Industry News

FANUC America Offers Free Trial of CNC Virtualization Platform

FANUC’s CNC GUIDE allows users to learn how to operate controls, create part programs and test designs in a virtual environment on a PC.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – (June 24, 2020) – FANUC America, a leading automation solutions provider, is offering a free trial version of CNC GUIDE – FANUC’s PC-based virtualization platform for control design, training and part programming.  

To assist machine tool operators and builders through the rough economic times created in 2020, FANUC is offering this simulation tool at no cost. CNC GUIDE offers an immersive and safe way to learn how to operate CNCs, even for novice operators. Because the software creates digital twins of machine controls, programmers can test G-code programs with no risk of damaging actual machines. 

CNC GUIDE can also help optimize machining operations since users can experiment in the virtual environment with performance-enhancing features in FANUC controls. In addition, the software used in tandem with our conversational programming tool, MANUAL GUIDE i, can act as a simplified CAD/CAM package. This platform enables programming on a PC instead of the machine tool, so equipment stays in production to minimize downtime and maximize throughput.

FANUC’s CNC GUIDE is not only beneficial for machine tool operators, but also builders. Machine tool builders can get a competitive edge by using CNC GUIDE to prove out their design concepts faster and get their equipment quicker to market. 

This limited-time offer is good only through September 2020 and available to FANUC America customers residing in the U.S. Interested parties need to contact FANUC through the CNC GUIDE Trial Offering page to get started. For more information, please visit: https://www.fanucamerica.com/products/cnc/software/cnc-guide/free-trial

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation.  FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability. 

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority.  We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.    

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, and has facilities in:  Auburn Hills, MI; Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Houston; Huntington Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Montreal; Pine Brook, NJ; Pontiac, MI; Birmingham, AL; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, and Manaus, Brazil; and Aguascalientes, Monterrey, and Queretaro, Mexico.  For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

FANUC America Corporation PR contact:

Factory Automation: Debra Schug

CNC Strategic Communications Specialist

T: 847.898.5673

E: debra.schug@fanucamerica.com

Robotics: Cathy Powell

Public Relations and Communications Manager 

FANUC America Corporation

T: 248-377-7570

E: cathy.powell@fanucamerica.com

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Powerful new software provides manufacturers of CNC grinding machines with an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for non-circular grinding

Naperville, IL, June 17, 2020 — Powerful new software from NUM provides manufacturers of CNC cylindrical grinding machines with an elegant means of adding non-circular grinding capabilities to their products – without incurring significant development time and cost.

Non-circular grinding is used in a wide variety of automated manufacturing applications, such as the production of camshafts, crankshafts, cams and eccentric shafts. However, it is an extremely complex task, because the non-circular contour leads to constantly changing engagement and movement conditions between the grinding wheel and the workpiece.

NUM has now added non-circular grinding functionality to its NUMgrind cylindrical grinding software, which forms an application-specific element of the company’s renowned Flexium+ CNC platform. It is fully compatible with other Flexium software, from release 4.1.20.00 onwards.

NUMgrind is specifically designed to simplify the creation of G code programs for CNC grinding machines through the use of a highly intuitive graphical human machine interface (HMI), conversational-style ‘fill in the blanks’ type dialogues or a combination of the two.

Unlike conventional CAD/CAM workstation tools for generating CNC machine tool control programs, NUMgrind is intended for use in the production environment. It enables shop floor personnel to handle everyday machining tasks very quickly and efficiently – and the work can be easily shared amongst several people and several machines. The NUMgrind HMI can of course also be run on an office PC. Application-dependent projects, and the corresponding ISO part programs, can be created, tested with NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software and transferred to the targeted machine.

The operator simply determines the sequence of the grinding process via the HMI and enters the necessary data for the grinding operations, grinding wheels and dressing operations in the dialogue pages. Programming is further simplified by the fact that the HMI is supported by a comprehensive library of predefined shapes, which includes eccentric circles, hexagons, pentagons, polygons, Reuleaux triangles and rhombi. The CNC program is then created completely automatically and stored in an executable form.

