1 ISSUE Triple success with mill-turn The addition of FeatureCAM and three Mazak Integrex mill-turn machines has been a triple success for the Coventry Engineering Group. The combination of the mill-turn machines and a new programming system has increased productivity and shortened lead times, while maintaining consistently high quality. Coventry Engineering Group comprises three companies, with a total of over sixty years manufacturing experience, which were brought together in a management buyout in The core businesses are Coventry Toolholders, which designs and manufactures spindle-nose tooling and Centreline, which produces driven toolholders. The Group s Engineering Services Division provides precision subcontract manufacturing. While it was initially established to fill any gaps in capacity in the other two businesses, the ESD has now grown into a successful operation in its own right. We have gained a big increase in productivity through the ability of the Integrex machines to machine many of our parts in one hit, claimed Manufacturing Manager, Gary Skraga. In addition, we have been able to take on much more complex parts. The increased complexity prompted Coventry Engineering to invest in a CAM system for the first time, having relied on manual programming for its earlier, less sophisticated equipment. Our first Integrex, which we added about seven years ago, allowed us to take on work that we couldn t have attempted before, explained Mr. Skraga. However, as we moved into these more complex parts, programming with the manual control was becoming too long-winded so we needed to move over to using a CAM system. FeatureCAM has made programming so much easier, especially the feature-recognition capabilities, he said. The software also gives you the flexibility to modify the toolpaths. If you don t like anything in the program, you can override it to get exactly the results you need. In addition, the support from Delcam has been brilliant. Any issues we have are sorted out within a day. FeatureCAM can take designs directly from our four seats of SolidWorks and generate the toolpaths quickly. We can also ask our customers for solid models instead of drawings. One recent project needed fourteen different drawing views to describe the part. However, with FeatureCAM, we could read in the solid model and complete the programming quite easily. When we looked at the length of the finished program, we were glad we hadn t had to write it manually. FeatureCAM has helped with our quoting because you can get a good idea of the cycle time from the simulation. It has also made it much quicker and easier to develop one-off designs on the basis of our existing models. FeatureCAM has made programming much easier for complex components Paul Pickering, Operations Director at Coventry Engineering, was equally enthusiastic about the benefits of FeatureCAM. The Delcam software and the Integrex machines have allowed us to get into projects we couldn t have tackled before across all the areas of our business, he claimed. For example, we are now adding a range of special-purpose milling heads to our portfolio for the simultaneous machining of complex parts. Previous programming systems used by the company had not given the expected benefits and were found to be lacking in certain areas. Delcam, with its close links to Mazak, came up with solutions to the difficulties that we had experienced in editing posts on such a complex five-axis machine. On the subcontract side, we are also looking into new markets, he added. In particular, we are moving into direct machining of parts that we would have previously made from castings. Our aim has always been to be highly competitive in terms of price and delivery, without any compromise in quality for speed or cost, concluded Mr. Pickering. FeatureCAM ensures that we can meet that objective and so is helping us to grow our business. P4 Flexibility sparks rapid growth Delcam helps A&M support diverse customers P7 ArtCAM Insignia goes 3D 3D modelling tools added to artistic CADCAM P15 Seamless integration PowerSHAPE fits the bill at Omega Tool For more news, go to and
2 2 ISSUE LEGO engineer at Delcam LEGO engineer Thilip Ponnampalam recently spent a week undertaking advanced training in PowerMILL, following his award of a Hans Schiesser scholarship. The scholarship can be used by the winner for any training relevant to his work and Mr. Ponnampalam chose to develop his CAM skills at Delcam s Birmingham headquarters. LEGO engineer Thilip Ponnampalam with Craig Chester, Delcam s International Sales Support Manager, during his training in Birmingham LEGO has used PowerMILL for more than ten years in its Prototyping & Tooling Division and now uses thirteen seats of the software to produce the moulds for its LEGO and duplo bricks, as well as for parts for the special characters in its Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and other ranges. Mr. Ponnampalam has worked in Prototyping & Tooling since March During that time he has become so expert in the use of PowerMILL that he carries out regular training in the software for his colleagues. He is responsible for testing all new versions of PowerMILL and for sending feedback to the development team in Birmingham. In particular, Mr. Ponnampalam has become expert in using the macro language in PowerMILL to customise the software specifically to meet LEGO s needs. The macros he has created make it easier for less experienced engineers to use the software and ensure that they use the optimum milling strategies to machine the moulds. Both these factors allow everyone in the team to improve their output. The scholarship judges said that Mr. Ponnampalam possesses a very keen interest in, and knowledge of, many of the technical processes used at LEGO but is unique when it comes to CAM programming. His knowledge of PowerMILL is exceptional and contributes greatly to the efficient manufacture of moulds. This is one of the company s core competencies and critical to LEGO s continued success. The scholarship was established in 1982 by Borg-Warner Chemicals, GE Plastics BV and Thuesen & Funch in memory of Hans Schiesser, who devoted much of his life to the development of plastic raw materials and plastic moulding technology within the LEGO Group. It supports the training and professional development of young, promising LEGO engineers. Five-axis cooperation Delcam Taiwan has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Fair Friend Group, the world s largest machine tool manufacturer. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop and promote fiveaxis machining technology for the Asian market. This strategic alliance will consolidate the integration between the FEELER range of CNC machines and PowerMILL. Customers will also receive coordinated technical support in both hardware and software from both companies, to ensure they obtain the maximum benefit from their investment. After 20 years of development, Fair Friend Group now comprises a total of 55 companies, with a product line extended to all types of machine tools, so providing customers with a complete, one-stop shop to meet their needs. With continued mergers and acquisitions, Fair Friend Group has successfully gained advanced technology from Japan, Europe and America. Being based in China, the company has access to large quantities of lower-cost raw materials. It has also benefited from bulk purchasing power to reduce its costs and achieve economies of scale. The Delcam Taiwan Joint Venture was also established in Since then, the company has developed rapidly. It now has a sales and technical support network throughout Taiwan, and also in DongGuan and KunShan on mainland China. With nineteen years of CADCAM service history and customers in areas as diverse as mouldmaking, automotive, footwear and healthcare, Delcam Taiwan has become one of the leading suppliers of CADCAM software in the region. Delcam Taiwan Managing Director Jack Lin (left) with Fair Friend Group General Manager James Lee at the signing of the MoC
