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EdgeCAM 7.5 shows its metal
EdgeCAM 7.5 shows its metal
Keywords: Software, Surface finishing
Pathtrace reports that a breakthrough in the graphical representation of machined components in EdgeCAM 7.5 enables toolpath characteristics such as surface finish and surface definition to be clearly visible and provides a true "engineering related" view of the component. The ability to create a realistic metallic finish to the rendering of the EdgeCAM solid model allows the effects on surface finish of variables such as, tool feed direction and tool geometry to be quantified before actual machining occurs (Plate 6).
In addition, version 7.5 of the CAM system by Pathtrace of Reading, UK, incorporates latest Microsoft Windows style thumbnail images in the File Preview and "Explorer" windows. This enables the user to perform quick directory referencing and easy "drag and drop" operation.
Plate 6 Pathtrace's EdgeCAM Version 7.5 gives that metallic feel to tool path creation.
Full support for SpaceBall and SpaceMouse 3D motion controllers, from 3D connexion, is also included adding a new dimension in model manipulation for EdgeCAM users giving the impression as if the part is actually being held in the hand.
Further development of Pathtrace's ground-breaking strategy manager, which enables operational cycles to be defined using a flowchart style layout, delivers enhanced user interaction, with feedback tools and a dynamic response request, which initiates inprocess operator feedback. Also included is a new "notes" facility allowing users to document information for future reference.
These latest major advances to EdgeCAM have been made by Pathtrace after tracking CAD process developments, analysing the future investment projections of their worldwide customer base and include many user requested enhancements. By adding new functionality to strategy manager, which has been credited by users of EdgeCAM for its re-engineering of the CNC programming process, Pathtrace illustrates that, it is totally committed to further automation of the CAM process.
The addition of a Perpendicular Lace option to EdgeCAM's Parallel Lace contouring capability enables the total length of the toolpath to be considerably shortened. This is said to not only reduce machining time, but also improves cutting efficiency, extends tool life and accommodates higher machining speeds. The new option automatically replaces Parallel Lace moves with perpendicular sections of toolpath over steep regions of the machined part. This new option negates the traditional toolpath creation cycle, where overlapped cuts are taken at 90°.
Rest finishing has for some time been in the EdgeCAM users "toolkit of strategies". Now, with the addition of a centre trace option, a final pass will machine away any central islands left in a rest region, which avoids any need for additional pencil trace toolpaths and ensures high levels of surface finish consistency.
Further enhancements to EdgeCAM version 7.5 include upgraded roughing cycles for 2D wire frame users, which provide elements normally associated with 3D machining functionality such as contour wall support. New rest roughing cycles enable optimised roughing, which reduce the need for tool changes and increases flexibility for instance, when multi-component machining on tombstone type fixtures.
A new pencil mill cycle includes multi-pass, which enables combinations of smaller tools and stepover to initiate improved control over toolpath, surface finish and machining consistency, and a new parallel lace cycle developed for flat end type milling cutters, avoids any additional machining of flat areas.