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New rib-machining module for PowerMILL CAM system

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

Delcam has launched a new rib-machining module for its PowerMILL CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining.  The new module has been introduced to speed up and simplify the machining into tooling of cavities to form ribs.

PowerMILL rib machining

A video showing how to use the new module is at


Reinforcing ribs are required in many types of plastic mouldings, from electrical housings to containers to furniture.  They are typically much deeper than they are wide, which poses special challenges when machining the cavities needed to form them.  In many cases, these challenges prompt companies to use EDM to form the features rather than machining.


The new PowerMILL rib-machining module makes it much easier and safer to program the machining of cavities for narrow ribs, even when the cutter’s length is much greater than its diameter.  Using the dedicated rib-machining strategy gives a better surface finish than using a standard finish-machining option and also improves efficiency by limiting the number of air moves.


The first stage of the process is to create a pattern for a single rib, by sketching a line along its length.  PowerMILL uses this line to identify automatically all the surfaces needed to form the rib.  The machining sequence is then calculated.  Usually, the machining will either be undertaken by cutting progressively deeper along the centreline of the cavity using a form tool matching the rib profile or by profiling along either side of the rib with a standard tool.


In many cases, most, if not all, of the ribs in a part will have similar depth and width profiles.  Thus, once the user is happy with the sequence developed for the first rib, the same machining strategies with the same tooling can be applied across the complete network of ribs so minimising programming times.


For more information on Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system, 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


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