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Implant Direct, a manufacturer of dental implants based in California, has cut its programming and setup times with Delcam’s Partmaker Swisscam software for the programming of Swiss-type lathes.

Implant has more than 20 CNC Swiss-type lathes to manufacture its dental implants, mostly Star SV-12 models.

‘The way we used to program left a lot of room for error where you could easily crash the machine,’ said Bill Aravena, a CNC specialist at Implant Direct, who is responsible for programming the CNC Swiss machines.

Wayne Smith, who, as tooling manager, programs all the tool-room machines and helps out with programming the CNC Swiss machines, added: ‘Starting out as the new company, we researched CAM [computer-aided-manufacturing] systems for our programming.

‘When we came across Partmaker, we saw it was really designed to support Swiss machines,’ he said.

Now, with Partmaker, programming is done completely offline with completed programs being sent to the machine.

As a result, setup time has been reduced because it takes very little time to prove out the program at the machine.

Before implementing Partmaker, more time was spent at the machine writing and editing the program before the first successful part was made.

Using Partmaker offline, Aravena not only programs the part but simulates the machining process using the software’s integrated 3D machining simulation before sending the program to the machine.

By programming and proving out parts offline, not only is Implant Direct able to program and set up faster, but it has made the company’s setup operators more productive by taking the programming burden off the shop floor.

‘With Partmaker, we can see everything ahead of time on the computer,’ said Aravena.

The software gives Aravena a virtual machine environment in which he can prove out part programs before sending them to the shop floor.

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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