Gibbs and Associates offers a five-axis porting option for its GibbsCAM system. The software provides a specialized interface optimized for the machining processes and cutting tool motion required to machine tubular openings that change shape and curvature from one end to the other. According to the company, the porting option complements GibbsCAM 5-Axis by enabling easier, faster programming of port-like openings through a condensed interface that provides toolpath options and machining strategies optimized for these shapes. The porting option is said to promote efficient programming and machining of these workpieces, and is suitable for use in the motorsports industry where performance can be increased by optimizing flow through ports, manifolds and throttle bodies.
The software can automatically detect the spine curve through the port and properly align the tool path. Using available tool reach, the software can split upper and lower operations by maximum tool reach, midpoint or user-selected percentage of reach, ensuring proper toolpath blending between upper and lower sections. Machining strategies include roughing, rest roughing, and spiral and plunge finishing. To maintain tool rigidity, the porting option uses three-axis machining (3+2 mode) as far into the port as possible until five-axis simultaneous motion is required. Tool tilting is automatically calculated for optimal angles without the need to split surfaces or create tool axis control splines, and is said to produce smooth, gouge-free five-axis motion. Users may choose to machine only the top, only the bottom or both sides of a port in a single operation.