Everything you need to know about programming complex parts

Everything you need to know about programming complex parts

In CAD/CAM, and particularly in machining, the manufacturing of parts with complex shapes must comply with the functional specifications expressed by the designer or the creator. The geometric model built in CAD is a digital reference model that must be reproduced as accurately as possible during the manufacturing phase. Complex shapes can sometimes be difficult to reproduce: adequate programming is therefore the key to success in CAD/CAM.

What is a complex part?

We speak of a complex part when there are topologies that must go through many machining paths, often with risk of collision, as well as areas that are difficult to access. The notion of the complexity of a part does not only depend on its shape or its size. In fact, the nature of the material used, the presence of residual stresses, the risk of overheating or the precision that is required are all factors that contribute to complicating the task for the machine tool operators.

Examples of complex parts

  • Aluminum moulds for plastic injection;
  • Automobile cylinder heads;
  • Inconel turbine blades for aeronautics;
  • Titanium bearings for the aerospace industry.

 

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Steps for successful programming

Before proceeding to the manufacturing stage, it is essential to be well prepared. The CAD file of the part to be designed must first be checked and the tolerances adjusted. It is obviously necessary to choose the machine and tools adapted to the expected result and, if possible, to go through a simulation stage.

Preliminary analysis

Before starting the manufacturing stage, all parts must be checked. First, make sure that it is the correct part and the correct version of the file.

Tolerance management

For a complex CAD model to be machinable, it often requires modification. In fact, in most situations, CAD models are drawn from nominal dimensions. However, manufacturing and machining operations impose tolerances that will need to be adjusted in the CAD files. If you are using a CAD/CAM software, think about its ability to modify the dimensions afterward.

Choosing machines and cutting tools

Not all machines are created equal. Choosing the right machine depends on many parameters such as the shape of the part, the size, the material, etc. Likewise, there is a multitude of cutting tools dedicated to machining complex parts. Their shape depends on the geometries to be drilled, turned or milled, and the material they are made of is selected according to the material to be machined as well as the kinematic parameters. The choice of machines and tools will therefore strongly determine the success of the machining process.

Go through a simulation step before starting the manufacturing

Machining complex parts is expensive, so it is best to avoid messing up the first parts and having to perform machining operations again. Therefore, simulating the tool paths in parallel with the programming allows the operator to compare the simulated model with the machining in progress, which prevents the risk of collision and enables real-time reaction.

Advantages of TopSolid

One of the challenges of CAD/CAM is producing complex parts using the minimum number of steps, the ideal is to be able to independently machine a part, without disassembly. TopSolid’Cam is therefore able to manage the programming of lathes/milling machines, whether turning combined with 2D or 3D milling operations as well as 4-axis or 5-axis continuous.

Managing the latest tools

TopSolid’Cam is able to manage the new barrel milling cutters. These milling cutters are best able to adapt to the shapes with low curvature, which makes it possible to significantly reduce the number of passes in the 5-axis tool path.

Dynamic machining in turning and milling

TopSolid’Cam integrates a high-performance machining function, which makes it possible to keep a constant volume of material removed during the machining process and therefore to wear out the cutting tools less quickly.

Easy to modify afterward

The TopSolid software, and in particular the version dedicated to TopSolid’Cam machining, is extremely flexible as it offers powerful features that allow you to modify the parts afterward. This is an asset for the manufacturing of complex parts, which require many adjustments.

Automatic shape detection

TopSolid can automatically detect basic shapes such as grooves, drillings and pockets on models designed with TopSolid, but also on imported models. This makes the software a valuable ally that helps to guide the operator to the right machining strategies through intelligent topological analysis.

Powerful algorithms

The programming of complex 4-axis and 5-axis parts requires high-performance simulation tools and powerful automation. TopSolid’Cam incorporates valuable automatic features such as collision detection, which helps to reduce machining defects. Thanks to all the machining algorithms offered by TopSolid, it is possible to process all the parts of a mould, for example.

How TOPSOLID supports you throughout the process of using your CAD/CAM software

How TOPSOLID supports you throughout the process of using your CAD/CAM software

From its implementation to its handling, the roll-out of a CAD/CAM software within the company is a major project, which requires the mobilization of human resources over time. Aware of this central issue, TOPSOLID places support and proximity to its customers at the heart of its value. In doing so, the CAD/CAM software solution publisher enables the company to overcome the obstacle of complexity inherent in the implementation of tools that are essential to its development. The company makes sure that its project is completed more quickly. How does this proximity translate? How does TOPSOLID support TopSolid users in the long term? Explanations.

