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Does anyone here have any experience with g code translation programs

alloy

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In August we are upgrading to okuma vmc's. One 3 axis, one 4 axis, and one 5 axis.

Currently we are running 3 fadals and have some code files that are 15 years old. They were programmed on old software we don't have any more and most of the CAD files are in AutoCAD. No solid models.

The okuma sales guy say no problem, use this program. https://www.kentechinc.com/cncxchange.html

We have a guy here that they tried it where he used to work. It didn't go well I'm told.

We have a 5000 hour backlog and I'm working about 55 hours a week. Soon to be 65 I'm told.


We just put one of my machines on 4th axis work only but there is no way I can get it all done before the new machines arrives.

So I'm hoping someone has some experience with this type of translation software and is willing to share their experience with it.
 

Bill MFG

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That's a task. IMO, I would attack this from another side. The work has to be done at the machines I know. But the fact is, the designs need to be updated also. Those old AUTOCAD files NEED to be made into 3d modles. If you have a vocational school or tech school around and they have machining or mechanical drafting program, give those kids some OJT. They'd be happy as a pig in crap to get paid to CAD/CAM. Assign them to a programmer, machinist, setup person and get it modeled and tool paths made. With the newer software's availible, this would be like killing 2 bits with 1 stone. If your going 5 axis and haven't already been here, your gonna have to go with some high speed low drag software any way. If you have software already, it will likely take modles from software like fusion360 and create toolpaths. Most of the kids in this field have fusion already, for free. If they just make the 3d models, you'll be way ahead. Programmer can get it to toolpath.
 

JimDawson

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Dan, I didn't catch this one when you posted. Did you get this resolved? I already have a G-code translator module in my software, wouldn't be hard to make it a stand alone for something like what you need.
 

alloy

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Jim,

They bought the software and we are testing it. Doesn't look promising at all. We were hoping that I could just pick a program and convert it without having to do anything else, but it isn't working like that. The new machines will be moved in next week along with upgrading the power for the entire shop. They are changing the breaker boxes to some heavy duty bolt in style breakers and replacing the aluminum wiring with copper.

They figure it will be at least two weeks before the machines are running. Then we get a week of training on them. We also paid $3000 for a new post processor for HSM works and it sucks. They are trying to fix it but when we try and run it on the simulator they left for us it immediately comes up with an error.

I've been working all week prepping the 3 fadals to be moved. I took extra special care of the one I'm getting. It will be here on Wednesday. Is costing me $2500 to move it, that's half the price of the machine. I could move it myself but I can't get a 10k forklift delivered to unload it.


I'm prepping my machine I have here for the move it so I can put the new one in its place. Then I'm selling the small machine. I also bought the 4th axis of another machine. I think I'll put it on eBay. I had a tech remove all the electronics from the machine and will include all that along with the tail stock with the 4th.
 

alloy

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Jim,

They bought the software and we are testing it. Doesn't look promising at all. We were hoping that I could just pick a program and convert it without having to do anything else, but it isn't working like that. The new machines will be moved in next week along with upgrading the power for the entire shop. They are changing the breaker boxes to some heavy duty bolt in style breakers and replacing the aluminum wiring with copper.

They figure it will be at least two weeks before the machines are running. Then we get a week of training on them. We also paid $3000 for a new post processor for HSM works and it sucks. They are trying to fix it but when we try and run it on the simulator they left for us it immediately comes up with an error.

I've been working all week prepping the 3 fadals to be moved. I took extra special care of the one I'm getting. It will be here on Wednesday. Is costing me $2500 to move it, that half the price of the machine. I could move it myself but I can't get a 10k forklift delivered to unload it.


I'm prepping my machine I have here for the move it so I can put the new one in its place. Then I'm selling the small machine. I also bought the 4th axis of another machine. I think I'll put it on eBay. I had a tech remove all the electronics from the machine and will include all that along with the tail stock with the 4th.
 

JimDawson

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Since you are buying new machines and are paying for a post processor, I would get the machine vendor and the software vendor together and say ''FIX IT, MAKE IT WORK'' :grin:

Sounds like you are busy. We'll need some pictures :)
 

alloy

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That's a task. IMO, I would attack this from another side. The work has to be done at the machines I know. But the fact is, the designs need to be updated also. Those old AUTOCAD files NEED to be made into 3d modles. If you have a vocational school or tech school around and they have machining or mechanical drafting program, give those kids some OJT. They'd be happy as a pig in crap to get paid to CAD/CAM. Assign them to a programmer, machinist, setup person and get it modeled and tool paths made. With the newer software's availible, this would be like killing 2 bits with 1 stone. If your going 5 axis and haven't already been here, your gonna have to go with some high speed low drag software any way. If you have software already, it will likely take modles from software like fusion360 and create toolpaths. Most of the kids in this field have fusion already, for free. If they just make the 3d models, you'll be way ahead. Programmer can get it to toolpath.

