Modern Machine Shop
Version 2011 of PartMaker software for programming CNC mills, lathes, wire EDM, turn/mill machines and Swiss-type lathes includes a variety of upgrades. More powerful milling functionality is said to provide enhanced four- and five-axis surface swarfing techniques. The PowerMILL/PartMaker Interface (PPI) has also been enhanced. Specifically, memory management and simulation speed were improved. PPI allows the entire PowerMILL functionality for making complex parts such as blades and blisks to be applied to multi-axis lathes by importing PowerMILL toolpaths into PartMaker for simulation and post processing through PartMaker. An Advanced Milling Toolpaths (AMT) module, which supports a variety of high speed machining including trochoidal milling and rest-area machining, has also been enhanced.
The software’s Tools Database allows users to better manage their tooling information from a master tool file as well as import and export tools to and from spreadsheet programs, the company says. This will allow users to more effectively manage tool inventory, interface to their tool crib software and also access cutting tool manufacturers’ catalogs.
An algorithm for automating the toolpath calculation of back-turning tools commonly used on Swiss-type lathes with multiple cutting points, angles and radii is also included. In addition, the software supports programming of five-axis simultaneous milling on bar-fed milling machines that often feature secondary spindles inverted to the main spindle.