Cost-Effective Engraving for Mold Design and Machining

German software developer Schott Systeme GmbH (Germany) is providing moldmakers with best-in-class engraving tools as standard, within their integrated CAD/CAM package Pictures by PC 3.2.

German software developer Schott Systeme GmbH (Germany) is providing moldmakers with best-in-class engraving tools as standard, within their integrated CAD/CAM package Pictures by PC 3.2. These engraving tools enable both the design and machining of the typical graphical information found on plastic molded parts, such as company logos, recycling symbols and table based technical data. Starting with the actual engravings, Schott Systeme has included a dedicated suite of graphic design and typography tools, enabling the creation of artwork, as well as text and table based information. Ensuring that all lettering is created to the very high standards required by moldmakers, Pictures by PC also combines the use of postscript fonts, with the ability to individually respace lettering using professional kerning tools. Existing 2-D artwork can in addition be imported from Adobe Illustrator (*.ai) and Corel Draw (via *.eps) formats, as well as from more diverse sources such as cliparts, WMF’s and even scanned/vectorised sketches and bitmaps. Once the 2-D artwork is ready, predefined machining techniques are instantly applied to firstly rough out the surrounding areas, and then re-machine the rest material with conical engraving tools. However problematic of highly intricate mold engraving are the tight areas around extremely small lettering and symbols that prevent the tool actually passing through. Here Pictures by PC provides carving techniques, whereby the depth of the tool continually changes to ride over problem areas, resulting in sharp lettering and a very high level of detail on graphics. Transformation of the finished 2-D machining onto the 3-D freeform molds and electrodes is then a simple projection, removing the need to remodel in 3-D. This projected CAM also includes the automatic calculation of engraving for 5-axis simultaneous machining.