May 24, 2010

Delcam’s complete CAM range on show in Vietnam

Delcam will demonstrate its complete range of CAM systems at the MTA Vietnam metalworking exhibition to be held in Ho Chi Minh City from 6th to 9th July. The complete range of Delcam machining software comprises PowerMILL for high-speed and five-axis machining, FeatureCAM for feature-based programming, PartMaker for Swiss-type lathes and turn-mill equipment, and ArtCAM for engraving and routing. Together, these programs comprise the world’s most comprehensive range of CAM software from a single suppler. This broad coverage is one of the reasons why Delcam has been declared the world’s leading specialist supplier of NC software and services for the last ten years by US analysts Cimdata.

The Delcam development team is ranked as the largest in the CAM industry by CIMdata. The latest results of their work will be on show in Vietnam, with new versions of all the Delcam programs being demonstrated.

PowerMILL 2010 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 new 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.

Major highlights of the 2010 PartMaker release include the ability to perform five-axis simultaneous milling on multi-axis lathes, more powerful milling functionality, enhanced grooving routines, faster tool path creation, improved solid model-based programming tools and better programming of thread whirling.

In addition, PartMaker 2010 features the option for a direct interface to all the advanced five-axis machining strategies currently supported by PowerMILL, including blade and blisk machining, as well as its highly sophisticated three-axis strategies. PowerMILL tool paths can be imported directly into PartMaker, manipulated and synchronized on PartMaker’s Process Table, and then simulated and post-processed directly from that working environment.

The major change in the 2010 version of ArtCAM is the new interface. This is fully customisable, meaning the every user can set up the software to give quicker access to the commands that they use most frequently. Similarly, commands that are rarely used can be hidden from the initial menu choices. This releases much more of the screen for visualisation of the model as the design progresses.

Another change that will increase productivity is the ability to use many more commands on the 3D model directly. Previously, much of ArtCAM’s modelling had to be carried out on a 2D view, and then calculated and visualised in 3D. Direct editing in the 3D window will give more immediate feedback, and so allow faster creation and modification of designs.