What is a post processor?

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Revision as of 13:14, 17 August 2015 by Admin (Talk | contribs)

A post processor is a language definition file used to modify generic g-code such that it can be used on a particular cnc machine. They are just text files and can be opened and editied in notepad. They define inch vs metric, the file extension that the g-code is saved as (like .ngc), whether or not line numbering is used, the pre-amble and post-amble, and what each of different classes (rapid, feed, arc, etc) of moves looks like. Mach3, LinuxCNC, and the CNC USB Control Software can all use the generic g-code post-processors available with every CAM program.

We have post-processors available for:

ArtCam Express

You will likely want to modify a post processor with your specific needs. As an example, most post processors will perform a move to X/Y zero at the beginning of every file. Why does it need to do that? It doesn't, it's just a waste of time. Why not fly directly over to where the machine will start cutting? Also, most processors will have the machine return to X/Y zero when its finished. I don't want it to do that. I want it to move back out of my way so I can remove the part. Well, modifying the post processor can solve these annoyances and output g-code the way you want them to.