SmartCAMcnc has added improved milling functionality and several modeling and toolpath-editing enhancements to the latest iteration of its CAM software, SmartCAM V18.0. The product family consists of applications for CNC milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM.
New rest-mill roughing capabilities enable users to identify areas of remaining material and then machine them using a region roughing process. This makes it fast and easy to re-machine features using progressively smaller tools, the company says.
Solid model hole-feature recognition automatically identifies compound features and creates corresponding hole-feature elements, which include full parametric detail. Fully automated creation of hole-making toolpaths for common features is said to save time and ensure accuracy and repeatability.
For helical milling applications, helix elements can be created with left- or right-offset properties and can be offset during verification and code generation. The thread-milling process is said to take advantage of the new helix offsetting capabilities and add support for single-point tools, tapered threads, multiple-side passes and a user-specified lead extension.
Core modeling and toolpath editing improvements include machinable system fonts, a clip-to-intersection editing tool, toolpath verification and enhanced geometry layer mapping.
A full variety of font choices is available. When a font is selected, the software extracts and scales the outline curves and converts it to lines, poly-lines and arcs for use as machinable geometry. The clip-to-intersection editing tool provides a method to split and remove geometry segments with a single click. A showpath option enables restricting verification to only the portion of the model within the viewing window, and new configuration settings enable tool motion speeds to be customized.
Layer mapping and filtering options improve part geometry organization when importing CAD data, the company says. Layers can be pre-named, and specific CAD layers can be directly mapped to the CAM layers. Additionally, specified layers not required for the manufacturing process can be filtered out of the import entirely.
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.
The right way to program curves? A solution to yesterday's problems? The truth is probably somewhere in between.
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.