The closed shape of the workpiece is defined in the XY plane. However, grinding is performed by interpolating or synchronizing the X axis with the C axis (workpiece spindle). Axial movement in the Z axis can also be accommodated, by means of oscillation or ‘multi-plunge’. The Flexium+ CNC system’s NCK transforms the contour from the XY plane into an XC plane, and calculates the corresponding compensation and in-feed movements, taking the grinding wheel diameter into account. The speed profile is also transformed, so that the speed and acceleration are automatically adapted to suit the physical attributes of the machine.

NUM is one of the world’s leading suppliers of CNC solutions for machine grinding. Its expertise covers every aspect of the discipline, including surface grinding, external and internal cylindrical grinding, centerless cylindrical grinding and non-circular grinding.

NUM is active in social media. To become a follower visit: https://twitter.com/NUM_CNC

For more information, please contact:

Steve Schilling, NUM Corporation, 603 East Diehl Road, Suite 115, Naperville, IL 60563, USA.

Tel: 630 505 77 22; sales.us@num.comwww.num.com

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Methods Machine Tools Introduces OKK High Precision Vertical Machining Center for Die and Mold Machining

Sudbury, MA, U.S.A. (June 12, 2020) Methods Machine Tools, Inc., North America’s foremost supplier of leading-edge precision machine tools and automation, has introduced the OKK VB53α Vertical Machining Center (VMC) that is ideally suited for die and mold machining. The high-speed OKK VB53α features a range of features which minimize vibration and maximize accuracy, resulting in superior surface finishes for high-end die and mold applications, and precision parts.

“We are pleased to offer mold makers and manufacturers with a new, highly productive and operator friendly VMC solution from OKK,” said Bob Meier, Technical Sales Engineer, Methods Machine Tools, Inc. “In addition to providing exceptional reliability and precision, the OKK VB53α work space is designed with the operator in mind, offering up to 50% more accessibility than conventional machines.”

The OKK VB53α has several features for high rigidity and accuracy. A rigid machine base, wide size linear roller guide and fine pitch high-resolution ball screw increase machining precision. Enhancing positioning accuracy, a 0.05 micron resolution linear scale is offered. Soft Scale Cube technology features thermal sensors that monitor and compensate for any displacement in real time. 

An externally located isolated oil cooler removes a common source of machine vibration and results in better die and mold quality. Due to the coolant sheltered work environment, the machine casting is protected from chips and coolant to avoid thermal distortion. The Y-Axis shutter is designed to reduce chip accumulation and reduce operational downtime, while coil-type conveyors clear out chips quickly and efficiently. An automatic grease lubrication system ensures there is no waste oil contamination of the coolant.

The OKK VB53α features a powerful FANUC F31i-B control together with Hyper HQ control technology, which is critical for efficient and accurate manufacturing. Hyper HQ control consists of a 64-bit, high speed RISC processor including a look ahead multiple block (multi-buffer). It automatically detects the corner on parts from the NC part program, and controls the feed rate so it does not exceed the machine’s permissible acceleration rate. A large capacity, 1 GB data server holds large files and sends it through a high-speed Ethernet connection for external analysis on the RISC so that the VB53α is never starved for data.

The new OKK VMC features a 20,000 RPM, 20/15 HP spindle and has X,Y,Z travels of 41.3 x 20.8 x 20.1 (1,050 mm x 530 mm x 510 mm), respectively. The automatic tool changer will store up to 30 tools. The table work surface area is 49.6 x 23.6 (1,260 mm x 600 mm), and offers load capacity of 2,646 lbs (1,200 kg).  The OKK VB53α is a compact size machine with a footprint of 98.23 (2,495 mm) x 120 (3,050 mm) for economical use of floor space.

For over 100 years, customers worldwide have relied on OKK machines, including Vertical, Horizontal, and 5-Axis machines for quality, reliability, precision and innovation. To ensure 100% quality control, OKK produces all key machine tool components in-house such as spindles, mechanical gears, precision square slide guide ways and special controller features. 

Methods is currently representing OKK in North America with the exception of: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Virginia. For a complete listing of OKK machining centers and for information on regional availability, visit here.

About Methods Machine Tools, Inc.

