Production Module v8.4 Release

Minneapolis, Minn – Third Wave Systems’ newest version of Production Module is available now. While the latest v8.4 will provide several additional features to Production Module users, the major highlight of the release is: 

4X Faster Speedup for Milling Projects

With PM 8.4 you will see an improvement in computation speed of greater than 4 times on average for Milling Projects running on 8 cores.  This speedup was observed on over 150 customer projects across a broad spectrum of industries.  You will also find noticeable improvement when animating the material removal from the simulation control helping you navigate to the In Process Workpiece quicker and visualize the material removal process more efficiently and effectively.

The computation improvement is achieved by leveraging multiple cores (logical processors) on the CPU. The average 4X speedup (median speedup of 3.6X) is based on using 8 cores. The actual results may vary and depend on toolpaths, tool type, tool and workpiece geometry. For example, a 5-axis toolpaths will see more speedup than a 3-axis toolpaths. Sections of the toolpath using indexable profile tools will see a significantly higher speedup than the average.

The speedup also varies with the number of cores used for computation. Production Module will automatically use up to 8 compute cores if available. Production Module will always leave two cores for other processes on the computer. For example, if a user has a 6-core CPU, Production Module will automatically use 4 cores (6 cores – 2 cores) for computation. Average speedup using 4-cores is 2.9 times the previous release.

Following are the major highlights from the previous Production Module releases which included several new features.

1. Surface Roughness

Production Module v8.3.1 carries on in the same vein as the v8.3, focusing on addressing part quality with the addition of surface roughness for turning. Surface roughness calculation will provide users with a quick way to verify that the parts machined with the optimized toolpath meet the part surface roughness specifications. The surface roughness output is based on a geometrical calculation using the tool’s nose radius and the programmed feed rate. The calculation is available for standard turning and grooving tool types.

2. Constant Acceleration and Deceleration Model for Improved Cycle Time and Force Prediction

Milling projects in Production Module now give users the option to use constant acceleration/deceleration model for both rapid and linear feed moves. This feature will enable improved cycle time predictions for our users and will be particularly helpful for high-speed machining applications in soft metals. In addition, users will observe improved force calculation with feed rates adjusted for the machine acceleration/deceleration.

3. Computation Time Speed Ups for Optimization Algorithm

Users will experience, on average, a 23% computation time speed up for the optimization algorithm in Milling projects. These savings are observed for frequently used settings of split lines and arcs. With no split lines and arcs, simultaneous 5-axis parts with small point-to-point moves will not benefit from this speed up. In our benchmarking across hundreds of sequences from various production parts, we found computation time savings of up to 80% in some cases. 

4. Use Instantaneous Tool Deflection Output from PM3D to Address Part Quality Problems

Production Module now provides tool deflection calculation based on linear elastic beam theory. Tool deflection output from Production Module can help in identifying sections of the toolpath that may result in dimensional inaccuracies, surface finish issues on the workpiece, tool wear/breakage and vibration problems. workpiece, tool wear/breakage and vibration problems. This functionality is made available to all users.

5. Voxel Mesh Output for Subsequent Part Quality Analysis

Voxel mesh output is a volume mesh that is useful for performing part quality analysis in a third party FEA software package. The voxel mesh used in conjunction with the force mapping file (*.WPF) for Milling projects allows the user to study workpiece deflection, clamping distortion, optimal fixturing locations, etc. This helps diagnose part quality issues due to sudden changes in force. 

Voxel Mesh and Force Per Degree Output

6. CAM Integration Updates

  • NX – Added support for NX 1899 to NX 1919. In addition, for Turning projects all tracking point configurations are now fully supported.
  • CATIA – Added support for CATIA V5-6R 2020 SP2
  • Mastercam – Added support for Mastercam 2020

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the new v8.4 features, email us at

Get in touch with TWS!

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