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CAM Express with ST Speeds CAM Data Prep

By Margaret S. Gurney

CAM Express 6 offers ease of use with full-screen graphics and customizable radial icons.

With Siemens PLM Software’s (Plano, TX) recent announcement that it is shipping CAM Express software with synchronous technology (ST), the core CAM component of the Velocity Series portfolio now offers the user new history-free, feature-based design technology that is described as a breakthrough.

CAM Express version 6.0.1 includes additional model-editing tools that leverage synchronous technology for a more effective setup in preparation for NC programming. Plus, this latest release includes the ability to edit multi-CAD data as if it were native data. As a CAD-neutral CAM system, CAM Express, according to Siemens PLM Software, is able to make edits faster than the authoring CAD system — the source of the model is unimportant.

The implementation of synchronous technology within CAM Express will fundamentally change the way manufacturing engineers are able to interact with geometry to create NC programs.
— Bruce Boes, Siemens PLM Software, VP of global Velocity Series marketing

Synchronous technology enables intelligent selections with grab and manipulate features by topology. Modeling using synchronous technology is a key addition to the model-editing tools in CAM Express, says the company. Other model-edit functions include tools for wireframe, surface extraction, sewing, projections, trim/extend, and simple solids.

“The implementation of synchronous technology within CAM Express will fundamentally change the way manufacturing engineers are able to interact with geometry to create NC programs,” explained Bruce Boes, vice president of global Velocity Series marketing. “The technology enables users to infer constraints such as parallelism and features such as holes. So now geometry imported from non-native systems is a whole lot smarter, which allows programmers to take advantage of their sophisticated toolpath generators so they can create more accurate programs faster.”

CAM Express 6 provides expanded feature recognition of multi-stepped holes, including chamfers, rounds, and additional flats. Slots and pockets are recognized, with a knowledge database to apply machining processes to the feature sets.

What CAM Express Is
With CAM Express 6, users can unlock the potential of their machine tools, says the company. CAM Express 6 is a full-function, CAD neutral, NC programming system that increases productivity on machine tools and in the programming shop. Since it is CAD neutral, it can be used independently of specific CAD systems, and has key industry translators for data import — it is integrated with Solid Edge and NX.

Advances in 3-axis machining and feature-based automation include faster roughing provided by new corner rounding approaches and finer finishes achieved with fine-tuned point distribution. Its easy-to-deploy feature-based automation has a new knowledge editor and more feature recognition methods expand the available feature set. The continuing focus is on ease of use — evident in an improved user experience that focuses on the model and reduces distractions.

Also, CAM Express 6 is said to provide substantial new capabilities across the NC programming landscape with enhanced core machining functions and programming automation.

CAM Express 6 includes model-editing functions to prepare a workpiece for machining, including synchronous modeling functions. No matter the source of the geometry, models can be edited to provide boundaries, extend surfaces, cap gaps, and make other adjustments as needed.

CAM Express Expands PLM
"CAM Express is the first application beyond CAD in which we have implemented our new synchronous technology," said Bill McClure, vice president of development for Velocity Series, Siemens PLM Software. "This fundamentally shows the extensibility of the technology as we expand its use into other areas of PLM."

3-axis milling in CAM Express 6 delivers advanced roughing methods and updated treatments for corners, and stepovers are said to result in smoother, more efficient planar patterns and faster on-machine performance.

In this latest release of CAM Express, a set of model-editing tools allow NC programmers to make the changes they require without waiting for model refreshes or customer edits. CAM Express offers users the advanced programming capability needed by NC programmers in order to fully use advanced machine tools.

Manufacturers and machine shops, for example, can take full advantage of their most efficient and innovative machine tools such as high-speed mills, five-axis machines, or mill-turn multi-function equipment. It is imperative to be able to program them quickly and effectively, both to compete in the global market, and to deliver the expected return on investment (ROI).

Interactive CAM Express Demo
The first interactive CAM Express demo offered by Siemens PLM Software (see link below) encourages users to try CAM Express firsthand to see its ease of use. Siemens PLM Software says that CAM Express provides the essential NC Programming tool set that manufacturing companies require — assembly tools, material verification, machine simulation, milling, drilling, turning, and 3-, 4-, 5-axes, and more.

3-axis milling in CAM Express 6 directs semi-finish cutting with a full complement of rest milling options. The display illustrates regions that require rest milling and verifies that the workpiece is properly prepared for finishing.

The sessions covered in the demo include 5-axis Machining, the CAM Wizard, Feature Based Machining, High Speed Machining, a CAM Express Introduction, and Solid Edge CAM Express Interoperability. After you try the CAM Express demo, Siemens PLM Software explains that you can contact the company to schedule a live, onsite demo.

CAM Express Modular Demo
A second tutorial demo shows how the CAM Express Modular packaging (see link below) delivers industry-focused packages. Since CAM Express is available as a set of packages, it addresses key types of machining: 2 ½-axis Machining (for prismatic parts such as machinery components); 3-axis Machining (for fixed-axis milling, suited for mold and die machining); Mill-Turn Machining (for programming multi-function machines such as mill turn machines); and Advanced Machining (a full NC programming solution including 5-axis machining).

The company says within each package is a complete foundation, as each industry-focused version of CAM Express comes with a comprehensive base of core technology including access to the Siemens PLM Software online postprocessor library, a graphical postprocessor build and edit application, toolpath verification, CAD file translators, online help, shop documentation output, assembly handling, access to machining parameter library with proven machining data, and more.

3-axis milling in CAM Express 6 provides advanced methods for high-speed machining and surface finish. The Streamline operation fits a smooth, flowing toolpath to the part’s contours.

CAM Express Is Part of the Velocity Series
The company reminds us that the Velocity Series is a comprehensive family of modular, integrated solutions addressing the PLM needs of the mid-market. Consisting of a preconfigured family of digital product design, analysis, and data management software offerings, the Velocity Series strives to leverage best practices to provide ease-of-use and deployment.

Siemens PLM Software has leveraged its proven capability in CAM software to give customers software applications that offer power and capability with a low total cost of ownership. The system is said to contain the industry’s best practices preconfigured and built in to standard processes — less-experienced users can become fully productive with less training. Experienced users can maximize efficiency.

For more information on CAM Express, visit Siemens PLM Software.

Read why DE’s editors chose this as a Pick of the Week.

View the first interactive CAM Express demo offered by Siemens PLM Software.

The second tutorial demo walks the viewer through details of CAM Express Modular packaging.

Hear Tony Affuso, Chairman and CEO of Siemens PLM Software, describe how Siemens PLM Software’s Synchronous Technology is the next big shift in digital product development.

Additional manufacturing solutions (Tooling & Fixture Design) from Siemens PLM Software integrate seamlessly with CAM Express.

Read about some of the customers (case studies) who have implemented CAM Express as part of their PLM solution set.

Margaret S. Gurney is the editor for new products at Desktop Engineering magazine.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.