Archive for year: 2016

December 5, 2016
05 Dec 2016

MecSoft Releases RhinoCAM 2017

Irvine, CA, December 5, 2016: MecSoft Corporation, the developer of industry leading CAD/CAM software solutions, has announced the availability of RhinoCAM 2017, the newest version of MecSoft’s integrated CAM solution for the Windows version of Rhinoceros 5.0.

Release Highlights

  • Feature detection and Feature Based milling have been introduced. Machining features such as 3 Axis Pockets, Prismatic Pockets, Slots, Planar Faces, and Bosses can now be detected in Solid models (both surface and meshes) and toolpath methods applied to these features.
  • New 4 Axis Drive Surface Operation for true 4 Axis Milling has been introduced.
  • New Slot Milling Operation for single line and trochoidal machining of slots has been introduced.
  • Feed rate slowdown in corners has been implemented in the toolpath editor.
  • Tooltip help and algebraic operations in all dialogs have been implemented.

“Feature based machining and automated milling has arrived with RhinoCAM! This new release turbocharges the productivity for our users and ushers in intelligent automation in machining at a price point that is simply hard to match. With a continued emphasis on automation of programming, along with our constant focus on improving our toolpath methods, we are proud to release this product to our customers.”, stated Joe Anand, President and CEO of MecSoft Corporation.

About MecSoft

Headquartered in Irvine, California, MecSoft Corporation is a worldwide leader in providing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software solutions, addressing both Additive and Subtractive manufacturing technologies, for the small to mid-market segments. These solutions include products VisualCAD/CAM/3DPRINT®, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS® and RhinoCAM™ & Rhino3DPRINT. These software products deliver powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for users in the custom manufacturing, rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, mold making, aerospace, automotive, tool & die, woodworking, and education industries.

For the latest news and information, visit mecsoft.com or call (949) 654-8163.

December 5, 2016
05 Dec 2016

Mecsoft Releases VisualCAD/CAM 2017

Irvine, CA, December 5, 2016: MecSoft Corporation, the developer of industry leading CAD/CAM software solutions, has announced the availability of VisualCAD/CAM 2017 the latest version of their flagship standalone CNC programming software.

Release Highlights

  • Feature detection and Feature Based milling have been introduced. Machining features such as 3 Axis Pockets, Prismatic Pockets, Slots, Planar Faces, and Bosses can now be detected in Solid models (both surface and meshes) and toolpath methods applied to these features.
  • New 4 Axis Drive Surface Operation for true 4 Axis Milling has been introduced.
  • New Slot Milling Operation for single line and trochoidal machining of slots has been introduced.
  • Feed rate slowdown in corners has been implemented in the toolpath editor.
  • Tooltip help and algebraic operations in all dialogs have been implemented.

“Feature based machining and automated milling has arrived with VisualCAD/CAM 2017! This new release turbocharges the productivity for our users and ushers in intelligent automation in machining at a price point that is simply hard to match. With a continued emphasis on automation of programming, along with our constant focus on improving our toolpath methods, we are proud to release this product to our customers.”, stated Joe Anand, President and CEO of MecSoft Corporation.

Free demo software of VisualCAD/CAM 2017 can be downloaded at MecSoft.com.

About MecSoft

Headquartered in Irvine, California, MecSoft Corporation is a worldwide leader in providing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software solutions, addressing both Additive and Subtractive manufacturing technologies, for the small to mid-market segments. These solutions include products VisualCAD/CAM/3DPRINT®, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS® and RhinoCAM™ & Rhino3DPRINT. These software products deliver powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for users in the custom manufacturing, rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, mold making, aerospace, automotive, tool & die, woodworking, and education industries.

For the latest news and information, visit mecsoft.com or call (949) 654-8163.

November 29, 2016
29 Nov 2016

ART to PART at PBE with RhinoCAM

Anthony Pelosi, CNC Lead with PBE (Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design & Consulting) located in Austin TX, uses RhinoCAM-ART to convert artwork into geometry suitable for machining. With RhinoART, PBE designers can model artistic shapes from color or black/white raster bitmap images. They can then machine those shapes using RhinoCAM’s MILL module.

