Delcam to Demonstrate Data Repair and Design for Manufacture
Delcam will highlight the strengths of its PowerSHAPE CAD software in data transfer, data repair and modelling for manufacture at the Develop3D Live conference and exhibition to be held at the University of Warwick on 20th March. PowerSHAPE is unique among CAD systems in offering 'Tribrid modelling', the ability to work with solids, surfaces and triangle models in a single environment.
PowerSHAPE's strength in data repair is centred on its Solid Doctor options. This enables users to tackle all the common problems that can be found when translating low precision and incomplete data, including gaps and overlaps between surfaces, or duplicated and missing surfaces, and generate a valid, high-precision model. A video demonstration can be seen at www.delcam.tv\soliddoctor.
The Solid Doctor uses a combination of automatic data repair tools and surface creation and editing options available within PowerSHAPE. This combination means that simple repairs can be carried out quickly and easily, while more complex problems can be overcome by deleting and replacing the existing surfaces within the model.
Once the model has been repaired, PowerSHAPE offers a range of direct modelling options to optimise the design for manufacture, in particular for the development of moulds and other types of tooling.
Many product designers still produce designs with insufficient draft, making it impossible to remove the as-designed part from its tooling, so the ability to add draft to CAD models is one of the most commonly-used options. This can be done either by using a specific value or by modifying the model interactively. The change can be applied to a single surface or to a group of surfaces, such as the sides of a pocket. In the latter case, the software is intelligent enough to maintain the radii of any fillets linking the sides.
Another common problem for the toolmaker is the use of impractical fillet sizes by designers. Small fillets require extra machining time so they extend delivery times and increase costs. In addition, they can restrict the flow of material in moulds or dies, so increasing processing times and pressures.
PowerSHAPE can use direct modelling to identify fillets within imported geometry, even when the modelling history has been lost. They can then be replaced with new fillets having more suitable radii.
Material flow problems can also occur when the thickness of items like reinforcing ribs is not sufficiently high. Again, PowerSHAPE can be used to modify the design, either by a specific value or interactively.
The same thickness modification option can be used to add machining allowances before manufacturing, for example when adding material to the split surfaces of a mould or when offsetting surfaces to create electrode designs from tooling designs.