How to use the simulator to do remote teaching during the pandemic?

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We have many training institutes customers asking about how to use the simulator to do remote teaching during the pandemic.
First of all, if you already have an educational license pack, you can contact our helpdesk to get specific instructions on how to get started. On the other hand, if you are thinking of buying a license but have doubts about how it works, we will explain it below:

When you order an educational license from us, you will get an automatic email back with a license string that can be used to unlock the software on your computers. We also have an alternative license that instead is using a license file. If you contact us, we can convert the license as you like free of charge. When it comes to remote teaching, the license file option is more practical.
We will send you a link to download the license file. The teacher or administrator can then send this file, or the link to download it, to all of the students.

The students will need a Windows PC and a working Internet connection. He or she will then have to download and install the simulator from our download page and finally copy the license file to the installation folder. We will explain this process in detail upon request. The students can either contact our helpdesk directly for instructions or go via the teacher.
Once all students have installed the software the teacher can use the built-in cloud service to upload and download CNC files, drawings, and CAM files to share them with the students. The students can also upload their progress via the cloud service.

The teacher may also choose to use services like Skype, Zoom, Dropbox, Google Classroom, WhatsApp, and others to facilitate the classes and communication with the students.

We hope this helps to clarify how remote teaching with CNCSimulator Pro is done. We will be happy to answer any remaining questions you may have on our helpdesk.

Stay safe everyone!

Nostalgia

We found this picture of the machine selector in version 1. It was 8 years ago. Times fly!

A big thanks to all of our great users that constantly give us suggestions and feedback. Without you guys, we would never have come this far.

Online-help update

We have updated the online-help today to include all the new functionality in version 3.2. As usual, we ask our users to please report any mistakes or if you find that anything is missing. We are constantly trying to improve the documentation, so all feedback is greatly appreciated.

If you do not see the updates, remember to clear your browser cache.

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Version 3.2 is here!

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Hello from us at the cncsimulator.com developer team, we have exciting news!

First of all, we hope every one of you is safe in these crazy times. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this crisis.

We have been using this time to work on the new and exciting version 3.2 of CNCSimulator Pro. There is a lot to talk about so here we go:

So what is new in version 3.2? A lot!

Here is a list:

  • We have been in contact with Microsoft and got the false virus alert removed. McAfee still thinks we are bad guys though. We will contact them later.

  • Mouse movements were sometimes lagging in SimCam, this has been improved now.
  • This is a big one! We have added functionality that lets the user create their own canned cycles and G-codes using codes as $DefineModalMacro and $DefineNonModalMacro. These definitions can be hidden in include files that run in the background, so that the user-defined codes act just like the built-in ones. You can also define your own popup help to these codes, making them even more like the standard codes in the simulator. We have included an example to show how all this is done.

  • A new $-command has been added that lets you jump to labels in the code: $GotoLabel.

  • We have added a code that can be added to G-codes to tell the simulator that it should run the original G-code and not the redefined one, this will be clear when you look at the example.
  • As user-defined canned cycles often are based on macro-programming, we have added a $-command to activate the macro interpreter directly from the code: $ActivateMacroInterpreter.
  • You can right-click on include-file calls to directly open the file in the editor. You can also return to the main program by right-clicking and select return in the menu. This makes it much easier to jump back and forth between the files when developing custom cycles and G-codes.

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  • We have added a setting so that you can have pause points saved in the CNC-program.

  • We have made many changes to the lighting of machines and workpieces. It looks much more alive now.

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  • We have added a function to simplify CNC-programs. It will, for example, make canned cycles into their basic G00, G01, G02, and G03 components. This is a way to make a program compatible with almost any machine.

  • If the main window was in full-screen mode when you exited the program, it will now return to full-screen mode at the next start.

  • Lathe machines now have a feature to show chips while cutting.
  • Some machines have been updated with a more modern look and more details.
  • The Feeds and Speeds Tool now works for turning machines as well.
  • We have added materials that can be user-defined in the Feeds and Speeds Tool.
  • We have added a “machine” that is a game meant to teach beginners basic G-codes. You run a car through a track with the help of G00 to G03. Road signs help the user to get the car to the garage.

  • We have fixed a couple of bugs regarding prefabricated milling workpieces.

  • We have added a new tool called Zeropoint Helper. It will assist you in finding the zeropoint you want in milling machines.

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  • We have fixed a bug that sometimes created two copies of the settings in memory. It created some confusion.

  • We have fixed a bug that created problems when using R arcs in combination with radius compensation and inches units.
  • We have added G15 and G16 polar coordinates G-codes. There is also a new example showing how these works.

  • SimCam’s workspace was visible in the 2D view. That has been fixed now.

