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Background Processing

Tired of waiting to process a large toolpath?

Edgecam introduces the ability to process more than one cycle at a time. This allows you to create and edit instructions in the foreground while other toolpath are still calculating in the background, significantly improving productivity. Background processing works on any hardware but offers the greatest benefits on multi-core PCs.
For improved feedback, the progress bar is integrated into the Instructions Browser for background processing. Cycles being processed are highlighted in yellow and progress is shown in green. If a process cannot start because it is waiting for all processes to finish (for example ‘Update Stock’) or because the maximum number of processes has been reached, this is indicated in the browser by a pale red background.

Please note that background processing is currently available in the milling environment.  Current supported cycles are: Roughing, Parallel Lace, Profiling, 5-Axis, Constant Cusp Finishing, Flat Land Finishing, Rest Finishing, Pencil Milling and the Projection cycles.

To process more than one cycle at a time, cycles need to know where to start and end independently of each other. For this purpose, Edgecam introduces a new command, Set Safe Start Position. When set, Edgecam knows it can process cycles in parallel. Note that this command needs to be disabled if you require cycles to start relative to the previous cycle. The Safe Start Position is indicated on the screen by a cyan dot.

You use this command to specify a point where each cycle (following the Set Safe Start Position instruction in the browser) will start and finish.  The Set Safe Start Position can be found under the Move menu ►  Set Safe Start Position

The Set Safe Start Position command is used:

•    To activate background processing. To process more than one cycle at a time, cycles need to know where to start and end independently of each other.  When a safe start position is set, Edgecam knows it can process cycles in parallel.
•    To reduce unnecessary cycle regenerations. Changing one cycle can alter the start point of the next cycle, causing a regeneration. This can cascade through the entire sequence, with all cycles being regenerated. By adding a safe start position, each cycle knows where it will start and finish. Regenerating one cycle will not affect subsequent cycles, reducing unnecessary regenerations.

To disable the safe start position

You may want to disable the safe start position, for example
•    if you require cycles to start relative to the previous cycle
•    to use toolpath optimization, such as ‘Nearest Neighbor’ in the Profiling cycle
To do this, you use the Move menu ► Disable Safe Start Position  command

Setting Preferences for Background Processing

To set the preferences, you use the Background Processing options (Options menu ► Preferences ► Toolpaths tab).

Maximum Number of Processes specifies the maximum number of instructions that can be processed simultaneously.  When that number is reached the subsequent cycles will not start processing until one of the existing processes has finished.

When running more than one process at the same time, there is a need for the computer to decide what tasks should get attention and be processed. You effectively use Process Priority to ‘rank’ the importance of background tasks.

Stopping a Background Process Cycle

As several cycles can be calculating at the same time the normal Abort command (F8) does not apply when using background processing. To stop a cycle that is currently being processed or has not started yet, right-click on the instruction to open the shortcut menu and select Stop. This will abort the calculation and turn the instruction red to indicate it has not completed

Available in Edgecam 2010 R2.

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