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Nx Post Builder PDF Download: Best Practices and Examples for Different Machines and Configurations


Nx Post Builder Pdf Download: A Guide for Beginners




If you are using NX CAM software for your CNC machining operations, you might have wondered how to get the right code for your machine controller. This is where Nx Post Builder comes in handy. Nx Post Builder is a tool that allows you to create and edit postprocessors for NX CAM. In this article, we will explain what Nx Post Builder is, why you need it, how to use it, and where to download PDF textbooks and videos for learning more about it.




Nx Post Builder Pdf Download



What is Nx Post Builder?




Nx Post Builder is an application that is part of NX CAM software. It enables you to create and edit postprocessors for different types of CNC machines and controllers. A postprocessor is a program that converts the toolpath data generated by NX CAM into the specific code that your machine controller can understand and execute. For example, if you have a 3-axis milling machine with a Fanuc controller, you need a postprocessor that can translate the NX CAM output into Fanuc G-code.


Nx Post Builder provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows you to customize various aspects of your postprocessor, such as G-codes, M-codes, tool change commands, work offsets, cycles, subroutines, variables, expressions, logic statements, and more. You can also use Tool Command Language (TCL), a scripting language, to write custom commands and functions for your postprocessor. Nx Post Builder supports both standard and user-defined events, which are triggers that activate certain actions or blocks of code during the postprocessing process.


Why do you need a postprocessor for NX CAM?




A postprocessor is essential for NX CAM because it bridges the gap between the CAM software and the machine controller. Without a postprocessor, you cannot run your NX CAM toolpaths on your CNC machine. A postprocessor ensures that your toolpaths are compatible with your machine's capabilities, limitations, and syntax. It also optimizes your code for efficiency, accuracy, and safety.


A postprocessor can also help you achieve better results by allowing you to fine-tune your code according to your specific needs and preferences. For example, you can adjust the feedrate, spindle speed, coolant flow, tool compensation, arc interpolation, and other parameters of your code. You can also add comments, labels, headers, footers, and other information to your code for documentation purposes.


How to create and edit postprocessors with Nx Post Builder?




What is a postprocessor?




A postprocessor consists of two main components: a template file and a configuration file. The template file contains the basic structure and format of your code, such as headers, footers, blocks, comments, etc. The configuration file contains the specific rules and parameters that define how your code is generated, such as G-codes, M-codes, cycles, variables, expressions, logic statements, etc.


Nx Post Builder provides a library of template files and configuration files for various types of machines and controllers. You can select one of these files as a starting point for creating your own postprocessor. You can also import existing postprocessors from other sources or create new ones from scratch.


How to create a 3-axis postprocessor?




To create a 3-axis postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library or browse for your own files.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



  • The Post Builder GUI will open with four main sections: the Post Builder Tree, the Post Builder Window, the Output Window, and the Message Window.



  • The Post Builder Tree shows the hierarchy of your postprocessor components, such as events, blocks, commands, variables, etc. You can expand or collapse each node to view or edit its contents.



  • The Post Builder Window shows the details of the selected node in the Post Builder Tree. You can modify the properties and values of each node using the tabs and fields in this window.



  • The Output Window shows the preview of your code as you make changes to your postprocessor. You can also save, print, or copy your code from this window.



  • The Message Window shows any errors or warnings that occur during the postprocessing process. You can also view the log of your actions and commands in this window.



  • To test your postprocessor, you need to select File > Open Part and load a part file that contains toolpaths generated by NX CAM.



  • Then, select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



  • If you are satisfied with your code, you can save it as a .nc file and transfer it to your machine controller.



How to change G-codes in Post Builder?




To change G-codes in Post Builder, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the node that contains the G-code you want to change in the Post Builder Tree. For example, if you want to change the G-code for linear interpolation, select the node Linear Move under Motion Events.



  • In the Post Builder Window, select the tab Command. You will see a list of commands that are executed for this node.



  • Select the command that contains the G-code you want to change. For example, if you want to change G01 to G00, select the command G01 X[#504] Y[#505] Z[#506].



  • In the field Command String, edit the G-code as you wish. For example, change G01 to G00.



  • Click Apply to save your changes. The Output Window will show the updated code with the new G-code.



How to modify tool change and work offset output?




