Expert Machinist > Tool Path Display and Output > About Displaying the Tool Path
About Displaying the Tool Path
You can display the tool motion and a simulation of the tool before you complete creating a tool path, to verify the tool path and make a visual check for interference with fixtures. You can also display the tool motion, along with a tool simulation, for existing tool paths, and for a whole operation. All simulated tool dimensions represent the parameters defined during tool setup.
Whenever you display tool motion for a tool path or an operation, the system opens the PLAY PATH dialog box. The collapsible upper portion of this dialog box lists the cutter location (CL) data for the tool path or operation, as it would be output to a CL data file through Output > Create CL File. You can save this CL data in a CL file or an MCD file directly from the PLAY PATH dialog box, by clicking the appropriate option in the File menu.
The lower portion contains the following buttons: Play Forward, Play Back, Stop, Fast Forward to the end of the Tool Path and Rewind to start of Tool Path, as well as Next CL record in file and Previous CL record in file. It also contains the buttons for positioning the cutting tool and for accessing the Tool Clearance functionality, and a slider to adjust the display speed.
When displaying the tool motion, you can make the tool stop at certain points by adding break points. You can also insert customized CL commands, such as the specific postprocessor words required for correct NC output, at desired locations within the CL file. When you save the CL data, these commands will be output to the CL file. If you add a tool motion command, the corresponding motion will be also shown in the tool path display on the screen.