Surfcam Now Supports Barrel Cutters
The introduction of a specific five-axis “tilt” control strategy, combined with a barrel cutter, is said to be the most significant enhancement in the latest release of SurfCAM, from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s Production Software division.
The company says barrel cutters are recognized as one of the fastest tools when five-axis machining, and are now fully supported in the SurfCAM Toolstore.
As well as the new side tilt by contact point capability, the advanced five-axis cycle also offers further gouge checking in the Swarf command, along with extra control in all strategies.
A number of new and enhanced features in SurfCAM 2020.0 provide increased productivity for both milling and turning users. And the recently introduced SurfCAM Inspect module includes 13 upgrades.
Formerly introduced in the Hole cycle in the 2018 R1 release, the Deep Hole strategy has been enhanced, justifying the creation of its own individual cycle. The original modifiers have been improved and further control tabs have been added to the cycle, giving more control over the tool path.
The turning environment offers a new machining cycle: thread profiling. The software allows users to effortlessly machine complex form threads such as VAM and Acme. The cycle provides both roughing and finishing strategies, allowing users to specify their own thread forms.
The Waveform Machining Strategy has been enhanced with chip prevention control. Under certain conditions, a toolpath can generate a thin island of material (chip), which, as it gets thinner, can cause machining stresses and potentially break the tool.
When using the Finish Grooving cycle, users can now control the break edge angle. In previous SurfCAM releases, the break angle was set at 45-degrees.
In the Finish Turning cycle, a stand-off value can now be defined when using ‘Up Cut’ control.
An XY offset can be set when deploying the Hole Cycle’s helical strategy, allowing users to control both surface finish and tool wear. It also leads to reduced CAD preparation time, while guaranteeing that the cycle is associative to the solid model, the company says.
There are many more improvements as well, including 50 enhancements to the SurfCAM Designer module.
Until early 1999, the shop quoted all its jobs using an Excel program developed in-house. Then, they began to use an engineering-based estimating program that provided more accurate representations of actual operating costs.
Systems for monitoring the machining process not only allow tool wear and tool breakage to be detected at an early stage, but they also provide a process assessment and optimization functions that can be used to improve machine utilization and thus improve the return on machine capital cost.
The digital revolution is hitting the business of the multiple-spindle automatic machining--in two distinct forms, no less. Twenty-five years after the first wave of digitization in manufacturing (numerical control) its linear descendant, computer numerical control or CNC, is changing the way screw machine shops do business.