Via CATIA and Post-Processing Solution
DTE has provided Shape Machining (Shape), a multi-axis advanced technology machining company, with CATIA V5 Machining and an ICAM CAM-POST NC post-processing solution to enable it to optimise the functionality of its existing CMS 5-axis technology. Founded in 2014, Shape machines epoxy tooling block patterns, metal moulds, structural foams and carbon fibre for F1, motorsport, automotive and aerospace customers.
Although in its inaugural year, Shape took an early decision to invest in a CAD/CAM system which its clients regard as best-of-breed to replace its incumbent solution. CATIA Machining enables Shape to plan, detail, simulate NC machine and tool paths and optimise its machining activities in order to deliver higher quality products, while also providing increased operational efficiencies. To complement CATIA Machining, DTE advised Shape to implement ICAM’s CAM-POST, a single source NC post-processing technology which supports all major CAD/CAM/PLM systems, CNC controllers and machine tools.
Optimise Machining Processes
For Shape, CAM-POST delivers improvements to part quality, production output and crucially reduces cycle time. The particular post was written for a 5-axis CMS Antares. Once the post was written and on-site, DTE had it up, running and providing business benefit within the working day. Due to the success of the first post-processor, Shape is commissioning DTE to write a new post-processor for an additional multi-axis machine tool that Shape has just installed.
Ultimately, Shape’s brief to DTE was to optimise its machining process. With 25 years of experience in the aerospace and automotive engineering markets, former F1 chief designer and Shape’s managing director, Peter McCool, explains why:
“We’ve grown very quickly and in a very short space of time and already work with a large automotive OEM, a niche sports car manufacturer and supply tooling expertise to the aerospace industry. Therefore, we had to improve our systems and demonstrate to our customers that we were using technologies that would not only meet their expectations, but surpass them.”
“During this process, DTE has been worth its weight in gold. Unlike many other solution providers, they do what they say they’re going to do. The whole CATIA/ICAM implementation has been quick and hassle-free which has allowed me to concentrate on my business rather than worry about whether my software was up-to-scratch.”
With CATIA Machining, programmers can easily switch between tool path definition and validation without losing time on data transfer or preparation. This eliminates interface issues and dramatically reduces overall manufacturing process time. By allowing for rapid tool-path computing, CATIA Machining optimises the fine-tuning and modification stages by integrating design and machining into a seamless environment.
McCool concluded: “I have been particularly impressed with CATIA’s machining functionality. Since it has been deployed machining efficiencies have vastly improved. The mathematics behind the tool path are far superior to our previous solution, it’s wonderfully cost-effective.”
About Shape Machining
Founded in 2014, Shape machining (Shape) is a multi-axis machining company that provides complex fully machined tools to the carbon fibre manufacturing industry. Shape machines epoxy tooling block patterns, rohacell cores and a wide variety of other non-metallic materials at its 5,500sqft facility in Witney, Oxfordshire.
Shape is currently developing Robotic CNC technology for the advanced multi-axis trimming of automotive and aerospace composite parts.
Peter McCool (Managing Director) has 25 years of aerospace and automotive engineering experience. He is joined at Shape by an experienced team of ex-F1 pattern makers and machine programmers.
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Our Sales and Technical staff are available to discuss any requirement regarding our business offering, training, rental systems and support, please contact us on +44 (0) 1993 883555 or through the contact form below.