WorkNC vendor, Sescoi and the Hokkaido Institute demonstrate easy 5-axis CADCAM in Japan

April 27, 2012 - Japanese engineers took the opportunity to learn more about 5-axis CNC machining at a seminar held by Sescoi in collaboration with the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute. The Institute promotes the introduction of advanced technology through joint projects with industry, academia and government and is currently investigating techniques to take advantage of CADCAM for high precision 5-axis CNC machining. With the focus of the seminar on ease of programming, Sescoi provided practical demonstrations of its WorkNC Auto 5 CADCAM software which automatically translates 3 and 3+2 axis toolpaths into full 5-axis toolpaths.

Mr Yasuda of the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute described its findings relating to 5-axis machining and, in particular, applications where the technology can be most effectively used, and trends in 5-axis machining and programming. Sescoi elaborated on the development of advanced 5-axis technology in WorkNC which enables automated 5-axis programming and incorporates collision avoidance techniques which consider the kinematics of each individual machine tool. Seminar participants could see that the technology makes it easy to produce reliable and safe 5-axis toolpaths with the minimum of specialist knowledge.

To show how easy 5-axis machining can be, Sescoi demonstrated the complete process starting with importing and manipulating CAD data, followed by CNC programming and 5-axis toolpath creation and finally machining of the part on a Shoda router. WorkNC optimizes 5-axis toolpaths so that the machine is used in the most efficient way. Depending on the capabilities of the machine tool, the best toolpath can differ as it needs to take into account the speed of the different axes and the limits of movement. Excessive use of slow rotational axes, for example, can produce unnecessarily long cycle times. WorkNC’s ability to map the behavior of the machine enables it to insert flip and rotate moves when axis limits are reached, and to advise the necessary tool length when deep features are encountered.

To complete the day, topics relating to 5-axis machining technology were addressed including handling of large STL files generated from scanned data. Case studies from existing WorkNC customers were used to illustrate the power and ease of use of the software and the benefits, for 5-axis users, of its ergonomic and automated interface, high-speed calculation, and accurate and smooth cutter trajectories. Seminar participants reported that these technical sessions were highly informative and a valuable source of advice about the latest methodologies employed in 5-axis machining.

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