Methods Machine Tools, Inc., headquartered in Sudbury, Massachusetts USA and in operation since 1958, is North America’s foremost supplier of leading-edge precision machine tool and automation solutions – providing superior products, engineering, service, parts, training, and integration. With over 300 employees, six Technical Centers, three Solution Centers, the Methods Precision Center, and over 40,000 machines installed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, Methods supplies high quality machine tools, automation equipment and more. For more information call 877-668-4262 or visit www.methodsmachine.com.

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OPEN MIND Technologies To Host Mill-Turn CAM Webinar on June 23rd

NEEDHAM, MA U.S.A. (June 9, 2020) – OPEN MIND Technologies, a leading developer of CAD/CAM software solutions worldwide, has announced a Webinar focused on Mill-Turn technology in its hyperMILL® CAM software on June 23rd at 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. EDT.

The hyperMILL® CAM software techniques for mill-turn will be presented during the Webinar. Mill-turn solutions are common today, offering multiple benefits such as reduced set-ups, improved alignment of multiple cutting processes, and reduced usage of a manufacturer’s floor space. The hyperMILL® Mill-Turn solution provides a streamlined operation with a unified milling and turning programming workflow including cycle specification, importing vendor tool holders, tool database, post-processing and simulation. The system works with mill-turn and turn-mill machines, and standard lathes.

Webinar attendees will see how these benefits are realized within a simple user environment. Together with well-known advanced milling strategies, the hyperMILL® Mill-Turn CAM solution can be considered by users having multiple machines and seeking one programming environment. Using a single interface, mill-turn strategies as well as all 2.5D, 3D and 5-axis milling can be used. Key points will be explained, and best practices will be demonstrated in the Webinar, including advanced 3-axis simultaneous turning for roughing and finish. OPEN MIND experts will be available to answer your questions. Click Here for more information and to register

About OPEN MIND Technologies AG

Headquartered in Germany, OPEN MIND is one of the world’s leading developers of powerful CAD/CAM solutions for machine and controller-independent programming. The company develops optimized CAD/CAM solutions that include many innovative features unavailable elsewhere, to deliver significantly higher performance in both programming and machining. Strategies such as 2.5D, 3D, as well as 5-axis milling, mill/ turning, and machining operations such as HSC and HPC, are efficiently designed into the hyperMILL® CAM system, providing maximum user benefit and compatibility with all current CAD solutions and extensive programming automation. OPEN MIND strives to be the best, most innovative CAD/CAM developer in the world, and has earned the top five ranking in the CAD/CAM industry according to the 2020 NC Market Analysis Report by CIMdata. OPEN MIND CAD/CAM solutions meet and exceed the requirements of the most demanding industries such as automotive, tool and mold manufacturing, production machining, medical, job shops, energy and aerospace industries, and is represented in all key markets of Asia, Europe and the Americas. OPEN MIND is a Mensch und Maschine Company. http://www.mum.de/  For more information visit www.openmind-tech.com.

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FANUC’s CNC Machining Workforce Development Solution Now Includes 5-Axis Simulation

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – (June 10, 2020) – To further develop the next-gen manufacturing workforce, FANUC America, a leading automation solutions provider, is expanding its CNC training offerings to include 5-axis simulation. 

FANUC’s Machining Simulation for Workforce Development provides training for controls operation and part programming in a virtual environment. The Complex Milling Extension option combines FANUC’s CNC Guide and simulation software that can now operate as one of the three main 5-axis mill kinematics.  The offering also includes training on a 3-axis mill and a 2-axis lathe for maximum configuration flexibility. Via a digital twin, the 5-axis machining simulation allows users to learn how to setup and operate three common advanced 5-axis milling machines: mixed type, tool type and table type.  

Growing interest in 5-axis machining continues as more operations look to produce complex parts used in high-tech industries, such as aerospace and medical devices. As this sector of the machine tool business increases, the demand for 5-axis operators will exponentially grow. Finding qualified workers to fill these positions will challenge many employers, who are already facing a tight labor market due to the widely known manufacturing skills gap issue.

Training new or existing workers in an effective and innovative way will be key to bridging this gap. FANUC is committed to working with industry as well as educational partners to help fill the growing 5-axis training demand. 

The addition of 5-axis simulation offers an immersive environment to practice and understand advanced machining techniques. Since 5-axis machining involves more complex machine setups, the simulation software effectively teaches users how to take advantage of the unique options and features. Additionally, the 5-axis machining simulation software allows operators to experiment with and prove out the machine setup and/or part program before modifying the actual machine.  

