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Delcam’s latest CADCAM developments on show at Southern Manufacturing

Using the new Vortex area clearance strategy gave a time saving of over 60% when cutting titanium

Delcam will demonstrate the latest developments in its complete range of CADCAM software at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition to be held in Farnborough, UK, on 12th and 13th February.  Highlights will include the new Vortex area clearance strategy in both the PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems, extra modelling for manufacturing tools in the PowerSHAPE design software and improvements to the Delcam Electrode package for the integrated design, machining and inspection of electrodes.

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 productivity from solid carbide tooling, in particular those designs that can give deeper cuts, and therefore higher metal-removal rates, 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 a time saving of at least 40% is not untypical, with savings of up to 70% achieved in some cases.

The Solid Doctor in PowerSHAPE has offered quick and easy repair of imported data from other CAD systems for many years.  For the 2014 release, these capabilities have been enhanced with the addition of the Smart Feature Manager.  PowerSHAPE can already recognise a variety of solid features within imported "dumb” geometry, such as fillets, slots, bosses etc.  The Smart Feature Manager allows users to identify all these features within a solid in a single operation and so makes the analysis of the imported data easier and faster.

In addition, the core/cavity separation wizard for mould and die design within PowerSHAPE has been rewritten to make it even faster and more effective.  It divides the solid model into core and cavity pieces of a tool that can then be separated dynamically using a simple slider.

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 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.

25 November 2013

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