www.delcam.com ISSUE 3, 2000 Ronaldo celebrates after scoring for Brazil in the 1998 World Cup. NEWS, VIEWS AND UPDATES IN THE CADCAM WORLD The Victorian art form, the The lithophane revival began early in the development of ArtCAM, as part of a lithophane, is due for revival research project into the computerisation of For mass production, the model within thanks to ArtCAM Pro. the creation of watermarks. Initially, a series ArtCAM is mirrored to produce a Lithophanes are pictures that of individual pieces was produced by mould cavity surface. Machining data work in a similar way to machining images into perspex. More to manufacture the mould can then be recently, mass production of lithophanes generated directly from the model. watermarks. The thickness of has been undertaken by injection moulding This allows multiple copies to be a translucent material is them from various translucent plastics. produced in the same way that the varied so that the image is The process in ArtCAM is very simple. First, originals were moulded more than formed when it is held up to a the chosen image or photograph is one hundred years ago. light. They were first patented scanned into the computer and loaded into in 1842 and became very the software. ArtCAM automatically converts I N T H I S issue this into a three-dimensional model, with the popular during the later part lighter areas of the image being given of the 19th Century. greater depth and the darker areas less Originally, these works of art were depth. If the model is then machined into created by carving an image into wax to the translucent material, more light will be produce a master. A mould was then seen through the areas where more material made from the master and the has been removed. This approach has HIGH-SPEED lithophanes cast in a translucent material, such as porcelain. When been used by students at Thomas Telford School in Shropshire, UK, where ArtCAM MILLING PowerMILL aids 5 correctly lit from behind, the lithophane has been used as part of the curriculum machining by robot produces a three-dimensional image. since 1998. New life for PowerSHAPE 3 LITHOPHANES New features for designers and toolmakers 6 MACHINING TIMES SLASHED 9 PS-Optifeed boosts machining rates ...AND MUCH MUCH MORE ArCAMedes offers low-cost feed screw repair Toolroom Technology Limited, based in Aylesbury, UK, has developed a novel method for the machining of feed screws on conventional machine tools, instead of the large and expensive specialist Feed screw model developed in ArCAMedes equipment needed previously. The new system, called ArCAMedes, uses specially-developed software based on Delcam technology. Each section of the screw Feed screws are used extensively in can be described with a extrusion and moulding equipment for series of key parameters the plastics and rubber industries, in food processing, and in oil and mineral handling. As one of the key moving parts within this equipment, they tend to wear out relatively quickly, especially when processing aggressive materials such as reinforced plastics. Typically, the cost of refurbishment is around half that of a new replacement. However, of any dimension. After the design has this cost could be reduced still further been finalised, machining options can be if the re-machining could be carried selected through a further series of forms. out on standard machine tools. Toolroom Technologies is currently ArCAMedes is a highly automated To speed and simplify the design process, seeking agents to market, sell and software system that simplifies the the screw is developed in a series of support the ArCAMedes technology, design and manufacture of a wide basic sections that are displayed on the particularly in North America. Interested range of feed screw assemblies. It has screen as their dimensions are specified. companies should contact Ben Dix of been developed for use by operators Once these have been created, the Toolroom Technologies at with little or no CADCAM experience. geometry of any feature can be adjusted email@example.com or visit the company’s easily using forms that allow modification web site at www.ttl-3d.co.uk. Feed screw design now involves a wide range of options to ensure that material is thoroughly mixed, as well as being delivered at the optimum temperature and pressure. ArCAMedes allows the user to specify a Features within the feed screw can be shown in comprehensive range of screw different colours to simplify design modifications assemblies, plus the ancillary features such as seals and drive systems, mixers and barriers. Options include parallel or variable outside and inside diameters, and variable thread width, height, angle and trough geometry. 2 Half of a multi-cavity die manufactured by Davis Tool PowerSHAPE model of a die cavity and The effect of concurrent engineering in generating huge numbers of engineering split surface change orders (ECOs), coupled with demands for shorter lead times, has forced many leading suppliers of die casting tooling to change the way they engineer and machine tooling. A good example is Davis Tool & Die Inc., an 87-man operation headquartered in Fenton, a suburb of St. Louis, USA. “The ECOs are overwhelming,” said William Davis, president of this family owned firm. “We find we are building beta parts for the car companies. Before parts go into production, they go through crash testing and redesign. Unfortunately, the design changes that result from crash testing are rarely predictable.” New challenge for diemaking In this environment, Mr Davis noted, “We In this environment, speed is no luxury – have to squeeze every bit of capability from it’s critical to obtaining the job and getting our CAD and CAM systems, especially to the work done. “Often a customer needs to get things done faster. We’ve