The Role of CAD for CAM and Simulation
Creating a visually appealing panther model demanded careful, well-executed programming. The first core challenge was due to the panther being presented as an STL data model. Nordmann explained, “Since conversion into a surface model would have taken too long, we decided to mill on the STL network, but with line-by-line milling of 0.039" (1 mm) to ensure that the faceted structure was not visible.”
“For especially detailed areas, such as the mouth and tail section or with the creases of the joints, we generated additional surfaces that can be combined with the STL network in hyperMILL®, said Nordmann. For this, hyperCAD®-S, the ‘CAD for CAM’ system specially designed by OPEN MIND to help meet all the needs of programmers, was used.
Since the limited space required different tilts of the tool, the focus was on maintaining the exact line spacing and a seamless transition without any visible gaps. “I used the ‘edit toolpath’ command for this,” said Jakob. “This allowed me to determine the entire toolpath and divide it into sections, which then made it possible to edit in various tilts using different tools, saving a significant amount of time.”
Equally imperative for milling the panther was the hyperMILL® VIRTUAL Machining Center, a process-safe NC simulation solution where virtual machine movements fully mimic real movements and ensure reliable collision detection. The VIRTUAL Machining Center pre-emptively recognized that the component could not be processed in a basic orientation due to X-axis limited and automatically generated a solution for a workable position.
It took the team approximately three intensive weeks to complete the first free-standing panther. Once the machining parameters were in place and optimized, the approximately 20" (500 mm) long panther was machined in just under 13 hours. In addition to being proudly showcased by the Augsburger Panther hockey team, the panther model will be on display at HAIMER and OPEN MIND trade show booths at future events.
You can find the panther at HAIMER’s and OPEN MIND’s EMO booth at EMO Milano 2021. HAIMER is located in Hall 4, booth C20; OPEN MIND can be found in Hall 7, booth G12.