Delcam will highlight the wide range of five-axis machining strategies in its world-leading PowerMILL CAM system at the AMB exhibition to be held in Stuttgart from 19th to 23rd September. The latest release, PowerMILL 7, incorporates even more alternative machining techniques, together with faster calculation times and easier data management, to ensure both rapid toolpath generation and optimum performance on the machine tool.
The software is already used for many five-axis machining applications including the manufacture of blades, blisks and aerostructures for the aerospace industry, finishing machining of ports and other engine components for the autosport sector, and patternmaking and trimming in composites manufacture. The increased range of strategies in the new release is expected to consolidate PowerMILL's position as the world's leading specialist CAM software.
The range of five-axis roughing strategies has been increased to match the wide list of options previously available for finishing. It now includes machining to or from a point, orientation through a line or curve, and programming using a reference surface. Using five-axis roughing can significantly reduce the number of set-ups needed to machine many components. It can also be used to give a more efficient cutting angle that will allow more material to be removed with each pass.
For all roughing strategies, a new method has been introduced for ordering toolpaths so that air moves are further reduced. This will also make the ordering of rest roughing toolpaths more efficient.
In addition, PowerMILL 7 can now generate a five-axis equivalent of any three-axis toolpath. This might be necessary when a three-axis approach is being used for most of a job but where some five-axis moves might be needed to avoid an obstacle or to machine as closely as possible to a steep face.
Better control over the point distribution within five-axis toolpaths has been provided to take advantage of the improved ability of modern machine tool controls to handle large amounts of data. Increasing the number of points in the toolpath can give more even machining with less vibration and more consistent loading on the tool. Both these improvements give a better surface finish and less wear of the cutter.