Advanced Engineering – Edgecam, Naturally

November 22, 2013

Visitors to the Advanced Engineering UK group of events at the NEC saw for themselves that Edgecam’s game-changing Workflow tools just got even faster.

Workflow was already renowned for enabling CAD/CAM engineers to apply toolpaths within seconds, but several enhancements in the latest release, Edgecam 2014 R1, give additional control and save even more time.

Although Edgecam was exhibiting in the Automotive section, a number of manufacturers visiting other areas came to see the latest developments in the software. General Manager Raf Lobato says: “This is a key exhibition for the automotive, aerospace and composites engineering sectors, and manufacturers from across the board extremely interested in seeing how they could benefit from producing programs much faster than if they were using conventional CAM systems.”

Workflow was specifically designed for manufacturers to reduce costs, improve quality and hit shorter lead times by giving direct access to Edgecam’s accelerated toolpath technology. The Workflow enhancements in Edgecam 2014 R1 include:
• A Machine Feature command, which allows users to interactively select a feature on their component, which will then be machined. The user can elect to only rough, finish, or rough and finish, meaning they have full control over their manufacturing order, without the need to apply full automation.

• And Fixture Manager, which sees the introduction of chucks and collets that can be used for milling and turning. An additional time-saver: the fixture manager will also automatically filter valid and invalid fixtures based on component size, and offer a dynamic placement preview before it is placed on to the component.

Visitors to the stand also saw a wide-ranging array of machining and ease of use updates in Edgecam 2014 R1, including a new chamfering cycle, which is a modern command supporting 2D and 3D geometry. The option to automatically debur sharp edges also removes the requirement to prepare geometry, which is another time-saver. It fully supports cutter radius compensation as well as 3D chamfering.

 Support for 3D Normal Offset Output:  Surface machining cycles now have an added control to compensate for tool wear on 3D machining toolpaths. This gives greater accuracy and control on tight tolerance components.

Further enhancements to Edgecam’s ease of use include a new design CPL datum marker with colour coded rotation bars and axis labelling. And following on from the introduction of pictures on dialogs in 2013 R2, this has been extended to the ‘rough and finish turn cycles’ promoting ease of use for new or infrequent users.

Also, Edgecam 2014 R1 introduces an interactive editing tool for re-designing standard dialog boxes. The ability to “Mask” the standard interface allows users to pick which modifiers settings are displayed, empowering them to create command dialogs aligned to their preferred manufacturing methods.

Parts of Edgecam have gone mobile in 2014 R1. The new Live Job Reports is designed to be simple, easy and quick for small customers, while being very powerful for advanced users who want to customise it. It keeps the same performance on both small and large databases, easily handling thousands of tools and toolkits. And as this function runs on a website, the client can be a PC, and even a tablet or phone, making it possible to access the reports from the shopfloor on the go, without the need to print.

A new item of functionality in Part Modeler finds fillet radii on third-party imported solid models and allows them to be edited. This Finding and Editing Fillets on Imported Models feature aids users preparing CAD data for manufacture.

Other Part Modeler enhancements include advanced loft and sweep commands which allow users to loft dissimilar shapes and add guide curves.

Stand Manager Justin Talboys-Cotton says: “We attracted a lot of visitors on both days of the show. As well as Workflow, they were interested in seeing demonstrations of Edgecam’s wire EDM, milling, turning, and mill-turn capabilities.”

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