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At the EMO 2013 exhibition, Delcam will launch its Vortex strategy for high-speed area clearance. Vortex is the main enhancement in the 2014 release of the company’s Powermill CAM system for high-speed, five-axis machining and will be demonstrated at the event.

Vortex was developed specifically to gain the maximum benefit from solid-carbide tooling — in particular those designs that can give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.

It can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, for three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining based on stock models or reference toolpaths.

Delcam will be found on Stand K18 in Hall 25 at EMO, which runs from 16–21 September 2013.

Vortex in detail

  • Vortex toolpaths are calculated to give more efficient machining by following the shape of the part and by keeping air moves to a minimum.
  • The benefits of using the Vortex strategy will vary depending on a number of factors, including the material and shape being cut and the machine tool and cutting tools being used.
  • A series of trials run by Delcam on different machine tools has shown that a time saving of at least 40 per cent is not untypical, with the biggest percentage savings being found when cutting tool steel on a Huron machine with SGS Z-Carb MD cutters. The cycle time for the sample part was reduced from 121 minutes to 34 minutes — a reduction of 71 per cent.
  • Other examples included a reduction of 67 per cent when cutting a number of pockets in a stainless steel part, a 63 per cent time saving on a titanium part and a 58 per cent saving when cutting an aluminium component.
  • The Vortex strategy produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation. This maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the entire toolpath — these would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves. As a result, the cutting time will be shorter while cutting will be undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and feed rate, protecting the machine.
  • Because Vortex toolpaths have a controlled engagement angle, tools should never be overloaded and so will achieve maximum tool life.
  • Vortex is fully integrated with Powermill’s step-cutting strategy for area clearance. This approach minimises the terracing that can result from using a large step-down by moving back up the part after generating the initial area clearance program and automatically generating extra toolpaths to remove additional material at intermediate slices. It optimises the amount of material that can be removed with a single tool, while helping to maintain a more consistent removal rate by increasing the feed rate for the intermediate slices.

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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