“What I like about RhinoART is that it doesn’t need a detailed bitmap image. Even a medium quality JPEG image can provide incredible results. I’ve been able to create 3D geometry from 2D photos with an incredible amount of detail.”

 – Anthony Pelosi, CNC Lead, PBE (Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design & Consulting)

3-dimensional Relief model In this example, Anthony uses RhinoCAM-ART to create a 3-dimensional Relief model in Rhino 5.0 from a 2-dimensional bitmap file. The image file shows the distribution of salt/share substrate deposits. The goal at PBE was to create a wall-mounted exhibit depicting the salt/shale deposits in relief that could be machined using RhinoCAM. Refer to the figures below for learn more about this project.

RhinoCAM-ART

(Figure E) This PBE project shows RhinoCAM-ART being used to create a 3-dimensional Relief model in Rhino 5.0 from a 2-dimensional bitmap image file. The bitmap image is shown in the dialog in the image above and is also shown separately below with the magnified area highlighted.

Refer to Figure E above:

  1. The RhinoCAM-ART Browser is shown with the 3D Relief operation displayed.
  2. The 3D Relief operation dialog is displayed. This dialog is used to manipulate the original bitmap image prior to creating the 3D model. The different tabs allow you to apply color filters, add relief curves and adjust other parameters such as size, relief height and a smoothing factor.
  3. Once generated, the 3D relief model is displayed on the screen.
  4. If you zoom in you can clearly see the varying degrees of relief height applied to each pixel color of the original bitmap image. The bitmap image of the salt/share substrate deposits is shown to the right with the magnified area from the image above shown highlighted area.
3D Relief model

(Figure F) This image shows the 3D Relief model of the salt/shale substrate deposits created from a bitmap image in RhinoCAM-ART being machined out of Plum Creek MDF from toolpaths generated in RhinoCAM-MILL. The actual panel measures 48.72” x 53.9”. A 3 axis Parallel Finishing operation is being cut using a ⅛” diameter ball nose cutter at a 10% step-over. Both ART and MILL are separate components of the RhinoCAM plugin for Rhino 5.0. All ART and MILL data created in RhinoCAM are stored with the Rhino 5.0 part file and can be regenerated if the geometry changed in Rhino.

More about PBE

PBE features a multifaceted group of designers, engineers, fabricators, programmers, and content specialists providing the following services: Project Management, Content Research & Development, Gallery Curation, Video & Audio Production, Scriptwriting, Exhibit Design, Feasibility & Flow Studies, Graphic Design, Interface & Interactive Design, Custom Programming, 3D Visualization & Animation, Lighting & Electronics, Fabrication & Sculpting, and Installation. You can see more of the work done by Paul Bernhard Exhibit, Design & Consulting by visiting their website.

November 28, 2016
28 Nov 2016

4 MILLION Lines of G-Code with RhinoCAM at PBE!

Anthony Pelosi, CNC Lead at PBE (Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design & Consulting) located in Austin TX, recently discussed one of his RhinoCAM projects with us. It involved the topographic exhibit design and production of a geographical site recently designated a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO). The geospatial data was loaded into Rhino 5.0. The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation that RhinoCAM posted to PBE’s Laguna Shop Smart 2 CNC machine packed a total of 4,041,337 lines of G-code (23 hours of machine time). Refer to the figures below to learn more about this amazing project!

RhinoCAM

Figure A – This PBE project shows RhinoCAM being used to generate 3 Axis toolpaths on a high resolution 3-dimensional surface elevation terrain model of a geographic world heritage site. The scale model is 88” long by 34” with an overall height of 4”.

