ESPRIT 2017 Released: New 3-Axis and 5-Axis Features
Andrew Wheeler posted on May 30, 2017 | 2866 views

Before we get to the new features in ESPRIT 2017, which include better milling and turning strategies, a faster way to calculate in-process stock, and new 3-5 axis and wire EDM functions, I wanted to step back for a second and quickly look back at how far computer number control (CNC) machines and computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software have come.

CNC machining has evolved an extraordinary amount since its origin in the 1940s, when John T. Parsons invented the first numerical controlled (NC) machine. The need for early computing methodology to break machining bottlenecks traces its origin to a vexing problem for machinists back in those days: how to machine the precise interpolating curve geometry on helicopter rotors. Stulen’s brother inspired him to compute stress calculations on helicopter rotors using punch-card machines, and as they developed more accurate rotors, they eventually created the first NC machine that generated accurate and complex outputs. Parsons then imagined a completely automated version that would surpass the performance of the original. Working with MIT’s Gordon Brown (who ran the school’s Servomechanisms Laboratory), he developed a system that would interpret feedback and accurately measure how the controls turned.

For the first time, complex cuts could be done by a machine that were not possible manually. That machine would cost $2.5 million dollars today. (Image courtesy of CMS North America.)
For the first time, complex cuts could be done by a machine that were not possible manually. That machine would cost $2.5 million dollars today. (Image courtesy of CMS North America.)

The original funding provided by the Air Force dried up around 1953, and was taken up a few years later by the Giddings and Lewis Machine Tool Company, who created the Numericord controller and upgraded the punch type readers to a magnetic tape reading system.

When John Runyon demonstrated punch tapes under computer control for the first time, a production cycle of eight hours was trimmed down to fifteen minutes. The Air Force then took the project back in 1956 when it accepted the proposal to create a general programming language for numerical control.

It was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that the Aircraft Industries Association (AIA) and Air Material Command collaborated with MIT in 1957 to create the first CNC machines.

New Features in ESPRIT 2017

The ability to design and manufacture different objects, components and fixtures quickly and efficiently is the reason most machining operations employ CAD/CAM software. Modern CAD/CAM applications allows users to both design the geometry of a product and generate tool paths that tell CNC machines to subtract the 3D model from a vast array of stock (the bulk material products are machined from).

In DP Technology Corp’s new release of ESPRIT 2017, users are promised better toolpath strategies, more efficient user control and faster processing, among other things. For example:

  1. New three-axis steep/shallow milling, improving machining of complex parts
  2. Smarter facing with “intelligent” stock management
  3. Responsive five-axis swarf machining on part geometries
  4. Precise tool positioning along lathe contours no matter what the insert shape looks like.
  5. Easier editing of features, allowing users to bypass geometry they want to avoid machining.
  6. Better automation because the software allows for the automatic recognition of more details inside of complex holes
  7. Optimized wire EDM that can now cut awkward profiles faster and more precisely with additional support for pocketing on open profiles.
ESPRIT 2017’S improved processing power can now compute an in-process stock model in seconds instead of minutes (Image courtesy of DP Technology Corp.)
ESPRIT 2017’S improved processing power can now compute an in-process stock model in seconds instead of minutes (Image courtesy of DP Technology Corp.)
Also, improved is ESPRIT’s ProfitMilling technology, which was designed to enhance operations inside pockets, including chip evacuation, coolant access and more control over machine acceleration. EDM programmers can also rapidly customize and update data during work in the ESPRIT Expert database.

For more information.


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