NCG CAM Solutions Ltd, UK officially released NCG CAM v15.0 on 21st June 2016. This major release includes a number of new features including additional functionality to UV passes and UV passes linking, toolsheets now include images, 5-axis roughing, T-slot cutters can now be used in 5-axis, as well as many new user interface features and enhancements.
A demonstration version of NCG CAM v15.0 is now available to download: http://www.ncgcam.com/demorequest.html.
In NCG CAM v15.0 new functionality has been added to the UV Surface Machining, which now tries to preserve the original order of surface selection when creating UV machining passes. By selecting the surfaces sequentially to create a chain, the user will minimise any retracts and rapid moves.
An Intelligent Bidirectional Linking option for UV Passes, has been added to facilitate the best linking order for passes that run perpendicular to adjacent selected surfaces.
There is a fundamental improvement to the User Interface and the way the dialogues work in v15.0.
Previously if a dialogue was open, then no other dialogues would be available; also no further actions could be executed in the ‘Graphics Window’. The new behaviour allows multiple dialogues to be open, but more importantly, the User will be able to interact with the Graphics Window to recover coordinates.
An example of the User Interface changes is when hovering over the surface data the Z cursor value will be able to be recovered and used to populate various parameter fields. Also, the current cursor positions can be snapped to the wire frame model geometry; two positions could be used to define the machining direction vector in the Raster pass strategies.
Another example is when reviewing a plan using the 'Properties' you no longer need to use the Ctrl / Shift keys to get extra options, as they are now on the dialogue itself. However, the Ctrl / Shift keys can still be used to set the default options on the dialogue.
A ruler has also been added to the machining passes Tool page to help visualise the length of the cutter and holder. A new option has been added to the graphics toolbar to allow rendering with translucency and multiple selected plans can now be moved by drag and drop within the tree view.
Another new option has been added in v15.0, to enable ‘ Auto-saving’ of an NCG CAM database (dca) at a pre-set elapsed time. The existing backup macro function remains in place.
NCG CAM v15.0 will now allow dynamic rotation about a given point or view. When zoomed in, this enhancement will allow rotation of the part around the centre of the screen, keeping the part in view.
It is now possible to align the toolbars, either along the top, as before, or down the left or right side. This allows the user to make better use of the screen space for wide format screens on Laptops, etc.
Users can now utilise the ‘ Three Point Align’ in the view menu. This will allow the view to be aligned using three points contained in a points folder. This can be useful for 3+2 work, where it is not possible view normal to a surface and where dynamically rotating the view would not be accurate enough.
A new section has been added to the toolsheet, giving an image and details of each tool used.
NCG CAM v15.0 will now allow a horizontal arc to lead off, in order to get the cutter away from the part when it retracts against vertical walls, which could damage the cutter tip because of the rapid retract federate and leave a mark on the part.
It is also now possible to set different start and end ‘Home Point’ locations in the Linking.
NCG CAM can now Convert Points to Curves. With a points folder selected, the Curves dropdown menu will offer ‘Convert to Curves’ as an option; the points in the folder will be joined in the order they are listed. This feature can be used to create tool axis tilt-through curves when generating 5-Axis along-curve toolpaths or 5-axis swarf toolpaths.
The Cutter Animation dialogue has been improved to include video style buttons to control the toolpath animation. A 3+2 axis toolpath now automatically displays the ABC rotations as defined by the toolpath boundary. With 5-Axis toolpaths the user can select the rotations displayed from a toolbar, so the rotations match the machine.
Additional new functionality has been added to the cutter animation. When the toolpath animation dialogue is visible, double clicking on the toolpath will reposition the cutter to the mouse hit position. Alternatively, the user can use the new Jump to XYZ option in the Cutter animation dialogue to position the cutter along the toolpath.
New curve modification functions have been added. "Auto fit plane" is an option that flattens a 3D curve onto a calculated plane. The "Offset" curve function performs a 2D offset to closed planar curves.
In the NCG CAM v15.0 the 5-Axis Add-on Module, it is now possible to select tilt curves when creating 5-Axis Swarf Toolpath. This will allow the tool axis to be aligned with the curve to give better control of access to some areas.
It is also now possible to use T-Slot cutters in 5-Axis machining plans, as well as Lollipop and Dove-Tail cutters.
A new 5-Axis Roughing operation has been added to rough out pockets and multi-surface geometries. The inputs are contained in three folders, one each for the floor, the walls and finally the ceiling surfaces. Optionally, boundary curves can be used to localise the generation of the roughing toolpath. The Offset-Based strategy will allow for offsetting from the ceiling, the floor, or to morph from one to the other. A 5-axis Adaptive toolpath will follow in a later point release.
A Stock Model can now also be supplied as an input to the 5-axis toolpath. The Surfaces folder must firstly be converted into a Stock Model; the toolpath will then be edited back to the stock model to give a 5-axis Rest Roughing toolpath.
About NCG CAM St andalone 3D HSM CAM Software
NCG CAM is stand-alone CAM system offering an easy to use HSM CAM solutionthat integrates with existing CAD and CAM systems.
NCG CAM boasts many innovative features. It is suitable for all types of forms, creating an optimised, smooth cutter motion ideal for 3D HSM, which will help to extend tool life, minimise wear on the machine tool and producing parts with an excellent surface finish.
NCG CAM has a very user-friendly interface, with a typical learning curve of just 1 day is required to machine a live job. It is perfect for the high-speed machining of moulds, dies, prototypes and precision surface machining.
- Very user friendly interface – making it suitable for even occasional users
- NCG CAM offers many advanced 3D machining routines, rest roughing & 3 + 2 capabilities for all tool-paths, a simultaneous 5-axis add-on module is available
- Fast and efficient roughing strategies, including core roughing and adaptive clearance
- Comprehensive drilling routines – includes automatic hole detection and / or user defined holes
- All machining routines are fully gouge protected for both the cutter and the tool holder
- Rest area option for finishing strategies to minimise any air cutting
Available as both 32-bit & 64-bit versions (both are multi-threaded)