Feature library supports CAM automation

For CAM software specialist Tebis, automation is a key principle for effective and efficient CNC programming while improving machining quality, efficiency and safety. One of the features to support CAM automation with Tebis CAD/CAM is the use of its feature library.

Andrew Walters, application engineer at Tebis UK explains: “The feature library is the way of recognising the geometry data within the CAD model. It then assigns some basic attributes and can start to add predefined machining operations to machine the geometries in the CAM programming process.

“This creates an environment where machining operations and parameters of the features can be optimised, standardised, predefined and are consistent across the company’s entire working process to improve CAM programming efficiency and quality.”

He continues: “The feature library within Tebis automatically detects and assigns features to the geometries and groups features for machining. In addition to working with ruled geometries, Tebis software also recognises freeform geometries and feature-based NC programming. Features are not limited to 2.5D characteristics such as holes and a slots; Tebis software is capable of dealing with 2D open features and freeform shapes.”

Tebis uses colour coding to add additional information to geometry features – especially important to those companies employing paperless manufacturing processes. A hole in a conventional CAD model is just a hole and there is no way of knowing if it is simply plain drilled hole or threaded. Through colour coding, it is possible to add the additional information. Holes can be marked with the different colours and Tebis will automatically recognise them.

Once features are defined in Tebis, they can be used in a couple of different ways. Firstly, they can be utilised in a manual interactive programming environment: choose a machining process and then apply the feature to set the machining parameters such as depth, length and width as well as the position and direction of the machined feature. Secondly, it is possibly to apply a fully automated process to features by adding NCSet which provides the ability to predefine a set of machining operations to machine features.

Tebis with its full CAM automation using feature library produces fast and reliable programming results. It also offers a safer machining environment with consistent outputs.

“Tebis features are very flexible; it is possible to insert a feature at a position in a model event if there is no CAD data to support this – possibly an extra hole needs to be added to some dxf type of CAD data. It is also possible to use curve only geometry to define the position of a feature and then add the feature even though there is no supporting surface geometry,” Mr Walters concludes.

Tebis (UK) www.tebis.com/en


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