DP Technology Corp. has announced the release of ESPRIT® 2011, the latest version of its ESPRIT flagship product.
Upgrades within the latest version of ESPRIT provide new productivity-increasing tools that focus on both the immediate needs of ESPRIT’s current users and the long- term direction of the manufacturing community.
Included in ESPRIT 2011 are a significant number of innovative programming technologies for all machining disciplines — including milling, turning, wire EDM, multitasking mill-turn, and high-speed 3- and 5-axis — in addition to notable system-wide enhancements and new analysis tools. ESPRIT 2011 is designed to run on both the Microsoft® Windows® 7™ and Microsoft® Vista™ operating systems.
New Analysis Tools in ESPRIT 2011
New to ESPRIT 2011 are a series of analysis tools — the zebra, porcupine, heat map and toolpath analysis commands — that provide graphic displays for the inspection of solid models and ease in programming.
The ‘Zebra’ command simulates the reflection of long strips of light on a shiny surface, making it easy to spot wrinkles or defects in a surface. The striped display also makes it easier to verify that two adjacent faces are in contact, are tangent, or have continuous curvature. If stripes smoothly connect from one face to another, elements are tangent. This tool can save substantial time and money by enabling the detection of part model imperfection before parts are machined.
The 'Porcupine' command displays normal vectors on faces and surfaces to aid in the visualization of changes in part curvature, which assists with the selection of ideal machining strategies.
The ‘Heat Map’ command displays surfaces rendered in different colors according to the local radius of curvature. This allows users to review minimum and maximum curvatures for the selection of the most appropriate cutting tools.
The 'toolpath analysis' command traces the position of the tool along a selected toolpath to aid in evaluating toolpath smoothness and to examine the quality of point distribution.
Improvements to ESPRIT Milling Cycles
Pocketing and trochoidal pocketing have been enhanced in ESPRIT 2011 to recognize feature properties for top blends, bottom blends and walls with different tapers. ESPRIT 2011 now finds the contact point with the feature according to the blend information.
If a pocket contains multiple sub-pockets with different tapers and multiple islands with different tapers, users can now machine those pockets with one operation.
Additionally, open-pocket toolpath now supports wrap pocketing, open islands and the “extra moves” parameter.
Chamfer milling is fast and easy in ESPRIT 2011, and blend properties have been added to chain and profile features.
This means that, when “Top Blend Type” or “Bottom Blend Type” is set to “Chamfer,” additional properties can be defined for the chamfer angle and depth. When the chamfer property is properly set on the feature, the toolpath will automatically adapt to find the touch point between the tool and the chamfer profile.
Upgrades to 3-and-5-axis ESPRIT Mold Cycles
Numerous enhancements have also been made to 3-and-5-axis cycles.
Among these upgrades is the new tangent pass extension toolpath option, which allows users to apply a tangent extension at the two extremities of open passes. This new option has been added to parallel planes, Z-level and between-curves finishing, as well as to 5-axis composite milling.
For all 3-and-5-axis SolidMill® Mold cycles, “Retract Optimization” has been updated with a new option called “Within Operation” that optimizes retracts within the operation. The tool starts and ends at the full clearance height.
Among several enhancements made to all 5-axis mold cycles is a new option for controlling the orientation of the tool axis within the composite cycle. This new “Normal to Model” orientation strategy keeps the tool axis perpendicular to model surfaces regardless of the selected drive surface. This new strategy is advantageous when a knitted surface is selected as a drive surface for a projected toolpath (‘Machining Pattern’ set to ‘Project Parametric Pattern’ or ‘Project Spiral’).
Upgrades to ESPRIT Turning Cycles
SolidTurn® drilling has been enhanced in ESPRIT 2011 with the addition of “Full Clearance” as an option for “Return Plane.” The advantage of adding the “Full Clearance” option to the drilling cycle is that the user can set and view the distance on the technology page.
To better support Swiss-style turning, a new lead-out option, called “Edge Break,” has been added to ESPRIT 2011. Swiss-style lathes utilize a guide bushing to support the bar stock for better rigidity. Occasionally, it is necessary to retract the turned stock back into the guide bushing. If there is a burr on the outer diameter (OD) of the stock, the guide bushing could jam or be damaged when the stock retracts. The new “Edge Break” option for the lead-out move will create a chamfer move to break the edge of the stock at the OD.
Upgrades to ESPRIT Wire EDM Cycles
In many 4-axis wire EDM machining situations, users need the ability to thread the wire at an angle to match the tilt of a cavity or when a wire cannot be threaded vertically.
That need has been met in ESPRIT 2011, in which EDM 4-axis features can now be modified to add a tilted thread angle for 4-axis contouring and pocketing operations.
Also included is improved automatic recognition of dies, holes and punches from solid models. Once the part type is selected, ESPRIT does the rest automatically.
System-Wide Upgrades in ESPRIT 2011
System-wide upgrades within ESPRIT 2011 increase ease-of-use and productivity, and include the enhanced management of post-processor files and ESPRIT updates.
Post Processors files are now managed in the machine set-up, which allows users to associate one or more post processers with a specific machine. This upgrade translates to faster access to NC code and better management of NC code programs, support for multiple post processors, and machine “memory” regarding which post processor should be used.
As ESPRIT updates are now managed directly inside ESPRIT, users can now link to the DP Technology Web site to check for, download and install ESPRIT updates.
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