According to an engineering subcontractor, the new ‘Waveform’ roughing strategy in Edgecam CNC software is pushing the boundaries of traditional milling. Chris Bentley, managing director of Mach One Engineering, reported: “It’s exciting when new technology comes along that changes things so much for the better. 

“We find it a very powerfultool because it enables us to do much deeper depth cuts than before,” he continued, “and because we can also increase feed and speed rates it reduces our cycle times considerably.” 

Mach One Engineering, at Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England, specializes at manufacturing precision engineered components and assemblies. It uses CNC milling and turning to produce parts supplied to medical equipment builders, and manufacturers of systems for defense systems, image processing, satellite communications, and electronic manufacturing services. It also offers specialty anodizing services.

Edgecam is a CAM program developed by the Vero Software Group that combines sophisticated toolpath generation with seamless CAD integration, thereby offering a complete solution for milling, turning and mill-turn programming.

Edgecam’s Waveform roughing strategy was designed to maximize material removal rates while prolonging both tool and machine tool life. It produces rough milling toolpaths that deliver shorter cycle times, greater tool life, and better surface finish, and are “kinder” to machine tools the developer said. Waveform creates its toolpaths so that when viewed from above the distance between the roughing passes (also known as the ‘stepover’) varies, but this variation allows the actual width of cut to stay the same and at the optimal level, meaning the spikes are removed. Chip load stays constant, and the depth of cut employs the cutter’s entire flute length.

For Mach One, it is proving to be an invaluable technique as it machines components for its largest customer class: satellite communications. Chris Bentley highlighted how the Waveform reduced the cycle time from two hours five minutes, to one hour 36 minutes, for an aluminum 4G broadcast amplifier casing.