How to change ramping in HSM

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When I make a pocket in Inventor, and then try to machine it with HSM, it takes forever to start cutting, and it swirls down into the part and moves very slowly. How do I get rid of this?

Thanks for the question Marianne!


CAUTION: The change below should only be done when machining soft materials like wax, Renshape, butterboard or styrofoam. If in doubt, Leave it alone!

This is put there automatically by the post processor when you chose a pocket and it is called a “helical ramping” operation. It does this automatically so that the tool engages the material very slowly, to decrease chip load and make it so the tool does not break. Notice that in this instance the tool is going all the way to the bottom of the pocket.

To change this in the pocketing operation, edit the operation, choose the linking tab, and scroll down to the ramp menu. If you wanted to speed up the helix in softer materials like renshape or machineable wax, you can just change the ramping angle to something greater to make it go faster. See below:

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Why do I need a resistor with Inputs on robots and micro-controllers?


Why do I need a resistor when I am using inputs or outputs on a Dobot Magician? For that matter, Do I need them for micro-controllers like the VEX, or Arduinos?


Well… Yes; on the Dobot you may, and on some micro-controllers also. The reason for this is actually pretty simple, and can best be explained by watching the video below. This also explains why sometimes “ON” is “OFF” and “OFF is “ON”! A weird but true fact in some instances; just roll with. These resistors are either pull-up or pull-down resistors and make it so that the voltage on an input pin is either high or low… not floating somewhere in between. This is bad because in a digital system there are only two values: “ON” or “OFF”, and if you’re somewhere in between an input may go high or low spontaneously when you least expect it!

If you are having errors or erratic behaviors with an input pin on a micro-controller, or a robot, watch the video below for a good explanation why. This is also why you will see resistors used in the handshake modules we build and use as well as in all of our Dobot Activities.


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The VEX Switch Doesn’t Work Anymore as an Input…. How do I fix it?


I used the Dobots last year to do activity 4 Using Digital Inputs (Here) and it worked great!  The kids are having a blast!  But no matter what I do this year, I cannot get it to work on any of my robots. How do I fix this?


  Well….. My bad…. I’ve been telling y’all (for you Texans out there) to be sure your wiring it correctly, and be sure it’s plugged in the correct port…. but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. The problem is a bug in the latest version of the 1.7.1 software. I am told that the bug will be addressed in the next release of the software, but no one knows when that will be released. So the safest answer right now… I know it is hard for some schools to do, but to revert to version 1.5.1 of the software. I will let you know as soon as I hear that the new version is out! This only seems to be a problem if you are using Teaching and Playback…. It works fine in Blockly… 

To do this, follow the steps below:
1. Go to the Dobot Download Center here:  2. Click on the link circled in red below that says previous versions.

3. In the resulting window choose version _Magician Studio v1.5.1
4. Delete the new version from your computer and reinstall this older version… until the new version with the bug fix comes out. Sorry for the hassle! In my classroom I am lucky enough to have the older version installed so I did not have this issue.

5. I strongly suggest that you do NOT install updates mid year!

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Can Students Use DobotStudio without Admin rights?


In a nutshell…we have been working on getting the software installed as a testing means and have no issues running the software in a profile that has admin rights. However, as I am sure you are familiar with…students don’t get admin rights to their profile…and so it prompts for credentials to run, when a student login is at the helm. Is there a way to get DobotStudio to run for students who do not have admin rights?


wow!  This is an easy one! Thanks to Christian Hunter from InPosition Technologies; the Leader in Dobot sales in the US. For more information or to buy Dobot Magicians go HERE. Here is Christian’s solution:
  Yes, there are 2 versions of the software. If you run “DobotStudioX” it doesn’t require admin rights. It should be at this, or a similar location, depending on where they saved the software on their PC.

“C:\Program Files\DobotStudio\DobotStudio\DobotStudioX.exe”

DobotStudioX Want to buy Dobot Magicians? Go HERE for more information, and Christian’s contact info! Continue Reading

Pneumatic Parts Feeder


Do you have any ideas for ways to teach students about parts feeders in industry?


Imagine a project that incorporates VEX pneumatics, 3D printing, CAD design, and Robotics all in one! That’s exactly what we did here. I taxed one of my students with this “Going Beyond” activity: Design a pneumatic parts feeder using what you have learned in CIM class so far, and here is what he came up with!

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Jim Hanson

Chris Hurd


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