CAD/CAM-Software

The machinist as a digital guide over peaks and ridges

| Editor: Stefanie Michel

The use of start-to-finish software support is becoming a prerequisite for efficient CNC production.
The use of start-to-finish software support is becoming a prerequisite for efficient CNC production. (Source: Stemo Tec/Leclaire)

Demands on milling are rising, and greater cost-effectiveness and shorter cycle times are required. For faster complete process development, a CAD/CAM system matched to user needs must be part of the process chain. Journalist Georg Dlugosch presents an example.

With consistent CAD/CAM integration, it is possible to keep up with technological trends such as high-speed processing, minimal lubrication or clamping technology. The dramatic slump in production and incoming orders in the course of the worldwide economic and financial crises, in some cases of over 50%, is almost forgotten, and the turnaround in machining production can be felt everywhere. The challenges are growing, while user demands, originating in the consumer products sector, are rising.

Related: CAM heads to the clouds for greater productivity

Knowing how to operate smart phones has become a matter of course, like basic knowledge in mathematics. At the same time, consumerisation has become a clear feature of the world of machining. One apparent trend is towards user-friendliness and a mode of operation familiar to machinists. With the improved operator interface and many important new developments, software is also moving in this direction and is placing clear advantages for the user in the foreground.

Start-to-finish software as prerequisite for efficient production

The control of machine tools and generating NC data are becoming constantly more complex. Start-to-finish software support is the prerequisite for efficient production. In the future, CAD/CAM software with open system architectures will adapt much better to the dynamics and flexibility of modern production systems. With its ZW3D software, supplier ZW Soft said users can quickly produce NC programs and perform collision avoidance tests in advance. Production on NC machines and on processing centres permits optimisation, and tool service lifetimes can be prolonged at the same time, the company explained.

Bastian Weimer, sales manager of ZW Soft sales partner Encee Systems GmbH, pointed out that ZW3D 2013 increases efficiency and improves user guidance. Shortcuts, the Ribbon operator interface and the command dialogues have been adapted to match the accustomed work with Microsoft Office, he said. With this Windows-matched operator surface, first steps or a change from another CAD/CAM system are said to be possible without extensive training procedures.

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