Changing the Game with Ultra-precision CAM Software

July 2, 2019

Originally developed for machining optical parts such as spherical and aspherical lenses used in, for example, telescopes, ultra-precision machining is revolutionizing the way parts and surfaces are machined. More and more milling and turning centers now offer the physical and thermal stability to cope with the accelerated spindle speeds, enabling ultra-precision machining to be used not only for diamond turning, but also for a wide range of new applications on standard micro-milling machines. With the hardware in place, CAM software is now the game-changer, especially in the nanotechnology manufacturing industry, offering OEMs and end-users the dedicated functionalities and high-performance they need to differentiate themselves from the competition.

High-performance software is important. Generating toolpaths capable of machining parts to an accuracy of just a few µm and a roughness in the range of nm requires sophisticated, high-performance algorithms. The ModuleWorks high-performance 64-bit ultra-precision kernel is specially designed to accelerate the calculation of ultra-precision toolpaths and speed up the programming and production of complex freeform parts and surfaces.

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Based on the industry-proven ModuleWorks 5-axis technology, the ModuleWorks ultra-precision kernel uses multi-threading for fast toolpath generation with radial, spiral and parallel patterns for slow and fast tool kinematics. It also brings a full-set of dedicated functionalities to bring all the benefits of cost-effective, fully-flexible and high-quality machining to ultra-precision applications:

  • Support for point clouds, NURBS surfaces and parametric geometries.
  • Freely configurable machine model supports all machine tool types for grinding and diamond turning.
  • Grinding patterns for roughing, drilling, chamfering, slotting and contouring.
  • Full 3D collision detection.

The latest 2019.04 release further extends the functionality by enabling users to generate toolpaths from a set of imported guide curves. The guide curves are projected onto the machining surface where the resulting trajectory is followed by the cutting tool. This provides greater flexibility and control over the generated toolpath and enables the production of 3D images (e.g. specular holographs) as well as non-rotational surfaces.

The toolpaths can also be morphed between the set of imported curves. By manually defining the maximum stepover and cut tolerance, users have full control over the surface quality and accuracy of the machined products.

ModuleWorks also offers 3D machine and material removal simulation with the high-resolution requirements of ultra-precision machining to provide the full range of high-performance SDKs that enable CAM vendors to deliver the latest, innovative technology to end-users in the shortest possible time.

About

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ModuleWorks is the leading software component provider for the CAD/CAM industry. With over 170 employees and 800 man years of software development, ModuleWorks’ expertise in toolpath creation and simulation is recognized throughout the industry and its software components are integrated in over 500,000 installed seats of CAD/CAM software around the world. The ModuleWorks optics kernel brings all this experience and know-how to the ultra-precision machining of optical and free-form parts.  From standard products to exclusive development projects, we work closely together with you to bring your own vision of Industry 4.0 to life. Our comprehensive product portfolio and cutting-edge software components enable you to optimize your CAD/CAM solutions and connect to CNC/MTB systems to increase your competitiveness and help you Get There Faster.

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