Missler Software is providing CAM solutions to aerospace sub-contractors in France. With such references as Turbomeca, Sagem, MBDA, Mecachrome, Airbus Cimpa... TopSolid’Cam is widely recognised as the leading CAM solution in this field.
TopSolid'Cam is the CAD/CAM solution chosen by many aerospace companies thanks to its capacity to respond to the specific demands of this sector: high quality and reliability as well as the need to reduce production costs. Discover TopSolid’Cam at the Bourget, Hall 4, Stand EF125.
Here are some of TopSolid’Cam’s key functions which enable aerospace sub-contractors machine parts more quickly and with increased precision:
Cycles dedicated to parts with thin walls
Pockets, commonly found in aerospace parts, often have very thin and fragile walls. TopSolid’Cam 2011 allows the operator to carry out finishing operations on these walls using Z level cycles regardless of the pocket depth. Such cycles help prevent unnecessary weakening of the already thin walls and reduce significantly programming times. In addition multi-pocketing allows the automatic running of processes on faces detected and selected by the operator which enables faster machining times.
TopSolid’Cam has real time stock management functions that enable the software to know, at all times, the condition of the stock before each machining operation. Thanks to this powerful function within TopSolid’Cam tool paths are calculated for each machining operation based on the stock left behind after previous operations. This material management technique is especially effective when making changes to the machining procedure by removing or reversing operations. If the condition of the stock changes because an operation is withdrawn, the following operation is automatically modified. TopSolid’Cam’s stock management function is a key function for all TopSolid’Cam users. Nowhere is this function more important than in the aerospace field where parts and productions plans are often changed so it is essential that TopSolid’Cam manages the stock.
HSM dedicated cycles (High Speed machining)
TopSolid’Cam proposes a broad range of machining strategies designed to reduce machining times, while producing almost perfect surfaces. To facilitate HSM techniques all tool paths are created by adding connecting radius and passes of various shapes. The use of trochoidal passes ensures a constant force on the tool and optimal cutting conditions. TopSolid’Cam’s HSM application anticipates the forward movement changes in advance in the angular areas of the part and slow down or accelerate the machining if necessary. It is also possible to use B-Splines in the ISO code to facilitate the free flow of the tool path that will be read by the numerical control. HSM machines often need a maximum of information to optimize their operations. TopSolid’Cam is capable of performing complex calculations at an incredible speed. These algorithms, which are usually long and require a lot of resources, are parallelized in order to make the most of today’s multi-core processors. This allows the machine to be optimized.
5 axis roll machining of surfaces that cannot be developed
Aerospace parts are often manufactured using a different CAD/CAM software to the one used to design the parts. As we know many of these parts are very complex. TopSolid’Cam uses powerful algorithms that are capable, for example, of roll machining a warped surface, even if it cannot be developed. TopSolid’Cam’s powerful algorithms enable an optimization of the speed and precision of the machining process. The aerospace sub-contractor reduces thus production times while guaranteeing high quality, correctly toleranced parts.
Machining of composite materials for longer tool life
TopSolid’Cam proposes sinusoidal movements which mean that tool wear is equal throughout the entire length of the tool. This function is very important in the cutting of carbon fibre parts, which are notably used in the aerospace industry. Carbon fibre is a highly abrasive material and is machined by milling machines equipped with diamond-tipped or very hard metal tools which are very expensive. When the length of the tool is longer than the depth of the material to be machined (which is the case in aerospace parts) it is common sense to try to use the rest of the tool. Such sinusoidal movements offered by TopSolid’Cam prolong thus the lifespan of these tools and thereby generate cost savings.
Programing of mill turn machines (multifunction)
The use of mill turn machines is widespread in the aerospace field to machine complex parts. TopSolid’Cam is recognized as being a leader in the programming of these machines. In order to program a mill turn machines a CAD/CAM software capable of programming all machining processes: turning, 2 axes milling, 3 axis milling, 4 & 5 axis continued milling, 4 & 5 axis continued turning, synchronization and complex simulation. It is also essential to work with a software that is capable of simulating, in a realistic manner, what happens on the machine in order to reduce implementation times, prevent collisions, optimize cycle times, etc.
Thanks to its unique position on the market of being able to manage (in 1 software solution) turning, 2, 3, 4 and 5 axis positioned and continuous milling as well as its very close relations with multifunction machine manufacturers TopSolid’Cam is today recognised as being the leader in the programming of mill turn machines.
Knowledge and management of machine kinematics
TopSolid’Cam offers the possibility to conceptualize or import machine tool models used in the manufacturing plant. The geometric definition of these machines enables a perfect simulation of what happens during machining. The kinematic engine used is TopSolid’s CAD kernel, the same as used by certain machine tool manufacturers. The tool path verification is based on the complete machine kinematics, its precise dimensions, its capacities and its courses. Unlike many CAM solutions on the market today, TopSolid’Cam does not only simulate the tool but also the machine, the part and the complete machining environment. Such a high-performance simulation enables the operator to control and verify movements in all directions and to visualize the behaviour of the tools, tool holder and the complete machine environment and all potential collisions are highlighted graphically.
In several cases in 5 axis continuous machining it is possible to avoid collisions by the angle orientation of the tools which staying in contact with the tool. Thanks to its kinematic engine TopSolid’Cam automatically modifies the orientation of tool angles to avoid all collisions between the machine, the tool turret, the holding fixture and the part. In cases where collisions cannot be avoided TopSolid’Cam will not permit the machining of tool paths which cause these collisions.
5 axes continuous machines are regularly used in the aerospace industry. TopSolid’Cam 2011 enables its users to replace the machine being used with another - there are no limitations concerning the new machine or its kinematics. This new function offers huge time gains for workshop managers who can, for example, replace a Mill Turn machine with a lathe or a milling machine, an underused 5 axis machine with a 3 axis machine, etc. In addition the possibility to change machine offers great flexibility to fully exploit the potential of all machines present in the workshop.
Aerospace parts are often very complex. It is important to know if a part can be machined on a given part. TopSolid’Cam advises which areas of the part cannot be machined on the machine selected by the operator.
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