Maximising the performance of cutting tools and minimising manufacturing costs is a key element of WNT (UK)’s support for its customers. Now, in partnership with IndieCAM Ltd. it is dramatically reducing rough milling cycle times through the implementation of the new Vortex machining strategy with its MCR Monstermill range of solid carbide cutters.
Vortex was developed by Delcam as part of its FeatureCAM CAM software package and as a sales partner for Delcam, IndieCAM Ltd. is working closely with WNT (UK) to generate significant cycle time reductions by as much as 50 per cent while at the same time improving tool useage. Unlike other high performance milling strategies where the contact area is a relatively small portion of the flute at the end of the cutter, Vortex utilises depths of cut of up to 3 x cutter diameter. This large depth of cut maximises the utilisation of the available flute length and avoids the situation where cutters may be discarded due to the ends being worn, while the rest of the flute is still in near pristine condition.
The cycle time reductions are also enhanced by the innovative cutter paths that create a series of semi-circular movements that have the effect of reducing the contact area and chip thickness. The process ensures that there is a constant load on the tool, eliminating the ‘shock engagement’ that can be present in other machining strategies. This consistency and cutter path profile allows much higher feedrates to be achieved while at the same time reducing the stress on the cutter and machine spindle.
As a part of WNT’s high performance HPC range MCR Monstermill cutters have been designed for rough milling steel and cast iron, but can be used on stainless steel components. The cutters feature a highly evolved roughing profile and cutting geometry, a key feature of which are the irregular pitched flutes. This helps increase cutting performance and generates an extremely soft cutting action and smaller chips, which is important when using the Vortex strategy.
Editor’s note: The reference to IndieCAM Ltd is important so as not to confuse with a product of a similar name.
Above: WNT’s MCR Monstermill cutter in action using the Vortex machining strategy.
Above: A finished demonstration piece clearly showing the ‘scalloped’ tool path created by the Vortex strategy.