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  • Wednesday, 06 April 2016 20:50
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GibbsCAM 2016 adds important new functionality and productivity tools for both new and existing Maintenance customers.  In addition to the new improvements already in version 11.3.0, effective April 1, 2016 we will add the GibbsCAM ACIS/SAT option with all solids based packages for no additional charge.  Current GibbsCAM customers who are on Maintenance and do not already own the ACIS option, will receive their free ACIS option upgrade with the release of GibbsCAM 2016.  

The ACIS option provides users with robust CAD interoperability for Autodesk Inventor and ACIS/SAT based CAD systems.  See the GibbsCAM & Autodesk Inventor pdf below for additional information.

  • Tuesday, 22 March 2016 16:20
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GibbsCAM 2016 continues to build on the power of the revolutionary UKM technology introduced in GibbsCAM 2015. Its powerful suite of enhancements gives users the flexibility they want along with the control they need. Improvements, which range from milling and turning functionality, to 5-axis milling and multi-axis turning deliver increased efficiency, programming speed, visualization and accuracy.


THREAD MILLING GibbsCAM 2016 | Thread Milling

  • Full Profile Threadmill is a new tool type that allows for multiple teeth and provides support for threadforms and tapered-angle tools
  • Support for tapered threads using single and multi-point thread tools (including NPT and BSPT types)
  • Allows for multiple passes and spring passes providing optimal thread finish
  • Depth of thread-milled holes is associated with hole geometry definition
  • Hole processes now include drilling and threading routines that can be combined into a single process list
  • Improved visualization when creating both custom and standard thread cutting tools

Thread Milling

MULTIPLE CONTOUR CONTROL GibbsCAM 2016 | Multiple Contour Control

  • Select multiple contours for a single operation
  • Define cutting side and direction for individual contours in a group


  • Newly integrated Technology Expert calculates optimal speeds and feeds for VoluMill toolpaths
  • Automatic calculation of spiral toolpaths in large pockets
  • Open face milling calculations reduce cutting time by up to 60%
  • Optimized cutting motion in slots and corners further reduces cutting time and tool wear


5-AXIS MILLING GibbsCAM 2016 | 5-Axis

  • New pattern type, Flowline, creates U or V aligned toolpath on a single surface without selecting additional bounding geometry
  • Extend/Trim now allows Side Extensions in addition to Tangential when extending or trimming surface based toolpaths
  • New Mirror Toolpath function available for Surface, Triangle Mesh, Swarf Machining and Wireframe strategies
  • New function, Follow Surface Topology, available in Swarf Machining when using multiple slices that allows for stripe milling, which follows the actual curvature of the surfaces, improving toolpath for convex shapes such as gear flanks and pressure sides of impeller blades
  • Multi-axis machining now allows multiple floor faces to be selected as the floor surface definition
  • 5-Axis Drilling improvements allow users to specify direct or stepped retract moves between holes when using an incremental clearance area
  • A new Gouge strategy, Along tool plane, avoids collisions by retracting along a plane normal to the tool axis while retaining tool orientation and height
  • Porting option includes new Roll over edge function to extend the toolpath starting cuts and new Auto choices for automatic calculation of radius and/or direction of the Connection cylinder

5-Axis Flowline 5-Axis Side Extension


  • Improved process layouts for quicker programming
  • Horizontal view formatting of MTM Sync Manager for increased visibility and customization
  • Turning tools are now supported in the Adveon Tooling Library Plug-in GibbsCAM 2016 | Thread Milling

ORIENTED TURNING GibbsCAM 2016 | Thread Milling

  • Ability to use a single tool at multiple B orientations
  • Re-orient a toolgroup for use on a different spindle
  • Turn at arbitrary orientations on machines with redundant rotary axes
  • Rotation setting available for all turning processes
  • Full support for Flash Tooling (multiple orientation turning tools) GibbsCAM 2016 | Thread Milling 

Oriented Turning

DATA EXCHANGE GibbsCAM 2016 | Data Exchange

  • ACIS/SAT read/write option is now available free of charge for all licenses that include the 2.5D Solids option
  • New option for importing UGS/NX *.prt models using Spatial
  • Spatial options for NX, CATIA, and STEP now import Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) data

  • Thursday, 10 March 2016 03:49
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By Jeffrey G. Casto, President of Virtual Manufacturing Services, Inc.

