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Latest in CAD/CAM for fabrication.

Latest in CAD/CAM for fabrication

As indicated in the article, "CAD/CAM CAM - capturing the master's expertise" (in this issue), the pace of advancement in this technology continues brisk. Following are short news items on major developments announced during recent months.

* Several new features for sheetmetal fabrication have been added to Esprit CAD/CAM. One is "intelligent unfolding," which recognizes all weld and bend lines. The user is led through flat-pattern development step by step, with Esprit automatically computing bend allowance/setback from an integrated database of materials.

Another feature is forming simulation, which allows a user to fold back shapes one flap at a time until the full 3-D model has been rebuilt. This feature is valuable for producing drawings and documentation to assist in manufacturing processes, including use of press brakes.

Also new in Esprit is a database of sheet-metal materials, including aluminums, steels, copper, and a variety of alloys. This database is called upon to assist in computing bend allowance/setback from the angle, radius of bend, and thickness of material.

DP Technology Corp, 1150 Avenida Acaso, Camarillo, CA 93010.

* A new software package for flat-pattern development has been added to Intergraph's CAD/CAM suite. Called I/FOLD, this software transforms 3-D part models into flat layouts for sheet-metal fabrication and related activities.

The package offers a full set of functions for defining bends, unfolding bends, and unrolling conical and cylindrical shapes. To accommodate material thickness, I/FOLD routines recognize the inner, middle, and outer modeling surfaces as the basis for pattern unfolding.

Bend allowance calculations are performed using either a standard air-bending equation (neutral axis factor), direct bend allowance value, or a user-defined formula. A single command initiates automatic unrolling routines, and automatically projects details onto the part design.

Intergraph Corp, One Madison Industrial Park, Huntsville, AL 35894.

* Metalsoft's software for fabrication adds sheet-metal features to CAD drawings, so drawing time is shortened and changes can be made quickly and easily. After a programmer enters parameters such as material thickness, bend radii, and type of corner joints desired, the model is automatically redrawn. It then shows features and dimensions needed for manufacturing.

Flanges are automatically trimmed for whatever type of corner or weld joint is wanted. Bend radii are displayed, and bend-relief holes are redrawn automatically at appropriate locations. This helps eliminate material deformation and tearing.

The unfolding module will work with any CAD drawing, regardless of techniques used by design engineers. After parts are imported and unfolded, they can be exported to Metalsoft's own CAM software, or translated for output to other CAM systems.

Metalsoft Inc, 2110 S Yale St, Santa Ana, CA 92704.

* Two new optional modules have been added to the PINS suite of CAD/CAM software for fabrication. One-Pierce, used with PINS automatic nesting, reduces torch-tip usage in applications involving heavy plate and flamecutting. One-Pierce also provides improvements in material usage and production throughput.

One-Pierce automatically organizes the nest to eliminate burn-in lines, instead using the kerf of each part to provide a cut-in area for the next part. Thus oxygen-lance piercing is almost eliminated, saving up to 75 percent of torch tips typically used to cut plate.

The second module, called Tape Library Transfer Module (TLTM), permits NC tapes to be used as input to PINS punch or punch/plasma nesting software. TLTM allows a user to build a single, unified database of part programs from NC tapes. These typically were generated using CAM systems such as Geopoint IV, Techware, or Smart-CAM.

With TLTM as part of a PINS configuration, a user simply completes a punch setup-sheet that equates station positioning with a particular tool ID. Special processing constraints such as tool sequence may also be included.

Then, as NC tapes are loaded, TLTM checks each tape file to ensure that NC data are fully compatible with PINS punching software. Data in diverse formats, for many different kinds of machine tools and control, are accepted, stored, and checked.

Precision Nesting Systems Inc, 50 Spring St, Cresskill, NJ 07626. Circle 568. 2103

* New from The Netherlands is Origami, a flat-part CAD/CAM package named after the Japanese art of making objects by cutting and folding paper. This software automatically translates 2-D layouts into NC machine code for a laser cutter or punch press.

Within minutes after designing a layout, the user cuts a prototype from sheet metal up to 4 mm thick. He then quickly bends the flat part into the desired 3-D shape by hand.

Origami runs on Silicon Graphics Personal Iris workstations. The program is written in Unix 5.3 and Fortran 77. English literature is available.

TechComm Associates, 5075 N Santa Monica Blvd, PO Box 93717, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Circle 569. 2103

* Two new products for fabrication CAD/CAM are announced by Trumpf Inc. First is PC Trumagraph, an MS-DOS version of the company's proven, proprietary system. Running on a Hewlett-Packard Vectra PC (sold as part of the package), this software outputs programs in standard Trumagraph format. This allows any created part to be viewed and modified by the machine operator.

Functions of PC Trumagraph are identical to those of Series 200 Trumagraph, with the exception of sheet layout and NC tape generation. These two steps are still performed at the machine.

Also new from Trumpf is TC-CAPT (Computer Aided Programming Technology), an independent programming system for punching, nibbling, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and other operations. A digitizing pad and on-screen menus are available for parts design and drawing production. Conventional TC-APT language can be used with TC-CAPT hardware for milling and turning operations, and to produce and process part programs.

Standard design components of TC-CAPT provide for image turning, moving, mirroring, enlarging, and copying. A macro language can be used to produce special macro commands and symbols.

Trumpf Inc, Farmington Industrial Park, Farmington, CT 06032. Circle 571. 2103

* An advanced 3-D CAD/CAM package for sheet-metal fabrication is said to capture expertise of veteran layout men in easy-to-use software. Operating on a Compaq PC (sold as part of the package), this program converts 3-D drawings into 2-D layouts automatically.

With a few keystrokes, the data are processed into Amada G-code. Data can be entered manually, downloaded from a host computer, or fed in on tape or over a DNC link.

This program accepts data in IGES or DXF format from many different, popular CAD programs. Automatic volumetric verification detects impossible bend sequences. To prevent puckering at corners, the software automatically specifies bend-relief holes.

US Amada Ltd, 7025 Firestone Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621.

Off-line programming

for Hurco Tools

Hurco machine tools governed by Ultimax or BX controllers can be made more versatile through addition of off-line programming capability in Ultimax II/PC software. Developed for use on IBM PC XT, AT, PS/2, Compaq 386, and fully compatible computers, this software features standard Ultimax II conversational programming format. Included are 3-D capability with full cutter compensation, and estimated run-times.

Ultimax II/PC converts Hurco conversational data blocks to NC format. The software links all Hurco BX and Ultimax controllers on a network.

Included in this package are program disks, owner's manual, Ultimax CNC operating manual, software protection device, and training of one person at Hurco's facility.

Hurco Companies Inc, 6460 Saguaro Ct, PO Box 68180, Indianapolis, IN 46268.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:computer-aided design/manufacturing systems
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:May 1, 1990
Previous Article:Laser welds cut tube-forming scrap.
Next Article:"Art-to-part" is key to shorter cycles.

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