DELCAM, represented by Camplex , has released a new version of its automated electrode design system, PS-Electrode. This offers an even wider range of customisation options and the ability to simulate the action of the electrode.
It also includes a comprehensive Erowa catalogue of blanks and holders, alongside the previous Hirschman and System 3R catalogues.
The key attributes of PS-Electrode are its ease of use and the speed with which the design can be completed.
Users can quickly and easily define of the region where the electrode will be needed, create the shape needed to produce the required feature in the part, extend these surfaces to provide clearance from the main surface of the tool, and blend them into the shape needed to fix the electrode into its holder.
Once the electrode design has been completed, set-up sheets for its manufacture and use can be produced automatically to a standard or a user-defined template. The finished design can then be exported to Delcam's PowerMILL CAM program for machining.
The new customisation capabilities in this latest release make it easier for users to build up their own catalogues of components.
Many suppliers include databases of CAD models of their blanks and holders on their web sites. These models can now be copied directly into PS-Electrode's database. Similarly, any bespoke items developed by the company can be stored in the database for future use.
The automated generation of set-up sheets for both the machining and application of the electrodes has also been made much more customisable.
Previously, these could only be issued as drawings but now they can also be generated as HTML files or as Microsoft Excel spread sheets. Both these options will make it easier to communicate between the various people involved in the design, manufacture and use of the electrodes.
The ability to simulate the action of the electrode will add an extra level of security in ensuring that it will perform as expected. PS-Electrode already includes automatic trimming of the electrode blank to avoid collisions with surfaces close to the area to be eroded.
Like Delcam's PS-Moldmaker software for automated mould design, the full benefits of PS-Electrode come from its integration with the PowerSHAPE hybrid modelling software.
This gives the user the option to step out of the automatic process at any stage, make any adjustments to the design that might be required, and then return to the automated options.
As well as allowing more complex designs to be completed, stepping out of and back into PS- Electrode allows the user to generate an electrode design and then mirror or duplicate it for other areas of the model.
The software can also combine different sections into a single electrode or add extra geometry to the design, such as reinforcing ribs, alignment notches or fillets to ensure a smooth transition away from the tool surface.