DELCAM Puts Electrode Design on the Shop Floor
Delcam has introduced a new option for its PowerMILL machining software that will allow machine tool operators to design and machine electrodes quickly and easily on the shop floor. The new module contains the same highly-automated functionality within the PS-Electrode module already available for Delcam’s PowerSHAPE hybrid modelling software and so offers the same potential for saving huge amounts of time whenever electrodes are required.
The speed and ease of use of PowerMILL has lead to it being adopted by many companies for shop-floor programming. This approach has many advantages, including a more equal distribution of the workload between the CAD office and the shop floor, more efficient toolpaths, and lower downtime. All the factors enable companies to deliver higher quality tooling and other machined products in shorter lead times.
However, some of these benefits can be lost if electrodes are needed to produce fine details or textured finishes that cannot be machined easily. Until now, progress on the tool has often had to be stopped while the machinist waited for the CAD office to extract the electrode design.
In contrast, by using PS-Electrode from within PowerMILL, electrode designs can be created on the shop-floor. This makes planning the whole job more efficient when it is known that electrodes will be needed at the start of the project and also minimises delay if it is discovered that electrodes are required during machining.
The key attribute of PS-Electrode is its ease of use � the entire process is completed by following the instructions within the Electrode Wizard so there is no need for the machinist to learn a complex CAD system. The Wizard covers the definition of the region where the electrode will be needed, creation of the shape needed to produce the required feature in the tool, extension of these surfaces to provide clearance from the main surface of the tool, and blending these surfaces into the shape needed to fix the electrode into its holder.
Once the electrode design has been completed, set-up sheets for its use can be produced and the main PowerMILL program can be used to generate machining instructions for its manufacture.
One unique feature of PS-Electrode is the option to cap over the area where the electrode will be used. Once the area has been capped, PowerMILL will not attempt to machine it. Thus, there will be no unnecessary duplication in trying to remove the same material both by machining and by EDM.
For further information on Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software, please contact: -
Peter Dickin, Public Relations Manager
Direct phone: 44 (0)121 683 1081 e-mail: Email Contact
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Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK
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Windsor, Ont. N8W 5J1, Canada
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