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FeatureCAM 2008: A Feature-Based CAM System for Mill-Turn Machines
FeatureCAM 2008 is a software product developed by Delcam that automates the process of creating CNC programs for various types of machines, including mill-turn equipment. Mill-turn machines are becoming more popular because they can produce complex parts in one or two setups, reducing the need for multiple machines and fixtures. FeatureCAM 2008 supports both positional and continuous five-axis machining, as well as five-axis trimming and drilling. It also features an improved tool database and a user-friendly interface.
In this article, we will review some of the main features and benefits of FeatureCAM 2008 for mill-turn applications, and show some examples of how it can be used to generate efficient and accurate toolpaths.
FeatureCAM 2008 is based on the concept of feature-based programming, which means that it recognizes the features of the part geometry, such as holes, pockets, slots, bosses, etc., and automatically selects the appropriate tools and machining strategies for each feature. This reduces the programming time and eliminates the need for manual coding. The user can also modify or override the default settings if needed.
FeatureCAM 2008 can import part models from various CAD formats, such as IGES, STEP, Parasolid, SolidWorks, Inventor, etc., or create them using its own 2D and 3D drawing tools. It can also recognize features from scanned data or STL files. Once the part model is imported or created, FeatureCAM 2008 analyzes it and displays a list of features that can be machined. The user can then select the features to be programmed and assign them to different operations.
FeatureCAM 2008 supports a wide range of mill-turn machines, from simple lathes with live tooling to complex multi-turret and multi-spindle machines. It can handle both turning and milling operations on the same part, as well as synchronization between multiple turrets and spindles. It also supports sub-spindle transfer, bar feeding, part catching, etc.
FeatureCAM 2008 can generate toolpaths for both positional and continuous five-axis machining on mill-turn machines. Positional five-axis machining involves indexing the rotary axes to a fixed position and then performing a three-axis operation. Continuous five-axis machining involves simultaneous movement of all five axes to create smooth and complex surfaces. FeatureCAM 2008 can also perform five-axis trimming and drilling operations on mill-turn machines.
FeatureCAM 2008 has a library of postprocessors for various types of mill-turn machines from different manufacturers. It can also create custom postprocessors if needed. The postprocessors generate G-code that is compatible with the specific machine controller and configuration. The user can also simulate the toolpaths and check for collisions or errors before sending them to the machine.
The following are some examples of how FeatureCAM 2008 can be used to program mill-turn machines for different types of parts:
A medical implant with a cylindrical shape and a complex surface profile. FeatureCAM 2008 can import the part model from a CAD file and recognize the features such as holes, grooves, threads, etc. It can then select the appropriate tools and machining strategies for each feature, such as turning, drilling, tapping, milling, etc. It can also generate a continuous five-axis toolpath for the surface profile using a ball-nose end mill. The toolpath can be simulated and verified before sending it to the machine.
A turbine blade with a twisted shape and a smooth surface finish. FeatureCAM 2008 can create the part model using its own drawing tools or import it from a CAD file. It can then recognize the features such as pockets, slots, fillets, etc., and assign them to different operations. It can also generate a continuous five-axis toolpath for the blade shape using a tapered end mill. The toolpath can be optimized for speed and accuracy by adjusting the feed rate, stepover, tilt angle, etc.
A gear with a helical tooth profile and a bore hole. FeatureCAM 2008 can import the part model from a CAD file or create it using its own gear wizard. It can then recognize the features such as bore hole, gear teeth, etc., and select the appropriate tools and machining strategies for each feature, such ec8f644aee