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3D machining programs

No matter how good the software, if the operator does not understand how to machine metal (or anything else for that matter) then the programs will always be found wanting.

Hands-on machining experience is essential to be able to produce programs that are reliable and efficient. That is why all staff at Alphatech that are involved with programming have been on the "shop floor" milling and running CNC machines for several years.

This approach means we have a much greater understanding of any problems and pitfalls that might occur and is one of the reasons that our reputation for reliability is unsurpassed.

Good training is crucial for achieving reliable and efficient results but the training that the software suppliers provide can often fall short of the mark. This is because the software can be used is many different ways and for many different applications. Programmers trained in this way tend to develop their own style and methods of working and you end up with 2 programmers working side by side in the same office who will tackle the same job in completely different ways.

Team work is our strategy to counter this problem. We train our programmers in-house and in our methods and ways. This means that you get consistent, high quality results whoever does the work. It also means that holidays and illness does not cause problems with someone continuing with other peoples work.

A great emphasis is also put on encouraging our staff to be involved in new ideas and better ways of working. We will evaluate these ideas and if they prove to be worthwhile everyone will change to the new method. This means that you, as a customer, get the maximum benefit from innovative and forward thinking minds.

We work hard at our target of constant improvement to give you unparalleled value for money in all the programming work we undertake, which enables you to reap the benefits of increased productivity and profitability.

Every program is supplied with a setting sheet to show you the datum used, the orientation and some key check dimensions and a data sheet that shows the cutters and the parameters used (feed, speed, cutter length etc.) and the machining time.


The first, and most important, thing to consider when choosing programming software should be reliability.
Of course you need to make sure that the software will do what you want, but reliability should be a key concern. By reliability I mean that you should be totally 100% confident that the programs produced will remove all the material you want and only the material you want, with no collisions or gouges.

In this ever increasingly competitive world, getting the job correct first time, every time, is key to maintaining your edge over the competition.
Other important considerations include: A wide range of available machining strategies. Regular updates to keep up with new cutter technologies and new methods. Good technical support from the suppliers and, for most people, an easy to use interface.

The reason for saying "for most people" when talking about the user interface is because at Alphatech we have a unique method of running our 3D machining software. Over the past 10 years we have developed a complete system to run alongside our software.

This system allows us, at the front end, to run the software through pre-stored macros with the added flexibility of variables, loops and built-in functions. In short, this allows us to build a library of macro code that we can test, perfect, store and re-use time and time again. It allows us to create complex sets of machining strategies easily and quickly.

While our system is controlling and running our machining software it is constantly storing information about the cutter paths, cutter data and parameters so that when the programming is finished our setting sheet software (also unique to Alphatech) can use this data along with data from our job database to create clear data and setting sheets.

page | by Dr. Radut