Over the past 30+ years of my career I have been exposed to a multitude of arguments both for & against the two methods of CNC Cutter Radius Compensation (CRC). This article is intended to communicate that experience into a single highly efficient focused solution.

Tool Centerline Programming- a simplified Machining Strategy for saving set-up time, reducing debugging time, and simplifying the entry and adjustment of compensation values on CNC Machine Tools.

Historic Differences: For simplicity, the two methods of CRC boil down to the values that are entered into the CNC Control Registers for a given tool. With Tool Centerline Programming the initial CRC value is set to 0. With Tool Edge Programming the initial CRC value is set to the cutter Ø (or radius).

In the early years, the argument arose from two polar camps, the manual programmer vs. the computer assisted programmer.

The manual programmers camp argued, that Tool Edge Programming simplified their calculation of g-code coordinates for the program (known as blueprint dimension programming), and allowed the setup person to choose the appropriate cutter sizes at the machine tool. The pitfalls of this method were many. Cutter Comp Reversal Errors were a common occurrence. These errors can take significant time to debug, and required a g-code skilled set-up person and lost machine time. Simply changing a cutter size affected the required length of comp-on (G41, G42) move and comp-off (G40) move as well as the radius of the entry and exit arcs. A significantly more onerous issue occurred with inside arcs, and programmed features, that a larger cutter selected at the machine tool did not fit, which result in serious errors. This forced the set-up person to thoroughly study the details that were programmed or suffer a Cutter Comp Reversal Error or worse yet, a compensation induced crash. Insufficient clearance at approach, selecting a milling cutter that doesn't fit into a recess, forgetting to cancel compensation between multiple contours, speed, feed and tool loading issues are just a few of the burdens on the setup person. The overall effect of Tool Edge Programming yields a protracted setup time and a corresponding loss of valuable spindle production time.

The computer assisted programmers camp was better positioned to leverage Tool Centerline Programming as the CAM package took over the complex task of calculating the compensated offset toolpath g-code coordinates. All toolpath is calculated to the centerline of the desired cutter Ø. The programmer selects the proper tools and parameters for the process, and provides documentation, and a corresponding comment in the CNC program. The setup person follows the script (documentation), thus reducing the setup time.

The Simplified Machining Strategy: Properly following these directions, both in GibbsCAM and at the Machine Tool, will result in zero edit toolpath, which is easily compensated at the machine tool, without Cutter Compensation Errors.

Mill CRC

GibbsCAM Tool Centerline Programming: In any milling process, simply check the Cutter Radius Comp. On radio button, and your posted G-code will automatically engage G41-G42, and disengage G40 on all effected toolpath.

GibbsCAM Factory Floor Benefits of Tool Centerline Programming:

On the modern state-of-the-art factory floor, reduced staffing, shorter delivery cycles, reduced profit margins, yield an environment with little tolerance for lost spindle time. This is where Tool Centerline Programming really shines.

1) Load the specified tools into the corresponding positions on the machine tool. For enhanced speed common tools may remain pre-loaded and touched off.

2) Set all tool diameter values to 0. The GibbsCAM produced G-code has already been offset for the tool during programming.

3) Set the tool length values as required. This step remains unaffected by Tool Centerline Programming.

4) Set your part WFO as required. This step remains unaffected by Tool Centerline Programming.

5) Run your first article. With experience and a properly tuned GibbsCAM post processor, this step is routinely run live, without a dry-run. This will significantly reduce setup time. Note: the GibbsCAM Programmer has completed the graphical verification of the machining process during the programming phase. GibbsCAM is trapping the common programming errors prior to sending the G-code to the setup person.

6) Adjust tool offset to meet dimensional requirements. After cutting the first article, measure key details to determine any deviation from desired part tolerance.

