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Delcam’s new PowerMILL offers extra five-axis options and more

Delcam’s new PowerMILL offers extra five-axis options and more

Added to MTDCNC by AUTODESK on 26 February 2014

PowerMILL 2014 R2 has seen improvements made to optimise the raster strategies, giving less fragmented toolpaths, without any overlaps.  The software eliminates automatically any small, isolated segments that can leave marks on the part’s surface.  Removing these short moves also reduces lifting of the tool.  Cycle times can be reduced further by minimising overlaps and so preventing over-machining in those areas.

Drilling has also seen numerous enhancements, including a separate strategy for each type of drilling cycle.  New external threading and tapered threading options offer several settings to optimise the strategy.  In addition, PowerMILL can scan the part to find any positions where holes intersect and then allows the break distance, feed rate and spindle speed to be adjusted through the intersections.

In a related development, the recognition, creation and editing of holes has been improved.  There is now a dedicated dialogue for hole creation and a second dialogue to control hole editing and hole intersections.

Two new tool types have been added to the wide range supported by PowerMILL.  Barrel tools, which are typically used for the manufacture of blades, are now supported.  They allow a small cusp height to be achieved while using a relatively large stepover.  The addition of dovetail tools allows easier machining of features such as undercuts and gears, which would otherwise require a series of more complex toolpaths with multiple tool changes.

Finally, two areas for customisation of PowerMILL have been enhanced.  Firstly, the dialogue boxes for creating custom toolbars have been redesigned to improve their creation and management.  The maximum number of custom toolbars has been increased from four to thirty-two and the ability has been added to export them in an XML file for use on other PCs.

Secondly, a number of commands and functions have been added to allow files to be created and manipulated.  These allow files and directories to be copied or deleted, data to be extracted from lists using more succinct expressions, the names of active folders to be determined quickly and easily, and any sequence of edits to be automated, for example within a number of template projects.

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