Aug 2, 2011

Delcam to show new machining options in its CAM software at South-Tec

Delcam will show the latest versions of all of its CAM systems at South-Tec 2011, to be held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 11th to 13th October.

Together, these programs; PowerMILL for high-speed and five-axis machining, FeatureCAM for feature-based programming, PartMaker for Swiss-type lathes and turn-mill equipment, ArtCAM for engraving and routing, and the Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM system for SolidWorks; 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 demonstrated at the show, with new 2012 versions.

PowerMILL 2012 will include a number of new strategies to make programming faster and machining more efficient with the best-possible surface finish. One such enhancement is flowline machining. With flowline machining, the toolpath is divided between a pair of drive curves in a constant number of passes, rather than having a varying number of passes with a constant stepover. The toolpath will have its start and end passes on the drive curves, with the intermediate passes blending between them. This approach gives smoother results since it ensures that each pass travels over the full length of the area, rather than leaving the part, or making major changes in direction, during the pass. It produces a better surface finish on the part and minimizes wear on the cutter and the machine tool.

In FeatureCAM 2012, a number of the improvements have been made to make the program even easier to use. For example, a range of keyboard shortcuts have been added, including isometric view options. In addition, warning or error messages can be displayed simply by hovering over the relevant icon in the Operations List.

Toolpath editing has also been made much easier. Toolpaths are displayed more clearly, selection of toolpaths has been simplified and an "undo” option added. Target part comparison has been extended to cover multi-axis milling operations. This allows the user to compare a model of the desired final shape with the shape achieved by the programmed toolpaths. It provides a quick check of any material remaining on the part, and of any gouges or collisions.

Major highlights of PartMaker 2012 include the introduction of new simulations modules, in particular Kinematic Machine Simulation modules for the enhanced simulation of multi-axis milling centres, including 4-axis and 5-axis vertical machining centres and horizontal machining centres with multi-part tombstone fixtures. 3D simulation to support the simulation of new machine tool architectures including the latest in five-axis machining from such leading builders as Star, Citizen and Tsugami as also been enhanced. In addition, PartMaker 2012 includes a powerful and wide array of sophisticated machining for 3, 4 and 5-axis surface machining which is based on the same algorithms found in PowerMILL.