For more information on the 5-axis machining simulation software as well as other CNC workforce development solutions, please visit this page.

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation.  FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.  

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority.  We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.    

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, and has facilities in:  Auburn Hills, MI; Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Houston; Huntington Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Montreal; Pine Brook, NJ; Pontiac, MI; Birmingham, AL; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, and Manaus, Brazil; and Aguascalientes, Monterrey, and Queretaro, Mexico.  For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

 

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IMTS Dedicates Resources to Help Rebuild Supply Chain

McLean, Va., (May 29, 2020) – For the manufacturing industry, “We’re all in this together” means rebuilding fragile supply chains and rethinking parts sourcing and production. To support these efforts, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show has launched IMTS.com/supplychain, an educational section of IMTS.com.

Content includes stories, videos, webinars and podcasts that provides the manufacturing industrial base, including OEMs and job shops, guidance on how to rethink, reengage and reestablish its supply chain. Included are stories of how industry has responded and thought-provoking resources on the steps industry and government can take to ensure manufacturing self-sufficiency.

“The manufacturing technology community has a laser-like focus on rebuilding its supply chains, and we are dedicating significant resources to support their needs,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President & CXO at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS.

“The IMTS.com/supplychain microsite — ReBuilding the Supply Chain — shows OEMs how to rethink their current operations, how they can reengage with suppliers and secure trading partners and how they can reestablish connections for a more localized industrial base.”

The IMTS.com/supplychain site links to all COVID-19 and rebuilding stories. It includes a brief history of why the supply chain disruption occurred, and IMTS has mapped out future content to show steps that can be taken to secure the supply chain moving forward.

IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show the largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2020 will run Sept. 14-19. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology as well as connecting the industry’s supply chain. IMTS attracts visitors from every level of industry and more than 117 countries. IMTS 2018 was the largest in number of registrations (129,415), net square feet of exhibit space (1,424,232 sq. ft.), booths (2,123) and exhibiting companies (2,563). IMTS is owned and managed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

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Formlabs Expands Asia-Pacific Management Teams

3D printing company, Formlabs, announced the appointment of two new leaders to its Asia-Pacific management team to continue to scale the company’s growth in the APAC market: Jiadong Sun joins as China general manager and Yoshinori Hasebe as Japan general manager. Both leaders will play a key role in expanding Formlabs’ global footprint and will guide Formlabs’ business strategy in new markets as the company furthers its mission of enabling anyone to make anything.

“As Formlabs continues to expand our global operations, Jiadong and Yoshinori will provide strategic guidance as we expand and scale in the important APAC region,” said Luke Winston, Chief Business Officer of Formlabs. “These appointments will enable Formlabs to remain at the forefront of 3D printing as needs for additive manufacturing in major industries, including healthcare, continue to grow.”

Jiadong Sun has extensive experience leading global sales and marketing at leading tech companies spanning multiple industries. Prior work experience includes multiple positions at DJI, most recently as Vice President and Head of Marketing for Enterprise Solutions, where he spearheaded strategic decisions regarding sales and marketing, product development, and external partnerships.

Yoshinori Hasebe brings more than 20 years of management experience at multinational companies, along with comprehensive sales and business development experience for both products and services. With experience at FARO Technologies, Ernst & Young and Hewlett-Packard, Yoshinori is an expert in sales, supply chain management and leadership.

Formlabs enables its users in the APAC region, including Japan-based company WHILL, to iterate rapidly, localize manufacturing and efficiently cut lead times and costs. These key new hires, in addition to a new dedicated channel manager based in India, will empower the company to remain on the cutting edge of 3D printing’s role in revolutionizing the healthcare, manufacturing and engineering industries, and drive strong growth across the region.

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3D Laser Scanning Accelerates Production of PPE Masks for Covid-19 Pandemic

(Southlake, TX; May 2020) — Two recent PPE-related projects completed by NVision, Inc. demonstrate the growing role that non-contact scanning/measurement technologies are taking in the race to create new products and designs to minimize exposure to COVID-19.

