What is the most simple effective way to create Hard or Soft jaws in Solidworks Cam?. Seems to be a bit different than other cam systems, or am I missing something?.
I create soft jaws multiple ways depending on the parts I am machining. The easiest way is to use assemblies and cut the profile into the soft jaw part using SW CAD. If you are using SW Standard you can create a sketch and copy and paste it into your soft jaw model. Most of the ways require creating a model of the soft jaw and capturing the shape to be cut or machined.
I have done a few where I just create a sketch in the model and create a toolpath based on the 2d profile only but most of the time, I use assembly mode as I have the part to be machined, the vise and the soft jaws defined.
All of the steps mentioned above rely on the use of SOLIDWORKS CAD to generate the geometry to program in SW CAM. You can still use assemblies in SOLIDWORKS CAD and then program in part mode using SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard.
Thanks for the quick reply Michael. That is what I ended up doing for the most part, was to create my op 2 jaws and copied my sketch and pasted to my soft jaw model.
One other way I did my op 2 jaws when I was using SolidCam at the time was to draw a 2d sketch on my part and just run a tool path so I can get up and going with out having to model up jaws. I guess in time I get a little more proficient as I go.
You can apply the same toolpath as you did in SOLIDCAM as they are both referencing the geometry created by SOLIDWORKS. You may have to adjust the stock in SOLIDWORKS CAM to go deep enough to calculate the cut, but it should work the same.
I have tried it out a few times with no good results. I would get the top half to simulate a proper toolpath, the bottom half would have islands and would not provide the tool path from the feature I have selected.
Next I went into my feature tree and removed the islands, I did not select them before hand.
The roughing op has changed just to machine the top of the part instead of making a pocket for the jaws. The contour tool path would machine the pocket, which looks great. but it would also machine the outside perimeter of the part as well in the same feature. Hope this makes sense.
Went into Solidworks Cam Options and unchecked Boss and Perimeter. Deleted the feature from the feature manager tree and re-selected my feature, generated an operation plan and generated a tool path. It still gave me a tool path to the bottom of my pocket with islands I did not select. I had to go back into the feature to delete the island features. and now its working as I would normally expect.....
It sounds like you are using Feature Recognition. AFR will automatically find islands. I would suggest using Interactive Feature Recognition for things like Softjaws as you usually want to cut them a specific way. This would save the extra step of editing what it finds.
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