Delcam launches the 2013 release of FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software. This will offer a new series of options for three-axis milling and enhancements in five-axis machining, plus improvements in the turning and mill-turn modules.
FeatureCAM was the worlds first feature-based programming software when it was launched in 1995. Constant development since then has ensured that the system has retained its leadership in programming speed and ease of use, while an increased range of strategies has been added to provide more efficient toolpaths giving greater productivity on a wider range of machines.
The main change to the 2013 FeatureCAM product family has been the introduction of three levels of 3D machining functionality. FeatureMILL 3D Lite offers single-surface machining with a basic range of strategies and so provides an introductory product for companies moving into 3D machining for the first time.
FeatureMILL 3D MX provides a greater number of strategies, including spiral finishing, flowline finishing and rotary machining, support for multiple-surface machining and automated feature recognition. It is aimed at companies with conventional machine tools and those that are machining softer materials.
FeatureMILL HSM also contains all of the options for rest machining, such as pencil machining and corner clearance, and high-speed machining, including trochoidal machining and Delcams patented Race Line Machining. It maximises the benefits of any investment in high-speed mills with strategies that maximise machine productivity while protecting the part, machine and cutter from excessive wear.
FeatureCAM HSM also includes a number of new strategies. 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.
Automatic splitting of finishing between steep and shallow areas of the part has been available in FeatureCAM for a number of releases. This option 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. Any attempt to cut these areas risks damage to the tool, even though it is mathematically possible to remove the material.
New five-axis strategies available in FeatureCAM 2013 include flowline machining between two curves, pencil machining and corner re-machining. These options for simultaneous five-axis machining allow a better surface finish to be achieved as well as ensuring access to more areas within the part in a single set-up.
New options have also been added to give smoother five-axis machining. 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. In addition, FeatureCAM now offers the ability to smooth the Azimuth and Elevation axes independently and so remove excessive five-axis movement. These options stabilise the rotary axis movement by maintaining a fixed tool axis as far as possible, thus replacing constant five-axis movement with a series of 3+2-axis segments having full five-axis transitions between them.
A number of enhancements have been added to FeatureCAMs turning and mill-turn modules. Definition of the initial stock and part alignment has been improved, making it more similar to the set-up process for milling, support has been added for semi-finish canned cycles and curves of revolution can now be recognised from STL models. A new method has also 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. Simulation and post-processing of these operations is also supported. In addition, the handling of synchronisation points has been enhanced to simplify the optimisation of the machining sequence between the various elements of the machine.
What's fixed in Delcam FeatureCam 2013 R1 SP3:
A-032217 F FIXED Turn/Mill: indexing position is outside machine travel limits with long tool More efficient maching times and less change of exceeding machine limits.
A-032591 B FIXED FC 2-axis milling: 4-axis indexing: Unable to change the direction of a 4th axis rotary surface finishing toolpath to Bi-Directional, it stays greyed out
A-032515 F FIXED Testing framework: need the xbuild construct not to display the dialog during test runs
A-032511 B FIXED 3dlite: feature recognition should be available as an option for 3dlite evaluators.
A-032443 B FIXED 3-axis milling: Rapid rotary axis indexing move is missing from NC code.
A-032461 B FIXED FC Turn: OD Taper Thread : Thread taper depth(R) sign(+/-) problem
A-032438 B FIXED D User interface: text "PAF (requires maintenance thru 01.10.2012)" doesn't fit to the window "About Delcam for SolidWorks" in Russian localization.
A-032488 B FIXED D User interface: When you create a new setup, the Select parameters show when the Create tab is active
A-032493 B FIXED FC 2-axis milling: curly corner disappears after applying.
A-032487 B FIXED FC Multiple fixture: setup orientation reverses in MF document.
A-031554 B FIXED FC API: Thin wall milling not working properly
A-032465 B FIXED FC Multiple Fixture: Setup locations in MF file instances are different than the FM file
A-032139 B FIXED FC 2-axis milling: Reflect Transformation of rectangular pocket feature gives bad location.
A-032060 B FIXED FC Probing: Tool selection for probe feature doesn't get passed to post in usual way
A-032456 B FIXED FC Probing: Issues with simulation gouging
A-032407 B FIXED FC Testing: In the testing framework, the tag does not work for DLLs.
A-032406 B FIXED Exiting the tool overrides page for a feature can display the wait cursor and be really slow when using the shared database.
A-032459 F FIXED Probing: Xbuild: Need good template posts (mill and turn/mill) to distribute with probing UDF
A-032417 B FIXED TPEDIT: some data for turn features is not propagated to a toolpath edit feature
A-032433 B FIXED D Turn: Start point works incorrectly in groove features
A-032432 B FIXED D Turn: Start point isn't supported by Hole feature and its assigning lead to crash DFS during part closing
A-032445 B FIXED D user interface: Machine a part fails if I run it twice
A-031906 B FIXED GPF: XBuild: FC crashes if you try to do apxeq on a string value.
A-026459 B FIXED D,FC 2-axis milling: min z ramp distance: The default min z ramp distance makes the tool plunge to the bottom even when ramping is desired. Setting a plunge point and helical side finish on a feature with tight side clearance cause the tool to plunge to the bottom of the feature and then comes back to the top for the helical side finish. If we set min z ramp distance to 0, the plunge move is gone.
A-032381 F FIXED API: Update SetupSheetMgr.bas macro in light of new dll
A-032312 B FIXED GPF: API: trying to exit preview of a UDF can crash FC
A-031458 B FIXED FC Turn: Two parts with the exact same attributes yield different code.
A-032411 B FIXED FC GPF: Crash in toolpath feature during clicking to add segment to the empty list
A-032436 B FIXED FC 2-axis drilling: Drill/Mill: No tool path generated on chamfer operation when side leave allowance is set to anything other than zero
A-032393 B FIXED FC dongle: Evaluation options: featureRECOGNITION checkbox should be hidden for 3D HSM or 3D MX.
A-031838 B FIXED 2-axis milling: NT: Approach move gouges open profile