hyperMILL® optimises five-axis machining
Norwich-based Carbon Fibre Technologies (CFT) Ltd is using four seats of hyperMILL® CAM software to help it optimise complex five-axis machining cycles on a range of high performance DMG machining centres that are producing components and tooling for motorsport, telecommunications and aerospace industry clients.
The company offers a full range of advanced composite design, engineering and manufacturing services, including concept development, detail design, structural analysis, pattern making and production. The reason for such rapid growth is partly due to the weight/stiffness properties offered by components manufactured from carbon fibre composites, which cannot be attained from more conventional engineering materials.
To help CFT maximise the throughput of its four five-axis machines, the company decided to evaluate the leading CAM vendors. “At the time we already had a well known CAM package in use, but its five-axis capability was limited – it had a distinct lack of gouge protection,” explains Mr Woolhouse. “Selecting a replacement system was crucial. We were moving towards high specification, high cost, five-axis machining centres and we could not afford collisions.”
These thoughts formed the chief reason behind CFT’s decision to replace its existing CAM package and invest in hyperMILL®. “We needed toolpath reliability so much,” he continues, “and the gouge protection on hyperMILL® was the best we saw. Also, ease-of-use and speed of processing were impressive. hyperMILL® had a post processor that could cope with the advanced CNCs on our five-axis machines – after all, wonderful toolpaths are worthless without being able to present them to the machines in a format they can understand. The other contributing factor was that hyperMILL® could be integrated into our existing CAD package.”