SmartCAM (4)

Monday, 19 November 2012 12:10

SmartCAM V19.5 Released

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SmartCAMcnc has announced the release of SmartCAM® V19.5. Version 19.5 continues the tradition of focusing the mid-year SmartCAM release on turning improvements, but also incorporates some milling enhancements that build on functionality introduced in version 19.0. Additionally, a substantial amount of core improvements are included that will benefit all SmartCAM users.

The SmartCAM CAM software family consists of applications for Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM.

Core turning improvements include updated Threading and Groove Roughing capabilities, and a new Parting Process. The Threading Cycle now provides easy access to all threading parameters, and includes new thread options such as Infeed/Outfeed Angles, Start/End Extensions and Spring Passes. Additionally, Thread Blunting is now supported using an ID/OD groove tool in the threading cycle.

The Groove Roughing process has been significantly enhanced to include options to Cleanup Cusps, Finish-to-Size and Reverse Progression of cuts. The addition of cleanup and finishing passes allows the user to create the complete groove using a single process. Additionally, the geometry groove element can now be defined on a layer as a Groove Feature and used as input to any of the roughing processes, including Groove Rough, thereby providing a wide variety of machining strategy options.

"SmartCAM version 19.5 delivers significant core turning improvements. We've had many requests for improved threading and grooving capabilities, and are confident our users will be very pleased to see use this new functionality." said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAMcnc's Senior Product Manager.

A new Parting Process has been added that allows cut-off operations to be defined without the need of additional geometry construction. The Parting process allows radius or chamfer corner breaks to be applied to the edges on either side of the cut-off, and provides options for depth-pecking and controlling a part-catcher. This new feature saves time and improves accuracy and repeatability.

Several significant milling improvements are found in the version 19.5 milling applications as well as the mill/turn capabilities of SmartCAM Advanced Turning™. The Part Offset path type introduced in the version 19.0 Region Rough process has been integrated into the other roughing processes such as Pocket, Face, Solid Pocket, and Planar roughing, and now supports the Stay Down option previously introduced for Spiral path type in v19. Additionally, Process container toolpath can now be directly converted to 4th-axis toolpath using the Transform-Wrap command, without the need to first unpack the container, saving time when making changes to the process toolpath.

All SmartCAM V19.5 products will benefit from a wide variety of exciting core improvements and new features. A new Options dialog box provides convenient and easy access to the user configuration and preference settings. The options are grouped into categories such as General Options, System Performance, Presentation, Color, and Data Translation.

The SmartCAM user interface has been updated to provide improved usability and a "cleaner" appearance. New pull-right menus provide direct access to frequently used commands, and additional mouse pop-up menus allow toolbars to be easily configured and repositioned.

"SmartCAM has always allowed the user to customize the interface and application preferences to fit their needs, and the new configuration improvements in version 19.5 make easier than ever." added Douglas. "SmartCAM users will be excited about these new configuration and usability improvements." ShowPath verification performance has been improved to be faster when displaying nibbled- or filled-toolpath, and to react to mid-verification speed changes.

Customer Requested Improvements Also Added

As with all SmartCAM releases, a number of new and customer-requested core usability improvements can be found in all SmartCAM V19.0 applications, such as:

  • CAD Data Default Destination Workplane - Default destination workplane for imported CAD data can be configured by the user
  • Merge CAD Data to Active Workplane - CAD data can be optionally merged to active workplane
  • Geometry Text Spacing Parameter - Additional spacing between letters can be specified
  • All Step/Tool/Layer Macros - New macro commands allow all defined Steps, Tools, and Layers to be easily identified

"SmartCAM has always been very easy to learn and use, and in version 19.5 the new significant user-interface improvements make it even easier to learn and configure to the users preferences." added Douglas. "SmartCAM users will be excited about these usability improvements."

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Thursday, 21 June 2012 10:36

SmartCAM V19.0 Released

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SmartCAMcnc has announced the release of SmartCAM® V19.0. Version 19.0 delivers new and improved milling functionality to the SmartCAM milling suite, and several modeling and usability enhancements to the entire SmartCAM suite of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system software.

The SmartCAM product family consists of applications for Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM.

SmartCAM Version 19.0 was conceived on three central themes: core milling improvements, core modeling improvements, and usability improvements requested by current SmartCAM customers.

The Region Roughing process introduced in SmartCAM V18 has been extended to offer a new Part Offset Roughing Pattern strategy. This new roughing method generates multiple offset profiling passes on any region configuration, including open or closed regions, with or without islands or voids. Roughing passes always progress from open stock boundaries or closed region centers toward the part profile. The resulting toolpath maintains the specified cut direction relative both the material and the part profile.

In addition to the new Part Offset roughing pattern, Version 19.0 extends the existing Spiral roughing pattern in all the roughing processes to include a new Spiral Stay-Down Roughing Option. When enabled, the stay-down behavior navigates from one "pinched off" region to another without retracting the tool and re-entering into stock. The resulting toolpath typically contains just one initial ramp to depth with the tool remaining at the cut level for the entire region, eliminating multiple retract and re-entry moves that would otherwise occur.

