3-D Machining

3-D Machining

For reaching the third dimension in processing your workpieces, we offer different software packages which are optimised for special applications in each case. We will give you here some hints which should help you to decide which program suits your needs.

Tool and mould making as well as rapid prototyping in the technical sector creates a high demand to the production software. Here the focus lies on the production of models and prototypes, injection moulds for plastics, die cast moulds, deformation tools or moulds for technical parts, etc.

For designing three-dimensional objects, there are CAD programs like SolidWorks, CATIA or Rhino 3D. The first two of these CAD programs rather belong to the constructive sector, with appropriate functions for creating parametric models.

  • SolidWorks and CATIA
    Whereas the functionality of SolidWorks covers the classical range of mechanical engineering, CATIA also offers functions for product design and advanced features for the requirements of the automobile and aerospace industry.
  • Rhino 3D
    With its NURBS technology that can be compared with the handling of Bézier curves – is rather specialised on design tasks like industrial, product or packaging design.

Three-dimensionally milling of technical parts

Three-dimensional view of a workpiece in the CAD software
Simulation of the roughing process by the CAM software...
Three-dimensional model and mould making
... and the milled results of massive aluminium
Milling cast moulds or models
Production model of light foam

Imported to the CAM software

Your projects will be imported via standardised file formats like IGES, STL or STEP to the CAM software. With it you will generate the workpiece-specific tool paths. Programs that can be used here are for example RhinoCAM, VisualMILL or SUM3D (some of them may also run as plugins within other programs). These programs have to be able to realize different machining strategies with different tool geometries. Finally, the CAM software creates with a post processor machine-specific data sets which contain all necessary data and parameters for the machining process.

For setting up the CNC milling machine and for a secured transmission of the data that has been generated by the post processor before, you need the control software CNC Term. After you have imported the data, you can access the workpiece origin or measure the workpiece surface or the z origin if your system should have the appropriate equipment. Moreover, a position memory makes it easier to handle different workpieces. Switching accessory components (dust extraction, cooling/spraying unit, ...) can be done by a simple keystroke.

  • Which CAM software?

    • RhinoCAM
      CAM plugin for CAD software Rhino
    • VisualMILL für SolidWorks
      CAM plugin for CAD software Rhino
    • VisualMILL
      Standalone CAM software

    The listed programs can control from three to five axes, depending on their configuration level. vhf can provide a post processor for any of these programs. For controlling the milling machine, you need CNC Term (see bottom). If you are not sure which software is right for you, please tell us your common applications.

    Please note:
    Functions for 3-D effects which are usually necessary for sign making (thinning, grey scale engraving, thread cutting, ...) are already part of the universal manufacturing software Cenon.

  • CNC term at a glance

    • link between post processor and CNC milling machine
    • setting all necessary output parameters
    • setting the start position and administrating position memories, changing the feed rate even during the machining process
    • switching machine component (dust extraction, cooling liquid supply, lift gate, etc.)
    • performing automatic z adjustment and automatic tool measurement
    • direct communication with controller, status information via terminal window