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Adaptive Machining & Feature-Based Machining in Solid Edge CAM Pro

This blog post covers the Adaptive Machining and Feature-Based Machining capabilities available within Solid Edge CAM Pro.

Adaptive Machining

Adaptive Clearance Tool Path is now available in Solid Edge CAM Pro.

One of the problems in milling is that normal cut patterns vary the amount of material that is removed—therefore, sometimes the feedrate is too high (stressing and/or breaking the tool) or the feedrate is too low (which takes more time than necessary). Adaptive Clearance solves this by maintaining a constant chip thickness through varying the stepover and keeping the feedrate constant. If the feedrate is constant, you can run at maximum all the time. If you are machining hard materials, this benefit is very obvious, but it works in all machinable materials.

New in the latest release is “pillar cutting.” This type of cut handles pillars (leftover columns of material), that may break off and damage your tool. With this new option, you can cut away pillars with a helical motion—essentially cutting them away from top to bottom.

Feature-Based Machining

When you think about a model for potential Feature-Based machining, think first about its geometry. Classify it by geometry. Is it prismatic (all surfaces parallel or perpendicular to tool axis) or swoopy (contoured geometry)?

You can think about other items, like part rigidity, part material, and tolerances, but start with geometry.

Prismatic geometry is easier and quicker to machine, and therefore less expensive. One of the reasons that is true is because of the Feature-Based Machining methods that can be used to create tool paths.

Prismatic geometry.

Geometry with more contours.

New in the latest release is “pillar cutting.” This type of cut handles pillars (leftover columns of material), that may break off and damage your tool. With this new option, you can cut away pillars with a helical motion—essentially cutting them away from top to bottom.

Solid Edge CAM Pro presents Feature-Based Machining as another tool in the toolbox—you can use it if you like, but you can also completely ignore it and do everything manually.

A couple of other nice features in Feature-Based Machining:

  • You can now use an existing operation set as the template for machining a set of features. This means you don’t have to learn how to edit the knowledge base.
  • Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) is taken into account. For example, on the model below, which was transferred from Solid Edge to Solid Edge CAM Pro, the middle hole size is 14mm +.25/-0. Feature-Based Machining chose a 14.1mm drill (closest one in the library to the middle of the tolerance zone). That is Model-Based Definition at work in a downstream application.

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