Delcam to present new Vortex roughing

Delcam will present the latest developments in its award-winning Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition to be held in Farnborough from 10th to 12th February.


Vortex was first introduced in Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining in 2013 and was subsequently added to the company’s FeatureCAM feature-based programming software, the PartMaker software for turn-mill equipment, Swiss-type lathes and bar-fed mills, and the Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM system.  Full details on the strategy can be found at


Vortex stainlessVortex gives the fastest safe metal removal from solid carbide tooling, in particular from designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.  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 can be used so the cutting time will be shorter, while cutting will be undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and at a near-constant feedrate, so protecting the tooling and the machine.


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.


Two recent enhancements will give even greater reductions in machining time with Vortex compared to conventional roughing.  The first change allows toolpaths to approach the part from outside the stock at the cutting height, both for open pockets and in areas where earlier cuts have made this possible.  Previously, all entry moves had to be made by plunging onto the surface or by ramping into the material.


The second change allows an increased feed rate to be set for non-cutting moves.  The default value is set at double the rate for the cutting moves but this can be altered as required for each machine tool.  The extra time that can be saved depends on the shape of the part but an additional saving of around 20% should be expected above the earlier releases of Vortex.


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


Caption: Using Vortex saved more than 60% of the time previously needed to rough machine this stainless steel part