Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General questions

What is IRBCAM?

IRBCAM is an Offline Robot Programming (OLP) and simulation software. A key feature is the ability to generate robot specific code from imported CAD/CAM files (e.g. APT format). There are many potential uses cases, however the most popular use cases is continuous path robotic material processing (e.g. milling, cutting, glueing or seam-welding).

The first version of IRBCAM was launched in 2005, and has since been trusted by robot professionals in industry, small companies, DIYers and in robot education worldwide. IRBCAM is recognised for its ease of use, realiability and affordability.

In 2024, IRBCAM was relaunched as a web-based software subscription service.

How can I get help and support with IRBCAM?

Before you send a support request please do the following:

  • Check if your question may have been answered already in this FAQ or in the Forum.
  • Make sure you are using the latest version of IRBCAM - refresh the browser window using F5 or preferably test in an private/incognito browser window. See also this forum post.
  • Check if you meet the (see below).
  • We limit the extent of our support to the IRBCAM software service, and in general we are not able to provide support related to the operation of the robot, calibration issues, hardware troubleshooting or robot maintenance. However, in case you have a valid subscription with us, please get in touch with us. In case we are not able to support you directly, we may be able to connect you with someone that might be able help you out.
How can I learn to use IRBCAM?

A good way to learn how to use IRBCAM is to view our video based tutorials and step-by-step guides. You can find the tutorials here. All accounts are preloaded with several example projects which are preconfigured with robot, tools and path. The example projects correspons with the stations used in the tutorials. After you have logged in you will find the example projects in the “Examples” category under the Open Project menu item. If you have an interest in a tailored onboarding or training course please get in touch with us at sales@irbcam.com.

What are the system requirements and recommendations?

IRBCAM is a web based service and is used from within your browser. There is no need to download and install any software. A recently updated version of your preferred browser is recommended. Please refer to this page for a more detailed description of system requirements and recommendations.

What is the status of the desktop version of IRBCAM?

All sales of the old IRBCAM desktop version is terminated, and the software is no longer maintained or supported. If you need a renewal license code for your legacy IRBCAM, please send an email to technical@irbcam.com.

Do I need a robot to use IRBCAM?

Availability of or access to a robot is not required while using IRBCAM for simulation. You only need a robot once your are ready to deploy and run the generated code.

What skills do I need to use IRBCAM?

If you have used IRBCAM or other OLP (Offline Robot Programming) software, the functionalities and user experience should feel familiar. There are no particular skills required. However to successfully and efficiently use IRBCAM a basic understanding of robots, coordinate systems, and robot terminology is useful. To run code on a real robot you also need to know how to operate your robot.

User Interface, Navigation and Sessions

Should I expect the to wait for the application to load every time? After login you may need to wait a bit for the application to load and initialize (about 30sek on a 10mbit connection). However, the inital loading is only needed on the very first login, and after a new version has been deployed. As long as you use the application within the same computer/browser there should be no need to either load or login between your sessions.
How do I zoom, pan and rotate?
  • Zoom in: mouse scrollwheel up
  • Zoom out: mouse scrollwheel down
  • Rotate: mouse left click + move
  • Pan: mouse right click + move
Do you support any keyboard shortcuts?

Alt+<key> is used for quick navigation. The underscored letter in the menu items indicate which key that should be used in combination with Alt.

What units are used?
  • Distances and points are in millimeters
  • Rotation unit is either Euler (3 angles in degrees) or Quaternion (4 values).
What counts as a session and what happens if I exceed the limit?

Everytime you login, you consume a session. If you exceed the number of valid sessions, you will automatically be logged out of the oldest session. Normally one session applies to subscriptions but this is subject to change.

  • Multiple regular windows/tabs in the same browser instance counts as one session
  • Every private/incognito window/tab in the same browser instance counts as sessions
  • Every window/tab in different browsers on the same machine or on other computers counts as sessions

Project

What is a project?

A project refers to the full robot setup and includes configuration for the robot, tool, toolpath and optional rotary table, linear track, and various geometries and assets.

How do I create a project?

You can use the Project Wizard or manually create one. For instance to add a robot to the project you select Robot in the Edit menu and similarly to add a tool, you select Tool.

Where are my data stored?

While you work the data is stored locally in your browser. When you actively save or when a periodic automatic save is triggered, then the project data is stored in our cloud service.

How do I access the software

You access the software from your browser using this URL. Note that you will need an account to log in.

How do I edit my project?

If you have already loaded a robot and add another one, the current robot will be replaced. If you want to remove a robot without adding a new one, you can do so by selecting the robot you want to remove. To remove a tool, linear track or rotary table the same procedure applies. To remove everything from your project you can choose to create a new empty project.

Can I add geometries to the project to represent my feedstock or obstacles such as tables or walls?

We have support for the following parametric geometries: Cuboid, spheroid, cylinder and cone. You can also upload a custom geometry. For more details see the question “Can I import custom geometries and meshes and what formats do you support?”

Is it possible to import custom tools?

A robot can be used with a wide range of tools, and for that reason we support uploading of your own tool. You can find a list of supported file formats under the question “Can I import custom geometries and meshes and what formats do you support?”

You may find this tutorial useful if you want to import a custom tool:

Can I import custom geometries and meshes and what formats do you support?

