Why You Need a Post Processor for Your CNC Machine

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Uncategorized

Black and Green Matrix Design

When you’re preparing a new project with your CNC machine, you start with a design and end with a physical product—but it’s easy for things to get lost along the way. A design is created in the form of 3D or 2D geometry in software, but that geometric design needs to be converted into a language your CNC machine can understand if it is ever going to become a reality. This is where a post processor comes in.

A post processor is software that takes your CAD/CAM toolpathing information and converts it into code that your CNC machine can utilize. It is essentially an interpreter, translating the language of your design into commands that the machine can follow. This is an important part of making sure your machine manufactures your product with high speed and accuracy.

At Diversified Machine Systems (DMS), we believe that hard work should be rewarded. If you’ve taken the time to draft a strong design and create a functioning toolpath, finding a good post processor ensures that none of that effort will be wasted.

The Right Post Processor For Your Needs

Once you’ve decided to utilize a post processor, it’s time to make an important decision—which one? Post processors are not all created equally, especially when it comes to integrating with your specific design software. You can’t simply mix and match. When machine operators choose a post processor without consideration, they often have to go through painstaking additional work to troubleshoot compatibility issues.

The right post processor will integrate smoothly with your specific CNC machine. Post processors are configured to particular types of controllers and will work best when correctly paired. Whether you’re using a Haas, Fagor, or CMS software, it’s important to pair the post processor with the unique systems of your machine. That’s why we recommend you keep one thing in mind as you search for the right post processor: ask your machine manufacturer for a recommendation. This will help you avoid choosing a post processor that may not ultimately interact well with your machine’s software.

Installation

CNC machines don’t typically come with a post processor preconfigured, but installation can be relatively pain-free. Because it arrives as a script file, delivering your post processor can be as simple as an email attachment. A lot of things can get in the way of carrying out a good design, but software delivery doesn’t have to be one of them.

Typically, CNC manufacturers don’t write post processors for their machines. It’s up to the original equipment manufacturer to decide their machines’ characteristics and to find the post processor that best matches those qualities. DMS offers our customers post processors that will integrate with our machines. For our systems, we partner with a third-party software company called Postability to offer post processors that are primarily written for Fagor controllers. With a few simple phone calls, we can get you up and running with the right post processor for your machine.

As you prepare to toolpath your next design, don’t hesitate when it’s time to select a post processor. With a few phone calls and some expert recommendations, you can move forward with confidence.

If you would like to discuss post processors or any other part of your CNC buying journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts at: 855-266-5064 or customerservice@dmscncrouters.com.

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