Alphacam Training Courses

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Alphacam Introductory Training

Introductory Alphacam Training (IAT) is a mandatory prerequisite for all other Alphacam training courses. This 3-day course will provide users with the foundation they need to maximize the productivity of their business and of the Alphacam software. IAT is designed so that virtually every user who has basic computer and CNC machining knowledge can apply fundamental Alphacam software applications to the daily production of their business.

As with all training classes, IAT is taught by an accredited Alphacam instructor. The instructor will walk each student through the tutorial, answering questions and providing software tips throughout the class. To allow each student to take full advantage of the course, each class will accommodate up to 4 students. This enables the instructor to pay special attention to each student and create a comfortable learning atmosphere for both the student and the instructor.

The objective of this class is to familiarize students with basic features of Alphacam software. This class is excellent for those learning Alphacam for the first time as well as experienced users who would like a refresher course. Understanding IAT is essential for all students who plan to participate in other Alphacam courses so they can take full advantage of the software's functionality.

Course Content
Alphacam Installation Guide
Alphacam General Knowledge

Manual Captions Explanation
Cartesian Coordinate System
Process Planning
Tutorial Geometry Examples      
      Rectangle, Line
      Circle, Arc
      Rotate, Offset 
      Trim, Join
      Fillet, Chamfer
      Repeat, Array
      Set Geometry Z Levels 
Saving a Drawing File
Individual Geometry Creation Exercises
Constrained Parametric Sketching
 
       What Can/Cannot be Constrained
       Constraints Project Manager
       Constraints Application Method
       Constraint Types 
       Constraints Demo 
Machining       
       Multidrill
       Standard Drilling Routine
       Rough/Finish
       Lead In/Out
Verifying Tool Paths       
       3D View
       Project Manager Simulation Tab
       Set Materials
Pocketing       
       Contour Pocket
       Spiral Pocket
3D Engraving  
       Raised Letter Engraving
       Plunge Letter Engraving
Tool Paths and Constrained Parametric Sketching
Creating a G-Code Program
Machining Styles
Nesting
       
       True Shape Nesting
       Insert
       Define Part Parameters
       Define Sheet Parameters
       Nesting Parameters
       Nest List
       Saving a Nest List

Suggested course duration: 3 Days

Applicable to: On-site and In-House Sessions

 

 

 

 

 

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Advanced Alphacam DM

Advanced Alphacam Drawing and Machining is a supplement to Introductory training for students requiring a more in-depth familiarity with Alphacam. This follow-up course is intended for Alphacam users whose work demands require further skills development in the CAD/CAM environment.

This course will cover more drawing and programming tools, particularly useful to users of Router and Mill modules. This is intended to present the trainee with a flexible selection of topics that will address particular drawing and programming challenges as encountered in the workplace. The instructor will provide explanations and practical exercises on a selection from the following list as required by the student and as time permits:

  • Using Layers
  • Machining Styles by Layer
  • Auto Layers
  • Panel Command
  • Advanced Rotate
  • Ellipse, Slot, Bolt Hole
  • Equi-spaced Holes
  • Polygon, Wine Rack
  • Importing DXF Files
  • Common Line Removal
  • Start Order
  • 3D polyline creation
  • 3D polyline machining
  • Input Image
  • Digitize and Create Spline
  • Editing Splines
  • Stretch and Skew
  • Sloping and Profiled Sides
  • Partial Toolpaths
  • X,Y and Z Stock Parameters
  • Multiple Cut Toolpaths
  • Helical Interpolation
  • Support Tags
  • Tool Oscillation
  • Waveboard Add-In
  • Rapids
  • Program Stop
  • Update Toolpaths

Suggested course duration: 1 or 2 days (depending on individual needs)

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions (in segments)

3D Advanced Functionality

There are 3 areas of focus presented in 3D Advanced Functionality for Alphacam. Each builds on the material from the one prior. The purpose of this course is to come to an understanding of the creation, manipulation and toolpath programming of 3D surfaces in Alphacam.

