Australia’s leading manufacturer of CNC routers and plasma cutters, Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) believes that it is important to overcome inherent shortcomings in off-line generation of tool paths to realise full productivity gains in advanced CNC machine technology.
Effective CNC machining process in fabrication shops is dependent on several factors. High-quality CNC machines are critical for the efficient machining of quality products while a good automatic tool pathing software package is equally important in improving product quality and value.
David White, Director and co-founder of ART, Brisbane says that the tool path has always been the weak link in the chain, adding that a high-quality cutting tool, driven by innovative tool path programs can increase productivity by as much as three times.
ART works with different software companies to match the correct tool path software to the production needs of each customer.
Software tools include the in-house developed multi-purpose ART ToolShop software, CAMduct/PM2000 for plasma cutters and large format routers in aluminium, ProNest for plasma cutters as well as EnRoute for advanced 2D and 3D CNC routing applications.
Key features of EnRoute software for CNC routers:
- Rapidly processes most CAD files into NC files suitable for use on ART CNC machines
- Specialised modules are available for 3D modelling, cabinet-making, engraving, advanced nesting and most types of machining processes
- High ROI for the customer by generating an optimum tool path, optimum speed and feeds
- Streamlines the CAD/CAM production cycle
- Affordability, accuracy and uncompromising technical support facilitate maximum productivity
Key features of automatic tool pathing:
- Users can create a tool path strategy that best fits their needs utilising EnRoute Smart Tool Path technology
- Different types of tool path creation methods
- Users can set parameters for routing offset, hatch fill, island fill, drills, slots, pyramid and engraving
- Powerful tool path techniques can be easily applied to any text or vector art
- EnRoute software saves time and makes production processes more efficient
- Automatic tool pathing (ATP) brings together many of the disciplines required into a fully automated environment
- Software makes many decisions on behalf of the operator by following predefined strategies, reducing the time spent preparing design files for output to the CNC machines
- EnRoute's ATP engine connects seamlessly with any CAD software to process layered DXF files and batched files into nested sheets, ready for output to the machine
Minimising material waste
Parts positioning impacts the amount of material that the job will consume and the machining time required to cut the parts. In addition to CNC machining efficiency, a shop’s profit margin is directly connected to parts nesting.
It is important for CAD/CAM software to have a complete set of nesting algorithms that can find the optimum geometrical arrangement to simultaneously minimise material waste and maximise cutting times.
EnRoute's easy-to-use interface is backed by a powerful CAD tool with a complete nesting suite that automatically finds the optimum geometry to minimise material waste and maximise machine efficiency.