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Delcam’s complete CADCAM range on show at Northern Manufacturing

Delcam’s new Vortex toolpath strategy offers faster area clearance in a range of materials

Delcam will demonstrate its complete range of CADCAM software on stand B85 at the Northern Manufacturing exhibition to be held at Event City, Manchester, on 2nd and 3rd October.  The main focus will be on the new Vortex strategy for high-speed area clearance in the 2014 release of Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system.

Vortex, for which Delcam has a patent pending, has been developed by the company specifically to gain the maximum benefit from solid carbide tooling, in particular those designs that can give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.  It can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining based on stock models or reference toolpaths.

The benefits of using the Vortex strategy will vary depending on a number of factors, including the material and shape being cut, and the machine tool and cutting tools being used.  A series of trials run by Delcam on different machine tools within its Advanced Manufacturing Facility has shown that a time saving of at least 40% is not untypical, with the biggest percentage savings being found when cutting tool steel on a Huron machine with SGS Z-Carb MD cutters.  The cycle time for the sample part was reduced from 121 minutes to 34 minutes, a reduction of 71%.

Other examples included a reduction of 67% when cutting a number of pockets in a stainless steel part, a 63% time saving on a titanium part and a 58% saving when cutting an aluminium component.

The 2014 version of Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software will also be demonstrated at Northern Manufacturing.  This new release includes a number of new options for turning, four-axis rotary machining and turn-mill operations.  Other enhancements in this release include more strategies for two-axis finishing and easier programming of probing sequences.

FeatureCAM was the world’s first feature-based programming software when it was launched in 1995.  Constant development since then has ensured that the system has retained its leadership in programming speed and ease of use, while an increased range of strategies has been added to provide more efficient toolpaths giving greater productivity on a wider range of machines.

New functionality for the conversion of product designs into tooling designs will be shown in the 2014 release of Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD software.  The software now provides an even more powerful set of easy-to-use tools to increase productivity through increased automation and improved workflow.

By offering a combination of modelling and reverse engineering functionality, PowerSHAPE provides the most comprehensive range of design techniques available in a single CAD program.  Having all the different technologies in the same package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product development process.  At the same time, the combination of quick and easy direct modelling options, together with powerful and flexible surface modelling, makes PowerSHAPE the perfect choice for design for manufacture.

Another program that has seen significant development is the Delcam Electrode integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes.  The latest enhancements include support for burn-vector electrodes, automated machining of electrode frames, batch processing of multiple machining projects and faster generation of electrode drawings.  Delcam Electrode also benefits from a number of options introduced into PowerSHAPE, which provides the CAD element of the overall solution.

Delcam Electrode combines functionality from PowerSHAPE, PowerMILL and the PowerINSPECT inspection software to give a completely integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes.  At the heart of the solution is a novel file format – the .Trode file.  This contains all the information for each electrode project, including not only the electrode design but also the machining and inspection information, plus the set-up sheets for its manufacture and use.  Having all the required information in a single file simplifies data management as well as increasing overall efficiency.

13 September 2013

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