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    Whats New

    World leading 2, 3 and 5-axis CAM software

    www.powermill.com

    Now Available

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    PowerMILL 2014

    What's New

    Issue 1

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    PowerMILL

    Copyright 1996 - 2013 Delcam plc. All rights reserved.

    Delcam plc has no control over the use made of the software

    described in this manual and cannot accept responsibility for anyloss or damage howsoever caused as a result of using the software.Users are advised that all the results from the software should bechecked by a competent person, in accordance with good qualitycontrol procedures.

    The functionality and user interface in this manual is subject tochange without notice in future revisions of software.

    The software described in this manual is furnished under licenceagreement and may be used or copied solely in accordance with the

    terms of such licence.Delcam plc grants permission for licensed users to print copies ofthis manual or portions of this manual for personal use only.Schools, colleges and universities that are licensed to use thesoftware may make copies of this manual or portions of this manualfor students currently registered for classes where the software isused.

    Acknowledgements

    This documentation references a number of registered trademarks

    and these are the property of their respective owners. For example,Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks ortrademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States.

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    Patents

    The Raceline smoothing functionality is subject to patentapplications.

    Patent granted: GB 2374562 Improvements Relating to MachineTools

    Patent granted: US 6,832,876 Machine Tools

    Some of the functionality of the ViewMill and Simulation modules ofPowerMILL is subject to patent applications.

    Patent granted: GB 2 423 592 Surface Finish Prediction

    The Vortex machining functionality is subject to patent applications.

    Patent application: 1121277.6 Adaptive Clearance

    The MachineDNA functionality is subject to patent applications.Patent application: 1204908.6 Machine Testing

    Licenses

    Intelligent cursor licensed under U.S. patent numbers 5,123,087and 5,371,845 (Ashlar Inc.)

    PowerMILL 2014. Published on 09 July 2013

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Contents i

    ContentsSummary of new features 1

    Vortex and MachineDNA .................................................................................... 1Toolpath preparation ........................................................................................... 1Toolpath generation ............................................................................................ 2Toolpath verification ............................................................................................ 3Toolpath output ................................................................................................... 3User interface ..................................................................................................... 3Automation .......................................................................................................... 3General enhancements....................................................................................... 4

    High speed machining 5Vortex machining ................................................................................................ 5

    Vortex ......................................................................................................... 8High speed (Vortex) ................................................................................... 9Approach (Vortex) .................................................................................... 11Vortex and step cutting example .............................................................. 12Vortex machining of 2D features .............................................................. 16Analysing Vortex toolpaths ....................................................................... 18

    Creating MachineDNA ...................................................................................... 19Displaying MachineDNA ........................................................................... 21

    Toolpath preparation 22Curve enhancements ........................................................................................ 22

    Insert and Edit Fillets dialog ..................................................................... 22Editing a composite curve ........................................................................ 30Tangent editor .......................................................................................... 34Repoint curve ........................................................................................... 40

    Reorder enhancements ............................................................................ 49Limit curve enhancements ........................................................................ 50

    New and improved tools ................................................................................... 51Barrel tool ................................................................................................. 52Dovetail tool .............................................................................................. 53Enhanced tipped disc tool ........................................................................ 54Tool Assembly Preview dialog .................................................................. 55

    Tool database enhancements ........................................................................... 56Stock model enhancements .............................................................................. 58

    Toolpath generation 62

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    ii Contents PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Drilling enhancements ...................................................................................... 62Drilling strategies .............................................................................................. 63External threading ............................................................................................. 63

    External Thread ........................................................................................ 65Retraction (external thread) ...................................................................... 66Draft (external thread) .............................................................................. 66Threading (external thread) ...................................................................... 67Order (drilling) .......................................................................................... 70Creating an external thread ...................................................................... 70

    Varying feed rates at drill hole intersections ..................................................... 73Feed rate reduction .................................................................................. 76Feature > Intersection .............................................................................. 81

    Flat machining .................................................................................................. 84Raster ordering ................................................................................................. 85Optimised raster improvements ........................................................................ 87Point distribution on leads and links .................................................................. 88

    Toolpath verification 91Enhanced collision checking ............................................................................. 91

    Introduction to collision groups ................................................................. 91Identifying components to include in collision checks ............................... 96Creating and adding to an exclusion list ................................................... 98

    Toolpath output 100NC program fixture offsets .............................................................................. 100

    Applying fixture offsets ........................................................................... 104User interface 108

    Measuring lines ............................................................................................... 108Automation 111

    Macro programming enhancements ............................................................... 111Plugin enhancements ..................................................................................... 112

    General enhancements 114Model import enhancements ........................................................................... 117New Active branch in the explorer .................................................................. 118Selected feature colour in the explorer ........................................................... 119

    Index 121

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Summary of new features 1

    PowerMILL is the leading NC CAM software specialising in themanufacture of complex shapes typically found in the toolmaking,

    automotive, and aerospace industries. PowerMILL 2014 offers all ofthe original features of PowerMILL 2013, but with numerousimprovements. This document describes the most significantimprovements.

    Vortex and MachineDNAThere are two new features to enhance high speed machining inPowerMILL.

    Vortex machining is an area clearance strategy which rapidlyremoves material from a 3D part while controlling tool load. Thisstrategy is best suited to solid carbide tools (see page5).

    MachineDNA determines specific characteristics of the machinetool which enables you to use the optimal settings when Vortexmachining (see page19).

    Toolpath preparationThere are several new options on the Curve Editormode toolbar(see page22):

    Insert and edit filletsenables you to insert and edit the filletsin a composite curve containing arcs and lines. This maintainsarcs as arcs and doesn't convert them to a spline (see page22).

    Tangent editorlets you edit the tangents of a point on aBzier curve. This enables more precise tangent editing, aspreviously you could only edit tangents graphically (see page

    34).

    Summary of new features

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    2 Summary of new features PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Repoint curveenables you to redistribute points, or changethe number of points, along a Bzier curve (see page40).

    There are enhancements to the Reordering curve segmentsdialog(see page49).

    You can now trim or extend both ends of a single curve segment(see page50).

    There are several enhancements to tools:

    PowerMILL now supports barrel tools. A barrel tool efficientlymachines surfaces that are typically found on blades (see page52).

    PowerMILL now supports dovetail tools. A dovetail tool enablesyou to efficiently machine features, such as undercuts and gears

    (see page53). You can now have different values for the lower and upper tip

    radii of a tipped disc tool (see page54).

    There is a new Tool Assembly Previewdialog which displays alarger image of a tool assembly. The larger image enables you toidentify colliding components within the tool assembly moreeasily than before.

    The function and usability of the tool database has been enhanced(see page56); you can now:

    Edit and delete entities that are either associated with cuttingdata or tool assemblies.

    Display the Tool Database Holder Search dialogmore easily.

    There are a couple of stock model enhancements (see page58):

    The stock model now accurately reflects machining with non-symmetrical tools, such as tipped disc tools with different valuesfor the Lower Tip Radiusand the Upper Tip Radius.

    You can now change the block in a stock model, provided there

    are no calculated tool or toolpath states.

    Toolpath generationThere are several drilling enhancements:

    Each Drilling Cycle typenow has its own strategy (see page63).

    There is a new drilling strategy of External threading(see page63).

    You can now create a thread milling toolpath in a tapered hole(see page63).

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Summary of new features 3

    You can now vary the feed rate and spindle speed when twoholes intersect (see page73).

    Flat machining on triangle models now produces better results andis faster (see page84).

    You can now create a raster toolpath without any grouping oftoolpath segments (see page85).

    There are improvements to the optimised raster algorithm (seepage87).

    You now have the option to specify point distribution on the non-cutting moves as well as the cutting moves of a toolpath (see page88).