NVision, Inc., a leader in 3D measurement and engineering services for more than 30 years, has assisted medical manufacturers in a wide variety of projects over the years, from measuring and inspecting surgical scalpels to reverse engineering heart stents and orthodontic braces.

In one recent project, NVision provided engineering services to a Texas PPE manufacturer, helping accelerate the company’s production of a much-needed protective mask earmarked for medical personnel. NVision engineers 3D-scanned plaster models of the mask, using the resulting data to create a computer-aided design (CAD) file which was used to build the special tooling necessary for production.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) includes clothing–gloves, coveralls, face shields, masks, and more–designed to protect the wearer against a number of potential hazards including viruses and infectious diseases. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, masks are a vitally important line of defense against the virus for healthcare workers, first responders and the general public.

NVision was contacted by a PPE manufacturer that needed a CAD model of a protective mask in three days in order to start creating the tooling for mass production. The company had only handmade plaster models of the mask; no previous computer models or designs existed.

“We had done work for this customer earlier on a Peterbilt Truck Project and they came to us with the mask project,” says Steve Kersen, president of NVision. “The plaster molds for the mask had extremely challenging contours and to hand-measure its complex curvatures using calipers and other tools would have taken the manufacturer months, postponing production significantly.”

The mask will be made of vacuum-formed plastic and consists of two parts–an inner and an outer part–with replaceable filter material. SolidWorks CAD models were required to facilitate the machining of suitable dies/molds, as the vacuum-forming process requires dies made from a more durable material, often wood or a metal.

After receiving the plaster models, NVision technicians quickly set to work using the company’s HandHeld laser scanner to collect data on the mask’s surface geometry and dimensions.

The HandHeld scanner is a powerful portable scanning device capable of capturing 3D geometry from objects of almost any size or shape. The scanner is attached to a mechanical arm that moves about the object, allowing the user to capture data rapidly with a high degree of resolution and accuracy. As the object is inspected, the scanner generates a point cloud consisting of millions of points, each with x,y,z coordinates and i,j,k vectors. These points comprise an exact duplicate of the object’s surface, down to the most minute detail. The scanner comes with integrated software that is used to convert the point cloud to an STL polygon and an optional tripod provides complete portability in the field. Intuitive software allows real-time rendering, full model editing, polygon reduction, and data output to all standard 3D packages.

The scanning of the mask models took only two hours, after which  NVision technicians converted the STL file to a native parametric SolidWorks CAD format from which tooling could be produced. “During the modeling process we were also able to make some changes that improved the mask’s design,” says Kersen. “We made it more symmetrical in shape and modified it to be more suitable for the manufacturing process.”

NVision engineers provided the mask manufacturer with a CAD model from which it could build the tooling to begin production and meet its deadline for delivery of the masks. “Without the fast and accurate measurements provided by laser scanning, the customer would have lost a great deal of time and money in performing manual measurements,” says Kersen. “With PPE, time to market is critical both for the health of those people waiting for masks as well as the business success of the manufacturers who need to reduce production time.”

In another project, NVision was asked to scan a series of credit card readers in order to create seamlessly fitting safety covers to prevent transmission of viruses. The covers needed to fit tightly on the readers, so it was essential to obtain the exact measurements of the readers. NVision again used its HandHeld scanner to obtain the precise measurements of the readers, first converting the point cloud to a raw STL file, then importing the file into specialized modeling software and processing the data to an IGES/STEP model, and then further processing to a native SolidWorks CAD model with full feature tree. From that point, client engineers were able to use the CAD model to create tooling for manufacturing the covers.

“Concerns about personal health and safety, in all our interactions, are understandably very high at this time,” says Kersen. “These two projects we recently completed show how advanced measurement and inspection can substantially reduce the time to market for those who are  making the products needed to help ensure our health and well-being. We’re proud to be part of the effort.”

For more information, contact NVision, Inc., 577 Commerce Street, Suite 100, Southlake, TX 76092. Tel: 817.416.8006, Fax: 817.416.8008, Email: sales@nvision3d.com, Web: http://www.nvision3d.com

About NVision

NVision, Inc. (www.nvision3d.com) was established in 1990 with one goal in mind: to provide customers with the highest accuracy non-contact optical measurement systems and services for Reverse Engineering and Inspection. Focusing our expertise on the aerospace, power generation, and oil/gas industries, NVision provides both contract scanning services and systems sales to companies throughout North America. Our elite team of engineers provides customers with an unmatchable level of experience and is able to advise and assist with the most difficult engineering challenges.

