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PowerSHAPE brochure - .PDF file.

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PowerMILL brochure - .PDF file.

Delcam Professional Services is offering free Custom Software Core software to speed up and simplify the automation of repetitive operations in Delcam’s PowerSHAPE design and reverse-engineering software and PowerMILL CAM system. 


Even though both PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL incorporate automatic routines as part of the software, many experienced users like to customise the software to automate further standard, repetitive operations specific to their application or product range. Typically, this is done by recording a sequence of operations as a macro that can be replayed when a similar calculation, or series of calculations, is required. For more complex operations, this can be a time-consuming process and can produce an intricate string of commands that is difficult for other users to understand or to edit.

The Custom Software Core is a library of middleware that allows users to develop code more intuitively than using macros when interfacing .NET applications to PowerSHAPE and/or PowerMILL. The use of an object-oriented design, together with IntelliSense in Microsoft Visual Studio, means that the software engineer can discover the functionality available when interfacing with PowerSHAPE and/or PowerMILL more easily than recording a macro and pasting together a series of commands.

The Custom Software Team within Delcam Professional Services recently used the Custom Software Core to develop an automated production method for Yooshu, a manufacturer of custom-made sandals. The team, which combines software development and mechanical engineering skills, was able to develop a system that interfaces with a third-party foot scanner to obtain scan data from the customer’s feet (pictured). That data is then passed to PowerSHAPE to design the sandal, and then to PowerMILL to create and post-process the toolpaths used by a robot to cut the custom shape.

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Key benefits

  • The number of lines of code in the customised application will be reduced, typically by at least 50 per cent, compared with using macro commands.
  • Rather than using lengthy blocks of macro commands that are hard for other users to read and understand, the new application comprises easy-to-read function calls, each of which can encapsulate many lines of macro commands.
  • Using the Custom Software Core makes it easier to upgrade any custom application from one version of PowerSHAPE or PowerMILL to a newer version. 
  • Any changes between software releases to the macro command for a particular operation can be handled by downloading a new version of the Custom Software Core. This new version will ensure that the application will continue to function as before, without any need to recreate macros.

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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