Kormachine Delivers Complex Aerospace Parts
Kormachine is a fifth-generation manufacturing firm in Waco, Texas. The AS9100-certified company uses the latest equipment and technology, including Mastercam, to create products for discerning customers in industries such as aerospace, railway, automotive, and oil and gas.
Lathe, Mill, Multiaxis, Dynamic Motion
Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Transportation, Job Shop
When an aerospace company delivered a part that needed to be reverse engineered to Waco, Texas-based Kormachine, owner/operator Colter Kaspar received no accompanying print, no solid model. The customer wanted to take an extension off the part and then build a new one from scratch. The proprietary part measured 3 feet x 3 feet x 1 foot, consisting of a combination of Inconel, aluminum, stainless, and some copper brazing. Tolerances were a tight +/- 0.005 of an inch.
The Kormachine team worked together to reverse the dimensions, pulling them off as best they could because the original part was warped and cracked—bent and distressed in some places. They built the part from the ground up, drafting a new solid model, verifying it, and sending it out for approvals.
“The nice thing about creating a solid model in SOLIDWORKS® and linking it in Mastercam is we know how we want it, so we can build it again,” said Kaspar. “We build the structure as a wireframe and then extract the solid from that. We actually have hard edges to route from the machine path or the toolpath. It may cost a little more in time up front, but in the end, it saves us a bundle of time because we can program it much faster; we know which parts are ours.”
In order to get this part to the customer in two weeks, they performed model drafting using Mastercam’s Model Prep function, printing, and then running the actual toolpath itself. They broke the toolpaths into pieces and parts and put them back together again to see the whole. “We can build our stock models from raw materials and then we can take stuff off or add it as needed.”
Kaspar reflected on the time savings, “The quicker cuts get the job done faster. Generally, depending on a number of things, the right cut can save you a tremendous amount of time as well as tool life. We can plunge with the pocket and use the other three quarters length of the end mill instead of one quarter length which is essentially getting to the bottom. Time saving is the number one reason for us diving into the trickier cuts.”
For this operation they programmed the OptiRough toolpaths which use Dynamic Motion, but in a more precise way. The cut uses the entire flute length of the tool, but a small percentage of the tool’s diameter on the first cut, followed by several successive shorter cuts that bring the part into the net shape desired.
The result of being able to cut so deeply is the ability to push the machines. At times, Kaspar and crew can run the machines at 11,000 RPM spindle speed.
“Using Verify we can ensure the cut pre-posting, make the post, and read the post before sending it to the machine,” said Kaspar.
Kaspar relies on his local Mastercam Reseller, MLC CAD Systems, Inc. for training, post issues, and other questions. “Just a few weeks ago, our rep popped in as we were tackling a very difficult, complex part. It was great to have him visit, and he ended up spending four hours with us. Our posts are generally corrected within 24 to 48 hours, which is huge because there’s no stopping as far as yield,” said Kaspar.
“Generally, depending on a number of things—materials being one of them and the amount of time needed with a particular tool—the right cut can save you a tremendous amount of time as well as tool life. We can plunge with the pocket and use the other three quarters length of the end mill instead of one quarter length which is essentially getting to the bottom. Time saving is the number one reason for us diving into the trickier cuts. Time is one of our most important assets and that is what these cuts will do.”—Colter Kaspar, Owner/Operator, Kormachine, Waco, Texas
“Just a few weeks ago our rep popped in as we were tackling a very difficult complex part. It was great to have him visit, and he ended up spending four hours with us. Our posts are generally corrected within 24 to 48 hours, which is huge because there’s no stopping as far as yield.”—Colter Kaspar, Owner/Operator, Kormachine, Waco, Texas
Deliver complex parts with unusual geometries and tight tolerances to aerospace customers within short timeframes.
Mastercam, the most widely used CNC software for CAD/CAM operations.
- Solid model cut verification and machine simulation via Verify function ensure cutting accuracy.
- OptiRough high speed toolpaths cut machining time, reduce tooling costs, and minimize machine wear and tear.
- Model Prep function allows model drafting and editing without returning to the CAD file.
- Seamless integration with SOLIDWORKS software allows models to be created and then modified for different toolpaths and machining processes.