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SmartCAM v2024: Verification support for Cluster Punches
SmartCAM v2024: Verification Support for Fabrication Cluster Punches

NEWS RELEASE: SmartCAMcnc announces release of SmartCAM v2024

Monday, February 12, 2024 - Springfield, Oregon - SmartCAM® v2024 delivers improvements for retract/home position handling, milling tool types, user interface and usability, verification display and image creation, high density surface display performance, macro automation, and CAD data translation. As well as many productivity boosting, customer requested enhancements to SmartCAM core functionality.

New Job Operations Planner

The Job Operations Planner has been modernized and provided a more consistant User Interface, matching some of the other features added to SmartCAM in recent releases. This includes providing information about Steps and Tools in a more useful Grid display; allowing users to select what information they would like to have included. Adding mouse-level support for managing the Steps and Operations. While still providing the wealth of needed functionality required to successfully manage the project.

"The Job Operations Planner is a fundamental feature of SmartCAM; used and relied upon with every job." said Douglas Oliver, Senior Product Manager at SmartCAMcnc. "These updates will make the Planner a more capable and easier to use tool, as well as providing a consistent user-interface experience with other recent SmartCAM additions."

New Work Setup Home Position

Ability to establish an overall Home Position location, allows program start/end home coordinates to be defined; generally for milling and by turret for turning. Instead of needing to establish a home position for each step, using geometry, the location can be configured for all steps and tools. Additionally, this same location can optionally be use for Tool and Plane Change events, for live tools, with the tool either returning to the home XYZ or just retracting the the home Z.

When simulated using Verification, the simulation shows the first tool starting at the home position and the last tool returning to it. All turning tool changes occur at the home location as well. Tool and Plane Change events are used for live tools when enabled.

New Milling Tool Types

Support for Chamfer Mill, Rounding Mill, and single point Thread Mill tools have been added. The Chamfer and Rounding Mill tools may be used for edge milling operations and, optionally, could be offset to accommodate the Tip Diameter using the Left/Right Offset property. The Thread Mill tool type may be used with the Thread Mill process to generate multi-revolution thread milling toolpath.

Verification Enhancements

The User-Interface and Image handling capabilities of Verification have been expanded. These additions include:

  • Sticky Stock/Fixture Buttons - The Stock (Material Removal) and Fixture buttons can be set to optionally remember their last state, during the current session.
  • Export STL Models and PNG Images - The new Save As button allows the export of the current in-process stock model as a binary or ASCII STL format model file. The STL model can then be imported into other CAD and Graphics systems, as well as being merged back into SmartCAM to use as a stock model. The Save As button can be used when Verification is paused or it has reached the end of the simulation.

    From Save As, it is also possible to save a PNG image file of the current Verification graphics view. A useful feature for some aspects of project documentation.

  • File - Copy Image - When you pause Verification or it reaches the end of the simulation, File - Copy Image will capture the current Verification graphics view and copy it to the Windows Clipboard.
  • Cluster Punch Custom Tool Graphics Support - SmartCAM now supports defining a cluster punch Custom Tool Graphics (CTG) file to be displayed in the Edit Tool preview window and used during verification.

Performance and General Improvements

Several user requested improvements have been made to frequently used areas of the product, including the following highlights.

  • Surface Display Performance - When working with surface/solid geometry, in order display the geometry it must first be tessellated. This involves splitting up the surface into a very large number of small triangles. These triangles are then sent to OpenGL in order to be rendered to the screen. When working with models containing a large amount of surface geometry, this process can take several minutes to complete.

    SmartCAM v2024 has greatly accelerated this activity by taking advantage of modern computer CPU's multiple cores and logical processors. This allows the tessellation to be run on several surfaces simultaneously. Which results in a fairly significant performance boost.

    "The results you receive will vary depending upon your computer's CPU, current generation CPUs have more cores and will run more quickly." Said Doug Oliver, "Testing shows that even older CPUs with only 4 cores will see about a 2X performance increase."

  • Text Input Select All - A common and requested feature is the ability to use CTRL+A to select all text contents in a text field. This has been added, as well as adding a Select All option to the input field's RMB menu.
  • JOS HTML Report Which Includes Tool Preview Graphics - A new HTML report type has been added. It contains the same information as the existing HTML JOS Report, but also includes a Tool Preview graphic.
  • ACIS Update - The modeling kernel has been updated to the latest version of ACIS 2024 1.0. This update supports updated CAD import support for Inventor 2024, ProE/Creo v10, Solid Edge 2023, and SOLIDWORKS 2024.

"With each new release we implement many core productivity features applicable to all of our applications. We think users are pleased to see their suggestions being added," said Oliver.

Macro Improvements

v2024 builds on SmartCAM's automation strengths by providing several new capabilities including the ability to find an element's mid-point coordinate, check whether a Named Group already exists, and add debugging and status information to the Diagnostics log.

Oliver went on to say, "SmartCAM v2024 demonstrates our commitment to continued improvement across the SmartCAM product family. We look forward to bringing more valuable improvements for our users in coming releases."

About SmartCAM & SmartCAMcnc

For over 30 years, the SmartCAM family of computer-aided manufacturing software provides toolpath modeling and CNC programming for prismatic production work to complex molds, dies, and prototypes. SmartCAMcnc provides affordable software subscription contracts, updates, upgrades and technical support for all SmartCAM users, regardless of version. All SmartCAM applications include standard CAD translators and access to optional native CAD translators.

SmartCAMcnc is an Oregon-based company that develops and markets the SmartCAM suite of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software for the benefit of its worldwide customer base. Gregg Olson, founder and president of SmartCAMcnc, has been involved in developing CNC programming systems since 1979, with over two decades of experience in various product development capacities for Weber Systems, Point Control, CAMAX, and SDRC.

To monitor further developments please visit www.SmartCAMcnc.com.

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Media Contact: Sales
(541) 344-4563

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