What is a Post Processor?
A post processor is a software component included in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs used to edit gcode into the instructions required to operate a CNC machine. Different CNC machines and controllers have their own unique requirements and syntax for interpreting the toolpath data. This is where the post processor comes into play. It takes the toolpath data and customizes it to match the specific CNC machine. Look for the BobsCNC Processor when creating and saving toolpath with any Vectic software.
The post processor performs several important tasks, including: converting the operations defined in the CAM software (e.g., cutting, drilling, pocketing) into the appropriate commands supported by the CNC machine. It also generates machine-specific G-code or other control commands that the CNC machine can understand. It also organizes the instructions in a specific sequence and structure required by the machine's controller.
Applying machine-specific logic: The post processor takes into account the unique characteristics of the specific CNC machine, such as its kinematics, available tooling, tool change mechanisms, and other features. It adjusts the output code accordingly to optimize performance and ensure compatibility.
Handling machine-specific settings: The post processor incorporates machine-specific configuration parameters, such as maximum feed rates, spindle speed ranges, tool offsets, and any other relevant settings specific to the CNC machine being used.