NCSIMUL Product History
Listed below are the previous releases of NCSIMUL, to view what features where introduced in each of the releases click the buttons below.
NCSIMUL Version 2022.3
Several new enhancements have been made in version 2022.3 of NCSIMUL. Here are some of the major highlights:
- AFP, ATL, and CFW composite machine certification
- Electrode tool verification
- User interface improvements
- Cutting chips and rotating tools
- Global CAM interface improvements
- Heavy CNC program decoding
AFP, ATL, and CFW composite machine certification
NCSIMUL 2022.3 has a new module to simulate the Automated Fiber Placement (AFP), Automated Tape Laying (ATL) and Continuous Filament Winding (CFW) machines. For each of these, it can verify and control the steering angles and pin positions, as well as other specific alarm and collision detection. The results can be exported or compared against an imported neutral fiber, providing yet another solution to certifying any manufacturing process that’s part of the production.
A new tool type is available to define dimensions and the number of fibers. After simulation, material export is available and importing the neutral curve from a CM allows the comparison of results
Electrode tool verification
Users can verify the electrode tools with NCSIMUL all the way up to 3+2 axis motion. Users can import any 3D model as per their requirement and combine the model with any variety of other tooling they wish to use. Now, while running difficult-to-handle parts that require an EDM process, users can feel confident that the G-code will behave the same way as per the real machining process.
User interface improvements
With NCSIMUL 2022.3, the streamlined left-to-right process of creating a new project has been further simplified. In addition, there are functionalities inside in the job tree and the setup creation, such as being able to see the full machine kinematics. These improvements will help users to save time while creating projects every day, giving a better overall user experience to aid them in the manufacturing process.
The “Program” ribbon ressources have been reorganized for a more intuitive flow, reinforcing most used functions and the left-to-right user flow.
Simulation function is now using smart positioning and users no longer need to choose the position in the simulation process. NCSIMUL positions Group 1 before the G-code program and Group 2 after.
Cutting chips and rotating tools
For a better visual experience, users can now see the chip material removal, full rotation of the tool and holder and animated coolant. Users can also import full representations of milling tool flutes and reliefs. This can be a quick way to catch an issue in the G-code or verify side by side with the real machine what exactly is happening. Machine sounds and coolant animation available provide the users a realistic feel of the actual machining process.
Global CAM interface improvements
NCSIMUL 2022.3 brings improvements to all CAM systems across the board, simplifying the process of passing the data to NCSIMUL. More flexibility and customization while setting automatic functions and defaults is now available. This include but isn’t limited to: CAD formats, fixture types, tool locations, machine offsets and probing functions. This will enable users to certify the G-code quicker through a process that best suits their needs.
Heavy CNC program decoding
Additional performance improvements have been done for decoding heavy CNC programs. A new feature “Use simple moves” provides a tremendous memory saving without optimization OPTITOOL restriction. This option is active by default to improve decoding time.
|Without option||With simple moves option|
|Memory usage after decoding||2.9G0||1.9G0|
NCSIMUL Version 2022.1
Several new enhancements have been made in NCSIMUL 2022.1. Major new enhancements in NCSIMUL 2022.1 include:
- CNC brushing verification
- New part setup mating axis systems and 3D live import
- Multi-part machining for WORKNC (powered by NCSIMUL)
- NCSIMUL CAM interface configurator
- CNC digital twin panels and improved ACNU functions
- 3D cutting tools improvement and tool sub-type management
- Two new 3D control configurations available
- WYSIWYC is now connected to Fanuc
CNC brushing verification
NCSIMUL 2022.1 comes with a new type of tool added to the cutting tool library: the CNC brushing tools. Brushes or deburring tools can be created in any shape or form and defined as a brushing tool for verification. The brushing operation will color a layer of material, allowing programmers to verify if all surfaces have been covered properly. The color is defined in the user preferences. All usual alarms and collision detections will be performed and brushing parts will not interfere with the comparison tool.
Added to the CNC finishing cutting operation, brushing verification ensures quality for this last CNC operation.
