Part 4: Scalable CAM Technology Helps Small Shops Grow
How small shops can use advanced CAM software features to achieve steady incremental growth
Start-up shops have a unique opportunity to obtain a competitive advantage immediately by deciding to use the best obtainable cutting tools (from the standpoint of cost and performance) and maximizing the value of that decision by using advanced software capabilities that allow you to use those tools for all they are worth.
Quality cutting tools: Although they are more expensive, advanced carbide tool designs cut faster and last longer than conventional cutting tools. When paired with the right toolpaths and coolant, they can pay for themselves many times over in terms of increased productivity. Two to three times improvements in roughing cycle performance are frequently reported. However, these tools have to be paired with the right cutting motions to fully achieve all of what the new tool designs can potentially offer.
Intelligent, material-aware CAM software: Advanced cutting algorithms like those incorporated in Mastercam, with dynamic motion technology, continually adjust cutting tool feeds, speeds, entries, and exits based on the program’s knowledge of actual material conditions ahead of the tool at any moment in time. This provides for a consistently smooth tool motion that allows the tool to cut at the maximum allowable chip loads without any fear of generating excessive wear or breaking the tool.
This approach to cutting results in three major benefits to the end user:
- Tool wear and associated costs are substantially reduced
- Material removal rates are significantly increased
- And, because of the intelligence embedded in the software, CNC programs can be generated in a fraction of the time required to write programs with the previous generation of toolpaths