A new version of the TubeWorks tube bending CAD/CAM software, which now provides tubular metal fabricators with powerful pre-production tools for laser cutting as well as tube bending, is available from the tube bending machine manufacturer Unison.
Developed by the UK-based software consultancy 3DCompound, TubeWorks is a specialist add-in module for the popular SolidWorks mechanical CAD package. By combining powerful visualisation capabilities with automatic code extraction and file generation, the software enables metal fabricators to substantially increase the productivity of their tube handling operations through optimal use of manufacturing data. The time that it takes to develop programs for CNC tube bending and laser tube cutting machines, for example, is typically reduced from hours to just minutes.
For tube bending, the software automatically extracts key manufacturing information such as bend angles and rotations from a native SolidWorks model or a common CAD file such as STEP, IGES or ParaSolid and creates the bend table for immediate use on a CNC bending machine, as well as the XYZ coordinates and a 2D drawing of the modelled tube. Version 2.6 of TubeWorks extends this functionality significantly, by enabling users to ‘unbend’ the CAD models of bent tubes into flat (or straight) configurations containing full details of all holes and cut-outs, to provide the input data for laser tube cutting machines.
TubeWorks is a fully integrated add-in for the SolidWorks CAD package and is available exclusively from Unison. It eliminates the need for any additional software to generate manufacturing data for the design, development and production of tubular metal parts, while providing completely unfettered access to SolidWorks’ powerful design functions. A video demonstrating TubeWorks’ key features and ease of use can be viewed on Unison’s website at: http://unisonltd.com/products/software/tube-works/