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What's new in DeskProto Version 4.0

New features in DeskProto V 4.0 (released in 2004 - now obsolete).

(March 2004) Based on many user requests a next version of DeskProto has been developed:
Version 4.0. This new version contains some important improvements over V 3.1, and makes sure that DeskProto remains the best solution ever in 3D CAM software for Rapid Prototyping purposes.
Prices for Versions 3 and 4 are the same; DeskProto Versions 3 and 3.1 are no longer being sold.


Machining Simulation of a bottle
The new Simulation option shows you exactly how the resulting prototype will be. On this picture of a bottle model only part of the toolpath has been simulated, with a large stepover to show the cusp (ridge) between every two toolpaths. In green is shown where rest material is left over

Exciting new features

  • The N-Sided Milling Wizard, which enables rotation axis users to machine a part from several (N) sides, making it possible to cut very complex parts without undercuts. This wizard uses a new chaining option to combine operations from different parts in one NC file.
  • High on the user's wish list was the Waterline strategy, with toolpaths on constant Z-level.
  • Second new strategy is the Contour-only strategy, which is useful both for roughing (machining the block to size first) and for finishing (contour at higher precision).
  • Also new is the Spiral strategy, where the top view is a real spiral.
  • Simple 2D Machining has been implemented, using a new 2D Operation. This allows you to import a 2D DXF file, enter Z-levels for "pen-up" and "pen-down" and machine the lines in the file. Optionally you can even project the 2D contours on the 3D geometry.
  • DeskProto now can show a Machining Simulation: a rendering on screen of the part to be machined. The simulation shows where the cutter cannot reach (rest material), how smooth the surface will be, and eventually also where too much material will be removed.


DeskProto's Strategy dialog
The Strategy tab page of DeskProto V 4.0 shows the new strategies that are now available.
Each strategy comes with its own detail settings

Exciting new features

  • Translation can now be set per axis.
  • You can select where to start for parallel toolpaths: at the front/left toolpath or at the back/right toolpath.
  • For rotation axis machining the Z=0 can be set on the outside of the cylinder (Z translation).
  • Default Project Parameters have been added, allowing to skip backfaces by default.
  • Roughing can be done without vibrations: the vertical surface protection that creates the vibrating staircase toolpaths now is optional.
  • DeskProto saves the status and the position of Geometry Info dialog: will now automatically pop up if needed, and at the right screen location.
  • DeskProto saves the position of all Edit Parameters dialogs: no need to always move them aside in order to see your part.
  • The coordinates of the mouse position are shown at the right bottom of the screen (in case of a view along an axis), for easy positioning and measurements.
  • A Calculation Precision Details button has been added, allowing subsampling (calculation precision higher than Distance between toolpaths) - for advanced users.
  • The error dialog "Part does not fit in machining area" exactly tells you what is wrong.
  • Custom Borders can be set all 4 individually.
  • Many new machines and postprocessors have been added.
  • And many more smaller improvements and bugfixes have been implemented.


Toolpaths at 0 degrees
Toolpaths at 60 degrees
The new N-Sided Milling Wizard machines a part from N sides, with a rotation axis move in-between.
These pictures show a small statue, N=6: left the first operation at 0 degrees, right the second operation at 60 degrees rotation

DeskProto Lite

For DeskProto Lite [now obsolete, see the DeskProto Entry Edition] a new Version 4 has been developed as well. DeskProto Lite is basically the same as DeskProto Full, only part of the Parameter tab pages is not present (part parameters and operation parameters). It is meant for home users and has a much lower price.
DeskProto V4 Lite includes the Simulation and 2D machining just mentioned, however does not include the N-Sided wizard and the new strategies.

Upgrading

Of course an option to upgrade at a special price is offered to all registered users: an offer has been sent by email. For ordering upgrades see the DeskProto Order Form. [now obsolete, use the Webshop]. All users that have bought DeskProto V 3.1 on or after Sept 1st, 2003 will receive a free upgrade to Version 4.0 !