Refer to Figure A above:

  1. The high-resolution surface elevation terrain model is displayed in Rhino 5.0.
  2. The RhinoCAM Machining Browser is shown on the left with the Machining Job defined comprised of a 3 Axis Setup, a 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing and a 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation.
  3. A closeup area of the terrain model (inset upper-right) shows clear details including river basins, mountain ranges and estuary runoff!
  4. The same section (insert lower-right) is shown with the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing toolpath superimposed on the surface terrain model.
RhinoCAM

Figure B – RhinoCAM is shown simulating the 4.6 MILLION lines of g-code required for this exhibit!!

Refer to Figure B above:

  1. The RhinoCAM Machining Browser is shown on the left with the Simulation tab selected.
  2. The 88”x34”x4” stock model is shown with cut material being simulated.
  3. The 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation contains 650,000 lines of g-code and is shown previously simulated on the far side of the stock model using a ¼” ball mill, an offset cut pattern, a step over of 40% (of the tool diameter), a step down of 50% and a stock offset of 0.025” left on the part.
  4. On the front side, we see the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation in the process of being simulated.
  5. A close up of the toolpath cut material simulation shows the river basin and estuary runoff shown in Figure A(3) above being simulated.
  6. The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation contains 4 MILLION lines of g-code shown in the RhinoCAM Toolpath Editor. The operation uses the same ¼” ball mill with a stock allowance set to zero (finish cutting on the surface of the high-resolution terrain model) at a 12% step over.
RhinoCAM toolpaths

Figure C – Here we see the Machining Operations Information dialog for the RhinoCAM toolpaths shown in Figure B above. The 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing is estimated to take 23 hours of machine time cutting at 550 inches/minute while the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing is estimated to take about 3 hours at the same cut feed rate.

RhinoCAM

(Figure D) The completed surface elevation terrain model cut from RenShape High Density Modeling Board is displayed as it was taken off the CNC machine. The river basin and estuary runoff shown in Figures A and B are shown inset lower right. In this project, PBE clearly demonstrates the power of RhinoCAM!

More about PBE

PBE features a multifaceted group of designers, engineers, fabricators, programmers, and content specialists providing the following services: Project Management, Content Research & Development, Gallery Curation, Video & Audio Production, Scriptwriting, Exhibit Design, Feasibility & Flow Studies, Graphic Design, Interface & Interactive Design, Custom Programming, 3D Visualization & Animation, Lighting & Electronics, Fabrication & Sculpting, and Installation. You can see more of the work done by Paul Bernhard Exhibit, Design & Consulting by visiting their website.

November 15, 2016
15 Nov 2016

RhinoCAM Helps Create CNC Machines!

Advanced Robotic Technology (ART)Advanced Robotic Technology (ART), located in Queensland (QLD) Australia, uses RhinoCAM to machine prototype and production components for their line of 3 axis CNC routers, and up to 10 axis CNC plasma cutters!

ART is a CNC machine tool manufacturer and reseller who bundles RhinoCAM and VisualMILL CAM software from MecSoft Corporation, along with their routers which are sold directly to consumers in the manufacturing industry.

ART uses RhinoCAM to manufacture the very CNC machines that are driven by RhinoCAM toolpaths! How cool is that?

The Machining Job Tree is shown in the RhinoCAM browser on the left with multiple CNC setups programmed. A 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation is selected and it’s toolpath is shown displayed on the part’s surface. The final component after CNC machining is shown in the inset in the bottom-left image.

The Machining Job Tree is shown in the RhinoCAM browser on the left with multiple CNC setups programmed. A 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation is selected and it’s toolpath is shown displayed on the part’s surface. The final component after CNC machining is shown in the inset in the bottom-left image.

 More prototype components from ART’s newest 10 axis plasma cutter robotic arm design, machined with RhinoCAM.


More prototype components from ART’s newest 10 axis plasma cutter robotic arm design, machined with RhinoCAM.

And more...

And more…

More about Advanced Robotic Technology

Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) came from humble beginnings to become an international supplier of quality and state of the art CNC Router and Plasma profile machines. Now employing over 40 personnel, ART is developing machines with up-to-the-minute cutting technology locally and internationally.

