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PowerMILL brochure - .PDF file.

Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software has been used by Manufax Engineering to create an efficient NC program to machine the tail-fin shear plate for the Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC). A complex, freeform aluminium component, the shear plate will form the interface between the tail-fin structure and the body of the vehicle for its attempt at the world land-speed record.

Based in Stockport, UK, Manufax is a major supplier to the aerospace, automotive, nuclear and agricultural industries, as well as supporting general precision engineering businesses. The company provides specialist tooling design and manufacture across all disciplines, including jigs and fixtures for airframe assembly, mould tools, automotive tooling and components for nuclear power generation.

The Bloodhound SSC is a jet- and rocket-powered car designed to travel at 1,000mph. Manufax previously produced the mounting frame for the HTP (high test peroxide) fuel tank and an assembly jig that is being used to assemble and align the lower chassis, side rails and upper chassis.

The company’s Correa FP50 five-axis gantry-type machining centre was selected to produce the component in aircraft-grade aluminium. CAD/CAM projects engineer Mark Brittain used PowerMILL to produce the five-axis NC program to machine the shear plate, with its demanding geometric forms, from a single billet of aluminium. At the suggestion of Tony Theaker, area manager for SGS Carbide Tool (UK), Brittain used the Vortex area-clearance strategy in PowerMILL and an SGS S-CARB APR three-flute roughing endmill to rough the part in one operation. Like Delcam, SGS is a partner in the Bloodhound project.

Click on the link above to download the PowerMILL brochure.

Key benefits of product application

  • The combination of the Vortex strategy and the SGS tooling resulted in cycle time savings of more than 40 per cent.
  • Brittain said: ‘We were a little sceptical at first, as the cutting data being suggested for the S-CARB APR cutting tool was providing phenomenal results within PowerMILL. We could not afford to scrap the raw material so we set up a trial cut with a sample of the same grade of aluminium on the machining centre, and applied the speeds, feeds and depths of cut suggested by SGS.’ He added: ‘The trial proved our trust in PowerMILL’s NC code and the cutting tool was well founded.’
  • According to Brittain, the Delcam and SGS systems performed very well together. As well as giving the predicted time savings, the toolpath and the cutting action reduced any deflection of the thin walls of the rough machined part.

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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