A. Simply enter the inverse of the remaining stock value directly into the specific cutters CRC register.

             EXAMPLE: Target Bore Size = 4.0000, after machining Measured Bore Size = 3.9980, Enter Tool CRC value -0.0020 and recut.

             EXAMPLE: Target Post Size = 1.5000, after machining Measured Post Size = 1.5050, Enter Tool CRC value -0.0050 and recut.

B. Do not over complicate this step!! It is actually very simple. Envision a snap gauge set to Read 0.0000 for an in tolerance target. When the snap gauge is placed on the machined part, simply negate the resulting number and place it in the register. We can easily teach lower level staff to handle adjusting register with this method.

C. In the Entry And Exit Line field, input the maximum amount of cutter adjustment you desire at the machine tool.  Under Advanced Entry Exit, use the CRC Line field.

      1) i.e. a 1” cutter is programmed, but at the machine we use a 7/8” cutter we will need at least 1/16” in the Line Field.

      2) Think of this value a maximum adjustment field. If we use CRC Line Field .020” then the register on the machine tool cannot exceed .020” without error.

      3) By keeping this Line Move (Comp On/Comp Off Move) small, our resultant cycle time is also optimized.

      4) When changing cutter sizes within GibbsCAM, no additional work is necessary. All adjustments are handled automatically by the system.

      5) When changing cutter sizes within GibbsCAM, the 90° Radius Field is not affected, the system automatically adjusts the toolpath based on the new cutter size.

      6) These values may be stored as “Saved Processes” for programming automation. Fill it in once and use it forever….

  • Tuesday, 16 February 2016 15:02
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Whether your company has been off maintenance for 5 months, 5 years, or 25 years, WE WANT YOU BACK! To show how serious we are, until May 31st we are waiving the Maintenance re-enrollment fee (1x your annual maintenance)! 

You will receive:





...and so much more!

To begin your profitability improvement program, contact Virtual Manufacturing Services at (330) 273-3199.  We will help you determine an appropriate course of action for renewing your Maintnenance and getting up-to-speed with the latest version of GibbsCAM!



You might ask, “Why should I purchase maintenance?” In a nutshell, you gain programming capability, efficiency and a competitive edge by keeping your GibbsCAM software current. After all, it may be the most valuable cutting tool you have. Your software needs to stay sharp so your programmers can stay ahead of the competition. The latest technology and improvements we deliver with the software and services of our maintenance program allow you to program better and more efficiently to improve your productivity, profitability, and competitive edge.

GibbsCAM Maintenance benefits include:

All major GibbsCAM upgrades

New features and operational enhancements

Priority response

Online training and online help

Immediate access to pre-release software

Lost Hardware Key Insurance

CAD-interoperability updates

Updates to embedded technology

You gain or retain profits by staying competitive

To learn more about the immense benefits of GibbsCAM Maintenance CLICK HERE.

  • Thursday, 21 January 2016 19:26
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GibbsCAM 2016, v11.3 is on schedule for a first half 2016 release and should be entering open beta within the next few weeks.  Version 11.3 includes a wide variety of enhancements; here are some of the highlights:


Thread Milling


The Thread Milling process has an expanded set of capabilities, especially when using the new tool type, Full Profile Threadmill.


  • Offers the ability to vary depth with geometry, just as in the Holes process.
  • Understands and works with hole features.

  • Connects between Z passes.

  • Allows for multiple passes and spring passes.

  • Choose whether to rapid or feed from the center to the clearance diameter.


*Full Profile Threadmill is a new tool type:


  • Number of teeth can be 1 or more.
  • Support for threadforms.

  • Support for tapered-angle tools.


*Tapered Thread Milling - for multi-tooth threadmills, derives taper angle from the tool profile.


Multiple Contouring


The Mill module now provides support for performing multiple contours on geometry with user-specified cutter side offsets. Separate sets of controls let you handle closed shapes and open shapes. 


