OPEN MIND presents new toolmaking function in its CAD/CAM suite


In the mould and die industry, the hyperMILL® CAD/CAM suite from OPEN MIND is regarded as an end-to-end complete solution. This is due to its ability to cover aspects such as electrode manufacturing and wire EDM. It is now the introduction of the 5-axis radial machining function that takes centre stage.

 This function is ideal for the process-optimised production of round moulds where surfaces cannot undergo hand finishing or polishing operations. For components such as blow moulds that are applied in vehicle bumper production or consumer goods bottles, high quality machined surfaces are critical as secondary hand finishing can introduce optical facets and surface inconsistencies that may appear in down-stream processing.

The rise in complexity of bottle designs is also increasing the quality expectations put upon blow moulds. There is a wide variety of containers that often have additional features that double up as functional elements. This can include handles, decorations, and individual brand logos. The 3-axis machining of these types of moulds sometimes require very long tools and part re-clamping to mill undercut areas. A 3-axis approach also means that the point where the milling tool makes contact with the semi-circular profile varies. This can result in uneven surfaces and it is where optimised 5-axis strategies can help.

Even surfaces and sharp edges

The improvements to the current version of hyperMILL® combined with 5-axis radial machining are setting standards in blow mould machining. Thanks to a new radial projection method, the toolpaths are calculated extremely quickly, and the user can apply various machining strategies to respond flexibly to the component conditions. The new ‘Flow Equidistant’ infeed strategy is the first of its kind that supports the generation of toolpaths with a constant infeed for vertical and challenging surfaces. This means that surfaces can be integrated into the overall machining sequence and processed in a single step. Seamless machining with a very high surface quality is guaranteed. Every machining sequence needs to produce sharp corners at the junction of the upper and lower halves of the mould to avoid problems during the moulding process. An automatic tangent extension feature eliminates the manual CAD steps needed to extend the numerous surface elements found in complex designs.

Bumper segments with a high level of surface quality

hyperMILL® high-precision machining technologies are also used in tool and mould-making to manufacture bumper segments, for example. A highly superior surface quality is achieved using ball and barrel cutters. Two CAM technologies ensure that the various tools and positions during machining are no longer recognisable after the process has been completed. The first of these is the ‘Surface Precision Mode,’ which calculates the toolpath directly on the surfaces of the CAD model.

The machining tolerance can be controlled down to the µm range. The distribution of the NC point is optimally adapted to the machining tolerance, resulting in a homogeneous milling pattern. The second of these is the ‘Smooth overlap’ function, which improves the surface quality of transitional areas, making transitions so smooth that they are hard to measure and almost invisible to the naked eye.

A complete solution for tool and mould making

The new 5-axis radial machining makes hyperMILL® even more important for industries that require high-quality moulds, such as the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household goods and automotive industries. The CAD/CAM suite covers every process from the data import to the NC code simulation – and that includes electrode manufacturing and wire EDM. hyperMILL® offers extensive options to automate the CAM programming process and can be integrated into higher-level systems such as MES or PLM systems.

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