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WorkNC is a Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software developed by Sescoi for 2, 2.5, 3, 3+2 and 5-axis machining. WorkNC is used by more than 25% of companies in countries such as Japan and is known for having always focused on automation and ease of use since its first release in 1988. WorkNC-CAD was introduced in 2002, making WorkNC a complete CAD/CAM product, one of the leaders in its field. The typical users of WorkNC belong to the following industries: automotive, aerospace and defense, engineering, medical & dental, tooling, mold and die manufacturing. WorkNC is supported from Sescoi offices in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, India, China and Korea, and more than 50 distributors around the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Main functionality
- 3 CAD formats imported
- 4 Complementary products
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The first version of WorkNC CAM software was released by Sescoi in 1988. The driving forces behind the product were Bruno Marko, president of Sescoi, and Gerard Billard, R&D Innovation Manager.
In the late eighties, CNC programming of complex components was a difficult and lengthy process. This was when Sescoi identified the need for 3-axis CAM software and pioneered the development of WorkNC, a new, reliable and automatic 3-axis CAM system. Over the years, Sescoi has stuck to the original philosophy behind WorkNC : to speed up toolpath calculations, ensure optimum reliability to facilitate machining directly into hard materials, and maximize automation and ease of use so that programming can be carried out on the shop floor. Automation is a theme which runs throughout the development history of the software. According to Bruno Marko, “WorkNC’s aim has always been to be the closest thing possible to a ‘single-button’ CAM”.
Salomon Group was the first customer to use WorkNC in 1988 and has now been using it for over 20 years to manufacture ski boots and other sports equipment. Demand for WorkNC took off and Sescoi expanded its operations by opening offices in the USA in 1991, Germany and Japan in 1995, UK in 1997, followed by Spain, India, China and Korea.
The company released WorkNC-CAD in 2002 and WorkNC 5-axis in 2003.
WorkNC G3, the third generation of the software with an integrated and intuitive CAD/CAM interface, was released in 2007.
In 2009 the company launched WorkNC Dental, a CAD/CAM software for automatic 3 to 5-axis machining of prosthetic appliances, implants or dental structures, and also launched WorkNC Wire EDM, a software for Wire EDM. In 2010 Sescoi launched WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling, a powerful 3D CAD software for 3D model design, reparation and machining preparation, with new surface design capabilities tightly integrated with solid modeling functionality, powered by D-Cubed software components.
In 2010 Sescoi introduced WorkNC Version 21, a new 64-bit version with parallel computing capability, allowing the greater memory available in the latest hardware to be used, with multi-threading and multi-processing of tasks, enabling several algorithms to run in parallel. For large models, and for 3- and 5-axis machining, this extra processing power meant faster calculations, particularly on roughing operations. WorkNC V21 also included new high speed machining routines.
WorkNC CAM main functions include:
- Automatic geometry and machining zone detection and management
- Specific fluid and progressive toolpaths designed for High Speed Machining
- Full user stock definition (block, CAD, STL)
- Dynamic 3 and 3+2 stock Management (Real time toolpath updated)
- Complete tool and holder collision check with automatic stock update
- Powerful toolpath editor
- Virtual 3D machine representation and machining simulation (dynamic editing of points and vectors)
- Powerful tool and holder library (holder components managed)
- Automatic HTML workshop documentation.
- Fore-casted calculation and machining times can be exported to WorkPLAN, the ERP software from Sescoi
- User predefined machining sequences for automatic machining
- Machining from STL files and point clouds
- Batch mode calculations
- Comprehensive postprocessor generator (NURBS, cycles, circular interpolation...)
- Global Roughing and Re-roughing toolpath designed and optimized for HSM (high speed machining)
- A range of specific toolpaths with trochoidal, spiral or plunging movement, including HVR (high volume roughing)
- Roughing strategies use the Tool and Holder collision check with an automatic update of the stock
- Automatic calculation and machining of rest areas based on dynamic stock
- Re-machining toolpaths enable automatic rest material machining with increasingly smaller tools
- A wide range of Finishing toolpaths optimized for HSM machining
- Z Level finishing, Planar finishing, Flat surface finishing, Contour finishing, Edge finishing
- Automatic Rest-material finishing with a sequence of progressively smaller tools
- 3D Display of rest-material areas
- Automatic 5 Axis conversion possible
2 and 2.5 Axis toolpaths
Range of 2 and 2½-axis strategies include:
- Pocketing, Contouring, Curve machining, Engraving, Rib machining, Facing, Drilling, Tapping ...
