It seems that with everything these days, it’s all about speed and automation. You can browse the internet for a product that interests you and with only a few mouse clicks have it delivered to your doorstep the next day. Credit card numbers can be saved, shipping preferences recalled, and recently used addresses can autofill the delivery address on an order for you.
The old adage is “time is money.” Nowhere is that truer than in production based on CNC machining. The time it takes to produce a part (or many parts) is greatly improved using advanced CAM software such as CAMWorks. Both stages in the production process can be affected by delays, which can increase the most crucial periods of time in CNC: the programming time and the machine’s cycle time.
The programming time is increased if the programmer must review not only the printed hardcopy of the drawing for tolerances but also confirm that the 3D model matches. The machining time could suffer from extraneous moves if the tooling used is not robust enough. In the end, no amount of programming skill or efficient tooling can save the production time if an unforeseen collision causes the machine to go down to await repair.
Every year, to keep pace with the requirements and trends of the manufacturing industry, CAMWorks releases updates to their software including new features and enhancements. CAMWorks 2022 is no different – chock full of the latest innovative technology to improve your CNC programming experience, reduce cycle times, and enhance your efficiency.
New Features in CAMWorks 2022
New Support for Barrel Tools in Milling Operations
CAMWorks 2022 has added support for barrel tools for multi-axis and 3 axis milling operations. Barrel cutters offer greatly reduced cycle times in some jobs by increasing the surface area of the cutter at the point of contact. That also contributes to better surface finishes. The latest version of CAMWorks supports the most common shapes, including standard, conical tangent, tapered, lens, and advanced user-defined barrel tools.
As manufacturing costs escalate due to supply chain delays, as well as material and labor shortages, it’s more critical than ever to leverage tools that increase CNC programming efficiency. Integrated CAM solutions such as SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks run natively within the SOLIDWORKS design environment, providing manufacturers with many built-in efficiency advantages to make time-consuming tasks simpler.
We’ve discussed many times how changes to SOLIDWORKS native files, including Configurations within the part, can trigger automatic tool path updates from both SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks. That capability saves a lot of time with reprogramming families of parts. But did you know that by using the 3D Interconnect feature within SOLIDWORKS you can insert and associatively link many different types of native CAD data, while maintaining the same tool path associativity? Even your STEP files can drive automatic updates to your tool paths.
Manufacturing costs are escalating in part due to material prices, supply chain breakdowns, along with labor cost increases and shortages. When adding shop personnel, we’re often faced with the challenge of trying to out-bid the next company down the street for the next seasoned machinist, or to build up a candidate with less experience.