New part setup mating axis systems and 3D live import
This version continues NCSIMUL’s improvements for accelerating part setups. In addition to reading major CAD software native files, NCSIMUL 2022.1 is also capable of opening the 3DLive file format, also called GDML, for creating a certification part setup on the machine table, faster than ever. This standardized file type, provided by Machining Cloud, is also used in ESPRIT TNG and is a new export option from DESIGNER, Hexagon’s CAD for manufacturing application. NCSIMUL is reading the 3D data files and all the coordinate systems.
Additionally, a new type of coordinate system is now available for speeding up complex part setup assemblies, the mating axis system. This new axis system is acting as an anchor to add parts or sub-assemblies to a main setup in one click.
Multi-part machining for WORKNC (powered by NCSIMUL)
Developed on the NCSIMUL 4CAM technology, Multi-Part Machining can certify multiple WORNC workzones in a single process. After importing the workzone to a pre-located mating system in the virtual machine and the cutting tool library in the machine tool magazine, NCSIMUL creates the safest and shortest interlink toolpath between parts. Having all the workzones on a large table or mounted on a tombstone allows programmers to prepare a sequence of machining parts with optimized locations and a reduced number of tool changes. This is an additional module available to WORKNC users.
NCSIMUL CAM interface configurator
Now available in NCSIMUL, the machine digital twins are hosting a new NCSini editor, allowing a cutting tool configuration for each CAM direct interface. Once the configuration is set for a specific machine and a specific CAM interface, the cutting tools transferred from the CAM are loaded with the proper orientations and compensation, in the correct tool rack and for a given channel. The configurator can also ignore a specific tool sequence if the ones already set in the NCSIMUL machine should be prioritized over the CAM library tools.
CAM interfaces are benefiting from this new automation, allowing a seamless cutting tool library integration.
CNC digital twin panels and improved ACNU functions
The CNC machine digital twin panels are available for new machine configurations in the turning, milling and mill-turn space. It is a real benefit for virtual machine application engineers in speeding up a customer machine calibration and avoiding lengthy custom macros specification in the CNU file. The ACNU team worked extensively to make most standard machine configurations available in a simple panel template. This is also benefiting customers who seek to set up their own virtual machines.
The panels are available for Fanuc, Siemens, Heidenhain, Okuma and Mazak. NCSIMUL 2022.1 also brings an additional level with the MCNU (machine constructor level) pre-configured for DMG (DMU/DMC, NT/NTX, CTX/CNX) and for Makino machines. The result is accelerated machine deliveries, simplified machine configuration learning, and increased reliability of the virtual machines.
Some ACNU functions are also added, such as the Frame evaluation, STR0, index of global array, MEASURE function, internal probing function for SIEMENS 840D and the co-linear axis management with the panels.
3D cutting tools improvement and tool sub-type management
Two new levels are available for 3D cutting tools in NCSIMUL: the shank and extension. Giving access to the exact collision cause in the error logger, as it is for a parameter’s defined tool, it will speed up collision analysis during the simulation step. It is also possible to choose the tool accessory level color.
Tool properties now hosts a new cutting tool sub-type selection. It is used for the machine control that restricts cycles to certain tool sub-types, sounding an alarm when an improper tool is loaded in the spindle. The sub-type list is specific to control brands. The sub-type is available for all tools, including the 3D tools.
Two new 3D control configurations available
Added to several CAM control presets, it is now possible to set the 3D controls like in MASTERCAM or ESPRIT TNG solutions. NCSIMUL 3D manipulations are no longer disruptive from the two CAM solution experiences and do not require personal configuration.
WYSIWYC is now connected to Fanuc
NCSIMUL can be connected to a real FANUC CNC or an NCGUIDE PC emulator. Complementing the available interfaces with SIEMENS and HEIDENHAIN, this solution will be used in industrial training centers or education facilities to learn the manipulation of a CNC panel, while having the realistic visual feedback on the virtual simulator. Using the FOCAS protocol, the simulation is driven by the CNC or the NCGUIDE PC emulator.
