Geomagic Design 3D CAD modelling and Mecsoft Visual Mill CNC software - local Australia technical support.

Moderators: caddit,, Moderators

#1209 by Leon
Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:28 am
Is there a limit to how many features I can cut in Alibre CAM?

I have a design with 200 slots to be cut with an 8mm tool and 400 slot ends to be cleaned with a 4mm tool. I initially checked with one slot and two ends and the software was fine ie the model can be machined.

When I try 400 ends I now get an error that says "Could not find valid data! Internal algorithm failure". When I okay this error the next error is "Error creating toolpath! Please check settings and input parameters".

If I now go back and sketch just a single slot in the same model and try and CAM this I receive the same error message. That is I was able to intially machine a design, when I grew it to 400 slots it failed, and it now fails even when I try to cut just a single piece of the model.

Any suggestions?
#1217 by caddit
Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:28 am
Sorry about the delay, we had to do some real looking..

As far as we know this is an obscure bug in Alibre in unusual circumstances.

Perhaps remove those invalid CAM features that are giving you trouble, save and restart Alibre. Then try to define smaller operations and gradually get larger until you start having problems.

If we can have a sample file and steps to reproduce the error we might be able to advise more..
#1222 by caddit
Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:23 am
Hello Leon,

We have reviewed your files with Alibre support and can make the following observations..

Basically to create the Method of Procedure for CNC profiling is: create a sketch which will be the path that the tool is going to follow (see SKETCH 2 of the part you sent us). This is using the profiling tool in Alibre CAM. Then the Total cut depth level needs to be established in the Cut Level tab. I am not sure how the regions are being selected in the part, but it is suggested to use sketches rather than Flat Area Containment Regions for better precision.

We have sent you and example file of how this can be applied to your situation, cutting 14 slots at once per support's recommendations.

I hope this helps. If you need any clarification or have any further questions, just let me know and I'll be happy to help.

#1224 by Leon
Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:41 am
Thanks Ben

Is this a workaround for this file or is this a generalised suggestion ie always draw the line for the toolpath in the sketch rather than drawing the part I want to machine?

For all the simpler things I have made I have drawn the shape and Alibre has adjusted the toolpath automatically (which makes sense)

For this larger item I am still confused why I could draw the outline of the larger slots and have the software work out the toolpath to match the real outline of the part but for the smaller slots I can only make it work by drawing the actual path that the tool must follow.

#1229 by Leon
Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:41 am
Hi Ben

The recommendations and the sample do not appear to work.

If I follow your instructions and generate the G code the toolpath does not follow the centreline of the sketch that support drew (ie y=22mm) but it follows a line that is half the tool width away (y=20).

We still don't have anything usable at this stage - we can't cut slots either individually or as a long run (the long run was only a rough attempt to get it working, cutting all the small slots as separate entities is really what we need to do and what we expect the software to be able to do).

If I go back to the original model that I mailed you and delete everything except for one pair of slots, I can create the correct G code for cutting these two slots using a 4mm tool.

If I then grow the model to 26 pairs of holes and then generate the G code it only cuts 11 of the 52 holes. There does not appear to be any logical reason as to why it has cut some and not others.

If I cut it to 13 pairs I can cut 8 holes.

If I cut to 3 pair then I can cut 0 holes.

If I reduce the tool to 3.99mm I can get it to cut all of the 52 holes. However, I feel that if it can cut a 4mm hole when there is just one then there is no reason why it can't cut a 4mm hole when there are lots of them.