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Schott Systeme has released the latest version of its Pictures by PC CAD/CAM software, version 3.4, to help manufacturing companies to further optimise their drilling processes.

Often overlooked by software developers is the continued importance of effectively handling 2D data to machine, especially when many companies remain reluctant to supply external machine shops with fully detailed 3D representations of in-house designs.

Highlighting this as a major oversight by many CAM products, Schott Systeme has enhanced its own suite of 2D CAM functionality within the latest version of its CAD/CAM software Pictures by PC 3.4.

Focusing first on drilling, the extraction of drill features from a 3D model is commonplace, with Schott Systeme offering 3D feature recognition.

In addition, the company is also offering the automatic recognition and optimisation of 2D drill features.

Made possible through the tight integration of its 2D/3D CAD and CAM tools, the software is providing customers with the means to automatically sort through all of the drill objects found within a 2D drawing, subsequently arranging them into specific size groups, regardless of their number.

Once grouped together, the customer’s preferred methods of drilling, including all of the standard canned cycles, can then be instantly applied to all of the holes of a given size.

The latest version also sees the inclusion of drill optimisation, where the software remains aware of the location of all the surrounding holes, and automatically calculates the shortest sequence for any given combination of drilling movements.

The second area of development has centred on the drilling and optimisation of complex multisided parts requiring pre-positional five-axis machining.

3D feature recognition was originally introduced within the previous release of software, and was able to recognise and extract differing hole types on differing work planes.

However this functionality is now combined with multiplane optimisation.

First the software extracts and groups together all holes of a similar size, on a specific face of the model, and these are in turn optimised to generate the shortest drilling sequence.

Pictures by PC then examines the other machining workplanes, and further groups together any additional holes of an identical size that can be drilled from the same machining direction, again sorting the drilling sequence.

The result is the true optimisation of drill features across multiple machining planes, reducing the time spent drilling.

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