- Automatic Drilling Module
- Automatic feature detection and recognition, Pre-defined drilling sequence selection, Automatically generated drilling operations, Deep hole and intersecting hole drilling management
- Customized Postprocessor
5 Axis toolpaths
- Automatic 3 to 5-axis conversion with WorkNC Auto 5 
- Wide range of Simultaneous 4 and 5 Axis toolpaths
- 5 Axis Rolling, Planar finishing, Spiral Blade, Impeller, Tube, Laser ...
- Collisions detection and machine limits management.
CAD formats imported
WorkNC Dental has a graphic user interface designed for labs and dental technicians who are not machining experts. It is the closest thing to a "one-button CAM" for the dental sector and has been developed and tested in collaboration with dental professionals and professional bodies. Its automatic 3 and 5-axis toolpaths combine with technology for nesting and orientating prosthetic implants. Additionally it has tools for adding support pins and identification markings.
STL and native dental CAD formats are imported into WorkNC Dental ready for “machining wizards” to guide the user through the manufacturing process. The system automatically selects tools, machining sequences and cutting conditions optimized for particular types of material, such as cobalt-chrome, titanium and zirconia, and for particular prostheses, such as copings and bridges. The intricate nature of some implants requires the use of 5-axis machining methods to reach every part of the job. Traditionally requiring highly skilled programmers, WorkNC Dental overcomes this problem with its automated 5-axis software. Intelligence within the system considers the limitations and kinematics of the machine tool itself to automatically produce reliable and collision free 5-axis toolpaths.
WorkNC MPM (Multi-Part Machining)
WorkNC MPM is a CAD/CAM module that allows users to machine multiple parts simultaneously on the same machine. Operators are confronted by a number of problems as a result of multiple tool changes (collision management, down time and lack of precision).
WorkNC's MPM module eliminates these problems and offers productivity gains by optimizing the machining operations. No programming is required and no supplementary part origin data need to be defined.
There is also a significant reduction in the number of tool changes required. Problems due to incorrect tool numbering are eliminated, and there are no collisions between the parts.
The use of predefined pallet systems ensures rapid and safe machining.
MPM can consider a complete pallet load of electrodes as one part, using each tool across all the electrodes on the pallet. The software ensures collision-free cutter paths as it moves across the job, and eliminates the many tool change operations that would otherwise be required. MPM automatically determines a safe retract height above the tallest electrode, and the clear graphics enable the programmer to identify the slightest potential problem.
The main benefits of WorkNC MPM are: No programming is necessary on the machine, Simple and reliable part positioning, Unsupervised machining, Optimal use of clamping assemblies and palettes, Significant reduction in number of tool changes, Flexibility and adaptability during modifications, Part symmetry and rotation without having to recalculate toolpaths.
WorkNC LMP (Layer Milling Process)
WorkNC LMP is a CAD/CAM software for cutting parts in layers, a well-known technique for machining deep and narrow cavities.
WorkNC-LMP automatically divides 3D models and creates roughing and finishing toolpaths for each layer. This technology can be used on any machining center, simplifying the programming and cutting of complex shapes by building them up in manageable sections.
Sescoi worked in collaboration with F. Zimmermann, combining the speed and accuracy of the dedicated Zimmermann LMC (Layer Milling Centre) with Sescoi's WorkNC-LMP. By using the software in conjunction with the machine all the toolpaths and special machine control sequences are automatically generated to cut parts in unmanned operation.
The LMC works from underneath, using high-speed techniques to machine each layer in turn. As each layer is roughed and finished a new plate is bonded, ready for the next machining operation, this continues until the finished part is built up. WorkNC-LMP automates this process starting from the CAD model, firstly splitting it into layers, and then generating both the roughing and finishing toolpaths for each layer. This technique is ideal for high speed machining enabling the use of short and rigid cutters, and eliminates the possibility of a collision. WorkNC-LMP allows to select the material from a materials library and controls factors such as surface roughening prior to bonding, cutting adhesive channels to control excess glue, overlapping of cutter paths to remove traces of glue, and paths for the application of adhesive between layers. It provides the visual control of all toolpaths and the calculation of the estimated total machining time.
WorkNC-LMP combines the advantages of generative rapid prototyping with conventional machining, and is the latest example of the company's resolve to make new processes a reality for its customers.
WorkNC Wire EDM
WorkNC Wire EDM is a CAD/CAM software for Wire Electrical discharge machining. Dialog boxes guide the user through the system. Functions within WorkNC Wire EDM allow the extraction of cross sections, ready for 2- or 4-axis cutting. Alternatively, the 3D surfaces of the CAD model can be used directly.
It also includes graphical verification to automatically check for collisions and the maximum wire angle possible on each individual EDM machine. The latest version makes it easy to extract and link 4-axis wire paths. Dialog boxes guide the user through the process making it simple to add tags, create roughing and finishing wire paths, lead in and out moves, a range of corner strategies, and tag removal cycles. Postprocessors and technology libraries are included for all leading machines.