3 ISSUE PowerMILL allows BYD to shorten its production cycles and maintain high product quality Shorter delivery times and higher quality Delcam s PowerMILL CAM software is helping to shorten delivery times and maintain high quality at the Press Tool Division of Chinese car-maker BYD Auto. The company has been so impressed with the results given by PowerMILL that it added six further seats of the software in its mouldmaking factory in Shen Zhen in BYD Auto is part of the BYD Group, one of the world s largest manufacturers of batteries for mobile phones. The company has also designed and manufactured handsets and parts for Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Owner Wang Chuan-Fu moved into the automotive business in 2003 by buying the Chinese state-owned Qinchuan Automobile Company. By 2010, BYD Auto had grown into one of China s largest automotive companies with sales of over 500,000 cars, while the company s F3 model had become the most frequently purchased car in the country. BYD finds PowerMILL to be rich in machining strategies Like other manufacturing operations within BYD, the press tool department divides its work between supplying the parent company and manufacturing tooling for FAW, Chery, Foton and other Chinese automotive companies, and for international customers, including Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Land Rover. The department has used PowerMILL since During that time, the users have experimented with most of the strategies in the software to optimise the results it obtains from its range of Japanese machine tools. We believe that PowerMILL has many advantages, commented Manufacturing Manager, Mr. Meng Yu. Firstly, the software is easy to use. Secondly, the system is very professional with fast calculation times. It is rich in machining strategies, especially for the automotive stamping industry, and provides flexible post-processing. Overall, PowerMILL lets us shine. BYD believes that PowerMILL offers large benefits to its manufacturing departments, not only by shortening the production cycles considerably but also in maintaining high product quality. The programmers use the PowerMILL machining strategies both to improve the efficiency of the machining workshop and to reduce tool wear. Mr. Meng Yu added, Now, the latest version supports multi-core computing. For a large mould, we have looked at the whole process and found overall savings of around 50% of the calculation time. Our comparison showed that, for our tooling, the improvement was even better than the official figures published by Delcam. This has meant a significant reduction in programming times, which means much shorter development cycles. As well as supplying excellent software, Delcam China also provides professional customisation services, continued Mr. Meng Yu. These have helped us to customise PowerMILL to meet our unique needs and to capture a lot of the knowledge of our experienced people in the software. BYD continues to introduce new cars, with each new model requiring new tooling and providing more challenges. The introduction of advanced technologies, to reduce the complexity of the work, along with the accumulation of experience within the technical staff ensures the quality of parts remains high. We will continue to develop the automation within PowerMILL, Mr. Meng Yu said. We are aiming ultimately for a completely automatic method for machining our press dies.
4 4 ISSUE The flexibility of its Delcam software has been a key factor in the rapid growth of A&M EDM. Unlike many subcontractors that choose to specialise in supplying a particular industry, A&M EDM has always sought a diverse range of customers. Flexibility sparks rapid growth A&M was founded by Managing Director Mark Wingfield in 2002 with two EDM machines in a rented space within the current building in Smethwick, near Birmingham. The company now owns the whole site, is one of the largest spark erosion service providers in the UK and has a rapidly growing machining business. We don t want to be limited to any industrial sector; we are a subcontractor for anyone who needs our precision engineering services, explained Quality Manager, Kevin Powell. We take on projects from automotive, autosport, aerospace, electronics, medical or energy, plus all types of mouldmaking and press tool manufacture. As well as being important to our growth, this flexibility helps in any downturn because a shortfall in one sector can be balanced by extra business from the others. Investment in the latest technology has been another key component in the success of the business. The site now contains over 30 CNC machines; the majority are less than five years old and feature the latest in EDM, wire EDM and conventional machining technologies. Even during the recent recession, A&M carried on recruiting extra people and investing in more equipment to continue to strengthen the company. From the start, A&M built its reputation on fast turnaround and high quality. This approach has allowed the company to expand through generic growth in a number of larger core customers and from recommendations from satisfied clients. One of its earliest successes came through providing an overnight repair service for press tools by manufacturing replacement inserts for delivery the next morning. This success convinced Mr. Wingfield that he needed to add machining capabilities to his EDM business and lead to the initial purchase of two Hurco machines in We wanted to be able to complete everything in-house, rather than risking any quality or delivery issues by using sub-contractors, he remembered. Subsequently the machining side of the business has grown more quickly so that it will probably be around half of the company s turnover this year. A&M already has one mill-turn machine, plus two CNC lathes, along with nine mills, The sales staff at Delcam are very good and really know what they are talking about, while the support team is excellent. Any problems we have are sorted out very quickly. This is essential for any business like ours that has built its reputation on fast delivery. including two with five-axis capabilities. Mr. Wingfield is planning to add two more Hurco machines to meet this growing demand. We have used Delcam software for about five years, soon after we bought the first Hurcos, said Mr. Wingfield. We started with PowerSHAPE for our data translation and design work, and then added PowerMILL for programming. I knew Delcam from a previous company and had always thought it was good software. I ve never regretted that decision; it has always done everything that we needed across all the different types of work we have to tackle. The Delcam software is easy to use for systems that are so powerful, he added. We have taken people that were expert machinists but had no computer experience, and soon had Programming its Hurco machines with PowerMILL allows A&M to deliver high quality A&M built its reputation on fast delivery of complex parts them programming our five-axis machines. Programming our Hurco machines with PowerMILL allows us to deliver the high quality and rapid turnaround that our customers demand, while the flexibility of PowerSHAPE allows us to do all of the different facets of our work. The sales staff at Delcam are very good and really know what they are talking about, while the support team is excellent. Any problems we have are sorted out very quickly. This is essential for any business like ours that has built its reputation on fast delivery. A&M is currently targeting further growth from the aerospace industry. It has been accredited to ISO , AS9100 and NADCAP, and was one of the first subcontractors to receive SC21 accreditation. We have applied for planning permission to extend our building because we know there is a lot of work out there, commented Mr. Wingfield. We are close to winning some long-term contracts to underpin the rapid-turnaround projects where we currently find most of our business. With the support we receive from Delcam and Hurco, I m sure we will be able to continue our expansion.
