ModuleWorks, the leading supplier of CAD/CAM components for toolpath generation and simulation, has announced the latest release of its CAM components, version 2011.12. The new release offers a range of new features across the product range, further expanding capability for 3-5 Axis machining and simulation.
ModuleWorks is at the forefront of 5-Axis machining and Simulation technology, providing the machining and CNC simulation components behind many of the popular CAM systems available today. The latest release introduces a broad set of new features across the products range. Highlights are shown below:
4 and 5-Axis Machining
The 2011.12 release adds a number of improvements to tool axis tilt control. 5-Axis tilting has a new fanning distance option to specify how tilting around corners takes place. A larger distance value will give a longer tilt transition around the corner giving smoother overall toolpath and help to avoid potential marking on the finished component. Tilting also has a maintain tilt option which can be used to avoid unnecessary tilting on small undercut regions. 4-Axis machining supports control with the tool axis maintained along the rotational axis and tilting applied relative to cutting direction.
There are also further improvements to the multi-blade toolpath with additional control on the rapid motion between passes. The angle step value may be specified to smooth the transition moves and avoid big angular movements which may not be desirable.
3-Axis roughing now allows pre-drilled holes to be specified for the entry position for the cycle giving improved control over the toolpath. 3-Axis toolpaths also offer arc fitting option to replace a series of linear moves with a smooth arc to improve toolpath motion and reduce NC program size.
The constant Z cycle now has an adaptive step down capability which adds additional passes in shallow areas. This has the affect of removing steps on the roughed out stock in shallow regions and reduces the need for semi-finishing. The toolpath also allows internal corners to be rounded to provide a smoother motion for high speed machining.
Pencil finishing now supports a multi-pass option by offsetting the toolpath out from the pencil trace by a given stepover and number of additional passes, providing a better surface finish in larger fillet areas.
A new dynamic refine feature has been added allowing the user to zoom up to small area and quickly refine the simulation to show details of remaining stock and surface finish. The previous model can be quickly recalled without recalculation providing a fast and easy workflow.
Simulation also allows a 3D mesh or STL to be specified for the tool holder or arbour. This is particular useful for lathe and mill turn applications where some of the more complex tool holders cannot be created using the simple revolves and extrudes.