Leveraging NC Programs in Fusion 360

What are NC Programs?

NC Programs is a relatively new feature in Fusion 360 that allows you to save post processor settings such as file name, output location, the specific post processor, CNC machine, and even which specific toolpaths or operations to post as well as various other settings.

This feature improves the workflow in Fusion 360 by eliminating the need to individually configure post settings each time you post gcode to a different machine. NC Programs not only saves time, it also makes your shop safer by minimizing the likelihood of using the wrong post processor or the wrong post settings!

How to save time with NC Programs

We’ve found that NC programs truly shine in situations where you have multiple machines or machine setups in your shop that you routinely post between (or even when switching between a machine at work and at home). For example we have our 1100MX outfitted with the microARC 4th axis as well as an 1100M and the Slant-PRO lathe in our shop, and each have their own unique IP address for posting over WiFi.

By creating an NC Program for each machine we can easily post directly to the machine without updating the necessary IP address (no more pesky USB drives!) We also use this handy add-in to VS Code to edit post processors, and having multiple post processors floating around sets up the perfect scenario for accidents to happen.

Running the wrong code on the wrong machine could spell disaster, so eliminating the need to constantly update your post processor settings between projects is a no-brainer.

NC Programs steps up by allowing you to preset settings such as the post processor, filename, IP address, and even which operations from your CAM file you want to post to the machine.

By creating these presets you will save time by reducing the need to change each individual setting every time you post code – while simultaneously avoiding accidents such as using the wrong post processor or posting the wrong CAM operations.

In the case of our 1100MX, it also saves time when using our microARC: we use a subplate that allows us to remove and then later relocate and replace our 4th axis, and NC Programs makes for an easy swap between settings and post processors for each scenario without needing to reconfigure the post each time. For those using multiple mills or lathes, NC Programs is a must – and we highly recommend it.

John Saunders

John Saunders is the author of the NYC CNC YouTube channel and runs Saunders Machine Works, a machine shop in Zanesville, OH.

John Saunders

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