Delcam Update Adds EDM Functionality

Dec. 22, 2011
Enhanced programming options in SolidWorks release also include target-part comparison and multiple-instance programming.
Delcam for SolidWorks 2012 has wire EDM programming options, as well as modes for programming milling, drilling and turning operations.

Delcam plc will demonstrate the 2012 version of Delcam for SolidWorks program at the SolidWorks World Expo in February. This new edition of Delcam’s integrated CAM system for the SolidWorks CAD platform was introduced in September, and includes programming for wire EDM for the first time, in addition to its comprehensive options for programming turning, mill-turn, drilling and two- through five-axis milling.

Other enhancements in the new release include target-part comparison, the ability to compare a model of the desired final shape with the shape achieved by the programmed toolpaths; and multiple-instance programming, the programming of multiple SolidWorks components in one operation, either in the same orientation or in different orientations.

Delcam for SolidWorks is described as “fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment,” so that the program “looks and behaves” like SolidWorks. It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the toolpaths. The developer noted this associativity is particularly “intelligent,” stating that does not simply modify existing toolpaths: it also reviews the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and changes them if necessary.

Fully automated deburring and chamfering has also been added to give faster programming of these finishing operations on 2- or 2.5-axis parts. The software developers said the ability to incorporate chamfers, even when they are not shown in the original SolidWorks model, duplicates functionality previously available in its feature-based CAM system, FeatureCAM.

Delcam for SolidWorks 2012 also incorporates enhancements from the 2012 release of FeatureCAM, including improvements in the use of stock models and new options in the tooling database.

Stock models allow the user to visualize the material remaining after each operation. This makes it easier to eliminate air cutting and thereby generate more efficient toolpaths with reduced machining times. The models also simplify the selection of the most appropriate tool sizes for rest-roughing and finishing operations.

The tooling database is critical for the automation in Delcam for SolidWorks because it allows the optimal operating conditions to be associated with each tool. In most organizations, the database is developed by the most experienced user, which ensures that even inexperienced operators use safe and efficient cutting parameters.

The developer said Delcam for SolidWorks combines the benefits associated with its PowerMILL and FeatureCAM systems, and added that it is based on established machining algorithms that are already used by more than 35,000 operators worldwide. It said the new software offers PowerMILL’s exceptional speed for toolpath calculation, plus the advanced strategies for high-speed and five-axis machining, to ensure increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish, even when cutting very hard and other difficult-to-machine materials. At the same time, like FeatureCAM, Delcam for SolidWorks is easy to use, with knowledge-based automation for consistency and reliability.

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