Apr 30, 2011

iMachining - a revolution in CAM technology and high productivity milling

SolidCAM has launched its revolutionary iMachining™ CAM software, a major part of its latest SolidCAM2011 release.

iMachining™ is a giant leap forward in Tool-Path technology reducing cutting times by up to 70%. iMachining™ achieves this by optimizing tool engagement and cutting feed through the entire tool-path therefore allowing much deeper and more efficient cutting.

iMachining™ is driven by a knowledge-based Technology Wizard, which considers the machine being used, the material being cut and the entire geometry and material of the cutting tool. This ensures the tool load is constant which in turn increases tool-life and makes it possible to machine with the full length of the cutter.

Most conventional CAM software will cut deep features in small steps to ensure the tool is not overloaded and to minimize the impact of over-engagement. With iMachining™, programmers can confidently cut to the full depth of the tool in a single pass, as cutter engagement is completely controlled by the technology wizard generating smooth morphing tool-paths. Furthermore, the software automatically avoids sudden direction changes and sharp corners, eliminating shock loading on the tool, and enabling the maximum volume of material to be removed in a single pass.

iMachining™ optimizes the feeds and speeds through the technology wizard for each individual component and setup taking into account all the machine specifics (Spindle power, max feed / speed etc.), all the cutting tool data (number of teeth, helix angle, cutting length, tool material etc.) and all the material properties By combining all this information and then selecting the level of aggressiveness for machining - matching it to the rigidity of the setup - iMachining™ produces a safe and smooth tool-path which will routinely halve machining times.

Algorithms within iMachining™ eliminate air cutting thus concentrating on areas where excess material is located keeping the tool in contact with the work-piece at the maximum. iMachining™ has the ability to subdivide pockets into areas that can be cut with iMachining’s morphing tool-paths. The intelligent separation routines use iMachining’s unique channelling tool-paths to divide the pockets up into areas that can be efficiently machined using the standard imachining morphing tool-paths which smoothly remove the remaining material.

iMachining™ also includes ‘rest’ and ‘finish’ operations to remove uncut areas left by the larger roughing tool, both strategies utilise the intelligent morphing technology which completely controls the cut at every position.

By considering every aspect of the machining operation, the intelligence and technology built into iMachining™ enables parts to be cut in a fraction of the normal time by making full use of the capabilities of cutters and by generating a smooth and safe toolpath. This produces very significant savings in cost and time on all material types and is particularly effective on hard materials.