5 ISSUE North American support team Leading metrology company, Stiefelmayer, demonstrated Delcam s new clay-milling software for coordinate measuring machines, PI-ClayMILLING, at Euromold. The novel combination of CMM and software for machining is intended primarily for use in automotive styling but could also have applications in other industries that use clay models for design reviews. When operated with PowerINSPECT and the new PI-ClayMILLING software, the CMM can be used as a multi-purpose tool for inspection, marking out and milling. Depending on the size of the CMM, PI- ClayMILLING allows the designer to machine a complete car body or sections of the design. The design can be re-machined using digitised curves or scan data after design reviews. The new software is based on PowerMILL but features a completely new interface that gives it the same look and feel as PowerINSPECT. This inspection software has been supplied by Stiefelmayer for many years, so existing customers will find the clay-milling software very easy to learn. PI-ClayMILLING has been developed specifically for the production of styling models and comprises a number of templates for the machining techniques that are needed in these applications, such as raster machining, Z-level area clearance and rest finishing. The full range With the new PI-ClayMILLING software, CMMs can be used for inspection, marking out and milling Clay-milling software for CMMs of PowerMILL strategies is available in the background so additional templates can be created if required, either by an expert user in the company or by Delcam s support team. The use of templates provides very simple methods for users to take advantage all the benefits of PowerMILL, including multi-threading on multi-core hardware for faster calculation times and 64-bit support for easier processing of large, complex models. The clay milling software can use all of the data translation options available for PowerMILL and PowerINSPECT, including standard formats, such as IGES, STEP and VDA, and direct translators for leading design software like CATIA, Siemens NX and Autodesk. Similarly, the software can use the process visualisation from PowerINSPECT to check the toolpaths on the computer before sending them to the CMM. Stefan Schneider, Metrology Specialist at Delcam GmbH, has worked with Stiefelmayer to develop and test the PI-ClayMILLING software. CMMs have been used in design studios for more than twenty years, he commented. By using our new software with the latest CMMs, we can add extra capabilities to this equipment. The expansion of Delcam s North American support team has continued with two new additions: Craig Burney, based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and Jason Owen, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduating from St Clair College, a pre-eminent technical institute for engineering and manufacturing in Ontario, Craig Burney has spent the past twelve years in manufacturing industry, primarily as a mouldmaker and CNC operator. Craig will be based in the Windsor office, providing technical support throughout Canada and the United States for PowerMILL and FeatureCAM. Jason Owen started working in manufacturing at ARRK Product Development. During his time at ARRK, Jason developed skills with a number of design packages and five-axis machines. Through his experiences, Jason has extensive working knowledge of Delcam software, along with other programs such as Pro/E and Unigraphics. Based out of Salt Lake City, Jason will provide technical support throughout the United States for PowerMILL and FeatureCAM. Commenting on the new hires, Gordon Maxwell, Senior Technical Support Manager, said, Over the past three years, Delcam has increased sales in North America through both new software licences and a higher uptake of maintenance. We needed to add more people in order to continue providing our customers with the highest-quality support they have come to expect. We are confident that both Jason and Craig will be great additions to the current extensive support team. Craig Burney and Jason Owen have been added to the North American support team
6 6 ISSUE FeatureCAM is being used by Southwest Solar Technologies in Arizona to develop prototypes for a novel solar power generation system that could overcome the problems presented by other systems. Installing the mirrors in the TurboSolar Power System Solar-powered success SST uses FeatureCAM to machine the unique parts it needs Photovoltaic-panel systems produce only intermittent power when the sun is available, while steam turbine-based technology requires large quantities of water, a particular concern in arid regions, explained SST Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Herb Hayden. At SST we are working to engineer a highly efficient and durable Concentrating Solar Power technology that will solve these problems. The company s TurboSolar Power System consumes minimal water and other environmental resources while generating grid-ready energy from the sun. SST comprises a small team that consists of a number of engineers across several disciplines - including electrical, mechanical and software engineering. Its leadership team includes experts from all of the industries required to bring a startup company from inception to a viable entity. It starts with Mr. Hayden, a recognised expert and advocate of solar energy. He spent more than 15 years directing the solar research and development programme for Arizona Public Service. The TurboSolar Power System combines a solar-concentrating dish with a purpose-built gas turbine engine. Early last September, SST announced the successful on-sun testing and proof of concept of the system. Zoltan Farkas, design engineer, does most of the programming to machine the unique parts needed by SST. I chose FeatureCAM for our machine shop because I was very familiar with the software from my employment and education at Arizona State University, he said. It is so flexible that we can easily import 3D models from other programs into it. It is an intuitive software package and, when you are building products with holes, pockets and 3D surfaces in an R&D environment, there is no quicker way to do this than with the Delcam package. Paul Thomas, electrical engineer for the company, had to learn FeatureCAM the hard way when Mr. Farkas was fully occupied with producing components. I needed to see what the tools would do in a simulation, and when I came to Zoltan FeatureCAM It is so flexible that we can easily import 3D models from other programs into it. It is an intuitive software package, and, when you are building products with holes, pockets and 3D surfaces in an R&D environment, there is no quicker way to do this than with the Delcam package. and told him what I wanted to do, he was so busy that he handed me the discs and told me to go for it, Mr. Thomas remembered. He was up and running as a new FeatureCAM user, with no training, on his own in just a couple of days. I like the fact that you can change posts quickly, and that you can modify the post-processor to put out custom g-codes for a different machine so easily, Mr. Farkas added. When you are in a start-up environment, machining, designing and bringing products to market has to happen yesterday. The speed and ease of use of FeatureCAM help us to meet this challenge.