    Toolpath verificationPowerMILL now supports more sophisticated .mtdfiles. This meansyou can add to and modify your machine tool's .mtdfile to improvecollision checking (see page91).

    Toolpath outputPowerMILL now supports fixture offsets. A fixture offset is a datumcoordinate that you specify and then apply to a copy of a toolpath

    (see page100).

    User interfacePowerMILL 2014 reintroduces the Linetab on the Measurerdialog(see page108).

    Automation The macro programming language has been enhanced.

    A new horizontal plugin window has been added to PowerMILL.Now PowerMILL features both a horizontal and a vertical pluginwindow (see page112).

    The horizontal layout of the new plugin window providesdevelopers with a greater amount of flexibility when designingplugins.

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    4 Summary of new features PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    General enhancements If a model contains multiple solids, you can now place all the

    surfaces associated with a solid in a set which has the name of

    the original solid (see page117). You can choose whether existing toolpaths and boundaries

    should ignore newly imported models or not (see page117).Normally you are unlikely to want to ignore newly importedmodels, except when the models are clamping models.

    The new Activebranch in the explorer displays all the entitiesthat are active at any one time (see page118).

    Selected features are now displayed yellow in the explorer aswell as in the graphics window (see page119).

    You can now remove entities from a group (see page114).

    The Statusbar can now display the Drill Thicknessand CurveThicknessof the active toolpath (see page114).

    When you include a toolpath in an NC program, the toolpath isnow drawn in blue. This is to help you differentiate betweentoolpaths that are included in an NC program and those that arenot (see page114).

    PowerMILL now automatically populates the Output Projectfieldin the Extract Electrodedialog with the name of the selected

    electrode and the same folder as the selected .trodefile (see page114).

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 5

    Vortex machiningVortex machining is an area clearance strategy which rapidlyremoves material from a 3D part while controlling tool load. Vortexis best suited to solid carbide tools and is frequently used incombination with step cutting.

    High speed machining

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    6 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Vortex is an offset-style toolpath and has these main features:

    The engagement angle never exceeds, by more than 15%, thatproduced by a straight line cut with a given stepover. Thiseliminates excessive tool load and all full-width cuts. This

    enables you to increase feed rates. For other area clearancestrategies, the cutting values are based on the slot cuttingparameters to ensure the tool can sustain full cuttingengagement. As the tool approaches the maximum engagementangle, the toolpath changes to a trochoidal path to avoid tooloverload.

    When used in conjunction with MachineDNA, the machine toolalmost always runs at the specified feed rate. With standard areaclearance toolpaths, the machine tool automatically slows downas it approaches a corner and the engagement angle increases.Vortex modifies the toolpath so the tool engagement is neverexceeded and the machine tool achieves the specified feed rate.The only time the machine tool doesn't run at the specified feedrate is when the model geometry (a slot or corner) is smallerthan the smallest radius that the machine can run at full speed.

    Vortex machining cuts with the side of the tool so it is designedfor solid carbide tools, but you may be able to use other tools.

    As PowerMILL controls the tool engagement, you can increasethe depth of cut which minimises machining time.

    Vortex machining is frequently used in combination with Stepcuttingto minimise terracing while maximising the removal rate.

    Vortex toolpaths are automatically checked for safety. If thetoolpath is unsafe PowerMILL displays a warning message,otherwise it is shown as safe ( ) (see page18).

    To maximise the benefits of Vortex machining:

    Configure the Vortex parameters to suit each machine tool. Formore information, see MachineDNA (see page19).

    Use Step Cuttingto minimise terracing caused by the increaseddepth of cut.

    On the Point Distributionpage, select anOutput typeof Toleranceand keep arcs. MachineDNA manages the point spacing so yourmachine tool can sustain the programmed feed rate.

    With optimum settings, Vortex machining greatly reduces machiningtimes.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 7

    Vortexis a Styleoption on most area clearance strategies (includingcurve area clearance, feature set area clearance, feature set restarea clearance, model area clearance, model rest area clearance,and slice area clearance).

    Selecting Vortex:

    Enables the Vortexpage, which contains the settings required todefine a Vortex toolpath (see page8).

    Reduces the options on the Wall finishingpage. You can selectonly whether to use wall finishing. If selected, this produces afinal profile pass with a zero offset from the previous pass.

    Gives different options on the High speedpage.

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    8 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Vortex

    Vortexcreates toolpaths which machine at the specified cutting feedrate almost all of the time.

    Cutting feed rateThis displays the Cutting feed ratespecified on

    the Feeds and Speeds dialog.The Cutting feed rateis a critical value to ensure the tool operatesunder optimum conditions. The feed rate depends on the tool andmaterial combination. You should use the feed rate recommended,by the tool manufacturer, for side cutting (or profile cutting) as aminimum cutting feed rate. Testing has shown these recommendedvalues to be very conservative when Vortex machining. This means,you can normally increase either the recommended feed rate or therecommended stepdown quite significantly. You can further improvemachining times by using MachineDNA(see page19),which cleverly

    determines Minimum radiusand Point spacingvalues from theCutting Feed Ratevalue.

    For most toolpaths, entering a sharp internal corner increases thetool engagement angle and causes tool overload. To avoid tooloverload you have to reduce the feed rate. For Vortex toolpaths,there is no need to reduce the feed rate, as the tool changes to atrochoidal path when entering sharp internal corners, avoiding theoverload situation.

    Feeds and SpeedsClick to display the Feeds and Speedsdialog

    which enables you to change the Cutting feed rate.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 9

    Minimum radius (r)This is the minimum radius used in the internaltrochoids. By default this is the value determined by MachineDNA.Otherwise PowerMILL uses a value suitable for a typical machinetool at the specified feed rate.

    As the feed rate increases, the minimum radius increases.

    It is recommended that you use the value determined byMachineDNA or PowerMILL. Only enter your own minimumradius if you have a very good reason to do so.

    Minimum point spacingThis is the minimum point spacing atwhich the machine tool can move at the specified feed rate. Bydefault this is the value determined by MachineDNA. OtherwisePowerMILL uses a value suitable for a typical machine tool at thespecified feed rate.

    If the machine tool has too many points to process, it cannotsustain the specified feed rate.

    It is recommended that you use the value determined byMachineDNA or PowerMILL. Only enter your own minimumradius if you have a very good reason to do so.

    Select to calculate Minimum radiusand Minimum point spacing

    values using MachineDNA. PowerMILL displays to

    indicate it is using MachineDNA to calculate values.

    If PowerMILL displays either you need to enable orcreate MachineDNA (see page19).

    Lift on air movesWhen selected, raises the height of the back ofthe trochoids (the portion of the toolpath which is air-cutting).When deselected the whole trochoid is at the cutting level.

    Z distance (z)Enter the lift height (the height above the cuttinglevel).

    For more information see Vortex machining (see page5), Vortexand step cutting example (see page12), and Vortex machining of2D features (see page16).

    High speed (Vortex)

    High speedcontrols the smoothing options to avoid sharp changes intool direction when high speed machining. For more information onthe effects of smoothing, see Tool loading.

    Profile smoothingAll Vortex toolpaths use arc fitting of profiles toavoid sharp changes of direction in internal corners.

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    10 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    The Radius (tool diameter units)slider determines when to insertarcs. The radius is defined as a proportion of the tool diameter. Thedefault value is 0.05. So, if you have a tool of diameter 20 mm(radius 10 mm) then the arc radius is 1 mm.

    The Radiusslider has a value in the range 0.005 - 0.2

    Using a Radius of 0.2produces:

    Using a Radius of 0.05produces:

    You can see that a small Radiusvalue produces more trochoids.

    Small trochoids are inadvisable, if possible keep the trochoids

    larger than 1 mm.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 11

    Approach (Vortex)

    Approachspecifies the helical ramp moves that are added to Vortextoolpaths to ensure the tool approaches the stock safely and doesnot plunge into the stock. Vortex adds these moves when the

    (linear/arc) approach outside moves (specified on the Leads andLinkspages) would result in the tool plunging into the stock.

