Delcam will launch the 2015 version of its PowerSHAPE Pro CAD for CAM system for modelling for manufacture and reverse engineering at IMTS 2014 in Chicago from 8th to 13th September on booth E3222, the largest CAM software booth at the show. The new release will include improvements in direct modelling, surface modelling and reverse engineering, plus support for data from Creaform HandySCAN hand-held scanners.
By offering a combination of solid, surface and direct modelling, together with reverse engineering functionality, PowerSHAPE Pro provides the most comprehensive range of design techniques available in a single CAD program. Having all the different technologies in the same package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product development process. At the same time, the combination of quick and easy direct modelling options, together with powerful and flexible surface modelling, makes PowerSHAPE Pro the perfect choice for design for manufacture.
The improvements in direct modelling build on the introduction of the Smart Feature Manager and the Smart Feature Selector in recent releases. The Smart Feature Manager allows users to identify all the features, such as fillets, slots, bosses etc, within a solid in a single operation and so makes the analysis of the imported data easier and faster. The Smart Feature Selector then allows multiple similar features to be found and selected using either a specific value or a range of values.
Once the particular group has been selected, all the features within it can be edited simultaneously. For example, all holes having a diameter of 5mm can have their diameter increased to 10mm in one operation.
This new functionality will speed the preparation of models for manufacturing significantly. For example, one common problem in product designs that are to be moulded or cast is that fillet sizes are set so small that they restrict the flow of material. The Smart Feature Selector can be used to identify any fillets below the required radius and then all the fillets found can be increased to the desired minimum size simultaneously.
Another potential application is in tidying up models created by reverse engineering, where features that are intended to be identical, such as a series of holes, will often show small variations. In such cases, all the items within a specified tolerance band can be selected and then all adjusted together to the same precise size.
One of PowerSHAPE Pro’s great strengths has always been its surface modelling capabilities, giving the user the ability to create any shape they can imagine. These capabilities have been further improved with new dynamic point editing. Multiple points, either along a single curve or picked from multiple curves, can now be selected and moved, with real-time updating of the model. This makes styling of free-form shapes easier and quicker, and also speeds up modelling for manufacture tasks like removing undercuts from tooling designs.
Another strong area for PowerSHAPE Pro that has also been made faster and easier is the ability to morph complete models into a new shape. One key application for this option is in compensating for springback in press tools or warpage in moulded products. The user can alter CAD directly based on scan data from a sample part collected as a point cloud or as a triangle mesh, with a choice between either updating the CAD model of the part to match the as-produced item or adjusting the tooling design so that it can produce parts matching the original CAD data.
Another important application of morphing is in updating parts that need to be repaired but that have changed their shape during use. A typical example is turbine blades that have been distorted by heat so that their shape no longer matches the CAD data used for their manufacture. Again, the original CAD data can be adjusted to match scan data captured from the actual part.
The main enhancement to PowerSHAPE Pro’s reverse engineering functionality is a more automated method for capturing cross-sections through a mesh. The software now fits lines and fillets to the cross-section where it can, with the user able to control the tolerance used. This method uses the mesh as a guide instead of treating it as exact geometry with the priority of capturing the design intent rather than ensuring a precise fit to the scan data.