Modern Machine Shop
Gibbs and Associates’ GibbsCAM 2010 includes new features, additions, enhancements and productivity tools. According to the company, capabilities were added to make programming and machining easier and more efficient, with an emphasis on five-axis and solids machining features. In addition to faster processing of long programs and complex parts, 64-bit programming enables added support for new tools and tool holders, extended functionality within various modules and extended and updated interoperability with various CAD systems.
Five-axis enhancements include spiral machining options, gouge-check projection options, a lead in/lead out “flip” option, an axial shift damp option for trimming applications and support for countersink and keyway cutters. Other enhanced features include geometry creation, adaptive cuts, impeller roughing and tool retraction.
Additionally, the plunge roughing solids function is no longer a plug-in, but rather a tile in the CAM palette that can calculate material removal strategies for carbide-inserted drills, which require special motion for no-drag retractions while avoiding collisions in tight or narrow areas. Improvements to 3D machining include the addition of hit flats with specified tools for pocketing; the ability to specify flatness tolerance; the ability to lock high feed rate for the shortest route and minimal vertical retract styles; the addition of a trim to ramp advance as a contour option for waterline cuts; and the ability to specify surface finish with step-over distance or scallop height parameters.
The 64-bit implementation is useful for the more powerful, multi-processor PCs equipped with 4 GB or more of RAM, the company says. It provides tighter interoperability with 64-bit CAD systems that are co-resident with the company’s software on a PC. It also enables users to take advantage of system enhancements when running under the Windows 7 operating system.