Redesigned CAM engine anticipates mill, lathe evolution

Gibbs and Associates has introduced GibbsCAM 2015 for programming CNC machine tools, which is built on the GibbsCAM UKM (Universal Kinematic Machine) software engine. Though backward compatible, the completely reengineered engine is designed to address what the company sees as an increasingly blurred line between the definition of mills and lathes with the advent of turn-mill machines and multitasking machines. As a result, the UKM engine can support any number of axes in any direction with multiple tools cutting simultaneously, and improves rendering and machine simulation in order to accommodate both existing and future machine types.


Built on this engine, the GibbsCAM 2015 software features added tool types (such as barrel, dovetail and convex tip), as well as dynamic 3D tool and toolholder viewing in the tool dialog for accurate visualisation and selection. The Intermediate Tooling category allows for items that are neither tools nor fixed machine parts, such as fixtures (e.g., chucks and tailstocks) and tool blocks (e.g., adapter blocks). The programmer can create libraries of tool blocks to ease complex machine setup and can share them across different parts, saving time and reducing errors.

Other features include additional high speed machining (HSM) strategies and improved geometry tools, such as spline editing and contour tracing capabilities. Additions to machining functionality include adaptive roughing capabilities, predrilling and background processing for VoluMill, as well as Tombstone Management System capabilities. Functionality has also been added to aid in the importing and machining of hole features. Holes are now treated as fully associative features of solid bodies, including those imported from SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor or Catia Version 5. Compound holes (holes with multiple tapered or threaded segments) are supported as well.

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