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SIMULATION SOFTWARE In more traditional subtractive machining, manufactur-


ers are also continuing to focus on an ongoing trend toward spreading the wealth with higher-end simulation tools, with “democratizing” and spreading the use of simulation includ- ing computer-aided engineering (CAE), typically used mainly by highly trained specialists, throughout the manufacturing design/production chain.


Simulating for Additive and Subtractive The latest NC simulation and verifi cation tools including


Vericut from CGTech (Irvine, CA) and NCSimul from Spring Technologies (Boston) are adding additive capabilities to simulate and verify processes in much the same way as they do for traditional machining.


“Additive manufacturing is the latest trend, with more


and more manufacturers incorporating this method into their catalog of capabilities,” said Gene Granata, CGTech product manager for Vericut. “CGTech is currently working with tech- nology partners such as GE, Dassault Aviation, Mazak, The University of Sheffi eld, and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology [CCAT] to collaborate and cultivate our AM module slated to be released in Vericut 8.1, due out later this year.”


by an NC program, Force ensures NC programs have optimal feed rates and ideal chip thicknesses that do not exceed safe force or power limits. This improves productivity immensely.” Technical improvements in the new Vericut include more than 100 user requests in Vericut 8.0.2 that streamline set up and improve user experiences, helping extend the life of tools, and avoiding costly machine spindle damage. “Some specifi c improvements include updates within the Force optimiza- tion module, Tool Manager now imports more available data about tool usage and performance, and the Vericut Drill and Fastener [VDAF] Simulation product benefi ts from an updated graphical user interface [GUI],” Granata added. “All of these enhancements are designed to help our customers verify and optimize their NC code as effi ciently as possible.” While simulating for additive is relatively new, it shows great


promise for manufacturing customers, noted Silvere Proisy, general manager, Spring Technologies, developer of NCSimul Machine and related simulation offerings. “For additive, we are simulating the motion of the machines and calculating the time needed for layering the metal,” Proisy said. Spring Technologies has concentrated mostly on metal additive manufacturing processes, Proisy noted, working with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in the aerospace/defense sector including builders of engines and landing gear that develop simula- tions to leverage capabilities within the company’s NCSimul software for these additive processes. Simulation of any manufac-


The latest CGTech Vericut software release 8.0.2 features the company’s new Force “physics-based” toolpath optimization module.


The new Vericut adds optimized toolpaths using data downloaded from the cloud. “With our latest Vericut software release 8.0.2, we have updated our Force ‘physics-based’ toolpath optimization module, which now receives input values directly from cloud-based tooling and benefi ts from several new features that streamline optimization setup,” Granata noted. “By micro-analyzing the cutting conditions encountered


62 AdvancedManufacturing.org | June 2017


turing process is critical, and with Spring’s NCSimul 4CAM software, manufacturing opera- tions get great fl exibility on the shop fl oor, Proisy said. One of the advantages of NCSimul is that users can simulate the manufac- turing cutting or additive process in actual G code, Proisy said, and


if there are cuts or moves that shouldn’t be made, it’s easy to go back and rebuild the process. “You don’t have to restart the process, you can edit the simulation ‘on the fl y’ and that allows you to rebuild the part,” he said. Other simulation software suppliers getting into the additive game include software heavyweights Dassault Systèmes (Paris) and Siemens PLM Software (Plano, TX).


Image courtesy CGTech


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