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Single blade 5-axis milling simplified with hyperMILL

Single blade 5-axis milling simplified with hyperMILL

Added to MTDCNC by OPEN MIND on 03 September 2015

The 5-axis machining of complex turbine blades has long been a complicated and time consuming process in terms of both programming and machining. For the efficient production of such complex aerospace turbines, OPEN MIND Technologies has developed its  'single blade package' within its market leading CAM package, hyperMILL.

By offering optimised machining conditions for turbine blade machining, hyperMILL considers the optimal strategies using its general 2D, 3D and 5-axis features available in hyperMILL. This offers the user a whole set of machining strategies and the freedom of choice to find the best and most efficient and cost effective way to machine the part.

One globally renowned aerospace OEM implemented a host of hyperMILL strategies to reduce programming times by a staggering 74% with on-machine cycle times reduced by a further 48%. To achieve this, the end user utilised a high speed 5-axis Chiron DZ 12KS Magnum machining centre with rapid traverse rates of 75m/min that enable the HSK-A 63 spindle taper to manoeuvre around the 23 by 26 by 53mm component at remarkable speeds. The result was truly impressive material removal rates.

However, the reduced cycle times would not have been possible without hyperMILL's 2D and 3D strategies that permit efficient roughing and finishing of turbine blades with any hub and shroud geometry. By implementing different strategies such as arbitrary stock roughing, profile and Z-level finishing and contouring, the cycle times soon evaporated.

For complex features hyperMILL's 5-axis blade top milling strategies enabled this particular aerospace customer to machine blade surfaces to completion in a continuous spiral. With end mills and ball-nose cutters, the lead angle is automatically adjusted to avoid tool contact (machining) with the rear side. This significantly improves the aesthetics of the part with impeccable surface finishes.

Furthermore, these strategies were combined with hyperMILL's 5-axis blade swarf cutting. Through the rolling ball radius of the cutter, the tool holds contact with the blade and with the limit of the lateral surface at the same time. This provides a perfect transition to the next blade that will be created..

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