Delcam High-speed roughing strategy in CAM system gets the most out of carbide cutters

Editor: Eric Culp

The Vortex strategy for high-speed area clearance is a major enhancement in the upcoming 2013 release of the PowerMill CAM system for high-speed and 5-axis machining developed by Delcam. This roughing strategy is also to be added to Delcam’s FeatureCAM software for feature-based programming and PartMaker system for programming Swiss-type lathes and turn/mill equipment. The addition of Vortex to these software systems occurs this fall.

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Vortex was developed to maximise the available benefit from solid-carbide tools, particularly those that give deeper cuts by allowing the full flute length to be used as the cutting surface. It can be used for 2- and 3-axis roughing, 3+2-axis area clearance, and rest machining based on stock models or reference toolpaths. Like other Delcam roughing strategies, Vortex toolpaths are calculated to make machining more efficient by following the shape of the part and minimising air moves.

Producing toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation, the Vortex strategy maintains optimal cutting conditions for the entire path, something normally possible only for straight-line moves. As a result, machining cycles will be shorter and cutting will involve a more consistent volume-removal rate and feed rate.

Maintaining a controlled engagement angle ensures that tools will never be overloaded. Also, shock loading caused by changes in the contact angle is minimised, preventing chipping of the flutes. Stable cutting conditions keep edge temperatures consistent to prolong tool coating efficacy and prevent heat damage of part surfaces. Finally, step-downs of two or even three times tool diameter spread wear evenly over the tool’s cutting surface.

Delcam plc

Birmingham, UK