Top 4 New Features in MachineWorks 8.0
Andrew Wheeler posted on July 31, 2017 | 1071 views

Unless you have a real-life bender robot like the KUKA, manual handling for bending sheet metal still requires human workers. However, the company featured in the video below (MetallKonzept Glaser) fully admits that their drive for increased profits has led them to replace human workers with robots that bend sheet metal.

MachineWorks is a CNC simulation and verification component software that is used for anti-crash systems, complex machining and full machine simulation. Hardware and software OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) use it for various CNC machining simulations, including material removal and clash and gouge detection.

MachineWorks is demonstrating some of the latest features in v8.0 at the International Machine Tool Show, which takes place at EMO Hanover on September 18th. (Image courtesy of MachineWorks.)
MachineWorks is demonstrating some of the latest features in v8.0 at the International Machine Tool Show, which takes place at EMO Hanover on September 18th. (Image courtesy of MachineWorks.)

There are several interesting features that are worth checking out if you’re a veteran MachineWorks user. If not, some of the new additions may compel you to compare the CNC simulation and component verification software you are currently using with the five following features of MachineWorks version 8.0.

1.)    New Sheet Bending Functionality

The newest version of MachineWorks features improved simulation of sheet metal bending with better collision checking results, making it easier to execute smooth and well-planned manual handling.

2.)    Surface and Feature Detection

Detecting the features of cut surfaces saves time when creating CAD models of polygon data or generating a toolpath. Besides discovering normal geometrical features like cylinders and spheres with MachineWorks Surface Detection, you might need to locate drill holes or other machined features with Feature Detection.

3.)     More Efficient Cloud Simulation

Customers can easily hook up their APIs with cloud-based simulation on both the client and server-side when rendering a simulation in real-time. A lightning-fast connection between the client and the server is no longer a necessity because of the new compression scheme, coupled with communication tools and an improved decompression process. Also, customer APIs have access to a new client-side library, freeing up clutter from client-side communications, improving implementation. 

4.)    Optimized Collision Detection

Collision detection can be tricky in practice, especially when dealing with concave shapes. The problem is that their presence can slow down checking speeds for L-shapes and U-shapes, to name a few.

The latest MachineWorks version introduces more automation-enabled performance enhancements on the collision inference. This results in better check times for concave shapes.

Though the trend toward increased automation in CNC machining simulation and part component verification software is beneficial for human workers that perform shop operations like the manual handling of sheet metal bending, an interesting question arises:

If the general rule of thumb is that software eventually evolves into hardware, how long will it take before other manufacturing companies like MetallKonzept Glaser attempt to increase their bottom line by replacing their human workforce with an army of automated robots? That is an eventuality that many in the industry may be facing in the near future.

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