My company recently purchased a 5 axis Biesse router.
We are a sign company, and we use the router primarily for cutting out panels from 3mm aluminium, but also for more complex machining of 3d sign components (i.e. letters, logos)
We're currently looking for a good plug in or stand alone program to program the parts. Most of our parts are fairly simple, but high volume. We've tried a few (b-solid, AlphaCam, enRoute) but aren't thrilled with the results, it's still a lot of work to program very simple parts.
The CAM guy tells me that most of the decent plug ins (i.e. HSMworks) are designed for milling machines/ machining centres, not flat bed routers, so they don't include post processors for Biesse routers. He also told me that the biggest market for flat bed routers is the cabinetry industry, and the cabinet industry isn't that into solidworks.
John Stoltzfus, you're company must use routers, what CAM package do you use?
Here's a summary of our workflow at present. I'm talking about a fabricated aluminium "monument" type sign, with approx. 20 unique sheet metal parts.
- Model the parts/ assemblies using SSP technique
- Export DXF's of all parts using Customtools plug in (great add in, BTW)
- CAM guy programs parts off DXF
- Cut parts on router
- Fold parts on brake (we don't have off line programming for the brake)
We're currently using SW 2016, but we are on the cusp of updating to 2018.
Any advice would be appreciated!