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Delcam is set to highlight the latest release of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software at Haastec 2013. Enhancements include a number of new stock model options, new methods for the generation of html setup sheets and improvements to turning and turn-mill programming.

FeatureCAM 2013 includes the ability to incorporate probing sequences into CAM programs, making it easier to undertake unsupervised production operations by allowing automated checks to be carried out before, during and after machining.

Probing paths can be generated for five feature types: pockets, obstructed pockets and webs; inside or outside corners; bosses, bores and obstructed bores; radial bosses, bores and obstructed bores; and single surfaces.

All of the resulting probing paths can be simulated and collision checked on the computer in the same way as cutting paths.

Haastec 2013 will take place on 9–12 April 2013 at Haas Automation’s California headquarters.

FeatureCAM in depth

Stock model functionality

  • New stock model functionality eliminates excessive tool engagement and limits the maximum depth of any cut into un-machined material
  • These controls reduce tool wear and improve surface finish by avoiding any overloading of the tool
  • Functionality 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
  • Same functionality also removes toolpath segments that machine very little or no material

Rest machining

  • ‘Detect metal thicker’ command ensures that rest material thinner than the specified limit is ignored; this prevents toolpaths being generated in any area where the benefit of the extra cut is negligible, such as cusps left by the previous toolpath
  • 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

Collision avoidance

  • Users can identify clamps and other accessories used during machining
  • Toolpaths can be generated that avoid these items automatically


  • Smoother lead-in and lead-out moves reduce any witness marks when finishing larger turned parts in a number of sections
  • Users can specify the optimum retract angle for turn-grooving operations and so leave a better surface finish on the part

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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