Zurich, Switzerland--Users expect integrated CAD/CAM on high-end, high-priced UNIX platforms. That same capability, however, is also available on the Windows 95 and NT platforms--at a substantially lower price. Third-party developers, moreover, are not necessary.
Based on a uniform 3D data model, Swiss Precision/Engineer includes six integrated modules: Modeler, Drafter, Librarian, Simulator, Machinist, and Manager. The master model, which supports manufacturing operations and technical product documentation in the form of drawings, is the foundation of the package's integrated architecture.
SwissPrecision/Modeler lets users choose one of three modeling approaches, depending on the task. Wireframe modeling allows reuse of conventional CAD data imported from other systems. The feature-based solid modeler permits parametric modeling via a dynamic sketcher, and supports design variant modeling and generation of associative drawings. Robust surface modeling functions enable the design of complex shapes; further, surfaces serve as the basis for NC machining.
With hybrid modeling, all work links to the 3D data model. Users can switch from wireframe to surface, and from surface to solids models--or vice-versa. Features and shapes maintain their properties within the differing geometric environments.
The master model is also used to perform simultaneous 2- and 3-axis milling and drilling operations directly, without drawings. Because of Swiss Precision/Engineer's powerful surfacing functions and NC programming functions, geometric entities can be modified or guide contours sketched at any point.
In addition, users have access to drilling cycles and multiple milling strategies for roughing and finishing, including highlighting of areas not yet machined. Several different surfaces can be milled in one pass and toolpaths can be modified using an interactive graphical toolpath editor.
"Most competing Windows-based products," claims company President Franz Strobl, "don't have both CAD and CAM. Instead they offer an API to third party developers. This does not give the same level of integration."
Strobl also notes that even as third party integration improves, there are still two vendors and two development efforts. "When one supplier changes the release," he points out, "it impacts the integration."
Besides the CAD/CAM functions, Swiss Precision/Engineer also provides an integrated parts library, NC simulator, and system. The Librarian module consists of a comprehensive catalog of fasteners, symbols, and standardized bores that can be placed into drawings.
Visualization and verification of machining operations is achieved with rendered models using the Simulator module included in the CAM package. Graphical representation of material removal makes it easy to detect non-machined areas and potential collisions. Plus, sections can be cut through the material block at any point during the simulation for further inspection of machining operations.
During all operations, the Manager module supports the organization of data generated. CAD objects are managed separately from tooling, NC programs, and other CAM objects.
SwissPrecision/Engineer boasts interactive, context-sensitive help that is accessed through a standard web browser. Users with questions can query PrecisionSoft support via the Internet at www.swissprecision..