NCSIMUL Version 2022.0 R2
NCSIMUL 2022.0 R2
Several new enhancements have been made in NCSIMUL 2022.0 R2 to improve traceability of CNC programs and overall quality assurance:
The NCDOC technical documentation module – initially developed to produce a document for the workshop by allowing to prepare the machine with sheets describing the setup, the origins, the tools, the machining sequences and possibly the in-progress checks – can now be used by the programming service to certify the validation steps of the program. In addition to the checklist of operations performed, it is possible to document all the comparison analysis executed on the machining result. Screenshots taken during the three types of comparison (graphical, gouged material and surplus material) and the differences observed are automatically inserted into the document.
This new functionality is very useful for programmers subcontracting jobs, who are now able to attach to the delivered program complete documentation containing technical details as well as the report of the verification actions carried out to validate the program.
The main benefits of the comparison analysis reporting are:
- Traceability of verifications and analyses carried out on the program
- Improvement in overall quality assurance
- Up-to-date documentation included in the NCSIMUL project
Import machine digital twin from MachiningCloud
The MachiningCloud application is an Industry 4.0 solution that allows you to access a database of machine tool builders and download digital twin machines in 3Dlive tm (GDML) format. The NCMOTION application from NCSIMUL, which allows you to build the kinematics of a machine, can now import a GDML file. This function enables you to retrieve the definition of the complete kinematic chain of the machine from the floor to the tools and tables, the axes with their direction, limits and speed characteristics as well as the associated graphic elements, fixed or mobile accessories, the spindles with their limits, the turrets with their stations, the housings and logos.
Using data provided by the machine tool builder, the machine digital twin can be used directly without any rework, ensuring the use of a perfect digital twin. It is also possible to export NCSIMUL machines in this format which can be used to share a very large number of machines, across different Hexagon software applications.
The main benefits of GDML import / export are:
- Reliable import of data provided by the machine tool builder
- Machines ready to be used in the software
- The ability to share machines across different Hexagon applications
The NCSIMUL WYSIWYC module can be connected to a CNC or to a Sinutrain tm (Siemens) or Programming station TNC (Heidenhain) PC emulator. This solution dedicated to training centers makes it possible to learn the operation of a CNC machine while having realistic feedback of the actions carried out. The connected virtual machine is an exact reflection of a real machine, it has the advantage of being always available and free of repair costs after a collision.
With this solution, the student easily learns the handling of a CNC, while graphical feedback allows them to grasp problems and understand more easily the effect of their actions.
During this connection, all the changes of state of the CNC, all the axis positions and the parameters received are stored in memory, it is possible to save this monitoring in an NCSIMUL project at the end of the session. This project can be analysed by the teacher using an NCSIMUL advanced license.
The main benefits of connected simulation are:
- Cost-effective solution for training centers
- Realistic graphical feedback
- Shorter learning curve to use a CNC machine
User experience enhancements
With improvement of the cut analysis report, at the end of the analysis, the user finds the median value of the cutting parameters of each tool sequence, in addition to the maximum values. The median values being very close to the values defined in the CAM software, allow the cutting conditions to be checked more quickly.
With tool sheets layout improvement the generic parameters of the milling tools not depending on the type of tool are calculated from tool profile analysis.
The NX interface for mill-turn machines has been completely revized. Now, it allows the sending of CAM data (3D element, tools on turrets or B axis, programs, origins) in NCSIMUL in just a few clicks. The user can start the simulation without making any changes to the project.
NCSIMUL Version 2022.0
Improve CNC program quality assurance and traceability
Machining Cloud Connection
The latest release of NCSIMUL includes direct access to MachiningCloud, an Industry 4.0 solution providing a knowledge base of cutting tool manufacturers and the ability to search for tool components to create assemblies in minutes. These tool assemblies are securely saved in MachiningCloud for consultation and future use and can also be exported to CAM or simulation software. The imported data is displayed in the tool library editor, which allows some adjustments to be made before validation (for example: tool number, gauge value, reference name etc).
