Delcam to Show Complete CADCAM Suite for Manufacturers at Composites Europe

30 October 2007

At the Composites Europe exhibition to be held in Stuttgart from 6-8 November, Delcam will show how its range of CADCAM software helps manufacturers of composite components to maximise their profitability.

Special features available within the Delcam software include methods for the generation of 2D patterns for prepregs from 3D models of components, nesting to ensure the most economic use of materials cut from sheet and an increased range of five-axis machining methods, both for the manufacture of patterns and tooling, and also for the trimming and drilling of moulded parts.

One recent example of the use of the Delcam software was in the construction of the JCB Dieselmax, which set a new speed record for diesel vehicles of over 350 mph. Coventry-based Visioneering took a major role in the project, being responsible for the overall design and construction of virtually all the car apart from the powertrain. Both the body and the underfloor were produced in carbon-fibre reinforced composites using tooling designed with Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD software and machined with the PowerMILL CAM system.

The PowerMILL CAM system is also used by another leading Coventry-based company Cgi, where it is an important part of the company’s unique CFRP prototyping process. CFRP prototype panels are taken from moulds cut using PowerMILL programs to build up the ‘Body in White’. Carbon constructions replicates steel and alumina body engineering and design without the need for expensive tooling and long lead times, allowing Cgi to produce a fully-engineered prototype in-house in six months.

The benefits are even greater in the marine industry, where modern design and manufacturing technology is not as well established. For example, Cypriot boat-builder Karnic was able to produce its tooling in around half the time after introducing Delcam software.

Similar results have been achieved by Turkish manufacturer Numarine (pictured). There all component designs are first transferred into PowerSHAPE to create the master model shapes, with any added split and run-off surfaces, and to divide larger components into manageable sizes. The models are then programmed in PowerMILL for production on Numarine’s giant CMS five-axis mill. The combination of PowerMILL and the CMS machine gives impeccable accuracy as well as speeding up the introduction of new designs when compared to traditional methods.

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