Innovation is today’s CAD products is somewhat expected by users who constantly demand the next level of functionality. After all, designers and engineers are using modern CAD tools to design the next great product, or at least the next great version of a product. The same cannot necessarily be said on the CAM side, where progress to innovate tools has been slower.
As the costs of modern machining technology has dropped and become more accessible, more and more designers and engineers tasked with outsourcing prototyping or doing it in-house are getting more involved with the CAM side of the equation. They are also interfacing more frequently with the manufacturing personnel running CNC machines.
Crossing the CAD-CAM Divide
There’s traditionally been a bit of a divide between engineering and manufacturing, possibly a result of the fact that they “talk” different languages in that they use disparate systems. The format created by CAD programs doesn’t seamlessly transfer to the CAM program and engineers are often accused of “lobbing” models over to manufacturing for them to deal with.
To alleviate some of these issues, CAD-integrated CAM packages began to emerge. The goal was to create a CAD-like workflow for CAM so engineers and designers would not have to learn a whole new software system.
Yesterday, Geometric Ltd. announced the shipment of CAMWorks for Solid Edge users. The new version provides even tighter integration with Solid Edge, Siemens PLM Software’s 3D CAD software, to speed programming time and accelerate time-to-market.
One of the software’s users, Tim Hoeing, a plant manager at H&M Tool & Die, is a big fan of the software’s feature-based approach. “The feature-based approach seems much more intuitive than the process of creating profiles and chains method,” says Hoeing. “The automatic feature recognition and tool path associativity helps reduce programming time by as much as ten times. And the knowledge-based machining will save machining strategies for future use, enabling faster turn-around times on new jobs.”
With this release, Solid Edge users will gain access to the full suite of CAMWorks modules, including Sync Manager and Sub Spindle operations manager to speed up CNC programming for complex multi-spindle, multi-turret mill turn machines.
In addition, with the 5-axis simultaneous machining module, users in the aerospace, medical device, and oil & gas industry have the ability to machine complex surfaces using advanced 4- and 5-axis machining centers. Furthermore, tool and die customers now have the ability to program the Wire EDM machines within the same environment as their milling operations instead of having to maintain different software for different purposes.
CAMWorks 2014 also adds new mill-turn capabilities along with 5-axis simultaneous machining and assembly-mode machining, enabling users to confidently and accurately create tool paths that avoid fixtures, clamps, and other necessary work-holding devices, which is essential for today’s complex machining centers.
For more on CAMWorks 2014, check out this page on the Geometric Ltd web site.