|The first version of Delcam for SolidWorks will include modules for drilling and two- through five-axis milling; subsequent versions will include turning, mill-turn and wire EDM modules. |
Among this month’s notable events for precision manufacturers will be SolidWorks World 2010 — a conference and expo for users of the Windows-based CAD program developed by Dassault Systmes, as well as SolidWorks program and component partners. The new product, SolidWorks 2010, reportedly is focused on optimizing core design functions, so users can speed up their design work, intelligently. It also reportedly includes hundreds of customer-specified enhancements.
SolidWorks World 2010 begins January 31 in Anaheim, Calif., with a program that lists over 150 technical presentations by SolidWorks users and industry experts.
Delcam for SolidWorks
Among the new product introductions there will be Delcam for SolidWorks, Delcam plc’s new integrated CAM system for the CAD platform. Delcam said the initial version of Delcam for SolidWorks will include its modules for drilling and two- through fiveaxis milling; subsequent versions will include turning, mill-turn and wire EDM modules.
It will be a new programming concept for Delcam, which has usually supplied its machining software as stand-alone programs for linking to any CAD program. Delcam for SolidWorks marks a new direction for Delcam. Tom McCollough, Delcam’s vice president for FeatureCAM development, said the group was responding to numerous customer requests to be able to conduct CAM programming from within the SolidWorks environment.
|Mastercam for SolidWorks presents users with a number of capabilities that allow them to program their parts directly within SolidWorks using Mastercam toolpaths and machining capabilities. |
The developer said Delcam for SolidWorks combines the benefits of its PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems, using machining algorithms already used effectively by over 30,000 machining operations worldwide. Examples of this are its toolpath calculation speed and advanced high-speed machining capabilities.
Delcam for SolidWorks will be fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment, appearing and functioning like the CAD program, with full associativity so that changes in the CAD model will automatically be interpreted in the toolpaths. “However, this associativity will be more intelligent than that offered in many other integrated CAM systems,” according to the software group. “Delcam for SolidWorks will not simply modify the existing toolpaths but also will review the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and change them if necessary.”
Toolpaths generated with Delcam for SolidWorks may be checked by the integrated simulation module before they are passed to the machine tool. A complete range of Delcam post-processors are included, for fast and accurate data transfer to the machine tool or auxiliaries.
Mastercam X4 for SolidWorks
Also this month, CNC Software Inc. will introduce a SolidWorkscompatible CAM program — Mastercam X4 for SolidWorks — which it calls a fully integrated, “seamless” application that will let users program their parts directly within SolidWorks using Mastercam toolpaths and machining capabilities.
Mastercam for SolidWorks presents a suite of cutting strategies, including Feature Based Machining (FBM) and 3D High Speed Machining (HSM) toolpaths. It also delivers automated cleanup toolpaths meant to let machinists complete parts faster “and with little or no handwork,” according to the developer.
Benefits are expected both on the CAD and CAM sides of the program. Mastercam for SolidWorks reportedly relies on familiar parameter screens and processes, and presents a machining tree that provides quick access to any point in the production process.
Conventional 2D programming, e.g., pocketing or contouring, will gain a range of high-power functions, according to CNC, including:
• Dynamic Milling, a method for constant toolpath adaptation, so cutting conditions remain consistent and machinists can use the entire length of the tool flute.
• High Speed Machining, a function for speeding up production and maintaining superior finish.
• Peel Milling, which ensures efficient “constant climb milling” between two chosen contours or along a single contour. “When cutting hardened material, the peel mill toolpath allows you to use the full flute depth of the cutter and avoid taking many shallow cuts,” according to the developer.
NCG CAM for SolidWorks
NCG CAM will support SolidWorks 2010, its developer NCG CAM Solutions Ltd. reported. NCG CAM HSM CAM is described as an easy-to-use standalone system that integrates with existing CAD and CAM systems, e.g. SolidWorks. NCG CAM allows users to open SolidWorks parts directly, and when it detects a SolidWorks file has been changed, allows the user to update toolpaths that have been generated in NCG CAM.
“Engineers don’t have time to worry about software complexity or the problem of integrating data between separate applications,” explained Nick Iwaskow, SolidWorks Manager, Alliances. “Combining NCG CAM’s CAM capability with SolidWorks 2010 3D CAD enables engineers to focus on innovation, quality, and productivity instead of how to use the software.”
NCG CAM has a user-friendly interface with a short learning curve. It creates optimized, smooth cutting motions for 3D HSM and aids in extending tool life, minimizing wear on the machine tool, and producing parts with good surface finishes.
(A demonstration version of NCG CAM software is available for download: www.ncgcam.com/demorequest.html)