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Delcam has announced that it will launch the 2013 release of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software at the IMTS exhibition in Chicago on 10–15 September.

According to the company, which will be found in booth E-3222, the latest release will include a series of options for three-axis milling and enhanced five-axis machining, turning and mill-turning modules.

The 2013 release includes three levels of 3D machining functionality: Featuremill 3D Lite, which offers single-surface machining with a basic range of strategies; Featuremill 3D MX, which provides strategies such as spiral finishing, flowline finishing and rotary machining, support for multiple-surface machining and automated feature recognition; and Featuremill HSM, which contains options for rest machining, such as pencil machining and corner clearance, and high-speed machining, including trochoidal machining and Delcam’s patented Race Line Machining.

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.
  • FeatureCAM will now produce extra toolpaths that step back up the terrace with the existing large tool, adding extra cuts at intermediate levels; this results in more material being removed, using the same tool within the same toolpath.
  • The 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 stepover; using this value rather than setting a constant stepover 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.
  • 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.
  • FeatureCAM now offers the ability to smooth the Azimuth and Elevation axes independently and so remove excessive five-axis movement.
  • Definition of the initial stock and part alignment has been improved, making it more similar to the setup process for milling.
  • Support has been added for semi-finish canned cycles, while curves of revolution can now be recognised from STL models.
  • A new method has been introduced allowing B-axis rotary milling to be carried out on features that would otherwise require the use of excessively long cutters.
  • The options for multi-spindle, multi-turret machines have been improved by fully integrating part transfers into the FeatureCAM output.
  • The handling of synchronisation points has been enhanced to simplify the optimisation of the machining sequence between the various elements of the machine.

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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