The ‘Automation’ suite has also been enhanced, improving the user’s experience and productivity when creating and deploying job configurations. Whether setting up a first automation job, or whether the user is involved in complex and dynamic environments, the newly developed set-up wizards are designed to make short work of daily production tasks.

Regarding solids machining, specifically machining solid faces directly, most industry packages are only concerned with extracting features from solids. Alphacam, however, allows direct interaction with solids. Previously, Alphacam enhanced solids interaction by allowing users to saw a solid face directly. The rough/finish command (profiling) now allows the user to directly select and machine a solid face. And if the machine supports tool compensation on custom orientations (planes), this option provides the ability to create precision parts with minimal effort, via the use of G41/G42.

Advanced 5-axis functionality has also been updated. Two newly created features include: the ability to integrate the ‘Toolpath Optimiser’ into a core cycle which can then be stored in a machining style and deployed with automation; and the addition of barrel mill and double profile tools.

Improvements in swarf machining, multi-axis roughing and tool-path smoothing are among further inclusions in Alphacam 2020.0. In addition, the geometry offset command is now intelligent and dynamic, making all operations more productive, whether the user wants to simply retain attributes and information on the geometry, or to completely reassign machining cycle parameters to a newly created offset. This feature delivers an intuitive and simple way of changing tool paths for everything from simple tasks, such as passing associative/dynamic profile machining data, to complex ones, including reassigning a boundary to a 3D surfacing method.