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Delcam’s latest CADCAM developments at Pacific Design & Manufacturing

Delcam’s Vortex strategy for high-efficiency area clearance will be shown in PowerMILL and FeatureCAM

Delcam will demonstrate the latest developments in its complete range of CADCAM software on Booth # 3537 at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing show in Anaheim, California, from February 11th to 14th.

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 Delcam for SolidWorks, a completely integrated CAM system for SolidWorks that provides a single-window manufacturing solution that looks and behaves like SolidWorks.

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, for 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 recognize 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 mold 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 2014 release of Delcam for SolidWorks.  This includes a number of new options for turning, 4-axis rotary machining and turn-mill operations.  Fillets can be added to any sharp corners for turning operations, such as automatic deburring, without having to edit geometry.  Extended turning simulation now includes support for steady-rest and tailstock operations.  Using the feature-from-SolidWorks feature concept at the heart of Delcam for SolidWorks, enhanced support for 4-axis rotary tables now allows 2- or 3-axis operations to be wrapped around the rotary axis.  New toolpath editing capabilities and dedicated strategies for two-axis finishing give greater programming control and better machining results.

21 January 2014

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