Optimization and Geometry Options

Vibration Free Machining

When creating area clearance or core roughing toolpaths, NCG CAM has an option for anti-vibration machining. This feature greatly reduces vibration, an important feature for all machinists. This helps to maintain consistent cutting conditions, prolonging the life of the machine tool and cutting tools. In turn this produces a more accurate part at the roughing and rest roughing stages, enabling the finishing toolpaths to provide consistently more accurate parts with a good surface finish, saving both time and money. This is done by holding the cutter off the side walls when cutting the bottom and lifting the cutter up slightly when cutting the sides.

Feed-Rate Optimisation

NCG CAM has feed-rate optimisation for area-clearance, core roughing, rest roughing and water-line machining. The software is aware of the cutting conditions, if the current toolpath is machining an external corner, then the feed-rate specified can be maintained. In areas such as internal corners where the cutter will be in full contact, NCG CAM looks ahead and adjusts the feed-rate down to maintain accuracy and prolong tool-life.

When NCG CAM is performing a ramping entry move for area clearance roughing, the ramping feedrate is used. Once the cutter is to depth, the cutting feed-rate can also be reduced as this first cut will be the full width of the cutter. This is then returned to the normal feed-rate once the cutter is not making a full width cut.

Stock Models

Stock models can be created from one or more toolpaths, which can be 3, 3+2 or 5 axis, or a combination. Stock models can be used for the visualisation of the machined part on the screen, eliminating any costly test cutting.

The stock model can be used with the part surface and the material depth comparison tool to 'see' the amount of material still needs to be machined. Sectioning with a clipping plane can give useful information on remaining material.

These stock models can be used for rest machining subsequent operations, minimising fresh air cutting and so reducing the machining time.

Surface Analysis

The curvature function allows the user to quickly find out what the smallest radii is on the part to aid cutter selection . Internal and external radii are filterable and the radii range user definable .

For quick identification this is done graphically using a colour overlay to the surfaces and the cursor tool tip provides an accurate size .

The stock model analysis uses the triangulated surfaces and a stock model to provide the depth of the remaining material.

This works for 3 -axis or 3 + 2 axis parts, using similar type of graphical display as for the curvatures.

A draft function shows draft angles (tapers from the tool axis) using a similar style of graphical display as the curvature.

This could aid the selection of a tapered cutter and or type of tool path.

True Surface Machining

NCG CAM machines using triangulations as standard, which are quick to calculate and check against for gouge free machining, but can leave fine witness lines from the triangulation that can be seen on some occasions (depends on the curvature of the part and triangulation tolerance).

True surface machining is optional for users to select, should they wish. Machining the surfaces spaces the points in the NC Tape file more uniformly, giving a better / smoother machine movement on some machine tools. However, the calculations to ensure the machining is gouge free will take longer in most cases.

The better the surface finish means less hand polishing, which saves time and money, it also reduces any mis-match / flash caused by polishing rolling/belling corners.

Ease of Use in Changing Machining Area Boundaries

NCG CAM has an input tab available on all dialogs, once the passes have been made. This input tab, allows the user to change the input boundary or surfaces and re-calculate the passes.

Offset Protection Surfaces

Although NCG CAM is not a modeling system, it has some functions to enable the user to modify and protect surfaces ready for manufacture. Offset surface is a useful feature for the protection of the split-line or shut–off of a mould-tool, but is ideally suited to tool repair work where you want to stay off polished surfaces in the mould, further protecting those surfaces during machining operations.

Edit Surface Trimming Holes & Ruled Surface

When machining components or moulds, it is sometimes necessary to remove holes or other apertures from surfaces to enable more efficient manufacture. NCG CAM has functionality which will enable the user to remove individual holes, even on doubly curved surfaces, or remove the complete inside trimming edges as shown right.

NCG CAM also has the ability to create internal fillets, this can in some instances allow a more flowing toolpath. Planar patches can also be create to cap or protect areas if needed. It is also possible to create a ruled surface between 2 curves to aid machining past the end of a surface.

Electrode Machining

Within NCG CAM there is a spark -gap variable that can be used to aid the manufacturing of electrodes for EDM. By using the spark -gap variable in conjunction with the marcos, the user can make another electrode with different spark -gap with very little input.

Tool-Holder & Cutting Tool Libraries

NCG CAM can store a wide range of toolholders and cutting tools in separate libraries, so the users can set-up a range of holders which are suitable for use with the cutting tool. Both the cutting tools and holders can be created graphically and then stored in the relevant library. These libraries can be specified and named for individual machine tools or materials, and set-up to have tool numbers, spindle speeds, rapid feed, ramp feed, cutting feed and coolant or air blast options.

Shop Floor Documentation

Tool sheets are automatically created in XML/HTML format and have the option to include graphics. The tool sheets are vital if the part is to be machined by someone other than the person who programmed it. For parts that are machined quite often, (a perfect example being a forge die that may be on the machine for recut 2 or 3 times a week), the tooling sheet ensures the operator knows which tool and tool size machines each part.