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Delcam’s Powermill computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software is being used by Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to produce a series of components for the Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project.

Bloodhound SSC aims to set a new world land speed record of 1,000mph (1,600km/h) in South Africa in 2016. Delcam is both an SME sponsor, supporting the project with its manufacturing software and expertise, and a product sponsor, producing components for the record-breaking vehicle in its Advanced Manufacturing Facility.

The AMRC is one of several Delcam customers using the company’s CAD/CAM software to manufacture parts for the jet- and rocket-powered racing car.

One particularly challenging part machined at the AMRC was for the front suspension subassembly of the Bloodhound SSC. At first, it appeared that the part would be extremely difficult and complex to machine because it included deep pockets with small internal corners. However, these problems were overcome by using the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy in Powermill to rough out the pockets. As a result, the AMRC was able to produce the finished part within the tight time constraints demanded by the project.

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Key benefits of product application

  • According to Matt Farnsworth, aero structures platform group leader at the AMRC, Delcam offers a lot of functionality in terms of the programming capability within the software. He said: ‘We like its ability to give us rapid programming, so reducing the time it takes to give us the cutter paths we require.’
  • Farnsworth added: ‘Delcam allows us to be on the machine cutting a lot quicker than the alternative software solutions because we’re able to reduce our programming times.’
  • The AMRC is also using on-machine verification within Powerinspect, so when it gets near to finishing a part, it can probe the surfaces and machine adaptively, if required, to ensure it gets good geometrical tolerance.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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