Oriented Turning


GibbsCAM 2016 provides improved support for oriented turning, including the ability to use a single tool at multiple B orientations, re-orient a toolgroup for use on a different spindle, and turn at arbitrary orientations on machines with redundant rotary axes.


  • Rotatetabs for all Lathe processes
  • Support for cake turrets
  • Changes to tool setup




  • Technology Expert - Instead of using the standard Materials dialog to suggest RPM and feedrate, you can calculate recommendations for many other parameters, including depth of cut and speed/feed/angle for ramp or helix plunge types. Calculations are based on material type and hardness, current tool values, and other factors such as conservative or aggressive cutting style, and recommendations can be applied selectively.
  • Spiral motion - Especially in simple pockets like squares and circles.

  • Side Milling - is significantly more efficient, and Side Mill Only is now the recommended setting. The algorithm uses wider radii for higher-speed cutting and better chip clearance. Also, Side Milling uses zigzag motion in situations when it reduces cycle times.

  • Open-Face Milling - Improved algorithms can reduce cycle time for open faces by up to 60%.

  • Performance when regenerating Toolpath - Infrastructure improvements make regeneration smarter and quicker.




5-Axis provides numerous enhancements throughout.


Data Exchange


  • Graphical PMI - Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI), can now be imported and displayed from several types of CAD files.
  • NX (*.prt) Files - Files of type *.prt (Siemens Unigraphics UGS/NX files) can now be imported using the Spatial translator. Separate licensing is required.




  • Lathe - Process dialogs for Rough, Contour, and Thread have a slightly different layout.
  • Macros - You can now create balloon help for controls in macro dialogs you create.
  • Hole Manager and Hole Editor - Context menus and new controls offer increased usability and some new functionality.




  • Thursday, 21 January 2016 18:56
  • Written by

2016 Deduction Limit = $500,000
This deduction is good on off-the-shelf GibbsCAM software. This limit is only good for 2016, and the software must be financed/purchased and put into service by the end of the day, 12/31/2016.

2016 Spending Cap on software/equipment purchases = $2,000,000
This is the maximum amount that can be spent on software/equipment before the Section 179 Deduction available to your company begins to be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis. This spending cap makes Section 179 a true "small business tax incentive".

Bonus Depreciation: 50% for 2016
Bonus Depreciation is generally taken after the Section 179 Spending Cap is reached. Note: Bonus Depreciation is available for new software/equipment only.

The above is an overall, "simplified" view of the Section 179 Deduction for 2016. For more details visit

Here is an updated example of Section 179 at work during this 2016 tax year.

  • Wednesday, 12 August 2015 16:18
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Join us for a free webinar that explores the new features and capabilities in GibbsCAM 2015. We will show what UKM technology is and how it will boost your productivity. You will find productivity enhancements throughout the GibbsCAM product line, including:

  • Geometry creation
  • Toolpath strategies
  • Tooling
  • Integration with the Adveon Tooling Library
  • Machine Simulation



  • Tuesday, 11 August 2015 20:28
  • Written by


GibbsCAM 2015 v11.0 is now available and ready for download to all customers current on Maintenance!



  • Redesigned DCD (Document Control Dialog) with context-dependent tab sets
  • User Colors editable by selection, RGB key-in or color palette loading User Colors
  • Workgroup Type (wrapped/not wrapped part geometry, extruded or revolved part stock) is now shown in the Workgroup list
  • Reporter can now write directly to *xlsx files without having to use Microsoft Excel
  • New Pack and Go feature allows for easy and complete sharing of parts and setups through automatic creation of a package file containing the GibbsCAM part and all associated files necessary for that part to execute properly on a different computer Pack and Go



  • New Contour Trace function allows for creating a machinable contour from a chain of intersecting lines and circles Contour Trace
  • Modify spline curves with the new Edit Spline function by dragging knots and control points Edit Spline


