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OPEN MIND MAXX Machining strategy

OPEN MIND MAXX Machining strategy

Added to MTDCNC by OPEN MIND on 06 August 2015

At a recent technical seminar hosted at the Mazak facility in Worcester, OPEN MIND Technologies presented their next generation of CAM software and the machining strategies within, to an expectant audience. Now, we've all been in a seminar where the presenter tells us 'This will be the next big thing' only to be somewhat underwhelmed by what followed.


In this instance, OPEN MIND Technologies UK Managing Director, Mr Adrian Smith presented new features available in its latest version of hyperMILL 2015 CAM software. Claiming it will be a paradigm shift in machine tool strategies. Initially taken with the obligatory pinch of salt, the engineers at this seminar were soon engrossed in the presentation and engaged in some pretty technical dialogue during the Q&A session that followed. Why? Because OPEN MIND genuinely has created the next 'big thing' for the modern machine shop.


The revolution in machining was demonstrated at the Mazak Technical Centre on a Mazak i-400 multi-tasking machine tool with cutting tools supplied by Quickgrind. The 'revolutionary' new feature from OPEN MIND is its new MAXX Machining strategy. Essentially, the new feature supports the geometry and collision checking of conical barrel cutters, tangential barrel cutters, lens tools and barrel tools. This 'next step' in machining strategies is so far ahead of the industry that only a limited number of cutting tool vendors are supporting the production of such tools.


So, what's all the excitement about?


The new strategy only displays a circle segment of the cutter, which means that very large radii of up to 500mm can be realised with a cutting tool that has a shank diameter of just 10 to 20mm. The benefit is a huge increase in machining area, which delivers astounding cycle time reductions and tool life improvements. By using a large circle segment, the tool can achieve a significantly higher step-over rate while keeping the same scallop height. This provides huge savings with surface finishes equal or better than previous methods. As well as reducing tool wear through using a larger surface area of the tool, the new strategy reduces tolerance deviations caused by heat warping or spindle growth.


Comparison of MAXX Machining With Special Tools Against a Standard Ball Nose..


The new strategy was demonstrated in terms of performance and surface finish by comparing a ball nose tool with a 150mm lens geometry on a 10mm tool shank. However, the lens or barrel tool strategy can be applied to cutting tools with shank sizes from 6 to 20mm. It was apparent that a ball nose tool is only capable of a small step-over whilst generating a high level of wear on the limited contact point between the tool and the job. In comparison, the large step-over of the lens tool improves cycle times by 90% whilst extending tool life. However, a benefit that couldn't be overlooked is the surface finish improvement. The ball nose achieves a surface roughness of 0.001mm compared to 0.00006mm with the lens tool that used the same machining and step over parameters. This enables a greater step over to be achieved to get the same surface roughness. For the end user, this provides the potential to either obtain the same surface finish with a much bigger step over, which reduces machining time or to accomplish a far superior surface finish with the same cycle time.


The new MAXX Machining strategy is compatible with a vast array of tool geometries and can also be applied to 5-axis cycles such as tangent plane and tangent machining, swarf cutting, contour milling and 5X ISO-top milling. With the ability to access difficult to reach surfaces and generate cycle time savings beyond 90%, the new development is easy to use and safe to program.


Quantifying the Benefit..


OPEN MIND's Mr Adrian Smith was keen to highlight the potential application areas where the new strategy within hyperMILL would benefit end users, with particular benefits achievable for manufacturers of all manner of complex parts, regardless of industry sector. Making the potential almost limitless. However, one example that did resonate with delegates was the benefits from machining a simple surface area of 200 by 100mm and comparing the MAXX Machining strategy between a 10mm diameter ball nose tool and a conical barrel tool with a radius of 500mm on a 10mm shank. The ball nose tool used an efficient step-over strategy of 0.2mm compared to a 3mm step over on the barrel tool.


Commenting upon this, Mr Smith says: "The 500mm radius is just a single example of what we can achieve with these tools and the MAXX Machining Strategy. We are also working closely with cutting tool specialists to deliver a 1500mm radius tool on a shank size from 6 to 20mm diameter. The philosophy is that the larger the tool radius, the larger the step down. For example, customers would match the tool radius with the accuracy of the machine tool. This is because a smaller radius allows the machine tool to maintain the positional tolerance without effectively 'rolling over the edge'. The more precise the machine tool, the larger the radius we can apply and thus the greater the advantage."


The result was a total tool path distance of 100m for the ball nose tool and just under 7 metres for the barrel tool. The result was a machining time of 39 minutes for the ball nose tool compared to a staggering 3 minutes for the barrel tool. When the delegates picked their salivating tongues from the floor, the OPEN MIND team was quickly bombarded with technical queries regarding the potential of the package. If you want to book your place on the next 5-axis milling and MAXX Machining strategy seminar, please contact OPEN MIND Technologies for further details.

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