Early Customers Very Pleased by New 3D High Speed Machining for SolidSurfacer

Gibbs and Associates, developer of GibbsCAM® software for programming CNC machine tools and a Cimatron company, announced today that it has started shipping the GibbsCAM 2009 to customers. Initial feedback from customers who have already received the software are very positive.

"This is one of our most significant releases, with new features and many enhancements for the entire GibbsCAM product line," explains Bill Gibbs, founder and president of Gibbs and Associates. "We continually recognize that ease-of-use is of paramount importance to programmers and machinists," he adds. "This release further decreases programming effort for all machine-tool configurations, and provides additional tools for our customers to easily achieve incremental gains in productivity."

Features most applauded by early users of GibbsCAM 2009 generally fall into the categories of Milling, Turning, User Interface and Productivity, and Interoperability:

Milling Additions and Enhancements
Advanced 3D HSM (High Speed Machining) – These machining methods, specifically developed for multi-surface hard milling and high speed machining in SolidSurfacer®, provide high quality surface finishes to reduce or eliminate polishing. Included are several new routines useful for multiple applications. The various machining styles offer smooth entries, exits and cutting motions, with steep or shallow angle limits, rest passes, tool-holder collision checking, and options to change cutting style.

  • Contour – Developed for finishing and semi-finishing passes, this routine computes equal increments in Z, and generates toolpaths at the various levels, automatically providing clean transitions from one level to the next with smooth entries and exits.
  • Constant Step Over Cut – Through user-specified step distance, this routine generates 3D passes with constant separation along a part's surface, working from the outside in. At user discretion, this machining style permits extremely smooth finishes through user-controlled steps.
  • Flats Cut – This routine recognizes and machines flat areas automatically. Like the other 3D HSM routines, it uses minimal distance retraction in moving from one section of a work piece to another, avoiding work piece features while minimizing non-cutting motion.
  • Lace Cut – Like parallel machining, but cutting in a single direction, this style provides consistently smoother cuts, especially noticeable in corners. By using the toolpath filleting option, also available within other HSM routines, users optimize smoothness in cutting motion.
  • Intersections – This routine automatically identifies the seams of a part surface and generates toolpath along those seams, following and conforming to the 3D shape of the part. A superior surface finish is attained through additional offset passes generated from the original seam pass.
  • Automatic Core Detection – Designed for machining cores, this automated routine machines parts from the outside in, always climb cutting to reduce or eliminate damage to inserted cutters. Toolpath direction changes automatically from inside to outside when internal pockets are detected, minimizing the need for full-width cuts or helical ramping into the work.
  • Improved Pocketing – Like Automatic Core Detection, but working from the center outward, this routine was specially developed for cavities. It computes equal Z increments on the model and generates toolpaths for each level, to clear large areas of material rapidly.

Other Milling Enhancements – Ramp and Helix entries for contour milling and Tool Edge Path provide better surface finishes, while support for lollipop cutters adds flexibility.

Turning Additions and Enhancements
Extensive New Lathe Features – Developed to take advantage of the newer high-tech cutting tools, to turn harder materials and to machine smoother surfaces, these provide greater efficiency through increased tool control. Included are advanced entries and exits, entry feed rates, enhanced no-drag, clean-up pass, multi-pass plunge roughing, notch ramp roughing, offset contour and tool edge path contour, threading entry and tapping tools, and groove-tool deflection compensation.

MTM Enhancements to Sync Manager – Flexibility from new additions to Sync Mgr and Op List and new Op Mgr associativity make multi-task machining easier and more efficient.

User Interface and Productivity Enhancements
Multi-CPU Support and Batch Processing – This allows users to continue working while they generate high-speed, or multi-surface machining and other large toolpaths in the background, without tying up the workstation.

Faster Simulation – Performance enhancements make toolpath simulation much faster.

Multiple View Ports, Panes and Pop-up Windows – These enable viewing tool and cutter motion from various perspectives, extremely useful for gouge detection and collision avoidance in multi-task machining and multi-axis verification.

Multiple (unlimited) Undo/Redo – Applicable to all user created geometry, solids, surfaces and operations, this added capability increases user productivity by eliminating iteration when returning to a previous condition is necessary.

Graphics Pre-Selection – Simple mouse roll-overs now select faces and edges, eliminating the need to click on items to select them.

Enhancements for Cut Part Rendering – Visualization and verification are made faster and easier with new hot key for single step, Tool/Op color mode, geometry display, point-of-view lock, Show Rapid tool color, and FastCut display.

Hidden-Line Toolpath Display – This new feature eases visualization in toolpath verification.

Additions for Interoperability
Updated Certification – For flexibility and peace of mind, the software is now certified for Windows Vista and Solid Edge v20.

Multiple CAD System Support – Continuing the ease of using models and geometry from multiple systems, GibbsCAM support extends to Parasolid v19.1, SolidWorks 2008, ACIS v18.0, Autodesk Inventor 2009, CATIA v5 r18, Granite 5.0, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire v4.01 and UGS/NX5.

Initial shipments of GibbsCAM 2009 will go to customers in the United States and Canada, followed by shipments to international customers who use English documentation. International shipments of GibbsCAM 2009, with localized documentation, are scheduled for later in the year.

For more information about GibbsCAM and the GibbsCAM 2009 release, or to locate your local GibbsCAM reseller, go to www.GibbsCAM.com, call 1-800-654-9399, or email [email protected].