CNC Simulator Pro

user guide

1.2. Controlling the simulation

Use the Simulation control buttons to control your simulation.
From the left:
Play – Used to start the simulation. It is also used to resume the simulation after a pause.
Pause – Used to pause the simulation.
Stop – Used to stop the simulation.
Fast forward – Used to simulate at high speed (limited only by your computer hardware).
Step – Used to advance through the CNC program step by step.
These functions can also be reached from the Simulate menu. There you will also find additional functions:
Simulate from cursor - Used to start the simulation from anywhere in the CNC program.
Quick simulate - Used to simulate at maximum possible speed. The CNC code in the editor will be hidden.
Quick Simulate to next tool - Executes a quick simulation to the next tool change.
Fast Backplotting - Only creates tool paths. Useful when working with very large CNC programs.
Turbo Simulator - Used to simulate huge programs that contain hundreds of thousands of blocks. You can see the workpiece, the tool, and the toolpaths but no machine model or material for maximum performance.
Dry run - Run through the CNC program and check for errors without doing any simulation.
Please note the keyboard shortcut keys (F5, F6, etc.) can be used instead of clicking on the buttons or in the menu.
On the virtual CNC controller, there are also buttons that can be used to control the simulation.

Pause simulation

There are several ways you can pause the simulation.
The first and most obvious way is to click on the pause button during the simulation.
There is also something called Pause Points. They are small green dots in the left margin of the CNC editor, used to make the simulator pause. You create (or delete) them by clicking on the margin in front of the line you want to pause at.
The simulation will pause at each green dot, and you can continue by clicking Play, Step, or Fast Forward.
Another way, maybe less obvious, is to use M01 (Optional stop). It will only pause the simulation if the “Op. Stop” switch is activated on the virtual CNC controller.
Note! In CNC code, M01 is a control command that is used to insert a "Optional Stop" into the program. When the CNC machine reaches an M01 command, it will stop the program and wait for the operator to press a button or input a command to continue the program. This command is often used in situations where the operator needs to inspect the part being machined or perform a manual operation before continuing the program.
It's important to note that not all CNC controllers support the M01 command, and some controllers may use a different code or command to achieve a similar function. Additionally, the use of an optional stop in a CNC program may cause the program to take longer to complete, as it requires manual intervention.

Controlling the Speed of the simulation

You can simulate in various speeds. The maximum simulation speed is decided by your hardware. A modern dedicated graphics card will speed up your simulation a lot.
Please note that simulation speed has nothing to do with real machine time. A part that may take an hour to make in the real machine can take 10 seconds in the simulator, depending on your speed setting and your hardware.
So, what affects the simulation speed?
First of all, you have simulation speed controllers in the view panel and in the virtual CNC controller.
They are connected, so if you change one, the other will follow. As you can see, we call the round knob in the virtual CNC controller “Feed override %” but it is actually a simulation speed controller.
For the fastest simulation speed, drag the slider to the top or turn the knob to 200%.
Another thing that affects the simulation speed is the quality setting. If you suffer from slow simulations, try to adjust the "Solid buffer resolution" setting in the program settings.
A lower quality setting will give you faster simulations.
To simulate at maximum speed, use the Fast Forward button in combination with a low-quality setting. For maximum quality simulation at a more realistic speed, use a higher quality setting and adjust the simulation speed slider to your liking.
We highly recommend getting a good graphics card for the best simulation performance. Even an older and cheaper card will make a huge difference if your computer has slow built-in graphics capabilities.