Developed and supported globally by CGTech, VERICUT is the world’s leading independent CNC simulation and optimisation software.
CGTech is increasingly challenged to simulate more complex processes and machines, while supporting ‘right first time’ production goals. The latest release of the software, Version 8, ties complex processes together with the ability to monitor and evaluate many potential problems in an efficient and consolidated way, thereby reducing the time spent in the programming and machining cycle.
VERICUT Machine simulation detects collisions and near-misses between all machine tool components such as axis slides, heads, turrets, rotary tables, spindles, tool changers, fixtures, workpieces, cutting tools, and other user-defined objects. Users can also set up ‘near-miss zones’ around components to check for close calls and detect over-travel errors. Machine movements and material replacement can even be simulated while stepping or playing backwards.
VERICUT CNC machine simulation, verification and optimisation software simulates all types of CNC machining, including drilling and trimming of composite parts, water jet, riveting, robots, mill-turn and parallel kinematics. The software operates independently, but can also be integrated with leading CAM systems including Dassault Systemes CATIA, Siemens PLM NX, Autodesk PowerMill and Vero EdgeCAM.
Version 8 features several enhancements designed to increase the ability of manufacturing engineers to analyse, optimise, and document the CNC programming and machining process. Intelligence gathered from both the cut part and the machining process is applied to achieve an even higher level of accuracy and efficiency.
A new Ribbon Bar in the latest release optimises workflow and helps users find the functionality required with minimal mouse clicks. The Ribbon Bar allows the quick selection of the VERICUT function needed. Moving from tab to tab, the Ribbon Bar dynamically updates to show the options available for that tab. Options are grouped by the function they perform within VERICUT.
The Ribbon Bar is highly customisable, but to ease the transition for experienced users of the software a ‘VERICUT Classic’ setting organises all of the menus and options where they were previously located (a ‘cheat sheet’ is also available from the cgtech.com website). Several other layout options are included and can be selected depending on the task at hand. Users can also create and save their own workflow as needed for different jobs.
“VERICUT 8 is all about optimising our customers’ workflow to quickly access only the menu choices needed at the time,” states CGTech’s Managing Director, John Reed. “The Ribbon Bar has been developed to help users find the functionality they need quickly and with minimal mouse clicks.”
CAD/CAM programmers and manufacturing engineers now have the ability to optimise ‘Air Cuts Only’ focusing on the milling cutter motions away from the raw material. This capability is included within the base Verification license, and this new method is intended as an easy-to-use, entry level technique of optimising NC programs. Additional optimisation strategies are available with the optional OptiPath or FORCE modules.
VERICUT V8 can read STEP files without any extra licensing. The STEP Model Interface reads STEP files (.stp or .step) containing AP203 and AP214 (geometry only) protocols. A STEP file can be referenced directly in VERICUT’s modelling interface to describe machine, stock, ﬁxture, and design shapes, or 3D cutting tool shapes in VERlCUT’s Tool Manager. The Tool Manager displays the CAD Geometry window that allows users to identify which parts of the CAD model ﬁle correspond with holders, cutters, or inserts.
As with all software programs, the accuracy of the data input will directly affect the output. So, an accurate model of the cutting tool and holder is required for the effective and accurate simulation of the machining process. Most leading cutting tool manufacturers now make 3D solid model data available and VERICUT can read in this model data for use in the simulation process. Many of the 3D models are available via the Machining Cloud App, and Version 8 has been enhanced to take advantage of more Machining Cloud metadata. This can significantly simplify the configuration of tools for use in VERICUT, and better describe their proper use and limitations. The software also interfaces with tool management systems such as TDM Systems, Zoller, and WinTool for access to databases storing cutting tool information. Also, the WinTool interface can now be launched from within Tool Manager.
VERICUT also integrates with most major tool management systems. Pre-setting suppliers including Zoller and Speroni can also interface to the software, so tool offsets and exact dimensions can be applied to the simulation session.
A new preferences dialog allows users to setup many default settings that help to streamline creation of cutting tool assemblies. For example, specifying the colours used, and the driven point offset numbering scheme (default to ‘1’ or follow the tool number), and CAD model tolerances for cutters and holders, and if the holder is desired (or not) for a new tool. Each imported 3D tool model can also have its own separate model tolerance. For example, users may want a very high accuracy on the cutter model, and less tolerance on the holder model. Tool Manager in this version also has a number of other time-saving features, such as being able to mark any tools as ‘Default’, to be the starting point for building similar tools of that type, instead of starting from scratch. There are also a number of Copy/Paste/Multi Select improvements.
The VERICUT logger now displays messages and reports from many sources in a tabbed logger window. In addition to errors, warnings, and other messages from the VERICUT session, it also displays information from AUTO-DIFF and X-Caliper. The messages can be grouped, sorted, and displayed in a variety of ways depending on user preference. VERICUT speeds investigation with dynamic links between logger messages and responsible NC Program records. So the exact source of an error can be located in just one click.
A new ‘Toolpath Trace’ feature creates a wireframe of the motion path that can then be measured. In NC Program Preview or Review modes, picking on a toolpath trace in the wireframe automatically sets the simulation to that record in the NC program.
The Force module, first available with the release of Version 7.4, is a physics-based optimisation method that determines the maximum reliable feedrate for a given cutting condition based on four factors: force on the cutter, spindle power, maximum chip thickness, and maximum allowable feedrate. In this latest version there are new features for better control of entry/exit speeds, ‘clean-up’ feedrates, and tooling information has been re-arranged to be more intuitive.
Several additional new features include the ability to translate models via selecting solid model features, eliminating the need to create co-ordinate systems for positional information. Enhanced modelling options in Version 8 provide greater control and flexibility over moving individual models, assemblies, and component origins, greatly reducing time to model machines, especially from 3D CAD model assemblies.
John Reed concludes: “We have worked with end users and machine tool manufacturers to create accurate and effective Virtual Machine Tool configurations. These range from simple 3-axis milling machines to multi-axis machining centres; simple 2-axis lathes to complex mill-turn centres with sub-spindles and robot loading; water jet and laser cutting, and machining/polishing robots. VERICUT simulates every machine tool brand, including DMG Mori, Mazak, Makino, Matsuura, Hermle, Chiron, Starrag, WFL, Okuma and many more.”
Now supporting Windows 10, VERICUT Version 8 has had many performance enhancements applied, and self-guided training sessions launch from the welcome screen and automatically open the associated sample files.