CIM Solutions , based in Sydney, is set to bring the power of fully integrated 3D CAD/CAM software to Australian and New Zealand based manufacturers. Their core product line is the TopSolid range of world class CAD/CAM software from Missler in France.
Although CIM Solutions may not yet be a well known name in the Australian CAD/CAM market, the people behind it have been in the business for over 20 years. CIM’s software is used by highly successful global companies.
CIM’s Solid Modellers are different from their competitors because users do not need to purchase third party add-ons and take all the risks associated with data compatibility and version lag, high prices and double or even triple maintenance costs.
Version lag is when a third party supplier to a mainline product falls behind in releasing their compatible version, thus causing incompatibility for a period of time. This normally forces the user to ‘roll-back’ their mainline product until the add-ons catch up.
Another common problem relates to the high costs of maintaining two or sometimes more different products from different suppliers, as none of these separate suppliers enjoy the economy of scale when it comes to pricing and each one sees the end user as a single licence and does not offer any multi-license discounts.
Another common problem with having a string of separate suppliers is fragmented support.
The Missler suite of software has been design to eliminate all these problems by offering a complete suite of software covering every aspect of design and manufacture.
All the modules have been written with industry specific knowledge and share a common database, which ensures any changes to the original design are automatically reflected in any subsequent operation such as tooling design, mating parts etc.
Modern machine shops are far more advanced and encompass the latest trends in machine tool technology. In particular, the adoption of multi-purpose or combination machine tools such as mill-turn machines like the Mori-seiki NT range and Mazaks Integrex.
Machines of this type are challenging the older style ‘CAM only’ systems and in some cases they cannot offer a suitable post processor. Misslers unique combination of modelling and CAM faces this challenge with ease and offers the user a realistic and familiar environment where the entire machine is modelled inside the post processor and all the motion involved in a toolpath is simulated and checked for collisions.
Five-axis machining is now becoming more common and once again TopSolid offers a comprehensive solution covering both simultaneous and positioning machining.
Highly advanced toolpaths like sweeping and swarf cutting can be easily applied and 3-dimensional control curves can be used to limit not only the cutting area of the tool but the rest of the tool and holder too.
The suite of products is extremely comprehensive and in addition to the expected modules of mechanical design and machining it covers the wood manufacturing industry with TopSolid 'Wood’. It is especially designed for furniture companies, film sets, exhibition stand designers and anyone involved with wood products.
An extremely powerful module is included for sheetmetal companies, which offers world class sheetmetal design capabilities with folding and unfolding, welding, riveting and deformations. It has fully associative nesting and profiling capability for use with all makes of turret press and laser/gas profile cutters.
The core product is TopSolid 'Design’, an extremely powerful solid modeller based on the Parasolid kernel from UGS.
The Parasolid kernel has become an industry standard and is the same one used by popular products such as SolidWorks and SolidEdge.
TopSolid 'Design’ is a fully associative parametric modeller, which allows the designer the freedom to work directly on the design itself in a fully rendered environment.
The 2D drawings are automatically produced by the software and they remain linked to the original model, which means if the user makes any design changes these are automatically reflected in the drawings.
This associative link is common throughout the entire range of modules and this is what ensures no aspect of the client's process will ever be working with outdated information.
The machining modules cater for the most modern machine tool concepts including multi axis lathes with driven tools and tool changers.
The milling modules are capable of up to nine axis simultaneous control and the complete machine tool environment is simulated and constantly monitored for collisions. The range includes milling, turning, mill-turn combo machines, wire EDM and multi-axis laser and profiling machines.
The TopSolid 'Mould’ software is very widely used throughout Europe and especially in Japan, Korea and China. The latest version boasts the most automated and user friendly set of tools for building not only the cavities, cores and side cores but the complete ejector mechanism, gates, heating and cooling channels and all the associated plates and guides.
At all times the program remains fully associative back to the original part design even if the original part was imported from another system.
The TopSolid 'Progress’ module begins with the completely deformed part and will automatically develop the blank profile with almost no user input required. This ability is once again linked to the original design and from this blank the designer can use a comprehensive set of tools to produce the complete die, including the stamping and bending stations
In addition to the modules outlined above, the Missler range includes modules for Product Data Management (PDM), coordinate measuring machines, manufacturing control and ERP and also process sheet design and control.