NVision’s clients include industry leaders such as Boeing, GE, Lockheed, Lear, NASA, Porsche, Raytheon, Siemens, Toyota, and every branch of the U.S. military.Media Contact: Steve Glad, Structured Information, Ph: 248.289.0610, Email: stephen_glad@strucinfo.com

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Significantly Faster Waveform Roughing in EDGECAM 2021

New and enhanced functionality in the latest release of EDGECAM CAD/CAM software from Hexagon Production Software boosts customer productivity with lower computer-processing time and faster toolpaths. 

A number of these productivity boosts have been achieved by reducing calculation time with EDGECAM 2021’s enhanced parallel-processing capability. Two of the most popular machining cycles – Roughing and Profiling – benefit from improvements to the software’s multi-threading technology algorithms. 

Three significant time savings: EDGECAM’s world-leading high-speed Waveform Roughing strategy is now significantly faster when generating toolpath for both solid and wireframe components. 

Machining Market and Product Manager Miguel Johann says, “Numerous benchmark tests show a 30 percent improvement in calculation times compared to the previous version.” When using the profiling cycle’s Undercut function, savings of between 40 and 60 percent have been recorded, depending on the part’s size and complexity. Additionally, improvements to the software’s architecture give an average time saving of 70 percent on checking toolpaths with Machine Simulator when the software is initially launched. 

A radical overhaul of probing functionality revolves around eight new cycles, which deliver support for programming a variety of on-machine probing cycles. The cycles’ NC output can be configured to support Hexagon’s existing m&h probing macros, as well as many other popular probing systems for different controls and native probing languages of Siemens and Heidenhain controls.

Following specific customer requests, six new or updated commands have been introduced into the inspection operation, including the ability to globally edit existing features, and to specifically control the layout of both linear and rectangular-array features.    

One of EDGECAM’s most used strategies, the Face Mill Cycle now offers better toolpath control, reductions to cycle times, less tool wear, and can potentially increase machine tool longevity. 

In addition to time savings, the new Cut by Region option deploys a more even toolpath, completing each segment of a component before moving on to another region. Another newcomer – Outside To In strategy – promotes more intelligent toolpaths, as well as reducing cycle times. Previously, when set to either Climb or Conventional, the face mill cycle took longer as it moved from left to right in readiness for the feed movement. Now, however, closer cutter contact reduces that time. Also, a new Overlap Edge function guarantees no wasted cutter passes, and no surplus material left on a face.

Extra Lead In/Out functionality for lathes gives more control during the secondary movement of the Finish Groove cycle.  Applications Engineer Mike O’Neill explains, “Groove features come in all shapes and sizes, and aren’t always symmetrical. EDGECAM 2021 includes a Secondary Lead Move dialog, meaning that as the cycle completes the opposite side of a groove feature, the user can now deploy unique Lead In and Lead Out movements.”

A further turning-related enhancement incudes more control when working with angled turning tools. Two new modifiers, ‘Corner’ and ‘Lock,’ will enable a ‘dynamic gauge point,’ which maintains the same position in relation to the insert at all orientations.

Dovetail tool cutters, which were introduced in the previous version of EDGECAM, can now be used with a Profiling cycle in both milling and turning environments. Solid Features and Faces can be selected in conjunction with the Undercut command for back-facing and other collision-free toolpaths. “Also, in response to customer requests, the Protect Solid function found in the Profiling cycle has been enhanced to give safer toolpaths when using the Multi-Pass and Pick Solid Face commands.”    

The 2021 release includes two important new machine tool configuration features to harness best practice.  “Variable pitch and multiple axis support on tool mounting blocks has been introduced in Linear Turret Lathes kinematics. Using a simple switch in the Code Wizard to stipulate the exact position of numerous tool stations on a turret, while clearly showing this in the Machine Simulator.

“’Multi-Task Machine Tools’ can now support cutting tools mounted inside Angle Head attachments. This type of tool configuration has been used in EDGECAM’s milling environment for a number of years, so MTMT users are benefiting from a mature feature that’s been thoroughly tried and tested.”

