NC Graphics have now changed this release policy. Rather than bundling new features into two large yearly releases, point releases will be issued as soon as new features are ready throughout the year. This will allow customers to grow with the new features, without disrupting production.
NC Graphics endeavour to deliver new features as requested by customers, whilst continually improving the existing software efficiency to keep apace with the demands made of our customers in the market place of today.
Latest additions in DEPOCAM V6 include:
The first release of the Drilling program is now complete. Users can extract hole centres and sizes directly from the surface data, or by reading in point data from IGES or VDA files. If import files contain surface points, the points can be extracted into a drilling folder after the surface data has been read in.
Full gouge protection of the drill and holder has been implemented, with options to override if required. The DEPOCAM software will also inform the user of the depth of blind holes in the surface model prior to applying the required cycle. All post-processors have been updated to support drilling, tapping, boring and reaming cycles.
The Euromold Exhibition held in Germany at the beginning of December 2004, will see the release of the second stage of the DEPOCAM drilling program. This will include automatic hole identification (feature recognition) functionality, directly from IGES, VDA and Catia model data.
NEW REST AREA MACHINING ROUTINE
A new rest area machining routine has been added, which enables the user to finish machine rest areas without the need to generate 3D boundaries or a stock model by using a combination of waterline and parallel pencil passes.
Waterline machining occurs on the near-vertical surfaces, while the parallel pencil machining is applied to the near-horizontal surfaces. The user can determine the overlap between the two routines, as well as the contact angle at which point one routine takes over from the other.
MILL/TURN CNC MACHINES ARE NOW SUPPORTED
Mill/Turn CNC machines with Y axis motion and driven tooling are now supported by DEPOCAM, with full 3+2 milling and drilling operations. This is ideally suited to machining parts such as engine cranks from solid.
RE-TRIANGULATION OF SELECTED SURFACES
The surface finish and light refraction on some components can be as important as the accuracy. The desired effect may be achieved by reading in the surfaces to a very tight tolerance. However this would impose a burden in terms of memory usage and calculation time. Often triangulation of just a few surfaces to a tighter tolerance will produce the required result.
NC Graphics have developed a new feature, which gives the user the option to select either a single surface or multiple surfaces, and then display its properties. The option to re-triangulate the selected surfaces to a tighter tolerance is then offered.
EDITING OF TRIMMED SURFACES
It is now possible to remove all the internal boundaries from surfaces read in from a geometry file, and also to remove selected trimming curves. This can enable users to fill in holes in the original geometry file following the shape of the surface.
As well as these new features, the DEPOCAM database performance has been greatly improved, which is of particular benefit to users that produce large databases. Toolpath calculation time has also been reduced by 20% on the customer examples tested. Archiving time is now reduced by a factor of 5 and the 'Compact Database' command is now fast enough for interactive use. Enhancements have also been made to the interfaces for Catia V5 and Parasolid translators.
TROCHOIDAL MACHINING�. Coming Soon
This new routine enables the user to machine 3D surface data using the flank of a solid-carbide end mill, avoiding any moves which would result in a Z plunge move into the material.
A toolpath is generated, which produces a nibbling action, ensuring that any cutting move is not in contact with more than a quarter of the cutter diameter at any one time. Trochoidal machining is ideal for machining down the length of slots or between bosses to avoid all full width cutting.
This feature will be released as a beta version at the Euromold Exhibition in December 2004.
FINE FINISH MACHINING�. Coming Soon
The NCG fine finish machining routines generate accurate and smooth cutter paths to minimise hand finishing.
This new fine finish machining capability, in conjunction with the latest milling equipment from DEPO GmbH and other leading suppliers, enables the quality of the final machined part to have the finest accuracy and finish. These new facilities were developed for the turbine blade industry, but are now able to bring benefits to a wide range of applications, improving precision and quality, and shortening lead times to the finished part.
UV fine finish machining (UVFFM) is an automated multi-surface machining routine. It machines the true surfaces by following the flow lines of the component surfaces along their U or V parametric lines. This results in a better surface finish and a toolpath that can be geometrically accurate to 1 micron.
This command is ideal for finishing as it gives the user one strategy which comprises of constant surface machining, pencil milling, UV flow machining and high accuracy surface machining all in one.
Beta test versions of the UVFFM facilities within DEPOCAM will be available for the JIMTOF exhibition in Japan, November 2004.
NEW STANDALONE INSPECTION SOFTWARE - DEPOINSPECT
NC Graphics now offer inspection software, DEPOINSPECT, that enables the user to inspect the machined part while it is still on the CNC machine, using machine probing.
Inspection vectors are graphically created and are then converted to inspection probe motions, which are sent to the CNC machine. This in turn sends back data to DEPOINSPECT comparing the machined part with the original surfaces.
Since the inspection takes place on the machine tool, should there be the need for any further machining, it can be carried out straight away, saving valuable time.
DEPOINSPECT is currently available on CNC machines with a Heidenhain 426 controls onwards. NC Graphics are currently developing new interfaces for other types of CNC controls, such as Fanuc and Siemens. Initial investigations indicate that it should also be possible to link to CMM machines, such as the Renishaw Cyclone.
For more information on products from NC Graphics, please contact Estelle on +44 (0)1223 861539 or see
NC Graphics (Cambridge) Ltd, Silverwood Lodge, Ely Road,
Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB5 9NN, Tel: +44 (0)1223 861539
Contact: Mrs Estelle Dunsmuir, Marketing Manager