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Delcam is to launch the 2013 version of Delcam for Solidworks, its integrated computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software for Solidworks, with a seminar at its Birmingham headquarters on 28 November.

The 2013 release includes an entry-level 3D milling option as well as many of the same enhancements made to the latest version of the FeatureCAM feature-based programming system on which it is based.

This option is intended mainly as an introductory-level program for companies new to 3D machining. However, it will also be useful for users that only have an occasional need for 3D capabilities or that only machine softer materials.

The event will be held jointly with Solidworks reseller Solid Applications.

Key enhancements

  • Step cutting has been added within area clearance to remove large terraces that can be left on the part when using deeper roughing cuts; extra toolpaths can now be generated that step back up the terrace with the existing large tool, adding extra cuts at intermediate levels.
  • Automatic splitting of finishing between steep and shallow areas of the part has been enhanced with the ability to use the scallop height to control the step-over; using this value rather than setting a constant step-over distance gives better control of the surface finish.
  • Both roughing and finishing strategies now incorporate an ‘area filter’ to remove small enclosed pockets within the part from the toolpath.
  • There is now an option to use bottom-up machining for Z-level finishing as well as the conventional top-down approach; this can be useful when using a ball-nose endmill as it avoids cutting with the centre of the tool and so gives a better surface finish and longer tool life.
  • New five-axis strategies include flowline machining between two curves, pencil machining and corner re-machining.
  • A new look-ahead capability will remove any sudden tool-axis changes during automatic collision avoidance and, instead, ensure that a smooth transition takes place.
  • The ability to smooth the Azimuth and Elevation axes independently is now available, allowing excessive five-axis movement to be removed.
  • Support is now available for simultaneous B-axis turning for more complex turning operations; this allows more positioning options to be used for a single tool, thus minimising tool changes and the associated dwell marks or surface blends.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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