PartMaker Inc., a division of Delcam Plc, offers its latest version of PartMaker software for programming CNC mills, lathes, wire EDMs, turn-mill centers and Swiss-type lathes. Major highlights of this release, version 2010, include the ability to perform five-axis simultaneous milling on multi-axis lathes, more powerful milling functionality and better visualization of thread whirling operations, the company says.
The five-axis simultaneous milling functionality is based on technology used in PowerMill. For all complex five-axis machining strategies currently supported by PowerMill, as well as for sophisticated three-axis strategies, PartMaker features the option for a direct interface to PowerMill. PowerMill tool paths can be imported directly into PartMaker, manipulated and synchronized on PartMaker’s Process Table, simulated and post-processed directly from the PartMaker working environment.
Other software features include an optional module to perform simultaneous five-axis swarf milling on multi-axis lathes, which allows parts to be machined complete in a single setup by allowing for more advanced deburring techniques. This is said to virtually eliminate time-consuming and laborious additional finishing. The swarfing functionality lets users take advantage of B-axis lathes that offer five-axis simultaneous machining.
A number of more advanced 2 ½-axis milling routines are also featured, including a variety of high speed machining strategies, trochoidal milling, rest area machining, face milling and a more powerful pocketing strategy. Other features include automated programming and simulation of thread whirling, a technique often used to produce bone screw threads as well as other specialty threads commonly found on surgical implants. This technique allows parts to be machined in a single pass. With the rigidity afforded by a sliding-headstock Swiss-type lathe, thread whirling can also provide higher and more repeatable precision, the company says.