Download contours and machining positions from 3D data files

For some time now, the DXF Converter has made it possible for you to open DXF files directly on your TNC control in order to extract contours and machining positions from 2-D data files. This not only saves time you would otherwise spend on programming and testing but also provides assurance that the finished contour is exactly in accordance with the design engineer’s specifications. With the CAD Viewer and the CAD Import option, these functions and more are also available for 3-D data.

CAD Viewer, and especially its expansion, CAD Import, are highly effective tools for shop-oriented programming. Programming is not only faster but also significantly more reliable thanks to the transfer of CAD data. At the same time, shop-oriented programming performed directly at the machine allows you to incorporate your extensive expertise as a TNC operator into the NC program.

Standard feature:
CAD Viewer for STEP, IGES and DXF

The CAD Viewer has been a standard function of, for example, the TNC 640 since software version 05. This feature allows you to open and view data from STEP, IGES, and DXF files directly on the control. Among other things, you can check dimensions in the drawing when something is unclear or open altered drawings on the control in order to review their data.

CAD Import: Load 3-D files directly into the NC program

Starting with the new software version 08 on the TNC 640, the CAD Import function (option 42), an expansion to the CAD Viewer, enables you to import data from STEP, IGES, and, of course, DXF files. With CAD Import, you can transfer contours and positions from a 3-D data model to the NC program—either on the control or at a HEIDENHAIN programming station —and then directly manufacture the desired part based on the design data.

Define a datum and a tilted working plane

In addition to enabling the transfer of contours and positions, CAD Import allows you to define a datum and a tilted working plane. Being able to freely align the coordinate system is also helpful when transferring turning contours in cases when the drawing doesn’t match the machining position.

Data acquisition can be this easy

After you have downloaded a CAD file to the TNC or programming station through the network or a USB flash drive, you can simply open the file as you would an NC program using the file manager.

CAD files typically contain multiple layers used by the design engineer to organize the drawing. In order to keep unnecessary information on the screen to a minimum while you are selecting contours, you can hide all of the unneeded layers with a single mouse click. This requires having an operating panel with touchpad or an external pointing device on the TNC. The CAD Import feature can select a contour element even when it is saved in different layers.

The CAD Import feature also provides support for defining the workpiece preset. The datum in a CAD drawing is not always in a position that allows you to use it directly as a preset on the workpiece, especially when the drawing contains multiple views. For this reason, CAD Import enables you to define the workpiece preset simply by clicking on a feature at a useful location. You can also use the same procedure to specify the datum and a tilted working plane.

Contour selection is exceptionally user friendly. You can select any element by clicking on it with the mouse. When you select a second element, the TNC identifies your desired machining direction and initiates automatic contour detection. The TNC automatically selects all of the clearly identifiable contour elements until the contour closes or branches. You can then pick the next contour element with a mouse click. In this manner, it is possible to define even complex contours with just a few clicks. If needed, you can also shorten, lengthen, or interrupt the contour elements.

You can also select machining positions and save them as point files—particularly in order to transfer drilling positions or starting points for pocket machining. This can be done very easily: simply use the mouse to select the desired area. In a pop-up window with a filter function, the TNC then displays all of the hole diameters that are within the area you have selected. By changing the filter limits with a mouse click, you can easily select the desired diameters and restrict the selection accordingly.

A zoom function and a variety of possible settings round out the functionality of the CAD Import feature. In addition, you can define the resolution of the contour program to be output should you want to use the program on older TNC controls, or you can specify a transition tolerance if the elements do not quite touch each other.

Webinar "Working and programming with CAD import"