Established in 1986, SAY Plastics, McSherrystown, Pa., designs and articles thermoformed apparatus and packaging solutions for the rail, bus, material-handling, recreation, and ball industries. Services board re-engineering, protective-packaging manufacturing, design, exhaustion forming, burden forming, array forming, CNC machining, fabrication, and assembly. The company forms a ambit of area materials, including acrylic, ABS, PVC, PC, and alloys.
Once genitalia are formed, operators accomplish surface-finish and accent operations with CNC routers, accurately five-axis and three-axis machines. All models affection 5 Å~ 10 ft assignment surfaces to board ample parts. Despite these acutely ample assignment surfaces, SAY Plastics’ programmers face machine-size limitations. Mastercam CAD/CAM software (supplied by CNC Software Inc., Tolland, Conn.) helped dness that affair and provided a host of action improvements.
“Mastercam has able geometry-creation accoutrement that I can use to apparatus at the angles I charge to fit aural the envelope of our equipment,” says Thomas Slaybaugh, SAY Plastics’ engineering manager. Six years ago, he began application the software about alone for multi-axis ambit and assignment operations. Apparent machining anon followed, and the aggregation has relied on the software anytime since.
SAY Plastics bare a way to advance the envelope—or at atomic aggrandize it. Its three-axis CNC router, acclimated mainly for machining molds and apparent finishing, has acme limitations. For example, if a artisan tries to cut a 108-in. allotment on a apparatus with a 120-in. “X” biking and a 20-in. spindle, acid both ends is problematic.
The artisan charge annoyance or advance cuts on the two opposing sides. The CAM software enables him to do aloof that. “Mastercam allows us to allotment a archetypal that’s too aerial into assorted layers,” said Slaybaugh.
Using accelerated Dynamic Motion toolpaths, programmers can advance CNC machines appropriate up to their accouterments limitations. Dynamic Motion technology uses proprietary algorithms to ascertain changes in the actual as the apparatus moves through. It engages the absolute canal breadth of acid tools, so air acid is minimized or eliminated, extenuative abrasion and breach on the accoutrement and ensuring connected dent loading. The software calculates angles, feeds and speeds, while Dynamic toolpaths capitalize on the machine’s abounding capabilities.
Another CAM software affection that SAY Plastics programmers acknowledge is the Verify function. It lets programmers analysis for gouges, appearance the accomplished appearance of parts, and see how to board accessories in the Verify simulation screen.
Productivity increases, and problems are arresting afore they anytime accomplish it to the boutique floor. Programmers can verify on a abstracted cilia while continuing to program, a abundance addition for those alive with time-consuming processes such as 3D and accelerated toolpaths.
Most of SAY Plastics’ allotment designs are created with Solidworks clay software. Designers accessible a book and analyze appearance like allegory ambit and bend and position alteration to dness abeyant issues. One chump partnered with SAY Plastics to architecture and accomplish a ample artificial awning to adhere a toilet.
The end artefact was a bath assurance affection for bodies with disabilities. Fitted alongside a toilet that is fixtured to a wall, the awning fills the gap amid the bank and toilet, abbreviation the accident of a being falling off or sliding to the floor.
To apparatus the 4-by-3-by-3-ft parts, applique was advised at an odd bend to anticipate undercuts, which can arrest allotment casting from tooling. The CAM software, accurately the construe and circle options, accustomed Slaybaugh to alike that bend aural the software program. When the allotment was created, it was akin to a absolute allotment sitting on top of a absolute fixture, he said. Allotment testing appear that modifications were needed, however. Application the multi-axis toolpath on a five-axis CNC router, Slaybaugh was able to adapt the CAM affairs and absolute the apparatus to trim added in some places and beneath abysmal in others. The aboriginal footfall in thermoforming a allotment is authoritative a mold. Angles are drafted in Solidworks and, in some cases, Mastercam.
SAYtooling System is the thermoformer’s applique development affairs geared against new-product development, startup projects, and low- and medium-volume programs. It is far added ambrosial to access a new artefact affairs spending $5000 rather than $30,000, addendum Slaybaugh. But after reliable CAM software, the thermoformer would not be able to accomplish accoutrement in-house.
Considering that an aluminum cast that is apprenticed out can be fabricated centralized for beneath than bisected of the cost, the accumulation are substantial. SAY Plastics passes those accumulation on to customers.
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