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SCHOTT SYSTEME Enhances 5 Axis Cutting and Trimming

(Picture courtesy of Thule Group Neumarkt – Producer of Roof Boxes since 1942). German software developer SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH is enhancing 5-axis simultaneous cutting and trimming of formed components with their Pictures by PC CAD / CAM Software.

5 axis simultaneous cutting requires a milling cutter to follow a contour while orientating itself to selected adjacent surfaces on the CAD model (Picture courtesy of Thule Group Neumarkt – Producer of Roof Boxes since 1942). Although a seemingly simple principle, SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH have identified and improved upon numerous time intensive tasks typical to this process.

Feature recognition – Complex components require the time intensive manual selection of chained surfaces to machine. SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH have developed their own 3D ‘freeform’ topology recognition which includes, amongst other things, the ability is to instantly select complex chained freeform surfaces on solid and surface models (including imported geometry - STEP, IGES) for 5 axis cutting.

5 Axis Tool Orientation – Optimisation of tool tilt is essential in reducing unwanted excessive machine movements and for collision avoidance. Pictures by PC achieves this by using Interactive Direction Vectors. Placed at any position on a 3D CAD model and interactively aligned, direction vectors define the exact 5 axis tool orientation at critical positions, with the tool orientation interpolating between multiple vectors. This gives the user 100% control over the exact orientation and movement of the tool at all times.

Collision Detection – Cutting verification and collision control is desirable with 5 axis machining, however a typical full machine simulation often incurs an extra cost. SCHOTT SYSTEME have removed this cost by developing a free of charge machine head simulation that operates within Pictures by PC’s own CAD environment. Collisions can be detected between a range of standard machine heads and tool holders, against any 3D modelled CAD components (table, clamps, form supports). The simulation also runs without the need to firstly generate an NC program. The inclusion of standard 5 axis post processors free of charge also dramatically reduces cost overheads typically associated with 5 axis machining.

Originally launched in 1984, Pictures by PC maintains a product continuity of over 35 years. SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH continues to offer free software support without maintenance costs.

Video Presentation: 5 Axis Cutting and Trimming <click here>


  • At 1st Mold, we make aluminum tools for plastic injection molding. We mill our complex and high-precision forms using Pictures by PC. What we particularly appreciate about Pictures by PC is the ability to program routines to automate the creation of milling programs. It should also be mentioned that all the software’s functions are accessible as source code so that they can also be easily adapted. The support is very competent and helps should questions about programming arise. Even with the software updates, you can see that SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH takes user requests and information seriously and integrates them into the software.
    Elmar Dittrich 1st Mould GmbH
  • We work at several workstations with the CAD / CAM software Pictures by PC, mainly to undertake our machining tasks (we are a classic injection mould maker). I find the efficiency of the support / service particularly impressive. I was always helped promptly, patiently, competently and in a friendly manner. The topics dealt with went much deeper than just using the software. Suggestions for enhancements are welcomed and taken on board for future versions. We look back on a long-term cooperation with SCHOTT SYSTEME, we consider the strong customer focus of Schott as an absolute added value.
    Harald Stöss Lechner Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co. KG
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About us

For more than 35 years, SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH has developed and marketed comprehensive software solutions for graphics, design, CAD design, CAM / CNC production, product presentations, documentation and special applications.


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