New release: SmoothTool 1.5.0

SmoothTool 1.5.0 is now live!

A major update that brings a bunch of exciting new features and improvements to the URcap.

Let’s have a look at some of the prominent new additions to the SmoothTool software in this new release.

New features

SmoothTool 1.5.0 comes with a bunch of new major and minor features and improvements. Way to much to cover in fine grain detail here, but we will have a look at some of the more noticeable changes in this post. We can divide the most prominent new features into four categories:

  • Overhauled offset
  • New arc options
  • Improved weaving transitions
  • New power source integrations

Overhauled offset

The offset functionality makes it possible to take an existing welding program and move it to another location. You can choose to make a copy of the original program or just move the program to the new location.

This feature is very valuable in instances where you want to produce the same weld on multiple objects or segments in one go. It could also be the case that you have a complex welding program for an objects that has to be moved to a new position. The use cases are many, but the idea is that the offset functionality can save the welder a lot of valuable time and make his or her life that much easier.

In the previous versions of SmoothTool, the offset function allowed the user to offset the program in the X, Y, and Z dimensions. The overhauled offset function in 1.5.0 now also allows for the program to be offset in orientation. That means you can now rotate the weld object to face any direction. As long as the robot can reach the new position you can offset to it.

This new feature is called the three-point offset method. With this method, three points must be used to offset the program. A new user interface has been added to guide the user through the process of the three-point offset method.

3-point offset GUI

Another new feature that ties into the offset functionality, is the new option to define reference points outside the welding program and to use these reference points for the three-point offset. This can be very helpful when dealing with round objects or objects that lack a clearly defined point, such as a sharp corner for example.

SmoothTool still offers the simpler version of offset without the rotational option. This is now called single point offset and has been revamped as well with a new GUI and a bunch of minor improvements.

New arc options

SmoothTool 1.5.0 comes with a lot of new arc-related features. A new Arc settings tab has been added to the SmoothTool configuration page in the installation node in Polyscope.

New customization options for arc behavior have been added to the software where different timeout settings can now be adjusted.

SmoothTool now also comes with an automatic arc restart function, where the software will try to restart the arc if it is lost during welding. You can specify the number of times you want the system to attempt the arc restart before giving an error message.

In 1.5.0 it is now also possible to connect an external arc switch that enables and disables welding. Besides being a good safety feature, this switch can also be useful when you need to finish a program that for some reason was stopped before it was completed. This is made possible since the arc switch allows you to toggle between simulation and live welding at any point in the program.

Another new arc-related feature is the weld indicator signal. This feature offers the option to output the actual welding status on a user-specified digital output. This output can be used to control a warning light but is also ideal to enable automatic control of fume extraction with ventilation only being turned on when it is needed. This can help companies save energy and lower the amount of unnecessary noise pollution.

Improved weaving transitions

Transitions between linear or circular lines when weaving has been significantly improved in SmoothTool 1.5.0

Before this release, transitions between segments with weaving patterns were not handled ideally. This was particular an issue when welding corners.

improved weaving transitions

With the new and improved weaving transitions in SmoothTool 1.5.0, you get a much more consistent weaving pattern in corners and transitions from linear to circular segments and vice versa. The smoothness of the corners can be adjusted using the blend parameter to achieve the perfect corner.

New power source integrations

We strive to make integration options available in SmoothTool for the top relevant power sources. We continue to add to the list of supported power sources for full integration and this time we also add further to the list.

ewm integration

More specifically, we have added new integration options for the Kemppi X5 FastMig series and several power sources from EWM. See the power source integrations page for the full overview.