been able to move a rib or boss, or change the way the substantially increase our output of tools in metal flows into the die,” said Mr Davis. three years.” “With PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL, if we have the full CAD model and don’t have to Davis Tool relies heavily on Delcam do anything more to it, we can start cutting software to maintain its competitive edge. a modified die within the hour.” There are three major considerations: intricacy, quality and accuracy. All three are Engineering change orders that previously functions of the fact that die castings are took weeks are now completed in hours. almost always used as-cast. To minimise “We recently did an ECO for a customer in Rough machining a die core using secondary operations, they incorporate less than 72 hours,” said Mr Davis. “This is data generated with PowerMILL more cores than other castings. Also, ribs counting all the time from when they and fillets are widely used to strengthen the started pulling the die out of the machine part. Thus, the cover and ejector halves of until they started the machine back up, a very complex die-casting might have retooled. It includes the time we needed to hundreds of individual components, every tear the die apart, clean it up, machine the one of them machined to tight tolerances. components, put it back together and test it. Plus a three-hour truck ride each way.” 3 ArtCAM was recently able to rescue Officials of the City ArtCAM meets of Dearborn, Michigan, USA, after they had decided to honour the City’s war veterans with a new Veterans’ memorial. The memorial was scheduled for unveiling on Veteran’s Day but a series of delays in creating the deadlines design meant that the signmakers only received approval three weeks before the ceremony. The memorial depicted a large eagle three-dimensional models. Upon Great Seal plaque and the service clutching the Great Seal of the USA and approval, the models were used to create insignia plaques is quite visible.” the insignia of all five combat services – toolpaths for machining using a Gerber The improved quality has been seen in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Sabre 408 router. subsequent projects. “When it comes Guard. While work was started on hand Even though he was a newcomer to to signmaking, this department is carving the Great Seal, signmaker Mark computer-aided machining, Mr Maness unstoppable now,” claimed Mr Maness. Maness went about creating the five was able to use the software with minimal “All my ideas about 2D and 3D insignia in ArtCAM. These were scanned training. “I learned it as I went along,” he creativity are changing. There’s into the computer and converted into said. “It was pretty straightforward.” nothing we can’t do.” The key benefit ArtCAM gave was the “Also, Dearborn’s signmaking costs high-quality surface finish. This was so are lower, compared with hand carving. good that hand finishing was eliminated. The man-hours needed have been “If we had had to sand the five plaques cut significantly.” before we painted them, we could never have met the deadline,” said Mr Maness. “The difference between the hand-carved ArtCAM enabled these plaques to be completed in time for the Veteran’s Day ceremony 4 High-speed milling by robot PowerMILL is helping German company Röders take high-speed machining to new productivity levels with the use of robots. This development is the latest stage in the long relationship between Delcam and the company. Röders was founded at the end of the Complex parts such as this upper core can be eighteenth century as a family run milled without any problem thanks to PowerMILL operation, specialising in casting of tin and pewter. Over the years, it has developed into an expanding enterprise that is both a user and a manufacturer of this solution would not have been Röders is equally satisfied with its other high-speed milling machines. possible,” stresses Mr Röders. “It is only components from the Power Solution. the high reliability and the accuracy of the “With PowerSHAPE, the clear and The importance of the connection programs provided by PowerMILL that effective user interface make it easy to between high-speed milling and CADCAM allows unmanned production on the high- produce or to change difficult and software was recognised at Röders very speed machines. Then, even hardened complex contours. In addition, by using early on. The partnership with Delcam was steel can be milled with robot units with PowerINSPECT, we can now carry out already established in 1985, when the complete confidence, without any gouges inspection on any free-form surface,” company began to investigate high-speed or collision. As a result, work can be says Mr Röders. cutting. This co-operation continues carried out economically on the high- successfully today. “The high quality and speed machines twenty-four hours a day.” the accuracy of the toolpaths, plus the variety of the milling strategies within PowerMILL, are extremely important when we are demonstrating the efficiency of our machines to our customers,” commented Jürgen Röders. As both a toolmaker and a machinery supplier, Röders is acutely aware of the short delivery times and the cost pressures in mouldmaking. This prompted an investigation into the possibility of allowing machines to cut around the clock. Continuous unmanned usage of high-speed machines, through increased PowerMILL is the automation with robots, could increase key to Röders’ innovative use of productivity, and reduce costs and robots on high- processing times. speed machines To achieve the increased productivity, the control of the robot is fully integrated with the Röders machine control. The robot not only changes the work-piece, by linking with the automatic opening and closing of