Established in the 1960s in Modena, Italy, Modelleria CPC produces molds for composites (carbon fiber), resin, steel and aluminum prototypes, and complex mechanical parts. Specializing in the aeronautics and automotive fields, its customers include major motor racing brands participating in the Formula One and MotoGP championships. With over 140 employees, CPC has become one of the largest and most important mold makers in Europe.
The company was among the first in its sector to use a 3D CAD/CAM system and to develop 3- and 5-Axis toolpaths in CNC machines with its adoption of Cimatron software in the early 1990s. Cimatron’s solutions have evolved significantly since that time and CPC has continued to benefit from the new technologies and functionality over the years.
One of the challenges that CPC has faced is working with the aerodynamic shapes of race cars. Originally this involved manually assembling every toolpath and creating support geometries outside of the part in order to facilitate 5-Axis manufacturing. However, “today CimatronE allows us to use complex 5-Axis technology without any effort, providing all the necessary strategies for this type of milling,” says Gianpiero Marchi, one of CPC’s owners. “A collection of features, capabilities and utilities enable our NC programmers to optimize the system to their work flow and to re-use work from previous projects, with a user-friendly interface and NC process manager.”
An aspect of CimatronE that CPC has found particularly useful is the software’s simulation and verification capabilities. Aside from safe machining, the capabilities offer the programmer the confidence of knowing that they have programmed the procedures that are most appropriate to their aims. The programmer can also evaluate any procedure and make decisions by inspecting the “remaining stock map”, which displays a color-coded dynamic image of the state of the stock in comparison to the part after the procedure.
CPC has also benefited greatly from CimatronE’s automated procedures. “With only a few commands, the system is intuitively able to choose the best possible strategy to manufacture the part quickly and properly,” says Marchi. “Sure, full automation is difficult and complex to get, but we have noticed that CimatronE is way ahead on that front.”
Marchi acknowledges the support and openness of Microsystem, Cimatron’s Italian subsidiary, particularly in taking on board many of CPC’s ideas for product improvement: “We have always had a very good relationship with Microsystem and its technicians, who have always supported us with strong cooperation. We feel great satisfaction in seeing many of our suggestions included in newer versions of the software.”