Looking at the Benefits of Cloud-Based CAM
VisualCAM from MecSoft will enable users to instantly share and alter CAD/CAM files in a web browser through Onshape.
Drawing a sizable crowd to its booth at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West expo early in February, Onshape and MecSoft launched the public beta for VisualCAMc, a browser-based CAM software that utilizes cloud-based storage and sharing on the Oshape network. Designed to seamlessly integrate with MecSoft’s existing VisualCAD offering, this fully functional CAM software is designed to work on any browser and simplify the sharing of design files between those two specific CAD and CAM packages.
As the CAD programmer designs a part in VisualCAD, the part file is saved on the cloud, creating a unique, secure hyperlink to each iteration of the part design. Sharing the design with the machinist simply involves granting access to his or her Onshape profile. Once access is granted, the machinist can use the secure hyperlink to gain access to the part design, using the CAM software in the browser without ever having to download a file. With users on the other side of the globe able to access the designs remotely, there is no need to download, upload or catalog files. If the local computer crashes, the data from that session is not lost. If designers wish to return to older iterations, there is no need to search for the correct file.The cloud-based platform further benefits from its open-source code. The companies encourage users to develop and share machining code with each other and make these crowd-sourced solutions available online. The goal is to provide better solutions as more users utilize the CAM software. Other ancillary benefits include the advanced security systems protecting the Onshape cloud and access to the company’s IT services.
Programming a robot with the same CAM software used for a multi-axis machine tool makes it unnecessary to “teach” the robot by jogging it manually from point to point and recording these point-to-point moves as the robot’s motion commands. Robotmaster is a software package that provides this CAD/CAM-based, off-line programming for robots. It runs fully integrated inside Mastercam CAM software for CNC machine tools.
Finally there is an alternative to ballnose endmills for finishing 3D parts. The combination of finishing tools shaped to provide more cutting surface and a CAM system with the ability to apply them on a five-axis machining center can dramatically reduce finishing cycle times while delivering better surface finishes.
Milling complex forms in hardened tool steel involves more than just fast, light cuts, says this maker of medical-related injection molds. Here are some of the ingredients of an effective hard milling process.