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FeatureCAM 2013 R2 Unveiled

The 2013 R2 version of Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software incorporates a number of new stock model options that allow users to increase productivity, improve surface finish and reduce tool wear, the company says. Other enhancements in this release include new methods for the generation of html set-up sheets, and improvements to turning and turn-mill programming.

The first addition to the stock model functionality eliminates excessive tool engagement and limits the maximum depth of any cut into un-machined material, Delcam says. Both these controls reduce tool wear and improve surface finish by avoiding any overloading of the tool. They can be used on both stock models imported into FeatureCAM, such as castings that need some finish machining, or on the stock models generated by FeatureCAM after each machining operation. The same functionality also removes toolpath segments that machine very little or no material.

Rest machining has been made more efficient in two ways. A new “detect metal thicker” command ensures that rest material thinner than the specified limit is ignored. Toolpath fragmentation and the resultant air moves between fragments can be reduced by specifying a minimum gap length between cutting moves. Any gaps shorter than the specified distance will be linked with a tangential move between the segments, rather than having the tool retract fully from the surface for a very short air move.

The solution also incorporates a new method for generating html set-up sheets. Information can be extracted from the FeatureCAM project to provide a detailed list of the tooling to be used, with an illustration of each tool, together with the dimensions of the initial stock and an image of the finished part.

Turn-mill operations have been made more efficient by offering an alternative method for calculating the index limits. This calculates the limits based on the size of a solid revolve of the part, rather than creating a cylinder around the corner limits of a rectangular bounding box around the part stock.

A new add-in has been made available for easier programming of barrel-cam features. This uses the slot centerline and follower diameter to create a four-axis milling feature, and produces a toolpath with a tool of the chosen diameter that may be smaller than the follower. When the feature is wrapped around the X-axis of the part, small moves in the Y-axis can be used in conjunction with adjustments to the A-axis to ensure that the walls of the slot are machined correctly.

For more information, visit Delcam.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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