Postprocessor – a program module, designated for transforming the CAM system-generated toolpath into a CAM-program for a certain CNC lathe, considering its kinematic specifics.

For obtaining a machining program for CNC lathe, part geometry is analyzed during the engineering and design stage. Furthermore, the engineer employs a CAM system for the program creation. The CAM system generates a file containing all the required data about the tool path and position, defining cutting modes and other technological parameters. Then the post processor uses the data for generating the program for a certain CNC lathe.

In the simplest definition, post processor translates the data from one format into another. Most frequently post processor is not interactive and functions in the translation mode. However, it shouldn’t be considered as a decent format converter only. It’s filled with technologic logic and bears lots of specialized functions.

Postprocessors may come in the following types:

Outside postprocessor: receives an intermediary CL-DATA file and processes it. The CL-DATA file is generated by the CAM system, exporting the toolpath. It means that outside postprocessor works as standalone and it is not connected with CAM system in any way.

Native postprocessor. Not only it is launched directly from the CAM system, but it also processes the toolpath right in its own native format.

Individual postprocessor is developed, using the oldest postprocessor creation method – when, using special algorithmic languages, a developer (not a programming engineer) creates a postprocessor for a certain CNC lathe. The method is very time consuming, expensive and not flexible, but sometimes the only one applicable. Any further changes in such postprocessor can only be implemented by the original developer.

Translated from AMUX.RU

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