Pre-form punching is a feature added in version X1.3 that prevents forming features from being crushed by nearby tooling. Once set up, this behavior will happen automatically during Tool Sort, or you can manually apply it as needed. If your parts have forming features that are placed near part edges, we strongly recommend using this feature.
Machine post settings
- 659.0 : USE STATION_SIZE OR FIXED_HEAD_SIZE = 1; 0 = STATION SIZE 1 = FIXED HEAD SIZE
- 659.1 : FIXED HEAD SIZE (mm,in) = 100.0,4.0; (Head size mm, Head size In)
- Tool Usage 21 for Pre-Form Punching must be added to the Tool Usage section of the machine post.
652 : ToolUsage = 21;PreFormPunching
Note: This line (652) This needs to be placed just above tool usage 3 (forming) in order to get the correct tool sort sequence.
Forming tools to be avoided must be set up with a crush zone in Tool Manager (instructions below)
- Display Punch Interference Boundary must be active in Attributes – NC tab in order to see the holder and crush zone boundaries.
- This will show a zone around the forming tool as well as nearby tools.
More about post settings
The PST line 659.0 : USE STATION SIZE OR FIXED_HEAD_SIZE, if set to ‘0’ will allow each tool to use its own head size for machines with multiple holder size options. You should enter this value if you are using a turret style machine.
Alternately, changing this value to ‘1’ requires you to also specify a head size in the next line (659.1). You should enter this value if you are using a rail machine.
The PST line 659.1 : FIXED HEAD SIZE sets a specific head size for all tools. The size is entered in both millimeters and inches, within the parentheses.
Tool crush zone
You need to set a crush zone for each forming tool that will be used. The crush zone is an area around the tool that is used to detect any nearby tooling that could pose a danger to the form hit.
Here's how each crush zone type works:
- None is the default behavior for all tools. Selecting this disables the crush zone check for the current tool.
Tool Shape sets the outline of the tool as the crush zone. Other tools will be able to get closer to the forming feature and this could leave more tools available for part completion activities such as part removal.
Note: If you are using this option, make sure that the shape of the physical tool matches the shape of the tool in Tool Manager as closely as possible.
Tool Footprint creates a circular yellow boundary around the tool that is centered on the tool center point and encapsulates all tool geometry. If the tool center point is off center from the geometry, then the zone circle may appear larger to include all tool geometry.
This will exclude more nearby tooling but will ensure that the forming hit is kept safe.
When choosing either Tool Shape or Tool Footprint, you can also enter a Manual Zone Offset, which adds extra offset distance to the crush zone.
Methods of applying pre-form punching
Apply Auto Tooling in Nesting NC mode. (Auto tooling in Parts mode does not apply Pre-Form Punching)
- Tools that interfere with forming hits are automatically detected.
- Any forming hits on the part will green dotted line representing their crush zone.
- Any tools that can interfere with the form hits will have a red dotted circle representing their holder size or custom size set in the machine post.
- If a green crush boundary intersects or is within a red holder zone, then interfering tooling is placed in a Pre-Form Punching tool usage category.
- This category of tools will be processed before any forming hits for the part.
- Auto Tool will also detect crush zone interference with tooling of other nearby parts on the nest.
Note: If you apply part removal, you will find that you cannot assign Pre-Form Punching tools as the drop hit for the part because these hits must be done before the part tooling is completed.
Open Tool Sort and select Sort by Tool Usage to show tools in the Pre-form Punching usage group.
- This tool group will only contain the tools that interfere with forming tools on the nest.
- This group will be placed above forming tools and other parting tools.
- Apply Tool Sort to get the correct tooling sequence.
- In either Nesting NC or Part mode, click Single Punch > Pre-Form Punching.
Click a forming tool to select it. Any nearby conflicting tool hits will be highlighted.
Note: If one tool in a nibble path causes interference, the whole nibble path will be selected.
- Right-click to designate the conflicting hits as pre-from punching hits.
(Optional) Reselect the hits and right-click again if you want to undo the grouping).
Tip: Other manual punching functions such as Break and Merge Punch Entity can be used to isolate a few tool hits for manual Pre-Form Punching.
- When finished you can exit the function and the newly added pre-form tooling will show the red holder zones and will be grouped in Tool Sort.
- Later, when you use Tool Sort, be sure to select the Sort by Tool Usage check box and apply sorting so that the tools are sorted correctly.