Mold and Die

Molds, die and tooling are used every day in metalworking and plastics processing, in foundries, and at other industrial enterprises. Having the right CAM solution helps overcome the challenges faced in labor-intensive, high-cost production.

Above all else, the wide variety of geometries and countless different component properties present mold and die makers with new challenges each day. These primarily relate to the machining and programming times as well as the demand for maximum precision and top-quality surfaces. That’s why it’s so important to have the right machining processes available, which in turn requires that you have the right CAM software.

However, no matter how challenging the tasks in mold and die making may be, the hyperMILL® CAM software can solve them efficiently. From slide feeds to mold bases and inserts, any mold or die can be programmed quickly and error-free using hyperMILL®. High-speed cutting (HSC) and high-performance cutting (HPC) strategies enable very efficient milling coupled with increased tool life. OPEN MIND also offers an integrated electrode and wire EDM module for areas that cannot be milled.

Industry Challenges

  • Reduce setup times: machining of mold plates, inserts, and slide feeds using 5-axis indexing and simultaneous technologies
  • Decrease programming time: automated NC programming thanks to feature and macro technology
  • Reduce machining times: innovative HSC and HPC strategies for roughing and finishing
  • Increase process reliability: through collision-tested toolpaths and modern simulation technology
  • Improve quality: blending cycles minimize manual finishing processes
  • Batch size 1: requires high process reliability, even during unmanned production
  • Extremely hard material: hard milling techniques are used for components with hardness greater than 60 HRC, providing results that are easier on the cutter and the machine

CAD for CAM: efficient programming starts with a 3D model

The CAD for CAM solution from OPEN MIND truly stands out in mold and die making as well as for related complex tasks related. From data import to CAD-for-CAM functions to utilities to support EDM processes, the hyperCAD®-S CAD software with its comprehensive interface package allows CAM users to process a wide variety of CAD data quickly and reliably. hyperCAD®-S also impresses with its customized filter functions: Along with filters for common attributes such as layer and color, hyperCAD®-S also features user-defined filters based on popular geometries and on system properties. Intelligent element management is also provided. Whether it’s rectangles, point clouds, polygon meshes, and even toolpaths, CAM-relevant elements are already included in the CAD kernel, which significantly speeds up all processes.

Automation and standardization made easy

NC programming often acts as a bottleneck in the process chain. OPEN MIND’s feature and macro technology allows users to complete NC programming in record time. This includes, for example, prismatic mold plates with all of their 2.5D geometries and many holes for cooling systems. The feature and macro technology not only saves a lot of time, it is also incredibly easy to use. The color coding defined in CAD for holes and pockets contain all the machining properties required to fully program these component geometries with hyperMILL®.

CAM Strategies for Industry-specific Components

3D strategies3D strategies

Adaptive pocket/high-feed cutting (HFC)

hyperMILL® offers a large number of functions for HSC and HFC machining. Using a freely definable tool geometry makes it possible, for example, to precisely map high-feed cutters, which are then taken fully into account during collision checks and rest material computation. Machining times can be vastly reduced in connection with the ‘adaptive pocket’ function, whereby circular or rectangular pocket geometries are automatically adapted in the area to be machined. In the process, the linear machine movements achieve very high feed rates.

Smooth overlap

If flat and steep component areas intersect, the milled surface often exhibits undesirable structures. The ‘Smooth overlap’ option enables the optimum surface quality to be achieved in these transition areas. 3D finishing strategies as well as 3D and 5-axis rest material machining support this function.

Automatic surface extension

To ensure that no seams are visible on the end product during injection molding, the parting plane between the mold plate on the nozzle and clamping side must be completely sealed. The milled parts involved require sharp, intact edges. The ‘Automatic face extension’ function allows NC programmers to extend the circumference of selected milling surfaces in order to obtain a clean milling result. This CAD for CAM functionality means it is no longer necessary to modify the milling surfaces in the CAD system beforehand.

hyperMILL® MAXX MachininghyperMILL® MAXX Machining

Performance package: HPC roughing

There are often pockets on mold bases and inserts. It is possible to reduce the amount of time required to rough them, as the hyperMILL® MAXX Machining HPC roughing module is optimally suited for the task. This strategy works with spiral and trochoidal tool movements, resulting in optimal milling paths, maximum material removal, and the shortest possible machining times.

5-axis tangent plane machining

Machining steep or flat planes using the conical barrel cutter can be done much faster using the hyperMILL® MAXX Machining finishing module. OPEN MIND developed tool path strategies for optimal machining of these surfaces that utilize conical barrel cutters to achieve fine surface finish with much larger stepover distances than possible with ball endmills. The result is high quality surfaces, extended tool life, and significant time savings of up to 90 percent in comparison with line-by-line milling using ball mills.