    The helical ramp moves are implemented irrespective of leadsettings.

    Helical RampSpecifies the size of the helix.

    Max zig angleEnter the angle of descent formed as the tool rampsinto the block.

    Circle Diameter (TDU)Enter the diameter of the circle using tool

    diameter units (TDUs).

    Tool diameter unitsis the distance relative to the tool

    diameter. So, a 10 mm tool and a TDU of 2, gives an actualvalue of 20 mm.

    HeightEnter the height above the toolpath segment for the startof the ramp.

    This is measured with respect to the tool axis. For 3-axismachining, the tool axis is the Z axis. For multi-axis

    machining, the tool axis is specified on the Tool Axisdialog.Add approaches from outside Select to enable level moves toapproach the model from outside the block.

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    12 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Vortex and step cutting example

    This example shows you how to combine Vortex machining withstep cutting to rapidly remove material.

    As Vortex machining cuts with the side of the tool, it is designed forto solid carbide tools, but there may be other types of tools suitablefor Vortex. These tools work best when taking deep cuts with arelatively small stepover.

    To machine effectively when taking large depths of cut, you mustensure the tool engagement angle never exceeds the specifiedvalue. This eliminates excessive tool load and all full-width cuts.PowerMILL achieves this by introducing trochoidal moves to preventthe tool from exceeding the maximum tool engagement value.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 13

    Using the Mould_Core.dgkmodel in the Examplesfolder.

    Create a Vortex toolpath without step cutting.

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    14 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    This removes vast quantities of material quickly, but leaves largeterraces of unmachined stock on the part.

    You can minimise the size of these terraces using the Step cuttingoptions.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 15

    This adds extra machining slices up the part. Looking at a detail ofthe side view:

    Original Vortex pass

    Step cutting passes

    It also machines more of the excess stock.

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    16 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Vortex machining of 2D features

    This example shows how Vortex machines pockets, channels andnarrow corners.

    For more information on the general principles of Vortex machining,see Vortex and step cutting example (see page12).

    Using the 2D_Features.dgkmodel in the Examplesfolder.

    Create a Vortex toolpath:

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 17

    For pockets, the tool spirals down into the pocket before usingtrochoidal paths over the full-width cuts.

    On completion of the initial full-width cut, the trochoids are placedin the corners where the maximum tool engagement angle wouldotherwise be exceeded.

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    18 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Analysing Vortex toolpaths

    Vortex toolpaths are automatically checked for safety. Vortexautomatically checks for:

    Plunges into stock.

    Excess tool engagement.

    Excess depth of cut

    Small arc movements.

    If the toolpath has none of these issues it is shown as safe( ), otherwise PowerMILL displays a warning message andis shown as unsafe ( ).

    The warning message details the problems with the Vortex toolpath,for example, the minimum arc radius is too small.

    To locate the problem area:

    1 From the individual toolpath menu, select Analyse.

    PowerMILL creates separate toolpaths highlighting the problemareas, in this case 1 : Small arcs_1.

    2 Analyse the problem area of the toolpath. You must make somechanges to the toolpath settings to resolve the issue. You mayfind that changing the Stepoverby a small amount solves theproblem.

    It is not advisable to edit the original toolpath by removingthe problem areas as this is likely to make the problemworse.

    3 Re-calculate the toolpath to check your changes have resulted ina safe toolpath.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 19

    Creating MachineDNAThe MachineDNA Profilerplugin profiles the unique characteristics of

    a machine tool. PowerMILL uses the profile data (MachineDNA) tooptimise the performance of toolpaths on the machine tool toimprove machining efficiency.

    To generate the data required to create MachineDNA, carry out theMachineDNA performance test on the selected machine tool.

    Vortex machining uses the test results to create 'clever' values for:

    Most efficient trochoid size.

    Optimal point distribution.

    To create MachineDNA, complete the following four steps:

    1 Complete the Create the performance testpage.

    2 Carry out the performance test on your machine tool.

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    20 High speed machining PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    The Conduct the performance testpage displays instructions toguide you through the test procedure.

    3 Transfer the performance test data from the machine controllerto your PC and click Analyseto create your machine tool'sMachineDNA.

    4 Save the MachineDNA .mtdfile and import it into PowerMILL tobegin optimising your toolpaths.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New High speed machining 21

    Adding MachineDNA to your PowerMILL suite

    The plugin is easy to install and PowerMILL recognises itautomatically.

    To use the MachineDNA plugin, you must purchase a licence. The

    licence (including the plugin) can be purchased at any time. Formore information, contact your Delcam sales agent.

    Displaying MachineDNA

    There is a new MachineDNA tab on the Machine Tooldialog thatdisplays a machine tool's MachineDNA parameters.

    If you choose MachineDNA to calculate the parameters for a Vortextoolpath, PowerMILL uses these values (see page8).

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    22 Toolpath preparation PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Curve enhancementsThere are several new options on the Curve Editormode toolbar:

    Insert and edit filletsUse to insert and edit the fillets in acomposite curve containing arcs and lines. This maintains arcs asarcs and doesn't convert them to a spline (see page22).

    Tangent editor Use to edit the tangents of a point on aBzier curve. This enables more precise tangent editing aspreviously you could only edit tangents graphically (see page

    34).

    Repoint curveUse to redistribute points, or change thenumber of points, along a Bzier curve (see page40).

    There are enhancements to the Reordering curve segments dialog(see page49).

    You can now trim or extend both ends of a single curve segment(see page50).

    Insert and Edit Fillets dialog

    The Insert and edit fillets button on the Curve Editormode toolbarinserts and edits the arcs in a composite curve containing lines andarcs.

    Toolpath preparation

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Toolpath preparation 23

    You must select a composite curve containing only arcs andlines to enable this option.

    Enter RadiusEnter the radius of the fillet.

    If you select a specific point or arc centre, the fillet is applied just tothat point or arc.

    Starting with this curve:

    Selecting one point and entering a radius gives:

    If you don't select any points or arcs, the fillet is applied to:

    Any points which are between two lines and any existing arcspans, if you select the Selectedtab.

    Starting with this curve:

    On the Selectedtab entering a radius produces:

    This edits the fillet at as well adding fillets at points betweentwo lines.

    Any points which have a tangency discontinuity, if you select theAll discontinuitiestab.

    Starting with this curve:

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    24 Toolpath preparation PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    On the All discontinuitiestab entering a radius gives:

    The fillet at is not changed.

    Arc-line Curve menu

    Display the Arc-line Curvecontext menu, when the Curve editormode toolbar is raised, by right-clicking on a composite curvecontaining lines and arcs.

    Edit as a BzierConverts the curve to a spline and edits it as aBzier curve.

    ReverseClick to reverse the direction of the selected items.

    If you select an arc, it converts:

    If you select a line, it converts:

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Toolpath preparation 25

    If you select a continuous line there is no arrow on the line, but anX marks the end of the continuous line. It converts:

    If you select a Bzier curve there is no arrow on the line but an Xmarks the end of the Bzier curve. It converts this:

    For more information, see Reverse selected item example.

    DeleteClick to delete the selected items. This is the same ason the Curve editormode toolbar.

    SplitClick to break the selected segments into the individual

    curves used to create it. This is the same as on the Curve editormode toolbar.

    Merge with adjoining segmentsClick to merge all the segmentsadjacent to the picked segment.

    The curve editor merges segments that join the selected segment(at either end). The curve editor then merges segments that jointhis new segment. This continues until no more merges arepossible. Where there is a choice of curves to merge, the curve withthe smallest tangent angle discrepancy is chosen. This is the same

    as on the Curve editormode toolbar.

