Delcam will unveil new dedicated options for the programming and simulation of bar-fed mills in its PartMaker software on booth E-3922 at IMTS 2010 in Chicago. This new functionality will be available in PartMaker 2011, which will be previewed at the show and is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The new specialist software from PartMaker provides more realistic simulations of machining processes carried out on bar-fed mills with unique architectures from such leading builders as Willemin-Macodel, Bumotec, Chiron, Mazak, Star, Tornos-Almac and Stama, among others. Bar-fed mills are a unique breed of mill-turn centres that combine the continuous production capability of traditional bar-fed turn-mill centre with the platform of a vertical machining centre.
PartMaker CAM software has a unique ability to automate the programming of bar-fed mills as a result of the blend of two unique technologies it employs. For parts with features requiring 2-axis, 2 ½ axis, 3-axis and 3-plus-2 machining, the software employs its patented "Divide and Conquer” programming strategy to automate programming. PartMaker’s Divide and Conquer technique makes programming the multi-axis operations found on a bar-fed mill easier by allowing the programmer to break the part down into a series of simpler operations. When a part requires simultaneous 5-axis programming, PartMaker is able to integrate the extraordinarily sophisticated 5-axis machining strategies found in PowerMILL, Delcam’s industry leading CAM system for the programming of complex shapes like turbine blades.
PartMaker users with bar-fed mills have already been able to take advantage of this unique combination of technology for some time. The new version of PartMaker, to be previewed at IMTS, will take users to another level of productivity by allowing them to simulate the very unique kinematics of bar-fed mills in the PartMaker 3D Simulation environment.
"We at PartMaker Inc. see bar-fed milling technology as a major part of the future of complex, small parts manufacturing,” said Hanan Fishman, President of the PartMaker Division of Delcam Plc. "These machines are effectively miniature "machine shops in a box”, allowing users to produce highly complex, tight tolerance parts with minimal set-up time.”
"Programming these machines also raises unique challenges from a toolpath development, simulation and post-processing perspective. As a result, we have invested heavily in R&D to create a CAM solution specifically tuned to the needs of the users of bar-fed mills,” added Mr. Fishman. "Already, many of our users, especially those in the medical device arena, are benefiting from these developments. The improved simulation, to be available in PartMaker Version 2011, will allow our users to be even more productive.”
In addition to the improvements made in the simulation of bar-fed mills in PartMaker Version 2011, the company is also introducing a new 3D CAD system at IMTS 2010 called the PowerSHAPE Companion for PartMaker. While this new product is not directly related to automating the programming of bar-fed mills, it will be especially helpful to customers using such machines when programming 5-axis simultaneous operations by allowing them to create, manipulate and repair 3D geometry to facilitate more efficient 5-axis machining operations.