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MOLD MACHINING


The high-feed tooling uses a different radius on the tip of the tool, he said, and for moldmaking it can be used to create very precise fi nishes that are Class A, which eliminate the need for much of the benching, or hand polishing, required on various parts or molds. “This fi nishing allows us to get there 10–15% faster,” Schwartz said. “That’s the largest portion of the machining in the moldmaking area.”


EDM for Moldmaking Wire EDM technol- ogy also is an integral part of the tool-making process, as more molds are being de- signed to have fewer, but more complicated inserts that are wire- cut, Freebrey added. “Wire EDM is extreme- ly accurate, suitable for unmanned or over- night machining, and enables the machine to cut internal corners with very small corner radii based on the wire diameter and spark gap. It becomes easy to cut square apertures without the need to split the mold or produce accurate pin holes in a plate after heat treatment.”


Many moldmaking operations involve machining smaller


reinforced ribs that have features too small to effectively mill, noted Brian Pfl uger, EDM product line manager, Makino Inc. (Mason, OH), and necessitate taking an EDM approach. Last year, Makino added improvements to its Hyper Technolo- gies suite for EDM systems, which introduced a new Hyper-i control offering that signifi cantly boosts user-friendliness and effi ciency for Makino’s wire and sinker EDM machines. The Hyper Technology line added a combination of new


control features and a new generator for the EDM machines, Pfl uger said. “It’s harder and harder to fi nd expert, seasoned people, and operators gravitate toward the Hyper i,” he added. “Think of it as a giant iPad. It’s a very streamlined interface that breaks down barriers, like a smartphone or Windows technology, with a tiled user interface.” Training is a snap with this technology, he added. “It really is easy, and probably only takes a day or two to train new


88 AdvancedManufacturing.org | May 2016


operators,” Pfl uger said. Pickup cycles or a tooling probe, for instance, are all pre-programmed so a novice can easily learn to use the system, which includes hyper-linked information and training tools embedded in the machine control. “When they hit cycle start, they can have confi dence it’s going to do what they need to do.”


A conic nose ball milling operation shown on a mold in the TopSolid 7 Mold CAD/CAM software from Missler Software Inc.


Other improvements are the sinker EDM’s faster pro- cessing with a new generator, the engine of the machine, that helps boost jump speed by roughly 10 times, Pfl uger said. “It creates a hydraulic effect and fl ushes the debris from the cut zone,” he said. “We’re actually jumping up to 20 m and at 1.5G acceleration. It’s the 0–60 time that’s critical for EDM.”


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Cimatron, a subsidiary of 3DSystems 248-596-9700 / cimatron.com & 3dsystems.com


CNC Software Inc. 860-875-5006 / www.mastercam.com


Delcam 877-335-2261 / www.delcam.com


GF Machining Solutions 847-913-5300 / www.gfms.com/us Makino Inc.


513-573-7200 / www.makino.com


Missler Software Inc./TopSolid 630-889-8055 / www.topsolid.com Vero Software


+44 (0) 1189 226699 / www.verosoftware.com


Image courtesy Makino Inc.


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