  • 3D Workplanes
    • Terminology
    • Work Volumes
    • Work Plan Views
    • Geometry Manipulation in Work Planes
    • Work Plane Commands
    • Work Plane Selection Methods
    • Practical Exercises
  • 3D Surfaces
    • Flat Surfaces
    • Extruded Surfaces
    • Ruled Surfaces
    • Swept Surfaces
    • Surface of Revolution
    • Coons Patch Surface
    • Fillet and Trim Surface
    • Surface from Sections
    • Practical Exercises
  • 3D Machining Strategies
    • 3, 4 and 5 axis Machining
    • Z Contour Roughing
    • Finish Machining Strategies
    • High-Speed Machining
    • Waveform and Trochoidal Cutting
    • Horizontal Z Contours
    • Tool Axis Conversion
    • Cut Spline or Polyline

Suggested course duration: 3 days

Applicable to: On-site and In-House only

5 Axis Supplement to 3D

Offered as an additional examination of 5 axis machining for trainees whose primary production requirements are machining solid parts with 5 axis machines, this supplemental course may be taken as a separate class or combined with the previous 3D Advanced Functionality.

The purpose of this supplement is to add an understanding of the practical requirements applied in Alphacam when dealing with 5 Axis toolpaths. In order to make best us of this supplement the user must have a working knowledge of the three advanced areas of Alphacam, Feature Extraction, Solid Manipulation & Machining practices and Work planes. These three modules of Alphacam will be used to assist in the creation of suitable solutions to 5 Axis tool path needs.

Practical, in-class exercises will cover the following topics:

  • Difference between Positional 5 Axis and Simultaneous 5 Axis
  • Convert 3D work plane tool path to Vertical
  • Convert 2 Axis tool path in work plane to Vertical
  • 4 Axis XZ or YZ Rotation
    • Through Axis
    • Parallel tool paths
    • Helical Z tool paths in work plane
    • 4 Axis XZ Rotation Confine with Boundary
    • 4 Axis Normal to Curve/ Curves
    • 4 Axis XY Rotation Tool at Fixed Tilt Angle
  • 5 Axis tool conversions
    • Project through Point
    • Project through Axis
    • Confine with Boundary
    • Project through Guide Curves
    Cut Spline or Polyline

    5 Axis Cut With side of tool

Suggested course duration: 1 day (may be added as 4th day to 3D Advanced Functionality)

Applicable to: On-site and In-House only

Parametric Constraints

Parametric Constraints are available in Alphacam modules at the Advanced or higher levels. A key component in automation for Alphacam, Constraints are a powerful tool for daily production of similar "families" of parts. Understanding Parametric Constraints is a necessity for using Alphacam's APM module. It is a highly recommended course for door, window and stair manufacturers as well as shops making repetitive series of parts in a wide range of sizes.

In this class the trainee will produce a number of sample drawings which detail the following topics:

  • What can be constrained?
  • What cannot be constrained?
  • Constraints Project Manager Page
  • Parameters
  • Equations
  • Constraints Application Method
  • Constraint Types
    • Fix
    • Horizontal
    • Vertical
    • Length
    • Radius
    • Coincident
    • Perpendicular
    • Tangent
    • Distance
    • Angle
    • Equal Radius
    • Equal Length
    • Parallel
    • Concentric
    • Midpoint
    • Element Set
  • Constraint Options
    • Drag
    • Constrain Z Levels
    • View Constraints 15
    • Constrained Work Plane
    • Delete All Parameters and or Constraints
    • Auto Constrain
  • Define/Edit Rules
  • Understanding Angle constraints

 

 

 

 

 

Suggested course duration: 2 days

Applicable to: On-site and In-House only

Alphacam Automation

Expanding on the introduction to automation found in Alphacam Introductory Training, the Automation course targets these specific features in Alphacam for in-depth examination:

  • Creating and working with Machining Styles
  • Creating and applying Auto-Styles
  • Nesting Review
  • Geometry Query Manager
  • Use of Queries
  • AutoQueries
  • Feature Extraction
  • Drillable Holes Extraction
  • Order Toolpaths on nested sheet
  • Order Work Planes
  • 5 Axis Control
  • Work Plane Array Variables, Work Plane Angles
  • CAD to CAM
    • Cut List to Process
    • Material List
    • Part List
    • Nested Drawing Reports
    • Multi-drill and Machining Set Up
    • Style-Layer Processing
    • Job Data
    • Layer Mapping
    • Part Files
    • Material Thickness and processing selection
    • Processing Solid Model files

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

Solid Model Feature Extraction

Prerequisite: Introductory Alphacam Training Course or 6 months min. experience with Alphacam.  Also note that the techniques discussed during this class require Alphacam Advanced level or higher.
 
This course will explore the solid model feature extraction and utilities available in Advanced modules or higher of Alphacam. If you have come across any of the following types of files: .dxf or .dwg with solid bodies, IGES as a solid, STEP, Parasolid, STL, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, Inventor, ACIS, Catia and ProE, and don't know how to address them in Alphacam, then this is the class for you.

The trainee will be guided through the solid model file types that can be input into Alphacam, expanding knowledge of utilities that are available specifically for use with STL file types.

Feature Extraction falls into 4 categories:

1. Features extracted to Flat Land for normal 3axis, 2D machining.
2. Features extracted onto Work Planes for normal 3, 4, 5 axis positional machining.
3. Edges projected to work planes to create boundaries for 3D Solid Machining.
4. Convert Faces to Surfaces for 3D Surface Machining

Examples demonstrated by the instructor will be practiced by the students with a focus on the following:

  • Solid Model Feature Extract and Utility commands
    • Tool Direction and Start Points
    • Part Alignment
    • Auto and Manual Extraction
    • Trimming and Boundaries
    • Drillable Holes
  • Auto Z machining
  • Additional Feature Extraction techniques

before extraction

As an Adjunct to 3D Advanced Functionality, this class can be added to 3DA as required and as time permits. As a Standalone update course, this class can be part of a customized training session or delivered hourly online.

Suggested course duration: 4 hours

Applicable to: Online Sessions (On-site, In-House as an addition to 3DA)

Standard Part Modeler

Part Modeler is offered as a companion module to Alphacam for those needing solid modeling capacity in the creation of their machinable surfaces and geometries. This expands greatly on the basic surfaces creation methods available to core Alphacam.

Solid modelling is the most commonly used method of creating computer-aided designs by design engineers. In basic terms, the designer creates an actual true sized, three-dimensional model of the component, which can be parametrically constrained to enable quick and reliable modifications to be made to the design. These three dimensional models commonly referred to as the Parts, can be used to drive drawing sheets and tool paths, allowing any design changes made to update these sheets and tool paths automatically. This eliminates the need to go back and do these changes manually and is what’s known as the Master Model principle, where any related documents are associative to the master model.


With the introduction of Part Modeler to Alphacam, it is now possible to create solid model designs and subsequently use these designs, by passing them directly into Alphacam to produce associative tool paths . This introduction to Part Modeler uses in-class exercises on sample drawings focusing on these topics:

  • System Settings
    • Units/Grid
    • Shading
    • Graphics
    • General
    • Translation
    • UI Settings
  • The Principles of Creating Solids
  • Create a 2D Profile
  • Understanding and Editing Constraints
  • Creating Solid Model Exercises
  • Understanding 2D Geometric Relationships
  • Logical Constraints
  • Adding Dimensions
  • Adding a Cross Section
  • Adding Annotations

 

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: In-House only currently, Charlotte NC location

Advanced Part Modeler

The Advanced Part Modeler course expands on items covered in the standard course. Differing methods of creating profiles, construction planes as well as looking at further options available within the modelling side of the software will help the student to create much more than basic cube-style models.

