May 11, 2017

New Release: SmartCAM Version 2017

Welcome back once again to the SmartCAMcnc blog J

An especially warm welcome to our many highly-valued SmartCAM customers.

We are particularly pleased with ourselves today.
SmartCAM Version 2017 has hit the streets.

A brief overview of the release content can be found on our website,
starting here

That stuff was put together by our marketing types. But actually they’re OK, we’ll forgive them for being what they are; like all of us here at SmartCAMcnc, they have a sound knowledge of SmartCAM and of matters CAM & CNC.

We’d also like to present to you here a condensed summary of What’s New:

i) Verification gets cranked up by a few notches

Actually, we’ve completely replaced the previous toolpath simulation with a new Verification system. We’re pleased to have partnered with ModuleWorks GmbH for this project, using their proven and reputable technology in our solutions. The new SmartCAM Verification is the first deliverable product to benefit from the relationship between our two organizations.

So, what’s new about Verification?

Words don't easily describe what is after all a highly graphical product. Below is a link to a video on our YouTube channel which will give you an overview of SmartCAM Toolpath Verification.

Apologies, but it is rather long at a little over 6 and a half minutes:

Note that we have intentionally chosen to
omit audio commentary from this video.

ii) Next up in the release summary:
improved multi-axis indexing support

We've implemented the first phase of a new rotary axis engine in SmartCAM, and have improved control of things like axis travel. Here's another video from our YouTube channel:

Note that we have intentionally chosen to
omit audio commentary from this video.

The new setup has been enabled with Euler angle output for those that require it.

The detail is highly technical stuff using terminology that is really only meaningful once you have begun to use our CAM system. 

I don't intend to even attempt to explain it here.

iii) I think we'll talk about Code Generators next

For those that don't already know it, Code Generators is the term used within the SmartCAM community for what are known as Post Processors in other CAM systems.

And guess what: detail about Code Generator is of most interest to existing users of SmartCAM. A summary of the neat changes we have made to the Code Generator toolkit in SmartCAM Version 2017 will be pretty meaningless to anybody who doesn't understand how we do all that good stuff.

We do it rather well, by the way, even though I say so myself.

So, I'm simply going to point you to the appropriate pages of our release information, here and leave you to it.

But if you do need to know more about SmartCAM and our unique Code Generator setup - our tools are probably the most open and configurable in the CAM world - then just contact us. We don't bite and we certainly won't try to give you the hard sell.

iv) Now here's a subject that will be of
interest to all CAM Engineers

Toolpath Generation in SmartCAM is achieved by using a set of Toolpath Processes, each containing appropriate options parameters that are used to generate the required style of toolpath.

Actually, that paragraph will get me into a lot of trouble with my colleagues. I ought to say that Processes are just one means of creating toolpath using SmartCAM.

You are able to draw, manipulate and modify toolpath just as if it were CAD geometry in SmartCAM, to an extent that you cannot do in any other system. 

If you need to understand more, those marketing people have created a video our YouTube channel  that provides you with a little bit more information about
The SmartCAM Difference:

This time we have included audio commentary

But discussion about the whole scope of SmartCAM is for another time, here I'm focusing on that new release.

Back to it, then. SmartCAM Version 2017 includes a totally re-written Open Profile Roughing Process.

It was pretty good before, but we have revisited the design specification for it and have removed some of the limitations that were in place before now.

Our product manager has a timeless quote:

“There are an infinite number of geometric cases,
an infinite number of machining preferences,
and an infinite number of user preferences.”

I use his quote so that I can make the point that the updated Open Profile Process handles more geometry cases than it did previously.

The Process has also been enabled with options to add lead in / lead out and CRC code application, making it suitable to a broader range of roughing, semi-finishing and finishing toolpath requirements.

v) Last but not Least:
User Interface and Miscellaneous

SmartCAM Version 2017 also contains a number of user interface and functionality changes all of which help to make SmartCAM just that little bit more productive and easier to use. We try hard to incorporate such enhancements in every release.

A small selection from this time around, we have: 

- Drag-and-Drop in List View. 
That's another enhancement that won't mean much to you if you aren't yet a SmartCAM user, but we have the feeling that our customers are going to rejoice at having this small but extremely useful enhancement available. 

- Improved Merging of Process Models
There is increased Tool- and Process-Step associativity when merging the contents of one process model file into another. We admit that that was a little tricky up until now.

- Detail changes to the Visual Customization Tookit
OK, so this is very small detail, but I have sneaked it in so that it gives me the opportunity to tell anybody who does not yet know our SmartCAM system that we firmly believe that we provide just about the most open, flexible and powerful CAM software customization tools on the planet. They are enabled with every SmartCAM licence we supply, and not a priced, add-on option.

Those tools can be used to automate and simplify anything from small, repetitive tasks that are perhaps unique to your CAM programming practises through to large-scale automation such as the parametric creation of families of part geometry and toolpaths. 

And much more. I can personally be quoted that "the capabilities are only really limited by the imagination".

Finally in this section, the set of CAD file import options have been updated.

And so there you have it. Now I really must get back to my proper job. I hope you have found my short item about SmartCAM Version 2017 to be helpful and interesting.

I hope you have Really Great Days,

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