CAD/CAM Platform Exploits Possibilities of CNC Machining

Five-axis helical drilling strategy highlights hyperMill’s new functions, machining strategies, and features

The latest version of Open Mind's hyperMill® CAD/CAM suite will include multiple optimized functions, new machining strategies, and intuitive features that, according to the developer, will “further exploit the possibilities of modern CNC machines” and improve ease of use for programmers and operators.  In particular, the developer pointed to five updated functions for 2-D and five-axis machining that reduce programming times and promote more efficient machining, while “numerous powerful extensions” to the hyperCAD®-S CAD system for CAM users will add value to machining projects.

The most important expansion in hyperMILL® 2015.1 is a five-axis helical drilling strategy. This helical drilling cycle generates helical tool paths with the tool plunging into the material quickly. This eliminates the need for pre-drilling operations. By setting the milling tool inclination based on 5-axes, the user can benefit from efficient and tool-friendly machining with rapid swarf removal. Particularly suited to projects involving difficult-to-cut materials, this strategy improves cycle times and tool life considerably.

With internal process quality control becoming increasingly important, there are three new probing cycles featured in hyperMILL 2015.1. These include the measurement of rectangular and circular elements, as well as measuring parallel to the axis. The touch probe is easy to program in all cycles, as it is in hyperMILL.

Allowing users to choose between three measuring functions — the Informative Process Control, Active Process Control and Zero-Point Definition — Open Mind will improve process reliability for customers. With the 'Informative Process Control' feature, it is possible to create measuring data for the individual component geometries and access it from the controller, an advantage for any machine shop.

The 'Active Process Control' feature allows probing cycles to be integrated into the machining process in order to actively control parameters. Deviations in dimensional accuracy can be processed in the controller for actual machining based on the offset value. This is complemented by the new 'Zero-Point Definition' tool, which makes it possible to define the component zero-point, quickly and reliably, thereby promoting more precise and efficient machining. In addition to this, all movements are checked for collisions on both 3 and 5-axis machine tools.

HyperCAD-S, the CAD element within the hyperMILL suite has some innovative details, too. Toolbars can be individually customized and the desired commands can be pasted into or deleted from the toolbars with “drag and drop” movements. This means the programmer can personalize the system to streamline project planning, set-up, and operation.

Another new feature is the improved clipping plane function, which is used to generate a planar section through a component. The selected clipping plane remains active within other functions, but does not affect the existing geometry of the component. This makes it easier to analyze components while the tool and toolpaths are unaffected.

Another hyperCAD-S highlight is the ‘Print box’ function. This is a tool for creating manufacturing plans: Users can compile or print out individual views as well as clipping planes and areas to create manufacturing documentation. Component dimensions and text information are adopted into the view automatically, and can be moved, hidden, or shown there. All these functions help to make hyperMILL work faster and smarter for the end user.

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