To modify tool change and work offset output, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the node that contains the tool change or work offset output in the Post Builder Tree. For example, if you want to modify the tool change output, select the node Tool Change under Tool Events.



  • In the Post Builder Window, select the tab Command. You will see a list of commands that are executed for this node.



  • Select the command that contains the tool change or work offset output. For example, if you want to modify the tool change output, select the command T[#500] M06.



  • In the field Command String, edit the output as you wish. For example, if you want to add a comment before the tool change output, type (;Tool Change) before T[#500] M06.



  • Click Apply to save your changes. The Output Window will show the updated code with the modified output.



How to use Tool Command Language (TCL)?




Tool Command Language (TCL) is a scripting language that allows you to write custom commands and functions for your postprocessor. You can use TCL to perform calculations, manipulate strings, control logic flow, access system variables, create user variables, and more. You can also use TCL to call external programs or libraries for additional functionality.


To use TCL in Post Builder, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the node where you want to insert TCL code in the Post Builder Tree. For example, if you want to insert TCL code at the beginning of each block, select Block Start under Block Events.



  • In the Post Builder Window, select the tab Command. Click Insert > Custom Command > TCL Code Block.



How to use Tool Command Language (TCL)?




Tool Command Language (TCL) is a scripting language that allows you to write custom commands and functions for your postprocessor. You can use TCL to perform calculations, manipulate strings, control logic flow, access system variables, create user variables, and more. You can also use TCL to call external programs or libraries for additional functionality.


To use TCL in Post Builder, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the node where you want to insert TCL code in the Post Builder Tree. For example, if you want to insert TCL code at the beginning of each block, select Block Start under Block Events.



  • In the Post Builder Window, select the tab Command. Click Insert > Custom Command > TCL Code Block.



  • A new command will be added with an empty TCL Code Block field. You can type your TCL code in this field using the syntax and commands of TCL. For example, if you want to calculate the feedrate based on the tool diameter and spindle speed, you can type something like this:



set feedrate [expr $tool_diameter * $spindle_speed * 0.01]


  • You can also use variables and expressions from the configuration file in your TCL code by enclosing them in square brackets. For example, if you want to use the variable #500 for the tool number, you can type something like this:



set tool_number [#500]


  • You can also define your own variables and functions in your TCL code using the set and proc commands. For example, if you want to define a function that converts inches to millimeters, you can type something like this:



proc inch_to_mm value return [expr $value * 25.4]


  • You can then call your function in your TCL code by using its name and passing the arguments. For example, if you want to convert 5 inches to millimeters, you can type something like this:



set result [inch_to_mm 5]


  • To test your TCL code, you need to select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor with your TCL code executed. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



How to use the Custom Command Library?




The Custom Command Library is a feature that allows you to store and reuse your custom commands and functions in Post Builder. You can create a library of custom commands and functions that are commonly used in your postprocessors and access them from any node in the Post Builder Tree.


To use the Custom Command Library, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select File > Custom Command Library to open the Custom Command Library dialog box.



  • In this dialog box, you can create, edit, delete, import, or export custom commands and functions. You can also organize them into categories for easier management.



  • To create a new custom command or function, click New and enter a name and a description for it. Then, select the type of command or function: TCL Code Block or External Program.



  • If you select TCL Code Block, you can type your TCL code in the field below. You can use variables and expressions from the configuration file or define your own variables and functions in your TCL code.



  • If you select External Program, you can browse for an external program or library file that contains your custom command or function. You can also specify any arguments or options for running the external program or library.



  • Click OK to save your custom command or function in the library.



  • To use a custom command or function from the library, select the node where you want to insert it in the Post Builder Tree.



  • In the Post Builder Window, select the tab Command. Click Insert > Custom Command > From Library.



  • A list of custom commands and functions from the library will appear. You can filter them by category or search them by name or description.



  • Select the custom command or function you want to use and click OK. The custom command or function will be added to the selected node.



  • To test your custom command or function, you need to select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor with your custom command or function executed. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



How to create postprocessors for different machines and configurations?




Nx Post Builder allows you to create postprocessors for different types of machines and configurations, such as lathes, mill-turns, 4-axis, 5-axis, tilted work plane, and user defined events. You can use the same template file and configuration file as a base and modify them according to the specific requirements of each machine and configuration.


