SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips, CAM

How To Set Up Your SOLIDWORKS CAM Tech Database - Video Tutorial

By Paul Ludwick on October 26, 2020

SOLIDWORKS CAM is a fantastic CNC programming tool included with every seat of SOLIDWORKS on subscription, since the 2018 release. It is powered by CAMWorks and includes the Technology Database (TechDB). The TechDB allows for storing a variety of information for CNC Programming. This includes Tool, Tool Crib, Post Processor, Machine and Strategy information. The TechDB can be leveraged to speed up programming time and reduce errors. This video tutorial series will dive into each of these areas.

We start off by learning how to create new tools in the TechDB, including custom tools. A standard EndMill is created followed by a custom tool. The requirements of the custom tool model are briefly pointed out as well. This makes it possible to have all your tools, purchased or created, referenced in the TechDB for use and re-use.

 

Next, we’ll demonstrate how to leverage these tools to create a Tool Crib, including holders for the tools. You can create Tool Cribs for certain materials or each machine. The tool crib can be easily selected in SOLIDWORKS CAM so all desired tools are ready to go with matching positions for the machines. The Tool Crib can also be attached to a machine so they are automatically used when selecting a machine.

 

Our third video shows the options for required post processor file. Without the correct post processor files, we just have toolpaths. The post processor will translate all the toolpaths into G-Code your machine can read. There are commons one installed with the software. We talk about where to save them and how to start the process of obtaining them. The post processor files can be leveraged in SOLIDWORKS CAM and the TechDB.

 

Our fourth video shows machine creation and how to attach the Tool Crib and Post Processor files to the machine, to streamline use inside of SOLIDWORKS CAM. Properly setting up your machines and attaching the Tool Crib and Post Processor files save so much time in the programming process. It also makes it easy to switch between machines when one is down for maintenance.

 

Our last video is one of the most important. It shows how to save strategies from SOLIDWORKS CAM back into the TechDB for reuse. This is by far the most powerful aspect of the TechDB. Once we show saving a strategy, we introduce modifying the strategy and creating more from inside the TechDB. Learning how to create an modify strategies will significantly reduce programming time and errors.

 

If you are using a version of SOLIDWORKS 2018 or newer, you are ready to set up and start using your SOLIDWORKS CAM Tech Database today. If you are using an older version of SOLIDWORKS or on a current version but looking to upgrade your CAM capabilities, there are a series of solutions from both SOLIDWORKS and CAMWorks that you can get specific to your needs. 

Download our CAM product matrix to see which package best fits your needs.

Download Matrix