Many components are composed of the following basic features: holes, pockets and islands. When considering the large number of holes that a component can have, it quickly becomes clear that it would not only be tedious and exhausting for the CAM user if they had to program each individual hole laboriously by hand but it would also increase the likelihood of errors. Moreover, valuable working time would also be wasted. This time could be better spent on more complex programming tasks.
This is where the feature technology of hyperMILL® comes into play as it makes it possible to comprehensively describe the constructive properties of a model such as pockets or holes. This gives the components a degree of intelligence. Feature technology is the first step towards a powerful form of variant construction.
Feature-based machining speeds up and simplifies NC programming by using automated programming sequences. Automated functions support CAM programmers in their day-to-day work and bring significant time savings. Further advantages of feature technology include a higher quality thanks to the reduction of errors as well as comprehensive standardisation by means of accessing best practice procedures.
The hyperMILL® CAM software automatically recognizes the majority of prismatic features such as pockets, holes or T-slots. Usable features for blade and impeller machining can also be easily created for a macro application. hyperMILL® offers numerous ways to process the geometry information available in the CAD system effectively within CAM programming. Along with the assigned geometries, features also contain information that is relevant to manufacturing, such as top, bottom, orientation and start point.
Once features have been defined, they can be assigned machining strategies. If the geometry or technology parameters are modified, changes only have to be made for the feature. These changes are then automatically incorporated in the recalculated NC code. This is another way in which feature technology in hyperMILL® significantly reduces the amount of programming required.
But that’s not all: So-called Customised Process Features (CPFs) are also available for individual solutions. They allow company standards to be defined for similar geometries and help to automate the programming process even more. Workflows are established, saved as technology macros and can then be applied again to similar machining tasks.
Characteristic geometries are linked with freely definable sequences of various machining strategies, from 2.5D and 3D to 5-axis milling and mill turning.