So you’ve used NX CAM to plan out your tools, operations, etc. You’re ready to begin using your machine to cut your part. It’s not quite time, though. You’re missing one more step: a post processor.
A post processor is software that can translate your CAM data into specific commands for your machine.
Your CAM software analyzes your original CAD model, determining what tooling and toolpaths will be used to machine the desired features. The post processor will take the NX language of the toolpaths, tools, etc., into usable G-code to be used for your specific CNC machine and controller.
Essentially, it’s a translator, telling the CNC machine what to do. Each instance of translation is often referred to as a “post.”
Post-processing is a critical part of manufacturing. Without a post processor, or with poor software, you can end up with longer cycle times, damaged parts, ruined equipment, or worse. Having a specific post minimizes the time and errors that can be cause by manual G-code editing.