NCG CAM Solutions Ltd, UK has released NCG CAM v17. This release includes a new modern user interface. New features include dynamic material removal, drilling – sequences of operations, along curve passes – displaying cutter compensation, along curve passes – gouge protection, export option settings, local datum – local coordinate system, project a 2D boundary onto the surface, and significantly improved graphics performance.
Further new features including, surfaces – create a patch from two 3D curves, and rest finishing – support toroidal target cutters, will follow on in a v17 point release.
A demonstration version of NCG CAM v17.0 is now available to download: https://www.ncgcam.com/demo-download/.
The basic style of the NCG CAM user interface has remained unchanged since this CAM software was first produced 23 years ago.
The NCG CAM v17 user interface now has a ribbon design. Ribbons are the modern way to help Users find, understand, and use commands efficiently. The command bar organises the program’s features into a series of tabs at the top of a window; because of the ribbon layout it should be easier for the User to discover new features and functions. All the icons have been redesigned, which adds to the totally fresh new look and feel of the software.
For Existing Users; there is currently a button which will allow them to revert to the original user interface. This gives users the ability to keep up with their existing workload and migrate to the new User Interface as time permits.
A new feature, dynamic material removal has been added alongside the existing cutter animation function.
It can indicate the direction of milling, climb or conventional, and is able to identify any gouges or collisions.
This will enable better visualisation and verification of the material stock removal produced by the calculated toolpath.
Another new feature in NCG CAM v17.0 drilling – hole shape database and compound drilling cycles. In order to further automate the generation of drilling cycles, it is now possible to create a database of hole shapes and to have the Drilling Data Folders searched for those hole shapes. Furthermore, several cycles can be grouped together as compound cycles, to apply them to specific hole shapes. The Compound Drilling Cycle can also be applied to holes of different directions (tool axis), so that holes with different directions but the same hole shape, can be programmed in one step.
When Cutter Compensation is applied (left or right) to the along curve passes machining routine, after adjusting for the compensation, the proposed cutter path centre line is now displayed as a dotted line. The left or right compensation is dependent on the direction of the Curve, direction arrows are graphically drawn on the curve while the passes dialog is available, so that the user can amend the direction if required. The drawing of the centre line of the cutter will give visual confirmation of the actual toolpath offset.
The passes dialog for along curves now contains three different gouge protection options, the Holder, the Shank and the Flute; each of these can now be set independently. For example – Machining curves for an engraving routine would effectively require the flute of the cutter to be allowed to gouge, while the holder and shaft could be protected.
A new feature has been added to the export option settings; Users can now Export the Tools > Options > Settings. This is via context menus for pages on the Tools Options and Libraries dialogs. Each menu has “This Page” and “All Pages” options. The export creates a registry editor (.reg) file that will restore the contents of the page. This will be particularly useful when Users are upgrading to a new major version of NCG CAM or installing the software onto a new computer.
The coordinate system entity has been extended in NCG CAM v17.0 to include the Axis rotation information. The User can create a points folder containing key reference points and defining the orientation. By selecting this coordinate system folder and a triangulated surfaces folder or toolpath in the directory tree, then selecting the option ‘Set Coordinate System’ it will reposition the part/s or toolpath/s to the selected plan. Where multiple parts are imported, this will reduce the time to relocate them to a common Coordinate System.
Another new feature has been added to enable the user to project a 2D boundary onto the surface. 3D curves can now be projected from a 2D boundary. This is meant as a visualization aid to help with the creation of additional containment boundaries. This is mainly aimed at 3+2 axis machining as existing boundaries are drawn above the surfaces along the tool axis. Prior to this it was difficult to be sure of the exact position of contact of a boundary on the surfaces if you are working from a different tool axis.
In NCG CAM v17.0 the internal graphics library has been over-hauled to give a significant performance boost to the speed of dynamic rotation and translation of shaded models that contain large numbers of triangles; NCG CAM v17 is now 30 – 40% faster than NCG CAM v16. The large number may be due to the large physical size of the model or a tight triangulation tolerance required for machining. Previously the user may have needed to set the ‘Dynamic Rendering Style’ to one of the ‘Wireframe’ options, to better handle the rotation of these bigger models, this of course may still offer benefits.
Rest Finishing will be able to support Toroidal target cutters. This new feature gives the ability to use Toroidal cutters to machine the rest finishing areas. Previously Ball-nosed and Toroidal cutters could be used as Reference cutters to find the corners of the job, but the Target cutter had been restricted to a Ball-nose.
**This feature will not be available in NCG CAM v17.0 but will follow on in a v17 point release once completed.
About NCG CAM Standalone 3D HSM CAM Software
NCG CAM suitable for all types of forms, creating an optimised, smooth cutter motion ideal for 3D HSM, which will help to extend tool life, minimise wear on the machine tool and producing parts with an excellent surface finish.
NCG CAM has a user-friendly interface, with a learning curve of just 1 day is required to machine a live job. It is perfect for the high-speed machining of moulds, dies, prototypes and precision surface machining.
- User friendly interface – making it suitable for even occasional users
- NCG CAM offers many advanced 3D machining routines, rest roughing & 3 + 2 capabilities for all tool-paths, a simultaneous 5-axis add-on module is available
- Fast and efficient roughing strategies, including core roughing and adaptive clearance
- Comprehensive drilling routines – includes automatic hole detection and / or user defined holes
- All machining routines are fully gouge protected for both the cutter and the tool holder
- Rest area option for finishing strategies to minimise any air cutting
- Perpetual licenses are available and will not be discontinued
- Stand-alone CAM software that is compatible with any other CAD package
- Extremely easy to use with just 1 day’s training required to machine a live job
- Ideal for shop-floor programming
- Gouge protection for cutters and holders
- All post-processors are written in-house
- Powerful 3D machining
- Tool-paths optimized for HSM
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced wear on machine
- Extended tooling life
Operating system compatibility: Windows 7 Windows 8 Windows 10 on a 64-bit platform, 8GB RAM (minimum).
About NCG CAM Solutions Ltd
Established in Cambridge, UK, NCG CAM Solutions Ltd provides CAM software solutions, offering all the tools needed to manufacture prototypes, models, moulds, dies, patterns and finished products. Their specialist area is 3D HSM CAM with our product NCG CAM.
Established in June 2009, NCG CAM Solutions Ltd has a rapidly growing global reseller base, with resellers for NCG CAM in UK, Germany, Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Norway, Turkey, Italy, India, UAE, Russia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and across USA and Canada.
For more information, visit www.ncgcam.com.