the doors, but can also carry out tool changes with a special toolholder. PowerMILL contributes decisively to this innovative approach. “Without the outstanding quality of Delcam’s software, 5 Delcam is to launch a significant upgrade of its PowerSHAPE modelling software for the design of products and tooling featuring complex shapes. PowerSHAPE 3 will feature enhancements for both designers and toolmakers that will reinforce its reputation as the most powerful and flexible hybrid design system currently on the market. In addition to a new, clearer appearance and a more powerful intelligent cursor, PowerSHAPE 3 will include a “mould wizard” for faster tooling design and a To create an electrode in “single-button” method for modelling electrodes PowerSHAPE, the user creates the boundary (1) and the electrode needed for spark erosion of fine details into tooling. is generated automatically (2) New features for designers and toolmakers PowerSHAPE gives users the combined advantages of both solid and surface modelling approaches to design and so provides an ideal CAD solution for companies designing products such as automotive and aerospace components, housings for electrical appliances, ceramics, footwear, packaging, sports equipment and toys, as well as all types of tooling. The combination of surface and solid modelling within PowerSHAPE makes the Coffee set designed user more productive in a wide range of simple internal geometry, such with PowerSHAPE 3 design projects. For example, many as reinforcing ribs or bosses for screws. plastic mouldings feature complex Surface modelling will be needed for external surfaces, together with relatively styling the visible surfaces, while the PowerSHAPE. Changes here include the simpler internal geometry can be created ability to use a graduated background for more quickly with solid modelling. the modelling area, plus new toolbar icons that are easier to organise as the Toolmakers usually need surface user prefers. modelling to cope with the complex shapes they have to manufacture. Additional information can now be However, the solid modelling options are generated by PowerSHAPE’s “intelligent valuable when creating internal surfaces cursor”. This can now provide details of by offsetting external surfaces or part thickness and draft angle, as well as subtracting the cavity shape from the the previous construction lines, tooling block. intersection points, and dimensions. This PowerSHAPE’s new interface features graduated constant feedback is invaluable for new Faster, easier design backgrounds and easy-to-read icons or casual users who are learning the Both designers and toolmakers will benefit software, but also speeds the design from improvements to the appearance of process for the experienced operator. 6 Sales growth PowerSHAPE’s Mould Wizard allows semi- automatic modelling of cores and cavities continues Delcam has released interim results showing record sales New options are being added for more and profits during the first half of this year. Half-year sales automatic creation of the most difficult for the six months to 30th June 2000 were £8,302,280 blends and fillets, while modifications to the way in which data is stored will against £7,677,884 in 1999. Pre-tax interim profits showed make all the solid modelling operations an increase of 20%, up to £611,162 against £509,549 in both faster and more robust with the first half of last year. As a result of this improved complex models. performance, further expansion of both our development New options for the toolmaker departments and our sales channels will continue. Among the extra functionality for the toolmaker will be a new “make Key to the improved results were made good progress so far this year, watertight” command. This automates Delcam’s sales in the USA, the world’s both technically and commercially. The the generation of a ‘tolerant’ solid model largest CADCAM market, which were up major software releases, and continuing from poor quality data, by filling large 30% in the first half, and a continued investment in our sales channels, planned holes with new surfaces, and ‘sealing’ improvement in the Far East. for the second half of the year should small holes by ignoring the gaps through ensure that this progress will be Commenting on the results, Delcam setting the edge tolerances correctly. maintained both for the remainder of Chairman Tom Kinsey said, “We have this year and into 2001.” The growing use of shop-floor machining has boosted sales of PowerMILL Another key improvement will be the addition of a “mould wizard” that will allow semi-automatic generation of core and cavity designs from imported product designs. The Wizard will guide the user through the series of operations required, such as core and cavity separation, and generation of the split line and parting surfaces. PowerSHAPE 3 will also feature a “one- button” electrode modelling command. The user simply creates a boundary around the area where the electrode is needed and specifies the spark gap required, and a solid model of the geometry is created automatically. With a second command, this model can be passed into PowerMILL for machining. By combining the best of both surface and solid modelling, PowerSHAPE now provides a complete solution for companies working with complex shapes, allowing them to produce the designs they want, without the need for compromises caused by limitations in their CAD systems. 