PartMaker Version 2011, for programming CNC mills, lathes, wire EDM, turn-mill machines and Swiss-type lathes, is said to include more powerful milling functionality, vivid setup documentation, a flexible tooling library, improved simulation of specific machine tool architectures and a host of additional productivity enhancements. This latest version also offers an optional module for 3D design to support shops’ design for manufacturability efforts by enabling them to design 3D models, modify 3D geometry and repair poor-quality 3D data using the “Solid Doctor” utility. This utility enables users to read and repair models from all sources and solve common problems that can be encountered when translating low-precision and incomplete 3D data by detecting and repairing faults in engineering models and generating a valid solid model ready for programming.
Other features of this latest version include improved tool management, enabling users to manage their tool inventory through the use of “Master Tools Databases” that can be edited, manipulated and stored through external database programs such as Microsoft Excel; automated programming of bar-fed milling machines from leading builders including Willemin-Macodel, Bumotec, Chiron, Mazak and Star; and an improved PartMaker Documentation Wizard (PDW) module, offering a number of new standard setup sheet templates as well as the ability to automatically create “mid process” setup sheets that display a picture of the part being machined at each step in the machining process. The new version also includes enhancements to the software’s surface machining strategies, such as an improved Surface Swarfing that simplifies swarfing programming and supports four-axis swarfing operations on Swiss-type lathes. In addition, 3D simulation is said to be 50-percent faster that previous versions, speed is particularly helpful when simulating the machining of complex parts with numerous features.