Gibbs and Associates’ GibbsCAM 2011 includes automatic feature recognition (AFR) that, combined with tagging capabilities, enables users to control how the software imports CAD models and manages part features and attributes.
Color modes enable users to tag geometric elements such as geometry, faces, surfaces and solids. When a part contains user-defined features or elements that are tagged, users can switch among color modes to distinguish, select or isolate those features or elements for manipulation, copying or machining. Upon opening CAD models, the software can read attributes, such as colors and hole features, then recognize and preserve them in the part file.
The software also includes the Hole Manager productivity tool with Auto Wizard, which enables users to store default settings for reuse. Using AFR, holes (and entities that resemble holes) are selectable by part face, set of faces, a hole’s interior faces or by coordinate system to which a hole feature is aligned. This streamlining enables users to automatically recognize and program hundreds of holes with as few as three mouse clicks, simplifying and speeding up hole-making operations, the company says. The software supports the full range of SolidWorks hole features.
Five-axis enhancements include various drill-cycle options, toolpath conversion, toolpath smoothing and additional machining styles. The hole-making features make programming drill cycles at off-axis orientations easy and fast, the company says. Programmers can choose drill, variable peck, tap and custom drill cycles. An operation modifier enables the conversion of 2.5- and three-axis toolpaths for five-axis machining, which enables the use of shorters tools to achieve smoother toolpaths through tool-axis rotation when the workpiece or tooling interferes with the toolholder.