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Delcam has announced that its Featurecam range of CAM software products has been certified by the Autodesk Inventor Certified Application programme for Autodesk Inventor 2010.

This programme certifies that Featurecam software applications have been tested by Autodesk engineers to ensure that they meet the high standards set for robustness, quality and interoperability with the latest version of the Inventor 3D mechanical design system.

‘Customers can open Inventor parts seamlessly in Featurecam, with no loss of data or concerns about translation errors,’ said Tom McCollough, vice-president of development for Featurecam.

‘The certification programme gives our customers the confidence of knowing that Featurecam has been rigorously tested by Autodesk and found to perform to the highest standards,’ he added.

Featurecam incorporates a combination of feature-based and knowledge-based functionality that makes programming fast and simple.

The software offers a range of programs for milling, turning, wire EDM and mill-turn, all with the same interface style to minimise training times.

The integration with Inventor 2010 gives Autodesk customers access to all the latest enhancements in Featurecam.

An important area for the new release is increased support for mill-turn equipment.

These machines are becoming more popular because of their ability to complete parts in a single setup on one machine.

Featurecam development has focused on support for the more complex machines, those featuring multiple turrets and/or multiple spindles.

The range of five-axis options within Featurecam has also been extended.

The software now supports both positional and continuous five-axis operation, five-axis trimming and five-axis drilling.

All these options allow productivity to be improved by enabling parts to be produced in one or two setups that would otherwise require multiple setups and/or special fixturing.

Another key area for development has been four-axis simultaneous milling.

This provides programming for milling machines with rotary tables.

Like the mill-turn and five-axis enhancements, this functionality will allow users to tackle more sophisticated parts than before.

Developments have also continued with the more fundamental machining operations.

The main enhancement to the Featureturn module has been the addition of support for form tools.

Other improvements include more efficient threading, better control of undercutting and extra options for pre-drilling before boring.

Similarly, 2D machining has been enhanced with improvements to thread milling, easier control of feeds and speeds, support for a wider range of engraving tools.

In addition, substantial improvements have been made to the Featurewire module, the highlight being faster and easier recognition of four-axis wire features.

Finally, three-axis milling has been made more efficient, for example, when machining preforms such as castings or parts that have already been rough machined.

The new version minimises air cutting thanks to the ability to limit toolpaths to the stock model.

Since no cutting moves are generated outside this boundary, an efficient toolpath strategy can be created quickly and easily.

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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