The main benefits of MachiningCloud include:
- Reduced tool preparation time
- Up-to-date manufacturer-supplied tool data for every simulation
- Secure collision detection with tools
- One-click import of complete tool lists
The NCDOC reporting module is enhanced with functions that make it possible to monitor the checks performed on a program before sending it to the workshop. These new features improve quality assurance company by adding traceability. All actions, calculations and analyses monitored during the session are displayed in the product information windows and in the documentation in the form of a checklist. The documentation generated by the module is now embedded in the NCSIMUL project, so it can be viewed by the operator in the workshop from NCSIMUL Player.
- Traceability of verifications and analyses performed on the program
- Up-to-date documentation always included in the NCSIMUL project
- Documentation available for consultation in the workshop with NCSIMUL Player
- A single file containing the Player and the instructions
Machine-specific licensing for 3 + 2 milling machine, 5-axis continuous milling machine and single channel mill-turn allowing the use of NCSIMUL and Hexagon CAM interfaces for one machine. Licenses can be purchased via subscription.
- A scalable offer by CNC machine
- Machine, software and Hexagon interfaces available in a single package
- Greater flexibility via the subscription model
During the simulation it is now possible to view the coolants activated by the program. All types of coolant can be animated, including exterior multi-nozzles, by the center, cabin washing, blowing, etc. The definition of the properties of the nozzles (position, orientation, length of the jet, color) is done in the kinematics editor, while the animation is an option of the simulation parameters.
Simulation management is improved by generating messages for the user when:
- The simulation was interrupted before the end
- There is nothing to simulate when the intermediate roughs are up to date
- The simulation is paused, a line in the alarm logger allows the user to reposition in the program before continuing the simulation
The new ESPRIT TNG interface for milling and turning allows users to send data such as 3D element, tools, program and origins to NCSIMUL in just a few clicks. The user can start the simulation without making any changes to the project.
NCSIMUL Version 2021.1
Learn what’s new in the latest release of NCSIMUL
Automatic intermediate stock management
Because NCSIMUL enables data to be sent from the CAM system to the simulation without adjustment before the verification begins, the NC-programmer can start debugging the G-code file during programming and switch between the CAM system and simulation as required. With the new automatic intermediate stock management function, the simulation will always start from the last updated intermediate stock.
When loading a new version of the G-code file, NCSIMUL 2021.1 saves a recording of the previous file and compares the two versions after decoding it compares the two records. This comparison is based on the analysis of tool sequences, coordinates and cutting conditions. As soon as a difference is detected, the intermediate stock of the sequence as well as the following ones are deleted. The user can also choose to manually delete an intermediate stock to allow the restart of the simulation at a specific desired location.
The intermediate stock management function enables users to start verification early in the programming process and to see their modifications in real time. For programs containing a lot of tool changes, verification times can be reduced by up to 50%.
5-axis setup performance analysis
NCSIMUL 2021.1 enhances the analysis functions supporting simulation and collision detection by offering a function to analyse the behaviour of the machine in continuous 5-axis mode, helping users predict and mitigate against machining problems. The tool axis passing close to the point of singularity can generate significant motion in the rotary axes. Small movements of the tool tip with a large variation in inclination can also cause larger motion in the machine axes. These phenomena can cause cutting problems because the tool spends more time chasing the part than removing material.
The 5-axis setup performance analysis function makes it possible to identify all sections of the trajectory that are close to the point of singularity, as well as the orientations that will cause large amplitude motion in the rotary axes. It also compares the actual recalculated cutting feed rate of the tool tip, accounting for the maximum axis speeds with the programmed feed rate. In the analysis report, the 5-axis quality factor of each trajectory appears. With the help of this report, users can define the best position and orientation of the part on the machine table for successful machining.
