Modern Machine Shop
New to the Esprit 2011 CAM software package are a series of analysis tools—the Zebra, Porcupine, Heat Map and Toolpath Analysis commands—that provide graphic displays for the inspection of solid models and ease in programming. The Zebra command simulates the reflection of long strips of light on a shiny surface, making it easy to spot wrinkles or defects in a surface. The striped display also makes it easier to verify that two adjacent faces are in contact, are tangent or have continuous curvature. If stripes smoothly connect from one face to another, elements are tangent. This tool can save substantial time and money by enabling the detection of part model imperfection before parts are machined, the company says.
The Porcupine command displays normal vectors on faces and surfaces to aid in the visualization of changes in part curvature, which assists with the selection of appropriate machining strategies. The Heat Map command displays surfaces rendered in different colors according to the local radius of curvature. This enables users to review minimum and maximum curvatures for the selection of the most appropriate cutting tools. The Toolpath Analysis command traces the position of the tool along a selected tool path to aid in evaluating toolpath smoothness and to examine the quality of point distribution.