CAM Software Improves Area Clearance, Turn-Mill Support

Delcam has launched the 2016 release of its FeatureCAM software, which adds options for the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy, support for bar-fed mills, more efficient turning, and user-interface improvements to ease and speed programming.

Delcam has launched the 2016 release of its FeatureCAM software, which adds options for the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy, support for bar-fed mills, more efficient turning, and user-interface improvements to ease and speed programming. Vortex is designed to provide the fastest safe metal removal using solid carbide tooling, particularly with designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface.

According to the developer, the software produces tool paths with a controlled engagement angle to maintain optimum cutting conditions for the complete roughing cycle, providing faster machining and longer tool life. FeatureCAM now has the ability to adjust and fine-tune the non-cutting moves of 2.5D and 3D Vortex tool paths, with options to retract the tool and/or to increase the feed rate. These options can be set individually or combined to achieve an optimum toolpath and reduced cycle time. Other roughing improvements include the ability to take into account any remaining stock on the model during holder collision checking, ensuring that Z-level roughing toolpaths are completely free of toolholder collisions.

Support has been added to FeatureCAM for multitasking, bar-fed milling machines. Access to the back of the component is possible with an option to set the swivel angle of the machine, with additional cut-off operations now available that use milling tools.

Milling of inside or outside groove features has also been upgraded with improvements including support for different types of roughing links, wind-fan approach and retract moves for finishing, better gouge checking for plunges and retracts, and tool radius and part-line cutter compensation support.

Five-axis swarf machining has been made more flexible with a new option to control the upper and lower Z limits of a simultaneous five-axis swarf tool path. The company says that this is useful if there are limitations on the usable tool length or if the stepdown needs to be varied for different segments of the tool path.

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