Video Mode for Material Removal Simulation Using Tool Path Data

task target This task shows you how to simulate the material removed by machining operations in Video mode using tool path data.

To learn more about this mode, refer to:

  • Tools > Options > Machining > Photo/Video tab for information about the available customizing facilities.
  • Material Removal Simulation for information about the methodology to employ for user representation of tools, stock considerations, and so on.
  • the NC Manufacturing Verification User's Guide for information about the additional capabilities available (such as Analysis) if the NC Manufacturing Verification product is installed.

Note: It is also possible to simulate material removal in Video mode using NC code. See Video Mode for Material Removal Simulation Using NC Code.

scenario 1. Open the Processfinal.CATProcess document. The Setup Editor window appears showing the PPR tree with the Manufacturing Program.

The part is displayed held in place by fixtures. The stock is in Hide mode.

  2. Right-click the Facing.1 operation in the tree, then select Tool Path Replay . The Replay dialog box appears.

There are three Video simulation modes:

Full Video: Video simulation for complete program or part operation (depending on setting)

Video from Last Saved Result: Video simulation from saved result of the previous Video simulation.

Mixed Photo/Video: Photo simulation is up to the operation just before the selected operation, then Video simulation is done on the selected operation.

The rest of the scenario illustrates how to use Full Video and Video from Last Saved Result.

3. Select Full Video . The Setup Editor window switches to a window entitled Video.

  4. Select Video Options to display the Video Options dialog box.
  • Select the Stop at tool change check box if you want the simulation to stop each time a tool change is encountered in the program.
  • Select the desired Collisions detection option to either:
    • ignore collisions during the Video simulation
    • stop the Video simulation at the first collision
    • continue the Video simulation even when collisions are detected. In this case, you can consult the list of collisions at the end of the simulation.
  • Select the Touch is collision check box if you want touch (or contact) type of collision to be detected.
  • Select the Video simulation in protected mode check box to continue the Video simulation by skipping any cuts that cause errors.
5. Press the control button to run the material removal simulation of the Facing.1 operation.

task target   You can use the Tool animation replay buttons or keyboard shortcuts to control the material simulation Video:

or F5 key to position the tool at the start of the simulation

or F6 key to run the simulation backward

or F4 key to request a pause in the simulation

or F7 key to run the simulation forward

or F8 key to run forward up to the end of simulation. No intermediate graphics update is made to save on rendering time. A progress indicator shows the computation progression and the final machined stock appears.

If the Replay mode is set to:

  • Point to Point, the number of points value specifies the number of points to be run through at each step of the replay.
  • Continuous, the slider position is taken into account for adjusting the speed of the simulation. For improved performance, intermediate graphics are not updated when the slider is used to increase simulation speed.
6. Click Associate Video Result to Machining Operation to associate the Video result to the operation. Please note that Video results are stored in the NC Code output directory.

A check-mark appears on the Facing.1 operation in the tree.

Click OK to quit the Replay dialog box.

7. Right-click the Pocketing.2 operation, then select Tool Path Replay .
8. Select Video from Last Saved Result . A material removal is displayed starting from the previous saved result.

The figure below shows the state of the replay at the end of the Pocketing.1 operation.

The figure below shows the state of the replay at the end of the Pocketing.2 operation.

  9. Repeat the sequence of steps described above to associate the Video result to the Pocketing.2 operation.

A check-mark now appears on the Pocketing.2 operation in the tree.

Then run the simulation up to the last operation in the program.

10. Click Video Collision Report to display a dialog box showing any collisions detected during the Video simulation.

Note that:

  • the Collision detection setting must be set to Continue.
  • the tool holder is taken into account during collision checking.
11. If needed, save the result of the Video simulation in a CATProduct. This result can be used as initial stock in another Part Operation or as stock in a Roughing operation.

Click Save Video Result in a CATProduct .
A dialog box appears allowing you to save the Video result in a CATProduct.

Please note the following points about this capability.

