ADVANCED MULTI-AXIS MILLING
The ASM module will feature a wide variety of high-end milling strategies that can be applied across the entire suite of PartMaker CAM applications, including Mill, Turn-Mill and SwissCAM. Because the powerful surface machining strategies for manufacturing complex shapes in ASM are the same as those found in PowerMILL, each strategy provides for full tool control that enables them to be used in either traditional 3-axis methods or up to 5-axis simultaneous machining methods, depending on a machine tool’s capability.
The advent of ASM extends the 5-axis simultaneous milling functionality of this software to CNC milling centers, making it an unsurpassed solution for production-oriented manufacturers to solve all of their CNC programming challenges, i.e., milling, turning, wire EDM, turn-mill and Swiss with one, unified programming platform.
PartMaker 2013 will feature Delcam’s new Vortex High Speed Machining Strategies (as part of ASM). The Vortex area-clearance strategy, for which Delcam has a patent pending, has been developed specifically to gain the maximum benefit from solid carbide tooling, in particular those designs that can give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface. It can be used for 2.5- and 3-axis roughing, 3+2-axis area clearance and for rest machining.
Like other Delcam roughing strategies, Vortex toolpaths are calculated to give more efficient machining by following the shape of the part and by keeping air moves to a minimum. This is particularly important for rest machining operations. One fundamental problem with conventional area-clearance strategies is that the optimum cutting conditions only occur during a straight-line cut. Any internal corners within the model significantly increase the engagement angle of the cutter.
To protect the cutter, this increase needs to be balanced by setting a lower feed rate. The user then has the choice of using this lower rate over the whole toolpath, which increases the machining time, or varying the feeds and speeds as the cutter moves around the model and so increasing wear on the cutter.
Unlike other high-speed roughing techniques that aim to maintain a constant theoretical metal-removal rate, the Vortex strategy produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation. This maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the entire toolpath that would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves. As a result, the cutting time will be shorter, while cutting will be undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and feed rate, so protecting the machine.
Because Vortex toolpaths have a controlled engagement angle, tools will never be overloaded and so will achieve the maximum tool life. Shock loading caused by changes in the contact angle is minimized, preventing chipping of the flutes. In addition, the stability of the cutting conditions gives more consistent edge temperatures, so prolonging the life of the tool coating and removing heat damage to the surface of the part. Finally, the ability to use stepdowns of up to two, or even three times, the tool diameter spreads the tool wear evenly over the cutting surface of the tool, again contributing to longer tool life.
PartMaker is a knowledge-based machining system that provides a substantial gain in programming efficiency by remembering the tools, material and process information necessary to machine individual part features. This relieves the user from reentering the same features information for subsequent parts and improves productivity by placing the emphasis on tool management functions.
PartMaker Inc., 550 Pinetown Road # 470, Fort Washington, PA 19034, 215-643-5077, www.partmaker.com.
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