Finally, Wire EDM includes a new strategy to the Wire Set-Up command and extended controller support. The ‘create pocket rough tag and finish files’ strategy supports industry best practice and allows users to create four separate NC files for Pocketing, Roughing, Tag creation, and Finishing. Technology tables for Charmilles and ONA AV have been added, along with enhanced support for a range of Mitsubishi controllers. 

www.edgecam.com

Contact:

Stacey Wiebe, Marketing Specialist-PR

Tel: 209-479-9455

Email: stacey.wiebe@hexagon.com

About Hexagon

Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that utilize data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit hexagonmi.com. Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 20,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 3.8bn EUR. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.

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VELO3D and Knust-Godwin Talk about 3D Printing Meter-Tall Parts

This spring, VELO3D announced its next-generation Sapphire system that will offer a vertical axis of one meter, the tallest build envelope in the powder-bed fusion category. The new system architecture will be available later this year. Knust-Godwin, an established precision-machining shop that is looking to expand into new industries, recognized the value in the industrial 3D printer and has signed up to be VELO3D’s first customer. Mike Corliss, Vice President of Technology at Knust-Godwin, and Zach Murphree, Vice President, Technical Partnerships at VELO3D, are working together to bring the Sapphire 3D printer into Knust-Godwin’s fold of high-end manufacturing processes.
Zach, why did VELO3D decide to increase the height of the new Sapphire rather than expand the overall build volume?
Murphree: When we designed the architecture of the original Sapphire 3D metal printer, it was always our intention to extend the Z-axis for future machine generations. There are several different applications where having a taller system would be beneficial—even if the width or diameter were not changed. There are some obvious applications in aerospace and other industries where taller, tubular-shaped components would be clearly beneficial. You can do some really amazing things around light-weighting, stiffening, and part-reduction when you increase the height.
Another reason it makes sense to increase the z-height without changing the diameter of the build volume is that we can do so while maintaining identical process recipes across the two machine configurations. Often when these systems change size or number of lasers, the customer is left to re-qualify the new system with new process recipes. Velo3D is keeps its customers from experiencing this pain by maintaining a consistent support-free process across our platforms.
Mike, Knust-Godwin’s heritage is in precision machining; over the past 8 years, you’ve made a significant investment in metal additive manufacturing. Tell us about why you continue to invest in AM.
Corliss: This is a question I get all the time: “When can we go taller?” Printing tall, complex parts is one of those things at Knust-Godwin that we’ve wanted to do for quite a while. It’s part of our vision for the future.
Of course, we still produce most of our products with traditional, subtractive manufacturing processes. But we have come to realize that we can apply this new technology to a lot of the parts we produce. We’re sure it will help reduce machine time, queue time, and even help reduce geometry—including the weight of the part and the size of the part—in some areas.
So we’re excited about having the 1-meter-tall Sapphire from VELO3D. AM is something that we’re very comfortable with doing, and we can predict what the benefits will be when we can print components up to one meter in height.
Mike, what are some of the advantages offered by metal additive manufacturing?
Corliss: The whole idea is to really take advantage of improving the interior geometry of some of these taller parts. With machining, we approach such parts in a very linear manner. We drill the holes from the end of the part, drill down the length of the part, and then connect it with all sorts of ports and features from the outside. With AM, though, we can change that internal geometry, take advantage of it, condense the part, and then create it with a single manufacturing process.
There are so many potential benefits. The overall length of the part may change for the better. The part may become shorter because you can take advantage of some of the geometry and of some of the internal features. And you may be able to arrange more features around the part in different orientations. Basically, you can improve the part in so many ways because you are using an alternative way to manufacture it.
Does the taller build volume offered by the new Sapphire make it possible to print integrated assemblies more easily?
Corliss: Certainly. Suppose we have an assembly that consists of maybe six components stacked up vertically. The entire assembly is just under a meter in height and takes up a lot of space, requires considerable time to manufacture, and costs a lot to produce using subtractive manufacturing techniques. If we use AM, however, and print the geometry that accomplishes all six functions in a single part, we can eliminate the purchasing and manufacturing for the six individual components and work on the final, single assembly instead. Plus, we have created a far more elegant solution for our customer that offers all kinds of benefits, such as reduced cost and improved reliability.