This in-depth examination of the advanced model-creation functionality within Part Modeler will allow the student to gain the knowledge required for creating complex, flowing 3D solids for machining applications within Alphacam - without having to rely on 3rd party software.

Standard Part Modeler is a required prerequisite for this course.

A topic list for this course includes the following:

  • Profiles
  • Construction Planes
  • Advanced Features
  • Circular Array Feature
  • New Component Sweep
  • Construction Plane Sweep
  • Lofting
  • New Component Face to Face
  • Link Construction
  • Feature Creation
  • Feature Draft
  • Variable Radius Fillet
  • Blend Options
  • Feature Shell
  • Manipulating the Datum
  • Adding Parameter Tables
  • Creating a Drawing Template
  • Dimension the Drawing
  • Cross-Sectioning
  • Detail View
  • Assemblies and 3D Constraints

 

Suggested course duration: 2 day

Applicable to: In-House only currently, Charlotte NC location

2 Axis Lathe Machining

The Alphacam Lathe module has functions and capabilities suited specifically to cnc turning applications.  As such, course topics will include required knowledge for this style of machining and not covered in the Introductory Alphacam course. Practical exercises in the class address the following:
  • X-Z workplane
  • Define part geometry for turning
  • Clearances
  • Tool change position
  • Machining Setup
  • Tool Parameters
  • Facing
  • Roughing
  • Pocketing
  • Editing Rapids
  • Drilling
  • Grooving
  • Finish Profiling
  • Threading
  • Machining/collision check
  • Output NC

 



A basic knowledge of Alphacam geometry creation and toolpath programming is a prerequisite for this course. This class is required for study on the following C/Y Axis Lathe Machining course.

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

C/Y Axis Lathe Machining

Introduction
Today the trend is moving away from standard two-axis CNC lathes towards machines with driven tooling (Milling Tools) and multi-axis functionality including Sub spindle machining, this is becoming harder to program manually, with this in mind Alphacam have introduced a full 5 axis Turning Module, this compliments the existing Turning Modules which will simplify the programming of such complex parts.
The following tutorial moves on from the Standard 2 axis turning to C and Y Axis programming, the following part illustrates this by a step by step approach to 4 axis machining.

  • Lathe Machine tool configuration

  • Work Planes Overview

  • Special Geometries/Slots or Holes

  • Advanced Turned Part with created geometry

  • Advanced Turned Part Machining

  • Tools for Sub-Spindle Machining

  • Sub-Spindle Machining

  • Importation of CAD Solids

  • Feature Extraction from Solids

  • Machining extracted geometries

 

 

 

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

Stone Disk Cutting

The Alphacam Stone module has special considerations for certain machining functions due to the unique requirements of cutting stone materials. Because of this, the student will re-visit Machining and Tooling definitions, Pocketing and Auto Z Machining within the context of tool loads and material removal strategies present during stone machining.

  • Using and Modifying material files
  • Defining Stone tools
  • Drilling and Spot Chamfers
  • Helical Finishes
  • Waveform Machining
  • 2D Cutting with disk
  • Cut Solid/Surface with Disk
  • Horizontal / Vertical / Normal To Dialogues
  • Lead In/Out Links
  • Side Cut Finishing
  • Non Disk based machining
    • Cut Shape
    • Pocketing
    • 3D Engraving
    • Cut Holes
    • Manual ToolPath
    • Cut Spline or Polyline
  • Surface and Solid Machining

 

 

 

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

Advanced Profiling

Advanced profiling has an emphasis on specific areas of concern unique to laser, flame and water jet cutting operations. Areas that Alphacam users have familiarity with as a result of Introductory Training will be reviewed and expanded upon for their relevance to this module. Nesting, machining styles and start points, for example have functional uniqueness in this module. These are addressed in practical examples and exercises in this class and include the following topics:.