Today, ART is a world leader in CNC technology. Their CNC machines have enabled manufacturers to make drastic increases in productivity. Manufactures ranging from ship and boat builders, cabinet makers, sheet metal workers, steel fabrication, plastic engineering as well as others, have been able to benefit from ART’s CNC routers and plasma cutters.

More about RhinoCAM

RhinoCAM is a Computer Aided Machining (CAM) plug-in for CNC that runs completely inside of Rhinoceros 5.0. This plug-in is a general-purpose machining program targeted at the general machinist. RhinoCAM marries the power of Rhino’s freeform modeling with the legendary machining capabilities of VisualCAM to bring you a product of unrivaled capability for free form surface machining.

RhinoCAM

November 8, 2016
08 Nov 2016

The Anatomy of a RhinoCAM Part

Advanced Robotic Technology (ART), located in Queensland (QLD) Australia is a family owned and operated company that prides itself in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art CNC routers, plasma cutters, laser cutters and milling machines.

RhinoCAM

Final Prototype Part

RhinoCAM

Similar Robotic Arm

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following Rhino3D part, submitted for discussion by Greg White of the engineering staff at ART is a great example of the typical 2½ and 3 axis work-flow and anatomy of a 3D model programmed for CNC machining using RhinoCAM. The component is part of a robotic arm assembly of ART’s newest 10 axis CNC plasma cutter (a similar arm is shown here).

The 3D part geometry was originally designed in SOLIDWORKS and then loaded into Rhino. The associative CNC machining strategies (i.e., the toolpaths) are designed using the RhinoCAM plugin and are saved with the Rhino part file. Any revisions to the geometry in Rhino are automatically incorporated into the toolpath strategies!

RhinoCAM

Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) designs prototype & production components for their multi-axis routers and plasma cutters in the Rhinoceros CAD system. They then use the RhinoCAM plugin from MecSoft Corporation to design their machining strategy and post toolpaths to their CNC routers for manufacturing. This illustration identifies the anatomy of a typical RhinoCAM part from ART. Each item in the illustration is listed below with details.

1. Part Geometry

Part geometry for machining can be created in Rhino or imported using any of the file formats supported by Rhino. RhinoCAM machining strategies are associative to the Rhino part geometry. If geometry is revised, RhinoCAM flags all related toolpaths for regeneration, at which time, the revisions are reflected automatically in all toolpaths.

Any Rhino geometry type can be used for machining including points, curves, surfaces, meshes and solids. In this example, ART uses closed polysurfaces for 3 Axis part definition, closed poly-curves and surface edges for 3 Axis containment and a variety of open and closed poly curves for 2½ Axis containment.

In this example, ART is machining a set of prototype parts grouped together in one stock piece. ART has chosen to connect the parts with tabs, in this case, modeled directly in Rhino. RhinoCAM can also add tabs automatically during 2½ Axis Profiling operations.

RhinoCAM

ART uses polysurfaces for part definition and poly curves and surface edges for toolpath containment.

2. Machine Setup, Material & Stock Definition

The default Machine Coordinate System (MCS) is aligned with the World Origin in Rhino. This defines the XYZ orientation of the machine tool for the Setup. This part currently has one Setup defined that contains the toolpath strategies used to machine these series of parts from one side. RhinoCAM supports an unlimited number of Setups in any orientation in a single part file.

In this example, ART shows Setup 1 containing the toolpath strategies they need to cut the parts from one side. Depending on your RhinoCAM configuration, you can add additional setups to the Machining Job Tree (see Item #4 below) to machine the parts from the opposite side of the stock.

RhinoCAM

The Machine Coordinate System (MCS) is positioned on the top south-west corner of the stock definition with the stock material set to 6061 aluminum.

3. Tool Library & Knowledge Base

Once a tool is defined (ball mill, end mill, drill, tap, etc.), they can be saved to a Tool Library for later use. Once you create a toolpath operation, it can be saved to a machining Knowledge Base for later use.