  • Redesigned Tool dialog, including new icons and dynamic 3D viewing of tools and tool holders Tool Dialog
  • New mill tool types: Barrel, Dovetail, Convex Tip, & 3D form tools (solid models)
  • New lathe tools: 75° Diamond (ISO E-style) & 3D form tools (solid models)
  • Straight, tapered and stepped shanks are now supported for all mill tools
GibbsCAM 2015 - Adveon Tool Library
    • Integration with Sandvik Coromant’s Adveon Tool Library enables importing cutting tools from Sandvik and any other ISO 13399 compliant system
    • Makes a standard library, with latest tool data, always available
    • Simplifies managing tool data
    • Allows building, saving and reusing a tool library for the shop
    • Enables linking tools and tool assemblies to parts, for use and reuse

*Only Milling tools will be supported for initial GibbsCAM 2015 release


  • Helix Bore plug-in functions now integrated with the Holes process
  • Enhancements to Helix Bore and Mill Bore functions


  • Pre-drilling is now supported
  • New back-and-forth strategy
  • Toolpath can now be processed in backgrounds
  • Ability to specify minimum feedrate
  • Collision avoidance with tool holders and tool shanks


HOLES Hole Features

  • Improvements to Hole Manager
  • Hole Feature enhancements in holes process dialog
  • Enhanced support for compound holes with multiple straight/tapered/threaded segments
  • Helix Bore plug-in functions are now integrated with the Holes process
  • Improved data structures, associativity, and feature recognition
  • Holes are now treated as fully associative features of solid bodies, independent of geometric points and workgroups
  • More support for imported hole features: Holes from SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor and CATIA V5 are now fully associative features
  • Hole features, including compound holes, can easily be edited with the new interactive Hole Editor


  • Support for toolblocks (adapter blocks, holders for tool holders, right-angle and adjustable heads) with toolblock library
  • Support for fixtures (work holding) including fixture library


  • New Adaptive Roughing, a high-speed strategy which levels tool loading and allows deeper cuts


  • Streamlined 5-axis drilling interface
  • Improved post processor support for holemaking cycles, including those for 5-axis



  • Support for toolblocks (adapter blocks, holders for tool holders, right-angle and adjustable heads and flash tooling) with toolblock library
  • Support for fixtures (chucks, tailstocks, steady rests and other work holding) including fixture library
  • Simplifies programming through easy and accurate placement and orientation of tools
  • MTM tooling is now more manageable and simulation more accurate


  • Improved sync capabilities give greater control over tool motion
  • Added the ability to sync away from the part


  • UKM enables better control over machine motion between operations, allows full support of features such as axis synchronization and double drilling, and fully supports machine simulation User Colors


  • Other classes of complex machines are also fully supported. These can include rotary-table mill-turn machines; multi-flow, non-turning machines such as multi-head, multi-table mills and mills with steady rests or pallet changers; and turning centers with multiple turning planes


  • Rendering and simulation are more accurate, complete and efficient
  • Displays intermediate tooling for more complete simulation of all moving components
  • Improved rendering palette
  • New Stops and Watches for customized monitoring of key rendering conditions


  • New machining-order strategies for optimizing use of rotary axes Minimize Rotations
  • Custom spacing, unconfined by uniform grid, is now available for part layout Custom Spacing
  • Different clearances may now be specified when transitioning between coordinate systems at the same (B-axis) rotational angle
  • Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:09
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Enables using Inventor-assigned part and feature attributes to program machines directly from part models

3D Systems’ GibbsCAM software for programming CNC machine tools has been certified for Autodesk Inventor 2016 3D mechanical design software under the Autodesk Certified Apps Program, marking the fifteenth consecutive year that GibbsCAM has been certified.

Digital Prototyping with Inventor software helps manufacturers digitally design, visualize and simulate how a product will work under real world conditions before it is built. GibbsCAM directly opens Inventor part models, allowing CNC programmers and machinists to easily and readily program machine tools from the models, extending cost reduction and efficiency through the programming and machining processes. Certified apps offer the highest level of quality, integration, and compatibility with select Autodesk products. 