    Insert/Edit filletsClick to edit the fillets in a composite curvecontaining arcs and lines. This maintains arcs as arcs and doesn't

    convert them to a spline (see page22). This is the same as onthe Curve Editormode toolbar.

    Select pointClick to select points which you can then edit or

    delete using the Select Pointsdialog. This is the same as on theCurve editormode toolbar.

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    26 Toolpath preparation PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    PowerMILL displays the Select Pointsdialog.

    This example uses a continuous line, but the functionality works inthe same way for a Bzier curve or arc-line.

    You can select a point:

    graphically; or,

    from the Select Pointsdialog.

    A red circle is placed on the selected point.

    You can select additional points graphically using the Shiftkey. You can deselect points using the Ctrl key. Shift plus adrag box selects all the points in the box and Ctrl plus a dragbox deselects all the points in the box.

    Insert pointClick to add a point between a pair of selected points.

    This is the same as on the Curve editormode toolbar.

    Insert points hereClick to add a point where you selected the

    curve. This is the same as selecting on the Curve editormodetoolbar and then selecting the Through nearest pointtab on theInsert Point into Curvedialog.

    Delete pointsClick to delete the selected point. This is the same

    as on the Curve editor mode toolbar.

    This example uses a continuous line, but the functionality works in

    the same way for a Bzier curve or arc-line.

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Toolpath preparation 27

    Converts this:

    To this:

    Number pointsClick to number the points on the selected curve.

    This is the same as on the Curve editormode toolbar.This example uses a continuous line, but the functionality works inthe same way for a Bzier curve or arc-line.

    UndoClick to revert to what it was before the last change. This is

    the same as on the Curve editormode toolbar.

    RedoClick to reinstate the edit you have just undone. This is the

    same as on the Curve editormode toolbar.

    Select allClick to select all the curves. This is the same as onthe Curve editormode toolbar.

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    28 Toolpath preparation PowerMILL 2014 What's New

    Select toggleClick to deselect the selected curves and select the

    deselected curves. This is the same as on theCurve editor modetoolbar.

    Converts this:

    to this:

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    PowerMILL 2014 What's New Toolpath preparation 29

    Select closedClick to select all the closed curves and deselect the

    open curves. This is the same as on the Curve editormodetoolbar.

    Clear selectionClick to deselect the selected curves.

    PropertiesClick to display the extents, type, and key points of thecurve.

    PatternDisplays the name of the pattern, in this case Inputcurves.

    SegmentDisplays the properties of this segment. In this case thefirst segment.

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    Editing a composite curve

    This example shows you how to edit a composite curve made up oflines and arcs. This works in a similar way to editing a line andediting an arc and assumes you know how to edit arcs and lines.

    1 Select the composite curve to edit it.

    If you aren't in curve editing mode, double click the curveto edit it.

    2 Click and drag point C3.

    The radius of the arc remains the same. This changes the lengthand angle of the lines to rejoin the moved arc.

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    3 Click and drag point C2.

    If possible, when the arc being moved is adjacent to another arc,

    the two arcs are trimmed at their intersection point. If there isno intersection point then a tangential line is added .

    4 Click and drag the red point between point 5and 6.

    The centre point of the arc remains unchanged. The radius of thearc changes and the lines attached to the arc are re-trimmed.

    5 Select point C2and click to delete the arc.

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    This replaces the arc with a line between points 3and 4 andrenumbers the arcs (so C3 becomes C2).

    This replaces the arc with a line between points 3and 4.

    6 Click to revert to step 4.

    7 Select point 4and click to delete the arc.

    If you have a filleted corner:

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    Deleting the fillet (C4) assumes you want to reduce the fillet radiusto 0.

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    Tangent editor

    The Edit tangents button on the Curve Editormode toolbar edits

    the tangents of selected points in a Bzier curve.

    TangentEdits the tangent directions. Select which tangent youwant to edit.

    Before and afteredits both tangents. This is the default option.

    Beforeedits the tangent approaching the point.

    Afteredits the tangent after the point.

    Tangent before

    Tangent after

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    Click to display the Positiondialog. Use the dialog to manuallyenter coordinates and locate items in the graphics window. Thisoption isn't available if you have a Tangentoption of Before andafter.

    Click to display the Directiondialog, which enables you to editthe direction of an item.

    Azimuth/ElevationClick to display the Azimuth/Elevationdialog,which enables you to enter the azimuth and elevation angles.

    StraightenClick to change the tangency direction to form astraight line span.

    With the tangent Before and Afterselected, converts the tangentson point 4 from this:

    to this:

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    Align tangentClick to align the selected tangency directionwith the other tangent at that point. This option isn't available if youhave a Tangentoption of Before and after.

    With the tangent Afterselected, converts the tangent on point 4from this:

    to this:

    FreeClick to free the tangent direction. This maintains the pointlocation and fits a smooth curve through the selected points.

    MagnitudeEdits the tangent magnitude. Select which tangent youwant to edit.

    Before and afteredits both tangents. This is the default option.

    Beforeedits the tangent approaching the point.

    Afteredits the tangent after the point.

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    Tangent before

    Tangent after

    Enter the magnitude of the tangent.

    FreeClick to edit the tangent magnitudes. This maintains thepoint location and fits a smooth curve through the selected points.

    ScaleEdit the tangent magnitudes by scaling the current valueusing the slider or entering a scaling factor (see page39).

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    Azimuth/Elevation dialog

    Clicking on the Tangent Editordialog displays the

    Azimuth/Elevationdialog (see page34).

    WorkspaceSpecify which workspace you are working in.

    Worldspecifies the point with respect to the global coordinatesystem.

    Workplanespecifies the point with respect to the activeworkplane.

    This option is only available if an active workplane exists,and, if you are editing a workplane, you are editing a non-active one.

    AzimuthEnter the angle of the line in the XY plane. The rotation

    is measured anticlockwise about the Z axis with 0 at the X axis.

    Elevation

    Enter the angle of the line relative to the vertical (Z).

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    Editing the tangent magnitude

    Starting with this curve:

    1 Double click on the curve.

    2 Select points 2 and 3 (pressing the Shift key while selecting point3).

    3 Click on the Curve Editormode toolbar to display the TangentEditordialog.

    4 Enter a Scaleof 4.

    5 Click Cancel.

    6 Click .

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    7 Enter a Scaleof 0.2.

    8 Click OK.

    Repoint curve

    The Repoint curve button on the Curve Editormode toolbarredistributes points along a Bzier curve. The start point and endpoint remain in the same position and have the same tangencydirection as before; the remaining points are distributed atequidistant intervals between the start and end points.

    Since repointing a curve uses point numbers it is often useful

    to display them by clicking on Number Poin ts .

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    Repoint betweenDetermines which portion of the Bzier curveyou want to redistribute. For an example, see Reducing the numberof points in a curve (see page45).

    Start point

    End point

    With a Number of points in rangeof 3this replaces points 6 10with one point here.

    Start pointEnter the point number where you want theredistribution to start.

    Select StartClick to select the start point interactively. Thischanges the cursor to . Then click on the point where you wantto start the redistribution.

    End pointEnter the point number where you want theredistribution to end.

    Select EndClick to select the end point interactively. Thischanges the cursor to . Then click on the point where you wantto end the redistribution.

    Number of points in rangeEnter the number of points in theredistributed curve. This is inclusive of the start and end points, sothe minimum value is 2. The points are evenly distributed along thecurve

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    For example, using this curve:

    a Enter a Start pointof 5.

    b Enter an End Pointof 7.

    c Enter a Number of points in rangeof 7.

    d Click Apply.

    Produces:

    Ignore PointsWhen redistributing the points along a curve theremay be specific points, for example, those with specific tangencydirections or location, that you want to keep. The selected pointsremain unchanged during the repoint calculation. For an examplesee Ignoring points when redistributing points in a curve (see page46).

