The company launches version 2009 of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system. According to the company, the updated system incorporates enhancements across its complete range of functionality.
One important enhancement is increased support for mill-turn equipment, especially for the more complex machines—those featuring multiple turrets and/or multiple spindles. Additional postprocessors for these types of machines are also available. Additionally, the software supports both positional and continuous five-axis operation, five-axis trimming and five-axis drilling. All these options are said to 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.
With improvements to three-axis milling, the updated system is intended to minimize air cutting with its ability to limit toolpaths to the stock model. According to the company, because no cutting moves are generated outside this boundary, an efficient toolpath strategy can be created more quickly and easily. Additionally, improved four-axis simultaneous milling provides programming for milling machines with rotary tables and is said to give a more comprehensive solution than the existing options for rotary milling and fourth-axis wrapping.
The software also features updates to its fundamental machining operations. The FeatureTurn module has added support for form tools. According to the company, other improvements include more efficient threading, better control of undercutting and extra options for pre-drilling before boring. Similarly, 2D machining offers improvements to thread milling, easier control of feeds and speeds and support for a range of engraving tools. The FeatureWire module is said to be faster and offer easier recognition of four-axis wire features.