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Delcam has released Partmaker 2010, the latest version of its dedicated software for programming turn-mill centres and Swiss-type lathes.

This latest release incorporates a number of features and enhancements that will allow users to program faster, make more complex parts and take advantage of the latest developments in machine tool technology, according to the company.

Highlights of Partmaker 2010 include the ability to perform five-axis simultaneous milling on multi-axis lathes, a more powerful milling functionality, enhanced grooving routines, faster tool-path creation, improved solid-model-based programming tools and the better programming of thread whirling.

Partmaker 2010 offers an optional module to perform simultaneous five-axis swarf milling on multi-axis lathes.

Swarf machining is a technique that allows side cutting with an endmill while proceeding along the surface of a part, such as the sidewalls of a tapered rib.

Delcam claims that the benefits of five-axis simultaneous swarf machining over traditional three-axis milling strategies include a reduced machining time and an improved surface finish.

Employing swarfing can allow parts to be machined complete in a single setup by allowing for more advanced de-burring techniques, thus eliminating time-consuming and laborious additional finishing.

Partmaker 2010 features the option for a direct interface to all the advanced five-axis machining strategies currently supported by Powermill, including blade and blisk machining, as well as its three-axis strategies.

Powermill tool paths can be imported directly into Partmaker, manipulated and synchronised on Partmaker’s Process Table and simulated and post processed directly from that working environment.

This integrated solution means that users will never be limited in their ability to efficiently program and optimise parts.

Partmaker 2010 features a number of more advanced 21/2-axis milling routines, including a variety of high-speed machining strategies, trochoidal milling, rest-area machining, face milling and a more powerful pocketing strategy.

These additional milling strategies are also based on Powermill technology and have been adapted to work inside Partmaker.

The software’s chamfering ability has also been improved, allowing users to automatically chamfer or round any edge with a single mouse click.

This functionality is critical for completely finishing parts on multi-axis lathes and eliminating costly secondary operations.

The new version also features new functionality for thread milling as well as automated face milling.

Partmaker 2010 includes an improved facility for the programming and simulation of thread whirling – a technique often used in the machining of ‘bone-screw’ threads and other speciality threads commonly found on surgical implants.

Thread whirling allows threaded products to be produced faster because it only requires a single pass, whereas traditional threading routines require multiple passes to achieve the same result.

With the rigidity afforded by a sliding-headstock Swiss lathe, thread whirling can also provide higher and more repeatable precision, according to the company.

Partmaker 2010 includes specially developed algorithms and a user interface to automate the programming of this manufacturing technique.

Delcam claims that 3D simulation fully simulates machining with a thread whirling attachment – an important option as these attachments can generally be quite large inside the working envelope of a machine and thus provide an additional risk of collision during machining.

Partmaker 2010 also includes a number of productivity enhancements, such as an enhanced grooving functionality, a powerful and flexible threading capability, improved solids-based programming and an additional computer-aided-design functionality.

In addition, 2D toolpath selection has been improved from previous versions to measurably speed up programming time.

A number of improvements have been made to the software’s Tool Database.

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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