New CAM Strategy for High-Performance Roughing

Nov. 18, 2010
Open Mind module generates optimal milling paths, for maximum material removal rate and minimized machining time.
The opening cut in lateral infeed mode, using the hyperMAXX roughing function from Open Mind Technologies.
The opening cut for machining areas that are difficult to reach. This optional function is said to be especially effective for machining soft materials, like aluminum.

Open Mind Technologies is a CAM software developer with a series of 2D, 3D, and 5-axis modules, as well as integrated CAD packages, plug-ins, interfaces and postprocessors. Now, it is releasing a new approach for optimizing stock roughing. Known as hyperMAXX®, this new roughing module is powered by Celeritive Technologies’ Volumill toolpath engine and is fully integrated in Open Mind’s hyperMILL® 2010 CAM program for milling.

The hyperMILL® product is used by OEMs and machine shops around the world to machine parts for automotive, tool and mold manufacturing, mechanical engineering and aerospace industries.

The new module generates optimal milling paths for roughing, for maximum material removal with minimized machining time. Features including constant radial depth of cut and fully automated dynamic feedrate and infeed adjustment will “significantly” improve productivity and cutting conditions.

The optional hyperMAXX® module generates ideally distributed 3D milling paths for stock roughing, reducing wear on both milling machine and cutting tools. Open Mind explains this is achieved by establishing and maintaining ideal cutting conditions throughout the process, regardless of the shape of the part. Milling parameters are set according to best-case scenarios rather than worst-case situations, like cornering, entry moves, and connection paths. Also, feedrates are adjusted dynamically in special machining conditions to ensure constant volume removal. According to the developer, roughing-time savings of 50% or more are typical.

Because the new strategy is fully integrated in hyperMILL®, operators will not need to open additional software, change the program, or adjust the post-processor, all of which will extend productivity while optimizing the other roughing strategies in hyperMILL®. Volumill toolpath programming has been successful in standalone versions and other integrations for several years, and this record is complemented with hyperMILL analysis for slicing, stock management, collision detection, and more.

Because hyperMAXX® performs all machining jobs consistently and predictably, tools and machines are subjected to an even load, which tends to increase service life. “Tool paths are completely free of abrupt changes of direction and other extreme tool movements,” according to the developer, which it says is the basis for a high surface quality. Maximum material removal and the fastest possible, safe positioning of the tool are possible with hyperMAXX®, it claims, reducing machining times and making production more efficient.

The feedrate is automatically adjusted to the cutting conditions.

The automation functions that are the basis for the high performance of hyperMAXX® include a feature that calculates material amounts and dynamically optimizes both feedrate and infeed during 3D arbitrary stock roughing to control the volume of cut. This option is integrated with hyperMILL’s roughing procedure to simplify learning and implementation.

Open Mind also includes two optional functions:
• “Opening cut” is used for full-cut machining of areas that are difficult to reach, and reportedly it is particularly effective for soft materials, like aluminum; and
• “Side cutting only” is a function designed for machining harder materials that makes it possible to make openings via lateral infeed movements, without full cutting. The plunge macro always creates a complete helix or ramp movement and automatically determines the helix radius. Up to 100 percent of the tool diameter can be processed by infeed without any rest material remaining between adjacent paths.

For axial infeeds, the process is fully reliable up to the maximum cutting length, according to Open Mind.

The function range also includes a collision check that accounts for tool lengths and plane detection in automatic mode. And, the residual geometry can be defined as a stock for subsequent job steps.

hyperMAXX® is suitable for machining all hard-to-chip materials, soft or hard, including titanium, nickel-based alloys, or stainless steel.

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