DEVELOP3D – Review: Autodesk PowerMill
New capabilities for each of the CAM products are detailed below. In addition to the technologies unveiled today, the company will also spotlight solutions for additive manufacturing, CAM, composites and more. The automation tools within FeatureCAM help manufacturers reduce programming time, allowing parts to be made faster.
Autodesk Introduces 2017 CAM Products for Industrial Manufacturing
Price See text Since the acquisition of Delcam by Autodesk a couple of years ago, the development team behind the high-end manufacturing products have been working on bringing the various products together in a more cohesive manner, starting with the user experience in This addresses an issue that has been a potential barrier to wider spread adoption amongst the manufacturing community.
Each with their own way of working and individual approaches to carrying out common tasks. As you might expect, from , all of the Power Solutions tools are receiving a makeover at a very core level as Autodesk is bringing the Ribbon style UI across the board.
While its use varies with each product, there are, of course, common aspects across the whole product line. The same is true for PowerShape and PowerInspect — typically workflows are the order of the day and it makes a lot of sense. In the case of PowerMill, a good example is the control you have over how tool-paths are structured in terms of the number of points on a curve etc.
PowerMill is the type of system that can be heavily modified, perhaps to reduce the onscreen clutter or to expose just those operations used daily. Functional updates PowerMill is a curious beast.
Its reputation was born from its development and subsequent adoption for the mould and die industry. That reputation has been built up over the last 20 or so years based on a couple of things. One of which is that the system is tuned for dealing with the complex forms found in the mould and die industry. Deep cavities, a need for high quality surface finishes and the drive to use the most advanced machine tools on the market. This moved from, now standard, highspeed machining strategies, through wider spread adoption of both positional and simultaneous five axis machining methods — mixing in more advanced tools like on machine verifi cation OMV along the way.
Machining of mould cavities is a hardcore business. Anything that gets you to that final set of operations quicker and gets the mould into production will be of interest to many. One of the most unique things about PowerMill is its ability to edit toolpaths. Toolpath editing Not in terms of each operation all CAM systems do this, obviously , but at a much more granular level — and do so without needing to recompute the entire toolpath.
In the release, the ability to dive in and adapt the angle of cutter approach in fi ve axis toolpaths was added. Click the cutter, invoke the operation and you use an on-screen triad to position the cutter and head to the position you want.
The system then recomputed that portion of the toolpath in its entirety. For , this has been extended to allow much more localised edits. Essentially, you can find areas that need tweaking, select them using a variety of selection methods , adapt the tool angle and the system handles the rest; adapting the transitions between those toolpaths to ease machine movement is handled automatically, as is the recomputation of those areas.
This also means that if you have a complex feature to machine, you can assign your cutter alignment angles to each face and have the system work out the best transition between those adjacent faces, quickly and easily. The release also introduces the ability to do the same for feed rates for surface groups. It allows you to define different feed rates for a surface group and the system handles the transition between them.
This lets you spot those areas and slow things down as you need to — in a single operation, rather than breaking it up into separate operations. This is backed up with a new diagnostic shading method which colour codes your toolpaths by feed rate, so you can see the end results more clearly, rather than relying on a purely numerical display. One which gave you a higher quality display of your current stock model during machining, but lacked the ability to rotate or zoom in.
The other gave you a more dynamic view, but at a lower level of quality. As you can imagine, these two have now been combined, meaning you have a single view model that provides a rich display of stock while allowing you to pan, zoom and rotate the model. To solve this, the release adds a centre line pass to the end of the operation to clear up that last bit of remaining stock. In terms of 2D machining updates, the existing toolset is pretty standard, but gets some new tricks courtesy of technology elsewhere in the Autodesk machining portfolio.
Another update is the ability to cut sidewalls and bottoms of pockets with a single toolpath. Previously, this would have required two separate operations. On the turning side, there have been a few key updates that afford the user more control over not what can be turned, but rather how it is done. A prime example is the greater control you now have over the order in turning operations — these can now be limited, reversed, divided or reordered as you see fit — again, without having to recompute the whole toolpath.
