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Delcam France to show machining and inspection at MIDEST

The 2014 version of PowerMILL includes the new Vortex area clearance strategy

Delcam France will demonstrate the latest developments in Delcam’s machining and inspection software on stand 6L42 at the MIDEST exhibition to be held in Paris from 19th to 22nd November.  Highlights will include the new Vortex area clearance strategy in the PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems, and dual-device inspection with the PowerINSPECT metrology software.  Improvements to the Delcam Electrode package for the integrated design, machining and inspection of electrodes will also be shown.

MIDEST comes towards the end of a very successful year for Delcam France as more and more French companies realise the improvements in productivity and quality that can be achieved with Delcam programs.  Software sales in the country during the first nine months of 2013 were up by more than 30% compared to the same period last year.

The Vortex strategy for high-speed area clearance, for which Delcam has a patent pending, has been developed by the company specifically to gain the maximum time savings 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.

Unlike other high-speed roughing techniques that aim to maintain a constant theoretical metal-removal rate, the Vortex strategy produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation.  This maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the toolpath that would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves.  As a result, the cutting time will be shorter, while cutting will be undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and feed rate, so protecting the cutter and the machine.  A series of trials run by Delcam, on different machine tools within its Advanced Manufacturing Facility, has shown that time savings of at least 40% are not untypical.

Other enhancements in the latest PowerMILL release include an increase the number of options for tool-axis definition when programming five-axis machines.  These improvements will make it easier for users to control the contact angle between the cutter and the part, and so set the optimum cutting conditions for efficient machining and high quality surface finish.  The resulting NC programs can be made even more efficient by automatically reordering the toolpaths, using the tool number or tool diameter, to reduce the number of tool changes, or using a specific workplane, to minimise set-up changes.

Similarly, the 2014 version of FeatureCAM also has many other improvements, including a number of new options for turning, four-axis rotary machining and turn-mill operations.  Additional enhancements in this release include more strategies for two-axis finishing and easier programming of probing sequences.

The dual-device inspection options in PowerINSPECT allow measurement with two portable devices at the same time.  PowerINSPECT is believed to be the only inspection software that supports simultaneous operation of different types of device, including laser scanning, from different manufacturers.

Other recent enhancements include a new method for automated inspection of edges of parts, improved display of deviations, support for a wider range of geometric features, improved handling of point-cloud data, more flexibility in programming dual-column CMMs, and easier measurement and marking out when using PowerINSPECT for clay modelling.

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 combines functionality from PowerSHAPE, PowerMILL and PowerINSPECT 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.

For further information on Delcam’s CADCAM systems, please visit

31 October 2013

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