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FeatureCAM Premium supports 3-axis, 3+2 milling as well as turning with milling.

Collision Avoidance function in the FeatureCAM allows to create safe, collision-free tool paths and to make visualisation of machining in order to verify its correctness.

FeatureCAM provides simulation options, such as the view of a central line, 2D and 3D simulations, fast and positioning movements, comparing of workpieces and full testing of a risk of collisions with machine elements.

FeatureCAM makes it possible to generate a tool path with automatic recognition and avoidance of clamps and holders. To determine a body as a clamp or a holder, you only need to choose a command “Use solid as a clamp”. The software provides the possibility to enter the minimum distance to the clamp.

The Feature Recognition function is a module that allows for automatic recognition of features in solid models and automatic generation of the machining processes It also enables conversion of a solid model edges to curves or to draw out a curve from the rotary profile. Feature Recognition in its standard version offers the possibility to import such file formats as:

  • SolidWorks (3D models natively
  • Inventor (3D models natively)
  • Solid Edge (3D models natively)
  • Parasolid
  • IGES
  • ACIS
  • DXF
  • DWG

All FeatureCAM functionalities assist to speed up programming of parts, thus increasing the output. The function of feature Recognition automates the whole process, delivering efficient solution from importing a CAD model up to a ready-made part manufactured using the CNC machine.

2.5D milling is the basic function in FeatureCAM. It contains the whole power and operating comfort, which make a part of each FeatureCAM product: advanced 2.5D milling, milling indexed in relation to 4 axes, indexed 4th rotary axis or engraving. It allows to read-in IGES / DXF / DWG formats. In addition, it enables optimization of a feed and advanced verification of 3D (solid) simulation. It allows introduction of modifications of created features by tilting walls, chamfering edges or inserting roundings. All, using flat finger tools tipped with a sphere and torus tools. Additionally, it is possible to create templates of linear, circular, rectangular operations or operations in indicated points.

Advantages:

  • Import of standard industrial formats, such as, e.g. IGES, DWG and DXF – easy communication with customers
  • Fast and easy creation of reliable tool paths, thanks to using step-by-step wizards – time saving
  • Connection of individual subprograms into the programs intended for many workpieces – minimization of programming times
  • Support for series machining for both vertical and horizontal machines – allows for machining many parts under one setting
  • Large subprocessor library, to speed up starting of the work on a machine tool

2.5 D Milling function enables creation of the following features:

  • Holes – straight, counterbored, spotter, stepped drilled, straight tapped, stepped tapped
  • Pockets – unlimited number of pockets with variable depth
  • Grooves – engraving, inner, outer, on XY plane
  • Islands – unlimited number of islands with variable height
  • Thread milling – inner and outer threads

Available milling and drilling operations:

  • Compensation of tool points for roughing and finishing tools
  • Several rough diameters and several finishing diameters for faster completion of a feature
  • Leaving machining allowance on a bottom, intended for after-machining
  • Semi-finishing machining
  • Multiple machining of regions with limitation for in-air machine cutting
  • Several roughing tools (from big to small) for faster machine cutting of large volume of material
  • Holders defined by a user
  • Optimization of tool changing and minimization of quick movements
  • Tool life management
  • Setting machining tolerances
  • External / own drilling and milling macros
  • Division of programs into stages
  • Toolpath options (variety)
  • Trachoidal toolpath for straight gaps and grooves
  • In-cut milling and out-cut milling
  • Entry into a workpiece material – spot drilling, helical, zig-zag
  • Spot drilling
  • Drilling of holes – pilot
  • Approximation of toolpaths by curves and by straight sections
  • Multiple passes for better surface quality
  • Compensation of finishing tool point
  • Estimation of machining time – operations and total time
  • Work in metric and inch systems – metric and inch dimension tools

2.5D Milling is in common use in production of parts, which, generally speaking, are prismatic. Good example here are the automotive or aircraft parts, in which pockets or profiles have vertical walls or feature the uniform shapes of the curve (generating) wall in the entire profile. Parts may contain many different holes, e.g., drilled, counterbored, tapped, reamed, etc.

2-axis Turning function allows for quick and easy programming of all types of turned parts.

This function in the FeatureCAM allows fully utilize capabilities of the centre lathes for faster and more effective production. Powerful, yet easy to use module, contains the FeatureRECOGNITION to speed up programming through automatic selection of appropriate tools and settings based on a geometry of workpieces. Elements can be designed quickly and intuitively or imported from other CAD systems. Tool paths are fully associable with the elements, in case any of their features is changed, relating G-codes will be automatically adjusted to such feature. FeatureCAM has large library of standardized threads, both metric and inch ones, which facilitate programming. Lathe operations are programmed in such a way as to eliminate the possibility of damaging already machined surfaces. FeatureCAM allows to fully use the unchanging machining cycles, thus reducing the program size and providing the shortest possible machining time.

The Turning function first of all includes:

  • Holes – straight, counterbored, spotter, stepped drilled, straight tapped, stepped tapped – possible for programming in constant cycles
  • Turning of outer profiles based on a 2D curve
  • Boring of inner profiles based on a 2D curve
  • Grooving based on a 2D curve or on a wizard
  • Face planning based on a wizard
  • Cutting-off based on a wizard with the possibility to program the capturing
  • Turning of inner/outer threads based on a wizard or any thread contour defined by a 2D curve
  • Operating of a rod feeder/collector
  • Operating of a counter spindle with the possibility to program different capture types

The Wire Electrical Discharge Machining function in FeatureCAM facilitates programming of 2- and 4-axis wire-cut EDM machines. Machining can be generated basing on solids or on 2D curves. Material base allows for automatic control of the selection of machining parameters. In addition, in the Wire Electrical Discharge Machining module, there is a possibility to chose from different types of entering wire into the machined material. Different machining strategies are also available, e.g. allowing for cutting with bridging, and then complete cutting-off of a material. Basing on a workpiece geometry, the Electrical discharge machining module automatically chooses all applicable settings. It is suitable for all types of wire-cut EDM machines. The function will reduce programming times and facilitate quick production of high quality parts.