Another key update for turning in PowerMill is the addition of greater collision checking, which now moves beyond the workpeice and the cutter to include the machine, tool assembly, workpeice as well as fixtures and stock. Some of these other updates are industry specific, such as the ability to reuse the operations designed for blisk and impeller machining in other situations.
But, ultimately, this release is all about the user interface, particularly for existing users. This has always been my thought with regards to PowerShape and PowerMill. The types of workflows and processes are complex and involved.
That said, there are instances where forcing an established user community to relearn many of their daily work practices makes sense. Those time served users will no doubt have some readjusting to do, but I would expect this to be in the region of days, rather than weeks. The reward being more accessible software, particularly useful for those looking to push the boundaries of what they can do, rather than simply rinse and repeat variations of the same programming jobs.
Autodesk now has a huge amount of manufacturing knowledge in-house and a large scale set of technology to back it up. By reducing duplication of effort across these teams, you get more thought out workflows and quicker implementation of new technology or ideas.
In terms of cost, the bundling of the various systems here has been greatly simplified. As with all things Autodesk now, the products are available on subscription only. PowerShape allows you to quickly extend all surfaces resultant from reverse engineering a laser scan, enabling quick trimming Beyond PowerMill: In addition to being able to wrangle not only surfaces, solids and mesh data into shape, the system also started to gain more intelligent modelling tools with the introduction of the Parasolid kernel a few years ago.
It might be hugely useful for most PowerShape users, but for those looking to build intelligent and adaptable models perhaps of standard fixtures, stock etc. In this release, the tools continue to mature with not only greater control over selection using more intuitive methods , but also a new automated mesh fixing tool. Again, you have the same ability to step out of this wizard driven workflow at any point, fix your geometry manually, then step back into it to complete the task.
The last update relates to the design of electrodes. This is a bi-directional interface that allows you to pass data back from MPP to PowerShape to get a better suite of information for production. MPPP then uses that to calculate the burn parameters and feeds back the undersizing parameters to PowerShape, which is used to adapt the geometry.
PowerInspect Perhaps the biggest news for PowerInspect is improved collision detection and avoidance, using the same tools as PowerMill to detect collisions with the machine model.
Elsewhere, smaller updates include the ability to use single points extracted from scan data for RPS alignments. The tolerance legend in the CAD view now being shown on the right less interference with the inspection labels.
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Buy official Autodesk software online. Get prices for Autodesk products, including AutoCAD, Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya, Revit, Fusion and more. Updated Delcam FeatureCAM, PowerMill and PartMaker Software Now Part of Autodesk Manufacturing Portfolio. Autodesk PowerMill takes the ability to easily and effectively manufacture the Price and Availability. Autodesk will no longer offer new perpetual licenses for Delcam software PowerInspect, ArtCAM, and FeatureCAM, from January 31, Subscription licenses offer customers a lower entry price, greater choice of tools.
Review: Autodesk PowerMill 2018
Customers affected will be given the option to switch from maintenance to a rental-only subscription at a discounted rate, although the cost of doing so will also rise year-on-year until Cost of renewing maintenance to rise year-on-year until ; multi-year renewals removed Maintenance plans provide users with existing licences of Autodesk software with their only means of updating to the current release, Autodesk having discontinued sales of new perpetual licences in Under the new pricing structure, which comes into force on 7 May , the cost of remaining on maintenance will increase significantly:
VIDEO REVIEW: Autodesk to raise price of its software maintenance plans | CG Channel
Autodesk will no longer offer new perpetual licenses for Delcam software PowerInspect, ArtCAM, and FeatureCAM, from January 31, Subscription licenses offer customers a lower entry price, greater choice of tools. In , Autodesk acquired Delcam for approximately USD$ Million Financially encouraged, with “discounts” and promises of price rises for Autodesk license costs options – summary March In “AutoCAD”. Autodesk builds software that helps people imagine, design, and make a better world. one simple package, for one great price—Autodesk industry collections.