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Following the recent launch of its Powershape CAD system with Parasolid software, Delcam has introduced the 2010 release of its Toolmaker tooling design software, which also incorporates Parasolid.

Toolmaker includes catalogues from mould components suppliers in Europe, Asia and America.

The integration of Parasolid, a 3D geometric modelling component from Siemens PLM Software, reinforces the solid modelling and assembly modelling capabilities of Toolmaker.

The combination of the two technologies provides: import and export of Parasolid models in XT file format without translation; tools to create valid Parasolid models from data imported from systems that operate at lower precision than Parasolid; a range of options to analyse product designs and high-speed editing tools to optimise models for manufacture; automated core and cavity creation; fast assembly modelling to build up the mould stack; and rapid creation of GA and other drawings.

The ability to work effectively with imported data in Toolmaker is enhanced by the addition of Parasolid.

Models in the Parasolid native XT file format can be imported directly from CAD systems based on Parasolid such as Solidworks, Siemens PLM’s Solid Edge software and NXTM software, as well as other systems such as Autodesk’s Inventor and PTC’s Pro/Engineer, which have Parasolid XT import/export filters.

In addition, users will be able to tackle all the common problems that can be found when translating low precision and incomplete data, including gaps and overlaps between surfaces, or duplicated and missing surfaces, and generate a valid, high-precision Parasolid model.

This process uses the automatic data-repair tools that are provided as part of Parasolid, together with the surface creation and editing options that are available from Powershape.

This combination means that simple repairs can be carried out quickly, while more complex problems can be overcome by deleting and replacing the existing surfaces within the model.

Toolmaker also includes a wide range of analysis tools to check the manufacturability of the design.

These include curvature analysis to check that fillet radii are large enough to allow easy material flow in the tool, draft angle analysis to ensure that parts can be removed successfully or to identify where slides will be needed, and model thickness analysis to help in the selection of gating positions and in highlighting potential sink-mark problems.

The addition of Parasolid will also enhance Delcam’s Power Features technology.

Components that contain Power Features react automatically as they are placed within the tool assembly, adding all the necessary fit features to the connecting components.

As each part is added, the tolerances between the various components are also defined automatically.

This automatic creation of relationships makes the development of the overall design much quicker and also makes errors in the design process far less likely.

Of course, Power Features maintain relationships in a similar way to parametric objects in other CAD systems so that, for example, if an ejector pin moves, all the associated holes move with it.

However, the degree of associativity is more flexible, such that all component dimensions, tolerances and positions can be modified either individually, as part of a group of similar components, or by using a global edit for multiple groups of components.

The incorporation of Parasolid also speeds up and simplifies the development of more complex tooling assemblies.

It is much easier to create solid models of any non-standard components and to define their relationships with the other components.

Toolmaker will highlight suitable attachment points under the cursor.

When the user clicks the attachment points on a pair of components they will move into position.

A second click will preserve the relationship or another attachment point can be selected for an alternative relationship.

All identical parts within an assembly are automatically recognised as instances of the same component so preventing unnecessary duplication of data.

This reduces overall model sizes and makes regeneration of the complete tool much faster after any design changes.

As well as recreating all the standard catalogues, Delcam said it has made it easier for users to create and manage their own catalogues.

Toolmaker allows customers to group commonly used components into their own custom catalogues for several versions.

Users can now both save custom dimensions for non-standard parts as Parasolid files and add Parasolid components that they have modelled themselves, or that they have downloaded, to custom catalogues.

Toolmaker incorporates automated methods to generate the general assembly and all the component drawings required for manufacturing and inspection.

With the incorporation of Parasolid, hidden-line removal has been made faster and more reliable, while the time needed to produce a complete set of drawings for even a complex mould should now be no longer than a day.

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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