Delcam Latest CAM has better collision protection, other features

Editor: Eric Culp

UK – Delcam has launched the 2015 version of its Power Mill CAM system for high-speed and 5-axis machining.

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Two enhancements offer greater reductions in machining time with Vortex compared to conventional roughing.
Two enhancements offer greater reductions in machining time with Vortex compared to conventional roughing.
(Source: Delcam)

The release includes improvements to the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy, improved collision checking to also cover near misses, and more efficient raster finishing.

The machinist as a digital guide over peaks and ridges

The Vortex area-clearance strategy produces safe toolpaths with a much deeper cut by using a controlled engagement angle that maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the whole toolpath, the company said. As a result, higher feed rates and material removal rates are possible, shortening cutting time by as much as 70%. In addition, cutting occurs at a more consistent volume removal rate and at a near constant feed rate, which extends tool life and protects the machine.

Two enhancements offer greater reductions in machining time with Vortex compared to conventional roughing. The first allows toolpaths to approach the part from outside the stock at the cutting height, both for open pockets and in areas where earlier cuts have made this possible. Previously, all entry moves had to be made by plunging or ramping into the material.

The second change allows an increased feed rate to be set for non-cutting moves. The default value is set at double the rate for the cutting moves but can be altered as required for each machine tool. The extra time that can be saved depends on the shape of the part, but additional savings of around 20% should be expected above the earlier releases of Vortex, the company said.

In previous versions, unnecessary lifts could be added to area-clearance toolpaths when the cutter moved outside the stock or close to its edge. Changes to the roughing algorithm have reduced the number of lifts per toolpath slice to the minimum needed.

Collision checking has been changed so warnings can be flagged for near misses. Users can specify a clearance value, and when the machine tool comes within this value, it will turn yellow to highlight a near miss. Collisions are still shown by a change to red.

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