ModuleWorks, one of the leading suppliers of CAD/CAM software components for machining and simulation, and ZEISS, an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics, are developing a solution that combines conventional CAM and the requirements of ultra-precision machining in a single CAD/CAM system.
Ultra-precision machining is used for parts that need to be machined to an accuracy of just a few µm and a roughness in the range of nm. Optical parts require both types of machining, ultra-precision machining for the optically effective areas of the part and conventional machining for the non-optical areas. Until now, no single CAD/CAM system combines both types of machining in a single, integrated solution.
ModuleWorks and ZEISS are working together to develop new machining cycles for an integrated process chain that enables optical parts to be machined using a single CAD/CAM system. Integrating all machining relevant processes in a unified system is expected to accelerate process programming for cutting complex freeform surfaces and to improve the quality and cost-efficiency of producing ultra-precision parts.
The new system is powered by the ModuleWorks 64-bit optics kernel. The kernel is based on the industry proven ModuleWorks 5-Axis technology for toolpath generation and has been specially developed to meet the growing demand for high-precision machining of increasingly complex geometries in the optics industry. The ModuleWorks optics kernel supports multi-threading for fast, ultra-precision machining of optical parts such as lenses, molding tools and lens arrays. It supports grinding and diamond turning as well as grinding patterns for roughing, drilling, chamfering, slotting and contouring. The full 3D machine and material removal simulation software can also be applied to small cutting inserts.