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Delcam will demonstrate how the ‘design for manufacture’ options in its Powershape CAD software can rapidly convert product designs into tooling designs on Stand 4011 at the Mach 2014 exhibition to be held at the NEC in Birmingham from 7–11 April. 

According to the company, the software, which offers a combination of solid modelling, surface modelling and direct modelling functionality, provides a powerful set of easy-to-use tools to increase productivity for mouldmakers and other tooling designers through increased automation and improved workflow.

The Solid Doctor in Powershape, which provides quick and easy repair of imported data from other CAD systems, has been enhanced with the addition of the Smart Feature Manager and the Smart Feature Selector, meaning Powershape can now recognise a variety of solid features within imported ‘dumb’ geometry, such as fillets, slots and bosses.

Furthermore, the software includes a set of filters so that all the features that fulfil specific criteria can be identified within the model. For example, the Smart Feature Selector can find all the holes having the same specified diameter, those having radii between two values or those with less than a specified radius.

Another useful addition is the ‘solid extrusion’ tool that allows solids to be created from multiple nested curves in a single operation. Any inner curves are extracted automatically from the solids to give hollow shapes. This option is ideal for creating embossed text, such as part numbers or product names, and similar complex-shaped features.

Key features and benefits

  • The software offers a combination of solid modelling, surface modelling and direct modelling functionality.
  • Having all the different technologies in the same package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product development process.
  • The Smart Feature Manager and the Smart Feature Selector allow Powershape to recognise a variety of solid features within imported ‘dumb’ geometry and allow users to identify all these features within a solid in a single operation and so makes the analysis of the imported data easier and faster.
  • The software includes a set of filters so that all the features that fulfil specific criteria can be identified within the model.
  • If a single feature is identified, all similar features can be selected with a single click. Creating groups of similar features in this way makes it easier to manage the feature tree.
  • Groups of features can be placed on layers or coloured so they can be recognised as a group within any of Delcam’s CAM programs, thus simplifying their manufacture.
  • Adding draft surfaces and split surfaces to the model has been made simpler through the addition of ‘Apply’ buttons to all the surface-creation dialogues that allow multiple operations or operations on multiple surfaces without leaving the form.
  • The core/cavity separation wizard divides the solid model into core and cavity pieces that can then be separated dynamically using a simple slider.
  • Any ambiguous faces can be assigned to the appropriate side, while any regions where slides or lifters might be required can be allocated to a completely new line of draw.
  • Throughout the process, clear graphical feedback, including undercut shading, highlights any potential moulding issues arising from the design so these can be corrected at an early stage in the mould design process.

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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