Galaad 3 is a set of 32 bits
native Windows (95 / 98 / ME / NT / 2000 / XP / Vista) programmes that are
dedicated to intelligent driving of CNC machines, from 1 to 5 axes. Most
usual applications for Galaad are 2½D milling, engraving,
cutting, plasma/laser/water-jet control, glue
or liquid dispensing. "All-in-one" software concept, it
integrates in a coherent set the whole prototyping process, and adds extra modules for
possible special applications. Galaad software is available in English, French,
German & Italian.
From idea to object, processing chain usually follows three steps : workpiece
design, using 2D, 2½D or 3D CAD software (Computer Aided Design) that
produces a file containing geometrical information, for example under HPGL, DXF or other
format ; then comes the toolpath definition that is made by CAM
software (Computer Aided Manufacturing) that generates trajectories the tool
cutters will follow, usually under ISO G-code format ; and at last a CNC driver (Computerised
Numerical Control) to drive the machine (mill or lathe) that will
produce the final shape.
Galaad combines these three steps in one single
software. Since it integrates a specialised design module that already provides
toolpath functions, it allows the user to set manufacturing considerations very early.
Link with machine process is immediate and does not require handling intermediate files.
From design module, a simple mouse click starts tool process and Galaad drives the
However, Galaad remains open software. It does not lock
the process frame by strictly assigning Galaad at all stages. Therefore, it is possible to
substitute any external programme at a particular keypoint. For example, all the process
modules below design may reuse CAD or CAM files that have been produced by alternate
software. Also the main design module can call directly an external driver to dialog with
the machine, even with no file handlings.
Let us say right now that current version of Galaad is not 3D CAD
software as usually defined, i.e. it does not allow the user to create
workpieces by direct handling of volumes and surfaces. However, number of 3D functions are
no less usable from the CAD module, and particularly advanced 3D wiremesh creation or
projections, bendings and other space handlings. 2½D design functions are directly linked
to milling and therefore include all facilities for path control, depths, drilling and
feeding speeds, tool compensations, etc.
Galaad great success comes from its surprising ease of use, which does not
mean it offers too few advanced functions. It has been adopted successfully by absolute
computer beginners and also CAD/CAM experts. To define Galaad as simply as possible,
keywords are: intuitive, easy, powerful,
Galaad standard licence grants access to all modules with no restrictions.
Licences for turning and programming modules alone can be purchased separately at lower
cost, with ability to upgrade later. 3D driving module can also be purchased alone (see
The main - and oldest - module is Galaad programme. It allows the user to design 2½D
workpieces that are then machined directly by the machining module. All
advanced functions dedicated to design aid are present with easy access. Keyboard
co-ordinate entry, on-line snapping, plane and space handlings,
dynamic visual dimensions, tool compensation, hatchings
and pocketing cycles and much more. Galaad can create a machining path on three
axes. Workspace and CNC machine settings are supervised from this module. Instead of the
integrated one, it is possible to use an external post-processor that will be called
directly by the machining command. Parameter setting include advanced machine control
functions for special applications, and especially automatic input/output
and delay management.
Design module integrated machine driver is Lancelot programme. Started directly from the
CAD module, it allows the user to parameter machining process (tool
sequence, roughing and finishing passes, scales, filters, repeated cycles, resuming,
parcelling, etc.), set workpiece origin using an intuitive
dashboard that includes manual drive, automated tool measuring or memorised origin
management, and supervise the remote machining process while the user can
keep click control. This module can be used alone with its own import functions, or
directly from an external CAD system that can export tool paths. It can drive three axes
XYZ or XAZ (cylindrical machining) and even manage a motorised orientable blade under
control of 3rd or 4th axis.
Special module Kay is an independent 3D side programme. It can pick up
ISO, Isel-NCP or MasterCam-NCI files to supervise an automatic machining from 3 up
to 5 axes. It integrates normal functions for workpiece origin manual intake and
machine advanced parametering. This module may be called directly by CAD software
that can export 3D tool paths. Its cost is rather low and it can be purchased
Gawain non-indexed turning module reuses most CAD functions Galaad
offers, but adapted to simple two awis turning. Lathe parameters are independent and can
coexist with milling parameters. This turning module is yet often used by model makers on
a passive lathe they mount on their milling table to combine milling and turning
on one single machine at low cost.
Kynon programming module allows the user to create a path from simple
motion commands on the machine (1 to 5 axes) with input/output, timers,
counters, control loops or user events.
It is possible to define macros with co-ordinates and hierarchies or include
directly external graphic files. This software is mainly dedicated to users who
need to create a multi-axis path with event management. Of course, this module can reuse
any path that have been designed with Galaad.
Percival module is able to open Gerber classical & RS274-X
and Excellon files. This software calculates track & pad
contours depending on the tools that are used, and also circular
drillings for the holes to limit tool changes. Then it call drectly the machining
module to start PCB milling process.
Small append to the set of modules, Owein is an ISO/NCP text editor that
displays several views of the edited path in real-time, with current line
highlighting and immediate report of text changes. It can be used as converter
between NCI, NCP & ISO formats.