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CAD/CAM programming NC/CNC laser plasma waterjet

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article image Enables rapid and easy programming of aerospace, automotive and general engineering components.

LASER 3D’s PEPS CAD/CAM programmes fast and easy profile cutting by NC/CNC laser, plasma, and waterjet on any surface direct from a 3D model. It is available from Camtek Pacific.

Laser 3D was established in 1992 to fill a void in the laser job shop market by providing the ability to trim formed metal and plastic components.

During its rapid growth, Laser 3D has installed multi-axis laser cutting systems in its Melbourne facility to provide a broad range of laser cutting and welding services.

With an existing and expanding array of laser cutting machines in use, Laser 3D has acquired PEPS 5-axis laser NC Programming system PentaCut.

"We were looking for possible ways to improve our response time and accuracy as 5 Axis laser cutting was concerned,” said Managing Director of Laser 3D, Brian Finn.

“After researching the market we have chosen PEPS PentaCut, which has just been released and is at the moment a unique product on the CAM market."

Laser 3D is using Mechanical Desktop for much of their 3D development work and then transfers completed components into PentaCut to apply cutting paths, run simulations and generate NC code.

PentaCut is capable of accepting CAD data using the wide range of CAD translators.

Every company (and programmer) requires a tailored software for their requirements and Laser 3D is not an exception.

"The system is really open to customization,” said Mr Finn. “We have requested a modification to the post output and it was implemented within a few days. The support overall was and is excellent."

PentaCut enables rapid and easy programming of aerospace, automotive and general engineering components.

The system includes functions to quickly position the component on the machine table, design fixturing 'nests' and to create 5 axis laser paths.

Solid simulation and collisions checks are performed using solid models of the machined part, machine table and laser head.

"Our two LaserLab 5 Axis Pentacon Machines and new Trumpf in conjunction with PentaCut and our other equipment, allows us not only to meet required tough deadlines, but deliver it with a greater level of accuracy, as cutting is performed using design data direct, substantially eliminating the human factor," said Mr Finn.

There are ongoing plans to expand Laser 3D’s existing plant and PEPS is an integral part of that plan.

The substantial advantage of PentaCut is that it allows an existing job to run on any available 5 Axis machine using correspondent machine geometry and post processor.

The PEPS Machine Library covers practically all existing multi-axis laser cutting machines.

PEPS PentaCut is supplemented by TubeCut to program multi-axis laser tube-cutting machinery, supporting any permutation of axes. It allows to program 5 Axis machines as well as 2/3D laser cutting machines equipped with NC controlled rotary table.

Entirely solid model-based, TubeCut delivers a comprehensive library of standard tube sections and aperture shapes that can be cut into tube walls.

Non-round and even 'formed' tubes can be handled by the system. There are also tools to prepare bevels or chamfers on apertures and tube ends and to model tube ends themselves. Models can also be imported from leading CAD systems.

TubeCut makes the programming of tube components extremely easy. All apertures in the tube wall can be programmed with the single use of one command.

The bevels and chamfers can also be machined easily. Pre-programmed tube components can be 'nested' in a length of tube.

2D Fabrication Expert provides automatic shape recognition of external profiles and apertures. Expert is working accordingly to set up rules and parameters.

The preferred parameter values can be set up as defaults and changed by a user if required. Accordingly, to set up expert parameters Expert provides full ‘look ahead’ with offset checking during profiling of complex geometric shapes.

The user can select Single Part or Full Sheet (Global) optimisation. ‘Shared cuts’ are eliminated as the result of full global optimisation.

The Micro Tag size is one of Expert’s parameters. Expert places corner and middle tags automatically and practically eliminates this tedious and time consuming job. A user can add, change, and remove tags if required.

Lead On and Lead Off settings are set globally or individually, depending on the geometric feature to be machined. Type of the lead, length, radius and approach moves are defined automatically and can be adjusted permanently or for the selected instance. Corner cutting modes include continuous, exact stop, circular loop, straight loop and radius blend.

The system provides multiple repositioning of the sheet. The movement of the sheet is visualised.

Control of work chutes is provided, dependent on the machine tool type. Multi Head machines are supported, the number of heads in usage and pitching data are used in layout generation.

PEPSFAB provides a fully automated nesting for the current production run providing manufacturing of the list and number of required parts on the list and number of available sheets.

The Sheets Database contains data of sheets in usage. Sheet details include material, thickness and sizes. Special shaped sheets can be registered if required.

All layouts can be revised and adjusted if necessary. Approved layouts are submitted to Expert for generation of correspondent NC part programs.

The library of existing post processors cover various profile cutting machine tools and NC controls.

Cutting Technology Data Base provides cutting data depending on material and application to optimise machining time using machine tool capabilities to the full.

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