Import of custom geometries is supported using the following file formats: gltf, glb, wrl, stl, obj, fbx and dae. If your asset consist of multiple files such as a gltf file with binary mesh-files you can also upload it as a zip-file archive.

What toolpath formats do you support?

The following import formats are supported. APT, CSV and JSON. Note that 5-axis toolpaths are not supported in all the subscriptions.

You may find this tutorial useful if you want to generate a toolpath:

How do I run the generated code on my robot?

When exporting robot code the user can use settings to configure parameters and preferences for the generated code. The end-user needs to transfer/upload the exported code to the robot. How to transfer and run the code is different between robot manufacturers. Many robots support uploading using protocols such as FTP and Samba (SMB). Please note that operating a robot can be dangerous and the robot owner and operator is responsible for complying with safety regulations.

Robots, External Axis, and Tools

Do you support <model> robot from <manufacturer>?

IRBCAM has an extensive library of both old and new robots. For an up-to-date list of which robots we support please create a free account, login, and check the library. Please note that the availability of robots in a particular subscription is subject to change.

What if my robot is not on the list of supported robots?

Development and maintenance of IRBCAM is extensively based on feedback from our end-users. Get in touch with us for an inquiry about robots you are missing. If you are a robot manufacturer and would like us to include your robot(s) into our library please get in touch with us.

Do you support <model> tool (end-effector) from <manufacturer>?

The library includes a limited set of tools such as generic tool, weldgun and various spindles. The Generic Tool is parametric and you can use it to emulate a wide range of tools. For an up-to-date list of which tools we support please create a free account, login, and check the library.

What if my tool is not on the list of supported tools? * If you have CAD files you can upload your own tool. More details are found under the question "Can I import custom geometries and meshes and what formats do you support?" * If you are a manufacturer and would like us to include your tool(s) into our library please [get in touch](mailto:sales@irbcam.com) with us.
Do you support <model> tool (nth-axis, rotary and linear tracks) from <manufacturer>

We have support for both rotary tables and linear tracks.

You may find these tutorials useful if you want to use a rotary table or linear track:

How are the tool definitions in the CAM software and in IRBCAM related? The tool parameters in the CAM software are used to tell the CAM functions how to plan the cuts. There is no direct relation between these parameters and the tool data in IRBCAM. The tool parameters in the CAM software should normally be given as the numbers L1, L2, D1 and D2, see the picture below:

image

If the robot has a fixed tool, then the tool data in IRBCAM will be constant (describing the tip of the tool relative to the mounting flange of joint 6).

If the robot requires manual tool change, then the tool must be recalibrated every time and the tool data in IRBCAM updated.

If the robot has automatic tool change, a function can be written on the robot controller to change the tool data parameters as part of the tool change.

ABB

When is it recommended to export as PRG and when to export as MOD?

There can only be one PRG file in the controller memory, but many MODs. If your toolpath is not too large and you do not need to keep any other main programs in memory, you can export as PRG. If you have large toolpaths which does not fit within the limits of the controller the you should export as MOD. You can find som more details in this post on the forum.

Troubleshooting

I am not able to solve the path - what adjustments and strategies can I use to successfully solve it?

This issue may be caused by several issues. Our Analyzer tool, which is available under Analyze/Optimizer menu, is an efficient way to find settings that will enable you to solve the path. If your toolpath is a composition of multiple toolpaths e.g. one path for the top and one for each side. This can cause large discontinuities which are not solveable. This tutorial shows a strategy on how to approach such use-cases using the Allow large reorient option.

I experienced a large discontinuity in a configured path - what could be wrong and how can I solve it?

When you import APT files make sure to have sufficiently number of digits in the decimal numbers. Use at least 6 digits to avoid issues with numerical resolution.

Subscription, Billing and Payment

Do you offer a demo version or free trial?

You can create an account for free. The free account have restrictions on features such as path import, code export and save projects. We understand that you may want to try the full functionality before you buy. To request a time limited free trial get in touch.

I am a student - how can I get access to IRBCAM?

We offer educational licenses via our partner universities. Please check with your university and the department offering robotics courses and education if you are eligible to get access. If not, you are welcome to create a free account and purchase a subscription.

I am affiliated with a university or school and provide courses and education related to robotics - how can I integrate IRBCAM into my courses?

We offer educational packages to universities and educational institutions. Course administrators can use our administrative interface to invite, grant and revoke access to the student. E.g. after a course or semester is finished access to all studens can be revoked. The educational packages are under continuous development. Please get in touch if this is of interest.

How do I purchase a subscription?

To purchase a subscription you first need to create an account. You can sign up for an account here. When you are logged in, go can use this link to buy.

Do I need a credit card to subscribe?

Monthly subscriptions are only offered with monthly subscription with credit card payment. On annual subscriptions we offer optional invoiced payment.

Is VAT inclusive or exclusive?

All prices are exclusive VAT. For private customers and business users in Norway, VAT is added at checkout. For private users in the EU VAT is also added. For business users in the EU, VAT is nod added and the reverse charge procedure applies. For business users outside of EU, VAT is not added and country specific rules applies. In order to benefit from VAT deduction business customers must normally add their VAT number at the checkout. If you have any questions please get in touch with support.