Cutting a Basic Part in Inventor HSM Pro 2015

A few posts back I mentioned delving into tool libraries with Inventor HSM. I decided to do a complete part instead as it has been my experience that so much of the YouTube video seems to cater to five-minute bites of time. You can hardly do much in that time frame so here is a complete part and yes, it exceeds five minutes ;-).

This is a basic walk through from zero setting to tool library creation and editing to a finished part and simulation. It is a complete part walk through and not just snippets of various aspects of CAM plan creation. This video is a basic demonstration of why I like HSM so much. Quick and easy tool library creation to tool paths and an interface that just works. Without bells and whistles and un-needed complications that things like Tech Data Bases and Feature Recognition can bring to the table and so often do.

I am a typical small job shop. Well can I say very small at one man? I have used Surfcam, CAMWorks for Solid Edge and VX now ZW3D prior to my arrival to HSM and I will say HSM beats these guys hands down.

What first drew my attention to HSM was a nearby shop that was a real pressure cooker deal with lots of small parts runs that had to be out the door fast. I know these guys and the work they do and I could hardly ignore the proof before my eyes. Their experience was mostly with Mastercam and OneCNC before HSM. I remember going over there one day as they were cutting a formed support back board for some medical group. 3D all the way out of plastic and the gouging with OneCNC at the high speeds needed to cut this part in reasonable time were driving them nuts. OneCNC never did get a post right for them on their Haas VF5 that would not gouge. Desperation led them to try HSMWorks and the rest is history. They have been there for about five years now and have no intention of leaving. They also went through the Autodesk buyout and the ensuing trepidation that brought to HSMWorks users. The way they were treated was also another serious plus for HSM in my eyes. Autodesk has lived up to every promise they made these guys and two years later I think we can safely say the words spoken by Autodesk to treat their newly bought customers right has been followed with proof as manifested in this shop.

They regard HSM as having sophisticated algorithms but a simple intuitive interface that produced great tool paths quickly and easily. I can only say I fully agree. As a bonus it has been my experience that with Adaptive Clearing I now had a high-speed machining capability that beats the current Volumill capabilities and I have current versions of both to play with. In side by side comparisons with same parts, mill and end mills the ease of creating tool paths and the always but sometimes dramatically fewer total inches of travel and thus better cut time HSM was a clear winner. I was pretty surprised about that aspect considering the reputation Volumill has. But like they say the proof is in the pudding and when you can cut parts more easily and quicker it is what it is.

Here is the video. As always I do not represent myself as an expert. I am a shop owner who will rise in ability to the level of parts I accept for work in my shop. These are the strategies I have adopted for better or worse and I encourage HSM users to step in here with better ideas for us all to profit by. Part of my reason for having a blog is the help I have received from those who are better than me who graciously have shared their time with me. The other part is for potential users to see what a real user does and not have to wade through some sales guys canned demo rigmarole.

6 responses to “Cutting a Basic Part in Inventor HSM Pro 2015

  1. Thank you for taking the time to run through a full process. It is very interesting to see this tool at work.

  2. Two comments that I hope help.

    Holding shift+middle mouse button allows orbit in most Autodesk apps. That will allow you to orbit without having to use the view cube or the space mouse.

    For repetitive Cam operations, I copy the operation and paste it, then edit only a few settings that need changing. I also have saved out templates for center-drill -> drill, center-dril -> drill -> tap, and center-drill -> drill -> c-bore. Saves a lot of clicks.

    • Hi Schneik80,
      Thanks for the tip. Would you send me your contact info if you are willing to help me on the last two tips you mention? I will make sure it does not get posted here. I am especially interested in the templates idea as I thought that was something not in there yet.

  3. Here is the Inventor HSM Pro help on how to create and use templates:
    http://help.autodesk.com/cloudhelp/2015/ENU/Inventor-HSM-Pro/files/GUID-6CA1457C-FE66-41F0-BD74-CC34A47D0922.htm

    I worked for years as a machinist apprentice and in a prototype/job shop running conventional and NC mill/turn so I have empathy for the CAM space and its challenges.

    • As a general comment here I am a little surprised at how many people with Autodesk are and have been involved in the physical production of goods. I don’t know if this is a part of the “maker” philosophy Bass believes in so much but it sure can’t hurt to have people like this in the belly of the beast.
      Thanks Schneik80 for the link.

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