine cutter compensation, the toolpath is simulated without the compensation. In order to create an accurate simulation, please use System Compensation. The posted code for Machine Compensation is not affected and will work accurately.
All mill hole drilling, tapping, and threading features now use Hole Groups which allow you to define more than one drilling depth within a single machining feature. BobCAM for SolidWorks automatically groups all holes that share the same diameter, top of feature, feature depth, and through or blind hole status, greatly minimizing the number of features needed to get the job done. Make your drilling features more efficient than ever before, edit faster, and gain greater control of the rapid movements between hole groups using the new Group Retracts. View Example Part and Benefits
The following image shows a basic standard drilling part. In previous versions, this part required at least six features to efficiently drill all the holes in the model (one for each diameter at each of the three levels of the model). Now, thanks to the multiple depths achieved in a single feature using Hole Groups, these holes can be drilled using only two features.
The new Group Retracts provide advanced options for defining the rapid movement between hole groups. You can now create planar, cylindrical, or spherical retract areas for all types of drilling scenarios. You can even create the rapid movement to follow the tool orientation or the shortest distance to keep your toolpath clean and efficient. View Advanced Retract Toolpath Examples
|Planar Group Retracts||Cylindrical Group Retracts||Spherical Group Retracts|
All mill hole drilling features are now one of three types: Standard, Multiaxis, or Cross Drill.
|Mill Standard Drilling||Mill Turn Standard Drilling|
Multiaxis drilling is a completely new drilling type for Mill and Mill Turn jobs that handles all drilling for 4 or 5-axis machines with up to 5-axis positioning. This allows you to drill holes of the same diameter in any orientation within a single feature, eliminating the need to create index systems for each orientation. View Multiaxis Drilling Toolpath Examples
|Mill Multiaxis Drilling||Mill Turn Multiaxis Drilling|
Cross drilling is a completely new drilling type that handles radial drilling for Mill or Mill Turn jobs. The software filters your geometry selections so you can easily recognize what holes can be drilled on a mill turn machine that does not have Y-axis capabilities. View Cross Drilling Toolpath Example
|Mill Turn Cross Drilling|
The new selection manager for all mill hole features makes it easy to define the drilling type and manage geometry selections. Calculation options are also provided to determine how the toolpath is calculated for different geometry types, allowing you to be more efficient in all selection scenarios. View Hole Geometry Selection Manager
Smart Filtering of Geometry Selections
BobCAM for SolidWorks automatically filters the geometry that you select in one of two ways. First, any duplicates that would result in drilling a hole twice are automatically removed. Second, BobCAM for SolidWorks automatically filters your geometry selections based on the drilling type. When you confirm the selection, all holes that do not have the proper orientation for the selected drilling type are removed.
When you select cylindrical surfaces, CAD features, or Whole Bodies, the software automatically sets the diameter, top of feature, and feature depth values for you. Select cylindrical surfaces to speed up your Mill Hole feature creation for both hole drilling and counterbore hole drilling features, and reduce your programming time. View Cylindrical Surface Selection
When creating milling tools, you can now assign geometry to define custom shaped tooling or form tools. You can even define the cutting and non-cutting portions making it easy to create tools that have more than one cutting area. Just create half of the profile to revolve, assign it to the tool, and get accurate program simulation for all your custom tooling. View Custom Tool Example
The following images show three examples of custom tools. Just create a chain for half of the tool profile using solid entities to define the cutting portion of the tool (shown in yellow), and use dashed entities to define the non-cutting portion of the tool (shown in grey).
