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Delcam Vortex high-efficiency roughing
Delcam Vortex high-efficiency roughing

Delcam Vortex high-efficiency roughing

Added to MTDCNC by AUTODESK on 18 November 2015

The latest video added to the Delcam.tv website shows the high metal-removal rates that are possible with the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy in Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system.  The demonstration shows Vortex cutting Stavax steel with tooling from WNT and Ceratizit on a Mazak Integrex machine.


To watch the video, please go to www.delcam.tv/vortex-wnt   


Delcam’s Vortex strategy gives the fastest safe metal removal from solid carbide tooling, in particular from designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.  The strategy can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining.  It gives significant time savings regardless of the material being machined, whether that be titanium, tool steel or alloys such as Inconel.


Vortex produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle to maintain the optimum cutting conditions for the toolpath that would only be possible for the straight-line moves with conventional roughing.  As a result, much higher feedrates are possible so the cutting time is far shorter, while cutting is undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and at an almost constant feedrate, so protecting the spindle and the machine. 


The consistent feedrate possible with the Vortex strategy is a fundamental difference from other high-speed roughing techniques.  Delcam has performed trials showing that this approach gives more reliable results as it can often be difficult to predict exactly how machine tools will react to constantly changing feedrates.


Vortex also uses a minimum radius parameter, calculated to make sure that the machine tool can maintain the higher cutting feedrate in corners and, more generally, for any non-straight part of the toolpath.  This again makes the cutting process more predictable since the machine should run at the programmed feedrate throughout and not slow down in the way that it could on other kinds of area-clearance toolpath.


The control of the engagement angle that is possible with the Vortex strategy also makes the performance of the tool more predictable because it is operating closer to the optimum cutting conditions associated with a straight-line cut.  This means that it is easier to adjust the feeds and speeds being used to machine a particular part such that a tool can be relied on to cut, for example, ten components before it needs to be changed.  A tool change can then be added into the program where appropriate so that lights-out machining can be undertaken safely and consistently on a long series of parts, either overnight or across a weekend.


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