Like Bend-Tech's other product SE has the same state-of-the-art interface. When the software is first viewed you will find a multiple document windows interface with a new document ready to be used. SE offers the multiple listing of predefined templates, Custom Part , the Custom 3D Part interface and the Assembly interface like PRO, however you will also find a XYZ interface. The Import/Export module will also allow dxf and dwg files to be imported into the software.
Lets get started by showing the XYZ interface. After selecting the XYZ choice from the list you will find our typical 4 view port window. The upper right corner is our "tabs" area. This allows for settings and manufacturing manipulation. The lower left corner is our "working" area. The lower right corner is the "shaded model" and the upper right corner is the "results" area.
The XYZ interface allows you to key in the features of your part in a sequence following the center line of the material. Most bends are entered in using the "apex" dimension type. Apex is the intersection of two straight tubes. You will find that a user can use different dimension types when you have bends of 180 degrees (use tangent or perp) or when you desire to have the software define the radius of a bend in a "crown" environment.
The "crown" environment allows a user to enter in the height of a crown and the software will calculate the radius, bend angle and the adjacent bends angles as well. This feature is used commonly for "T" tops in boats.
As you are keying in the information into the XYZ fields the shaded model is instantly being created and the manufacturing instructions are automatically displayed. If a part is symmetrical you need to enter only 1/2 of the information and then click on one of the "Mirror" buttons. You will find your manufacturing information in the upper right had corner of the screen. The values available are Cut Length, Weight, bend Location, Rotation, Angle, Radius, Spring angle and bend Order.
With a single click of the mouse you can have all of your values switch between inches and millimeters.
An item that makes SE unique is that you are allowed to have multiple radii for the same part. In the pick below you will notice the first bend now has a much larger radius versus the other bends. Changing tools or material is as simple as pulling the tooling or material drop box down and select what is desired.
Select the "print" command and 2 setup pages will come rolling out of your printer. The first page gives you the detail information to make the part and the 2nd will provide a cartoon strip of transitions showing you graphically how to load and bend your material.
Before we go any further allow us to cover some of the issues of the material and tooling library. The material library allows for diameter, wall thickness, weight and color. The software does display the tube as round stock, however, calculations for square, rectangular and all other shapes are available and 100% accurate. Bend-Tech has a few customers using it for sheet metal plate to help calculate the layout.
The Tooling library consists of CLR (radius), Calibrated CLR, Bend Location Offset, Tooling Limitations and User Defined Definitions.
The calibration is done with a simple to follow calibration interface. The calibration allows users to hold the tightest of tolerances. Customers using CNC equipment are able to hold .005 on the first part and customers using manual equipment will most often be able to get to a 1/32 of their target in the first try.
The Bend Location Offset defines the distance on some benders between the start of the bend and the reference location for lining up the bend marks.
Results are what we describe as the information available to you for manufacturing the tube. The "Cut Length" is the length to cut the tube to. The chart shows A, B, Location, Rotation and Angle. A is the design order, B is the bending order, Location is where to mark the tube for bending, Rotation is the amount to rotate the tube between bends and the Angle is the number of degrees to bend the tube.
"Cut Off" allows to add extra material to the end of the tube for post bending cutting. This is used largely for cutting to place one tube against another. In this example we added 2 to our value so the cut length grew by 4 and each bend was moved 2.
We can change the "Decimal / Fraction" fields to allow for tolerances of 1/4 to 1/32 and decimal places from 0 to 0.000. In this example we changed the fractions to 1/32.
We have 3 settings which can be used for the dimension location; Start, End & Center. Typically a rotary draw bender will use start, a rotary compression bender will use end and a center compression will use center. In some cases, NC or CNC benders which are rotary compression will also use end because they locate off of the back side.
You will also find an example of a center compression bender. Some customers have been known to use the center choice for sheet metal fabrication.
"Rotation" in our results window uses positive and negative numbers to represent clockwise or counter clockwise. Depending on which end of the machine you are standing on this can be very confusing, so we have given you the ability to reverse the sign to signify rotation direction.
Just when you thought all of the bases were covered, we are asked to flip the part in mid production. Below is an example of flipping the part end for end after the 3rd bend. Notice the bend order (labeled as "B" in the chart) has now flopped after the flip.
The values for the 4th and 5th bend have changed as well. This is because we are now providing the location values on the other end of the bend zone so when the part is flipped the correct end of the tube is marked. This allows for measuring from one end for the cut and all of the bend locations.
We also have the ability to reverse the order of bending. This allows you to engineer the part from one end and start manufacturing from the other. The maybe need when your part will have interference with the machine, floor or other obstacle. At times by switching the bending order we can avoid these interferences. Refer to the simulation section to see this in action.
