Delcam PowerMILL


PowerMILL is the world’s leading specialist NC CAM software for the manufacture of the complex shapes typically found in the aerospace, automotive, medical device and toolmaking industries. Key features include a wide range of strategies, including the latest high-efficiency roughing, high-speed finishing, and 5-axis machining techniques, exceptionally fast calculation times and powerful editing tools to ensure optimum performance on the machine tool.

Leading Global CAM Specialist

Power and flexibility

  • Ease of use and rapid toolpath generation
  • Ability to works with all tool types
  • Powerful toolpath editing
  • Totally customizable with macros, templates, Visual Basic and HTML

Confidence and reliability

  • Animation and dynamic stock simulation
  • Machine tool simulation
  • Integrated toolpath verification
  • Feedrate optimisation

High Speep Machining

For many years Delcam has been at the leading edge in the development of High Speed Machining (HSM) strategies. These use a combination of techniques to ensure rapid delivery of high quality machined components. There are many elements to efficient High Speed Machining including; the cutting tool, the CNC machine, the material being cut not to mention the use of a high quality CAM system.
Modern developments in cutting tool technology have led to a revolution in the way CNC programmers now tackle jobs. These specialist tools have totally different cutting characteristics to traditional tooling. Whereas traditional programming methods would consider machining a component from the top down, modern HSM tooling can sometimes prefer to cut from the bottom up.
PowerMILL leads the way with it’s unique approaches to efficient area clearance. The main requirements of these machining strategies are to keep the load on the cutter as consistent as possible and to minimise any sudden changes in the cutting direction. One of the basic changes in strategy needed to achieve these conditions is the use of offset machining for roughing rather than the traditional raster approach.

  • Raceline Machining: PowerMILL includes a number of new high-efficiency roughing strategies to take full advantage of the latest cutter designs that can cut with the side of the tool and so take deeper cuts. The most novel technique is called raceline machining, for which Delcam has a patent pending. With this option, the roughing passes are progressively smoothed out as the toolpaths move further from the main form. The resulting paths minimise any sudden changes in direction and so allow faster machining, with less wear on the cutter and lower stress on the machine tool.
  • Trochoidal Machining: A new trochoidal machining option has also been added. This avoids full-width cuts when machining by generating toolpaths that progressively shave material from the block in a circular motion. The new option automatically adjusts the toolpath to maintain efficient and safe machining.
  • Automatic Trochoidal Machining: A new combination roughing strategy has been introduced that combines offset roughing with trochoidal machining. This automatically avoids high-load cuts that could occur with conventional offset strategies, by switching to a trochoidal motion when the cutter encounters large amounts of material. Using a shaving action to remove material in these areas reduces the load on the tool to a more consistent level, allowing higher machining speeds to be maintained.
  • Rest Roughing: The rest toolpath will remove material left by a previous larger tool allowing only areas which require smaller cutters to be remachined, and so reducing milling times.
  • High Speed Finishing: PowerMILL has many strategies for high speed machining which result in the smooth consistent cutting conditions required to ensure rapid stock removal and excellent surface finish. Three examples are 3D Offset and Constant Z finishing and the Optimised Constant Z.
  • Constant Z: Here the tool cuts at Constant Z levels. There is also an option to lead in and out between Z levels which eliminates ‘witness marks’. There is now the added benefit of this type of toolpath being a continuous spiral.
  • 3D Offset Finishing: This type of finishing gives an excellent surface finish because the stepover is constant across all surfaces irrespective of whether they are steep walls or shallow contoured areas. Spiral offset finishing prevents ‘witness marks’ since the tool stays in constant contact with the model in one smooth spiralling shape.
  • Optimised Constant Z: Consistent tool loading and the fewest possible sudden changes in direction are needed for high-speed finishing. To meet these priorities, a combination of strategies is recommended, with 3D offset finishing used on flatter areas and Z-level finishing used on steeper areas.

5 Axis Machinig

5 Axis machining has been used in aerospace applications for many years but it is only recently that the toolmaking industry has shown similar interest. The main advantage of 5 Axis machining is the ability to save time by machining complex shapes in a single set-up. Additional benefit comes from allowing the use of shorter cutters that permit more accurate machining.
Positional 5 Axis machining has long been available within PowerMILL. With this technique, the head is oriented into a series of positions and machining carried out as a set of discreet operations.
In addition to this, PowerMILL now offers continuous 5 Axis machining. Continuous 5 Axis machining allows the user to create continuous 5 Axis toolpaths across complex surface, solid and triangulated models. The toolpaths are fully gouge checked and support a wide range of machining strategies and all tool types.

Benefits of Positional 5 Axis Machining
  • Ideal for machining deep cores and cavities
  • Short cutters give increased accuracy and higher quality surface finish
  • Allows the machining of undercuts
  • Significant time benefits through use of only one set up
Benefits of Continuous 5 Axis Machining
  • Ideal for Profiling parts
  • Ideal for machining deep corners and cavities
  • Shorter cutters give increased accuracy and higher quality surface finish
  • Allows for machining with the flank or bottom of the tool
  • Can be used with a full range of tool types
  • Full gouge protection
  • Can be used with models in STL format
Features and Functions
  • Surface Finishing
  • Swarf Milling
  • Profiling
  • Trimming:
  • Pocketing
  • Slotting
  • Multi axis Drilling
  • Integrated 5 Axis Post Processor