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Delcam’s Boris has a big impact at Hermle Open House

The milled and finished aluminium Boris stands around half a metre high and weighs in at almost exactly two kilograms

Visitors to the 2013 Hermle Open House held in Gosheim, Germany, earlier this year were quite amazed when, after roughly 20 hours of machining, an approximately half-metre-high Boris was "born” – once the supporting residual material had been removed from the legs and antennae during the final working stage.

"Boris the Spider" is the Delcam mascot and a feature of the company’s logo.  Visitors to the well-attended four-day Open House, which took place at Hermle’s headquarters in Swabian Gosheim, were able to experience the creation of the giant Boris live.  The model was milled on a five-axis Hermle C50U, equipped with rotary table and Heidenhain iTNC530 control, from a 145 mm thick aluminium disc, 700 mm diameter.

The main challenge in the project lay in machining its extremely delicate nature despite its considerable size – the finished model weighed around two kilograms.  "In order to prevent any deformation of the workpiece, it was necessary to avoid both any overly high cutting pressure and any excessive heat build-up,” explained Marcus Warga of Delcam, who was involved in the generation of the highly complex NC program using the high-end programming software PowerMILL.

With the high risk of collisions during the machining due to the impressive dimensions of the spider, relatively long tools were utilised with a minimum length of 250 mm.  This placed particular demands on the programming.

Milling took place on a five-axis basis exclusively, both with positional (3+2) machining and continuous machining.  The visitors were particularly impressed with the axis movements when finishing Boris's abdomen; these clearly demonstrated just how precisely the Hermle C50U works when programmed with PowerMILL.

20 August 2013

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