The newly launched 64-bit version of PowerMILL 2010 CAM software designed for five-axis and high-speed machining is now available from Camplex .
Designed to boost productivity in manufacturing, the 64-bit technology removes memory limitations inherent in 32-bit computers allowing more efficient toolpath generation, especially for companies machining large or complex parts.
The PowerMILL 2010 release continues to improve user productivity by extending the use of the latest background-processing and multi-threading technologies available in current hardware. The combination of these developments is estimated to reduce calculation times by up to 25 per cent.
In addition to the hardware-related performance improvements, PowerMILL 2010 includes more than 50 other major enhancements to enable faster and easier programming, more efficient toolpaths and better surface quality for finished parts.
This is the largest number of improvements in a single release for more than five years and reflects the continued high levels of investment in product development.
The most obvious change for existing users involves the new toolpath-creation forms and improved layout. For new users the forms make it simpler to find commands. A new toolbar is provided for faster and easier creation as well as editing of workplanes.
New strategies for the roughing and finishing of corners give a more efficient and smoother clearance of these areas, especially when a large tool has been used for roughing that has left material in the corner.
Rest roughing has been enhanced to give better control over the start points for each segment of the toolpath. This will give substantial savings in overall machining time by minimising any air cutting.
Offset roughing, a popular approach for high-speed machining has been enhanced so that thin slivers of material that may damage the cutter are not left for the final pass.
PowerMILL will now identify these potential problems automatically and adjust the final stepover to give more even and safer material thicknesses.
Improvements have also been made in the areas of smoother toolpaths for semi-finishing and finishing to enable a better surface finish. 3D-offset toolpaths are automatically made much smoother as the tool approaches and leaves giving a more accurate result than simply introducing an arc at the point of change.
More options have been added to the collision avoidance – these are particularly useful in areas where there might be a sudden change in direction.
The ability to specify a look-ahead distance has been added to ensure a smooth transition when tool-axis changes are required. One can now specify a tolerance for the contact angle with five-axis machining, reducing excessive movement of the machine head.
Constant-Z toolpaths have been enhanced to include the detection of flat areas and the automatic insertion of extra Z-levels to machine these exactly. A filter has been added to remove small enclosed segments from the toolpath as these can damage the cutter.