  • It combines previous version Save Video Result in CGR (CATIA graphic representation) and Associate Video Result to Machining Operation (WPC information).
    This helps to avoid open stock problems when used in another Setup thanks to precision of the WPC data.
  • Result can be saved in interactive (as shown above) or batch mode (see Generate a CATProduct in Batch Mode).
  • You can add the CATProduct to the PPR tree using Insert > Existing Component or the Product Context contextual command.
12. Click OK to quit the Replay dialog box.

More About Video Mode


Associating and Loading a Video Result CATProduct

The Associate Video Result to Machining Operation command after a material removal simulation using the Full Video command or Video from last saved result command, allows you to generate a CATProduct in a temporary folder specified  in Tools > Options > Machining > Output > Tool Path files, NC Code output and NC Documentation Location > NC Code. Note that this CATProduct does not have an associated CGR .

An operation that has an associated Video Result CATProduct is indicated by a check-mark in the tree.

The Load Simulation Result command is available in the contextual menu of a machining operation which has an associated Video Result CATProduct. This command opens the Video Result CATProduct in a Video window for analysis of the machined stock, collision results, and so on.

The commands available in the Analysis toolbar that appears depend on the Machining products that are installed. Any icons that are "greyed out" are not available in the current context (but they will be available for other functionalities that share this toolbar).

Removing a Video Result CATProduct

An association that has been established between the generated CATProduct and the operation will be removed if the user executes the Remove Video Result contextual command from the contextual menu of the operation.

A Video Result may become incoherent if operations used in its creation are modified. Incoherent Video Results should be removed by the user.


Reduced Video simulation performance may be experienced in the when a user representation (CATProduct or CATPart) is associated to the tool. To improve Video performance, if possible, try running the Video without the user representation.

Note: Using an end mill or a face mill with a non-cutting diameter no longer poses performance problems.

Influence of Minimum Discretization Step

The Minimum Discretization Step that is set in the Machine Editor affects the quality of the Video simulation.

With a large discretization step consecutive tool points may be ignored and so some portions of the tool path may be removed during Video simulation.

In general, the greater the discretization step, the coarser the Video simulation.

Turning Operations

  • Any collisions between the part and the 2D profile of the lathe insert and insert holder are detected.
  • For user representations of lathe tools, the insert holder does not participate in material removal (regardless of Rapid or Feed mode) and is used only in collision detection.

Sub-elements in Hide/Show

If you select a Body (which may be in Show or Hide mode) as Stock, Design or Fixture then only sub-elements of the Body that are in Show mode will be used during material removal simulation. Hidden sub-elements will be ignored in the simulation.

Tools That Are Not Collision Checked

Boring Bars and Two Sides Chamfering tools are not collision checked in Video mode.

Video Behavior for Circular Arcs

Wherever there are arc segments in the tool path, circular arc commands are given as input for the Video simulation by default.

In this case there are no intermediate interpolated points where the Video can be stopped. Running one step of the Video will simulate machining of the arc segment.

To see the intermediate interpolated points (running one step), the 2D circular interpol check box must not be selected in the Numerical Control tab of the part operation's Machine Editor dialog box.

Tool Holder Behavior

In Video simulation, for a default V5 tool-holder assembly or a user tool representation, holder part also cuts material of stock and/or fixture.

Behavior depends on the Collision detection setting in the Tools > Options > Machining > Photo/Video tab:

  • When Collision detection is set to Ignore, detection is de-activated: the holder cuts material and no color is set, even when there are valid collisions of holder.
  • When Collision detection is set to Stop or Continue, detection is activated: the holder cuts material and the cut material is displayed in red to indicate collision.

Circular Milling operation with default End Mill with 2-stage holder defined:

Material is cut by holder due to nature of tool path and the interaction between the tool-holder assembly and the stock.

Video simulation with Collision detection is set to Ignore:

Video Simulation with Collision detection is set to Stop or Continue:

TRACUT Display Mode

During the toolpath replay before getting into the Video simulation mode, select the desired option TRACUT ON or TRACUT OFF that you want to see in the Video simulation. You cannot change the TRACUT ON/OFF selection during the Video simulation.

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