October 21, 2019
NCG CAM Solutions Ltd., UK, has released NCG CAM v17.0. This major release has a new look, with a new modern user interface. New features include Dynamic Material Removal, Drilling—Sequences of Operations, Along Curve Passes—Displaying Cutter Compensation, Along Curve Passes—Gouge Protection, Export Option Settings, Local Datum—Local Coordinate System, Project a 2D Boundary onto the Surface and improved graphics performance.
Further new features including, Surfaces—Create a Patch from Two 3D Curves, and Rest Finishing—Support Toroidal Target Cutters, will follow on in a v17 point release.
The basic style of the NCG CAM User Interface has remained unchanged since this CAM software was first produced 23 years ago.
The NCG CAM v17 User Interface now has a Ribbon Design. Ribbons are the modern way to help Users find, understand and use commands efficiently. The command bar organizes the program's features into a series of tabs at the top of a window because of the ribbon layout it should be easier for the User to discover new features and functions. All the icons have been redesigned, which adds to the fresh new look and feel of the software.
Another new feature in NCG CAM v17.0 Drilling—Hole Shape Database and Compound Drilling Cycles. To further automate the generation of drilling cycles, it is now possible to create a database of hole shapes and to have the Drilling Data Folders searched for those hole shapes. Several cycles can be grouped together as compound cycles to apply them to specific hole shapes. The Compound Drilling Cycle can also be applied to holes of different directions (tool axis), so that holes with different directions but the same hole shape, can be programmed in one step.
A new feature has been added to the Export Option Settings; users can now Export the Tools > Options > Settings. This is via context menus for pages on the Tools Options and Libraries dialogs. Each menu has “This Page” and “All Pages” options. The export creates a registry editor (.reg) file that will restore the contents of the page. This will be particularly useful when Users are upgrading to a new major version of NCG CAM or installing the software onto a new computer.
Another new feature has been added to enable the User to Project a 2D Boundary onto the Surface. 3D curves can now be projected from a 2D boundary. This is meant as a visualization aid to help with the creation of additional containment boundaries. This is mainly aimed at 3+2 axis machining as existing boundaries are drawn above the surfaces along the tool axis. Prior to this it was difficult to be sure of the exact position of contact of a boundary on the surfaces if you are working from a different tool axis.
In NCG CAM v17.0 the internal graphics library has been overhauled to give a significant performance boost to the speed of dynamic rotation and translation of shaded models that contain large numbers of triangles; NCG CAMv17 is now 30% to 40% faster than NCG CAM v16. The large number may be due to the large physical size of the model or a tight triangulation tolerance required for machining. Previously the user may have needed to set the “Dynamic Rendering Style” to one of the “Wireframe” options, to better handle the rotation of these bigger models, this may still offer benefits.
Another new feature will be available to provide additional CAD functionality, allowing the User to Create a Surface Patch from two 3D curves. If the curves have coincident start points, then the surface created would resemble a triangular patch. If the two curves are spaced apart, this would create a rectangular patch. This feature will not be available in NCG CAM v17.0 but will follow on in a v17 point release once completed.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.