By Anthony J. Lockwood
SmartCAMcnc (Springfield, OR) has announced the 19.5 release of its SmartCAM family of applications for CNC (computer-numerical control) milling, turning, fabrication, and wire EDM. Enhancements in v19.5, says the company, focus on turning improvements, but also incorporate some milling enrichments as well as “a substantial amount of core improvements.” Further, SmartCAM v19.5 has been enhanced with such features as a new Options dialog box, user interface modifications, and a number of user-requested core usability improvements.
|This screen shot depicts a groove roughing toolpath with cleanup and finishing paths, threading element with end extension and spring passes, and parting process in SmartCAM V19.5. Image courtesy of SmartCNC.|
Turning improvements in SmartCAM v19.5 include updated threading and groove roughing capabilities as well as a new Parting process. The threading cycle is said to now provide easy access to all threading parameters, and includes new thread options such as infeed/outfeed angles, start/end extensions, and spring passes. Additionally, thread blunting is now supported using an ID/OD (inside diameter/outside diameter) groove tool in the threading cycle.
|The part offset face process is used to machine flange with a series of offset passes. In SmartCAM 19.5 the part offset path type is now available in pocket, face, solid pocket, and planar rough. Image courtesy of SmartCNC.|
"SmartCAM version 19.5 delivers significant core turning improvements. We’ve had many requests for improved threading and grooving capabilities, and are confident our users will be very pleased to see use this new functionality," said Douglas Oliver, SmartCAMcnc’s senior product manager, in the company’s press announcement.
SmartCAM’s groove roughing process has been enhanced in version 19.5 to include options to clean up cusps, finish to size, and reverse progression of cuts. The addition of cleanup and finishing passes lets users create the complete groove using a single process. Also, the geometry groove element can now be defined on a layer as a groove feature and used as input to any of the roughing processes, including groove rough.
|This image shows a threading toolpath with outfeed angle specified to withdraw tool gradually for unrelieved thread. Image courtesy of SmartCNC.|
The new Parting process feature introduced in version 19.5 saves time and improves accuracy and repeatability, says the company. The feature enables users to define cut-off operations without requiring additional geometry construction. The Parting Process also lets users apply radius or chamfer corner breaks to the edges on either side of the cut-off. SmartCAM also provides options for depth-pecking and controlling a part-catcher.
The Part Offset path type introduced in version 19.0’s Region Rough process has been integrated into the other roughing processes such as pocket, face, solid pocket, and planar roughing. It also now supports the Stay Down option previously introduced for Spiral path type. Additionally, a process container toolpath can now be converted to 4th-axis toolpath directly using the Transform-Wrap command, without the need to first unpack the container.
|Here is seen the tapered groove plunge steps removed by the cleanup cusps option, and finish allowance removed by the finish to size option. Image courtesy of SmartCNC.|
SmartCAM’s new Options dialog box “provides convenient and easy access to the user configuration and preference settings,” says the developer. The options are grouped into categories such as General Options, System Performance, Presentation, Color, and Data Translation.
The SmartCAM user interface has been updated to provide what the company describes as improved usability and a cleaner appearance. The interface now includes new pull-right menus that provide direct access to frequently used commands and additional mouse pop-up menus that allow toolbars to be configured and repositioned.
|Parting toolpath with chamfer on the backside of part in SmartCAM 19.5. Image courtesy of SmartCNC.|
A number of new and customer-requested core usability improvements can be found in all SmartCAM applications. These include a user-configurable default destination workplane for imported CAD data and the ability to merge CAD data to an active workplane. Miscellaneous enhancements include the ability to specify additional spacing between letters and new macro commands that allow all defined steps, tools, and layers to be identified easily.
SmartCAM v19.5 runs on 32- or 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 7 Professional, Vista Business, XP Professional, and Windows 2000. For further details on SmartCAM v19.5, click here.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.