|Custom Chain||Custom Tool|
|Custom Chain||Custom Tool|
|Custom Chain||Custom Tool|
The 2 Axis Wizard now contains a Tabs page which allows for manual or automatic tab creation for profiling operations. You can allow the software to calculate evenly spaced tabs using a number or distance, or you can use manual tabs to select the tab locations directly from the chains in the workspace. Powerful tab parameters allow you to define the distance, height, and angle so you create each tab exactly the way you want it. A preview window displays right inside the Mill 2 Axis Wizard so you can easily confirm the proper tab locations. View Tabbing Toolpath and Cut Stock
The 2 Axis Advanced Pocket now contains a links page giving you more control over the linking parameters of the toolpath. Use a direct, S-link, or retract move between passes or groups with separate controls for each. You can even now use the rapid retract for large gaps option to speed up the retract moves when there are large gaps along the cut. View Link Types
The Advanced Planar operation is further optimized with a new solution for inconsistent finishing in steep areas. The perpendicular stepover option automatically switches the toolpath direction based on a threshold value to create an improved surface finish in steep areas. Program faster with this more efficient toolpath to get a better result and reduce cycle times. View Perpendicular Stepover Examples
|Standard Stepover||Perpendicular Stepover|
|Standard Stepover||Perpendicular Stepover|
You can now smoothen the tool movement at sharp corners created in the Advanced Planar toolpath using round corners. Create a more consistent tool engagement and smoother transitions for your semi-finishing material removal. View Round Corners Example
|Round Corners Off||Round Corners On|
The Adaptive (high-speed machining) toolpath has been optimized to provide significantly faster calculation times as well as improved toolpath motion for the entry and exit moves for each cut. This applies to the Mill 2 Axis Advanced Pocket, Mill 3 Axis Advanced Rough, and Mill Multiaxis Roughing operations. View Toolpath Comparison
|New Adaptive Toolpath Result|
The Advanced Z Level Finish operation has received a few updates to make this toolpath perform even more efficiently for both vertical walls and shallow areas. You can now select to machine the vertical walls of the part only, thus removing the toolpath from non-vertical areas of the model. The previous Adaptive Depth of Cut option now contains two user-defined parameters, Minimum Depth Step and Maximum Stepover, to allow you more control over how many toolpath passes are added to improve the finish in shallow areas. View Examples
|Machine Vertical Walls Only Off||Machine Vertical Walls Only On|
Adaptive Depth of Cut Parameters Added
|Maximum Stepover||Minimum Depth Step|
You can now specify the finishing allowance separately for the side (XY) and bottom (Z) in the 3 Axis Pro toolpath strategies. This gives you more control over the roughing toolpath, so you can minimize or even eliminate the semi-finishing process for your 3-axis operations. View Side and Bottom Allowance Example
The following images show the deviation analysis of a 3-axis part that is roughed using a different allowance for the bottom and sides of the part. The bottom of the part has a smaller allowance and the sides of the part are given a larger allowance. The target part is shown with a sectional view of the cut stock to better show the difference.
The Stock Wizard has been upgraded with a completely new stock creation method: Revolve. The revolve stock type, previously only available for lathe jobs, was added to all CAM Jobs to allow you to define stock geometry by revolving a wireframe chain. While helpful for any job type, the revolve stock type was an essential addition for our new Mill Turn module. View Revolved Stock Example
|Stock Profile||Revolved Stock|
The Selection Manager for Turning features has been updated to include the ability to select the section planes (used to analyze the part profile) directly from geometry in the graphics area. The previous method was renamed to Enter Section Angles and the new method is called Pick Section Angles. Just select the Pick Section Angles option and select points or vertices from the model to automatically grab the correct section planes needed to properly analyze the part. The software even displays the selected section angles for your reference. The detection algorithm was also improved to provide better results for complicated part geometry.
The Reverse Direction command was added to the feature-level shortcut menu of Turning features. This allows you to override the cutting direction of the feature defined by the tool orientation.
