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Delcam will focus on the programming of five-axis machines at this year’s Advanced Manufacturing event, which is due to be held at the NEC in Birmingham on 4–6 June.

While the company’s Powermill software remains its leading program for the five-axis programming of complex shapes found in the toolmaking and aerospace industries, both FeatureCAM, the feature-based CAM system for production machining, and Partmaker, for equipment including turn-mill machines, bar-fed mills and Swiss-type lathes, also offer extensive five-axis capabilities.

The latest release of Powermill features an increased number of options for tool-axis definition. For raster toolpaths, the lead and lean angles can now be defined relative to a contact normal.

New five-axis strategies in FeatureCAM 2013 include flowline machining between two curves, pencil machining and corner re-machining, while Partmaker 2013 R2 features improved simultaneous milling strategies for both four- and five-axis machining, within a new module called ASM-MX (Advanced Surface Machining — Multi-Axis). 

Key benefits of five-axis machining

  • Five-axis machines offer the ability to machine complex shapes in a single setup; this saves time compared with performing the job in a series of setups. 
  • By reducing the number of setups, five-axis machining can reduce the time and cost of making a variety of fixtures.
  • Five-axis machines enable shorter cutters to be used as the head of the machine tool can be lowered towards the job and the cutter oriented towards the surface; these shorter cutters minimise vibration, allowing higher cutting speeds to be used with no loss in accuracy.

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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