Mike, what kinds of parts are you printing?
Corliss: Knust-Godwin is known for our precision machining in the high-end of oil & gas industry applications, what we call the MWD/LWD product line. That includes “measure while drilling” and “logging while drilling” products, along with wireline products. These are on the drilling side of the business, with alloys like Inconel, titanium, etc. They’re not the easiest materials to work with, but they are essential. Nickel alloys specifically have typical properties that we need in the oil and gas industry for high corrosion resistance and strength. Also important is the fact that these alloys are non-magnetic, which is beneficial because we have a lot of electronics that go into the products that we build.
Zach, do you see these nickel alloys being applied to other industries as well?
Murphree: Yes, absolutely. I think there’s a lot of very good overlap with other industries that are early adopters for additive, such as aerospace—which shares those requirements for intense thermal management of extreme temperatures, complex geometries, and expectations of cost-control and rapid delivery of parts.
VELO3D got its start in more propulsion-focused applications, whether that was for rocket engines or turbo pumps or gas turbine applications. And, in those, you’re really looking for corrosion resistance and the ability to function in high-temperatures. Inconel and other nickel super alloys lend themselves very well to that.
Just as Mike said, we’re seeing that the oil and gas industry is a really good application for these materials. Not just in the downhole tools, but also in flow components. So if you’re looking at compression technologies, industrial gas compression, or valving for wellhead applications, these are all places where you want to use high-strength, corrosion-resistant alloys. Inconel is a really good choice in that regard.
Zach, tell us a little about the Sapphire’s support-free capabilities and its impact on post-processing.
Murphree: This is a key differentiator for VELO3D. Existing power-bed systems often require supports for any surface below 45 degrees. Sapphire printers separate themselves from other solutions with their unique ability to print low angles and overhangs down to zero degrees horizontally, as well as large diameters and inner passageways up to 100mm without the need for supports. This greatly reduces post-processing and allows for extreme freedom when designing and building highly complex components for a variety of industries.
How will support-free printing be beneficial to Knust-Godwin customers, Zach?
Murphree: One of the commonalities we see in many of the industries served by Mike’s customers is that complex internal fluid passages are often required.  With support-free printing, the flow of fluids and gasses through a component is optimized. Whether you have a shrouded impeller or a diffuser section or a hydraulic wireline tool, the support-free structure of those fluid passage areas provides a tremendous advantage. This will be extremely beneficial to Mike’s customers at Knust-Godwin.
Mike, how will the support-free capabilities of the Sapphire printer impact your time spent post-processing?
Corliss:  All the products that we make require some kind of post-processing—such as hipping and heat treating—to get the mechanical properties that we are looking for. Post-processing with traditional manufacturing techniques can be time-consuming and expensive. I would rather take the laser powder-bed technology, print the product to the near net shape, reduce as much post-processing as possible, and then do the hipping and heat-treating.
But VELO3D takes it a step further with their support-free printing feature. With other AM systems, some products may need to deal with those supports during the post-processing phase. Obviously, this, too, can be time consuming and costly. With far fewer supports to deal with, however, the process is streamlined. We can build a better product faster and at a lower final cost.
What do you see as the future of AM in your industry, Mike?
Corliss: Subtractive manufacturing will most likely always play an important role in our industry, but as additive manufacturing systems like the new Sapphire become more robust, the potential to use 3D printing for complex products will become unlimited. It could revolutionize the way our clients put together their systems by making their component parts smaller, lighter, more durable, more functional, more reliable, and less expensive. I am very excited about what we are going to do with this technology. It will enable us to offer more capabilities for a wider variety of industrial applications.
How do you view the growth potential of this technology, Zach?
Murphree: We can’t be happier that a company like Knust-Godwin has become an early adopter of our technology. We look forward to doing great things with them this fall, and then expanding into new markets and new industries very quickly after that.  Let’s not forget that what we have here is the tallest production 3D printer in the world at one-meter in the Z-direction. That’s significantly taller than the next highest offering. What a company can do with that extra height is going to be simply extraordinary. It will open new doors to a huge variety of applications that can be served by 3D printing.

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