    The Number of po in ts in rangeexcludes any points selected

    here. So, if you have 4ignored points and a Number of po in ts

    in rangeof 10you end up with 14points in the curve. The start

    point, end point and 4 ignored points are in the same positionand have the same tangency direction as before, the 8remaining points are distributed at equidistant intervalsbetween the start and end points.

    Select pointClick to select points which you can then edit ordelete using the Select Pointsdialog.

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    Displays the Select Pointsdialog.

    This example uses a continuous line, but the functionality works in

    the same way for a Bzier curve or arc-line.You can select a point:

    graphically; or,

    from the Select Pointsdialog.

    A red circle is placed on the selected point.

    You can select additional points graphically using the Shiftkey. You can deselect points using the Ctrl key. Shift plus adrag box selects all the points in the box and Ctrl plus a dragbox deselects all the points in the box.

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    Select DiscontinuitiesClick to select the points with tangentdiscontinuities (where the tangent before the point is different tothe tangent after the point).

    In this example:

    Clicking on Select continuitiesselects points 7, 8, 14, and 15.

    Deselect AllClick to deselect all selected points.

    Clicking on Deselect Allconverts this:

    To this:

    InformationHover to give balloon help.

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    Reducing the number of points in a curve

    This example shows you how to reduce the number of points in aBzier curve. Starting with this Bzier curve:

    1 Double click on the Bzier curve to open the Curve Editormodetoolbar.

    2 Click Number Points to show the points in the Bzier curve.

    3 To reduce the number of points in the portion of the curve at thebottom of the trough, click to display the Repoint curvedialog.

    4 On the Repoint Curvedialog:

    a Enter a Start pointof 5.

    b Enter an End Pointof 11.

    c Enter a Number of points in rangeof 3.

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    d Press the tab key to indicate the effect of the repointcalculation.

    e Click Apply.

    f Click Cancel.

    5 On the Curve Editormode toolbar click to accept the changes.

    Ignoring points when redistributing points in a curve

    This example shows how to reduce the number of points in a Bziercurve. Starting with this Bzier curve:

    1 Double click on the Bzier curve to open the Curve Editormodetoolbar.

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    2 Click Number Points to show the points in the Bzier curve.

    3 To reduce the number of points in the curve while still keeping

    points 7, 8, 14, or 15, click to display the Repoint curvedialog.

    4 On the Repoint Curvedialog:

    a Click Select Discontinuities.

    To select additional points press the Shift key while

    selecting the next point, or click to use the Pointselect iondialog.

    b Enter a Start pointof 1.

    c Enter an End Pointof 18.

    d Enter a Number of points in rangeof 10.

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    e Click Accept.

    The original points 7, 8, 14, or 15 have become points3, 6, 9, and 12 but still have the same location andtangency direction.

    Although you entered a Number of po in ts in rangeof 10,the actual number of points is 14 as there are 4 ignoredpoints.

    5 On the Curve Editormode toolbar, click to accept thechanges.

    If you don't ignore the points at the tangent discontinuities,reducing the number of points in the curve produces:

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    Reorder enhancements

    There is an additional option on the Reordering curve segments

    dialog (available from on the Curve Editormode toolbar).

    Shortest pathsorts the curve segments to create the shortestpath overall. This is particularly useful for text.

    Converts this:

    to this:

    You can reorder the segments by selecting them in the listarea of the dialog and dragging them to the new location inthe list. The selection supports all the standard selectionoptions (for example CTRL + select, or Shi f t + selectto multi-

    select segments).

    The drag and drop reordering is also available for toolpathsegments.

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    Limit curve enhancements

    You can now trim or extend both ends of a single curve segment.Previously, you could only trim/extend one end at a time.

    This is available by clicking Limit to point on the Curve Editormode toolbar to display the Limit to Pointtoolbar.

    You can now select an End Pointof Start, Endor Both.

    The Distancefield now lists the previous values.

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    New and improved toolsPowerMILL now features several new and enhanced tools, as well as

    a new Tool Assembly Previewdialog.New barrel tool Use to efficiently machine surfaces usually foundon blades (see page52).

    New dovetail tool Use to efficiently machine features such asundercuts and gears (see page53).

    Enhanced tipped disc tool You can now enter different values forthe lower and upper tip radii of a tipped disc tool (see page54).

    Tool Assembly Preview dialog The new dialog enables you tocheck a tool assembly for collisions more easily than before (seepage55).

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    Barrel tool

    PowerMILL now supports barrel tools.

    A barrel tool efficiently machines the type of surfaces usually foundon blades. The geometry of the tool enables you to achieve a smallcusp height while using a relatively large stepover. To achieve thesame cusp height with an alternative tool, you would need to reducethe stepover significantly.

    The table shows the benefits of using a barrel tool to machine thisblade.

    Barrel tool Ball nosed toolDiameter 25.0 25.0

    Cusp height 0.125 0.125

    Stepover 7.74 5.0

    Tool axis Lead angle: 0.0

    Lean angle: -85.0

    Lead angle: 0.0

    Lean angle: -85.0

    Barrel

    radius

    60.0 NA

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    Dovetail tool

    PowerMILL now supports dovetail tools.

    A dovetail tool efficiently machines features, such as undercuts and

    gears, that would otherwise require a series of more complextoolpaths involving multiple tool changes.

    This example explains the advantages of using a dovetail tool tomachine an undercut within an annulus.

    In previous versions of PowerMILL, machining the conical surface ofthe undercut required a complex solution because a tip radiused

    tool, for instance, could not access the acute angle of the corner .After using a tipped radiused tool, you would need to use a smallball nosed tool or a tipped disc tool to sharpen the corner andremove all the material.

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    In PowerMILL 2014, the dovetail tool enables you to machine thesame undercut more easily. Because the conical surface of the toolenables swarf machining, after performing area clearance, you canuse the dovetail tool to form the undercut, fillet, and the horizontal

    surface of the base in one pass . Using the dovetail tool is alsobeneficial because it lets you use a larger tool and a better tool axis.

    Enhanced tipped disc tool

    PowerMILL now enables you to enter different values for the upper

    and lower tip radii of a tipped disc tool. In previous versionsof PowerMILL, you could only specify a single radius value, whichwas applied to both the upper and lower tips of the tool.

    The Tipped Disc Tooldialog now has an Upper tip radiusfield and aLower tip radiusfield.

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    Tool Assembly Preview dialog

    A new Tool Assembly Previewdialog displays a large image of thetool assembly, so it is easier to identify any components within thetool assembly that may collide.

    The following options are available:

    To display the Tool Assembly Previewdialog, select on the Tooldialog's Tip, Shank, Holder, Holder Profile, or Descriptiontab.

    Select a value from the list or enter a value to zoomin or out of the tool assembly. You can then use the mouse to panthe image.

    Use the slide bar to zoom in or out of the toolassembly. You can then use the mouse to pan the image.

    ExportClick to display the Export Tool Assembly Previewdialog.This enables you to save the current view of the tool assembly as agraphics file.

    If you print the image of the tool assembly at a scale of1:1, you can use it as a guide when grinding down yourtool holder to avoid collisions.

    For information on calculating the maximum allowable size of a toolassembly, see the Holder profile tab section.

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    Tool database enhancementsThere are three new buttons and two existing buttons withimproved functions on the Tool Database Searchdialog and the Tool

    Database Holder Searchdialog. These buttons let you edit and deleteentities in the tool database that are either associated with cuttingdata or tool assemblies.

    The Search For Holderbutton is now also available on the Tooltoolbar.

    Tool Database Search dialog

    Delete Stock Material

    Rename Stock Material

    Delete Tool Family

    Rename Tool Family

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    Tool toolbar

    The Search For Holder button is now available on the Tooltoolbarso you can display the Tool Database Holder Searchdialog moreeasily. Previously, the button was only available on the Holdertab of

    the Tooldialog.

