Announcing
SmartCAM V18 Core Milling Improvements: Feature-based Holemaking

Several new capabilities have been introduced to all SmartCAM V18.0 milling applications and Advanced Turning which make it extremely easy to create holemaking toolpath directly from model features.

When combined with SmartCAM's unique and powerful customization and macro capabilities, you can now automate the creation of holemaking toolpath using standardized processes.

Watch the "Feature-Based Holemaking with SmartCAM V18" Video

New Hole Feature Elements - V18.0

A new type of layer hole element called a Hole Feature can now be created. Hole feature elements have additional attributes which capture key parametric information about the hole, such as the hole diameter, side angle, and bottom type (either blind or thru).

This feature information makes it possible to automatically apply the machining steps required to machine the hole. Hole features display using 3D wireframe geometry, and can be created using several different SmartCAM functions as described below.

New Hole Feature elements contain Diameter, Taper Angle, and Bottom Type attributes
New Hole Feature elements contain Diameter, Taper Angle, and Bottom Type attributes.

 

New From Solid Hole / Group Hole Features - V18.0

The Create - From Solid - Hole, Group Hole, and wireframe Create - Group Hole functions have been enhanced to automatically create Hole Feature elements when holes are created with the insert mode set to On Layer.

The From Solid - Hole and Group Hole functions leverage the additional knowledge captured in the solid model, and automatically assign the hole diameter, side angle, and hole bottom type (From Solid - Hole only) based on the neighboring topology.

The wireframe Create - Group Hole function assigns the hole diameter from the input arc elements.

From Solid - Hole and Group Hole now automatically create Hole Feature elements when inserting on layer
From Solid - Hole and Group Hole automatically createS Hole Feature elements when inserting on layer.

 

Property Change Hole Features - V18.0

A new Edit - Property Change - Hole Features command allows existing hole elements to be converted to layer Hole Features. Hole feature parameters such as hole diameter, side angle, and blind/thru bottom type can be specified.

Wireframe Hole elements can be converted to Hole Features using Property Change - Hole Features
Wireframe Hole elements can be converted to Hole Features using Property Change - Hole Features.

 

Compound Hole Features - V18.0

Hole features can be created as individual elements representing simple holes, or as sequenced sets representing compound hole features. Compound hole features are a chain of hole features that share a common axis, where the end depth position of an upper hole is the same Z coordinate as the start position of the next hole feature below it.

Compound hole features are created automatically by the From Solid - Hole and Group Hole functions, but it is also possible to create them manually by setting the depths and sequence according to the rules described above.

The features can be group selected the same as profiles, using a double click or the Profile selection mode on the group toolbar. Compound hole features, when used as input to a process, are interpreted as a single feature.

Solid model hole feature recognition supports a variety of blind and through hole types, including compound holes comprised of cones, cylinders, and concave and convex tori.

 

New Hole Feature Process - V18.0

A new Hole Feature process has been added to the Process - Hole Making toolbox. The Hole feature process allows a hole making toolpath to be generated from a group of layer hole features.

The hole making tool path start levels and depths are automatically determined from the input hole feature geometry. Additional adjustment values can be added to or subtracted from the computed elevations, or if desired, manual start and depth levels can be specified.

The resulting tool path can be created as a regenerable process element, which can be modified, recalled, and regenerated at any time. This new process in conjunction with hole features makes it easy to apply and manage tool and operation sequences typically used for hole making. Further, it provides new opportunities to fully automate the machining of common features.

The new Hole Feature process automatically sets toolpath depths directly from compound hole features as shown for these countersunk and drilled thru and blind holes
The new Hole Feature process automatically sets toolpath depths directly from compound hole features as shown for these countersunk and drilled thru and blind holes.

 

Hole Tool Improvements - V18.0

Several holemaking tools have been enhanced to include more complete parametric definitions, and are now displayed, with Draw Tools and in the Planner Preview, using the full definition. Following are the affected tools and corresponding new parameters.

  • Reamer - New Chamfer Length and Side Angle parameters have been added. The chamfer is interpreted as 45 degrees. When used in the new Hole Making process the chamfer will automatically extend past the bottom of thru holes
  • Bore - A new Corner Radius parameter has been added. When used in the new Hole Making process the corner radius will automatically extend past the bottom of thru holes.
  • Counterbore - The counterbore tool is now displayed using the specified Pilot Length and Pilot Diameter.
  • Center Drill - A new Flute Length parameter has been added to define the distance from the tip of the pilot drill to the top of the body flutes. The center drill tool is now displayed using the full parametric definition. The tip angle is interpreted as 118 degrees, the cone angle as 60 degrees, and the bell angle as 120 degrees.

 

Spot Diameter Support for Centerdrill - V18.0

The various panels and dialogs within SmartCAM that allow hole tool depths to be specified using Tip, Full, or Spot Diameter input now support the complete centerdrill definition.

Enhanced Bore, Counterbore, Reamer and Centerdrill tool definitions allow more accurate display and use throughout the product
Enhanced Bore, Counterbore, Reamer and Centerdrill tool definitions allow more accurate display and use throughout the product.