CAM system supports 5-axis machining strategies

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Converting 3D strategies to 5-axis tool orientation

HFZ sees further benefits from the functions in 5-axis milling. 3D strategies are converted to 5-axis tool orientation by the 5-axis module in Hyper Mill – up to the fully automatic calculation of the tool orientation for machining with a uniform tolerance. "We were given approximately 15 different cycles and we could try them all in direct use," said Hermann Thanbichler, NC programmer. "This enables us to always find an efficient path to the required surface finish."

The high feed rates of HSC machining inevitably require higher axis acceleration on curved workpiece contours. For each machining task it must be ensured that there is no deterioration in quality due to machine vibration even during highly dynamic tool movements. Motion control for 5-axis machining places particularly high demands on the machine control.

At the same time machining times must be kept to a minimum whilst achieving excellent surface finish and complying with the specified contour accuracy. The iTNC530 offers various functions for multi-side and five-axis machining that are harmoniously supported by the post processor. One example is the plane function: Programs for contours and drilling on inclined surfaces are often very complex and involve a lot of computation and programming. With the plane function machining is programmed as usual at the main level. The TNC then executes the machining in the tilted system.

Another advantage for the user is in clearly structured NC programs. Moreover, due to the space restrictions in 5-axis machining, 3D simulation of the machining sequence is an indispensable aid: "We often use this feature to check whether a particular 5-axis machining task is at all possible with the given spatial conditions of the machine, the required tools and fixtures," Huber explained.

Everything runs smoothly at HF-Zerspanungstechnik, from data acquisition by the Hyper-CAD system, into which all of the customers' 3D models have now been uploaded and prepared for milling, up to the optimisation of the kinematics by the iTNC530, Huber said. "We are very pleased with the interaction of Open Mind and Heidenhain," he concluded. "We have optimised our processes in order to remain competitive. We have made progress in shortening programming and machining times."