For many years, even when he was Prime Minister of Finland, Juha Sipilä has relaxed by designing and milling a wide variety of items. Now he has taken his hobby to a higher level, with a new four-axis CNC machine tool, and Surfcam CAD/CAM software from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division (www.surfcam.com
Before entering politics, he was an industrialist, owning a number of manufacturing companies, which was how he realised that physically making things with his hands helped him to relax and solve abstract business issues. So he turned to also making things at home, as a hobby.
Vesa Sirén, from Surfcam’s distributor in Finland (Rensi Finland Oy), provided Mr Sipilä with his first CNC machine for the garage at his home in Kempele, North Finland, in 2005 — now replaced with the four-axis simultaneous machine.
He also has a new four-axis router at his second home, in Southern Finland, and Surfcam is now an integral part of his production processes.
The software also played an essential role in helping Mr Sipilä — now an MP — show neighbours his idea for railings along a pier. While the Finnish Parliament sits, he lives at Sipoo, near Helsinki, in one of 20 houses that share a common pier for their boats.
He says it was extremely simple to draw up his suggested design for the railings, adding that Surfcam has revolutionised how he uses both CAD and CAM.
“Typically, I create a 3-D model in Surfcam Designer and export it into Surfcam Traditional for producing fast, accurate tool-paths.
“I am particularly impressed with the software’s Waveform Roughing strategy for milling aluminium and brass. My CNC machine tool has a spindle speed of 24,000rev/min, so Waveform means I can have light cutting with fast feed rates.”
Mr Sirén said: “Mr Sipilä had been looking for a more flexible design and CAM system, so Surfcam Traditional was ideal for him. He has already undergone initial training on Surfcam Designer and basic two- and three-axis machining, and will complete training on four- and five-axis tool-paths later in the year.
“Surfcam Designer gives him the flexibility to quickly and easily modify and edit his designs; and Surfcam’s five-axis module offers true simultaneous four- and five-axis machining with full tool motion visualisation and verification.”