Delcam to hold webinars on Vortex high-efficiency roughing

Delcam is to present a series of webinars on its Vortex high-efficiency roughing strategy, which has been shown to achieve savings of up to 90% in the time needed for area clearance.  The webinars, which will run under the headline New Tools, New Rules, will cover the use of Vortex in each of Delcam’s CAM products as follows:

20th November – Vortex in PowerMILL

27th November – Vortex in FeatureCAM

9th December – Vortex in FeatureCAM

11th December – Vortex in PartMaker

18th December – Vortex in Delcam for SolidWorks


For full details and to register, go to


The Vortex strategy gives the fastest safe metal removal from solid carbide tooling, in particular designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.  It can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining.  It gives benefits when machining all types of materials, including titanium, tool steel and alloys such as Inconel.


Vortex produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle and so maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the toolpath that would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves.  As a result, higher feed rates are possible so the cutting time is shorter, while cutting is undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and at a constant feedrate, so protecting the machine.


The constant feedrate achieved with Vortex is a fundamental difference from other high-speed roughing techniques.  Trials at Delcam have shown that this approach is more reliable as it can often be difficult to predict exactly how machine tools will react to changing feedrates.


Vortex also uses a minimum radius parameter, calculated to make sure that the machine tool can maintain the cutting feedrate in corners and, more generally, for any non-straight part of the toolpath.  This makes the cutting process more predictable since the machine should run at the programmed feedrate throughout and not slow down in the way that it could on other kinds of area-clearance toolpath.


The control of the engagement angle that is possible with the Vortex strategy also makes the performance of the tool more predictable because it is operating closer to the optimum cutting conditions associated with a straight-line cut.  This means that it is easier to adjust the feeds and speeds being used to machine a particular part such that a tool can be relied on to cut, for example, ten components before it needs to be changed.  A tool change can then be added into the program where appropriate so that lights-out machining can be undertaken safely and consistently on a long series of parts, either overnight or across a weekend.


The extent to which time can be saved with Vortex will vary depending on a number of factors, including the material and shape being cut, and the machine tool and cutting tools being used.  A series of trials run by Delcam on different machine tools within its Advanced Manufacturing Facility has shown that a time saving of at least 40% should be expected in most cases.


The exact effect on tool life from using the Vortex strategy also varies from project to project.  In one example, where 2,000 stainless steel components were being produced monthly, the number of tools being used was reduced from 300 to 100 each month.  The replacement tools were more expensive but the overall costs were still reduced by around 50%.


In another case, the user was able to produce a similar number of parts with a smaller cheaper tool costing around half as much, about £80 instead of £180.  With almost 900 parts being produced each month and both tools able to cut 9 parts before needing replacement; the saving was almost £10,000 per month.


For further information on Delcam’s range of CAM software, please contact: –

Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager

Direct phone: +44 (0)121 683 1081                e-mail:


Delcam plc

Small Heath Business Park,

Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK