Expert Machinist > Fixtures > About Fixtures
About Fixtures
Fixtures are parts or assemblies that help orient and hold the stock during a manufacturing operation. You can create and save fixture components in Part or Assembly mode, and then assemble them to the NC Model in Expert Machinist, or create the components directly in Expert Machinist by referencing geometry of the NC Model.
To use fixtures in a manufacturing process, you must first define the fixture setups for the manufacturing model. Each fixture setup has a name and contains information about the fixtures (components) that are to be present in the model when the setup is active. You can define fixture setups at the time of setting up an operation or at any time between creating features and tool paths.
Fixture setups belong to operations. When you create an operation, the system automatically creates an empty fixture setup for this operation. This first fixture setup is inserted in the Model Tree above the operation, to let you use the fixture geometry for defining the operation Program Zero. You can modify this setup by adding components to it. You can also create other fixture setups for the same operation (these setups are placed in the Model Tree under the operation). Note that although an operation can have multiple fixture setups associated with it, only one fixture setup can be active at a time. When you create a machining feature, it is automatically inserted in the Model Tree under the currently active fixture setup. The system considers fixture components when generating the machining feature geometry and creates the appropriate Hard Walls, if necessary.
When you create a new operation, it does not inherit the fixture setups from the previous operation. If you want to use fixture setups from a previous operation, you can copy them by using the Copy icon at the top of the Fixture Setup dialog box.