All of our parts are already in Solidworks and have been coded for use on the Fadals. We have almost 500 different parts that were programmed in Bobcad and we don't have the original bobcad files for those parts which means a total reprogram for the parts. We hired a second programmer but he has his hands busy with the two brother machines. And he's pretty slow at it, but he was all we could find.

It's just going to take time. When we got the brother machines in the owners were out there 3-5 times per day asking when the machines would be making parts. I'm not looking forward to that with the Okuma's. It's not easy trying to learn something new with the bosses breathing down your neck. The control on the Okuma's is the space shuttle compared to rocks and sticks on the Fadal's control. Fadal's are easy and I can run them in my sleep. And the Okuma's use radiuses instead of diameter for cutter comp. That's another problem since all the code files for the Fadal's are programmed in diameter. The translation software can't seem to convert diameters to radius for comp.

It's going to be a real challenge for sure.
 
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alloy

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Since you are buying new machines and are paying for a post processor, I would get the machine vendor and the software vendor together and say ''FIX IT, MAKE IT WORK'' :grin:

Sounds like you are busy. We'll need some pictures :)
Yes you can say I'm busy. A lot of work for an old fart like me.

I'm just the machinist so not involved with the dealing with the vendors. I just tell them it ain't workin. Not what they wanted to hear. They seem to be kinda upset about it. The owners seem to think everything will go perfectly without any problems. Especially one of them, he thinks he knows everything about machining. He took a machine shopclass for one quarter in college and looks on the internet so he's now an authority on machining.

I'll take pics, I'm especially interested in the 5th axis. Never used one before. With the 4th we program off the center line of rotation for our Z levels. With the Z moving on the 5th trunion I'm not sure how exactly you keep track of the Z height. There is crach avoidance option in the control, but that's $15k and they didn't buy that. I tried to explain to them that is you crash the probe it will cost almost that to replace it. But no dice, so we hope for the best.

For years I've been scooping chips out of Fadal's, now I'll have chip conveyor's and a tool setter.

 
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JimDawson

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For a 5 axis the centerline and Z height should be handled in the CAM program, if it is working correctly. Take a look at this video, shows some amazing 5 axis work, generated by Fusion 360. AutoDesk owns HSM and uses the HSM engine in Fusion.


Chip conveyors are great, the Haas has one, been looking for one to install on the lathe.
 

alloy

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That's pretty cool. If it was just 4th axis I'd try to get the cad file and give it a try with my new to me 4th axis machine.

I'm not involved in the programming at work, my plate is full as it is. I just use Mastercam at home to try and make parts. I'm still learning.
 

bakrch

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That's pretty cool. If it was just 4th axis I'd try to get the cad file and give it a try with my new to me 4th axis machine.

I'm not involved in the programming at work, my plate is full as it is. I just use Mastercam at home to try and make parts. I'm still learning.
Looks like most of that was programmed via positioning and three axis 3D toolpaths. The Simultaneous 5 didn't really come in until the finer details were being done. Looked pretty good up until that point, too.

Guess what I am saying is that you can get pretty far on 4 axis, just need to do more than 1 setup.

Bonus if you have a full multi-axis license, as the basic and 3D mill packages only give axis-substitution and Rolldie.dll support for the 4th (which is quite limited).
 

alloy

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I have Mastercam with 5 axis, lathe, and art. I used Smartcam for 15 years but that has been almost 20 years ago and I'm still trying to get a handle on Mastercam. I'm itching to try out my new machine with the 4th. It will be delivered next Wednesday and I'll have it up and running by the end of the weekend.
 

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I think if you went to the boss and said, find me an expert who can come in here and quickly help me get this stuff going, he/she would appreciate that.

Frequently people think that asking for help is admitting a weakness or lack of skill...but really, you could do it, just not with the learning curve in the time that the business has available. Best to tell the boss now, rather than risk failing slowly, suffering all the time. You'll get some points for the suggestion.
 

alloy

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It's not my boss that's the problem. He knew like all of us it wouldn't work like they said. It's the know it all owner that took one machine shop class in college that's the problem. He will fight tooth and nail to prove he's right no matter the expense, no matter how long it takes. And he won't call in outside help.

Eventually the company president (another brother) will overrule him and we will get what we need.
 

Tim9

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“Eventually the company president (another brother) will overrule him and we will get what we need.”

