26th April 2023 - MachineWorks Ltd, a leading supplier of software components to the engineering industry, is pleased to announce the release of MachineWorks 8.5.

Highlights include:

  • Eccentric Turning support
  • Support for the EGL rendering interface
  • Improved generation of rest material and gouge contours for multi-axis machining
  • Prepare and optimise tool and holder profiles based on a tolerance
  • New types of cut information for cutting force analysis and feed rate optimisation
  • Cutting with ‘stopped’ (not spinning) compound tools
New Eccentric Turning support

‘Eccentric’ and ‘oval’ turning describes operations in which non-cylindrical shapes are machined on a fast-spinning stock by moving the tool rapidly in and out along the lathe plane whilst synchronised with the lathe rotation.

A typical example usage is the machining of camshafts, where eccentric turning is used to create off-axis cylinders or non-cylindrical shapes on the stock.

Example camshaft machined using new complex smooth turning cut definitions for eccentric turning.
Improved support for OpenGL on Linux via EGL for Wayland.

EGL is an API from the Khronos Group that provides operating system bindings for direct 3D rendering APIs such as OpenGL, OpenGL ES and OpenVG.

From MachineWorks 8.5, support is provided for the Wayland windowing system, which has been developed as an alternative to the feature rich but complex XWindows. MachineWorks continues to fully support OpenGL in the XWindows windowing system also.

Wayland has been adopted by the widely used Qt development platform and, from MachineWorks 8.5, customers who develop apps in Qt can now render MachineWorks simulations in Wayland using EGL and OpenGL.

Improved contour creation for gouge and undercuts

A new algorithm to generate improved contours has been added.

The existing algorithm is based on regular sampling of the in-process stock and design part. The new algorithm uses a completely different technique.

The new contour creation provides significantly improved results for multi-axis machining. In addition it can also improve performance when compared to the high sample densities typically required to produce accurate contours for input to downstream algorithms such as rest-machining.

Contours bounding rest material on a 5-axis impeller roughing path.
Prepare and optimise profiles for tool and holder creation

Tools and holders in MachineWorks are typically defined by cross-sectional profiles in 2D. Small features in the profile definition, such as unintended minor concavities, can greatly impact simulation performance.

A new function has been added to automatically prepare profiles for optimal use within MachineWorks, based on an application-specified tolerance.

The function can perform several optimisations, optionally controllable by the application, including:

  • Snapping near horizontal and vertical edges to be horizontal or vertical
  • Merging profile segments that are collinear within the tolerance
  • Replacing small concave regions with a convex hull
  • Removing small arcs based on the tolerance
  • Replacing large arcs with linear segments according to the tolerance

As well as reducing the possibility of unexpected performance issues, this new function helps improve profiles for tool holders computed using the compute safe holder profiles function released in MachineWorks 8.4.

Access to intersection profiles in cut query.

MachineWorks already provides a wide array of geometric information suitable for cutting force analysis, including the option to retrieve a closed polygonal boundary solid representing the volume of material removed by each cut, which can then be analysed further.

From MachineWorks 8.5 the existing options have been extended to provide a 2D profile of the intersection of the swept-volume of the cut with the in-process solid. Depending on the type of cutting operation this may be a silhouette, a profile or a spun profile.

Cutting with ‘stopped’ compound milling tools.

A compound milling tool is created by combining multiple boundary mesh models. It has a stopped and a spinning state. The latter is rotationally symmetric about the axis of rotation, but the former is not. Previously cutting could only be performed with the tool in the spinning state.

From MachineWorks 8.5, ‘stopped’ compound tools can also be used for cutting operations in certain circumstances. The amount of rotation and translation of the tool during the cut can be defined independently.

Other minor additions and modifications include:
  • Volume query for a general primitive outside a machining session
  • Specify hard clash tolerances for tools and holders defined as polygon meshes
  • Extended garbage collection: ability to purge the render cache when a machining session is put into sleep mode
  • New types added to the ANSI C API for better compatibility with C++ const correctness
  • Changes to rendering library architecture to separate the underlying renderer from the platform-specific renderer support code
  • Some unnecessary dependencies on XWindows have been removed

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 tools and CNC controller manufacturers and CAM software vendors. With over fifty major OEM licensees, Polygonica is the 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 MI, ANSYS, Synopsys, AECOM, 3D Systems, Stratasys, OpenMind, CAMBRIO, Desktop Metal, Nexa3D, Heidenhain, Okuma, DMG Mori, HCL, SolidCAM, Convergent Science, SimScale, Topsolid, ZWSoft, Diota, CASTOR, CADS Additive, Intech Additive Solutions, and Go2CAM.

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