OK, so here we are bleary-eyed at the start of day 2 of Solid Edge U not in Cincinnati and not in Ohio. Bleary-eyed not because of partying, but due to the 3-hour time zone difference. 8am here is 5am for me.
Last night we had dinner at the Aquarium, though fish was not served.
Anyhow, the two biggies among the 1300 new features in Solid Edge ST 6 are surfacing and the built-in CAM system. I wanted to learn more about the CAM, and so right on schedule is an hour-long session introducing it this morning.
CAMWorks is by Geometric Software Solutions (4,600 employees headquartered in India), and is the first CAM system integrated into Solid Edge. In brief: All CAM data is stored in the drawing file, nothing external. Switching back and forth between CAM and CAD modes is a single click. Update the CAD model and the CAM toolpaths updates. CAMworks also uses patented automated feature recognition, and treats imported CAD models like native SolidEdge files -- Inventor, SolidWorks, CATIA, Pro/E, NX, CADKEY, and Rhino plus the usual industry standard formats.
Now, users of competitive MCAD systems (especially VX/ZW3D) are going to scoff, saying "We've had this for years!" True, and finally-integrated CAM is another sign that Solid Edge is coming into its own, after years of being overshadowed by NX. Another sign is that Solid Edge University is independent of the equivalent NX show, for just the second year.
CAMworks is parametric feature-based CAM, "the future of CAM," says the presenter. No big deal to those of used to working with parametric 3D models, but this concept is relatively new to the CAM industry. A 3D body is machinable, and does not consist of a chain of 2D features.
Having feature recognition means that features like rounds and pockets are recognized by the software and the appropriate tools are selected automatically and generates the toolpath(s) automatically. It has HSM (hgh speed machining) and VoluMill for roughing that reduces cycle times by up to 80% and extends tool life 5x.
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