Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

May 9, 2024

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, Machine and Strategy information. The TechDB can be leveraged to speed up programming time and reduce errors.

 

To begin, please launch the Technology Database.

View and customize new tool

The Mill Tooling/ Turn Tooling menu of the Technology Database user interface provides access to various commands for adding, deleting, and editing mill/turn tools, holders and tool assemblies.

Tool types supported by SOLIDWORKS CAM include drills, taps, end mills, user defined tools, probe tools and many others.

While the Technology Database is supplied with many different and most commonly used tool types and sizes, it is unlikely include all various tools used at your facility. Ideally, to take the maximum advantage of SOLIDWORKS CAM, it is recommended that you add or modify the tool libraries present in the TechDB to include the tools used at your machining facilities.

 

Select Metric, click on Mill Tooling, you can find all the cutter type in this tool library.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

 

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

 

  • View and customize Drill tool

Ensure the select tool type is Drill, you can view all the Drill Tools from this tool library.

You can Copy or Delete to customize your tool library

Base on your tool inventory to input the tool data, like overall length and protrusion…

If you did any changes, please click Save to restore your data.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

 

You can scroll down to Cutting Parameters to set with Spindle Speed, Feed Rate and Coolant type.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • View and customize Flat End Mill tool

Ensure the select tool type is Flat End Mill, you can view all the Flat End Mill Tools from this tool library.

You can Copy or Delete to customize your tool library

Base on your tool inventory to input the tool data, like overall length and protrusion…

If you did any changes, please click Save to restore your data.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

You can scroll down to Cutting Parameters to set with Spindle Speed, Feed Rate and Coolant type.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Customize Tool Crib

After you have input all the required tools into the Tool Library to meet your manufacturing needs, the next step is to build a Tool Crib for each machine or build one Tool Crib for use with all of your machines.

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.

 

  • Create a new tool crib

Select Metric, click on the Mill Tab, then click on Tool Crib 1(Metric) Empty under Tool Cribs

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Click on New, key in the name of tool crib and the number of total stations, then click on Save

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Select the tools from the tool library

Ensure the select tool crib is correct, click on Add and select the tool type

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Choose the desired diameter, you can make change of tool data if you want.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Same for other type of tools

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Please specify the Station number for every tool selected

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Customize Machine

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.

 

  • Create a new machine

Select Metric, click on the Mill Tab, then click on Mill – Metric (default), create the machine by clicking on Copy

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • General Tab

With Mill – Metric Copy and General Tab, it is the general information regarding machine.

Ensure there is checked with Default Machine if you want to make it as default selection.

Rename the machine name base on your machine model and set the correct post processor with this machine.

Click on Save if you did any of changes.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Specifications Tab

Click on General tab to collapse that tab and click on the Specification Tab to expand it to set some operating parameters for the machine.

You may notified the machine name has been changed.

You can set the parameters with General, Feedrates and Table Travel limits.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Turret Tab

Collapse the Specifications tab and expand the Turret tab by clicking on the respective blue labels at the top of these tabs.

You can specify the Tool Crib to each machine and tool change swap times.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

 

  • Spindle Tab

Collapse the Turret tab and expand the Spindle tab by clicking on the respective blue labels at the top of these tabs.

The Spindle tab of Mill Machine Parameters form allows you to define the spindle speed times.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Setup Tab

Collapse the Turret tab and expand the Spindle tab by clicking on the respective blue labels at the top of these tabs.

The Setup tab allows you to define the Indexing and limits for machine. These values are available while defining the machine.

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Customize Features and Operations

The Feature & Operations functionality of the Technology Database is essentially the brain of the TechDB. The operations generated in SOLIDWORKS CAM and all the parameters they contain come from the definitions stored in Feature & Operations of the TechDB.

 

  • View Mill Features and Operations user interface

With the Metric mode, select Mill Tab, click on Features and Operations under the Strategies

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Parameters in Mill Features and Operations user interface

 

  • Feature: you can select the desired feature type from the dropdown list

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Strategy: the dropdown list indicates the default Strategies and user defined Strategies defined for a selected Feature. The number indicated in parentheses next to the Strategy name indicates the total number of feature conditions defined for that selected strategy.

If you want to create new Strategy or edit/delete Strategy, you may click the icon which is Define Strategy Button

Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

  • Define Strategy: you can define new user-defined strategies, rename existing strategies, delete existing strategies, select the default strategy or create copies of existing strategies.
  • Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM
    • Feature conditions table (2 and 3)

    Operations table (4 and 5)

    (6) Combined with Feature Condition Form, Operation Tool Selection Form, Operation Depth Criteria Form and Operation Parameters Form (7)

    Last but not least, don’t forget to save your changes.

    Customize Technology Database Setting in SOLIDWORKS CAM

Are you ready to set up and start using your SOLIDWORKS CAM Technology Database today?

If you want to learn something more, please feel free to contact us. Thanks.