    Tool Database Holder Search dialog

    The improved function of the Delete Select Holder button nowenables you to delete a holder even if it is used in a tool assembly.

    If you delete a holder used by a tool, the holder is removedfrom the tool's Tooldialog.

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    Stock model enhancementsThere are a couple of stock model enhancements:

    The stock model now accurately reflects machining with non-symmetrical tools, such as tipped disc tools with different valuesfor the Lower Tip Radiusand the Upper Tip Radius.

    You can now change the block in a stock model provided thereare no calculated tool or toolpath states.

    You can now create folders in the Stock Modelsbranch of theexplorer (see page114).

    This example shows you how to change the block in a stock model.It uses the radknob.dmtmodel in the Examplesfolder.

    1 Create a block and a toolpath.

    2 Create a stock model and apply the toolpath to the stock model.

    3 Right-click Blockin the stock model and click Calculate.

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    4 On the Maintoolbar click to display the Blockdialog.

    a Enter aY Lengthof 80.

    b Click Accept.

    5 On the Stock modeltoolbar, click to apply the new block to

    the stock model. This removes the block calculation and updatesthe stock model with the new size of the block.

    If you can't apply the new block then check there are nocalculated tool or toolpath states in your stock model. Ifthere are, select the Remov e Calculat ionoption from theindividual tool or toolpath state menu and then apply theblock.

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    6 Click to calculate the stock model.

    With the block state active:

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    With the area clearance toolpath state active:

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    Drilling enhancementsThere are several drilling enhancements:

    Each Drilling Cycle typenow has its own strategy (see page63).

    There is a new drilling strategy of External threading(see page63).

    You can now create a thread milling toolpath in a tapered hole.

    Thread milling with a Draft Angleof 20 produces:

    You can now vary the feed rate and spindle speed when twoholes intersect (see page73).

    You can now select any component in a compound hole. Inprevious versions of PowerMILL you could select the first five

    components, or the last component. This is useful whenautomating drilling using methods.

    Toolpath generation

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    Drilling strategiesEach drilling Cycle typenow has its own strategy.

    Selecting an option from the list displays the Drilling dialog with theoption selected as the Cycle type.

    You can still change the drilling strategy by selecting adifferent Cycle typeon the main drilling page.

    External threadingThere is a new strategy on the drilling tab of the Strategy selector ofExternal thread. This works in a very similar way to Thread millingonthe Drillingdialog.

    External threadcreates an external thread on a boss.

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    To create an external thread you must use a thread mill tool.

    There are several pages associated with the External thread

    strategy:

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    External ThreadThe main page used to define an externalthread.

    RetractionSettings to control how far the thread tool retractsbetween pecks (see page66).

    DraftSettings to create a tapered boss (see page66).

    ThreadingSettings for thread creation (see page67).

    OrderSettings to control the order of machining (see page70).

    Automatic verificationSettings to automatically verify toolpathson creation.

    For more information on the Strategy Selectordialog, see ToolpathStrategies.

    The common tabs are described in common toolpath creationcontrols.

    For more information see Creating an external thread (see page70).

    External Thread

    The External Threadpage controls how to create an external thread.

    This is the same as the standard Drillingpage.

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    Retraction (external thread)

    Retractioncontrols how far and at what speed the drill retracts upthe hole between pecks.

    RetractSelect how far the tool retracts between features.

    FullThe tool retracts up to the Safe area between features.

    PartialThe tool retracts up to the Clear plane between features.

    The remainder of the dialog is not available for this strategy.

    Draft (external thread)

    The Draftpage enables you to add a draft angle to a boss.

    Draft angleEnter the Draft angle.

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    Threading (external thread)

    The Threadingpage controls how to create an external thread.

    Number of passesEnter the number of cuts.

    One pass:

    Three passes:

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    AllowanceEnter the distance between successive passes.

    LeadSelect the type of lead. The Lead inis a straight line in theplane normal to the hole axis followed by a helix, using the threadpitch. The Lead outis the reverse of this. All the options have the

    same straight line portion, but varying helical lead length.

    180 helical lead.

    90 helical lead.

    45 helical lead.

    On the right, the table shows the effects of the differing leads on anexternal thread toolpath for an upwards, right hand thread.

    ThreadSelect whether you want a Right handor Left handthread.The Threadcombines with the Direction(on the main drilling page)to give a cut direction.

    Right hand thread Left hand thread

    Climb Clockwise,downwards

    Clockwise, upwards

    Conventional Anti-clockwise,upwards

    Anti-clockwise,downwards

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    ISO View View down Z

    180

    90

    45

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    Order (drilling)

    Sorting Select the drilling order of the selected holes.

    Unless you select the Explorer order , the start point is alwaysthe hole nearest to the tool start point.

    Creating an external thread

    This example shows you how to create an external thread on aboss. It uses the 2DExample.dgkmodel in the Examplesfolder.

    1 Create a feature set containing the three bosses.

    You can create this as a pocket with three bosses.

    For more information on how to create the bosses see SmartCreation.

    2 Calculate the block and create a thread mill tool.

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    3 On the Maintoolbar, select the Toolpath strategies button.

    4 Select the Drillingtab, followed by the External Threadoption.

    5 On the External Threadpage:

    a Select a Depth Typeof Feature depth.

    b Enter a Clearanceof 5.

    c Enter a Turnsof 3.

    d Enter a Pitchof 2.

    e Click Calculate.

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    The Cycle typeis automatically set to Extern al thread.

    Looking in detail:

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    Varying feed rates at drill holeintersections

    You now have the ability to vary the feed rate and spindle speedwhen two holes intersect. To do this you must:

    Identify the hole intersections.

    Specify the feed rate and spindle speed reductions.

    This example shows you how to find the hole intersections andreduce the feed rate and spindle speed at these intersections.

    Starting with a model containing two feature sets, one containingthree holes (black), the other containing two holes (magenta).

    1 From the Feature Setscontext menu, select Find holeintersections. This creates intersections wherever the two sets ofholes intersect fully or partially.

    2 Create a block and drill tool.

    3 Display the Single Peck Drillingdialog.

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    4 Select the Feed rate reductionpage:

    a Select Hole intersections.

    b Enter a Safety marginof 30in the Hole intersectionsarea.

    c Enter a Distanceof 20in the Hole intersectionsarea.

    d Enter a Feed rateof 40 in the Hole intersectionsarea.

    e Enter a Spindle speedof 20 in the Hole intersectionsarea.

    f Enter a Number of stepsof 3.

    g Enter a Dwell timeof 1.

    h Click Calculate.

    This creates a drilling toolpath which slows down at the holeintersections.

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    5 On the Toolpathtoolbar click to show each step.

    DistanceSafety margin

    Steps

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    Feed rate reduction

    Fed rate reductionreduces the feed rate towards the top, or bottomor intersection of a hole. This enables the tool to slow down at thebottom of a hole, or move on slowly, and then speed up (or even

    "slow, quick, slow" for the situation where there are two holes, oneabove the other with air in between). If the machine tool has adrilling cycle which supports this option, set it up in the option file(otherwise, on the NC Programdialog select aDriling Cycle Outputofoff).

    Use absolute start/end distancesSelect to enter the Hole start >Safety marginand Hole end > Safety marginand Hole end > Distanceas an absolute distance rather than a factor. When deselected avalue of 0.2 reduces the feed rate and spindle speed for 20% of thehole length. When selected a value of 0.2 reduces the feed rate andspindle speed for 0.2 mm.

    Factors must have a value between 0 and 1.

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    Hole startdetermines how to reduce the feed rate and spindle speedat the top of a hole.

    Safe Z.

    Top of the hole.Feed rate reaches 100%.

    - Hole start > Distance.

