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Delcam has launched the 2012 R2 release of its FeatureCAM feature-based computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software, which includes strategies for roughing and turn-mill operations as well as general enhancements to enable faster toolpath generation.

The new strategies for 2.5D roughing include a continuous spiral option to minimise wear on the cutter and machine tool, high-speed roughing options, including trochoidal machining and Delcam’s patented Race Line Machining, and tear-drop moves to clear corners more smoothly.

In addition, more styles of leads and links can now be used to give greater overall efficiency for the toolpaths.

According to the company, step-overs for 2.5D mill roughing can now be set as large as the tool diameter itself. 

Key features and benefits

Milling

  • An option to add an extra profile pass exactly at the base of flat pockets
  • The ability to use face-milling tools with chamfered edges to machine chamfers as well as faces
  • A choice of right- or left-handed thread-milling tools resulting in either the climb or conventional machining of the thread
  • The ability to reduce calculation times by saving boundaries as curves if they will be needed for subsequent calculations

Roughing

  • New option that allows cutting with a live milling tool while the workpiece is rotating in the turning spindle
  • More flexible five-axis positioning to improve turn-mill programming
  • Support for cylindrical interpolation, allowing toolpaths to be created with NC code for a plane and then wrapped around a cylinder

Simulation

  • The use of multiple cores, which speeds up results
  • The ability to save a position during the simulation, such as while toolpaths are being edited, and then to run the simulation from that position rather than from the start
  • The direct cutting and pasting of models between FeatureCAM and Delcam’s Powershape design and data repair software
  • The ability to create machining configurations on a network as well as on an individual computer, thus saving time and encouraging consistent results from different users

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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