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Program A Part Once, Machine It Many Times Over

SME.org recently published an article, “Program a part once, machine it many times over,” in which they discuss how advances in CAD/CAM design and modeling are helping manufacturers to save time and improve accuracy.

Vynce Paradise, head of NX CAM development for Siemens, explains how the latest capabilities in NX for Manufacturing allow manufacturers to save up to 90% in programming time and extend tool life. In the following excerpt, he describes the advantages of convergent modeling:

Mixed-mode, or hybrid, convergent modeling technology enables 3D product modeling using both mesh and surface data sources in a single environment, while eliminating the complexity, potential errors and delays due to data conversions, said Vynce Paradise, head of NX CAM development for Siemens. Siemens’ Convergent Modeling capability is included in NX and Solid Edge.

Program-a-part-once-machine-it-many-times-over

Traditional solid modeling systems do not operate well, or at all, to edit models that have faceted surfaces, he said. A model can be converted from a true solid model, also known as fully mathematically defined or analytical surface, to a faceted model that is simpler and gives acceptable data when approximate surface definitions are needed. But then it’s not always easy or even possible to convert back to do true solid model and do more modeling.

The value of convergent modeling is two-fold: The process chain is no longer one way (from solid model to faceted with no way back); and designers can take output from scanning systems, which is nearly always faceted, and use it in a modeling environment, Paradise said. “The big savings is not having to remodel,” he added. “You don’t have to spend time doing a remodel of the component to use tools that work in only one mode.”

Convergent modeling is being increasingly deployed in aerospace in use cases dependent on repeated optimization using stress analysis, as well as in the medical industry to create customized artificial joints, Paradise said.

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