7 ISSUE A range of 3D modelling tools have been added to the ArtCAM Insignia software for volume production of artistic items by signmakers, furniture manufacturers and engravers. Like all the members of the ArtCAM family of software, it allows artistic users to produce high-quality decorative items, with all the productivity and consistency benefits of computer-based manufacturing. ArtCAM Insignia goes 3D Within the new 3D modelling tools, the most powerful option is the Shape Editor. By simply double clicking on a specific colour of a bitmap image or a selected vector, the user can quickly transform it into a 3D design. The Shape Editor can not only determine the shape s profile, angle and height but also how the shape is combined with any 3D relief that has already been created. A second method for creating 3D designs from vector art is the Two-Rail Sweep. By selecting multiple vectors for the edges of the shape and any number of cross-sections for chosen positions, users can quickly create a 3D sweep shape or a swept surface. Once the initial design has been created, it can be edited in a number of ways. The surface of the model can be given a smooth, unblemished appearance with the Smooth Relief tool. Options are available to smooth over the entire 3D design, an area within a specific vector or a selected colour, in a number of passes. This is a particularly useful way of smoothing evenly across a scanned 3D model for example. Areas of the design can also be smoothed with the Smooth Sculpting tool. This can be used to remove blemishes from a scanned 3D model, to smooth adjoining areas of multiple pieces of relief clip art or to soften sharp edges or corners. The final option can be particularly useful for designers of dies for foil stamping or embossing as softer corners can prevent the die from ripping the material. Any mistakes made during smoothing can be overcome with the Erase tool, which allows the user to sculpt back to a previous point in time. The same tool can also be used to sculpt areas down to a flat surface. Textures can be added to all or part of the relief to give a more attractive design, or to provide backgrounds on embossing plates or signs. ArtCAM Insignia now includes 3D modelling tools The Two-Rail Sweep can create complex 3D designs Networks of shapes, such as spheres, cones, pyramids and weaves, can be added or subtracted to any colour and vector, or to the entire 3D model. Alternatively, files can be imported to create the required texture. The complete relief can be offset, either to hollow out the part or to create the wall thickness. The same option can be used in toolmaking, either to produce the core and cavity of a mould, to create a male punch or to generate the shape required for a master for vacuum-formed packaging. The 3D relief can also be wrapped along the x or y axis to create a cylindrically shaped design, for example, a chair leg, 3D sculpture or rotary embossing die. This data can then be used to create the toolpath to rotary machine the design. Most designs created in ArtCAM Insignia are expected to be machined with the range of 3D strategies in the software. However, the software also offers the ability to create triangle meshes, which can then be exported in a number of common 3D model file formats. This data can be sent to rapid prototyping equipment or to CAD systems, like PowerSHAPE, where the relief can be used to decorate a CAD model. 130 extra items of clip art have been added to ArtCAM Express Extra clip art in Express 130 extra reliefs have been added to the range of standard clip art supplied with ArtCAM Express, the entry-level software for engraving and woodworking, including architectural, floral, frame and texture examples. The extensive clip-art library is a key part in making ArtCAM Express the easiest-to-learn engraving and routing program currently available. New customers can use the library to create their first models simply by pasting items into their designs. All the clip-art items can be scaled, copied or combined to give complete designs. Text can be added to the clip-art elements to personalise any design. A wide range of standard fonts are supported with the software, with complete control over spacing, kerning, and line and paragraph formatting. The clip-art library can be extended by importing designs from other sources, including other members of the ArtCAM family and clip-art websites. Once the user has gained the confidence to create original designs, ArtCAM Express includes a range of 2D drawing tools for creating both geometric and free-form shapes, and also for editing and repairing imported 2D files.