The Knowledge Base contains all of the information for that specific type of toolpath, including feeds & speeds, tool, cutting parameters, clearances, etc. Feeds & speeds values can be assigned to a tool as well as an operation. You never have to define a tool or toolpath twice!

The machining Knowledge Base also supports Geometry Rules. This means that if you machine families-of-parts, your CAM programming can be automated from the Knowledge Base for true push-button machining!

RhinoCAM

The Tools available in ART’s active Tool Library are listed. Toolpath operations in the current part, assigned to each tool are listed under the Tools tree.

4. Machining Job Tree

When a toolpath operation is created, it is added to the Machining Job tree in the order you wish it to be processed. For example, you can group together all operations that use the same tool (minimizing tool changes) or by operation type (i.e., drilling, roughing, finishing, etc.). When operations are retrieved from your Knowledge Base, this organization is maintained. You can post one, multiple, or all operations from your Machining Job and their order will be maintained in the posted g-code file even if the MCS Setup changes.

RhinoCAM

The Machining Job tree organizes your machining strategy. Here, ART uses a machining operation set called MOp Set 1 as a container for a variety of 2½ and 3 Axis operations while using MOp 5mm End Mill to contain all operations that use a 5mm end mill. Another MOp Set called 4mm End Mill appears lower in the tree (not shown) and contains all operations that use a 4mm end mill.

5. Hole Machining Strategies

These parts have a series of 41 holes of different sizes and depths that need to be drilled. The depths allow for the Standard Drill type to be used.  Other types include Deep Drill, Breakchip Drill, Countersink Drill and User Defined Drill. ART has utilized the Drill Sorting feature in RhinoCAM that allows for various sorting rules. In this case, Minimum Distance Sorting has reduced drilling time by 25%!

RhinoCAM

2½ Axis Hole Machining is utilized to drill a series of 41 holes of various sizes and depths. Using Minimum Distance Sorting, ART has reduced machining time for drilling by 25%!

6. 2½ Axis Blind & Thru Pocketing Strategies

Being a 2½ Axis operation, Pocketing only needs surface edges or simply 2D curves to control them in X and Y. A Pocket’s Z depth can be entered directly or extracted from 3D geometry by simply picking a point on the model. Pocketing also combines both Roughing and Finishing in one operation with separate Depth per Cut controls for both. In this example, ART defines both blind and thru pockets.

RhinoCAM

2½ Axis Pocketing operation: Control Geometry: Closed poly curve, Tolerance: 0.5, Stock: 0, Tool: 4mm End Mill, Cut Pattern: Offset, Cut Direction: Climb, Step Over: 40% of Tool Diameter, Location of Cut Geometry: At Top, Total Cut Depth: 23.5, Rough Depth: 21.5, Finish Depth: 2, Rough Depth per Cut: 2.5, Finish Depth per Cut: 1

RhinoCAM

Top view of 2½ Axis Pocketing operation

RhinoCAM

2½ Axis Pocketing operation: Control Geometry: Closed poly curve, Tolerance: 0.5, Stock: 0, Tool: 12mm End Mill, Stock: 0, Cut Pattern: Offset, Cut Direction: Mixed, Step Over: 40% of Tool Diameter, Location of Cut Geometry: At Top, Total Cut Depth: 40.5, Rough Depth: 30.5, Finish Depth: 10, Rough Depth per Cut: 5.5, Finish Depth per Cut: 3

RhinoCAM

Top view of 2½ Axis Pocketing operation

7. 2½ Axis Engraving Strategies

Engraving is an extremely versatile strategy because (a) the center tip of the tool will always follow the open or closed curve selected to control it and (b) it supports a full variety of tool types (14 actually). In this case, ART uses the 2½ Axis Engraving operation to cut two open-ended blind slots using lines as control geometry.

