By DE Editors
Gibbs and Associates, developer of GibbsCAM software for programming CNC machine tools has released GibbsCAM 2011 with dozens of enhancements.
“I am very pleased with the result of our development effort in the past year,” says Bill Gibbs, founder and president of Gibbs and Associates. “The 2011 release delivers many significant new features to improve efficiency in programming and machining, all while retaining the ease of use for which GibbsCAM is known. Across the product line, users will find new tools to make their jobs easier and their work more productive.”
Among the multiple additions and enhancements within the 2011 release are the following:
- To optimize efficiency and throughput, new tagging capabilities, combined with automatic feature recognition (AFR), allow users to control how GibbsCAM imports CAD models and manages part features and attributes. Color Modes were added to extend tagging and selection criteria of geometric elements. When a part contains user-defined features, or elements tagged with a color attribute, users can switch among Color Modes to distinguish, select or isolate features or elements for manipulation, copying or machining.
- Hole making capabilities for selecting, organizing, recognizing and drilling holes have been enhanced. Hole Manager, a productivity tool within GibbsCAM, now includes a new Auto Wizard. Using AFR, holes (and entities that resemble holes) are selectable by part face, set of faces, a hole’s interior faces, or by coordinate system to which a hole feature is aligned. Also, GibbsCAM now includes support for the full range of SolidWorks hole features.
- 5-axis enhancements include various new drill cycle options, toolpath conversion, toolpath smoothing and additional machining styles. The new hole making features make programming drill cycles at off-axis orientations fast. Programmers can choose drill, variable peck, tap and custom drill cycles.
- A new operation modifier enables the conversion of 2.5- and 3-axis toolpaths for 5-axis machining, which allows use of shorter tools to achieve smoother toolpaths through tool-axis rotation when the work piece or tooling interferes with the tool holder.
- Toolpath smoothing methods have been implemented for all types of geometry, both STL (triangle mesh) and traditional surface geometry.
- Swarf cutting can now be specified two ways. Users can drive the tool using upper and lower curves, with or without a drive surface, or a parallel-to-curve strategy with tool-axis rotation. Also new is a 5-axis trimming strategy that uses wireframe geometry.
Support for B-axis (tilting live tooling) was added to enable programming 5-axis milling with Y-axis offsets on lathes and multi-task machines equipped with a live-tooling B-axis.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.