Apr 26, 2010

Delcam's latest machining and inspection software to be exhibited in Australia and New Zealand

Camplex, Delcam’s Sales Partner for Australia and New Zealand, will demonstrate the company’s latest machining and inspection software at two events next month. The first is the EMEX exhibition to be held in Auckland from 4th to 6th May, where the company will launch the Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM system in New Zealand on stand 3025 and demonstrate new versions of Delcam’s complete CAM range.

During the following week, Camplex will be on two stands at the AUSTECH exhibition to be held in Sydney from 11th to 14th May. New releases of the PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems, plus the latest version of the PowerINSPECT inspection software, will be demonstrated on stand C075, while the Australian launch of Delcam for SolidWorks will take place on a joint stand, B086, to be shared by Camplex and local SolidWorks reseller, Solidtec.

PowerMILL 2010, which will be shown in both countries for the first time, is the first 64-bit version of the software. 64-bit technology removes the memory limitations of 32-bit computers so giving more efficient toolpath generation, especially when machining large or complex parts.

The PowerMILL 2010 release also continues to improve user productivity by extending the use of the latest background-processing and multi-threading technologies available in recent hardware. The combination of these two developments is estimated to reduce calculation times by up to 25%, although this will depend on the size and complexity of the part.

More than 50 major enhancements have been included to give faster and easier programming, more efficient toolpaths and better surface quality in the finished parts. These include new strategies for offset roughing, corner clearance, five-axis machining and constant-Z machining, plus more efficient rest roughing, and smoother toolpaths for semi-finishing and finishing.

FeatureCAM 2010, the latest release of Delcam’s feature-based CAM system, also takes advantage of the latest hardware to make its unique approach to feature-based machining even quicker. Most important of these developments is support for multi-threading when generating 3D toolpaths. This allows calculations to be spread across multiple cores in dual- or quad-core computers. Average time savings are around 25% on a dual-core PC.

Improved algorithms have been introduced within the user interface to speed up the editing of features and to reduce the time needed to switch between machine-tool set-ups, while more efficient handling of stock models will reduce the memory required for calculations and so enhance performance still further.

The most innovative new programming option in FeatureCAM 2010 is combined drilling and milling functionality that allows more efficient hole creation on machines fitted with automatic tool changing. This generates roughing and finishing toolpaths to create any holes for which the appropriate drill is not loaded, using the existing tooling within the machine’s crib.

The new release of PowerINSPECT incorporates automatic surface inspection and the ability to use GD&T data from CATIA models, plus improvements to the handling of point cloud data and changes to the interface to make the software even easier to use.

The automatic surface inspection for CNC CMMs and machine tools uses raster strategies taken from Delcam’s CAM software. The user can set the distance between each point to be measured and the stepover between each line of points to develop the grid of data to be taken.

The ability to extract GD&T data from CATIA models allows designers to ensure that the correct design intent is measured in any component. The designer can specify the required tolerances as the design develops and also indentify the datums to be used for the inspection routine. The PowerINSPECT user can extract this information as the basis for his quality control routines.

Delcam for SolidWorks is, of course, fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks. It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model will be reflected automatically in the toolpaths.

The system is based on Delcam’s proven machining algorithms that are already used by more than 30,000 customers around the world. These strategies ensure increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish.

The software includes FeatureCAM’s Automatic Feature Recognition system which automatically extracts detailed feature information from the SolidWorks model. The system not only recognizes holes and pockets within the model but also groups similar holes by size and type automatically. It indentifies all the detail within the model, such as draft on pocket walls and any fillets or chamfers within the pocket. Once the features have been identified, Delcam for SolidWorks undertakes automatic selection of cutting tools, machining strategies, and feeds and speeds, to complete the programming operation.