4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2013 12:35 AM by Daen Hendrickson

    Tutorial suggestions for FeatureCAM

    Daen Hendrickson

      I have unofficially accepted a new position and the company uses SolidWorks. So you will be seeing me around the forums again. This company uses FeatureCAM to drive some CNC machines. I have ZERO experience in this area so will be learning both the software and the machines.

       

      If anyone has suggestions on tutorials or learning methods for FeatureCAM I would appreciate the information. One of the complaints the owner has is that one person spends 8 hours designing in SolidWorks and then the next person spends 8 hours re-working the whole design in FeatureCAM. I am hoping there are some efficiencies to be found there whether through best practices, automation, or software features just not being used. If there are forum spaces concentrating on SW / FC interaction your suggestions are appreciated.

       

      I am looking forward to becoming an active forum member again; looking forward to the new challenges of learning a new industry, and looking forward to making a living again.

       

      Daen

        • Re: Tutorial suggestions for FeatureCAM
          Daen Hendrickson

          Bumping this. I posted in the evening and it may have scrolled beyond notice by the next day...

           

          Daen

          • Re: Tutorial suggestions for FeatureCAM
            Jerry Steiger

            Daen,

             

            That's a lot of great stuff to be looking forward to!

             

            I know nothing about the CAM side of things. I do seem to recall that various posters have mentioned particularly good and bad interactions between Solidworks and various CAM programs. Perhaps FeatureCAM lies toward the bad end of the sprectrum. I don't suppose the boss would be very happy if you suggested changing either the CAD or the CAM software, but that might be the best solution. Try searching in the forums or looking at the "More Like This" threads in the box to the right.

             

            Having one person who is reasonably adept at both the CAD and CAM programs would be a great way to see if there are better ways to work in both to minimize the wasted effort.

             

            Jerry S.

            • Re: Tutorial suggestions for FeatureCAM
              Jon Sturm

              Daen,

               

              The delcam learning zone has some good introduction videos to FeatureCAM as well as going over the what's new. It may also be worth getting the phone number for your local Delcam/FeatureCAM dealer to see what training they offer.

               

              As for how well FeatureCAM and Solidworks interact, FeatureCAM's Solidworks import Translator is rather robust and I don't see why they would be having the CAM programmers reworking the design unless the designs aren't possible to machine. It even supports bringing in the hole attributes from solidworks and suppressing them so that you can work on machining the rest of the part more easily though that requires the person running FeatureCAM also have Solidworks installed on their machine.

               

              Another option that may be worth looking into is one of Delcam's newer products, Delcam For Solidworks, which puts the FeatureCAM toolpathing functionality into the Solidworks interface. This does require you have an up to date Solidworks license for your programmers along with the Delcam license but I find it to be very intiuative to Solidworks users to pick up and allows for even greater interoperation between CAD and CAM departments. That said Delcam For Solidworks isn't quite at 100% feature parity with FeatureCAM so there are one or two things that FeatureCAM can do that DFS can't yet, but its getting closer with each release.

               

              I hope this points you in the right directions.

               

              Jon S.

                • Re: Tutorial suggestions for FeatureCAM
                  Daen Hendrickson

                  Jon,

                   

                  Thanks for the info.

                   

                  Today being the actual first day on the job, I did learn the company has an active subscription with Delcam so I can gain access to the learning zone. The owner also said if there is local training available he will send me. I think I would prefer to learn some basics on my own first and then step into the training with at least a little hands on.

                   

                  The goal is to combine the functions of the CAD drafter and the machinist/FeatureCam operator into one person (me) so migration to the Delcam for SolidWorks might be viable - but probably not today.

                   

                  Over the next couple of weeks I will observe and try to determine the why's of how things are being done.

                   

                  Daen