"For SmartCAM V19.0, we continued our development focus on the roughing improvements found in several of the recent SmartCAM releases. The new Part-Offset Pattern and Stay-Down Spiral Option allow far more efficient toolpaths to be automatically generated." said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAMcnc’s Senior Product Manager. "Not only does this reduce programming and machining times, but tool life also will be greatly extended."

Several New Modeling Capabilities have been added to the SmartCAM v19 release. A new User Region function allows wireframe machining regions to be defined using any combination of part and stock profiles. User-defined region sets can then be passed to the Region Rough process for efficient machining using the captured part and stock definition.

The SmartCAM FreeForm Machining™ milling application receives a new Boundary Surface creation method that allows model voids or holes to be easily covered to exclude them during solid and surface machining processes. The Model Checking and Healing functionality is now available in all SmartCAM applications when opening or merging CAD models, and a new Model Validation tool has been added to improve access to the healing and reporting functionality.

Many Customer Requested Improvements Added

As with all SmartCAM releases, a number of new and customer-requested core usability improvements can be found in all SmartCAM V19.0 applications, such as:

  • Container Support for Dimensioning, Geometry Text, and Meshing Tools These element types can now be created as a single container element, making it simple to modify and regenerate the element with new parameters
  • Element Data Display for Radius & Diameter The Element Data utility has been updated to display both the radius and diameter values for wireframe arcs and surface cone, torus, and sphere elements.
  • Expanded Tool Tips The Tool Tips feature has been expanded to display element information for a wide variety of element types
  • Undo Option for Property Change and Geometry Explode
  • Container Support for Ordering Toolpath
  • Longer Name Options for Workplanes, Elements, and Sub-routines provides the ability to describe the model in greater detail
  • Most-Recently Used Macros pull-down list has been added
  • Group Delete Key

"The release-to-release advancement of SmartCAM has been very encouraging to our customers." Douglas went on to say. "In addition to the powerful new roughing options, we are extremely pleased to deliver a high number of user-requested enhancements and improvements. We are convinced that SmartCAM V19.0 will be beneficial and appreciated by all SmartCAM users with their first use."

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Tuesday, 06 December 2011 09:38

SmartCAM V18.5 Released

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SmartCAMcnc has announced the release of SmartCAM® V18.5. Version 18.5 delivers new and improved functionality to the SmartCAM turning and milling suite of products, and several core usability enhancements to the entire SmartCAM suite of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system software. The SmartCAM product family consists of applications for Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM.

SmartCAM Version 18.5 was built on three central themes: turning and mill/turn improvements; mill roughing improvements; and core usability enhancements requested by customers.

Sub-spindle support is introduced to the SmartCAM Advanced Turning™ product, and is one of three major turning improvements in V18.5. It allows machining operations to be defined on workplanes designated for the sub-spindle. SmartCAM toolpath generation routines now allow toolpath to be created using main- or sub-spindle plane orientations, and a sub-spindle offset parameter allows the sub-spindle origin to be offset from the main-spindle origin by a specified distance. Turret synchronization now allows turning operations to be synchronized across spindles, and new code generator template words provide support for independent spindle control, and conditional sub-spindle output.

“In version 17.5 we began a significant effort to expand the Mill/Turn capabilities of our Advanced Turning product. With V18.5 we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the Mill/Turn market with the addition of sub-spindle, B-axis indexing, C-axis face indexing and canned-cycle roughing support,” said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAM’s Senior Product Manager. “SmartCAM users with multi-function turning machines will now better utilize their equipment, and achieve higher levels of efficiency and reduced cycle times, saving significant time and money in the process.”

B-axis Indexing Support is the second major turning improvement added to SmartCAM Advanced Turning. It allows live tools on machines with a pivoting B-axis to be positioned to machine on the face or side of a part, as well as on skewed planes. The Show Path and ShowCut toolpath and material removal verifications have been enhanced to display the tool pivoting into position, providing a more accurate and realistic representation of the machine movement, and the Code Generation module has been enhanced to output the corresponding B-axis positions and commands.

The third significant turning improvement, Live Tool C-Axis Face Indexing, is found in SmartCAM Advanced Turning. The C-axis indexing capabilities of Advanced Turning have been extended to include the ability to index user defined workplanes whose local Z axis is parallel to the world Z axis. This new capability allows machines with a Y axis to machine repetitive face features by indexing the C axis to each feature position then using XY motion to cut the feature.

The final major turning improvement, Canned-cycle Roughing Support, is found in both SmartCAM Production Turning and SmartCAM Advanced Turning. This new support takes advantage of a machine control’s built-in roughing cycles by outputting the necessary canned-cycle commands and part profiles, while still providing in-SmartCAM verification that accurately simulates the material removal.

Also in V18.5, all SmartCAM milling products provide a new Rough Milling Morph Pattern which allows a variety of pocket and face features to be machined with a continuous toolpath that blends between an outer boundary and an inner point or island. This new pattern type ensures the specified cut type (climb or conventional) is consistently maintained throughout the entire toolpath while eliminating retracts and re-entries which can often lead to reduced feedrates and tool breakage. The Advanced Milling products (Advanced Milling and FreeForm Machining) include a new Closed Profiles Planar Rough Process option that provides further control by allowing machining to be restricted to closed areas only.