8 8 ISSUE Delcam CRISPIN has released the 2012 versions of its range of design and manufacturing software for the footwear industry. The new versions include significant enhancements to the ShoeMaker, Engineer Pro and TechPac programs, plus a focus on further integration between products, including links to Delcam s PS-Team that assist with data management and provide a path to integrate with PLM systems. A new option, ShoeStyle, for 3D style-line engineering and flattening, is available either stand-alone or as part of Engineer Pro 2012 footwear Delcam CRISPIN is the world s largest supplier of CADCAM software to the footwear industry and is the only supplier able to provide a complete solution for the design and manufacture of lasts, uppers and soles. ShoeMaker 2012 ShoeMaker is the product of choice for 3D concept footwear design and modelling. For the 2012 R2 release, many new features have been added, including a 2D window for editing style lines in the design and updating the equivalent 3D lines on the last, functionality to produce a basic sports sole design for improved visualisation, and the import of Adobe Illustrator curves as stencils that can be wrapped directly onto the last as design lines. Improvements to existing features include having more realistic visualisation and positional control of the automatic laces, the merging of multiple sketch lines when using a graphics tablet, the ability to design on an Offset Concept Last but flatten to the manufacturing (confirmed) last, and the ability to transfer an existing 3D design model onto a different digital last. Engineer Pro 2012 For the 2012 release, Engineer Pro includes single-click creation of boundaries to enhance the pattern-development process even further. A major addition to the 2012 Engineer Pro sales bundle is a new 3D product, ShoeStyle. Based on ShoeMaker, ShoeStyle ensures the aesthetics of the 3D design lines are correctly proportioned before flattening for 2D pattern engineering. range ShoeStyle provides functionality to import lasts, in STL or IGES formats, and create style lines directly on the last using point-to-point, streamline sketching or merging of multiple sketch lines using a graphics tablet. Stencils can be wrapped onto the last and Adobe Illustrator curves imported, wrapped onto the last and used in the design process. TechPac 2012 TechPac is a 2D solution for producing technical packages, including technical information, images and sequences of manufacturing operation. Reports can be generated in PDF and HTML formats for factory operatives to follow, which give them all the technical information required for the upper-assembly processes like clicking, skiving, folding and closing. TechPac can now also output reports that are generated automatically using information and data from Engineer Pro and can be displayed in a format defined by the user. This reduces the time taken to produce a technical package and improves the integration between the products. Product integration has also been a key focus for Delcam CRISPIN products and, for 2012, links have been added to Delcam s PS-Team data-management program. Adding this functionality will improve the level of communication and data management between products, and provide data connection and communications with PLM systems. A rendered image of a sports shoe designed and modelled in ShoeMaker Pro
9 ISSUE When potential customers come to us with a photograph they would like to duplicate in 3D or when someone in our company has an idea for a complicated product, I am confident I can produce a design with ArtCAM that will meet or exceed their expectations, claims Pierre-Luc Arseneau, Designer for Aitkens Pewter. Exceeding The finished model of the Canadian Leopard tank expectations The tank design started by bringing an STL model into ArtCAM ArtCAM has played a major role in our success by enabling us to design and build complex 3D models that allow us to create new products that fill market demands, continued Mr. Arseneau. It has helped us develop a new generation of more realistic, more finely detailed and visually appealing products that have substantially expanded our business. Aitkens Pewter started in 1972 when Martin Aitken, then 17, set up his own shop. In the early years, the company concentrated on making 2D products but, around the turn of the century, it decided to expand into 3D. ArtCAM was selected as its primary software to design patterns and provide CNC programs for patternmaking, because it enabled quick and efficient creation of manufacturable 3D models from 2D images and artwork. We have been making 3D products ever since and 3D has in fact grown to make up the lion s share of our business, Mr. Arseneau said. The company, based in Fredericton, Canada, has grown to the point where it has three studio stores and a thriving online business. To learn more about how ArtCAM has helped Aitkens Pewter to design and build complex 3D models that fill market demands, watch the video interview at Designing a new standard or custom 3D product typically begins with 2D artwork, such as a photograph or rendering, or a simple sketch of a product idea. Mr. Arseneau imports the 2D artwork into ArtCAM, where his first task is to convert the flat 2D file into an eye-grabbing 3D image. He typically begins by creating a cross-section of the prospective 3D part. ArtCAM makes it easy to develop cross-sections by giving me the ability to move back and forth between the 2D and the 3D images, Mr. Arseneau explained. The next step is extruding the cross-section to begin forming the 3D image, frequently using the two-rail extrude feature. Alternatively, if the initial artwork is a photograph, Mr. Arseneau often uses ArtCAM s bitmap-to-vector feature to automatically convert the photograph to a 2D vector image that he then extrudes to create the 3D image. The pattern for the main part of the tank An example of the complex products the company has produced with ArtCAM is a model of a Canadian Leopard tank. Mr. Arseneau obtained a 3D STL format model of the tank and brought it into ArtCAM. He created vector surfaces to match the external geometry of the tank and then separated the model into the individual components needed to enable moving parts on the finished model and to account for limitations of the CNC machines. For example, the turret of the tank is a separate assembly, consisting of eight pieces, so it can swivel around the base. It was designed using ArtCAM s project-assembly window, which allows users to design parts individually and then combine them to see how they fit together. Finally, he arranged the eight pieces so they could be produced in a single moulding operation, removed from the mould and glued together. The rubber mould used to produce the tank components
10 10 ISSUE Higher-definition modelling methods in DentCAD give much better representation of fine details Dental bar design has been improved to give more control over the shape of the various profile sections of the bar Dental upgrade for 2012 A major upgrade has been launched to Delcam s software for the design and manufacture of dental implant restorations with the release of the 2012 versions of its DentCAD and DentMILL programs. Delcam is the only company able to offer a complete, open implantology solution, from accurately capturing the implant position and orientation, through to the high-precision, multiaxis milling of customised abutments, implant bridges and dental bars, with a management system to track every stage of the process. The company remains committed to its drive to replace closed manufacturing methods, in which the user is restricted to the use of a limited range of equipment and materials, with open systems, in which manufacturers can combine their own choice of equipment and software, and then use a broad variety of materials. Thus, DentCAD can accept data from all leading dental scanning systems and output designs to any machining software, while DentMILL can take models from most dental design systems and generate toolpaths for a wide range of machine tools. The major change in DentCAD is the introduction of a higher-definition method for modelling. This gives much better representation of fine details such as cusps and fissures on the tooth, and so allows a closer match to the surrounding teeth to be modelled. New machining strategies in DentMILL give an improved surface finish Part-to-part pinning improves material usage It has also enabled the creation of a much more extensive and more realistic library of standard tooth designs for DentCAD. Designs much closer to real teeth can be selected from the library that require far less editing to produce the final model. The second major change has been the incorporation of best-fitting algorithms from PowerINSPECT. These allow the positions of scan adaptors to be located to high levels of precision and so enable extremely accurate production of multi-implant restorations, such as dental bars. Another key area for development has been dental bar design. This has been improved to give more control over the shape of the various profile sections of the bar and to make it easier to incorporate full custom abutments within the bar. The most obvious change to DentMILL is improved integration into the DentCAD workflow, including the introduction of a new interface that replicates the cleaner style introduced in the 2010 version of DentCAD. This features a reduced number of toolbars to allow the maximum screen space for toolpath generation and simulation, together with bolder and clearer icons. The new interface has been designed in association with dental laboratories and milling centres to ensure that technicians with limited experience of computer-aided machining will find the software easy to learn and to use.
