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Programming CNC machines versus robots - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Sales positioning Programming CNC machines versus robots Typical methods of CNC programming Programming of CNC machines ranges from simple 2D applications to complex 5axis applications Typical methods of CNC programming

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Typical methods of CNC programming

Programming of CNC machines ranges from simple 2D applications to complex 5axis applications


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Typical methods of CNC programming

2D and 3D applications are mainly performed on 3 axis machines while 5 axis applications are limited to more complex 5 axis machines

5 axis CNC milling machine

3 axis CNC milling machine


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Typical methods of CNC programming

There is a natural progression in complexity, skill and cost required to program a CNC machine from simple 2D to advanced 5axis applications


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Typical methods of CNC programming

Some 5axis applications also require a machine simulator to ensure that the program is error and collision free


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CNC Machine Programming Software Costs

This chart shows the natural progression of software cost and training starting with 2D to advanced 5axis programming. These are average industry pricing for mid-ranged products like Mastercam. Since most robotic applications are fully 6axis, maximum software functionality is required similar to advanced 5axis programming.


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Challenges of programming a robot

A typical 6 axis robot only has rotary axis. Because of this architecture:

  • Joint limits are hard to check intuitively

  • Robot to part collision is impossible to determine without simulation


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Challenges of programming a robot

It is desirable to program a robot in Cartesian coordinates but all robots are commanded by joint values by the robot controller


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Challenges of programming a robot

A 6 axis robot requires position and orientation data at each point


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Challenges of programming a robot

A six axis robot has three singularity zones and all programs must be singularity free

Wrist Singularity


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Challenges of programming a robot

A robot has 8 possible configurations for every point


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Challenges of programming a robot

Programming a robot requires a simulator for:

  • Checking for joint limits and robot reach

  • Visualizing and validating head orientation and robot configuration

  • Checking for collisions

  • Checking for singularities

    In most cases a simulator is not required for programming a CNC because of the linear architecture of these machines


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Comparison of Software Costs Between Robot and 5axis Programming

This chart highlights the comparison of the Robotmaster cost with that of a 5axis application. The cost of Robotmaster is comparable to a 5axis post-processor and a simulator. Most 5axis applications do not require a simulator which is essential for proofing a robot program and checking for singularities, joint limits and collisions. In contrast, Robotmaster is significantly better implemented with the robot than the average 5axis post-processor which is generic.











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Robot Programmingmasterseamlessly integrates programming, simulation and code generation inside Mastercam, delivering quicker robot programming at a competitive software package cost.


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