ModuleWorks, the leading supplier of CAD/CAM components for 3-5-Axis toolpath generation and simulation have begun a major new research project aiming to create new automated methods for 5-Axis Machining in Mold and Die manufacture.
The research project is supported by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) under grant 01IS07016 and led by ModuleWorks in collaboration with the Institute for Production Technologies (IPT) at the Fraunhofer Research Centre in Aachen. The goal is to develop new techniques to simplify the programming of 5-Axis toolpaths on complex mold and die components. A team of researchers are working with ModuleWorks software and expertise to extend automation techniques used for 3-Axis machining into the realm of 5-Axis machining.
5-Axis machining has been increasingly utilised in the Mold and Die industry in recent years as demands for very high quality surface finish have increased. 5-Axis methods help to achieve this by maintaining the optimum contact point on the cutter and, by using tilt, allowing shorter series tooling to be used.
Marc Stautner, Research Director for ModuleWorks comments “We have seen an increase in demand for 5-Axis machining in the Mold and Die industry as demands on quality continue to grow. The technology has become much more accessible as machine tool prices have lowered but there is still a learning curve in programming 5-Axis toolpaths. This research programme is giving some useful pointers to methods combine the ease of 3-Axis programming with the power of 5-Axis technology – ultimately this will make it easier and more cost effective to programme these parts”.