11 ISSUE Material use has been made more efficient with improved and more flexible nesting tools to position the various restorations within the block. In particular, the ability to undertake part-to-part pinning has been added, rather than having separate sintering pins for each restoration. Background processing means that toolpath calculations can be started on the first items added to the block, while the remaining restorations are still being positioned. This approach can reduce the overall calculation times. DentMILL has also benefited from enhancements to the latest version of PowerMILL on which it is based. These include a number of new strategies that offer smoother machining to give the best possible surface finish. Closer integration has also been added between DentCAD and DentMILL and Delcam s OrderManager workflow management software so that the system is updated automatically with design and manufacturing data as it is generated. This is in addition to the ability for the millingcentre staff to immediately see incoming orders, approve them and download scan data to begin the design or to download design data for machining. The additional automation makes it easier to use the system to manage all the manufacturing steps through to eventual dispatch, and to maintain a real-time view of the centre s total order status. Delcam s OrderManager can be used with the full variety of manufacturing methods as it can easily be tailored to manage any milling centre s individual process steps. The multi-die adaptor can hold up to eight components DentSCAN dental scanner Delcam has extended its range of dental scanners with the launch of its DentSCAN scanner. The new unit is slim, light and accurate, making it ideal for use in dental laboratories that need to design restorations either for in-house production or for supply to milling centres for manufacture. The major change in DentCAD is the introduction of a higher-definition method for modelling. This gives much better representation of fine details such as cusps and fissures on the tooth, and so allows a closer match to the surrounding teeth to be modelled. Each customer has access to view all their orders, from initial order acknowledgement through to eventual dispatch, to check their progress without needing to contact the milling centre, so saving time for both customer and supplier. The laboratory is notified automatically if any further information is required, and when the order has been dispatched so that it can give the dentist the expected delivery date. As well as incorporating a high degree of automation, the system has been designed to be extremely easy to use for staff at both the laboratory and the milling centre, thus minimising administration time whilst maximising feedback. All stages of each transaction are logged, providing complete traceability for every order. The DentSCAN scanner uses the latest generation of white-light 3D scanning technology to give both fast and accurate data capture. This is combined with precision calibration and articulation equipment to provide high-precision scans for the design of all types of restoration, from simple copings to anatomical crowns and bridges. DentSCAN also has the ability to capture data from deep cavities, allowing dental impressions to be scanned as well as stone casts. DentSCAN is available with three software variants: a Base bundle for crowns and bridges, a Plus option for simple implant restorations, and a Pro version for multi-implant restorations. Upgrades between the different levels are controlled by a simple software upgrade, with no need to buy a new scanner or any extra equipment. The Plus and Pro versions of the software include best-fitting algorithms from Delcam s PowerINSPECT metrology program, the world s leading hardware-independent software. These allow the positions of scan adaptors to be located to high levels of precision and so enable extremely accurate production of items such as dental bars that need to match to a number of implants. Each unit is supplied with a calibration plate to ensure consistent accuracy, a multi-die adapter capable of holding up to eight components, and a scanning articulator with two clamps to allow both upper and lower impressions to be scanned simultaneously. DentSCAN is, of course, fully compatible with Delcam s dental CADCAM software for both modelling of the restorations and machining. It follows Delcam s policy supporting open systems and can also be used with other dental machining software. DentSCAN s articulator allows upper and lower impressions to be scanned simultaneously
12 12 ISSUE A combination of unique knowledge, oldfashioned customer service and PartMaker CAM software has helped High Point Precision Products grow from the family basement in Northern New Jersey into a fifteen-man company serving the medical device market in Sussex, New Jersey. Programming all of its machines with PartMaker keeps the company competitive and provides its customers with fast turnaround and the shortest possible lead times. Running simulations in PartMaker saves time on the machine Medical device manufacturing Marc Stipo, President of High Point Precision Products, admits that his company isn t the biggest player in medical device manufacturing, but claims that its cutting-edge machine-tool and CADCAM technology provides unique, cost-effective manufacturing solutions. To this end, the company employs seven multi-axis CNC Swiss-type lathes including a variety of Citizen L, K and M series models, a Star SA and two Haas vertical machining centres. The Swiss machines typically cost between $250,000 and $300,000 each. Therefore, it is paramount that they are kept up and running as much as possible, no matter what the lot size might be. According to Mr. Stipo, the best way to achieve this is to make very technically demanding, complex parts, which is exactly where PartMaker software helps. In today s medical device industry, engineers are using CAD to the fullest of its capabilities, which means part geometries are getting more complicated, explained Mr. Stipo. As a result, there have been countless jobs we just wouldn t have been able to produce without PartMaker. The software allows the company to program faster and