CAD/CAM Update Impacts 2½-, Three-, Four- and Five-Axis Milling
MecSoft Corp. has released VisualCAM 2019 for Solidworks, the latest version of its integrated CAM software. VisualCAM 2019 features tool shank collision detection and early error detection. It also offers productivity and user interface updates for multi-axis machining:
- 2½-axis: Improved feature-based machining, a drag-knife cutting method and cornering options in profile machining
- Three-axis: Improved flat-area machining, trochoidal entry motions for high-speed machining, cut connections and overall performance improvements
- Four-axis: Smoother motion outputs in the postprocessor
- Five-axis: Nutating head support and local coordinate plane programming
The Turn module is included free in certain 2019 Mill configurations.
The right way to program curves? A solution to yesterday's problems? The truth is probably somewhere in between.
The additional rotary milling axis on these machines allows them to complete many types of complex parts in a single setup, but these machines have gained a reputation for being difficult to program. Today’s CAM software, however, eases the programming challenge significantly.
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.