Gibbs and Associates introduced a new 5-Axis Porting option for the GibbsCAM programming software for CNC machine tools. The developer said this new program establishes a specialized interface optimized for the machining processes and cutting tool motion necessary to machine tubular openings that change shape and curvature from one end to the other.
The Porting option complements GibbsCAM 5-Axis by allowing the programmer to execute the process changes more easily, and faster, by working through a condensed interface that provides toolpath options and machining strategies optimized for machining such open shapes.
Designed to accommodate the motorsports industry, where engine performance is frequently increased by optimizing flow-through ports, manifolds, and throttle bodies with specialized machining, the 5-Axis Porting option can increase the efficiency of programming and machining for any part with openings that change profile and curvature from end to end, the CAM developer explained.
The software can automatically detect the spine curve through the port and properly align the toolpath. Using available tool reach, the software can split upper and lower operations automatically by maximum tool reach, midpoint or user selected percent of reach, ensuring proper toolpath blending between upper and lower sections.
Machining strategies include roughing, rest roughing, and spiral and plunge (along) finishing.
To maintain tool rigidity, 5-Axis Porting maintains 3-axis machining (3 + 2 mode) as far into the port as possible, until 5-axis simultaneous motion is required. Tool tilting is automatically calculated for optimal angles, without the need to split surfaces or create tool axis control splines, producing smooth, gouge free 5-axis motion.
Users may choose to machine only the top of a port, only the bottom, or both sides, in a single operation.
In addition to ease and speed, Gibbs and Associates stated the 5-Axis Porting option generates a cleaner, more efficient toolpath for faster machining, and higher quality parts.