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FeatureCAM brochure - .PDF file.

Delcam has introduced the 2014 R2 version of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system, which provides support for milling and drilling with right-angle heads and the one-stop programming of multiple roughing operations.

Other enhancements in this version of FeatureCAM include better control of Z-level roughing and improvements to wire EDM and chamfering.

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Key features and enhancements

  • FeatureCAM 2014 R2 has the ability to program and simulate both milling and drilling with right-angle heads. Right-angle heads allow internal pockets to be milled and internal holes to be drilled that would be inaccessible, and so impossible to produce, using a conventional head.
  • The Vortex area clearance strategy (added in the initial 2014 release of FeatureCAM) gives significant time savings by taking deeper cuts with solid-carbide tooling. It allows the full flute length to be used as the cutting surface, so increasing material removal rates, and also maintains a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation to extend the cutter’s life and to protect the machine tool.
  •  In FeatureCAM 2014 R2, multiple tools — for example 20mm, 10mm and 5mm endmills — can be selected for roughing and rest roughing using these strategies, and the complete machining sequence calculated in one operation. A stock model is created automatically after each tool is applied, which is then used as the basis for the program created with the next smaller cutter. This regular updating of the stock model ensures that programs for the later tools are only created in areas where material still remains, so minimising air moves and optimising overall machining efficiency.
  • Rough machining has been improved with a new option to set the direction in which Z-level roughing toolpaths are offset. A simple button allows the user to select whether the part should be machined from the outside inwards or from the inside towards the outside. An automatic option can also be chosen where FeatureCAM will decide the offset direction, depending on whether a core or a cavity shape is being machined.
  • For parts needing wire EDM, FeatureCAM can now project the curve through the stock and also measure the thickness of the feature. This allows the cutting conditions, including feeds, speeds and power levels, to be set at the most suitable values for the EDM equipment.
  • The cutter compensation used by FeatureCAM can now be specified on an operation level, so removing the need to create duplicate features in order to set different values. The most common case where this will be needed is when different cutter compensation is required for the finish pass and for any subsequent chamfering operation.

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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