RhinoCAM

2½ Axis Engraving operation: Control Geometry: Lines, Tool: 5mm End Mill, Tolerance: 0.03, Location of Cut Geometry: At Top, Total Cut Depth: 10, Rough Depth: 8, Finish Depth: 2, Rough Depth per Cut: 2, Finish Depth per Cut: 2, Cut Traversal between Cut Levels: ZigZag.

RhinoCAM

Top view of 2½ Axis Engraving operation

8. 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing Strategies

3 Axis Horizontal Roughing is used as an area clear operation. The control geometry selected serves to contain the toolpath in X and Y. The part surface and the Stock value entered for the operation limits the tool depth in Z. A Step down value also determines the number of cut levels in Z. This operation is often referred to Z-Level Roughing or Roughing in Levels.

If no control geometry is selected, the entire stock is cut in relation to the part, wherever the selected tool can reach. If control geometry is selected (such as closed curves), it will limit the toolpath in X and Y. In the first operation shown below, ART uses a closed loop of surface edges as control geometry and limits the Top and Bottom of the cut in the Z axis. In the second operation, a closed planar curve is used to contain the operation to a limited area of the stock and part.

RhinoCAM

3 Axis horizontal roughing: Control geometry: closed edge surface loop, Tool: 12mm End Mill, Tolerance: 0.25, Stock: 0.6, Cut Pattern: Offset, Cut Direction: Mixed, Step over: 25% of Tool Diameter, Stepdown: 3.0, Top containment: 1.0, Bottom Containment: -35.0, Engage/Retract: Ramp, Ramp, Always engage in previously cut area: YES

RhinoCAM

Top view of 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation

RhinoCAM

3 Axis horizontal roughing: Control geometry: Closed Polycurve, Tool: 12mm End Mill, Tolerance: 0.25, Stock: 0.6, Cut Pattern: Offset, Cut Direction: Mixed, Step over: 25% of Tool Diameter, Stepdown: 3.5, Top containment: 1.0, Bottom Containment: -37.0, Engage/Retract: Ramp, Always engage in previously cut area: YES

RhinoCAM

Top view of 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation

9. 3 Axis Parallel Finishing Strategies

3 Axis Parallel Finishing is a toolpath strategy used either as a pre-finishing operation or as a finishing operation. In this method, the cutter is restricted to follow the contours of the part in Z while being locked to a series of parallel vertical planes. ART uses this strategy as a finishing operation cutting areas previously roughed out. The cutter is controlled in X and Y by the same closed poly curve used for Horizontal Roughing shown in Item 8 above) and is controlled in Z by the contour of the part’s surfaces.

RhinoCAM

3 Axis Parallel Finishing: Control geometry: Closed Polycurve, Tool: 12mm Ball Mill, Tolerance: 0.03, Stock: 0, Cut Direction: Mixed, Angle of Cuts: 90, Cutting Area Control: Tops Only, Stepover: 0.5, Z Containment Highest Z: 1.0, Lowest Z: -37.5, Entry/Exit: Linear, Cut Connections: Straight

RhinoCAM

Closeup of 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation showing Stepover, Angle of Cut, and Cut Connections

RhinoCAM

Top view of 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation. Notice that the cut is limited to the part’s surfaces even though the control geometry selected is a larger closed poly curve. The red toolpaths represent retracts in areas where the there is no part geometry to cut.

10. Cut Material Simulation & G-Code Posting

Advanced Cut Material Simulation is now available in all RhinoCAM configurations. One or all operations can be simulated at the same time. The cut material simulated from the previous operation automatically serves as the stock model for the next operation simulated. You can control the simulation speed, accuracy, as well as the display states for the tool and holder. You can also Compare the cut material from an operation to the actual part with graphic feedback with color-coded tolerance bands.

RhinoCAM

Hole machining and the first 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation is simulated.

RhinoCAM

Hole machining and the second 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation simulated.

RhinoCAM

The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation is simulated.

RhinoCAM

Cut material simulation comparison with the actual part showing tolerance bands in various colors. Tighter toolpath operation tolerances will affect the tolerance bands displayed.

