CAM Software Offers Chip Break Settings for Machining Stringy Metals
CNC Software Inc.’s Mastercam 2018 offers several new features and improvements. Stock awareness has been added to select 2D tool paths. The tool motion can now use the top, bottom or both values of the stock, and all the linking parameters can be set to adapt to changing stock values. Finish passes now have more options to choose from. Users can add or remove finish cuts based on the number of rough depth cuts specified on the Depth Cuts page. The workflow for all 3D High Speed tool paths has been streamlined and gives users fine control over exactly where to cut. Users can also assign variable stock to leave values on its walls and floors.
In turning and mill-turn operations, Chip Break is now available for face and finish tool paths when chip breaks occur. The company says this function is valuable when working with stringy materials such as aluminum or plastic, enabling users to set length and time conditions, retract and dwell options. Mill-turn machine definitions now contain tailstock and quill components. The new tailstock operation enables users to define how the machine’s tailstock is used, and tailstock options differ depending on the selected machine.
The angle sweep function improves the creation of more complex wireframe functions and, when creating or editing primitives, there are now on-screen sweep and rotate controls which can snap to the AutoCursor positions of existing entities. To make roll and unroll results easier to predict, seam control lets users visually rotate a seam to see how geometry will respond, as well as snap to AutoCursor positions. Hole Axis capability makes it easier to work with a large number of holes, especially holes with matching diameters that are selected as a group.
Additional features include a new set of turning strategies that automate toolpath generation and support for Sandvik Coromant CoroTurn Prime inserts and the PrimeTurning method. The software provides streamlined workflow with improved plane management. Model prep and solid model enhancements such as multiple undo/redo for up to twenty-five functions and more options and controls for solid sweep. The collision control and the multiaxis link safety zone pages for multiaxis tool paths have been redesigned. Common direction has been added to the tool axis control page for multiaxis tool paths and keeps the tool at a uniform tilt angle to reduce tool and machine motion.
The shift from vertical to horizontal machining was even more expensive than this shop anticipated. It was also more valuable. Most of the shop’s machining centers are HMCs now—here’s why.
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.
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.