    Feed rate starts to decrease again.

    - Hole end > Distance.

    Feed rate reaches reduced value.

    - Hole end > Safety margin.

    Bottom of the hole.

    DistanceEnter the distance/factor below the top of the hole overwhich the start feed rate and start spindle speed are reduced. Atthe top of the hole the feed rate and spindle speed are reduced bythe percentage specified in the Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%).At adistance of Distancebelow the top of the hole the feed rate andspindle speed are increased to the value specified in the Feeds and

    Speeds dialog (available from on the Maintoolbar). Entering avalue here enables the Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%)fields.

    Feed rate(%)Enter the percentage reduction of the feed raterequired at the top of a hole. A value of 0.25 reduces the feed rateto 25% of the feed rate specified on the Feeds and Speedsdialog.

    Spindle speed (%)Enter the percentage reduction of the spindlespeed required at the top of a hole. A value of 0.25 reduces thespindle speed to 25% of the spindle speed specified on the Feedsand Speedsdialog.

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    Hole intersectionSelect to enable feed rate and spindle speedreductions at hole intersections. This slows down the feed rate andspindle speed just above a hole intersection and then speeds it upagain after the hole intersection.

    hole you are drilling.

    intersecting hole.

    Safety margin.

    Distance.

    The percentage figures show the feed rate if you have a Feed rate

    (%)of 40.

    To reduce feed rates and spindle speeds at hole intersectionsyou must locate these intersections by selecting Find ho leintersect ionson the Feature Setscontext menu.

    Safety MarginEnter the distance above the hole intersection atwhich the start feed rate and spindle speed are reduced to thepercentage specified in Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%). Enteringa value enables the Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%)fields. Thisalso specifies the distances below the hole intersection where thefeed rate and spindle speed are increased form the reduced rate tofull speed.

    DistanceEnter the distance over which the feed rate and spindlespeed are reduced.

    Feed rate(%)Enter the percentage reduction of the feed raterequired at the hole intersections.

    Spindle speed (%)Enter the percentage reduction of the spindlespeed required at the hole intersections.

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    Hole enddetermines how to reduce the feed rate and spindle speedat the bottom of a hole.

    Safe Z.

    Top of the hole.Feed rate reaches 100%.

    - Hole start > Distance.

    Feed rate starts to decrease again.

    - Hole end > Distance.

    Feed rate reaches reduced value.

    - Hole end > Safety margin.

    Bottom of the hole.

    Safety MarginEnter the distance/factor above the bottom of thehole at which the start feed rate and spindle speed are reduced tothe percentage specified in Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%).Entering a value enables the Feed rate (%)and Spindle speed (%)fields.

    DistanceEnter the distance/factor over which the feed rate andspindle speed are reduced.

    Feed rate(%)Enter the percentage reduction of the feed raterequired at the bottom of the hole.

    Spindle speed (%)Enter the percentage reduction of the spindlespeed required at the bottom of the hole.

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    Step controldetermines how to reduce the feed rate over theDistance. The feed rate decreases in fixed increments and notlinearly.

    hole you are drilling.

    intersecting hole.

    Safety margin.

    Distance.

    The percentage figures show the feed rate if you have a Feed rate(%)of 40and a Number of stepsof 3.

    Number of stepsEnter the number of steps required to reduce thefeed rate.

    Dwell timeEnter the dwell time at each step.

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    Feature > Intersection

    The Intersectionstab on the Featuredialog enables you to deletehole intersections.

    To use this you must first identify the hole intersections (fromthe Feature Setscontext menu, select Find Hole Intersect ions).

    The left side of the dialog displays a list of the intersections of theselected hole.

    DeleteClick to delete the intersections selected in the left sideof the dialog (see page82).

    For more information see Varying the feed rate at hole intersectionsor Deleting a hole intersection (see page82).

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    Deleting a hole intersection

    This example shows you how to delete an intersection in a hole.Starting with this model:

    The holes are in two feature sets: the three white holes in onefeature set and the two magenta holes in another (currently active)feature set.

    To create the intersections from the Feature Setscontextmenu, select Find hole intersect ions.

    1 Select the hole with three intersections.

    2 From the individual feature set menu select Settingsto displays

    the Feature dialog.3 Click the Intersectionstab.

    This shows there are three intersections with the selected hole.

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    4 Select intersection 1 in the left side of the dialog.

    This displays the selected intersection with a thicker outline:

    5 Click Delete to delete the intersection.

    This deletes intersection 1and renames the remaining

    intersections from 2and 3to 1and 2.

    This updates the feature set to remove one intersection:

    The deletedintersection.

    The intersectionwith the other holeremains.

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    Flat machiningFlat machining on triangle models is now faster and produces betterresults, which are as good as flat machining on surface models.

    Looking at this headlamp example:

    In PowerMILL 2013 an offset flat machining toolpath produces:

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    In PowerMILL 2014 an offset flat machining toolpath produces:

    Raster orderingThere is a new ordering option when creating a raster toolpath ofTwo way ungrouped. This enables you to create a raster toolpathwithout any grouping of toolpath segments. This option is availablefor two-way toolpaths.

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    In this example the numbered lines represent toolpath segments.

    Two way ungroupedThe tool can cut in two directions:

    Two wayand Two way joinedThe tool can cut in two directionsand PowerMILL chooses the shortest distance between eachtoolpath segment.

    Two wayThe toolpath segments are joined with lead and linkmoves.

    Two way joinedThe toolpath segments are joined with cuttingmoves.

    The order is the same for both options; the difference is whether

    the joining moves are cutting moves or not:

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    Optimised raster improvementsThere are improvements to the optimised raster algorithm. The

    toolpaths: Are less fragmented.

    Have no overlapping segments.

    Whereas previous versions produced:

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    Point distribution on leads and linksYou now have the option to specify point distribution on the non-cutting moves as well as the cutting moves of a toolpath.

    The Point distributiontab on the Leads and linksdialog enables youto control the point distribution along the leads and links. This issimilar to the Point distributionoptions available for the toolpathcutting moves.

    Apply to leads and linksSelect to use the point distribution optionsused by the toolpath cutting moves for all the lead moves and thefeed rate link moves. You specify the point distribution of thecutting moves on either the Point Distributiondialog (available from

    on the Maintoolbar) or the Point distributionpage of a strategydialog.

    Apply to rapid linksSelect to specify the point distribution requiredfor all the moves within a rapid link move. The rapid link moves are:Safe, Incremental, and Skim. The point distribution is applied to theplunge moves as well as the rapid moves within the rapid link.

    Copy from cutting movesClick to copy the point distributionoptions used by the toolpath cutting moves to .the rapid link moves

    Output point distributioncontrols the point distribution of the rapidlink moves.

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    Output typeSelect the type of point distribution in the rapid linkmoves.

    Tolerance and keep arcsSelect to automatically removeunnecessary points in the rapid moves while maintaining tolerance.

    The points are not equispaced, as unnecessary points are deleted.

    Some of the points may be blue: these indicate the arccentres. The red points either side of the blue ones are thearc ends.

    Tolerance and replace arcsSelect to replace arcs with straight linesegments and to remove unnecessary points in the rapid moveswhile maintaining tolerance. This is similar to Tolerance and KeepArcsexcept that all arcs are replaced by straight line segments(polylines). This option is suitable for machine tools which don't

    handle arcs well.RedistributeSelect to allow the insertion of new points. Thisensures a constant distance between points, only inserting extrapoints if they are necessary to keep tolerance. This can beespecially useful when selecting the Point separation distance, orPoint separation angleoptions. Redistribute may increase toolpathcreation time but reduce time on the machine tool. This option issuitable for machine tools that can handle large numbers ofequispaced points.

    Fit arcs

    Select to produce rapid moves with arcs insertedwherever possible. This option is suitable for machine tools whichhandle arcs well, but is available only for 3-axis toolpaths.

