Hexagon woodworking software automatically processes CAD assemblies for rapid programming & transition to production

New computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology released by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division fast-tracks the preparation of cabinet and furniture assemblies for production by automatically processing designs to shorten programs and streamline programming tasks. The ability to automatically process computer-aided design (CAD) assemblies increases competitiveness by reducing the time required to generate quotations and transition from planning to production.

Working with multiple CAD files to manufacture assemblies can be tedious and time consuming when each part must be prepared for production separately. Splitting multi-body solid models, such as designs for cabinet and furniture assemblies, into several part files for the application of toolpath requires a significant investment in programming time. The latest version of Hexagon’s Alphacam software helps to significantly reduce the time required to quote and process jobs by breaking multi-body solid models into individual components and batch processing assemblies. Part features, such as faces and holes, are automatically identified and parts automatically nested according to material types and thicknesses. Further automation is used to generate the G-code required to cut parts using computer-numerical control (CNC) machinery, as well as the reports needed to communicate job details to machine operators.

“Automating as many repetitive, time-consuming, error-prone and tedious tasks as possible helps make every step of the production process faster,” says Technical Product Manager, Justin Beamish. “The greater your ability to quickly put solid models to work, the less time employees spend extracting usable job information from design files. Using data more efficiently means that woodworkers can spend less time in the planning phase while devoting valuable time to other tasks.”


Working with solid models is further simplified in the new release, as programmers typically spend time extracting features from solid models to create geometries so that the software can generate toolpaths. Enabling users to apply toolpaths directly to solids without first creating geometries eliminates a step from the programming process and expedites the transition to production.

New graphical tools
The software also enables users to define clamps directly from assemblies or multiple solid models. Developed to help users better visualise the entire production process, new graphical tools allow the direct editing of clamps and fixtures. Material thicknesses are also now automatically considered when programming jobs that employ pop-up clamps, providing greater support for material stabilisation and quality control. Nesting functions have also been improved to provide support for nesting activities performed using vertical saw blades. During nesting operations with large disc blades, only a small portion of the blade is used at the full depth of material. The software now accounts for the size and shape of the blade so that it doesn’t damage other parts while cutting. While this capability is applicable to production with any material type, it’s especially useful for manufacturing stone worktops, shower basins and backsplashes.

To find out more about Alphacam software, see www.alphacam.com.

Alphacam – Hexagon (c/o Vero UK Limited)
Floor 2, No.One Waterside Drive
Arlington Business Park, Theale
Reading, RG7 4SW
01189 226 677