Hexagon Releases Latest Update of EDGECAM
New release supports fast 5-axis machining tools; software features barrel cutter support and new gun drilling cycle.
April 25, 2019
The introduction of a specific 5-axis ‘Tilt’ control strategy, combined with a “Barrel Cutter,” may be the most significant enhancement in the latest release of EDGECAM, from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s Production Software division, the company reports. Barrel cutters are recognised as one of the fastest tools when 5-axis machining, and are now fully supported in the EDGECAM Toolstore.
EDGECAM 2020.0 Highlights
As well as the new “side tilt by contact point” capability, the Advanced 5-axis cycle also offers further gouge checking in the Swarf command, along with extra “ink” control in all strategies.
A number of new and enhanced features in EDGECAM 2020.0 provide increased productivity for both milling and turning users. And the recently introduced EDGECAM Inspect module includes 13 upgrades.
EDGECAM 2020.0 offers a performance boost when either roughing or profiling a solid model. “Essentially, the machining engine will only compute data constrained within the boundary, ignoring the rest of the model,” says Hexagon brand manager John Buehler. “This significantly decreases the cache size, while generating faster toolpaths.”
Formerly introduced in the Hole cycle in the 2018 R1 release, the “Deep Hole” strategy has been enhanced. The original modifiers have been improved, and further control tabs have been added to the cycle.
The Turning environment offers a new machining cycle—Thread Profiling. “Reacting to a high frequency of enhancement requests from customers in this area, EDGECAM 2020.0 allows users to effortlessly machine complex form threads such as VAM and Acme,” says Buehler. “The cycle provides both roughing and finishing strategies, allowing users to specify their own thread forms.”
The Waveform Machining Strategy has been enhanced with “Chip Prevention” control. Under certain conditions, a toolpath can generate a thin island of material (chip), which, as it gets thinner can cause machining stresses, and potentially break the tool.
Supporting the growing number of machine tools possessing an “Auxiliary Z” (Quill), EDGECAM 2020.0 introduces a Code Wizard enhancement, letting users add a secondary working spindle. This supports multi-task machine, along with any combination of Table/Head Milling machines. Coupled with that, a new ‘Quill Command (Move menu) offers greater control when commanding the second working axis.
When using the Finish Grooving cycle, users can now control the “Break Edge” angle. In previous EDGECAM releases, the break angle was set at 45 degrees.
In the Finish Turning cycle a “stand off” value can now be defined when using ‘Up Cut’ control.
An XY Offset can be set when deploying the Hole Cycle’s ‘Helical’ strategy, allowing users to control both surface finish and tool wear.
Two new tool types—Dovetail, and Double Angle—have been added to the Toolstore. This does away with the need to create custom graphics for them.
EDGECAM INSPECT Highlights
Moving on to EDGECAM Inspect, brand manager for Research and Development Andy Mears says developers have responded to customer requests by expanding the ability of Inspect components in both the Turning and Mill-Turn environments.
The overall interface has been upgraded to adopt the work-flow ribbon toolbar, improving interactivity. The “Probing Options” menu has been split into two separate dialogs, meaning users can concentrate on Output and Inspect preferences individually.
Safe Retract controls have been added to the inspection cycles, for users to state multiple positions while controlling the probe’s movement. The ‘Index’ command now contains the ability for further positional manipulation, where an alternative angle may now be specified to view the components on the machine tool.
The new “Angle To Line” feature merges three previous commands into one function, allowing the Angle Direction to be specified in the Data Report.
Among other enhancements to the EDGECAM Inspect module: Constructed features have been updated, so that “Straightness” can now be specified while editing the “Constructed Line” feature. And both the Circular and Arc features can now be converted and re-specified when edited.
Finally, around 50 enhancements have been made to the optional EDGECAM Designer module, which bridges the gap between CAD and CAM, focusing on the specific needs of machinist programmers.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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