13 January 2010

A Preview of Alibre CAM 2.0 CNC Software

The upcoming release of Alibre Design 12.1 (SP1) will include major enhancement to the basic CAM software included free with Alibre Design Expert, as well as the four- and five-axis options available for Alibre CAM Professional and Alibre CAM Expert. Improvement to the Alibre CAM Interface will make CNC programming inside Alibre Design much easier and enjoyable to do. Here is one comparison between the crowded old (left) tab interface and the new (right) cascading style:

But more than the lookand feel of Alibre CAM will change. A new entry method has been added to 2.5 axis profile milling operations allowing you to have more control over the entry angle.You can now create tabs/bridges for 2.5 axis profiling operations. You can specify the bridge height and length. You can also specify whether you want to use a particular number of bridges which will be equally distributed around the profiles or you can set an exact distance between bridges. Below is an example of the same cut-outs using 5 bridges and 10 bridges per profile.

The Tool Libraries will allow "drag and drop" of pre-defined tools into the active tool set. There will also be an option to immediately preview a tool upon creation.

Alibre CAM 2.0 will now support avoidance regions to specify where the tool should not cut, for example to avoid clamps holding the stock material down on your CNC machine. Flat faces can be directly selected as machining / avoidance regions instead of having to use sketches. You can also select the starting point for the engagement of the tool for Machining Operations defined by sketches.

Alibre CAM Standard will offer along-path-3D-entry for 3 axis horizontal finishing offers more control over surface finish for steep areas of parts. Specifying the engage angle and path height allows you to control the smoothness of the engage motion, helping to eliminate unwanted marks on the cut part that would otherwise need to be buffed out later. Alibre CAM Professional will also enjoy improvements to 4 axis milling.

Alibre CAM Expert will add a new 3D Offset profiling method, 3D Offset pocketing for making constant offset tool paths on the part surfaces, 3 axis pencil tracing now offers multiple passes & 3 axis valley re-machining allows split cuts, step over and cut control. Tool Holder Collision determines the minimum tool length required to avoid collision.

Alibre Design is sold in Australia by CADDIT. Download Alibre Design / Alibre CAM in Australia for a free 30 day "Professional" trial before software reverts back to free "Xpress" mode.


Prem said...

This might be a good option for students or for hobby CNC projects, but I wonder how the tool paths compare to Mastercam and VisualMill. Mastercam has a new finishing tool path called Smart Hybrid Finishing, more on, http://premcad.com/?q=pview/90

CADDIT said...

Prem - Wow not true at all. FIRST, Alibre CAM IS VisualMill (BOTH products come from Mecsoft - http://www.mecsoft.com )
SECOND if you actually look feature list comparison for Alibre CAM you will see - like its stand-alone cousin - supports quite advanced multi-axis CNC milling options:

Please have a real look at the links I just provided, thank you.