Support starting from the preliminary phase of the CAD/CAM project

A CAD/CAM project is carried out in several stages. In advance, the company defines its objectives and establishes its specifications in order to choose the most suitable solution. This step can be difficult for the company: what are the business specificities to be taken into account when choosing the software? What features are required to get the maximum benefits from the tool? Managers do not necessarily have an outside perspective of their business, nor do they necessarily have an in-depth knowledge of the workings of CAD/CAM software.

This is why TOPSOLID deploys its teams to your company even before choosing a software.

A sales representative and a specialized technician will have a meeting with you in order to identify the technical and economic constraints related to your project and/or business, and will therefore explain your technical requirements.

Your technical requirements and the necessary budget are then evaluated.

At the end of this meeting, a second meeting is organized at your location in order to make a customized presentation to your teams. The demonstration/presentation is adapted according to the requirements jointly determined during the first meeting. You are able to make an informed decision when choosing your tool by discovering how it works and the benefits of a customized solution for your company’s needs.

Installing a CAD/CAM software is a long-term investment, therefore it is essential to choose the most suitable solution: this is what TOPSOLID allows you to do thanks to its support and personalized advice starting from the preliminary stage of your project.

 

Certified training for your teams in our TOPSOLID agencies

Each TopSolid offer includes a comprehensive training course provided to your users at a TOPSOLID agency. The publisher of TopSolid products has at least five agencies in France, for  beneficial geographical proximity. Paris, Nancy, Nantes, Lyon or Toulouse: you can deploy your training teams in the agency of your choice.

TopSolid training courses are recognized by the French State and are saved in the CNCP inventory. Being holders of recognized certification, your teams have significant added value and firmly expand their field of expertise. The company is reaping considerable benefits.

Do you have specific constraints? TopSolid course instructors can travel to your location: a dedicated consultant will visit your company directly for whatever period of time is required to successfully deploy and configure your solution and at the same time, ensure that your teams are efficiently trained.

Expert advisers available by telephone to answer any question

Holder of a CAD/CAM software license, you can benefit from unlimited customer support for a minimum period of 6 months via the TOPSOLID hotline. You can therefore benefit from direct and priority contact with professionals based in France: thanks to a competent and responsive customer service, able to individually monitor your portfolio, you are supported in the initial stages of the implementation of your CAD/CAM solution. This form of telephone support is reassuring: the teams using the TopSolid tools know that they can rely on experts if ever there are any questions, doubts or difficulties whatsoever.

Your project is implemented in the best conditions, quickly and efficiently.

Please note: using the hotline services is an opportunity for TOPSOLID to identify the recurring problems of its customers. TopSolid products can therefore be regularly updated and improved in line with the requirements and needs of users expressed during their conversations with customer service representatives. Thanks to its close relationship with customers, TOPSOLID is able to offer even more efficient and better adapted solutions.

Maintenance throughout the duration of your CAD/CAM license for long-term relationship

At the end of the six-month free hotline service, you can opt for a specific maintenance contract. You will have unlimited access to a dedicated customer support for the duration of your license agreement. This contract also gives you access to every new version of the software, thus guaranteeing the sustainability of your investment.

At the same time, TOPSOLID offers you access to the new training courses that are essential in the context of the development of your TopSolid CAD/CAM software. You should provide your users with certified training each year.

TOPSOLID is the only player on the market to offer an integrated modeling (CAD), manufacturing (CAM) solution via its TopSolid products. Beyond in-depth business expertise, TOPSOLID develops its close relationship with its customers on a daily basis. This is essential to develop CAD/CAM software in accordance with the user needs. TOPSOLID sets itself apart by supporting its customers in the field and offering a personalized consulting service throughout all phases when implementing their CAD/CAM software. This is why companies of all sizes have trusted TOPSOLID and have entrusted it with their projects for more than a quarter of a century. From small and medium sized companies to large groups, every company has a lot to gain from implementing innovative tools internally. TOPSOLID allows you to access it. Take a look at some of our loyal customers.

TopSolid CAD/CAM Product Range