7 The Winston Cup is one of the most popular racing series One of the well known teams is Melling Racing. The team is part of the Melling in North America and one of the most fiercely competitive. Tool Company, which also includes Organised by NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Melling Engine Parts, the number Auto Racing), the races regularly attract more than one automotive after-market supplier 100,000 spectators. The cars used in the series are based of oil pumps in the United States, and a major supplier of after-market on current production US automobiles but share little with parts for automobiles. the production vehicle except the basic body shape. This summer, Melling Tool Company added PowerSHAPE and CopyCAD to the Racing range of CADCAM software it uses. PowerSHAPE will be used to complement the existing solid modelling system for component design. PowerSHAPE’s advanced surfacing tools will assist in ahead more effectively creating the complex fillets, blends and draft surfaces that are required in the development of surface models of cast parts. Melling will be using CopyCAD to do reverse engineering for both the racing components and after-market parts. This is an area that will benefit Melling greatly, as solid modellers do not provide a solution to effectively address this application. The company will be purchasing a laser digitizer in the future and looks forward to using CopyCAD alongside this new equipment. Europe Others DELCAM 15.6% Delcam No. 1 CAM suppli 14.9 % Tebis Tebis Pathtrace 1.9% 14.3% Cimatron IBM/Dassault Delcam has been confirmed as the leading Sescoi Auton Vero Int. Open Mind international supplier of manufacturing software to 3.4% Cimatron Unigraphics 3.8% Open Mind Vero Int. IBM/Dassault 14.2% Unigraphics Auton the mould, tool and die industry in the latest Sescoi Pathtrace 6.2% 6.5% 8.1% 9.8% Others publication from renowned US consulting and market research firm CIMdata. The company was also one of the fastest growing manufacturing software suppliers to all industries during 1999. 8 CUT machining times in half Delcam is to introduce a feed-rate optimisation module for its PowerMILL machining software. To be called PS-Optifeed, the new module will allow machining times to be cut by up to 50% and so will give increased productivity and faster delivery in a wide range of manufacturing operations. Other benefits will include reduced wear of both cutting tools and milling machines, improved surface finish, and less need for the operator to supervise machining. The PS-Optifeed module analyses the PS-Optifeed gives faster toolpath generated within PowerMILL machining and better surface finish on complex shapes and automatically adjusts the feed rate to give a constant rate of material removal. With conventional machining, the machine spindle. The cutter the feed rate has to be set at a constant is further protected by an automatic finishing. Quality can also be improved level determined by the most reduction in the feed rate as it enters or by minimising the opportunities for demanding part of the toolpath. With leaves the job. Protecting the cutter in human error that are inevitable with PS-Optifeed, a higher feed rate will be this way reduces tooling costs, as well hand finishing. set for lighter cuts and air moves so as saving the time needed to fit Finally, having the feed rate adjusted enabling faster machining, particularly replacements. Similarly, protecting the automatically reduces the need for when using high speed mills. machine tool cuts maintenance costs supervision of the machine tool and for and reduces down time. Setting a constant rate for material manual adjustment of the feed rate. This removal means that there is a more A consistent load on the cutting tool leaves the operator more time for other consistent load on the cutting tool. This also produces a better surface finish. tasks. For example, it can help in the reduces wear on the tool and also on This reduces the time and cost of hand introduction of shop-floor programming. er for toolmakers North America Others 20.4% DELCAM 15.6% Delcam Sescoi IBM/Dassault IBM/Dassault The report, NC Software and Related Delcam’s record sales in 1999 CG Tech 3.6% 11.0% Unigraphics Cimatron 4.4% Services Market Assessment, names made it one of the fastest growing Unigraphics Softech Surfware DP Technology 9.7% Delcam as the leading supplier to the suppliers. The company’s end-user 4.6% CNC Software DP Technology CNC Software toolmaking industry in both North payments increased by 20%, 5.2% Surfware Softech Cimatron 9.1% CG Tech Sescoi 7.9% 8.5% Others America and Europe, and places the almost three times the growth company third in the Asia-Pacific recorded for the total market. region. Delcam was also the largest Further gains in market share are specialist supplier of manufacturing forecast for this year. software to the automotive industry. 9 Use of Delcam software by the Castings Development Centre The basis for the pattern model was created with the Delcam software by in Sheffield, UK, helped to reduce the time needed to adding the wall thickness of the valve manufacture patterns for two large valve bodies by over two body to the existing surface model of the weeks and to cut the production costs by 20%. The two core. Additional features, such as flanges valves were made by Norton Cast Products for use on an oil and webs, could then be added. This model was then also transferred into platform – one of the world’s most demanding environments PowerMILL. Machining data for the first and one with rigorous specifications for safety and reliability. half was produced and the pattern Saving time and money For each valve body, the manufacturing confirmed that the design would meet the manufactured using a similar process to that used for the core box. Other case studies illustrating the benefits of CADCAM and process involved the production of two casting simulation can be found required quality standards. half core boxes and a split loose pattern. on the Castings Development With the design validated, the completed Centre’s web site – Butt weld end patterns were also