Delcam’s 2014 R2 version of FeatureCAM features improvements for roughing operations. The software now supports multiple tools for roughing and rest-roughing operations, including 20-, 10- and 5-mm end mills. A stock model is created automatically after each tool is applied and is then used as the basis for the program created with the next smaller cutter. This regular updating of the stock model is said to ensure that programs for the later tools are only created in areas where material still remains, minimizing air moves and optimizing overall machining efficiency. Rough machining has also been improved with a new option to set the direction in which Z-level roughing tool paths are offset. The user can select whether the part should be machined from the outside inward or vice versa. The software can also automatically choose the offset direction depending on the core or cavity shape.
The new release also provides enhanced capabilities for right-angle heads, enabling milling of internal pockets and drilling of internal holes that would be inaccessible with a conventional head. Additionally, the software is now able to project the curve of wire EDM through the stock and measure the thickness of the feature. Cutting conditions including feeds, speeds and power levels can be set at the values most suitable for the EDM equipment. Cutter compensation can be specified on operation level, avoiding the need to create duplicate features to set different values.