Hexagon Launches Latest EDGECAM Software with Raft of Enhancements 

There are updates to machining cycles, tombstones and additive.

There are updates to machining cycles, tombstones and additive.

Image courtesy of DEM Solutions.

The latest release of EDGECAM from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence features toolpath associativity for the face mill cycle, the option to extend the solution’s parallel lace toolpath, enhanced additive undercutting and a total of about 30 updates. 

Alongside the new EDGECAM 2020.1, the optional CAD for CAM Designer module has now replaced Part Modeler. From model design to part repair and modification, EDGECAM Designer is said to be a solution for taking geometry through to manufacture, the company reports.

EDGECAM Designer

More than 50 enhancements have been made to Designer, including the ability to attach finishing and tolerance information to models and faces with the new “surface attributes” command. EDGECAM reads this information and applies it to the features, so it can be used in strategy decisions, or to set speed and feed rates. 

Additionally, this latest version offers the new “edit boundary” command for modifying the trimming of faces directly on a sheet or solid body without having to extract any surfaces or edges. It also delivers a fresh new look and feel for the “auto-constrained surface” command, used to quickly create complex surfaces.  

Additive Cycle

EDGECAM 2020.1 enhances the additive lace cycle’s “undercut” function by allowing the user to set a maximum overhang angle.

“This is necessary because different materials and processes require different negative material build-up, depending on the target shape,” says  Product Manager John Buehler. “If the undercut angle is too big, it can be compensated for by using the maximum overhang angle, effectively over-ruling the angle on the part.” 

Additionally, further boundary control options have been included, which mimic the same functionality of other milling cycles, allowing for greater material displacement control. 

Chamfering Cycle

The new release enhances the existing EDGECAM chamfering cycle with five new pieces of functionality, which are similar to those already found in the profiling cycle. Greater toolpath control is achieved with the new cut increment and Z-offset modifiers. 

Six “corner strategies” have been added, enabling programmers to choose the type of external corner condition the cycle produces. The introduction of “optimize path and lace bandwidth” modifiers reduces cycle time by determining the order in which the cycle is deployed.  

Face Mill Cycle Lead and Stock Enhancements

“Toolpath associativity is a vital factor when programming production components, as CAD modifications can take considerable time,” Buehler says. “EDGECAM 2020.1 removes such delays by making the face mill cycle sensitive to the stock model. When either the stock or component solid model are altered, the toolpath automatically adjusts both the X-Y and the Z height of the toolpath.” 

Secondly, the lead modifier now helps increase tool life with a “horizontal” lead type, which “rolls” the cutter into the initial face of the material, reducing cutting forces. 

Finish Groove Cycle

While the “pre-finish plunge” function in previous versions of the software reduced cycle times, this increased the potential for collisions, where the stock was larger than the groove feature. The new release resolves that issue by introducing a “use current stock” function, ensuring the cycle always begins higher than the current stock.  

Tombstone Manager

The Tombstone Manager has evolved into a useful tool for production engineers working with multiple batch quantities, the company notes. This latest release introduces two notable enhancements.

First, “by tool then by plane” rationalizes by tool, followed by reducing indexes. Second, “by plane then by tool” rationalizes by plane/datum before reducing tool changes. 

Turn Turrets

EDGECAM 2020.1 now fully supports turrets with half positions. This is where the turret has numbered positions like a clock face, with a further set between the main positions. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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