LASER cutting has been the fastest growing machining application for the last three years. Not just the number of machines, but their power, efficiency and the range of machining capabilities.
Supporting this trend, CAD/CAM vendors have released solid design, programming and nesting systems for laser machines.
PEPS has released PentaCut, a 5-axis laser programming system developed for the automotive, aerospace and general engineering industries. It is said to offer easy to use, yet comprehensive, programming of multi-axis laser cutting machine tools.
The system is based on an industry-standard interface. The cutting toolpaths are generated directly from the imported solid model.
A typical machining application of cutting outer and inner trims on complex 3D surfaces on 3D solid models can be done automatically, requiring little or no input from the programmer.
The dual control interface allows users to manipulate the toolpath either via the mouse, or through intuitive dialog boxes.
The system allows part geometry to be imported or generated from scratch if required. Imported CAD geometry is used as the source for both cut-path programming and process simulation. Users can import surface data in any standard CAD format. The imported geometry is displayed as a fully rendered image or as a simple wireframe. The solid model is presented using a selection of colours and materials.
A traffic-light user interface analyses machine limits and part sizes during the solid simulation, and reports the fit (green) or overtravel (red) at the axis position display.
Model positioning on the machine is interactive or automatic, allowing fine-tuning of the position according to programmer settings. The auto head positioning facility keeps the nozzle to the part at all times, and allows the adjustment of all settings within machine parameters.
The company has also released PEPS TubeCut, a laser system for rotary axis machines.
The simple-to-use programming system allows tubes or sections to be parametrically defined from a library of standard shapes, or to be defined as free or arbitrary shapes.
These are then displayed as rendered solid images into which cutting apertures and profiles can be defined. Users can also import solid CAD data defining the raw material or the finished part.
Machining is added by simply selecting an edge or aperture loop, and any cutting technology that has been defined and saved is automatically added.
The workspace manager graphically displays the solids defining the tube section, the cutting profiles and the machining cycles that are to be applied.
This approach simplifies the program structure and enables simple graphical picking to modify and change any part of the program.
Users can save frequently used sections or shapes for immediate retrieval from a pick list.
Complex shapes such as text can be fashioned by standard vertical walls or wrapped on the tube. These can be applied to holes or any required cutouts.
Camtek Pacific 03 9588 2390