Jun 28, 2011

SmartCAM V18 Features New Rest-Milling Roughing, Improved Modeling & Toolpath Editing

New Feature-based Holemaking Also Added.

SmartCAMcnc has announced the release of SmartCAM® V18.0. Version 18.0 delivers new and improved milling functionality to the SmartCAM milling suite, and several modeling and toolpath editing enhancements to the entire SmartCAM suite of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system software. General release of the software is expected for June of this year.

The SmartCAM product family consists of applications for Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM. Version 18.0 is built on two central themes: core milling improvements, and core modeling and toolpath editing enhancements requested by customers.

The new Rest-Mill Roughing capabilities, one of three a major core milling improvements in SmartCAM V18.0 milling applications, allow users to easily identify areas of remaining material, then machine those areas using a new Region Rough process. The Region Rough process machines the rest mill regions by automatically switching between profiling and pocketing strategies, depending on whether a region is open or closed. These new capabilities make it extremely fast and easy to re-machine features using progressively smaller tools.

In addition to the Rest Mill Roughing improvements, V18.0 introduces new Feature-based Hole-Making capabilities. Solid model hole-feature recognition has been enhanced to automatically identify compound hole-features, and create corresponding hole-feature elements which include full parametric detail of the hole. A new Hole Making process allows toolpath to be created by applying hole-making tools to a group of hole-feature elements, and automatically determining the start levels and hole depths from the input hole-features. The user has complete control over the hole-feature sequence, and the hole making processes can be modified and regenerated at ay time. These capabilities allow full automation for the creation of hole-making toolpath for common features, thereby saving time and ensuring accuracy and repeatability.

“Our last SmartCAM release focused on solids machining improvements in our advanced milling applications. For V18 we decided to concentrate on core milling functionality that will also benefit our SmartCAM Production Milling users,” said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAMcnc’s Senior Product Manager. “The wireframe rest-mill roughing and feature-based holemaking are fundamental capabilities that will be a huge time saver for all our milling users.”

The third core milling improvement found in SmartCAM V18.0 is a set of enhancements related to the Helical Milling. Helix elements can now be created with left- or right-offset properties, and can be offset during verification and code generation. The Thread Milling process has been enhanced to take advantage of the new helix offsetting capabilities, as well as adding support for single point tools, tapered threads, multiple-side passes, and a user-specified lead extension. Additionally, changes to the code generator provide greater control over the output of straight and tapered spirals. These improvements are in direct response to frequent user requests for improved thread-milling support.

Additionally a number of customer-requested core modeling and toolpath editing improvements can be found in all SmartCAM V18.0 applications, including machinable system fonts, a clip-to-intersection editing tool, improvements to toolpath verification and enhanced geometry layer mapping.

Machinable Geometry from System Fonts now provides a full variety of font choices to the user. When a font is selected, SmartCAM extracts and scales the outline curves of the font and converts it to lines, polylines and arcs for use as machinable geometry.

The Clip-to-Intersection Editing Tool provides a method to split and remove geometry segments with a single click. This feature makes it remarkably easy to convert construction geometry into final part profiles.

Two requested enhancements have been made to SmartCAM's Showpath Toolpath Verification functionality. A new Showpath option allows the verification to be restricted to only the portion of the model within the viewing window, and new configuration settings allow the tool motion speeds to be customized to better match the user’s system capabilities and preferences. These two options allow a more efficient use of this heavily employed feature.

New Layer Mapping and Filtering Options allow better organization of the user’s part geometry when importing CAD data into SmartCAM. SmartCAM layers can be pre-named and specific CAD layers can be directly mapped to SmartCAM layers. Additionally, specified layers not required for the manufacturing process can be filtered out of the import entirely. These features allows companies that use standardized CAD modeling layers to dramatically reduce the number of initial steps required to begin building toolpath for the model.

“We’re very happy with the new core improvements based on SmartCAM customer requests,” Douglas went on to say. “The new Clip to Intersection is a huge timesaver when editing wireframe geometry and toolpath. And the addition of machinable Windows Fonts is another frequently requested feature that will provide benefit to all SmartCAM users.”