5-Axis Pioneers Thrive With VISIOne of the early adopters to introduce simultaneous 5-axis machining into its region, chose the VISI integrated CAD/CAM system from Vero Software, to drive its CNC machine tools.
“VISI is fast and intuitive, even on corrections and modifications that often have to be applied to the customer’s original CAD model for manufacturing purposes.”
The 5-axis logic created the need for reliable and simple CAD/CAM integration, which led Modulo Tre – based at Schio, Northern Vicenza, in Italy – to introduce the VISI portfolio of 3D CAD Modelling, and 2D > 5-Axis Machining, interfaced with the Eureka kinematics simulator.
Our primary requirement was having an integrated CAD and CAM system,” explains Alessandro Corà. “In the past, we had to leave the CAM environment to make any modifications or corrections and then reset it all. But with 5-axis machining this becomes very complex, so we decided to replace the previous software and introduce VISI, which is fast and intuitive, even on corrections and modifications that often have to be applied to the customer’s original CAD model for manufacturing purposes."
With VISI Modelling, small errors found in imported model surfaces can be automatically healed during stitching, avoiding the time-consuming process of constructing very small surfaces to close tolerance gaps. Where surfaces are corrupt or missing, VISI automatically produces edge curves that make it easy to create new surface data. To check tolerances, the old and new surface can be compared, and the maximum and minimum distances checked, as well as the curvature difference. The solid closure of a surface model eliminates any design problems that may arise, making it easier to remove or add holes, fittings and other modelling features. The ability to move from solid to superficial model and vice versa also gives maximum freedom in managing CAD modifications.
Another key requirement for Modulo Tre was having a reliable kinematic G-code simulator, to virtually walk through the machining process before sending to the machine, especially during unattended shifts. To satisfy this need, an application for interfacing VISI with Eureka has been developed, transferring all part and CNC machine models, tool parameters and toolpath data from VISI to the simulator. "For complex 5-axis machining, it's crucial to be able to drive almost with ‘your eyes closed,’ avoiding collisions and tool issues that could compromise the entire machining of the workpiece. Machines often work round-the-clock, so a simulator is indispensable for operations in unattended areas" says Alessandro Corà.
Among the most popular VISI functionality, according to Marco Dal Bianco, is the ability to automatically recognize manufacturing features such as holes and pockets, and to generate the appropriate toolpaths. He says that as VISI is an integrated system, machining individual plates can be accomplished automatically through feature recognition. “All holes are recognised automatically and the correct machining cycle applied. For complex machining, VISI allows us to handle high speed and 5-axis operations, as well as traditional milling.”
“And thanks to the feature recognition (Compass module), it’s also possible to associate hole recognition with custom drilling sequences such as center, threading, boring, and pocketing. Once the tool set has been established with the correct feed, rotation and parameters, the system automatically shows the tool that best suits the drilling type and the corresponding optimised tool path. Apart from greatly accelerating the machining process, this automation is particularly useful in deep drilling – even up to 600 mm – and with intersecting holes, for example in automotive molds with complex cooling.
“When an intersection is detected, the system automatically reduces the speed, eliminating the risks of possible puncture breaks which, at certain critical points, would be really disastrous. Vero Solutions engineers have provided us with all the support we need to pre-set the system and create proven custom cycles."
He says VISI also provides solutions for 5-axis blade machining. High surface quality, limited space and angular movement of the rotating axis make this a highly complex process. VISI creates each tool path with a regular distribution of movement coordinates. By sending CNC code with optimised point distribution to the machine tool, superfluous vibrations are drastically reduced, eliminating the need for alternative manufacturing processes due to the presence of thin walls.
Original story courtesy of Tecnologie Meccaniche magazine.
About the Company
Name: Modulo Tre
Business: Precision mechanical manufacturing specialist
- Single software solution for 3D design and CNC manufacturing.
- Geometry based feature recognition for automated hole and pocket machining.
- CNC code with optimised point distribution for ultra-smooth toolpath movements.
- Link to Eureka G-code simulator for virtual toolpath simuation.
“All holes are recognised automatically and the correct machining cycles applied. For complex machining, VISI allows us to handle high speed and 5-axis operations, as well as traditional milling.”