The Multiaxis module now includes a Flowline toolpath that requires only a single surface selection, which allows you to get flowline-style toolpath quicker than ever before. The toolpath follows the U or V direction of the selected surface, so just select Direction 1 or Direction 2 to determine the direction of the toolpath. View Flowline Toolpath Example
|Flowline Toolpath Direction 1||Flowline Toolpath Direction 2|
The Mirror option was added to the Roughing tab of the Multiaxis Wizard to allow for mirroring of the toolpath across any axis. This is a great way to save time when creating finishing paths for symmetrical part geometry. Just turn on the mirror option, select an axis, and compute the toolpath. Mirror is available for all Multiaxis toolpaths except Multiaxis Roughing.
|Multiaxis Toolpath||Mirrored Toolpath|
The Multiaxis Posting page in the CAM Wizards has been reorganized to simplify the available parameters and make them more clear. The available Angle Pair and Pole Handling parameters are now properly updated based on the machine type (4-axis or 5-axis) and job. View Changes
Previously, a single group was shared for 4-axis or 5-axis machines.New Layout and Improved Options
Now the Angle Pair group is automatically updated to only show the parameters that apply to the current machine (4-axis or 5-axis).5 Axis Machines4 Axis MachinesSimplified Pole Handling Settings
The Pole Handling options were also previously shared between 4-axis and 5-axis machines. For 4-axis machines, the list is now simplified to show only the settings that apply.
5 Axis Machines (All Settings)
4 Axis Machines (Simplified Settings)
Full support was added for customers mounting a 4th axis to the table with the rotary around the Z-axis, without the need for custom post scripting. This is a common solution for machining parts that are larger than the work envelope of the machine. This provides the freedom to rotate the part into a region within the machine limits, or even machine completely around the part utilizing the rotary axis. View Machine with Z-axis Rotary
The Wrapping Group for 4-axis wrapped toolpaths now allows for the selection of wrapped geometry. Eliminate the need to unwrap the geometry first, just select it right from the solid model. You can also now use the current stock to set the wrapping diameter. New unwrap controls provide a tolerance value and an arc fit option for the background calculations. You can even select whether to show the toolpath as wrapped or flat, giving you a more accurate representation of wrapped toolpaths. View Wrapped Toolpath Example
|Select Geometry Directly from a Solid||Display Toolpath Wrapped|
|Display Toolpath Flat|
The extremely popular operation stock, previously only available for the 3 Axis Pro module, is now available for the 4 Axis Rotary toolpath calculation. Trim your rotary toolpath to the stock or a custom .stl file to eliminate air cutting and fully optimize your rotary machining. View Trim to Stock Toolpath Example
| Rotary Toolpath Before
|Rotary Toolpath Trimmed
A new gouge checking strategy moves the tool out of gouging using the tool plane or at a right angle to the tool axis. When gouges are detected, the software moves the tool away from the cutting direction at a right angle (into the tool plane).
You can now specify an incremental clearance area in addition to the previous absolute clearance height for Multiaxis features. The Links page now has Retract to Incremental Clearance Plane options that are defined in the Retracts dialog box. Make your programs more efficient by reducing the amount of clearance movement when it isn’t needed, without the need to change the standard clearance plane.
This parameter is used to limit the amount of machine movement on the rotary axes to avoid abrupt position changes that can harm the surface finish or tool. This parameter is found on the Utility page. Just type the maximum allowed angle, and the software automatically adds toolpath points to reduce these movements by the specified angle step.
You can now assign workpiece geometry (the target part), to determine exactly what geometry displays in the program simulation window, regardless of how much geometry is visible in the workspace. You can assign workpiece geometry during the job setup or using the Workpiece in the CAM Tree. Streamline your simulation and simplify the process of comparing the cut stock to the workpiece for files with more than one model. View More
Before Workpiece Assignment
|Models in Workspace||Workpiece in Simulation|
After Workpiece Assignment
|Workpiece Selection||Workpiece in Simulation|
You now have the ability to set a default stock transparency for CAM Jobs. Just open the Stock Transparency dialog box, set the preferred level of transparency, and click Set Default. All new files use the customized setting. View More
Default Stock Transparency
New Default Stock Transparency
The simulation window now contains a ribbon bar style for a more modern look and feel in the simulation user interface. The buttons in the interface have been reorganized to more logically group similar commands. This also includes a quick access toolbar for some of the most used commands. Most buttons now contain text labels unlike the previous interface, and you can also minimize the ribbon bar to gain more viewing area in the simulation window. View New Interface
Simulation Window with Ribbon Bar Collapsed