By importing CAD files in DXF or DWG formats via USB or network, the ProtoTRAK operator can quickly simplify the data by turning off layers such as borders and dimensions before choosing their initial datum point. Once selected the standard ProtoTRAK conversational programming language is used to create the machining path. The added advantage is that all points are taken from the CAD file so no dimensional mistakes can be made via the operator inputting incorrect data. With the addition of the DXF converter option complex components become easy to programme and can be machined in a matter of minutes.
Once the program has been created, the operator can confirm everything is OK by using the standard features of ProtoTRAK to confirm the toolpath or, verify the part in 3D to show the machining process in full on screen. A 3.5-minute video on the XYZ Machine Tools website takes you through the entire process from uploading the DXF file to pressing the cycle start button http://bit.ly/2vWNJlA.
For those companies using 3D solid modelling software, ProtoTRAK is also able to import Parasolid data (.X_T format), which can then be viewed in 3D with the ability to zoom, rotate and pan the drawing on screen to facilitate ease of programming. Using the ProtoTRAK’s Inquiry function, the operator can interrogate the Parasolid file to identify the key data required to ensure the correct tooling is used and to minimise cycle time.
“The functionality and power of the ProtoTRAK CNC control system, puts it head and shoulders above other systems aimed at one-off and low- to medium-volume production. The option of the DXF converter and Parasolid model data takes the efficiency of ProtoTRAK to the next level,” said Nigel Atherton, managing director, XYZ Machine Tools.