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Delcam is set to demonstrate the latest version of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software at the Advanced Manufacturing Show, which is due to be held at the NEC in Birmingham on 4–6 June.

The latest release incorporates a number of new stock-model options that are claimed to enable users to increase productivity, improve surface finish and reduce tool wear.

Other enhancements in the 2013 R2 release include new methods for the generation of html setup sheets and improvements to turning and turn-mill programming.

Key features and enhancements

  • The first addition to the stock-model functionality eliminates excessive tool engagement and limits the maximum depth of any cut into unmachined material.
  • New controls reduce tool wear and improve surface finish by avoiding any overloading of the tool; these 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.
  • Rest machining has been made more efficient in two ways: first, a ‘detect metal thicker’ command ensures that rest material thinner than the specified limit is ignored; and second, toolpath fragmentation and the resultant air moves between fragments can be reduced by specifying a minimum gap length between cutting moves.
  • FeatureCAM 2013 R2 incorporates a new method for generating html setup 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.
  • A number of turning improvements have been implemented, including smoother lead-in and lead-out moves that reduce any witness marks when finishing larger turned parts in a number of sections and the ability to specify the optimum retract angle for turn-grooving operations and so leave a better surface finish on the part.
  • Turn-mill operations have been made more efficient by offering an alternative method for calculating the index limits; the new method can give an index distance closer to the part shape and so produce more efficient toolpaths.
  • A new add-on has been made available to simplify the programming of barrel-cam features; this uses the slot centreline 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.

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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