Hexagon empowers mold-and-die manufacturers by providing every WORKNC CAM customer with ‘manufacturing-aware’ CAD
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has provided all mold and die shops using its WORKNC computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software with immediate access to its powerful model preparation software, integrating production workflows from any computer-aided design (CAD) model format to CAM so they can machine parts more efficiently and avoid costly errors.
The transition from engineering to production can be prolonged without the right tools to efficiently prepare solid models for manufacturing, impacting profitability. By providing WORKNC customers with access to its robust and fully featured CAD application, DESIGNER companion, Hexagon has made it easier to prepare any mold or die for machining while simplifying the challenge of working with a wide range of file types from different CAD tools used in the industry. Because the software provides specialist tools for mold-and-die engineering out of the box, the resulting workflow significantly simplifies the preparation of models that are both feasible and optimized for efficient production.
Introducing universal access to CAD preparation helps users to accelerate the process of healing missing faces, extending surfaces, and capping holes and pockets in preparation for manufacturing. It also provides direct modelling functions that are easier, more intuitive, and less limiting than traditional parametric modelling. Users can also employ a hybrid design approach that combines surface and solid entities through direct-modelling techniques. Once ready, users can send solid models directly from DESIGNER to WORKNC, and the integrated workflow will save them time by ensuring accurate models are automatically assigned as stock and part.
“We are providing every shop with out-of-the-box access to powerful mold and die workflows, so industry professionals have everything they need to ensure that parts are not only manufacturable, but they are also machined to the designer’s intent and produced as efficiently as possible,” said Market and Product Manager Miguel Johann. “Universal CAD access simplifies the often-arduous process of preparing models for production while introducing a one-click transfer of completed designs directly to CAM software, which makes the entire process even faster.”
Once a model is prepared, new advances in WORKNC’s programming capabilities reduce the time spent calculating toolpaths and help to generate faster and more efficient code for reduced cycle times. Used with a spiral toolpath option, the software’s 3-axis parallel finishing strategy supports compensation for any tool shape, including lens cutters, barrel cutters and any other circle-segment tools. On average, Z-level cutting toolpaths using this strategy can now be calculated four times faster than in previous versions of the software.
New strategies for machining with Advanced Toolform technology, which supports programming with any tool shape for greater efficiency, are central to new developments in WORKNC. New 5-axis offset, parallel finishing, and curve-machining strategies can be used to generate fast, reliable toolpaths with barrel cutters, lens cutters, and other user-defined shapes for improved surface finish and reduced cycle times.
Contour re-machining with Advanced Toolform makes rest finishing parts faster and more precise by enabling any tool shape to be selected. This re-machining strategy enables users to automatically machine material remaining after an initial roughing operation using increasingly smaller cutting tools for subsequent roughing and finishing operations. This provides more accurate detection of remaining material even when previous processes used circle-segment tools, smoothing radius parameters, or were applied from a different angle. The calculation of the toolpath is now also three times faster than in the previous version of the software when using the updated 3D stock model as a reference.
WORKNC also offers the latest in curve-profiling technology for wireframe machining by providing robust tool-radius compensation capabilities. The curve-profiling strategy enables the management of tool-radius compensation parameters that can be used to adjust for tool wear at the machine-tool control without the need to return to the CAM department for reprogramming.
For enhanced simulation and verification capability, the latest release of WORKNC also enhances workflow integration with NCSIMUL, Hexagon’s machine-simulation software. Numerical control (NC) code and links for toolpaths generated by WORKNC can be easily imported into NCSIMUL to simulate the manufacturing process on a target machine type and validate it for optimal, risk-free production.