Delcam Professional Services is offering free Custom Software Core software to speed up and simplify the automation of repetitive operations in Delcam’s PowerSHAPE design and reverse engineering software, and PowerMILL CAM system.
Even though both PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL incorporate automatic routines as part of the software, many experienced users like to customise the software to automate further standard, repetitive operations specific to their application or product range. Typically, this is done by recording a sequence of operations as a macro that can be replayed when a similar calculation, or series of calculations, is required. For more complex operations, this can be a time-consuming process and can produce an intricate string of commands that is difficult for other users to understand or to edit.
The Custom Software Core is a library of middleware that allows users to develop code more intuitively than using macros when interfacing .NET applications to PowerSHAPE and/or PowerMILL. The use of an Object Oriented design, together with IntelliSense in Microsoft Visual Studio, means that the software engineer can discover the functionality available when interfacing with PowerSHAPE and/or PowerMILL more easily than recording a macro and pasting together a series of commands.
An additional benefit is that the number of lines of code in the customised application will be reduced, typically by at least 50% compared to using macro commands. Rather than using lengthy blocks of macro commands that are hard for other users to read and understand, the new application comprises easy-to-read function calls, each of which can encapsulate many lines of macro commands.
Using the Custom Software Core also makes it easier to upgrade any custom application from one version of PowerSHAPE or PowerMILL to a newer version. Any changes between software releases to the macro command for a particular operation can be handled by downloading a new version of the Custom Software Core. This new version will ensure that the application will continue to function as before, without any need to recreate macros.
The Custom Software Team within Delcam Professional Services used the Custom Software Core to develop an automated production method for Yooshu, a manufacturer of custom-made sandals. The Team, which combines software development and mechanical engineering skills, was able to develop a system that interfaces with a third-party foot scanner to obtain scan data from the customer’s feet. That data is then passed to PowerSHAPE to design the sandal, and then to PowerMILL to create and post-process the toolpaths used by a robot to cut the custom shape.
The software can be downloaded from www.delcam-services.com/custom-software-core