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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Programming of CNC machines ranges from simple 2D applications to complex 5axis applications
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
There is a natural progression in complexity, skill and cost required to program a CNC machine from simple 2D to advanced 5axis applications
Some 5axis applications also require a machine simulator to ensure that the program is error and collision free
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.
A typical 6 axis robot only has rotary axis. Because of this architecture:
It is desirable to program a robot in Cartesian coordinates but all robots are commanded by joint values by the robot controller
A 6 axis robot requires position and orientation data at each point
A six axis robot has three singularity zones and all programs must be singularity free
A robot has 8 possible configurations for every point
Programming a robot requires a simulator for:
In most cases a simulator is not required for programming a CNC because of the linear architecture of these machines
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.