in a more automated fashion, which leads to fewer errors on the shop floor. Getting the programming of a part right the first time, even for the company s complex Swiss machines, leads to faster set-up times and shorter lead times for High Point s customers. Although High Point is a rather small shop, it is able to compete with much larger outfits on the basis of the skill of its staff and the sophistication of its technology. Focusing the unique talents of a small group on the customer s problems keeps High Point a step ahead. It allows Mr. Stipo and his team to come up with practical, cost-saving ideas. Being smaller also enhances the need for diversification among his customer base. Having a CAM system that allows for the quick programming and turn-around of parts allows High Point to satisfy a diverse customer base across a relatively small number of machines without running into capacity problems. PartMaker allows you to quickly see where you have excess spindle waiting time so we can make sure our part cycle times are optimised before sending a program to the machine, says Mr. Stipo. Having the ability to In today s medical device industry, engineers are using CAD to the fullest of its capabilities, which means part geometries are getting more complicated. As a result, there have been countless jobs we just wouldn t have been able to produce without PartMaker. The software allows the company to program faster and in a more automated fashion, which leads to fewer errors on the shop floor. run What If scenarios off-line saves machine time and assures our customers that they are getting the best possible price for their products. Mr. Stipo finds that smaller medical-device manufacturers are receptive to the experience that his company has to offer. To design a part on a computer, to have us make it and then to try it out in an R&D lab can be very time- Marc Stipo has grown High Point from the family basement to a fifteen-man company consuming, he explained. When you are at the machine, making these changes can just be a couple of key strokes, or a quick change in PartMaker. Working collaboratively with the customer can also make the machining easier and bring costs down even further. To see the full interview with Marc Stipo, please go to
13 ISSUE New websites Delcam has launched a series of new websites for its range of Advanced Manufacturing software. Each site is eponymously named with a.com suffix, for example, the PowerMILL site is The new sites feature a modern, easy-to-navigate interface to allow visitors to find information relevant to their industry and machining application. The sites detail the many benefits that have prompted around 40,000 users to select Delcam software for their CAD or CAM needs. A key part of each site is a series of video testimonials from some of these customers, including users from the aerospace, automotive, contract manufacturing, electronics, general engineering, packaging and toolmaking industries. Visitors to the sites can obtain details on the latest versions of the software, through links to the respective Learning Zones. These include full details on the new releases, including What s New videos from expert Application Engineers. New CRISPIN engineers Delcam CRISPIN has added two additional design engineers to its support team, Ian Burgess and Lauren Whitaker, to help the company continue the strong growth in sales of its range of software for footwear design and manufacture. Sales for 2011 were up by more than 20% compared with 2010, reinforcing Delcam CRISPIN s position as the world s leading supplier of CADCAM software to the footwear industry. Ian Burgess graduated in 2009 with a First Class degree in Footwear Design from De Montfort University. Since then, he has worked as a footwear designer at Georgina Goodman and at LXY Brands. His work has included ladies footwear projects for Alexander McQueen and Zandra Rhodes, plus a man s range for the Five by Rio Ferdinand brand. Before starting his degree, he worked for C&J Clarks International as a Designer/Technologist. Mr. Burgess s first career was as a technologist at Rolls Royce Aerospace after graduating as a Mechanical Engineer from Coventry University. He also worked for DHL Express as an IT analyst while studying for his footwear-design qualifications. Lauren Whitaker has recently completed a Footwear foundation degree The new websites are clearer and easier to navigate Each site includes links to Delcam s international reseller network so that visitors can contact their local representative for further information or to request an evaluation copy. There are also links to many of Delcam s technology partners, including machine-tool builders, robot manufacturers and cutting-tool suppliers. Videos from recent exhibitions can be viewed where these companies have used Delcam software to program their demonstrations. from Leicester College and is completing a Footwear Design degree at De Montfort University while working at Delcam. She has won various competitions during her years at university, including one for a design project for LXY Brands spring/summer 2012 collection. Design engineers Lauren Whitaker and Ian Burgess Xu Zheng Ping, Vice-President of Shanghai Machine Tool Group (left) presents the award to Wang Zhenjiang, Technical Manager of East China Region, Delcam China CADCAM Award in China Delcam for SolidWorks was presented with the Ringier Technology Innovation Award for CADCAM software by International Metalworking News for China, the leading magazine in China s metalworking industry market, at last year s China International Industry Fair in Shanghai. The competition, which is organised by Ringier Trade Publishing Ltd, is in its sixth year. It is judged by a panel of experts from industry associations and research institutions within the metal-cutting industry. Their opinions are supplemented by internet voting from users of the nominated products. The Awards ceremony was held in the Shanghai New International Expo Center on 3rd November. More than 120 high-level delegates attended. Other winning companies included StarragHeckert, DMG, SECO Tools, ABB, Mitsubishi Electric, Wuhan HuaGong, Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle and Agie Charmilles.
