New Toolpath Engine is 30% Faster for Complex Parts

Jan. 13, 2011
VoluMill 3.5.2 reduces overall path length and machine cycle times
VoluMill toolpaths produce a consistent material removal rate, using smooth, flowing motion to establish and maintain ideal milling conditions in any part shape. Reduced forces on the spindle and cutting tool make it possible to use machining hardware more effectively, resulting in uniform chip formation and excellent heat dissipation, with reduced cycle times and significantly longer tool life.

Version 3.5.2 of VoluMill represents a reengineering of the toolpath engine for 2- and 3-axis roughing. Developer Celeritive Technologies Inc. claims the new releass is 30 percent faster at generating toolpaths for complex parts than previous versions.

“The primary focus of version 3.5 was on reducing overall path length and machine cycle times,” according to VoluMill product manager Joe McChesney. “Although customers have consistently reported cycle time reductions of 70 percent or more with older versions of VoluMill, we realized that there was still room for improvement, particularly when repositioning the tool between cuts.”

Celeritive Technologies is an independent, third-party developer of CAD/CAM software technologies for high-speed machining and machine shop productivity, including VoluMill. It said testing of VoluMill 3.5 has shown reductions in overall toolpath length by up to one-third over version 3.0, and reductions in retracts to the rapid plane by up to 90%. It attributes much of this improvement to Freeway Linking, a new technique that lifts the tool slightly off the floor of the part and detours it at high speed around obstacles, along a smooth path.

New capabilities introduced in VoluMill 3.5 include improvements in toolpath sorting that minimize the length of linking moves between cutting passes.

Other enhancements include avoidance of fixtures or other obstacles; improved cutting around islands; and better use of multiprocessor computers, including dramatic reductions in processing time for the new generation of quad-core processors.

A stand-alone version of VoluMill that can be used with any CAD/CAM system, VoluMill Universal, features toolpath verification and other new features that make part programming even easier.

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The ProCAM suite features: ProCAD providing direct connection to and from several leading CAD/CAMs; ProGRAM, for programming parts with manual data input (MDI); ProMIS management information system that uses real-time machine data to create reports on cutting performance, processing speeds and productivity; and ProQMS to create digital documentation of quality control measurements and accuracy checks.