For maximum cutting performance: Tebis implements innovative 5-axis milling technology
5-axis simultaneous milling, milling with tilt direction preview, 3D-milling and much more: Presentation at the Open House in Martinsried (June 20/21)
Martinsried, June 20, 2018 – Tebis, a specialist in CAD/CAM and MES process solutions in model, die and mold manufacturing, supports a variety of machine technologies such as milling, turning, drilling, laser cutting and much more in the CAM environment. In the area of milling, the company from Martinsried, Germany, is currently focusing on 5-axis milling and is significantly expanding its spectrum of NC strategies and implementation options. In addition to many other new features,* the latest release of Tebis CAD/CAM software includes a series of innovative 5-axis functions.
Bernhard Rindfleisch, Tebis founder and chairman of the board, explains: "Tebis users have been programming 5-axis NC programs for more than 20 years. We’ve continuously developed the technology, but we recognized the need for a change in direction. In the past, creating good 5-axis programs meant a significant amount of design effort and strong expertise in CAD surfaces.
Users have become more specialized
"In many cases, additional guide geometries had to be designed in our software in order to define how the cutters should traverse the part: specifically, their spatial orientation and path distribution," says Rindfleisch. "However, this requires that the NC programmers have the requisite skills, which are becoming increasingly rare. Therefore, we have modified, simplified and extended our 5-axis milling technology over the years."
Rindfleisch clarifies: "Now any CAM user with no CAD experience can calculate 5-axis NC programs for roughing, face and side finishing, machining contours and engraving. NC programming is just as easy as for 3-axis machining operations."
Substantial time-savings, thanks to maximized cutting performance
Experience shows that 5-axis NC programs can save a lot of time on the machines, if they are operated with special high-performance cutters like circle-segment cutters. This applies to prismatic 2.5D geometries like pockets as well as 3D free-form geometries.
5-axis machines need 5-axis NC programs
In addition to the X, Y and Z coordinates, 5-axis NC programs have two additional specified axes, typically rotational axes like the A and B axis that are used to define the 3D orientation of the tool. NC programs with specifications for five machine axes are generated in various ways:
- By 3-axis NC programming with constant 3D tool tilt direction. This is also known as multi-sided machining. These are not simultaneous 5-axis programs, because only three axes are traversed simultaneously.
- By 3-axis NC programming with automatic conversion to simultaneous 5-axis programs. The conversion is performed for collision avoidance and to achieve better cutting conditions through a constant change in the tool direction. This is frequently known as 5-axis avoidance milling
- The third possibility involves using specialized 5-axis simultaneous NC functions. In Tebis, this includes roughing free-form geometries and free-form pockets – also with curved bottoms – milling along contour curves, side and face finishing.
The NC programmer often decides which program will be the most efficient and generates the best surface quality for each application. The availability of milling tools and knowing the correct cutting data like feed rates and speeds are also important. The NC automation (Automill) integrated in Tebis helps to save and optimize programming expertise as well as cutting data in NC templates and make them available on a continuous basis to the NC programmers.
5-axis programming functions as optional add-ons
Tebis software is provided in specialized industry packages. All of the packages are designed for 5-axis NC programming and can be upgraded with special add-on modules. Tebis offers add-ons for multi-sided machining, 5-axis collision avoidance, 5-axis roughing, 5-axis finishing, side milling and undercut milling. A large range of cutter types are supported, from ball cutters and lollipop cutters to flat, torus and circle-segment cutters.
CAD preparation function for complex areas
For parts with complex geometry, Tebis Version 4.0 Release 6 provides a convenient option for creating milling areas for 5-axis simultaneous milling using guide curves and planar cuts, and for evaluating and optimizing them in a preview. These milling areas are saved in the Automill NCJob templates and are automatically selected for the actual NC program calculation.
Note for editors:
*A complete overview of all the new key functions in Release 6 – including features like improved usability and safety of the applications – is provided in the press release "Tebis launches Release 6 of its Tebis 4.0 CAD/CAM software," (6/20/2018) as well as on the Tebis website at:
Image 1: Bernhard Rindfleisch, Tebis AG founder and chairman of the board
Image 2: Tebis Release 6: Select continuous milling area and perform simultaneous 5-axis machining in a single operation
(Image: Tebis AG)
Image 3: Tebis 5-axis milling: Roughing free-form surfaces with a tool-saving adaptive NC strategy
(Image: Tebis AG)
Image 4: Tebis 5-axis milling: Huge time savings can be realized in 5-axis roughing of pockets, especially when using HPC cutters (high-performance cutting)
(Image: Tebis AG)
Image 5: Tebis 5-axis milling: A new automatic preview function helps the user define the path distribution in complex areas
(Image: Tebis AG)