FeatureCAM with the Wire Electrical Discharge Machining function enables the following operations:

  • Machining of pockets
  • Machining of bosses
  • Machining of open recesses
  • Machining with constant wire inclination

Typical applications of the FeatureCAM include manufacturing of gears, elements of hydraulic systems or precision valve parts.

Advantages:

  • Automatic selection of operations for different cutting strategies
  • It has the database of cutting conditions that contains the EDM generator settings, washing settings and tool compensation
  • It is delivered with checked post-processors for the leading machines in the market, including such brands as Agie-Charmilles, Fanuc, Mitsubishi and Sodick
  • It contains full range of functions necessary for creation of parts, including dies, stamps and sides
  • Reduction of programming time due to full personalization based on the user’s templates
  • Avoiding to break wire, and consequential standstills, through automatic selection of appropriate machining parameters
  • Reduction of the machine start up time thanks to the proven post-processors for WEDM machines, including Agie-Charmilles, Fanuc, Mitsubishi and Sodick

3-axis Milling is a complete solution for 2D and 3D machining, allowing to manufacture even the most complicated parts. It ensures enormous possibilities and flexibility. This function contains milling strategies based on those from Autodesk PowerMill, including Vortex – the technology allowing to shorten the cutting time and simultaneously minimize the spindle load amplitude to improve the tools service life.

3-axis Milling includes the full functionality of 2.5D Milling module and Feature Recognition and additionally the unique functionality for 3D surface modeling. This module allows for automatic recognition and milling of free 3D surfaces (rough machining, semi-finishing and finishing) with automatic selection of optimal tools (spherical cutters). This module includes many advanced strategies which support traditional machining and high speeds.

Advantages:

  • Extremely fast removal of unnecessary metal, faster production of parts
  • Permanent load of a tool increases the tool life
  • Minimization of sudden cutting direction alterations prevents tools and parts from being damaged
  • Producing parts with excellent surface quality and consequently, elimination of manual finishing

Typical Applications

  • simple tools – molds, stamps and dies
  • machining of castings

3-axis milling natively loads 3D models in the following formats: Inventor, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Parasolid, ACIS and 2D DXF/DWG.

This function is in common use in many sectors. Starting from production of injection moulds or heat moulding, through production of parts and the sub-assemblies for production of parts and prototypes. Many aircraft or automotive parts require precise machining of many free surfaces.

3+2 Milling allows for smooth machining in 3 axes from different sides and in one chucking. Application of 5-axis indexed (3+2) Milling allows to increase productivity and to limit the machining time. It decreases or eliminates the need for multiple positioning of a workpiece for its full machining.

Advantages:

  • Ability for smooth 2.5D machining through automatic calculation of the required number of revolutions and transformation of coordinate systems in order to correctly run the machining process.
  • Full support for vertical and horizontal machining centres.
  • Creation of NC code maintaining one coordinate system or creation of a new system for each surface to be processed.
  • Support for full 5-side machining.

When you have a 5-axis machining centre with indexing axes, you have the possibility to perform machining of a part in smooth 3 axis in one chucking.

3+2 Milling first of all means:

  • simplification of machining of deep cavities and cores,
  • use of shorter milling cutters, simplifying and improving the surface finish,
  • decreasing a number of settings, which allows to save time and money, eliminating at the same time the setting errors,
  • easy access to the regions of undercuts.

FeatureCAM combines an advanced tool to carry out demanding and advanced milling in 5 axes with a simple, intuitive and user-friendly environment, coherent with other modules of the program. Speeds up creation of a tool path, ensuring at the same time full control over the machining and the tool path under preparation.

Turning with milling allows to create the machining for parts which require both turning and milling in one chucking.

Turning with milling is a module which allows to operate mill-turn machines, it combines the abilities of the Turning and 2.5D Milling modules, enabling to create turnery parts with milled elements. This function allows to control C and Y axes, generate milling operations on both the main spindle and on the counter spindle, to generate NC code with polar interlacing and without it. Milling operations can be performed with tools oriented in Z axis and in X axis. Turning with milling also offers the possibility for turning operations with rotary tools (turn milling), particularly effective in machining of elements made from hard materials and the elements, the profile of which is not continuous.

Turning with milling enables:

  • creating of turning operations listed in the Turning module,
  • creating of milling operations listed in the 2.5D Milling module,
  • performing milling operations on face surface and on the rotary surface of a machined workpiece,
  • winding 2D features on a rotary surface,
  • operating C axis and Y axis for both the operations performed on main spindle and the counter spindle,
  • supporting polar interpolation.

Advantages:

  • supporting multi-spindle machines with C and Y axes and with driven tools allows to machine more complicated parts,
  • simple programming of drilling and milling features on a workpiece element face or side surfaces thanks to the wizard of features, in order to speed up the machining,
  • It contains all the abilities of 2.5D Milling module, including holes, pockets, sides and patterns.

Typical Applications:

  • complex boring tools for petroleum industry,
  • engine crankshafts.
More about FeatureCAM functions in individual versions here ⇒