A host of new functionality has been unveiled in the latest release of Alphacam CNC software. Benefits to be gained by using Alphacam 2013 R1 include reduced programming time and material wastage, and improved material surface finish, part quality and tool life.
Amongst the new functionality:
Tool Path Oscillation: A sinusoidal or zig-zag up and down movement can be applied to any contour toolpath, utilising more of the effective cutting length of the tool used. This improves the surface finish and extends the tool life. Oscillation pitch and height can be easily set, edited and saved as a machining style for future ease of use.
Automatic Support Tags: Support tags can be added automatically to any contour toolpath, allowing the part to stay attached to the material being machined. This overcomes the issue of small parts moving during the nesting process, reducing material wastage and improving part quality. Applied tags can be edited easily and included as part of a machining style.
Nesting Zones: This function also contributes to cutting material wastage and improving the quality of the part. Small parts can be identified and nested in specific areas of a sheet. This means small parts can be restricted to the centre of a vacuum clamped sheet – the area of maximum suction – reducing the chance of them moving during machining.
Combined Pocketing and Finishing: Pocket area clearance and finish contour machining can now be combined into a single machining operation, which improves the quality of the part and reduces programming time.
Reports: Being able to create user configurable reports and labels improves both part and program traceability. The new reporting application within Alphacam 2013 R1 sets up bespoke documentation for nested job reports, setup sheets, tool listings and part labels. “Reports can be designed by the user, for the user, incorporating their company logo. The new function can also be used to create barcode labels,” says Alphacam General Manager Nick Spurrett.
“All of these enhancements ensure Alphacam not only keeps pace with the changing needs of manufacturers throughout the world, but also delivers maximum return on investment.”