This year the Innoptus Solar Team has been using JETCAM Expert as its exclusive nesting software to produce its 10th solar vehicle. The group of Belgian engineers currently hold the world title in solar racing and are seeking to prolong their success by creating the most innovative solar powered car in 2023.
As the team’s partner for CADCAM, nesting, and industry 4.0 IoT software, JETCAM has been instrumental in the car’s production. The nesting technology manages two main materials that are cut on cutting machines: carbon fibre prepreg and foam core materials. Two separate cutters are operated between JETCAM’s production partner facilities: Indupol and Sabca.
JETCAM Expert has provided a key advantage for the Innoptus Solar Team, in that it has quickly generated cutting files for the different machines used. The bite fed cutter at Indupol requires G-code which is generated by the software while the prepreg cutting machine at Sabca utilises nested DFX files.
After the installation of JETCAM Expert was handled remotely by a JETCAM engineer in the United
States, a short tutorial was then recorded that helped distribute and deskill the operating
process for the Innoptus Solar Team.
In addition, the team was able to utilise JETCAM University—the award-winning online video
tutorials platform —to search for specific functionality such as mirroring flat patterns in JETCAM
Order Controller. The availability of assistance has aided the Innoptus Solar Team to generate
nest files within a matter of minutes, as well as cutting replacement plies during the lamination
process, which may be necessary if a defect is found in a ply. Furthermore, the high-performance
nesting algorithm has ensured minimal wastage of premium materials used during the
Dries Sanders, Structural Engineer and Head of Mechanical Engineering for the Innoptus Solar
Team, highlighted the benefits provided by JETCAM: “I showed JETCAM to one of the designers
at Indupol, and he was impressed by how quickly and efficiently the plies are nested, as he does
this by hand in very old software. The material savings have also been very handy as it has
allowed us to use our expensive Rohacell core material very efficiently.”
Support has also been swift when additional configuration was required to drive a different
cutter. “A new postprocessor was required to generate G-Code for a different machine, which
was recently remotely installed by a JETCAM technical engineer. He was also quickly available
for support if we had further questions.”
Together with JETCAM, the Innoptus Solar Team strives to defend its world title.