5-axis prismatic fillet finishing

Barrel cutters can be used to efficiently create high-quality transitions between different wall areas. An extremely high feedrate is achieved in plunging and pulling finishing. The tilted barrel cutter is used according to the principle of high feed cutters in this strategy. The calculation of the tilt and the contact point of the barrel cutter are fully automated.


hyperCAD®-S Electrode

In mold and die making, spark erosion is required to perform key tasks in the production of sharp-edged, non-millable component areas. The hyperCAD®-S Electrode module automates the design and programming of electrodes. The NC programmer selects the faces to be eroded on the component geometry. The matching collision-free electrodes are then automatically generated, and if necessary, electrode surfaces are extended and the blank and holder derived automatically. Seamless transfer to the hyperMILL® CAM software includes geometry as well as technological information required to reliably program the electrodes subsequently.

Top machining results with rework machining reduced to a minimum

In addition to highly advanced CAM milling strategies, the hyperMILL® CAD/CAM software also offers an integrated electrode module and an integrated wire EDM solution. The ideal process for visible and non-visible surfaces is therefore available for every type of production process. Regardless of whether you’re talking about soft or hard machining, hyperMILL® offers a wide range of efficient strategies to meet any die and mold making requirements.

The hyperMILL® CAM software makes 5-axis simultaneous strategies as easy to program as 3D strategies. 5-axis CAM strategies allow the user to use short, and hence sturdy, tools and thus achieve the maximum possible process reliability.
Thanks to 5-axis technology, eroding processes are reduced to an absolute minimum for deep cavities. In finishing and rest material machining, innovative grinding strategies also help to avoid visible transitions and edges. Even the thermal expansion of the spindle does not adversely affect the surface quality to ensure flawless results.
The number one goal is always to achieve top quality and thus prevent costly and time-consuming post-processing.

Integrated electrode module: work efficiently in a single operating environment

Certain component areas need to be eroded due to their surface or geometry. OPEN MIND has therefore developed an integrated electrode module that is seamlessly incorporated into the CAD/CAM software: hyperCAD®-S Electrode supports the entire process of producing electrodes all from a single user interface. With hyperCAD®-S Electrode, the electrodes can be created based on the CAD data and an electrode holder library, after which the NC program for the milling process is generated. Whether graphite or copper, efficient HSC and HPC strategies are used for fast, safe, and tool-friendly machining of a wide range of electrode types. Predefined machining macros enable electrodes to be programmed automatically in record time. All technology and component data necessary for the eroding process is automatically transferred to hyperMILL®. The user selects the required electrode and generates the NC program for milling the electrode. Thanks to the link-up to the CERTA partner software, hyperCAD®-S Electrode can also be integrated into automation lines and fully-automated processes.

Advantages at a Glance

  • CAD for CAM: hyperCAD®-S for optimal component analysis and processing
  • End-to-end solution for all machining operations: from milling and die-sinking/wire EDM to turning all on a single user interface
  • Easy to program: intuitive and supported by automated functions
  • High process reliability: optimal milling paths as well as reliable simulation and collision avoidance
  • Optimized roughing and finishing strategies: for efficient, tool- and machine-friendly machining, even when handling difficult to machine materials
  • High degree of automation: from feature and macro technology through to complete project automation

Increased productivity and process reliability

By running unattended shifts at night and on weekends, tool and mold makers can dramatically increase their productivity, which places the highest demands in terms of process reliability and stability. With collision-checked toolpaths and state-of-the-art simulations, the hyperMILL® CAM software provides a key component for unmanned and minimally staffed production. The hyperMILL® VIRTUAL Machining simulation, which is based on the NC code, displays the actual machine movements with absolute precision, giving the user maximum process reliability. In addition to simulation, hyperMILL® VIRTUAL Machining also offers numerous options for analyzing and optimizing production processes.
This represents a step towards Industry 4.0 for tool and mold makers, allowing them to remain competitive in the future.



5-axis Machining5-axis Machining

Mold & Die maching example

This mold & die machining example shows the high precision machining of hyperMILL®. Perfect surface quality paired with high efficient strategies for roughing and finishing. hyperMILL® VIRTUAL Machining Center is a nc-code based simulation solution with optimized nc-code and machine movements.
Machined on a DMC 80U out of 1.2312 material.

Customer TestimonialCustomer Testimonial

M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp.

Rick Finnie talks about their success with CAM software hyperMILL®.

5-axis Machining5-axis Machining

5-axis Machining: Makino Mouse

This is an machining example of a cavity programmed with hyperMILL® and it´s MAXX Machining package. MAXXimum performance with the high performance roughing and finishing module. Using 5-axis technology and performance tooling like barrel cutters this demo was done in a short time with a high surface quality. The demo part was machined during a workshop in cooperation with Makino.

hyperMILL® MAXX MachininghyperMILL® MAXX Machining

hyperMILL® MAXX Machining: High-Performance Machining example

High-Performance Machining of a demo part with hyperMILL® MAXX Machining strategies for drilling, roughing and finishing. Machined on a DMG MORI DMU 85 monoBLOCK 5-axis machine.
Material: 1.1730 (C45) steel