The LRA module is designed for machines with rotary index tables and/or CNC controlled.
As displayed below, a user can change the locations to the straight leg length between bends, display the length of the bend, change the rotation to incrementally from 0 to 360 or absolute from -180 to 180 or to 0 to 360.
Its time to go back and cover the 5 ways to make parts we have skipped over. Our Assembly interface is available in both SE and PRO. The Assembly interface is designed for anyone to use. It is by far the most easy-to-use tubing design product on the market. Customers who have never used a CAD system before are productive the first time they sit down to use it. The assemblies limits include a maximum of 400 different tubes.
With Assembly: Bend it right the first time, every time & Design it right the first time, every time!!!
Assembly Design: Creation of parts can be done in Assembly or using Bend-Tech's standard methods like; templates, custom part, custom 3D, etc... Assembly uses common terms for design; to front, back, left, right, ceiling and floor. Parts can be rotated or mirrored at anytime. If a part is created or altered in Assembly it can be sent back to part design for correct cut length, bend locations, rotations, angles and simulation.
Dimensioning: A single part or an entire Assembly can be dimensioned. Dimension types include; horizontal, vertical, linear and angular. Dozens of settings are available for the dimensions including; colors, sizes, angles, tolerances, etc....
Cutting: Assembly can create a to-scale template or wrapper for cutting or fish-mouthing. Any number of tubes and sizes of tubes can intersect. There are 2 calibration lines on the template; linear location and rotational location.
Custom Part Interface:
We create a part by starting at one end and entering in the lengths and angles for each bend. The dim type can be Apex or Tangent. Apex is the intersection of the 2 tube sides as if they have a zero radius and zero diameter (basically 2 lines).
This part shows the 180 degree bend using a tangent dimension and the 90 degree bend uses an apex dimensions. Note: a positive angle strokes counter clockwise and a negative angle dimension strokes clockwise.
All 3 of the parts are exactly the same. The first one shows using 2 apex dimensions, the second shows using 2 tangent dimensions and the last has 1 apex and 1 tangent dimension. In our case the CLR is 3.5
Now SE's custom part has rotational input!!!. If you know your lengths, angles and rotations, this is the interface to use.
Custom 3D Part Interface:
We use terms that are easy to understand for direction control during the creation of the part. These terms are; left, right, front, back, ceiling and floor. If you are familiar with XYZ then the front is +X, back is -X, left is +Y, right is -Y, ceiling is +Z and floor is -Z.
This interface is incremental, which means we are looking for the distance from bend to bend. The numbers buttons above the input star are the bends, E stands for the end of the part.
There are dozens of pre-defined templates to choose from. Most templates allow for center, outside and inside dimensions. While scrolling down the list of templates, they graphically show up in the window on the right.
The templates are read in from a secondary file. This allows us to periodically create new templates and have them available for download.
The below picture shows the values have been entered. Notice how the input values can be fractions using the templates. For this part our cut length is 101 9/16 and our bend locations are 20 7/8, 36 15/16, 60 and 76. The results window can be in fractions with definable tolerances from 1/4 to 1/32 or use decimals up to 3 places.
Includes 17 templates specifically designed for the railing fabricator.
Simulation was designed to help fabricators visualize the process before standing in front of the machine. This helps to determine the manufacturability of the part and the order in which we are bending it.
The simulation window works like a cd or tape player. You can have it run through the bending at the speed you desire, pause it, go frame by frame, etc..
As the simulation is taking place the results window shows the bend it is on with a green shaded box.
SE allows for values to be set up in the tooling library to check for manufacturing restrictions. If the part you design is flagged as falling within your restrictions than a warning button is displayed in bright red. The warning will tell you where the problem is and in the case of not having enough material at the ends, SE will allow you to select the warning field and the need amount of material is automatically added.
Spring Back Angles:
SE's Spring Back Charts are designed to help you to eliminate those stacks of setup pieces. The Spring Back Charts utility will allow you to put in numbers of spring back that you know and the software does the rest. You will find the "Results" and setup sheet will now have an additional column which includes your spring back angles.
One of the ways to reverse engineering in SE is to design the part using the tangent distances between bends and use the radius the part was manufactured with. When you are done you can push one button and enter in the new radius. SE will adjust the lengths of the straight sections to match the new radius. Note how the profile in the picture below is the same with the exception of the 2 different radii.
This feature is also very popular for customers who receive prints where the straight sections of tube are dimensioned, however, the radius that was used in designing the part was incorrect.
LRA to XYZ:
SE will transfer any part into a XYZ data. Most common this is when you enter LRA information into the Custom Part interface. The XYZ data is available by pushing one button.