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Delcam will show the latest version of its Partmaker computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) software for programming turn-mill centres and Swiss-type lathes at EMO 2009 in Milan on 5-10 October.

Highlights of the program, which is scheduled for release during the fourth quarter of 2009, include the ability to perform five-axis simultaneous milling on multi-axis lathes, a more powerful milling functionality and a better ability to program thread whirling.

A number of additional productivity and user-driven enhancements will also be featured.

Hanan Fishman, Partmaker division president, said: ‘With the ability to program simultaneous five-axis milling operations on multi-axis lathes, Partmaker users will be able to machine even more complex parts than ever before, while the more powerful 2.5-axis milling functionality and the other improvements will boost their productivity.

‘These new milling capabilities, along with enhancements such as improved support for thread whirling, will be especially beneficial to a large segment of Partmaker users involved in the manufacture of medical devices.

‘While five-axis simultaneous milling is still new in the arena of Swiss-type lathes, multi-axis lathes with a five-axis simultaneous milling capability are becoming more commonplace in small-parts manufacturing.

‘Partmaker 2010 positions Partmaker users to take advantage of the growing complexity of milling on multi-tasking machines,’ he added.

The five-axis simultaneous milling functionality in Partmaker 2010 is based on technology used in Powermill – Delcam’s specialist CAM software for the manufacture of complex shapes.

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

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

The benefits over traditional three-axis milling strategies include reduced machining time and improved surface finish.

Employing swarf machining can allow parts to be completed in a single setup and can enable more advanced de-burring techniques, thus eliminating time-consuming and laborious additional finishing.

The swarf machining functionality in Partmaker lets users take advantage of B-axis lathes with a five-axis simultaneous machining functionality.

Partmaker 2010 will offer the option for a direct interface to Powermill, giving users access to all the complex five-axis machining strategies currently supported by the software, including blade and blisk machining, and to the program’s three-axis strategies.

Toolpaths generated in Powermill will be able to be imported directly into Partmaker, where they can be manipulated and synchronised on Partmaker’s process table and simulated and post-processed directly from the Partmaker working environment.

The software features a number of more advanced 2.5-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 the Powermill technology and have been adapted to work inside Partmaker.

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

Thread whirling on Swiss-type lathes allows threaded products to be produced faster because it only requires a single pass to complete the thread, whereas traditional routines require multiple passes to achieve the same result.

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

Partmaker 2010 includes specially developed algorithms to automate the programming of this manufacturing technique.

Then, the program’s 3D simulation prevents any risk of collision during machining.

This is a potential problem with a thread whirling attachment as they can often be quite large inside the working envelope of the machine.

The software also includes: an enhanced grooving functionality; a more powerful and flexible threading capability; improved solids-based programming; and additional CAD functionality.

Delcam claims that the 2D toolpath selection has been made more automatic to speed up programming times.

The company added that 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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