“We are delighted with Autodesk’s renewed certification, in recognition of GibbsCAM’s interoperability with Autodesk Inventor and our continued partnership,” said Robb Weinstein, Senior Vice President of Sales and Strategic Planning for GibbsCAM. “Certification demonstrates our commitment to shared customers, and ensures that they can take advantage of the new features and enhancements of GibbsCAM 2015, with assurance of compatibility between products.”

GibbsCAM seamlessly reads Autodesk Inventor IPT (part model) and IAM (assembly) files, preserving all color information, CAD and hole features and attributes assigned within Inventor to provide continuity in recognizing and communicating part and feature attributes. 

Alternatively, with the GibbsCAM Autodesk Inventor Add-in, the Inventor user can transfer files directly into GibbsCAM with the “Transfer to GibbsCAM” menu option with Inventor software running on the same workstation. Once machining processes are defined in GibbsCAM, they are automatically updated when the Inventor model is revised. In addition, users can employ the GibbsCAM Plug-in for Autodesk Vault to allow interaction between GibbsCAM and the Autodesk data management software.

  • Friday, 17 July 2015 14:38
  • Written by
  • Company recognized for “innovation with impact” in distinguished annual ranking
  • Highlights game-changing capabilities of 3DS’ continuous, high-speed, fab-grade 3D printing 


3D Systems has been named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies in the magazine’s 2015 ranking. The prestigious annual list recognizes and celebrates companies that combine “truly innovative technology and a business model that is both practical and ambitious, with the result that 3D Systems has set the agenda in its field over the past 12 months.”

3DS was recognized for its pioneering work on the world’s first 3D printing flexible assembly line. This groundbreaking nonstop printing platform deposits an unprecedented 4 billion drops of material every minute in photo-quality color, resulting in production speeds 50 times faster than existing 3D jetting technologies. The print engine is configured to readily integrate with various off-the-shelf automated machining, insertion and finishing operations, based on customer’s requirements, opening up countless new product and production possibilities in industries ranging from automotive to footwear and toys to consumer electronics.

See how 3DS’ continuous, high-speed 3D printer can make creative play more personal for one toy company.

“Everyday, the passionate men and women at 3D Systems are pioneering new, exciting and impactful applications of 3D technology that let everybody transform great ideas into real outcomes,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “Purpose-driven innovation is the cornerstone of our brand value and the growth engine of our business and we are honored to be recognized for our ambition and impact among so many distinguished peers.”

Click here to see the full list of 50 Smartest Companies in 2015.

The distinction is the second in recent months from a major magazine recognizing the Company’s strength in innovation. 3DS was also recently ranked #18 on Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Growth Companies for 2015.

Learn more about 3DS’ commitment to manufacturing the future today at

About 3D Systems

3D Systems provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D digital design and fabrication solutions available today, including 3D printers, print materials and cloud-sourced custom parts. Its powerful ecosystem transforms entire industries by empowering professionals and consumers everywhere to bring their ideas to life using its vast material selection, including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. 3DS’ leading personalized medicine capabilities save lives and include end-to-end simulation, training and planning, and printing of surgical instruments and devices for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices. Its democratized 3D digital design, fabrication and inspection products provide seamless interoperability and incorporate the latest immersive computing technologies. 3DS’ products and services disrupt traditional methods, deliver improved results and empower its customers to manufacture the future now.

Leadership Through Innovation and Technology

•3DS invented 3D printing with its Stereolithography (SLA) printer and was the first to commercialize it in 1989.

•3DS invented Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing and was the first to commercialize it in 1992.

•3DS invented the ColorJet Printing (CJP) class of 3D printers and was the first to commercialize 3D powder-based systems in 1994.

•3DS invented MultiJet Printing (MJP) printers and was the first to commercialize it in 1996.

•3DS pioneered virtual surgical simulation (VSSTM) and virtual surgical planning (VSP®), and its leading 3D healthcare products and services help doctors achieve better patient outcomes.

Today its comprehensive range of 3D printers is the industry’s benchmark for production-grade manufacturing in aerospace, automotive, patient specific medical device and a variety of consumer, electronic and fashion accessories.

More information on the company is available at