Delcam to Show FeatureCAM and PowerINSPECT at SolidWorks World

Delcam will demonstrate its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system and its PowerINSPECT software for CAD-based inspection during the company's debut appearance at SolidWorks World. The 2007 meeting takes place at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans from 4th to 7th February.

FeatureCAM 2007 is the latest version of the Delcam's industry-leading feature-based machining software. It includes major enhancements to the software's automatic feature recognition functionality and to the range of 3D machining strategies.

In addition, FeatureCAM 2007 makes the creation and editing of toolpaths quicker, easier and more flexible. Instead of requiring the user to develop or change the feature properties and then generate or re-generate the toolpaths, FeatureCAM users can now create or edit roughing and finishing toolpaths independent of part features.

The extended functionality in FeatureCAM's automatic feature recognition technology will recognise and machine automatically complex holes for special applications. Supplementing the wide selection of standard hole configurations already recognised by FeatureCAM, the upgraded software will enable users to specify custom hole dimensions, key geometric features, special-purpose tools and exact machining parameters. As a result, hydraulic connections, mould base fittings and other special holes will be automatically recognised and machined to desired specifications.

The new advanced machining strategies in FeatureMILL3D have enabled significant increases in calculation speeds for 3D toolpaths and improved the surface finish that can be achieved. The main requirements for advanced machining are to keep the load on the cutter as consistent as possible, and so maximise its life by reducing wear, and to minimise any sudden changes in the cutting direction that will either put excessive load on the tool or require a slowing in the feed rate. The new FeatureMILL3D strategies enable users to meet both these objectives.

FeatureMILL3D also incorporates new rest finishing options to ensure the highest possible quality of surface finish and to minimise hand finishing. These include pencil machining, in which the material remaining is removed in a single pass, and Z-level rest finishing, the preferred option for clearing material left on steep surfaces.

PowerINSPECT is firmly established as the world's leading hardware independent software for inspection against 3D CAD data. It has gained this position by offering three main advantages over other inspection software. Firstly, because it is completely hardware independent, it enables companies with a variety of inspection devices to use the same software on all their equipment. This makes it easier for staff to use the company's different devices and allows all reports to be produced in the same format. Secondly, it can meet all the different inspection needs, including checking of geometric features, sections and edges, as well as surfaces.

Thirdly, the software is extremely flexible. Reports with pictorial, graphical and tabulated data can be produced to recognised international standards or in any customer-specified format. This flexibility ensures that the resulting reports can be easily understood by everyone involved in collecting or analysing inspection data.

The new release of the main PowerINSPECT program incorporates collision detection based on proven routines for gouge prevention and collision detection in PowerMILL, an enhanced Geometric Explorer that makes it easier to extract nominal data from CAD models, additional best-fit options for analysing the results, and improvements to the software's already industry-leading graphics and report generation.

Two new versions have also been launched - an entry-level on-machine verification option for use by machine tool operators after only a half-day of training and an offline manual version for metrology departments to develop inspection sequences for application using a "play-only" version of the software on the shop floor.

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