As with all SmartCAM releases, numerous customer-requested core usability improvements can be found in all SmartCAM V18.5 applications. Improved workplane definitions, a new right-mouse button menu for instant access to workplane commands, an improved Element Data command which allows elements inside a Container to be viewed, and new viewing controls that allow standard views to be displayed relative to any workplane were all suggested by SmartCAM customers.

Other notable improvements include:

* Second Back-offset can be specified and outputted when profiling with groove tools (all turning products)
* ACIS R22 Modeling kernel update (all products)
* Updated Data Translation for SolidWorks, Inventor, and Autodesk DXF/DWG (all products)
* User-definable lists and insert step selection in the Job Operation Planner (all products)

“This has been one of our most feature-rich mid-year releases yet.” Douglas went on to say. “We are especially pleased to have been able to include so many user-requested enhancements, and are extremely confident SmartCAM V18.5 will be especially appreciated by our Turning and Mill/Turn customers.”

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SmartCAMcnc has announced the field test release of SmartCAM® V18.0. Version 18.0 delivers new and improved milling functionality to the SmartCAM milling suite, and several modeling and toolpath editing enhancements to the entire SmartCAM suite of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system software. General release of the software is expected for June of this year.

The SmartCAM product family consists of applications for Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM. Version 18.0 is built on two central themes: core milling improvements, and core modeling and toolpath editing enhancements requested by customers.

The new Rest-Mill Roughing capabilities, one of three a major core milling improvements in SmartCAM V18.0 milling applications, allow users to easily identify areas of remaining material, then machine those areas using a new Region Rough process. The Region Rough process machines the rest mill regions by automatically switching between profiling and pocketing strategies, depending on whether a region is open or closed. These new capabilities make it extremely fast and easy to re-machine features using progressively smaller tools.

In addition to the Rest Mill Roughing improvements, V18.0 introduces new Feature-based Hole-Making capabilities. Solid model hole-feature recognition has been enhanced to automatically identify compound hole-features, and create corresponding hole-feature elements which include full parametric detail of the hole. A new Hole Making process allows toolpath to be created by applying hole-making tools to a group of hole-feature elements, and automatically determining the start levels and hole depths from the input hole-features. The user has complete control over the hole-feature sequence, and the hole making processes can be modified and regenerated at ay time. These capabilities allow full automation for the creation of hole-making toolpath for common features, thereby saving time and ensuring accuracy and repeatability.

“Our last SmartCAM release focused on solids machining improvements in our advanced milling applications. For V18 we decided to concentrate on core milling functionality that will also benefit our SmartCAM Production Milling users,” said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAMcnc’s Senior Product Manager. “The wireframe rest-mill roughing and feature-based holemaking are fundamental capabilities that will be a huge time saver for all our milling users.”

The third core milling improvement found in SmartCAM V18.0 is a set of enhancements related to the Helical Milling. Helix elements can now be created with left- or right-offset properties, and can be offset during verification and code generation. The Thread Milling process has been enhanced to take advantage of the new helix offsetting capabilities, as well as adding support for single point tools, tapered threads, multiple-side passes, and a user-specified lead extension. Additionally, changes to the code generator provide greater control over the output of straight and tapered spirals. These improvements are in direct response to frequent user requests for improved thread-milling support.

Additionally a number of customer-requested core modeling and toolpath editing improvements can be found in all SmartCAM V18.0 applications, including machinable system fonts, a clip-to-intersection editing tool, improvements to toolpath verification and enhanced geometry layer mapping.

Machinable Geometry from System Fonts now provides a full variety of font choices to the user. When a font is selected, SmartCAM extracts and scales the outline curves of the font and converts it to lines, polylines and arcs for use as machinable geometry.

The Clip-to-Intersection Editing Tool provides a method to split and remove geometry segments with a single click. This feature makes it remarkably easy to convert construction geometry into final part profiles.

Two requested enhancements have been made to SmartCAM's Showpath Toolpath Verification functionality. A new Showpath option allows the verification to be restricted to only the portion of the model within the viewing window, and new configuration settings allow the tool motion speeds to be customized to better match the user’s system capabilities and preferences. These two options allow a more efficient use of this heavily employed feature.

New Layer Mapping and Filtering Options allow better organization of the user’s part geometry when importing CAD data into SmartCAM. SmartCAM layers can be pre-named and specific CAD layers can be directly mapped to SmartCAM layers. Additionally, specified layers not required for the manufacturing process can be filtered out of the import entirely. These features allows companies that use standardized CAD modeling layers to dramatically reduce the number of initial steps required to begin building toolpath for the model.

“We’re very happy with the new core improvements based on SmartCAM customer requests,” Douglas went on to say. “The new Clip to Intersection is a huge timesaver when editing wireframe geometry and toolpath. And the addition of machinable Windows Fonts is another frequently requested feature that will provide benefit to all SmartCAM users.”

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