NCG CAM Solutions Ltd, UK has officially released NCG CAM v11. This major release includes a new true surface machining option, n ew analysis functions, improvements to along curve passes (2D geometry) , the ability to create 'clean' curves from the surfaces and improvements to the folder management for databases with a large number of folders.
A demonstration version of NCG CAM v11 is now available to download - http://www.ncgcam.com/demorequest.html.
NCG CAM has historically machined triangulations, rather than true surfaces. Machining the triangulations is quick to calculate and check against for gouge free machining.
There are a number of advantages to machining the true surface data as opposed to machine the triangulations. Machining the surfaces is more accurate (though machining the triangulations is within the specified tolerance) and will provide a better surface finish.
One disadvantage is that the calculations to ensure the machining is gouge free will take longer in most cases, (calculation time being the disadvantage). For parts requiring a polished surface, the true surface machining will create savings further down the line.
Machining the surfaces also spaces the points in the NC Tape file more uniformly, giving a better / smoother machine movement on some machine tools.
True surface machining has been added into NCG CAM v11, as an option. The user can choose to machine the true surfaces, which is slower but gives a very high quality surface finish, or they can machine with the normal high speed machining time.
The aim is that customers cutting hardened steels or electrodes (for EDM solid sink erosion) they do not want to have to hand finish should not be able to see the fine witness lines from the triangulation that can be seen on some occasions (depends on the curvature of the part and triangulation tolerance).
New analysis functions have been added to NCG CAM v11. This is a graphical display using a colour overlay and the cursor tool tip to show information about the part that can help with cutter selection and possibly how the job is approached tool-path wise.
The main analysis functions are:
Curvature will allow the user to quickly find out what the smallest radii is on the part to aid cutter selection. The radii limits (min and max) can be defined / limited by the user, the user can also filter internal / external radii. The colour overlay provides a quick visual guide, the cursor tool-tip will then provide a more accurate radii size.
Draft will show draft angles and the cursors contact angle. This will help show where a tapered cutter could be used. When used with a suitable boundary, this works for 3+2 machining also.
Stock will graphically show the depth of the remaining stock as a coloured overlay, using a 3D stock model and the triangulated surfaces. The tool-tip again providing the accurate depth of remaining stock. This will work for 3-axis and 3+2 axis jobs.
General improvements have been made in NCG CAM v11 to the along curve machining to make it more useful for simple 2D machining.
The main improvements are:
Multiple points can now be pre-defined and used as start hints. The ability to specify a set of start hint points has been introduced in the linking, allowing several curves to be machined in a single operation. This enhancement has been applied to some other strategies to improve the linking of multiple areas.
A pass overlap has been introduced for closed curves; this is to allow the cutter to go past the start point to ensure a better finish.
The pass extension is to allow the toolpath to extend beyond the ends open curves, so the cutter can start and finish off the part, giving a better result and cutting conditions. The extension can be applied at the start, end or both.
When linking a closed profile, NCG CAM v11 will attempt to place the lead in / out towards the middle of a flat section (not on a corner or arc) wherever possible; giving automatic positioning of start points.
The ability to create 'clean' curves from the surfaces has been added in NCG CAM v11 to extend the scope of the 2D machining with cutter compensation.
This has improved simple curve creation and manipulation, mainly to:
Create curves from surface edges with true arcs
Change direction of curves outside the machining dialog
Break, extend and close curves
The management of large or complicated databases has also been improved in NCG CAM v11. A folder can now be created in the tree view on the left side of the graphics window, and the user can drag other folders inside to be able to clean up the tree view, having a roughing folder, finish pre heat treatment and finishing folders for example.
A demonstration version of the NCG CAM software, is available to download - http://www.ncgcam.com/demorequest.html . The demonstration version of NCG CAM has unlimited usage and while there are restrictions to the machining output, it can also be used in its basic form as a FREE .iges viewer.
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