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SolidCAM has launched the Imachining computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software as part of its latest SolidCAM2011 release.

Imachining toolpath technology is said to reduce cutting times by up to 70 per cent.

It achieves this by optimising tool engagement and cutting feed through the entire toolpath, therefore allowing much deeper and more efficient cutting.

Imachining is driven by a knowledge-based technology wizard, which considers the machine being used, the material being cut and the entire geometry and material of the cutting tool.

This ensures that the tool load is constant, which, in turn, increases tool life and makes it possible to machine with the full length of the cutter.

According to the company, conventional CAM software will cut deep features in small steps to ensure the tool is not overloaded and to minimise the impact of over-engagement.

With Imachining, programmers can cut to the full depth of the tool in a single pass, as cutter engagement is completely controlled by the technology wizard, generating smooth morphing toolpaths.

The software automatically avoids sudden direction changes and sharp corners, eliminating shock loading on the tool and enabling the maximum volume of material to be removed in a single pass.

Imachining optimises the feeds and speeds through the technology wizard for each individual component and setup, taking into account all the machine specifics (spindle power, maximum feed, speed and so on), all the cutting tool data (the number of teeth, the helix angle, the cutting length, the tool material and so on) and all the material properties.

By combining all this information and then selecting the level of aggressiveness for machining – matching it to the rigidity of the setup – Imachining produces a safe and smooth toolpath that will routinely halve machining times.

Algorithms within Imachining eliminate air cutting, thus concentrating on areas where excess material is located, keeping the tool in contact with the workpiece at the maximum.

Imachining has the ability to subdivide pockets into areas that can be cut with the system’s morphing toolpaths.

The separation routines use Imachining’s channelling toolpaths to divide the pockets up into areas that can be efficiently machined using the standard Imachining morphing toolpaths that smoothly remove the remaining material.

Imachining also includes ‘rest’ and ‘finish’ operations to remove uncut areas left by the larger roughing tool; both strategies utilise the intelligent morphing technology, which completely controls the cut at every position.

The technology built into Imachining enables parts to be cut in a fraction of the normal time by making full use of the capabilities of cutters and by generating a smooth and safe toolpath.

This produces savings in cost and time on all material types and is particularly effective on hard materials.

Founded in 1984 by its managing director Dr Emil Somekh, SolidCAM provides manufacturing customers with a full powerful suite of CAM software modules for 2.5D milling, 3D milling, high-speed machining, multi-sided indexial four/five axes milling, simultaneous five axes milling, turning, turn-mill up to seven axes and WireEDM.

SolidCAM is the leader in integrated CAM and provides the highest level of CAD integration, with seamless, single-window integration and full associativity to SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor. The integration ensures the automatic update of tool paths for CAD revisions. SolidCAM powers up the user’s CAD system into the best integrated CAD/CAM solution. SolidCAM has today more than 15,000 seats installed. The company has been on a very rapid growth path since it implemented its CAD integration strategy. SolidCAM is sold by a worldwide reseller network in 50 countries.

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