Configuration features in Onshape allow you to have multiple configurations of your part within the same Onshape Document. For example, you can assign any sketch, dimension or part feature to one or more configurations and Onshape will rebuild and display each configuration on demand! Using configurations are very useful when you have families of parts that have similar features.
VisualCAMc, MecSoft’s fully cloud-based Production CAM solution for Onshape, supports the part configurations within your Onshape Document. In the Fixture Plate part shown here, we have three configurations defined in the Onshape Document. They are labeled “Default,” “Config 1,” and “Config 2.” We have configured the hole feature as well as its defining sketch dimensions.
Configurations in Onshape
The Configuration Panel in the Onshape Document is shown below. If you right-click on a sketch dimension in Onshape, you will find the Configure Dimension command. If you right-click on a sketch or feature, you will find the Configure Suppression command. The Onshape online help will guide you on how to setup configurations in your Documents.
From the Configuration Panel shown above, we see that two dimensions from Sketch 4, the hole diameter and hole distance are configured as well as the feature itself named “Extrude 3.” For the configuration named “Default,” we see that the hole diameter is set to 0.125”, the distance is set to 0.125” and the feature is unsuppressed. This is the default state of the part.
For the configuration named “Config 1,” the hole diameter is set to 0.25”, the distance is set to 0.500” and the feature is also unsuppressed. For “Config 2,” we see that the hole diameter and distance are unchanged, but that the feature is suppressed. When we display each configuration in Onshape, we see that the following parts are built:
Using Configurations in VisualCAMc
Once the configurations are defined within the Onshape Document, you can define the toolpaths needed to machine each configuration. VisualCAMc will automatically synchronize your part based on the configuration selected for the active VisualCAMc tab. Once you select Save in VisualCAMc, if you edit the configuration in Onshape, those changes are associatively propagated to your VisualCAMc tab automatically! Let’s see how it’s done.
Loading Part Configurations
In this first procedure, we will load each Onshape configuration into a separate tab in VisualCAMc:
1. We open the part Document in Onshape and then select the “Insert New Tab Element” icon located to the left of the Part Studio 1 tab.
2. From this menu, we select “Add Application” and then VisualCAMc. A new tab is added to the Document named “VisualCAMc.”
3. The Select Part dialog in VisualCAMc is also displayed automatically allowing you to select a part currently defined in the Onshape Document.
4. If the Onshape part contains configurations, you will see the configuration selector located under Part Studio 1 in the Select Part dialog. The configuration is initially set to Default. If you select Part 1 located under Default, the default part configuration is loaded into that VisualCAMc tab.
5. You can repeat steps 1-4 above and load each part configuration into a separate tab within VisualCAMc. Each is shown below. We have also renamed the VisualCAMc tabs for each part configuration.
6. Now we will activate each tab in VisualCAMc and select “Save” from the VisualCAMc main toolbar to save our CAM data to the Onshape part Document. Once this is done, each VisualCAMc tab becomes associated with the Onshape part configuration loaded into that tab.
Editing Toolpath Configurations
Editing toolpaths based upon your Onshape part configurations is easy and straightforward. Anytime you open a VisualCAMc tab, the program looks to see if that part configuration has been modified in Onshape. If it has, then the part is updated in VisualCAMc.
Here are some things to remember:
1. If the geometry of the Onshape part or configuration has been modified by you or any authorized collaborator, the part is updated automatically when the associated VisualCAMc tab is selected.
2. Anytime the part or configuration is modified in Onshape, VisualCAMc will notify you with a popup message that your part has changed and your CAM data is being updated. At this time, all of the toolpath operations under the Machining Job tree will be flagged. This is to further alert you that the part has changed.
Flagged operations look like this:
3. To update all of your toolpaths, just right-click on the Machining Job and select “Generate.” The command is also available when you right-click on a Setup or any operation. The Task Progress Manager will display informing you of the progress status of each operation.
4. If an operation cannot be resolved, it will remain flagged to alert you that you need to edit the operation manually. This can happen if the machining regions referenced by the operation are either no longer available in the part or have been altered.
In the example shown below, the holes for the Drilling operation were removed from the Onshape part. Since the machining regions selected for the Drilling operation are no longer available, this operation remains flagged after the Machining Job is regenerated. You can then delete the Drilling operation from the Machining Job.
5. If only a portion of the machining regions are altered in the Onshape part, the operation will remain flagged after regeneration. You can double-click on the operation in the Machining Job to display it in the Machining Browser. Then select the machining regions and pick “Generate.” You can do this for any operation that remains flagged after it is regenerated.
Try It Yourself
If you want to learn more about the VisualCAMc Milling plugin for Onshape, check out MecSoft’s Products Page, Tech Blog and YouTube Channel for what’s new, specifications, videos, tutorials and more. To join the free VisualCAMc Beta program, go to the Onshape App Store and add VisualCAMc to your Onshape account. Enjoy!