CIMdata PLM Industry Summary Online Archive

9 March 2010

Events News

Delcam to Show Faster Design and Machining at Die & Mould China

Delcam will show how the 2010 versions of its PowerSHAPE CAD software and its PowerMILL CAM system can speed the design and manufacture of all types of tooling at the Die & Mould China exhibition to be held in Shanghai from 11th to 15th May. The programs allow toolmakers to increase their productivity at all stages of any toolmaking project and to ensure the highest quality in the finished tool and in all components produced from it.

The faster mould design has been made possible by the incorporation within PowerSHAPE of a new kernel for solid modelling and assembly modelling. This complements the surface modelling capabilities developed by Delcam over more than 30 years. The combination of the two technologies provides a range of benefits for toolmakers, especially those that use imported product design data from other CAD systems as the basis for their tooling designs.

Users will be able to tackle all the common problems that can be found when translating low precision and incomplete data, and generate a valid, high-precision CAD model. This process uses the automatic data repair tools that are provided within the software, together with powerful surface creation and editing options. This combination means that simple repairs can be carried out quickly and easily, while more complex problems can be overcome by deleting and replacing the existing surfaces within the model.

The addition of the new kernel will also enhance Delcam’s unique Power Features technology. Components that contain Power Features react automatically as they are placed within the tool assembly, adding all the necessary fit-features to the connecting components. As each part is added, the tolerances between the various components are also defined automatically. This automatic creation of relationships makes the development of the overall design much quicker and also makes errors in the design process far less likely.

The new release of PowerSHAPE also speeds up and simplifies the development of more complex tooling assemblies. It is much easier to create solid models of any non-standard components and to define their relationships with the other components.

Furthermore, all identical parts within an assembly are recognised automatically as instances of the same component so preventing unnecessary duplication of data. This reduces overall model sizes and makes regeneration of the complete tool much faster after any design changes.

The 2010 PowerMILL release is the first to incorporate 64-bit technology. This removes the memory limitations of 32-bit computers so allowing more efficient toolpath generation, especially for companies machining large or complex parts.

The 2010 release also improves user productivity by extending the application of the latest background-processing and multi-threading technologies available in recent hardware. The combination of these two developments is estimated to reduce calculation times by up to 25%, although this will depend on the size and complexity of the part.

PowerMILL 2010 includes more than 50 other major enhancements. This is the largest number in a single release for over five years and reflects the continued high levels of investment in product development at Delcam. These improvements allow faster and easier generation of highly-efficient toolpaths for three- through five-axis milling.

The most obvious change for existing users will be an updating of all the toolpath-creation forms to a new and improved layout. The forms make it simpler for new users to find the commands they need, while also giving experienced operators more logical access to the more advanced options.

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