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Layer milling for rapid prototyping - WorkNC-LMP shows the way

Cutting parts in layers is a well-known technique for machining deep and narrow cavities. Sescoi has created a new CAM module, WorkNC-LMP (Layer Milling Process) to automatically divide up 3D models and create roughing and finishing toolpaths for each layer. This technology can be used on any machining centre, simplifying the programming and cutting of complex shapes by building them up in manageable sections. Sescoi has taken this process to its logical conclusion by working in collaboration with F. Zimmermann, combining the speed and accuracy of the dedicated Zimmermann LMC (Layer Milling Centre) with Sescoi's WorkNC-LMP. By using the new CAM module in conjunction with the LMC all the toolpaths and special machine control sequences are automatically generated to cut parts in unmanned operation.

The LMC works from underneath, using high-speed techniques to machine each layer in turn. As each layer is roughed and finished a new plate is bonded, ready for the next machining operation, this continues until the finished part is built up. WorkNC-LMP automates this process starting from the CAD model, firstly splitting it into layers, and then generating both the roughing and finishing toolpaths for each layer. This technique is ideal for high speed machining enabling the use of short and rigid cutters, and eliminates the possibility of a collision. Many other factors are necessary for successful layer machining - WorkNC-LMP controls these, including surface roughening prior to bonding, cutting adhesive channels to control excess glue, overlapping of cutter paths to remove traces of glue, and paths for the application of adhesive between layers.

Kegelmann Technik Gmbh was a pioneer in this technology, and wanted to offer the most advanced rapid prototyping techniques to its customers. Managing Director Stephan Kegelmann commented, "I can manufacture highly complicated components efficiently which is precisely what I need today." Working with Sescoi and Zimmermann has been a rewarding experience, "I was impressed by the zest for innovation at Sescoi, whose development team are always slightly ahead of the game."

Sescoi continually strives to stay at the forefront of technology. WorkNC-LMP combines the advantages of generative rapid prototyping with conventional machining, and is the latest example of the company's resolve to make new processes a reality for its customers.

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