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At the EMO exhibition in Germany on 16–21 September 2013, Delcam will launch the 2014 version of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software. This release includes a number of new options for turning, four-axis rotary machining and turn-mill operations. In addition there are more strategies for two-axis finishing and the easier programming of probing sequences.

The first enhancement to turning in FeatureCAM 2014 provides the ability to add fillets to any sharp corners, for example for automatic deburring without having to edit the geometry. The user simply has to specify the radius to be applied and all the sharp corners will be filleted automatically. Similar functionality for automated chamfering of corners has been available in FeatureCAM for several years.

Turning simulation has been made more realistic with the ability to program and simulate the movements of the steady rest that can be used to position large parts during turning and the tailstock that can be used to hold long parts on centre during machining. Collision detection against both these types of accessory is undertaken automatically during both cutting and transfer operations.

Delcam will be on Stand K18 in Hall 25.

Further enhancements

  • The programming of both turn-mill and four-axis equipment has been made much easier with the ability to change the index axis part way through programming. Previously, all aspects of the part, including features, geometry and curves, would have to be moved if a change in the index axis was required. Now, this can be achieved by creating a new user co-ordinate system and using that as the new index axis.
  • An improvement to the FeatureCAM interface makes it easier to use a curve to define start points and plunge points for both turning and milling. Users can now pick these curves by clicking on them, instead of having to type the name of the curve.
  • The ability to incorporate probing routines into machining programs was added in FeatureCAM 2013 to make it easier to undertake unsupervised production operations by allowing automated checks to be carried out before, during and after machining.
  • The programming of operations has been made easier and quicker with the new ability to incorporate decision making with built-in options in the software, instead of having to hand-write toolpath edit commands. For example, it is now easier to include a re-machining command if the probing results show that more material needs to be removed from the part.
  • A number of extra strategies and options have been added for two-axis finishing. These include the ability to use larger stepovers with the automatic machining of any upstands that may be left, continuous spiral machining either from outside to inside or inside to outside, support for stock models created from roughing toolpaths and the automatic avoidance of clamps.

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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