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PowerMILL 2012: A Powerful CAM System for Complex Parts
PowerMILL 2012 is a CAM system that provides you with complete control over the programming of complex parts. It utilises the latest technologies in multi-threading and background processing for highly efficient toolpath strategies, and is available as a 64-bit application[^1^]. PowerMILL 2012 offers new capabilities for machining undercuts, improved surface finish options and better automation tools[^1^].
In this article, we will review some of the features and benefits of PowerMILL 2012, and how it can help you achieve your machining goals.
One of the challenges of machining complex parts is dealing with undercuts, which are areas that cannot be reached by a standard tool from above. PowerMILL 2012 introduces a new option for machining undercuts using a special tool holder that allows the tool to tilt at an angle[^1^]. This enables you to access hard-to-reach areas and create smooth transitions between surfaces.
PowerMILL 2012 also supports the use of lollipop cutters, which are tools with a spherical end that can be used to machine undercuts from above. PowerMILL 2012 can automatically detect the undercut regions and generate appropriate toolpaths for lollipop cutters[^1^].
Improved Surface Finish
Another challenge of machining complex parts is achieving a high-quality surface finish that meets your specifications. PowerMILL 2012 offers several options for improving the surface finish of your parts, such as:
Constant Z finishing: This option creates toolpaths that follow the contours of the part in a constant Z direction, resulting in a uniform surface finish[^1^].
Optimised raster finishing: This option creates toolpaths that follow the part geometry in a raster pattern, but optimises the stepover distance and direction to minimise cusps and scallops[^1^].
Trochoidal finishing: This option creates toolpaths that use a circular motion to avoid full-width cuts and reduce heat and tool wear. It also allows you to use larger tools and higher feed rates for faster machining[^1^].
Vortex finishing: This option creates toolpaths that use a spiral motion to remove material in a single pass, reducing machining time and improving surface quality. It also reduces tool vibration and deflection by maintaining a constant engagement angle[^1^].
Better Automation Tools
PowerMILL 2012 also offers better automation tools to help you streamline your workflow and save time. Some of these tools include:
Templates: You can create and save templates that contain your preferred settings and options for different types of parts or operations. You can then apply these templates to new projects or existing projects with a few clicks[^1^].
Macros: You can record and edit macros that automate repetitive tasks or complex sequences of commands. You can then run these macros on demand or assign them to buttons or keyboard shortcuts[^1^].
FeatureCAM integration: You can import feature-based models from FeatureCAM, which is another CAM software from Autodesk. You can then use PowerMILL 2012 to generate toolpaths for these features using your templates or macros[^1^].
PowerSHAPE integration: You can import solid models from PowerSHAPE, which is a CAD software from Autodesk. You can then use PowerMILL 2012 to generate toolpaths for these models using your templates or macros[^3^].
PowerMILL 2012 is a powerful CAM system that provides you with complete control over the programming of complex parts. It utilises the latest technologies in multi-threading and background processing for highly efficient toolpath strategies, and is available as a 64-bit application. PowerMILL 2012 offers new capabilities for machining undercuts, improved surface finish options and better automation tools.
If you are interested in learning more about PowerMILL 2012, you can download a free version from the developer's website[^1^] or join the Autodesk PowerMill Forum to ask questions 061ffe29dd