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Delcam, Inc.

Delcam is a multifaceted company whose major thrust is providing Delcam International's DUCT5 CAD/CAM/CAE software to the North American foundry industry.

In addition, Delcam uses DUCT5 in its own tooling facility to build patterns, prototypes, molds and dies.

Conceived at Cambridge University in the late 1960s by Dr. Donald Welbourn, the fundamental concept behind DUCT5 was emulation of a wood patternmaker. Thus, DUCT5 was born to utilize "cross sections" and "spines" as a means of defining three-dimensional surface shapes.

Another patternmaking idea was followed closely by DUCT5's creators: positioning fundamental part features in 3-D space and blending them together with filler. However, instead of a plastic filler, DUCT5 was enabled with powerful mathematical blending and filleting tools.

Another patternmaker's trick was facilitated when DUCT5 was taught to fin parting lines--with and without draft allowance. Automatic parting lines created the need for tools to match draft and quickly build parting surfaces. Years of constant development found DUCT5 with a set of 3-D modeling tools that wood patternmakers envy.

Somewhere along the line, it was recognized that DUCT5 had to enter the NC machining era. Work began with a vengeance and a machine shop was implemented at Delcam to test NC machining concepts.

Seeing the results of its efforts on the shop floor has helped Delcam programming staff to develop practical, gouge-free, automatic roughing and finishing tools for DUCT5. Delcam has even developed its own DNC software.

Today, DUCT5 is used in foundries and in pattern, forging and mold shops around the world. It is recognized for providing the facilities to quickly model and machine any 3-D shape.

Recent development efforts have been directed toward ease of use and interface with other CAD/CAM systems. To this end, industry standard Motif-based menu systems and a bevy of general (IGES, VDA-FS) and specific translators have surfaced.

A direct interface with RWP's (Aachen, Germany) SIMTEC solidification software is now being introduced. Marketed as DUCTcast, the Finite Element Method (FEM) system will predict the thermal characteristics and solidification process for any type of metalcasting environment.

A new Rapid Casting Prototype facility is now being enabled in a joint venture with PolyForm.

Delcam machines dense foam to shape by using DUCT5. PolyForm processes the machined foams through a ceramic slurry dipping facility. The slurry-coated foam is dried and then placed in a hot fluidized bed. Vaporized foam is vacuumed off and incinerated. Then, molten iron, steel, aluminum and other metals are poured into the hollow ceramic shells.

Delcam International continues to push the CAD/CAM/CAE knowledge envelope with DUCT5. Delcam, Inc. sells, trains and implements DUCT5 systems. In addition, the company uses DUCT5 for tool production and rapid prototype castings.

Delcam, Inc., 35595-G Curtis Blvd., Eastlake, Ohio 44095; 216/953-0147; fax 216/953-3739.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 1993
Words:460
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