The following article provides general information on post processors, as well as information on Software Magic’s postprocessor products.
Why do I need one and why are they important?
Your CAD/CAM system has a “natural break” at the point where it produces a GENERIC form of Numerical Control (N/C) output called the a CL-file (Cutter Location File).
This generic intermediate output merely represents the path(s) your machine’s cutter will take while machining your part. It does not reflect, and is not optimized for, the SPECIFIC CNC Control and Machine Tool capabilities of the machine you will actually use to cut the part.
At this generic “breakpoint,” the Post Processor software – sometimes called a LINK – comes in. It takes the CL-file and processes it into the specific form of RS-274 NC data required by your CNC and Machine Tool combination.
The quality of the final RS-274 part program (the extent to which it fully, optimally, and accurately uses the capabilities of your machine tool) completely depends on the sophistication and capabilities of the Post Processor software.
A poor Post Processor can mean longer cycle times. It can also produce incorrect NC data which can scrap parts, damage equipment, or injure personnel. Inaccurate NC data output can lower part quality and lessen cutting tool life.
In short, without the best Post Processor, you are missing out on the highest part throughput and part quality. You are also missing out on producing parts at the lowest cost.
I already have a Post Processor that came with my CAD/CAM system. Should I change?
Some leading CAD/CAM suppliers bundle a Post Processor provided by one of the few top suppliers in the field. You may even already have IntelliPost because of this. However many others either provide their own inferior Post Processor, or even less desirable “template” based solutions which are extremely limited in optimization capabilities.
Unfortunately, unless the CAD/CAM customer specifies exactly what he wants in his Post Processor solution, the temptation is great to bundle low cost inferior solutions. Though these may produce a “workable” output, you – the end-user customer – never knows that there is a better solution available. Unless you already have IntelliPost Post Processing software, there is an opportunity for you to improve your machining productivity by upgrading to it.
Why should I consider IntelliPost?
IntelliPost is the world’s leading Post Processor solution. It is in daily use supporting over 100,000 machine tools at leading manufacturing firms that include Pratt and Whitney, General Electric (US), Grumman, General Motors, Michelin, Bridgestone Tire, Giddings and Lewis, and many, many others.
Use of IntelliPost particularly dominates in more expensive and complicated applications including complex machining centers (5 axes and up, all combinations of linear and rotary axes), merging lathes (4 to 7 axes), turning centers, hybrid machines of all types, and Wire EDM (2 to 5 axes). There are also thousands of applications in traditional lathes (2 to 4 axes), lasers and flame cutters (2 to 5 axes), and punch presses.
Our large, satisfied Customer Base is our strongest selling point.
How should I use IntelliPost?
There are several ways to use IntelliPost. You can acquire the entire Post Processor Generation system and develop your own specific POSTS for each of your machine tools. This is what many of our larger customers, often with hundreds of machines, usually choose to do.
Another option is purchasing a Custom Post Processor.
Where can I find more details on IntelliPost?
Request of a copy of the IntelliPost Post Processing System Product Description V5.4. This 18 page brochure will introduce you to IntelliPost’s major capabilities and features. Even further detail is available in the IntelliPost Reference Manual CAM-01401-V5.4. This 200 page document fully describes the complete product.