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Delcam will launch the 2011 version of its Powermill CAM system, with new stock-model engagement options to protect the cutter during five-axis and high-speed machining, at two events in February.

The first will be at Dormer Tools’ new site on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield on 22 February and the second at Mazak’s recently opened European Technology Centre in Worcester on 24 February.

The meetings are mainly aimed at existing Powermill users but will also be of value to experienced operators of other CAM systems who are thinking about changing to Delcam software.

Registration is now open on Delcam’s website.

Each day will comprise morning and afternoon sessions of hands-on time to trial the latest features in the software under the guidance of Delcam’s expert engineers.

Delegates attending the meetings at Dormer will be able to learn about the company’s wide range of cutting tools, while those at the sessions at Mazak will be able to view the range of machines in the European Technology Centre and have a factory tour.

The 2011 Powermill release makes the programming of safe tool paths easier than ever thanks to new stock-model-engagement options that protect both the cutting tool and the machine from excessive loading.

Other enhancements include: new editing capabilities to simplify the machining of duplicate items; more versatile control of feed rates for leads and links; extra functionality for sketching; and the completion of the move to the new, clearer forms for the complete range of strategies.

The options to optimise tool loading will help overcome a constant conflict for programmers.

On the one hand, they want to maximise productivity by setting feed rates as fast as their machines will allow; on the other hand, they need to ensure safe speeds that will not break the tool.

A number of CAM programs incorporate strategies based on the extent of cutter engagement to give more consistent loading on the tool and so allow higher feed rates.

However, these options are usually limited to the initial roughing operations, or to only roughing and rest roughing.

Powermill’s new stock-engagement technology can also be employed with all of the system’s finishing and rest-finishing strategies so ensuring that the safest-possible tool paths are run on the machine at all stages.

The key to this more comprehensive solution is the accuracy of the stock models produced within Powermill after each machining stage has been completed.

These models give a precise representation of the material still remaining on the part and are used to ensure that the cutter is never asked to remove more material than it can safely cut.

At the same time, the stock models also ensure that tool paths are not produced where there is no material remaining, so that the machine tool is never left cutting air.

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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