14 14 ISSUE th anniversary for Delcam Italia Delcam Italia celebrated the 20th anniversary of its formation late last year with a special staff party at its Legnano headquarters. The celebrations came as Delcam Italia headed for its most successful year. Despite the challenges within the Italian economy, sales beat the previous record set during Italy was one of the first countries targeted by Delcam when it began its international marketing drive in the 1980s. One of the company s earliest European customers was the footwear manufacturer Vibram, which added Delcam software in 1984 and still remains a Delcam user. After selling through resellers during the 1980s, Delcam founded Delcam Italia with a single Milan office in As the business developed, further offices were opened: in Marche in 1994, in Padova in 1996, and in Bologna in Over the same period, the head office moved to larger premises in the Milan region, first to Gallarate in 1995 and then to the current site in Legnano in Delcam Italia now employs 24 people, who support more than 2,000 customers. These come from a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, engraving, healthcare, marine, motorsport, packaging and toys. Delcam Italia staff celebrate with Delcam Chief Executive, Clive Martell (left), and Chairman, Peter Miles (centre left) Virtual tour of Birmingham A virtual tour of Delcam s Birmingham headquarters has been added to the Delcam.tv online video channel. The video can be viewed at We now have close to 40,000 customers in more than 90 countries, stated Delcam s Marketing Manager, Peter Dickin. While we always welcome visits to Birmingham by our customers, we realise that many of them are unlikely to be able to travel to the UK. We hope that seeing this video will allow them to get an impression of the size of our headquarters and the strength of our company. It should also help to give confidence to prospective customers that are planning to invest in Delcam software when they see the size of our organisation, he added. We have been the leading specialist supplier of CAM software and services for eleven years in succession and employ the largest development team in the CAM industry. Even so, many of the people that visit Delcam still say I didn t realise how big you are. As well as showing the size of the company, the Delcam video illustrates the range of equipment that is located on the Birmingham site. Viewers can see the various machine tools located in Delcam s unique in-house machining facility no other global CADCAM company operates an equivalent manufacturing operation to prove out its new programs on real jobs with real deadlines. A virtual tour of Delcam is now available on Delcam.tv
15 ISSUE With PowerSHAPE, the core design can be generated quickly from the part model Seamless integration with customers software speeds design in PowerSHAPE Seamless integration According to Calvin Matte, Advance Design Engineer at Omega Tool Corp., the biggest benefit of owning Delcam software is that the company does an excellent job of ensuring that the products it sells to its customers work consistently and reliably. That in itself shows me that they are true innovators Mr. Matte stated. We build very large tooling, up to 110,000 pounds, so mistakes can cost our customers - and Omega - a lot of money. Omega Tool, based in Windsor, Ontario, is a supplier of turnkey solutions for plastic products for the automotive and other industries. The automotive moulds that Omega Tool manufactures includes tooling for door panels, grills, bumper fascias, steering wheels, instrument panels, body panels, mirror assemblies, and other interior and exterior vehicle trim systems. Non-automotive projects cover plumbing accessories, industrial parts, pipe fittings, consumer white goods, materials handling components and other consumer accessories. Omega has been using PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL, plus the Delcam Exchange data translation software, for almost 20 years and has been Beta testing new releases for most of that time. Mr. Matte commented that seamless integration is the top selling point for him. I need to know everything works well with each other, he explained. We can integrate the individual programs from Delcam and they go together seamlessly. That gives us power from these programs that you are not going to get with other CADCAM products on the market. PowerSHAPE links directly to PowerMILL for machining Integration with the design software used by his customers is also important to Mr. Matte. PowerSHAPE can make sense of imported data, no matter which CAD system created it, he claimed. Now I can go to a meeting with just my laptop and PowerSHAPE and load a KIA model. I can go to General Motors and load a Unigraphics model. We also do some work for Whirlpool. I can go there and load a Pro/E file. I don t have to spend all of my time making sure all of the proper software is on my laptop, worrying about will it come in, won t it come in? It is just done seamlessly. For example, say I want to add a product to my screen that has been modelled by General Motors. It may look like a simple part but there are probably over 13,000 surfaces in the model. That s a lot of data. But I can just go there and say to my laptop, UG part file, select it and then say Open. It goes directly from Unigraphics right into PowerSHAPE. Matte also says PowerSHAPE is very simple to use. Using PowerSHAPE has not only simplified Omega Tool s manufacturing process, but also has reduced lead times, he explains. Once I have the part design, I can quickly generate the core and cavity, and then all the other details of the mould. And I can share it. I can send it down to the shop floor; I can send it to PowerMILL. Everything will be seamless. To see the full interview, please go to Omega specialises in large automotive moulds, like with this facia mould
16 16 ISSUE For more news, go to Easier inspection, plus Reverse Engineering The 2012 release of PowerINSPECT includes new options to make inspection easier. In addition, basic reverse engineering functionality has been added to the point-cloud module. A new mirror command has been added to save programming time for symmetrical components. This allows the inspection sequence to be mirrored from one half of a component to the other half, or from the lefthand version of the design to the right-hand copy. The new feature can also reduce the possibility of programming errors and improve the consistency of the results between the two halves or parts. The range of dimensions that can be displayed on the model has been increased to include more types of distance, angles and diameters and radii. The options to display the various dimensions from the increased range have been made more versatile, to ensure the reports remain easy to read with only the required dimensions shown. There are two important additions to the PowerINSPECT 2012 point-cloud module for laser scanners and other point-cloud devices. STL export provides basic reverse engineering functionality for scanned data. The STL files can be used within PowerSHAPE Pro for more advanced reverse engineering operations. Pointcloud display has been enhanced with an option to show any back-facing points in a second colour. This highlights any discontinuities in the data, including gaps or other problem areas, and so makes it easier to identify areas that may need re-scanning to capture the complete model. It is now possible to measure edge points directly; it is no longer necessary to measure the surface first. This makes the process both easier and faster. However, it is recommended that both the edge and the surface should be checked if there is any likelihood of the part being distorted, for example, when checking sheet-metal components. The inspection of castings and forgings, and similar near-net shapes, has been improved with the addition of a new best-fit option. This centres the component within the measurement data so that the largest possible minimum stock is located on the part. It ensures that positive material exists in all areas of any semi-finished part before it is sent for further machining. The option can be used with the PartAligner software to minimise set-up times. A number of enhancements have been included to give faster and easier programming, with less A new mirror command saves programming time for symmetrical components chance of errors. A new lock workplane option automatically creates a datum scheme within PowerINSPECT s GD&T True Position, matching the part s coordinate system, while standard tolerances for Limit and Fit to ISO 286 and ISO 2768 have been included so that they can be selected from a pre-defined list. Edge points can be measured directly without measuring the surface first News.Delcam is written and produced by Delcam plc, Small Heath Business Park, Birmingham B10 0HJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Delcam, the Spider logo, PowerSHAPE, PowerMILL, PowerINSPECT, CopyCAD, ArtCAM,FeatureCAM, PartMaker, PS-Team, ShoeMaker, CRISPIN, SwissCAM, DentCAD, DentMILL, OrthoModel, OrthoMill and Delcam Exchange are all registered Trade Marks of Delcam plc.