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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

CAM Software Developments at IMTS 2016 – Part 2

 
September 29th, 2016 by Jeff Rowe

IMTS Logo

During the course of IMTS 2016 we visited and talked with several CAM vendors on what they specifically were showing at the event, as well as their take on the CAM industry in general.

In Part 2 of a series started last week, what follows are the results of some of the conversations we had while looking for the newest and most innovative in CAM software at IMTS 2016.

MachineWorks

MachineWorks functionality offers real-time simulation and verification for virtually any type of CNC machining, including kinematics, multi-axis, mill-turn, robotics, Swiss-type turning, Wire EDM, hybrid machining (subtractive + additive manufacturing) with features such as on-the-fly crash and gouge check, target part comparison, material removal and infinite zooming.

The forthcoming MachineWorks release contains many developments, one of the most significant being the support of cloud-based applications for CNC simulation and verification. This new feature allows networked devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops to visualize MachineWorks simulations running in the cloud.

MachineWorks Verification Software Showing Clash Detection

A new geometry query API makes rendering integration much easier for applications. It has been designed to be future-proof and flexible.


Customers who use both MachineWorks and Polygonica will benefit from a new API to provide a seamless transition between the toolkits, allowing direct and efficient transfer of geometry and associated data.

Real-time gouge detection has been extended to support more machining types, including linear, rotational, arc and B-axis turning and multi-axis wire EDM.

Although Rapidcut simulation was already extremely fast, the new multithreaded Rapidcut engine makes it even faster by taking advantage of multi-core CPUs.

Many leading CAM software suppliers, CNC controller, and CNC machine tool manufacturers integrate MachineWorks’ APIs into their software applications in order to create systems with complex simulation, real-time verification and look ahead collision detection in the full envelope of the machine. Customers include CAMWorks, Vero, TopSolid, ESPRIT, and many others.

MachineWorks also provides tools for toolpath optimization, for healing solids and for integration, such as MachineWorks Simulator that can quickly produce a functioning prototype.

For more information: http://www.machineworks.com/

Mastercam

Mastercam 2017 introduces a more efficient workflow, improved usability, and Dynamic Motion improvements.

Mastercam 2017 features a new ribbon interface and makes it easier to find the functions for completing machining tasks. “Many of our more powerful tools were underused because customers did not know where to find them,” said CNC Software President, Meghan West. “We spent a lot of time with users determining the best way to simplify this, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.” The ribbon tabs group similar functions and displays them in order from simple to more complex. Each tab relates to a type of activity, from creating wireframe geometry to generating toolpaths.

Mastercam 2017 Tips & Tricks

Mastercam’s Dynamic Motion technology can slash machine time by as much as 75%. And, Dynamic Motion will help you get the most out of any machine in your shop—new or old.  Mastercam’s Dynamic Motion technology extends tool life, reduces cycle time, saves wear and tear on machines, and cuts hard materials more easily. New to 2017, micro lifts now use a line-of-sight approach to move a tool where it needs to go through unobstructed areas. This results in reposition moves during micro lifting that are more efficient, less complex, and travel a shorter distance.

Mastercam 2017 introduces Maximum Stock Engagement for select 3D HST Finishing toolpaths, allowing you to select a previously made stock model and set the maximum depth so that you can limit how deeply the cutter engages uncut material. HST Raster allows you to limit raster passes relative to a cutoff distance, and then fills in the limited area with perpendicular raster motion to create a cleaner result. Mastercam Mill-Turn now supports multiple sessions, multiple Machine Groups, and multi-station tool locators for turrets as well as half index positions.

Mastercam 2017 has the following toolpath enhancements:

  • Preview select 2D High Speed toolpaths in the graphics window before closing and generating or regenerating the toolpath.
  • The Level and Plane Managers are now a dockable, floatable function panel and has been redesigned for more intuitive controls and easier workflow.
  • Tool Setup Manager in Mill-Turn has been redesigned to improve workflow and ease of use.
  • New features have been added to Multiaxis Drill, such as using a line length for the drill depth and recognition of the stock model for depth and top of stock purposes.
  • Multiaxis now includes a new 4-axis toolpath – Rotary Advanced – which allows more control over the tool motion through the selection of walls, hubs, and shroud surfaces.

For more information: www.mastercam.com.

TopSolid

At IMTS 2016, Missler Software launched the new version, 7.10, of its TopSolid’CAM software. The performance of the software has continued to improve since the latest generation of TopSolid was released, reducing average production times by 30% to 40%, according to the company.

TopSolid’CAM 7

Some of the features introduced in TopSolid’CAM 7.10 include:

  • Advanced control of drill hole intersections has been added to TopSolid in order to make the most of the new deep drilling tools, which are highly efficient, but can be very difficult. This process is optimally mastered by combining the control of peck drilling operations.
  • Perform multi-axis drilling in a single operation, thanks to five-axis analysis, without having to create a WCS, and access to all the contouring and pocketing cycles. Several drill holes can be managed in a single operation, with multi-position geometries.
  • Missler Software decided to increase the level of integration of VoluMill drilling strategies, in order to offer its customers better path calculation algorithms. The rough is now available in TopSolid, as well as 2D machining operations. The VoluMill paths, are based on producing a constant volume of chips. As a consequence, a deep axial depth can be used (with a limited radial depth), the feed rate speeds can be increased significantly, while doing away with vibrations and conserving the lifespan of the tool and the machine axes. From a tool that is inclined on a turret, to the control of heads that can be inclined, the new control function for driven points makes it easier and safer to select driven points in an efficient manner.

For more information: http://www.topsolid.com/

Vero Software

VISI CAD/CAM software by Vero Software had significant developments in CAD, mold, and CAM functionality.

In the new release, an updated GUI with quick access toolbars, live icon combinations on the mouse, improved hidden line removal and geometry selection by ‘free-shape’ brush. In addition, CAD translators have been updated to support the latest third- party CAD formats, including Inventor 2016, layer categories for NX and attribute hole mapping for CATIA V5.

VISI 5-Axis Impeller Machining

User efficiency continues to be a focus for product development and major CAD developments, including significant picking and sketching enhancements, associativity improvements for 3D dimensions, a redesigned part revision manager, and multiple plotview updates.

VISI Mold developments include improved cooling channel management with support for solid groups, CAD transformations and updated catalogue components such as plugs, connectors and baffles. Additional enhancements include a new tool to produce lubrication grooves and a rewritten database tool to manage and edit the 3D standard element libraries.

For those involved in sheet metal stamping, VISI Progress updates include improvements to the part replacement for 3D strip design, the ability to manage multiple strip designs within the same project, and the option for defining families of punches as instances; allowing for automatic updates of geometry if the parent punch is modified.For 3D machining operations, the user interface has been simplified to help define the geometry piece, stock and additional faces. An updated CAM engine provides better memory management and improved performance, allowing VISI to run multithreads for a single toolpath calculation. This means that a single toolpath build can be split into parallel calculations, significantly reducing the total build time (this is managed automatically by the CAM engine).

Wire EDM developments include 64-bit engine support, improved 4-axis offset support, and feature recognition for constant tapered apertures.

Other CAM developments include improved analytic material removal, updated stock/model comparison, and a new “toolpath enquirer” tool that let an operator analyze the underlying toolpath data and search for geometry, such as elements shorter than a given length or vertical arcs.

For more information: www.verosoftware.com.

Editor’s Note: We spoke to all of the aforementioned companies and recorded video interviews with several of them. Check out the MCADCafe.com website to view the videos.

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