German software developer Schott Systeme GmbH are helping manufacturing companies to further optimise their drilling processes with the latest release of their Pictures by PC 3.4 CAD/CAM software.
The continued importance of working with 2D data
Often overlooked by software developers is the continued importance of effectively handling 2D data to machine, especially when many companies remain reluctant to supply external machine shops with fully detailed 3D representations of in house designs. Highlighting this as a major oversite by many CAM products, Schott Systeme have further enhanced their own suite of dedicated 2D CAM functionality within the latest version of their CAD/CAM software Pictures by PC 3.4.
Focussing firstly on drilling, the extraction of drill features from a 3D model is common place, with Schott Systeme like many other CAM solutions offering 3D feature recognition. However in addition, the company is also offering the automatic recognition and optimisation of 2D drill features. Made possible through the tight integration of their 2D/3D CAD and CAM tools, the software is providing customers with the means to automatically sort through all of the drill objects found within a 2D drawing, subsequently arranging them into specific size groups, regardless of their number. Once grouped together, the customer’s preferred methods of drilling, including all of the standard canned cycles, can then be instantly applied to all of the holes of a given size. The latest version also sees the inclusion of drill optimisation, where the software remains aware of the location of all the surrounding holes, and automatically calculates the shortest sequence for any given combination of drilling movements.
Advanced 5 axis multiplane drilling
The second area of development has centered around the drilling and optimisation of complex multisided parts requiring pre-positional 5 axis machining. 3D feature recognition was originally introduced within the previous release of software, and was able to recognise and extract differing hole types on differing work planes. However this functionality is now combined with muliplane optimisation. Firstly the software extracts and groups together all holes of a similar size, on a specific face of the model, and these are in turn optimised to generate the shortest drilling sequence. Pictures by PC then examines the other machining workplanes, and further groups together any additional holes of an identical size that can be drilled from the same machining direction, again sorting the drilling sequence. The result is the true optimisation of drill features across multiple machining planes, dramatically reducing the time spent drilling.
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About Schott Systeme GmbH
Having developed the same software solutions for over 25 years, Schott Systeme is acknowledged as being one of the founding members of the CAD/CAM and graphics markets. Starting out as one of the very first vector based graphics packages for the PC, their product ‘Pictures by PC’ as the name suggests, has evolved into one of the most mature CAD/CAM and technical documentation products available today. Schott Systeme continues to develop both this ‘Pictures by PC’ solution, in addition to other OEM solutions including the low cost CAD/CAM package isyCAM for ISEL and I-mes CNC machine tools.