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High-Speed Machining Process Uses Continuous Tangential Movement

Gibbs & Associates now includes VoluMill Wireframe within its GibbsCAM Production Milling software.

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Gibbs & Associates now includes VoluMill Wireframe within its GibbsCAM Production Milling software. VoluMill Wireframe for GibbsCAM is a high-speed machining process designed to achieve high material removal rates while extending tool life through smooth transitions and constant tool loading. According to the company, the process avoids the starts and stops of traditional parallel-offset roughing patterns and is capable of reducing cycle times by as much as 70 percent and extending tool life by as much as five times. It enables high-speed part production at lower cost by saving time, tools and machine maintenance, Gibbs says.

The VoluMill Wireframe process generates tool paths optimized for volumetric material removal by using continuous tangential motion, specialized contour ramping, adaptive feed rates and chip-thickness control. By leveling tool load, maintaining constant machine tool motion and using high-speed repositioning, the software is said to produce more efficient tool paths, extend tool life and reduce cycle times, with no additional optimization. It can work on virtually any combination of part and stock boundaries, and is said to support an unlimited number of islands, walls, pocket depths and island heights.

The rate of material removal is programmed to keep tool and workpiece temperature consistent, dissipating heat with chips. Automatic feed-rate and depth-of-cut adjustment maintains the programmed material removal rate while avoiding excessive loading and minimizing tool wear, heat buildup and vibration. Intelligent side milling and slot milling with programmer override help to provide fast cycle times with automatic feed-rate and Z-depth adjustments in slot milling for constant material removal. Smoothing-radius and contour-ramping capabilities maximize tool utilization and removal in tight areas while minimizing cycle times. High-speed repositioning provides minimal clearance with no tool drag across the floor. Clean-up milling enables a smaller tool to remove material left by a large one. According to Gibbs, as much as 100 percent step-over is possible to ensure complete cleanup.

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