Then I’d just go talk to the brother from the get go. Just tell him like it is.... and let him know that the only reason you’re telling him you need an outside expert to come in and school you to get up and running to quick start your learning curve.... is because you’re trying to save the company time and expense.
Quite reasonable in my opinion for any owner to understand that. Common sense really. Hell.... almost everyone in this day and age understands that technology is moving at breakneck speed and it’s quicker and easier to have someone show you how something works than reading a bloated 200 page instruction manual.
 

alloy

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We have told him, no use.

Had the program for about 2 months now and it's not what they advertised.

This morning I stuffed a 3" face mill into an expensive set of snap jaws. Took awhile but we figured out what happened.

The okuma doesn't use G54 tye commands for origin. It uses H numbers for tool height and origin. For height you have to put G56 H1. For origin you put G115 H1.

Checking through the program it put the G56 on 5 out of 6 tools, and that one tool it missed just happened to by my nice new face mill. I only hurt the inserts on the face mill, but destroyed the snap jaws.

Unfortunately I'll be dealing with this for years. We have almost 500 different part numbers and there isn't time to reprogram all of them, so we have no choice but to run them through the conversion program.

All the new programs that are generated are fine, it's just the old programs.

At this point I would welcome the Fadal's back. Thankfully I have one in my shop to run. Gives me a much needed break from the danged Okumas.
 

JimDawson

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What's that worth? ;)

About half of my CNC program is a G-code translator, that's how I'm able to use many different posts. When you load a G-code file, the first thing that happens is that it gets translated & reformatted and outputs the G-code file in a format that the rest of my program can digest. Could do this with any G-code file, just need to know what the output needs to look like.
 

alloy

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I wished you had of written the program we have.

I don't see why it's so hard to convert G54 to to G115 H1, and add G56 to any and all H numbers in the program. Until the program is converted it uses H numbers for just one thing.

Of course I could also get started on how much of a pain things like loading tools are in these machines. So many safety features all because of attorneys doing their part to keep us safe, and to keep from being sued.
 

JimDawson

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I don't see why it's so hard to convert G54 to to G115 H1, and add G56 to any and all H numbers in the program. Until the program is converted it uses H numbers for just one thing.
It's not that hard, but to automate the process would require a bit of software. Could be done in an Excel spreadsheet, or maybe in Notepad++, I think that has some VBA capability. My translator module would do it with a bit of modification. You might also be able to do it in Wordpad using the search & replace function, not sure about that one. I'd have to see the input file and the desired output, depends on what (if any) logic is required.

On the other hand, in this case it sounds like this functionality was already paid for. I can't believe that the techs can't figure this one out.
 

alloy

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Well for now it is what it is. They seemed to have accepted it the way it is.

But as of yesterday we have much bigger problems. We were hacked, and I'm told its bad, very bad. They got $250k out of the company account. Thankfully the account is capped at a maximum of $250k per day for wire transfers. They ordered all new hard drives. But how do they get the data off the infected drives without copying the virus that allowed the hack?

And, they have all our personal information, SSN and bank account number on the system. Lifelock here I come.

I have enough parts to almost finish the day with the programs in the machines, but that's it. We use USB to load programs to the okumas, but they are windows 7 operating systems so they can be infected from what the tech told us.

Anyway going to be interesting here for awhile.
 

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WOW! What a mess. :eek: I would assume that the files can be scanned for whatever virus may be attached, but who knows. The only way you can really protect the internal network is to air gap it. The $250K is nothing compared to the potential loss of many years worth of CAD & G-code files and the possible loss of CNC operating systems, not to mention the lost production time.

I have spare backup drives (not connected) sitting in all of my computers and backup current critical files to USB sticks as I create the files. Worst case I might lose a days worth of data. As far as financial stuff, I have taken what steps I can to protect that and have dedicated cards I use for online purchases and are limited to amount without a phone call to my bank, and my bank will not make an outbound wire transfer without an additional layer of security. Working with a small local bank has its advantages.

All of the above does not protect me 100%, but at least I have a fighting chance.
 
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alloy

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I just found out after they hit the bank account they left ransomware.

They just came and got my USB drives, and may scan the okumas. I don't know how they will do that, but I guess the virus can hide anywhere. And I have used the drives on the okumas after the hack.

I asked about our personal info and just got a blank stare.
 

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When it rains it pours. Best of luck. :bawling:
 

alloy

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We found out it's the RYUK ransomware. They pulled all the hard drives out of our computers and rebuilt the server from an offline backup from a few days before the attack. We have no email, can't access customers orders, and can't get our code files to run the cnc's. It will be weeks before all the computers are up again.

And awhile ago two black suburbans showed up and 4 guys in black suits got out and went into the office. They had government plates on the suburbans.

The men in black are here. Not funny I guess, just never saw anyone from the FBI before.
 
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