The U.S. Patent Office accepted all key aspects of the company's patent application.
"We are pleased to receive this Notice of Allowance because it serves to protect the intellectual property and proprietary technology that we have developed," says Stephen Diehl, President and CEO of Surfware. "The mathematics and science behind Engagement Milling are revolutionary, and we have incorporated that technology into our SURFCAM product line as TrueMill(R). SURFCAM Velocity 4 Powered by TrueMill(R) creates toolpaths that dramatically increase material removal rates (MRR), reduce cycle time, and extend tool life.
"Milling pockets in Titanium or other exotic materials is easy with TrueMill," Diehl states. "Actual machining tests demonstrate that the harder the material, the more dramatic the results. We're delighted and proud that the U.S. Patent Office agreed that we have a unique invention, and has allowed all critical aspects of the application. These claims will provide strong patent protection for current and future versions of TrueMill."
Three of the main components of the patent application are: 1. The isoloop method creates families of concentric circles that define the path the tool will travel as it maintains constant engagement with the material. 2. The tangent arc method creates efficient tool paths to machine corners and slots while not exceeding pre-defined engagement. 3. The concentric circle method allows for different spacing schemes between the circles (the stepover) to manage the tool engagement angle.
While other machining methods generate tool paths based on a given stepover value and the geometry being machined, this technology increases the material removal rate (MRR) by creating engagement-controlled tool paths that eliminate all sharp directional changes. Not having to slow the machine down for corners allows far more aggressive cutting parameters, resulting in dramatically reduced cycle times. The tool never plows into corners, and it works on all part shapes.
The origin of the patent application goes back to early 2002 -- Surfware's R&D Department. Robert (Pat) Patterson came up with the core idea for engagement milling, and he and Surfware co-founder Alan Diehl, set out to develop it into a workable product. Within one year they had developed two different versions of TrueMill, both covered in patent applications.
Over the next several years, the pair went on to supervise the project based on their core ideas, with some assistance from the SURFCAM product manager. In 2005, the initial patent application for engagement milling was filed with the co-inventors listed in alphabetical order, without regard to their actual contribution.
"We are just beginning to demonstrate what this powerful technology can do," Diehl states. "Because TrueMill is useful to a wide spectrum of industries, Surfware will be providing custom and turnkey solutions, as well as partnering with vendors of complementary technologies."
About Surfware, Inc.
Surfware develops SURFCAM Velocity CAD/CAM systems for two- through five-axis NC programming and machining. The company grew out of three generations of Diehl family machining experience. Surfware's current president, Stephen Diehl, has thirty years experience in machining, physics and programming and is personally involved in development of the TrueMill technology. For additional information, visit http://www.surfware.com.
Web site: http://www.surfware.com/