WorkNC-CAD is a manufacturing CAD software with surface and solid modeling functions. It is included free as a standard integrated component of WorkNC. It provides features required to design and manufacture molds, dies, and tooling without the need for additional software applications or outsourcing.
WorkNC-CAD has advanced intelligent surface morphing for filling simple or complex cavities, automatic 2D feature recognition and cycle definition for drilling, counterboring, reaming and tapping, as well as automatic mold and die core separation.
WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling
WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling (HM) is a 3D CAD software launched by Sescoi in 2010 for 3D model design, reparation and machining preparation, with surface design capabilities integrated with solid modeling functionality in a user friendly environment. It can be used as an independent CAD product. It is powered by D-Cubed software components from Siemens PLM.
WorkNC-CAD HM works on solid and surface models making use of parametric commands to easily manipulate and repair CAD data. Along with multiple CAD translators, it includes modules for electrode creation, core/cavity separation and Wire EDM. The WorkNC Electrode module makes use of the WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling capabilities to extract electrode shapes directly from solid or surface models. The electrode model can be modified and extended, and tool holders added from a library to produce a complete electrode. WorkNC's collision checking ensures the electrode does not collide with any surrounding surfaces, automatically adding extensions as required. Documentation and electrode coordinate systems are produced by the software to ensure correct positioning for the EDM operations.
WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling features include:
- Large visualization area
- Construction tree that enables simplified CAD/CAM entity management
- Context menus accessible in the construction tree and in the graphic window
- Access to features according to context
- Real-time preview of surface and solid modeling functions
- Configurable interface (keyboard shortcuts, position of adjustable toolbars).
WorkXPlore 3D is a high-speed collaborative viewer for analyzing and sharing 3D CAD files without having to rely on the original CAD application. The software is very easy to use and is designed for users who are not CAD experts to explore 2D/3D CAD files of multiple types. WorkXPlore enables the user to measure 3D parts and offers advanced analysis features allowing the user to determine undercut areas, plane surfaces, thickness, volumes, surfaces, weight and also to perform dynamic cross-sectional visualization. 2D drawings are no longer necessary as it is possible to directly add dimensional and geometric measurements, annotations and labels to the 3D model.
WorkXPlore 3D also allows the user to send 3D parts and assembly files to sub-contractors, customers or co-workers via a standalone and extremely compact application which can be easily transmitted via the Internet as an executable file. The recipient can immediately display and work on the 3D model received. WorkXPlore 3D can open and process large 3D files extremely quickly. A free viewer version and a free evaluation version are available.
- EngineeringTalk, “Nikkan Kogyo survey”
- Machinery, the home of production engineering “Grand Cru CAM article”
- Datakit website, “WorkNC, a market leader”
- DesignPresentation Associates.“Sescoi Celebrates WorkNC's 20th Anniversary ”
- Manufacturingtalk magazine, “Salomon uses WorkNC CAM to machine skiboots since 1988”
- Direct Industry, “WorkXPlore 3D collaborative viewer”
- Desktop Engineering, “WorkNC DENTAL Software Showcased at Rapid.Tech”
- Desktop Engineering, “Sescoi Introduces WorkNC Wire EDM”
- Siemens PLM Software, June 8, 2010, D-Cubed 2D DCM and 3D DCM from Siemens PLM Software Integrated into Sescoi's WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling
- thomasnet.com, November 18, 2010, A Growing Line up of Productivity Software from Sescoi at Euromold
- Desktop Engineering, March 22, 2010, Sescoi Introduces 64-bit, Multi-Core WorkNC and New Hybrid Modeler
- Machining videos, “CNC global roughing machining”
- Machining videos, “CNC trochoidal milling-machining”
- MCADCafé, “WorkNC 5-Axis and Auto 5 - a competitive advantage at ALLIO”
- Machining videos, “Concept car - CNC 5 axis machining”
- Machining videos, “CNC 5 axis rolling finishing-machining”
- Machining videos, “CNC 5 axis planar finishing-machining”
- Machining videos, “Impeller/Turbine - CNC 5 axis machining”
- Machining videos, “CNC dental machining with Wissner and WorkNC Dental”
- Machining videos, “Dental Bridge implant CNC Machining 5 axis”
- Layer milling for rapid prototyping, “Kegelmann Technik Gmbh uses WorkNC Layer Milling Process (LMP)”
- Machining videos, “CNC Layer Milling - Machining from Zimmermann/WorkNC”
- TCT magazine, “WorkXPlore 3D award winning software”
- WorkXPlore site, Comparison of WorkXPlore 3D versions