CAD/CAM Software Features Photo-Realistic Machine Simulation Module

PartMaker version 8, the latest release of the CAD/CAM software for CNC mills, lathes, Swiss-type lathes, mill/turn machines and wire EDM, features a full machine simulation module that enables users to view photo-realistic 3D machine models. With improved error checking and collision detection, the module enables more robust simulation than in previous versions of the software. The simulated model incorporates machine-specific toolholders and attachments to ensure that any possible collisions will be detected off-line on the user’s PC. This can allow programmers and machinists to spend less time setting up new jobs and performing dry runs, the company says. In addition, the software features improved ability to automate CNC programming when using imported solid models. Other enhancements are designed to optimize NC output for machining complex, free-form geometries. Reducing the length of NC programs for 3D milling operations is useful for operations on Swiss-type lathes and multitasking machines, which generally have less control memory than CNC mills, the company says. Other enhanced tools are said to reduce cycle times for machines capable of synchronized machining. Also, the software has improved capability for proving out individual processes on a part with multiple machining operations.