made, model was transferred into PowerMILL for www.castingsdev.com. with add-on sections to allow flanged machining data to be generated for the valve bodies to be produced. Castings Development Centre’s The first stage in the process was to Rambaudi Digi-Mill. This has a working produce a computer model of one half envelope of 4 metres by 2.5 metres by of a core in the Delcam software from 1 metre and so was easily capable of drawings providing information on the machining such large items. Once the outline shape of the valve and a number machining of the first half of the core box of cross-sections through the component. was completed, the mirroring function Core print extensions were applied to within the machine tool control allowed the model and the size of the core box the second half to be machined from was calculated. the same data. The computer model was used to generate an STL file for use in a casting simulation package. The results produced Machining the pattern at the Castings Development Centre 10 Sales Partner News North America Delcam is pleased to announce the appointment of four additional resellers to its North American sales and support network. The new appointments are Design & Software International of Fairfield, Ohio; Nielsen Enterprises, Inc., based in Little Canada, Minnesota; Programming Plus of New Berlin, Wisconsin; and CNC Logic from Montreal, Canada. The four companies have a combined Final check on the total of more than thirty years’ experience in core box half providing CADCAM solutions. India Delcam has established an office in Pune, India, to provide additional support to the existing reseller, EDS, and to develop new outlets for our software. Three experienced engineers have been recruited as the initial staff. The office will also be involved in selecting the Indian staff for the Maitreya statue project described in the last news.delcam. Italy Delcam Italia is to open an additional office in Bologna, following record sales of Power Solution software in Italy during the first half of this year. The company currently operates from headquarters in Gallarate, near Milan, and three regional offices, in Turin, Padova and Porto San Giorgio. Recruitment of additional sales and support staff in the existing offices is also under way. Poland Our new reseller in Poland is Megabit. The company is located in the South of the country, near the major industrial centre of Krakow. Megabit is also a reseller for the Moldflow simulation software for plastics moulding. Russia Delcam has recently opened its eighth office in Russia, to be known as Delcam Irtysh. Based in the city of Omsk in central Siberia, and established with local partner Sibzavod, the new office will supply software and services to companies in this important industrial area. South Africa Aztech Programming Solutions has been appointed as our new reseller in South Africa. The company is based near Johannesburg, South Africa’s main manufacturing centre, and has sub-offices in Cape Town and Durban. Aztech is also the distributor for Renishaw’s Cyclone reverse engineering equipment. The completed valve 11 World leader in sports shoes A thirty-year record of growth has established Taiwan’s Pou Chen Corporation as one of the world’s largest footwear companies. It now has more than 140,000 CADCAM with its first seat of Delcam employees and production lines in China, Indonesia and software. Pou Chen now has ten seats of Power Solution software, as part of the Vietnam, as well as in its home country, and manufactures company’s extensive commitment to over 80 million pairs of sports shoes each year. This is a long research and development. way from the Corporation’s start in 1969, when it began This investment has proved essential to manufacturing PVC sandals and indoor slippers. Even in its meet the different needs of the sports early days, Pou Chen was able to generate the profits needed footwear market. As athletic shoes have for rapid expansion, by ensuring high quality, emphasising become more of a fashion item, changing tastes have shortened the product life company service, and maintaining large production volumes. cycle for each new style. The demand for As the company grew, it started to receive Adidas, the start of a close relationship new designs has increased accordingly, requests for athletic shoes from between the companies that has lasted as has the pressure to minimise design companies such as Sears Roebuck from for more than twenty years. These and production lead times. the USA and Mitsubishi in Japan. In 1979, orders also reinforced Pou Chen’s focus Development Manager George Wei Pou Chen received its first orders from on the production of athletic shoes and highlighted the various ways in which spurred continued improvement in the Delcam’s Power Solution has benefited company’s production quality and the company. “By using CADCAM, we can efficiency. These efforts were rewarded produce moulds of a consistent high in 1985, when Reebok appointed Pou quality. We can also produce more Chen as its primary manufacturer of complicated designs, with improved athletic shoes, and again in 1990, when performance. The software allows us to Nike also designated the company as control the flow of information from the its main manufacturer. design stage through to final production. The same year also saw Pou Chen It also enables us to produce additional establish its own mould shop, as part of moulds more quickly to cope with the high the company’s strategy of providing a demand for popular styles.” completely integrated service to its customers. Within six months, the Mold Group had made its initial move into Visit our web site at: www.delcam.com news.delcam is written and produced by Delcam plc, Small Heath Business Park, Birmingham B10 0HJ, UK.