Delcam will demonstrate the 2012 R2 version of Delcam for SolidWorks, the integrated CAM system for SolidWorks, at the MACH exhibition to be held in Birmingham from 16th to 20th April. The new release includes new modules for b-axis turn-mill and four-axis wire EDM, plus numerous improvements to the existing functions for rough milling and finishing. As a Gold Partner CAM product, it is, of course, fully compatible with the latest release of SolidWorks.
B-axis turn-mill allows milling features to be created easily based on the b angle of the feature itself. Both the b-axis angle and the rotational orientation of turning tools can also be controlled. The technique can be used on multi-tasking machine tools, like the Mazak Integrex and the Mori Seiki NT range.
The wire EDM module introduced in the initial 2012 release has been extended to cover four-axis operation. Users can choose from die, punch, profile and rapid operations, along with a variety of other options, to generate code for all types of wire EDM equipment. As with all other Delcam for SolidWorks modules, the wire features are associative to the model so the code will update automatically following any change to the design.
Delcam for SolidWorks 2012 R2 also incorporates enhancements from the 2012 R2 release of Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system on which it is based, including a series of new strategies for 2.5D roughing, improved Z-level finishing, Z-axis indexing, and faster simulation.
The new roughing strategies include a continuous spiral option to minimise wear on the cutter and machine tool, high-speed roughing options, including trochoidal machining and Delcam’s patented Race Line Machining, and "tear-drop” moves to clear corners more smoothly. In addition, more styles of leads and links can now be used to give greater overall efficiency for the toolpaths.
Another 2-axis enhancement is the ability to machine parts larger than the travel of the machine tool. If the machine has a table that can index around the Z axis, Delcam for SolidWorks can be used to divide the component into pieces and generate the required series of machining operations.
Other milling improvements include an option to add an extra profile pass exactly at the base of flat pockets, the ability to use face-milling tools with chamfered edges to machine chamfers as well as faces and so minimise the number of tools needed, and a choice of right- or left-handed thread-milling tools resulting in either climb or conventional machining of the thread.
All the strategies within Delcam for SolidWorks will benefit from improvements to the simulation module. In particular, much faster results can be obtained through the use of multiple cores for these calculations.
Delcam for SolidWorks combines the benefits associated with Delcam’s PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems. It is based on Delcam’s proven machining algorithms that are already used by more than 35,000 customers around the world. The software offers PowerMILL’s exceptional speed of toolpath calculation, plus the advanced strategies for high-speed and five-axis machining, to ensure increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish, even when cutting the hardest, most challenging materials. At the same time, Delcam for SolidWorks has the same strong focus on ease of use as FeatureCAM, including all of the knowledge-based automation that makes that system so consistent and reliable.
Delcam for SolidWorks is fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks. It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the toolpaths. However, this associativity is more intelligent than that offered in many other integrated CAM systems. Delcam for SolidWorks doesn’t simply modify the existing toolpaths but also reviews the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and changes them if necessary.