Walter Neveux, WorkNC product owner, says developers have looked at several production questions, including: how many rest-roughing processes need to be applied, and how lengthy are they; how much stock material should be left for pre-finishing and finishing, and could it be less; and could pre-finishing be eliminated altogether?

Neveux says when machining with high-feed cutters, but calculating with a theoretical circular insert, the remaining stock will be inherently uneven. Here, the ‘Roughing with Advanced Toolform’ technology in the latest (2020.1) version of WorkNC allows the milling process to deliver more accurate roughing stock, eliminating imprecisions that are characteristic to the traditional parametric tool-path calculation.

“While the main roughing cycle took the same time to machine, the more precise result allowed all subsequent rest-roughing tool paths to be significantly faster in both calculation and machining times,” states Neveux. “Our tests presented improvements in the rest-roughing area of up to 70%.”

Pierre Bassomo, senior CAM developer at WorkNC supports those findings: “Use of the ‘Advanced Toolform’ technology, even when applied to regular parametric tool shapes, improves the quality of the tool path, and allows the user to break free from limitations such as step overs or negative offsets that are bigger than the tool’s corner radius, even on conical tools.”

The software’s hybrid modelling system, WorkNC Designer, introduces an electrode module, with intuitive and simple dedicated functions, which has been designed by engineers with experience in the mould and die industry.

Hayley Burrows, technical product manager for WorkNC Designer, says: “The combination of newly developed, streamlined electrode functionality, easy-to-use direct modelling commands and powerful surfacing and healing tools, means electrodes from imported models can be extracted quickly, to create finer details on parts which can’t be machined using traditional milling techniques.”

WorkNC Designer also brings an enhanced link to ‘WorkNC Traditional’, now preparing the entire work zone before sending it to the manufacturing planning phase of the process.

Miguel Johann, mould and die product and market manager, says: “The workflow has been streamlined, making sure the process is as simple, automated and straightforward as possible. The solution is now empowered by a modern CAD preparation platform that will continue to bring WorkNC users closer to the digital thread.”

WorkNC 2020.1 also brings an integrated link to Hexagon’s simulation solution, NCSIMUL, meaning that manufacturing data created in WorkNC is brought automatically into the application, including fixtures, roughed stock, design parts, program origins, machine programs, and the complete cutting-tool library. From the WorkNC to NCSIMUL link interface, users can select the digital twin machine available to prove out post-processed G-code programs. This seamless process can transfer multiple part set-ups for verifying multiple operation G-code routines.

Silvère Proisy, simulation solutions sales manager for the Americas, says: “This link between the two solutions is designed so that no further manipulation is required in NCSIMUL for setting up the project. After the interface has done its job, NCSIMUL verification is ready for troubleshooting the new machining jobs through a three-step verification process. It means no more file manipulation, lower risk of error, and faster programming-to-verification time.”

Concluding, Johann says: “Overall, the newly created and enhanced functionality in WorkNC 2020.1 provides more interconnected data, which contributes to smart factories becoming even smarter.”