Thursday, June 13, 2024

MachineWorks v8.4 Released for CNC Simulation, Verification

SHEFFIELD, UK, Mar 28, 2022 – MachineWorks Ltd, a leading supplier of software components to the engineering industry, is pleased to announce the release of MachineWorks 8.4.

Headline enhancements include:

  • Computation of safe holder profiles
  • Multiple simultaneous holder and tool collision checks
  • Improved simulation performance through collision check buffering
  • Extensions to design part comparison Render Query
  • Enhanced analysis of intersect solids for bending simulation
  • New sectioned stock view
  • Application-defined swept volumes

Computation of safe holder profiles

Using this new method applications can determine the maximum safe profile which can be used to machine a particular toolpath without collisions. The resulting holder profile can then be compared with available holders in a tool library allowing the end-user to choose a holder they know will not cause collisions during the cutting process.

The red region shows collisions caused by the holder with the fixture. 
The holder profile has been adjusted to fit within the safe holder profile computed by MachineWorks and no collisions occur.

Multiple simultaneous holder and tool collision checks

A new function has been added to compute multiple simultaneous collision checks between tools and holders and/or stocks and fixtures, allowing fast determination of safe access limits with a particular holder or combination.

The function is internally multi-threaded to provide excellent performance for toolpath generation and optimisation algorithms, along with rapid path evaluation for CMM and Metrology inspection plans.

Improved simulation performance through collision check buffering

This new option allows computation of collision checking to be deferred until required by the host application, greatly speeding up tool and holder collision checks in cases where no material is being removed.

As well as improving performance when used as part of an offline toolpath or verification engine, this option also significantly improves performance for CMM and Metrology inspection applications.

Extensions to design part comparison analysis

The MachineWorks Render Query APIs have been significantly extended, particularly with respect to analysing design part or target part comparison results.

The Render Query APIs provide an optimised mechanism to decouple the graphical simulation from the geometric simulation, allowing tight integration of MachineWorks to external graphics environments or use in distributed deployments such as public and private clouds.

  • Cut numbers are now available in render query updates
  • New APIs allow the Render Query analysis mesh to be serialised to disk.
  • New filters are provided to specify which triangles are delivered by the Render Query update – for example triangles representing rest-material only
  • A new API to provide direct export of analysis mesh distance information has been provided. This facilitates, for example, creation of polycurves representing boundaries between different material depths. 
Design part comparison with rest material (blue) and gouges (yellow).
Example polycurve contours generated from direct distance information from MachineWorks’ Render Query.
Zoomed in view of contours.

Enhanced analysis of intersect solids for bending simulation

New API functions have been added to split and recombine the solids of intersection created between the in-process stock and swept-volume during a cutting operation. This has particular relevance to determining clash-free tools for complex sheet metal bending operations.

New sectioned stock view

A new method of rendering sectioned views for turning simulations has been added that greatly improves performance.

¾ Section view during turning simulation

Application-defined swept volumes

Although MachineWorks already supports generation of swept volumes for a very wide range of machining operations, there are cases where a client application may wish to generate and use their own. In MachineWorks 8.4 a new API has been added to directly support use of custom swept-volumes between static and dynamic solids for both material removal and collision detection, including in environments with forward kinematics where both stock and machine parts are moving.

This allows the unique polygonal-BREP Boolean engine at the heart of MachineWorks’ and Polygonica to ‘take over’ when the geometric complexity of an in-process stock becomes too great for general-purpose CAD BREP engines to continue the simulation in a stable and performant manner. It also opens the door to innovative new uses of the MachineWorks engine beyond those that have been considered so far, including allowing end-users the flexibility to define swept volumes to support their own specific operations.

About MachineWorks Ltd

MachineWorks Ltd has been providing advanced 3D software engines to manufacturers and engineering software developers since 1994.

MachineWorks is the leading toolkit for CNC simulation and verification and is supplied embedded within a wide range of brands from major machine tool and CNC controller manufacturers and CAM software vendors. With over fifty major OEM licensees, Polygonica is a leading engine for polygon-mesh modelling and is widely used in a range of markets including CAD, CAM, CAE and AM along with Medical, Dental, EDA, Metrology, AEC, Construction, Mining and other large capital asset industries.

Companies who integrate MachineWorks’ components into their software solutions include Dassault Systemes, Autodesk, Hexagon, ANSYS, Synopsys, AECOM, 3D Systems, Stratasys, OpenMind, CAMBRIO, Renishaw, Desktop Metal, Heidenhain, Okuma, DMG Mori, HCL, SolidCAM, Convergent Science, Topsolid, ZWSoft, Diota, CASTOR, CADS Additive and Go2CAM. For more information, visit or

Nitin Patil
Nitin Patil
Editor and Director of Content, Nitin completed his Master's in Mass Communication & Journalism and having 13 years of work experience as an editor, content writer with renowned international technical magazines and media companies. He is associated with CAD,CAM industry since 2008.

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