  • Using and Modifying the Material File
  • Nozzle Definition
  • Starting Tool Definition
  • Machine/Cut Directions
  • Setting Start Point, First and Order Options
  • Area Clearance
  • Cut Path - Profile strategies
  • Support Tags
  • Pierce/Cut Holes Options
  • Operation Manipulation
  • Machining strategies
  • Rapid Move Management
  • Simulation
  • Creating and Applying Machining Styles
  • Nesting Review
  • Using a Nest List
  • Geometry Bridging

 

 

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

CDM - Cabinet Door Manufacturing

CDM (previously AlphaDoor) is an add-on module to Alphacam Router intended for high-volume producers of cabinet doors. CDM is a wizard-driven database application, designed to manage the design, creation and production-to-order of cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

Training on this module consists of practical exercises and setup to actual working requirements for the trainee's plant and equipment. Familiarity with core Alphacam geometry creation and machining is required as a prerequisite.

The seven stages of using CDM will be covered in the course including sample trial runs of nested output:

1 System Set-up. Setting the working environment units, locations etc.
2 Materials Set-up Material definitions sizes and nesting restrictions.
3 Door type Set-up Definition of the machining applications on a door style.
4 Order Creation Set up an order with customer details, door types and sizes.
5 Production Queue Combine Parts from orders to produce a production run.
6 Code output Output the code suitable for the machine.
7 Report generator Create order reports together with Labels and barcodes.

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

Fast Geometry Supplement to CDM

Learning to draw with the APS Geometry commands in Alphacam allows users of CDM to automate that process by means of the Macro recorder. This in turn, allows the CDM user to create new door styles beyond those included in the CDM package.

Although the VBA editor included with Advanced and higher levels of Alphacam provides a more powerful tool for the creation of new door styles, the Macro recorder has a simpler, more straightforward interface which is generally more accessible for the average Alphacam user. This course will familiarize the trainee with the APS system, creating bounded geometries, by means of plotting lines and arcs through turns at co-ordinate points. The macro recorder function found in the geometry menu of Alphacam will be used to create a sample CDM door macro.

The CDM door macro may then be included into CDM for parametrically correct, auto regeneration of door sizes.

Suggested course duration: 1 day

Applicable to: On-site, In-House and Online Sessions

APM - Automated Parametric Manufacturing

APM is an add-on module to Alphacam Router used typically by manufacturers of windows and doors, but it is also ideal for assemblies of coordinated, parametric parts for furniture, marine and pre-fab architectural components.

APM processes either single or multiple parametric, (constrained), drawings and is supplied with a sample set of window and door examples. It is essentially an empty tool that allows the definition and manufacture of multiple parametric parts in a user-specified manner. APM provides functionality for either creating orders for components in the program interface or importing the order data from external sources, such as spread sheets or other database programs.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Installation and maintenance of MSSQL database
  • Global APM setup including:
    • Materials
      Address Book
      Datum Configuration
      Machines
      Machine Tool Sorting
      Optional Stops
      Settings
  • Component and Assembly setup
  • Methodology
  • Fittings and Fitting Datums
  • Setting Rules
  • Machining Wizard
  • Previewing Parts
  • Order Processing
  • Importing CSV files
  • Reports and Labels
  • Merging Orders
  • Machining Datums
  • Cut Lists

 

 

 


The trainee will produce sample trial output using files from in-class exercises. Output is achieved through CAD to CAM functionality of Alphacam, although prior experience with CAD to CAM is not required.

Successful completion of this course is contingent on understanding key components within Alphacam's core functionality. A minimum of 3 months experience using an Advanced level or higher of Alphacam is required. Trainees should be comfortable with standard geometry creation, toolpath programming and basic editing commands for both geometries and machining.

NOTE: familiarity with constraints and machining styles are prerequisite.

Suggested course duration: 5 days

Applicable to: In-House Sessions only

 

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