    For diagrams of these options applied to cutting moves see Pointdistribution > Output type.

    Tolerance factorEnter a value to determine how many points areremoved. This must have a value between 0(removes a minimumnumber of points) and 1(removes a maximum number of pointswhile maintaining tolerance, so the rapid link moves contain theminimum number of points).

    Point separation distanceSelect to enter the maximum distancebetween rapid link move points.

    Maximum distanceEnter the maximum distance betweenconsecutive rapid link move points.

    These options are not available if you select an Output typeofFit arcs.

    Point separation angleSelect to enter the maximum change inangle between rapid link move points.

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    Maximum angleEnter the maximum angle between consecutiverapid link move points. This is particularly useful when approachingthe gimbal lock position of your machine tool, where very smallangular changes can lead to massive changes in the azimuth andelevation angles. To ensure the maximum angle is not exceeded,

    PowerMILL adds additional toolpath points, which in turn slowsdown the machine tool.

    These options are available only if you select an Output typeof

    Redistr ibute.

    Gouge check Select this option for PowerMILL to gouge-check allleads and links.

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    Enhanced collision checkingPowerMILL now supports more sophisticated .mtdfiles. This meansyou can add to and modify your machine tool's .mtdfile to improvecollision checking. Within the .mtdfile, you can now:

    split an existing collision group into multiple collision groups, soPowerMILL can check for collisions between each group (seepage91).

    identify static components in the machine cell, such as walls andtables, so PowerMILL can check for collisions between the static

    components and the machine tool (see page96).

    create and add components to an exclusion list to reducecalculation time or to prevent PowerMILL reporting falsecollisions caused by inaccurate modelling of the machine tool(see page98).

    Introduction to collision groups

    You can now split an existing collision group, within a kinematic

    chain, into multiple collision groups, so PowerMILL can check forcollisions between each group.

    The kinematic chain is the section in an .mtdfile that contains theinformation that defines the behavior of the axis-components (themoving parts) of a machine tool or, in this case, a robot.

    Toolpath verification

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    In previous versions of PowerMILL, the axis-components were

    grouped in one collision group. This meant for the following robot

    , with its axis components in one collision group , PowerMILL didnot recognise this orientation of the robot (like many other

    orientations) as a collision between A, B and F axis components .

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    Because PowerMILL 2014 recognises kinematic chains that containmultiple collision groups, you can now check for collisions betweenthe axis components. With the collision group split into multiple

    collision groups , PowerMILL recognises the same orientation of

    the robot as a collision .

    The single collision group is split into four collision groups becausethe components in each group have the potential to collide with thecomponents in the other collision groups.

    It is not necessary to split B and C nor D and E into smaller groupsbecause B cannot collide with C and D cannot collide with E. Also, itis best practice to create as few collision groups as possible because

    each collision group increases the time PowerMILL takes to checkfor collisions.

    PowerMILL does not check for collisions between adjacent axiscomponents, because it often registers a collision between the twocomponents due to inaccurate modelling of the joint between them,which is, in reality, safe. This rule also applies to axis componentsthat are adjacent but are in different collision groups.

    PowerMILL collision checks these axis-components:

    A against C, D, E, and F.

    B against D, E, and F.

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    C against A, E, and F.

    D against A, B, F.

    E against A, B, and C.

    F against A, B, C, and D.For more information, see Splitting a collision group(see page94).

    Splitting a collision group

    This example shows how to split the collision group in theRobot_One_CGroup.mtdfile into four collision groups. The .mtdfile isin the Examples > MachineDatafolder

    You need to specify a NAME attribute for the A, B, D and F axis-components, as PowerMILL creates a new collision group for everyaxis-component with a NAME attribute.

    Axis components without a NAME attribute are included in thecollision group associated with the previous axis component with aNAME attribute. By not specifying NAME attributes for axiscomponents C and E, C is included in the same collision group as B,and E with D.

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    Splitting the collision group into four collision groups:

    1 Open the Robot_One_CGroup.mtdin an XML editor. This exampleuses NotePad ++.

    The comment signifies the start of the kinematic chain. Underneath thecomment, the six axis-components that make up the robot aredefined in their own section (referred to as a parent element inXML language).

    Each axis-component section starts with the child element

    . You can identify which axis-component the

    section defines by the axis address .

    2 Edit the element associated with the A axis by

    entering the attribute NAME="Shoulder", so the element reads:

    .

    3 Edit the element associated with the B axis by

    entering the attribute NAME="Upperarm", so the element reads:

    .

    4 Edit the element associated with the D axis by

    entering the attribute NAME="Forearm", so the element reads:

    .

    5 Edit the element associated with the F axis by

    entering the attribute NAME="Head", so the element reads:

    .

    The elements for C and E axis-

    components should not have NAME attributes.

    6 Save the .mtdfile.

    By entering NAME attributes in the elements, youhave split the existing collision group into four collisions groups:

    Shoulder (containing the A axis-component)

    Upperarm (containing B and C axis-components)

    Forearm (containing D and E axis-components) Head (containing the F axis component)

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    Identifying components to include in collision checks

    You can now identify static components that are in an .mtdfile soPowerMILL checks them for collisions. Because PowerMILLrecognises static components do not have a movement axis,

    PowerMILL only checks the static components for collisions with axiscomponents (the moving components of a machine tool and arotary table, if present) and not with other static components.

    This example shows how to add the following components so theyare checked for collisions:

    Robot control

    Tool holder

    Table

    Base of the rotary table

    Base of the robot

    PowerMILL displays static components in grey and axiscomponents in blue.

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    Specify a NAME attribute for each static component; PowerMILLonly collision checks components with a NAME attribute.

    1 Open the Robot_cell.mtdfile in an XML editor. This example usesNotePad++.

    Within the .mtdfile, each static component is defined in its ownsection (referred to as parent elements in XML). Each staticcomponent is identified by a comment, for example: , followed by the child element

    .

    2 Edit the element associated with the controller

    by entering the attribute NAME="RobotCellController", so the

    element reads: .

    3 Edit the element associated with the tool holderby entering the attribute NAME="RobotCellTool", so the element

    reads: .

    4 Edit the element associated with the table by

    entering the attribute NAME="RobotCellTable", so the element

    reads: .

    5 Edit the element associated with the base of the

    rotary table by entering the attribute NAME="RotaryTableBase",

    so the element reads: .

    6 Edit the element associated with the base of the

    robot by entering the attribute NAME="RobotBase", so the

    element reads: .

    7 Save the .mtdfile.

    Each static component is now collision checked.

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    Creating and adding to an exclusion list

    You can now identify static components in the .mtdfile so PowerMILLchecks them for collisions (see page96). However, some of thecollisions between static components and axis components that

    PowerMILL checks for are not necessary. For example, the toolholder and the rotary table do not need to be checked for collisionsbecause, although the rotary table moves, the two componentscannot collide.

    To prevent PowerMILL checking for such collisions, add thecomponents to an exclusion list in the .mtdfile. This reduces overallcalculation time and can improve simulation quality.

    This example shows how to create an exclusion list and add thefollowing collision scenarios to it:

    Collision scenario 1 Prevents PowerMILL checking for collisionsbetween the A axis component and each of the staticcomponents. (This includes the base of the robot, otherwisePowerMILL would register a collision between the two adjacentcomponents.)

    Collision scenario 2 Prevents PowerMILL checking for collisions

    between the rotary table-top and each of the staticcomponents. (This includes the base of the rotary table,otherwise PowerMILL would register a collision between the two

    adjacent components.)

    1 Open the Robot_cell.mtdfile in an XML editor. This example usesNotePad++.

    2 Underneath the parent element that specifies the attachmentpoints, enter the following exclusion list:

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    3 Save the .mtdfile.

    Now PowerM