How to create a lathe postprocessor?




To create a lathe postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library that are suitable for a lathe machine. For example, you can select the files lathe_2ax_mm.tpl and lathe_2ax_mm.def.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



  • The Post Builder GUI will open with four main sections: the Post Builder Tree, the Post Builder Window, the Output Window, and the Message Window.



  • You can modify the template file and configuration file as you wish using the Post Builder GUI. For example, you can change the G-codes, M-codes, cycles, variables, expressions, logic statements, TCL code, custom commands, etc. for your lathe machine.



  • To test your postprocessor, you need to select File > Open Part and load a part file that contains toolpaths generated by NX CAM for a lathe machine.



  • Then, select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



  • If you are satisfied with your code, you can save it as a .nc file and transfer it to your lathe machine controller.



How to create a mill-turn postprocessor?




To create a mill-turn postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library that are suitable for a mill-turn machine. For example, you can select the files millturn_5ax_mm.tpl and millturn_5ax_mm.def.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



  • The Post Builder GUI will open with four main sections: the Post Builder Tree, the Post Builder Window, the Output Window, and the Message Window.



  • You can modify the template file and configuration file as you wish using the Post Builder GUI. For example, you can change the G-codes, M-codes, cycles, variables, expressions, logic statements, TCL code, custom commands, etc. for your mill-turn machine.



  • To test your postprocessor, you need to select File > Open Part and load a part file that contains toolpaths generated by NX CAM for a mill-turn machine.



  • Then, select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



  • If you are satisfied with your code, you can save it as a .nc file and transfer it to your mill-turn machine controller.



How to create a 4-axis postprocessor?




To create a 4-axis postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library that are suitable for a 4-axis machine. For example, you can select the files mill_4ax_mm.tpl and mill_4ax_mm.def.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



How to create a 4-axis postprocessor?




To create a 4-axis postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library that are suitable for a 4-axis machine. For example, you can select the files mill_4ax_mm.tpl and mill_4ax_mm.def.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



  • The Post Builder GUI will open with four main sections: the Post Builder Tree, the Post Builder Window, the Output Window, and the Message Window.



  • You can modify the template file and configuration file as you wish using the Post Builder GUI. For example, you can change the G-codes, M-codes, cycles, variables, expressions, logic statements, TCL code, custom commands, etc. for your 4-axis machine.



  • To test your postprocessor, you need to select File > Open Part and load a part file that contains toolpaths generated by NX CAM for a 4-axis machine.



  • Then, select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



  • If you are satisfied with your code, you can save it as a .nc file and transfer it to your 4-axis machine controller.



How to create a 5-axis postprocessor?




To create a 5-axis postprocessor, you need to follow these steps:


  • Launch Nx Post Builder from the NX CAM menu.



  • Select File > New to create a new postprocessor.



  • Select a template file and a configuration file from the library that are suitable for a 5-axis machine. For example, you can select the files mill_5ax_mm.tpl and mill_5ax_mm.def.



  • Enter a name and a description for your postprocessor and click OK.



  • The Post Builder GUI will open with four main sections: the Post Builder Tree, the Post Builder Window, the Output Window, and the Message Window.



  • You can modify the template file and configuration file as you wish using the Post Builder GUI. For example, you can change the G-codes, M-codes, cycles, variables, expressions, logic statements, TCL code, custom commands, etc. for your 5-axis machine.



  • To test your postprocessor, you need to select File > Open Part and load a part file that contains toolpaths generated by NX CAM for a 5-axis machine.



  • Then, select File > Postprocess and select your postprocessor from the list. Click OK to start the postprocessing process.



  • The Output Window will show the code generated by your postprocessor. You can review and verify your code for any errors or issues.



  • If you are satisfied with your code, you can save it as a .nc file and transfer it to your 5-axis machine controller.



How to use tilted work plane and user defined events?




Tilted work plane and user defined events are two features that allow you to control the orientation of the tool axis and activate certain actions or blocks of code during the postprocessing process. You can use these features to achieve more complex and flexible machining operations with your 5-axis machine.


To use tilted work plane in Post Builder, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select Tilted Work Plane under Machine Events in the Post Builder Tree. You will see two nodes: Tilted Work Plane Start and Tilted Work Plane End.



Select Tilted Work Plane Start node. In th


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