DELCAM, represented by Camplex , has launched the latest release of the company's PowerMILL CAM software.
PowerMILL 5.5 incorporates a range of enhancements, including the ability to use the stock model for five-axis machining operations, dedicated methods for machining of flat surfaces, the ability to use user-defined tools, and collision checking within the new simulation module.
In addition, the user interface has been improved with the use of Windows XP style icons and with the wider user of colour to define different areas of the model and so simplify the handling of large, complex parts.
A new stock model approach was introduced in PowerMILL 5 that resulted in faster calculation times and increased machining accuracy. This method has now been extended so that positional five-axis rest roughing operations can be performed using the same technique.
As with the three-axis calculations, the stock model can be used to ensure that the maximum possible material is removed with each tool, when machining a component with a series of progressively smaller tools.
Machining of flat surfaces is of particular importance in the aerospace industry and PowerMILL 5.5 will include dedicated strategies for both the rough and finish machining of these areas. The software automatically identifies the flat surfaces within the part.
Options include rest machining of flat areas, the ability to enter the area from outside the block, and the use of workplanes to undertake positional five-axis machining of flat sloping surfaces.
As well as offering a wide range of standard tool types for all machining options, PowerMILL 5.5 will allow the use of user-defined tools. This will enable programs to be generated for complex inserted cutting tools.
The initial machine simulation option introduced in PowerMILL 5 has now been enhanced to include collision checking between the various parts of the machine tool and the model. The simulations will also indicate any areas where the machine tool is attempting to move outside its operating parameters.
As well as these headline additions, PowerMILL 5.5 will include many smaller improvements to make the software even more fast and reliable. The most obvious change for existing users will be significantly faster calculation times resulting from new, quicker algorithms for collision checking.