More about Advanced Robotic Technology (ART)

Advanced Robotics Technology

Greg White, Advanced Robotics Technology

Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) came from humble beginnings to become an international supplier of quality and state of the art CNC Router and Plasma profile machines. Now employing over 40 personnel, ART is developing machines with up-to-the-minute cutting technology locally and internationally. Today, ART is a world leader in CNC technology. Their CNC machines have enabled manufacturers to make drastic increases in productivity. Manufacturers ranging from ship and boat builders, cabinet makers, sheet metal workers, steel fabrication, plastic engineering as well as others, have been able to benefit from ART’s CNC routers and plasma cutters.

More about RhinoCAM

RhinoCAM is a Computer Aided Machining (CAM) plug-in for CNC that runs completely inside of Rhinoceros 5.0. This plug-in is a general purpose machining program targeted at the general machinist. RhinoCAM marries the power of Rhino’s freeform modeling with the legendary machining capabilities of VisualCAM to bring you a product of unrivaled capability for free form surface machining.

RhinoCAM

November 1, 2016
01 Nov 2016

Historic Aerospace Restoration with RhinoCAM

AirMotive Specialties, Inc. (Salinas, CA) is well known in aviation circles worldwide for its quality restorations of vintage WWII-era aircraft such as the P51 Mustang Fighter aircraft shown here. This effort in many cases requires reverse engineering the original aircraft components.

AirMotive relies on RhinoCAM and their ShopSabre CNC router to manufacture many of these components including the form-press dies they use to manufacture the aerodynamic skin panels of the aircraft. An example of one of these dies in shown below.

RhinoCAM

Main Image: Bolt Cover Skin Panel from the P51 Mustang Fighter Bomber modeled in Rhino with the RhinoCAM plugin loaded. 3 Axis Roughing and Finishing operations are displayed in the Machining Job tree.

Inset Left: The Bolt Cover positive die is being machined from the RhinoCAM toolpaths on AirMotive’s ShopSabre CNC.

Inset Right: The resulting Bolt Cover Skin Panel is shown mounted on an actual P51 Mustang.

RhinoCAM

October 25, 2016
25 Oct 2016

RhinoCAM & ShopSabre at AirMotive Specialties, Inc.

AirMotive Specialties, Inc. (Salinas, CA) uses their 12×6 foot ShopSabre CNC to machine aircraft components and dies from 2½ and 3 Axis toolpaths generated using RhinoCAM. AirMotive specializes in the restoration of vintage WWII-era aircraft such as the P51 Mustang Fighter aircraft and the Beechcraft AT-11 trainer aircraft. In the example below, the Aft Spar to Skin supports for the P51 are shown drawn in Rhino 5, toolpaths generated in RhinoCAM 2016, and machined on their ShopSabre CNC. You can also see the final components shown inset on the upper right.

RhinoCAM

Main Image: The P51 Mustang Aft Spar to Skin supports is shown in RhinoCAM with the toolpaths being simulated. Inset Left: The G-Code file generated from RhinoCAM’s ShopSabre WinCNC/ATC post processor. Inset Right Top: AirMotive’s 12×6 ShopSabre CNC is shown cutting RhinoCAM’s toolpaths. Inset Right Bottom: The completed P51 Mustang Aft Spar to Skin supports shown fresh off the press and ready for assembly.

In the second image below, a vacuum form die is being machined for the Beechcraft AT-11 out of high-density MDF.

RhinoCAM

Main Image: 3 Axis Parallel Finishing toolpaths for a front canopy section of the Beechcraft AT-11 training aircraft is shown being simulated in RhinoCAM using a ½ Inch Ball mill with a 15% (0.0075) step over. Right Top: An actual WWII-era image of the Beechcraft AT-11 with the front canopy indicated (historic image courtesy of Wikipedia and Beechcraft Corporation). Right Bottom: The vacuum form die is being machined on the ShopSabre CNC machine from 36×36 laminated sections of High-Density MDF.