  • The type of file list you have in the file browsers is saved now so you do not have to change them every time.
  • The Full 3D milling buffer now supports layer coloring as well. ($Color)
  • Speaking of colors, we have added a new $-command that automatically assigns colors to different depth layers. $AutoColorMode. We have also included a new example file for this.

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  • We have added a new G-code called G52 local zero point shift as well as a new example file demonstrating it.

  • We have fixed some issues with the virtual jog controller.

  • The simulator runs at a higher speed now. We have optimized some of the code to gain more speed.
  • We have added something called Project Files. It is a type of file that saves everything: your CNC code, the SimCam document, your settings, tools, workpieces, etc. A project file is like a time machine that lets you go back to the status of your simulator at the point in time you saved it. This is also very useful for the support team as they can ask you to send a project file to make troubleshooting a problem much quicker.
  • Machine Info and Codes now show the tool change position as well.
  • The default background for all machines is now a blue gradient. You can still set your own background color though.
  • We have added a function to display the machine coordinates while simulating. It can be helpful when looking for an issue with the CNC code.
  • We have fixed an issue with uploading SimCam documents to the cloud.
  • We have added new command prompt commands to help with support.
  • We have added support for vises in milling machines. They come with collision detection too!

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A big thanks to each one of you that has contributed with ideas, feedback, and suggestions helping us with this new update.

The installer will soon be up on our download page but until then, you can download it from this link:

http://cncsimulator.info/downloads/Ver3_2/CncSimProSetup3_2.exe

Stay safe everybody, stay at home and simulate!

Virus alert

As we all deal with the COVID-19 crisis, we at cncsimulator.com have a small virus crisis on our own. Some antivirus software mistakes our simulator for a threat. This is called a false positive and it is getting pretty common these days. As long as you have downloaded the simulator from our official site cncsimulator.com you do not need to worry. We guarantee that our files are 100% clean from any adware, malware, spyware, and similar. As you may realize, it would be devastating to our business and the reputation of the company if there was anything bad in our software.

virustotal.com reports that 25 out of 70 antivirus software give a false positive. Among them are Microsoft and McAfee.


What can you do?

First of all, we do not recommend that you turn off your antivirus protection. That could put you at risk for real threats. Instead, you can put an exception in your antivirus software. That is telling it that you trust the file and that it should not give a warning or delete it.

If you have Microsoft Defender as your protection, you can follow the steps below to put in an exception. If you are using another antivirus software, please consult their manual to learn how to do it.


Click Start > Settings > Update & Security.


Click Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings, and then under Exclusions, select Add or remove exclusions.


Select Add an exclusion, and then select Folder.

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Navigate to your installation folder for the simulator. It is often located at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\CNCSimulator.com

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Select the folder “CNCSimulator Pro”. Click on the button “Select Folder”

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That’s all, now you shouldn’t see any more warning messages.

Now, when this threat is out of the way, remember the other one that is out there. Stay at home, simulate, and be safe!

Kaspersky anti-virus

The Kaspersky virus protection software falsely reports CNCSimulator Pro as having a virus.  We have had several users reporting this.

Here is what you need to do to get around the problem:

How to add an application to exclusions in Kaspersky Internet Security

1. Open the settings Kaspersky Internet Security and choose Additional –> Threats and Exclusions.

How to add an application to exclusions in Kaspersky Internet Security

2. Select Manage exclusions or Specify trusted applications.

Manage exclusions

Select the file or application to exclude from the scan scope in Kaspersky Internet Security. Optionally, specify the protection component that should not scan the application. You can learn more about setting up exclusions in Kaspersky Internet Security in the Knowledge Base.

$CodeHelp

Here is an example on how easy it will be to customize the popup-help in the editor, in version 3.2.

Let us change the help for G00 to Spanish.

In the beginning of the program, or in a separate include-file, we put the following line:


$CodeHelp 1 “G00|POSICIONAMIENTO RÁPIDO|G00 X.. Y.. Z..|Los desplazamientos programados a continuación de G00 se ejecutan en avance rápido establecido en la puesta a punto de la máquina, mediante los parámetros máquina.”

Then when we hold the mouse over G00 we will se the following:

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Version 3.2 news

We are working on the next version of CNCSimulator Pro and would like to share some exciting news with you.

In version 3.2, you will be able to completely customize the simulator so that it matches your machine! We have added commands to define your own G, M, and other codes by connecting them to your own custom subprograms or macros. These will run hidden in the background so that it looks like they are built into the simulator. You will even be able to add your own custom popup-help to match your codes.

We are also working on a feature that will allow users to simplify canned cycles into basic G-codes so that they can be run on any machine.

Stay tuned for more!