How to create 3D tools in a snap in NX CAM

Create parameterized tools in Siemens NX CAM

3D Tool Creation

This tutorial is all about 3D tool creation with NX CAM. First, we will show you how to create a parameterized tool including 3D data using Siemens NX standard functions. Afterwards we will go into the possibilities of the JANUS Technology Manager, which offers another option for the fast creation of parametric tools for Siemens NX with the Feature Tool Creator.

In our example, we have a 3D milling tool that we want to create in NX and export to the tool library.

Tool creation with Siemens NX CAM

We start with the Siemens NX standard function to create a parametric tool. We proceed step by step and start with the holder, following by the shank including flutes and end up with a 3D assembly tool.

Tool Holder

  • In the Manufacturing area in NX we create a new tool. We chose the tool subtype Milling and confirm with OK.
  • A dialogue for the tool creation appears. Since we start with the tool holder, we go to the holder tab and define the parametric of the tool holder by using a holder source.
  • We select “solid body” as the holder source, specify the mounting and select the 3D body.
  • NX now creates the parametric itself by clicking on "Extract Steps Parameters".
  • We export the tool holder into the NX tool library with a description and a holder library reference so that it is always available in the future.

Shank and flutes

  • In the tool configurator, we enter the diameter of the tool, according to the manufacturer's data sheet.
  • We specify the lower radius by measuring it, but also check it again against the manufacturer's data.
  • Next is the flute length, which is the length between the lower and upper edge of the flute.
  • We enter the length of the tool by measuring the length from the lower edge of the insert to the upper edge of the shank.
  • NX then wants to know the number of the flutes. In our example there are 6.
  • The relief is still missing. We enter the relief diameter and the relief length by measuring the corresponding values.
  • We define an additional shank for the upper shaft area. We enter the shank diameter and the shank length including the shank taper length, the values of which we measure in each case.
  • Provided that the shank is correctly positioned, the tool can be exported directly to the NX tool library with parametric and 3D body.

In our example, after all the tool settings were made, the shank was not correctly placed.

How did we change this?

We measured the difference and added an appropriate z-offset to it in the holder area.

Export to NX tool library

  • First we click on Library and specify a reference.
  • We indicate that we want to export a tool part file, therefor we activate the check mark.
  • Now we specify the mounting, and we make sure that the X-axis points into the spindle.
  • Then NX asks for the tool tip - in our example the coordinate system is not correct set. In the video we show you how to proceed in such a case.
  • The next step is to specify the cutting portion of the tool, that means all inserts.
  • We have made all the specifications and we can click on "Export tool to library".
  • In the following dialog NX asks what kind of tool it is, whether it is End Mill Non Indexable or Indexable. We select indexable and confirm with OK.
  • NX now asks for the installed holder system.
  • NX has now created a rotation geometry of all tool parts and informs us that the tool has been exported to the library.

If the tool is needed for future CAM programs, for example for a floor wall operation, it can be searched for in the library with the reference and loaded into the NX operation.

Tool creation with the JANUS Technology Manager

Tool creation with Siemens NX standard functions is possible but requires some manual input to reach the parameterized tool.

Now we will show you how to easily create a 3D tool for Siemens NX using the Feature Tool Creator (TCr) of the JANUS Technology Manager (TMGR).

  • We open the JANUS Technology Manager.
  • In the Basetools section, we click Face Mill and create a new item to which we give a description.
  • We go to the Graphics tab and select "Import 3D model- create parametric model."
  • Technology Manager automatically jumps to NX and asks for the non-cutting body and where it will be mounted. We specify this accordingly and we make sure that the X-axis points into the spindle.
  • Now we still have to specify the cutting bodies, i.e. all inserts, and the tip junction, for which we go to the dialog and define an appropriate point.
  • We check again that the X-axis points into the spindle and confirm with OK.
  • The Technology Manager now automatically calculates the parametric based on the specified 3D body.
  • We check the calculated values and, if necessary, change them manually with the specifications of the manufacturer's data sheet; the Technology Manager automatically recalculates the parametric if changes are made.
  • We click on "Accept" and "Next" and see a final preview of the tool.
  • By clicking on "Finish" we have created our basetool.
  • In the Technology Manager, an assembly can now be created with the holder, which is created with the 3D body assembly.
  • With one click, the assembly can be loaded into NX and used there for an operation. Within NX, the CAM programmer can then choose how the tool is displayed, either just the parametric or just the tool assembly, or both on top of each other.

We see that the Tool Creator of the JANUS Technology Manager takes care of the input of the diameters, cutting lengths or a corner radius and other values for us, eliminating the need for manual input.

In the video, Heinrich Flaum once again explains the steps in detail that it takes to create a parametric complete tool with the standard functions in Siemens NX and with the JANUS Technology Manager.

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The Tool Creator of the JANUS Technology Manager is just one of its helpful features. Many other features make tool management with Siemens NX CAM easier for you.

Learn more

Heinrich FlaumHeinrich Flaum
CAx Senior Pre-Sales Consultant

Autor des Beitrags

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