Announcing
SmartCAM v2016 Milling Improvements

SmartCAM v2016 delivers several high-speed milling toolpath process improvements.

Four toolpath technology enhancements are included in this release, each extending toolpath generation and control options for wireframe-based processes that are highly practical in day-to-day SmartCAM usage.

Islands are now supported in the wireframe Group Pocket Process

The wireframe Group Pocket Process was previously a ‘base level’ pocket toolpath generation function, supporting groups of outer pocket boundary profiles as input.

The process has been given a real boost in functionality at Version 2016.

Two input groups can now be used, one for a group of pocket boundaries and an optional second group of any islands.

Additionally, multi-level nested pockets and islands are supported, so that pockets within islands and further islands within those pockets can easily be toolpathed using a single process.

Group Pocket Process Islands with ShowPath nibble mode toolpath simulation
Group Pocket Process Islands with ShowPath nibble mode toolpath simulation

These enhancements considerably extend the scope and practical use of the wireframe Group Pocket Process.

Part Offset and Morph Path Types now included in Group Pocket

The Version 2016 wireframe Group Pocket Process now benefits from the addition of the Part Offset and Morph Path Type options that exist in other toolpath processes.

Toolpath and Connection Smoothing - capabilities previously introduced in the wireframe Pocket, Face and Region Roughing Processes - can now be used to generate smooth Roughing and Roughing semi-finishing / finishing Profile toolpaths and smooth transitions between part offset passes in the Group Pocket Process.

Group Pocket now includes Part Offset and Morph Path Types
Group Pocket now includes Part Offset and Morph Path Types

The additional options can be used to produce smoothed, continuously-tangent toolpaths that are suitable for High Speed Milling techniques.

The Path Type, Toolpath Smoothing and Connection Smoothing enhancements to the Group Pocket Process provide CAM engineers using SmartCAM with even more toolpath control options and extend the application scope of what was previously a ‘base level’ pocket toolpath process.

Improved control over Island Top sequencing

The wireframe Pocket, Group Pocket and Face Processes have been provided with additional and extended options to control the sequencing of Islands / Shelf Top machining.

The set of sequencing options is now:

  • None - No additional toolpath is generated specifically for Island top levels
  • Entire Level - The entire set of input pockets with islands are machined on each level at which an Island Top or Tops occur
  • Tops First - The regions directly above any islands that occur after the previous pass are machined before the next roughing depth level pass
  • Tops Last - The regions directly above any islands that occur in a roughing pass are machined after that roughing depth level pass. In this case, the tool enters from outside of the region, from a position where material has already been cleared by the roughing toolpath

Island Top First & Last machining sequence options deliver toolpath control that has not been available in previous releases.

Additional Toolpath options for Shelf Top Machining

Shelf Tops are automatically detected wherever islands are co-incident with pocket boundaries.

When the ‘Island Tops Last’ option is used and the Part Offset Path type is selected, new options for Connecting and Alternating the Toolpaths for Shelf Top machining can be applied.

Shelf tops machined using Alternating and Connected Part Offset Path Type
Shelf tops machined using Alternating and Connected Part Offset Path Type

These options enable efficient shelf-top toolpaths to be programmed using a back-and-forth motion that eliminates retracts and re-entries.