The release of CAMWorks 99 Plus software brings a number of new features to the fingertips of moldmakers. TekSoft claims that the new capabilities of its product make computer-aided machining quicker, easier, and more automated.
First on the list of upgrades are finishing and semifinishing routines. Z-level finishing has been added, and offset, lace, and pocket processes now allow for cutting of a portion of the mold without the time-consuming procedure of first analyzing the entire part. With a new pencil machining routine, progressively smaller tools cut only specified areas of the mold without retracing the entire part; the program calculates the volume of material left and removes it.
The real improvements, however, according to the manufacturer, lie in automatic and interactive feature recognition. Instead of requiring the programmer to identify a part?s features manually, CAMWorks 99 Plus analyzes the model, determining the type, location, and size of its holes, pockets, and so forth, and then automatically generates a list of standard (automatic recognition) and nonstandard (interactive recognition) machinable features.
After these definitions have been established for machining a part, CAMWorks? next upgrade comes into play. A Microsoft Access database, coined TechDB, allows users to store specified parameters for the machining process, such as tool sizes, speeds, and feeds. After the initial programming, the system automatically implements these preset parameters the next time it locates the feature, cutting machining time from hours to minutes, reports TekSoft. TechDB also enables the user to create conditional actions. For example, if a pocket is less than 3 inches deep it is instructed to perform one function; if more than 3 but less than 10 inches deep, it would follow a separate set of guidelines.
A final upgrade relates to design changes, which typically involve complete reprogramming of a part model. Through associative machining, any changes to the model?s geometry are reported to the user, who is given the option of automatically reprogramming the model. By responding affirmatively to the software?s query, the change is done instantly, and can be performed as many times as necessary.
CAMWorks 99 Plus is compatible with SolidWorks 99 software.
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