April 8th 2021 – MachineWorks Ltd, a leading supplier of software components to the engineering industry, is pleased to announce the release of MachineWorks 8.3, the latest major version of its flagship MachineWorks middleware.

Headline enhancements include:

  • New C# wrapper
  • Support for complex concave polygonal tools, typically turning inserts
  • Improved accuracy and performance of surface detection
  • Improved detection of very small features during target part comparison
  • Enhancements to Visicut snapshots and bookmarking.
  • Direct access to dexel grid in Visicut sampled stocks for rest machining analysis
  • New classify point against solid function for On Machine Verification and CMM applications
  • Further enhancements to bending simulation

C# Wrapper

A completely new C# interface is now available that replaces the existing hand-generated wrapper. Relationships between objects are more explicit and there is stronger type-checking plus better support for intelligent code completion. MachineWorks’ APIs and structures can be used in ways that are more natural from managed code and it is easier for application developers to avoid common pitfalls that could significantly degrade an application’s performance.

The new wrapper is automatically generated, functionally complete and fully compliant with MachineWorks’ extensive regression test suites.

Complex Polygonal Tools

A new API allows complex concave tools to be automatically split into convex sub-tools comprising cutting inserts and non-cutting geometry. Different cutting and collision settings can be applied to different sub-tools so that MachineWorks can detect if non-cutting portions of the tool collide with the stock.

Turning insert STL model
Turning insert showing convex cutting and non cutting regions
Turning insert STL model
Turning insert showing convex cutting and non cutting regions

Turning inserts imported as an STL model (left)
Automatically split into convex cutting and non-cutting regions (right)

Surface Detection

MachineWorks’ surface detection capabilities have been significantly upgraded delivering more accurate surface matching and improved performance which in some cases is orders of magnitude faster.

Surface detection tolerance is now exposed to the application and the new algorithm exploits stored cut number information if available.

Parametric surfaces on the in-process stock model
MachineWorks’ surface detection fits parametric surfaces on the in-process stock to support creation of the stock model as a CAD BREP.

Target Part Comparison

MachineWorks includes a number of mechanisms to compare the in-process stock with the design part, including full solid-solid Boolean intersection. The existing analysis mesh rendering method, intended for fast visual inspection, has been enhanced to optionally refine the mesh further in regions where there are very small features on the target part that might otherwise be missed as they happen to fall between points in the adaptive surface sampling strategy.

Old analysis mesh rendering method
Enhanced analysis mesh rendering method

Small features on large area parts e.g. drilled holes, can be missed with the existing analysis mesh rendering (left).
The enhanced method in MachineWorks 8.3 improves the adaptive refinement to include such features (right).


Introduced in MachineWorks 8.0, Snapshots, the in-process stock bookmarking facility for MachineWorks Visicut, has been well received by customers, particularly in the CAM industry. Customer driven enhancements for 8.3 include simpler and faster ways to transport snapshots and pruned snapshot trees between different machining sessions.

Direct access to Dexel Grid

Along with the traditional polygonal BREP model MachineWorks Visicut supports sampled stock representations for use in environments where constant memory footprint is critical and model fidelity must therefore be reduced.

A new API to allow direct export of points on the Visicut dexel grid has been added to support enhanced query of the in-process stock specifically for use in rest-machining algorithms

Bending Simulation Enhancements

The MachineWorks sheet metal bending module allows a stock to be defined as flange and bend regions, to support the simulation of air bends, joggling and hemming. For bend sequence validation, MachineWorks offers fast and accurate clash detection of the flanges with solids representing the press, brake, finger-stops and other supports.

In MachineWorks 8.3, a number of enhancements have been added with the goal of aiding bend tool selection and design including creation of the intersection solid between the tool and the solid sweep of the stock during a clashing bend motion.

Sheet metal bending simulation showing a collision
Collision between bending tool (grey) and sheet metal stock (blue) during bending motion

About MachineWorks Ltd (www.machineworks.comwww.polygonica.com)

MachineWorks Ltd has been providing advanced 3D software engines to manufacturers and engineering software developers since 1994.

MachineWorks is the leading toolkit for CNC simulation and verification and is supplied embedded within a wide range of brands from major machine tool and CNC controller manufacturers and CAM software vendors. Polygonica is a leading engine for polygon-mesh modelling and is widely used in a range of markets including CAD, CAM, CAE and AM along with Medical, Dental, EDA, Metrology, AEC, Construction, Mining and other large capital asset industries.

Companies who integrate MachineWorks’ components into their software solutions include Dassault Systemes, Autodesk, Hexagon, ANSYS, Synopsys, AECOM, 3D Systems, Stratasys, OpenMind, CAMBRIO, Renishaw, Desktop Metal, Heidenhain, Okuma, DMG Mori, HCL, SolidCAM, Convergent Science, Topsolid, ZWSoft, Diota, CASTOR, CADS Additive and Go2CAM.

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