Automation: Creation of customized templates
NCSIMUL 2021.1’s AUTOMATION module, which is the user's assistant to perform simulation, cut analysis and optimization tasks, is equipped with a command template editor. This new feature provides complete autonomy for the software administrator, where previously customized templates were only available as a service. Now, templates can be created in minutes via a simple user interface, removing the time needed to request and deploy custom reports. Users simply describe the sequence of actions to be carried out in the project; they have access to all parameters of each command and can combine tasks such as updating external data, simulation, cutting analysis calculation and air-cut optimization, as well as execution report export.
CAM interfaces: NX multi-processes, CATIA V5 mill-turn tooling management
The NX interface allows users to export all the processes contained in the manufacturing file at one time. Users can also configure the intermediate stock recovery at the start of the following processes, which allows the verification to be started without any adjustment. Improved CATIA V5 interface allows turning tools to be exported. Interfaces are compatible for Hexagon 2021.0, CATIA V5 R30, MasterCam V2021, NX Continuous (V 1899).
User experience improvements
NCDOC reporting module: Users can now enrich documentation by integrating images from outside. The selected files are stored in the NCSIMUL project. Automatic image capture of intermediate stock can be configured with a choice of rendering type displaying previous machining operations in color or in initial blank, as well as the option to make the tool invisible.
OPTIPOWER and OPTITOOL optimization modules: OPTIPOWER now calculates the cutting force applied to the external contact point of the tool. The maximum torque and the maximum cutting force for each machining sequence are integrated in the analysis report, and it is possible to check the evolution of these parameters with the ‘graphs’ function. In OPTITOOL, it is now possible to define a minimum feed per tooth to avoid being below the minimum chip thickness value (in case of toolpath optimization based on chip flow or cutting power).
NCSIMUL Version 2021.0
The 2021 release features a new comparison mode which detects excessive material, during a fast and hidden simulation. It shows a solid comparison between the CAD/CAM models or previous cut stock and the NCSIMUL simulated model.
This new item of functionality is the only way to detect unwanted rest stock on a large part. It shows a list of the excess material that’s left, and can also be displayed in a 3D window linked to the list.
Amongst its numerous benefits:
- Finding small, missing drill holes on large aerospace components
- Finding missing holes which need to be connected on mold bodies and hydraulic parts.
Integrated to NCDoc, dimensioning is a new function which creates control instructions for operators during the CNC process. It defines a dimension check-list with user-defined tolerances; automatically defines the minimum measurement needed for each cut; generates a comprehensive view for the programmer and operator on the 3D simulation; and works with the NCDoc documentation template.
Tools Evaluation Options
A new set of options quickly evaluate tools that can benefit from air-cutting optimization, with the ‘out of material working time’ in the sequence list. This works with the NCDoc documentation template, and customizes stock nearness values for each sequence, and the optimization is automatically stored for future strategies. Enhancements to editing Setup reduce simulation time by merging fixtures, parts and rough stock elements from one, or multiple, CAD files read in NCSIMUL. It creates simple geometric rough stock – either cylinder or cubes – an automatic part envelope; and all setup elements can move up or down.
Mill-Turn Tooling Management
Improvements to mill-turn tooling management for ESPRIT CAM and TopSolid CAM interface: With a new ‘Configuration interface file’ associated to each digital twin, it is now possible to define the mapping of tool assembly positioning – station number, turret and orientation –between the CAM system and NCSIMUL. This means the interfaces can crate NCSIMUL projects, ready to run the simulation.
Turning Parts 2D Display
A simplified 2D display for turning parts improves the analysis of dynamic rough stock. It quickly displays the tool and toolpath next to the cut model and reference part profiles.
Online Document Center
The document center is now available online, and includes additional descriptions of the released versions, including more details under the ‘case studies,’ and ‘focus on’ tabs.
Cutting Tool Wear Simulation
For cutting tool wear simulation as defined in the tool magazine, a button now runs the simulation for tools either ‘fresh out of the box,’ or ‘worn down.’ User-defined values apply for each cutting tool, and the system can check if a worn tool will generate alarms or collisions with unwanted rest stock material. This defines the sharpening rules, and decreases tool consumption.
The enhanced functionality in NCSIMUL 2021 further increases shopfloor productivity and reduces manufacturing costs.