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Delcam to show 2013 releases of CAM products at Houstex 2013

B-axis operation in FeatureCAM minimises the need to use longer cutters

Delcam will demonstrate the 2013 releases of its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM and PartMaker CAM systems on booth 1234 at Houstex at the George R, Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from 26th to 28th February.

PowerMILL is Delcam’s software for high-speed and five-axis machining, the ideal CAM system for companies making larger or more complex parts, FeatureCAM offers fast and easy-to-use, feature-based programming for mills, lathes and mill-turn machines, while PartMaker provides a dedicated solution for Swiss-type lathes, bar-fed mills and turn-mill equipment. Together, these programs allow companies to program virtually all of their machine tools to cut any material quickly and efficiently, and give a high-quality surface finish. This broad coverage is one of the reasons why Delcam has been ranked as the world’s leading specialist supplier of NC software and services by US analysts CIMdata for the last 12 years running.

In PowerMILL, several enhancements have been made to improve tool path efficiency. For example, when using automatic verification on a toolpath to prevent a collision by the shank or the toolholder, in the previous version of PowerMILL, the tool would be retracted to a safe height and then returned to the part once it was safe to continue machining. Now, PowerMILL generates a continuous toolpath that removes as much material as possible, while still avoiding any collisions. The elimination of the retract moves shortens machining times and gives an improved surface finish, while the continuous cutting reduces the change of load on the tool so increasing its life.

For FeatureCAM, the 2013 release includes improvements in the 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 recognized 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 synchronization points has been enhanced to simplify optimization of the machining sequence between the various elements of the machine.

PartMaker 2013 features a restyled, more productive user interface. Headlining the improvements is the Job Explorer tree, which makes navigating machining-function windows and part features faster. Additionally, a number of new controls have been added to the software to make operation even more intuitive. Also, a number of diagrams in the software have been recast and revamped to give the program a fresh look. While the user interface enhancements are numerous, PartMaker 2013 has retained its traditional work flow, with its industry leading ease of use, so existing users will not have to worry about any relearning: they will just be able to be more productive.

A new ASM high-end milling module replaces PartMaker’s Surface Machining Wizard module for surface machining of free-form shapes. For existing PartMaker users, the upgrade to ASM will be provided free of cost and the transition will be very easy to make. The benefits of the ASM module are numerous. In particular, it will allow faster toolpath calculation, greater tool control and improved surface finishes.

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02 January 2013