RhinoCAM

October 18, 2016
18 Oct 2016

All Aboard! VisualCAM Used to Replicate Historical British Locomotive

With the help of VisualCAM software, engineer Roger Froud of Amytech (UK) Ltd. is building his very own scale (1:11.3) working replica of the famous British Railway Systems Locomotive 1501.

The original locomotive now residing at the Severn Valley Railway, is a Hawksworth design 0-6-0PT tank engine built in 1949.

VisualCAM

Roger’s working scale replica of the “1501” will be 900mm (35.4 inches) long by 254mm (10 inches) wide and 330mm (13 inches) tall. It will weigh 60kg (132lbs) and be able to tow 2 adults on a 5” gauge track!

This IS NOT a model kit! Roger uses VisualCAM software to machine the components needed in his working scale replica based on the actual 1940s designs. The images shown below show the Safety Valve and Top Feed components. The valve sits on the top of the boiler and also provides a route into the boiler for the feed water. The two flanges on the sides are where the water is fed in from the non-return valves that are bolted to it. There are two copper pipes inside the boiler that take this water to the front of the boiler and away from the hottest parts so that cold water doesn’t end up being ejected when the safety valves blow!

VisualCAM

(Left) Completed safety valve body component. (Right) The safety valve body being Machined from Phosphor Bronze bar stock.

VisualCAM

(Left) Final safety valve assembly. (Right) Location of the Safety Valve and Top Feed on the actual locomotive boiler.

“What’s interesting is that the physics of the 1501 Steam Engine does not scale, so you have to make very significant changes to the boiler design. There are approximately ten times as many tubes in a full sized boiler. Also, scale fittings and bolts become too small in some cases to be practical, so changes have to be made to hide the fact that some of the bolts are mockups. This is all part of the fun of doing it!”

Roger Froud, Amytech (UK) Ltd.

More About Severn Valley Railway

The Severn Valley Railway is a full-size standard-gauge railway line, running regular, mainly steam-hauled, passenger trains between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of approximately sixteen miles.

Additional Images

Here are some additional images of components of the 1501 Steam Engine replica created with the help of VisualCAM.

VisualCAM

(Left) Working Steam and Vacuum brake valve. (Right) Valve crosshead in Aluminium Bronze.

VisualCAM

(Left) Water gauge with working stop cocks and blowdown valve. (Right) Cylinders machined from 4″ Leaded Bronze bar.

VisualCAM

LH Cylinder assembly.

VisualCAM

October 11, 2016
11 Oct 2016

RhinoCAM Drives Custom 5 Axis CNC

These images were sent in by our friends at MarineSoft L.A. who are Rhino and RhinoCAM resellers in Sweden. Per Målare of Nordåkers specialsnickeri custom built their own 2½-5 Axis CNC machine and uses RhinoCAM to cut parts on it! The 5 Axis machine uses LinuxCNC and has a rotating head plus a rotating axis on the table. Nice!

RhinoCAM

Image 1: Custom made 5 Axis CNC machine designed and assembled by Per Målare of Nordåkers specialsnickeri

RhinoCAM

Image 2: Custom made 5 Axis CNC machine designed and assembled by Per Målare of Nordåkers specialsnickeri

RhinoCAM

Image 3: 5 Axis hole patterns

RhinoCAM

Image 4: 5 Axis hole patterns

RhinoCAM

Video: Live demonstration of drilling 5 Axis hole patterns

3 & 4 Axis Capabilities

Per Målare’s custom built 5 Axis CNC machine also supports the 3 Axis and 4 Axis capabilities of RhinoCAM as shown in the images below.

RhinoCAM

Images 5 & 6: 3 & 4 Axis parts being machined by Per Målare of Nordåkers specialsnickeri using RhinoCAM

RhinoCAM

Images 7 & 8: Beautiful Table design machined with Per Målare’s custom 5 Axis CNC Machine and RhinoCAM – note the 4 Axis capability used to machine the legs

Additional RhinoCAM Projects from Per Målare

RhinoCAM

RhinoCAM