iMachining: The Revolution in Manufacturing


All it takes for an industry to be revolutionized is one idea. In the manufacturing industry, iMachining was the light bulb moment that changed everything.

It was in 2006 that the development of iMachining started. The first step was getting the distinctive spiral toolpath right and it took about three complete years to make its first working prototype. It changed slightly from a spiral to a morphed spiral with channel separation.

The other fundamental addition to this technology was made by Anthony Calderone (Chief Technical Officer) and Chris Calderone (Product Manager, iMachining). In standard machining, cutting parameters must be specified manually. The result is dependent on the operator’s knowledge which, often, is a result of the hit and miss trial method. Chris, amazed by the new iMachining toolpaths, decided to improve it further. He eliminated the guesswork from the process by making a Technology Wizard that does the operator’s job by automatically calculating the optimal values for all cutting parameters.

Thus, the two pillars of iMachining- the Intelligent Toolpath Generator and the Technology wizard- were born.

iMachining Tool Paths

Technology Wizard

New Possibilities

Manufacturing is about efficiency - in terms of time, accuracy, and money. And that is what iMachining does - saves your time and money without compromising on accuracy.  It is focused on getting the part out right, getting the part out quickly and getting the part with minimum tool wear.

There is a promise of improved performance we make at SolidCAM. iMachining is proven to be effective at reducing cycle times by up to 70%. It also increases the productivity of your CNC machine by incorporating roughing, finishing and rest material operations in a single job. It even increases the life of your tool by regulating tool engagement. The feature recognition option makes it very easy to define with features with minimal input- it takes all the information of stock, rest material and undercuts from the solid model itself.

An extremely important additional benefit of using iMachining is the great reduction in mechanical and thermal stress suffered by the workpiece compared to conventional milling. This is achieved thanks to the unique feature of iMachining which actively ensures exact cutting conditions for each point along the tool path. This makes it particularly adept at machining hard materials (inconel, titanium, stellite, tungsten etc). iMachining works on the principles of High Speed Machining, developed by Carl Solomon in 1931, to achieve this. The cutting speed is increased to 5-10 times higher than conventional machining, at which point the temperature will start to decrease, thus facilitating higher feed rates.

iMachining 2D iMachining 3D iMachining 3D for Prismatic Parts

There is no limitation that iMachining has when it comes to the type of part it can be used for. It supports 2D and 3D milling, 4-axis machining and mill-turn. The biggest advantage of iMachining is how easy it is to learn. It has the "iMachining level slider" which lets the user choose from 8 selectable levels of machining. One does that keeping in mind the conditions of the machine- this is where human intelligence plays a huge role. It is now also available for Siemens NX. CAM users can insert iMachining 2D and 3D operations directly inside NX CAM, using all NX functionality.

A Comprehensive Strategy

Where iMachining differs from its competitors is the attention to detail. The number of factors taken into consideration to provide the best output for the part, tool and machine are not comparable to any other similar technology. The inclusivity of all possible elements- cutting angle, variable feed rates for constant cutting force, maximum morphed spirals, thin wall handling, complete process (roughing, rest machining, finishing), shortest learning curve- is what makes SolidCAM stand out in the market.

This ingenious technology has already shown unbelievable results in a multitude of industries- the aerospace and mold industries being at the forefront of this. With the exponential increase in demand and production of a variety of products, the mold making industry is in need of better and quicker molds, and iMachining provides that. The aerospace industry also has very specific needs of thin-walled, strong and light parts made from materials like aluminum and titanium- a job best done by iMachining 3D. The next time you sit in an airplane, observe the main entrance door- it's made by iMachining!

The marvel of iMachining, in all its glory, is not far away. If you wish to see an iMachining demonstration or would like more information, please feel free to contact us.