Delcam Integrated software solution supports multi-part and family electrodes
Delcam has increased the capabilities of its Delcam Electrode integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes.
According to the supplier, the system can now produce multi-part or family electrodes, which can be displayed in the history tree of the tool on which they will be used. Electrode drawings will update automatically if the design is changed, helping to simplify project management.
Delcam says that multi-part electrodes can reduce the time needed for both machining and EDM and save material, compared to using several individual electrodes, and that a single holder can be used for the combined electrode.
The design of multi-part electrodes uses the same “wizard”-based process as for conventional electrodes. Once the electrode for the first area has been defined, the user then re-runs the wizard for other burn areas to be included in the multi-part component. The same process can be used if particularly hard materials are to be burnt or if the same electrode design is required in several areas of the tool. In these cases, a single electrode might not be sufficient. A second electrode can be created within the blank by re-running the wizard, so that the assembly can be rotated to use the second once the first has worn out.
In family electrodes the roughing and finishing electrodes for a single area are combined in the assembly, with the second part created by re-running the wizard. The different machining offsets required for the rougher and finisher are applied when creating the various parts of the assembly.
Delcam says that it has created a completely integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes by combining Power-Shape CAD software, Power-Mill CAM system and Power-Inspect inspection software to. At the heart of the solution is a novel file format – the .Trode file. This contains all the information for each electrode project, including the electrode design, machining and inspection information, and set-up sheets for its manufacture and use. To ensure uninterrupted operation despite the more complex movements around the tool, collision prevention technology from the Power-Mill CAM system has been added into the simulation algorithms.
According to the supplier, it can provide scripts for equipment from a diverse range of manufacturers and asserts that the direct link eliminates the possibility of human error that could occur with manual programming.