Delcam – part of Autodesk's vast subsidiary universe – will be presenting en force at IMTS this year, representing what is perhaps the most critical and overlooked component of modern machining: CAM software.

The big draw for designers and Delcam users at the show will be the chance to test-drive some of the impressive upgrades and new features of the company's FeatureCAM program.

One new feature of the 2015 FeatureCAM version is a new command that allows entire parts or projects to be mirrored more easily than before. The option supports parts to be milled with multiple set-ups, including 2.5D, 3D and 3+2-axis configurations. Both 'Move' and 'Copy' options are available to reflect all the features within the part or project relative to a choice of a particular plane, line or axis in which to mirror.

User interface has also seen some changes in the new version. One simple improvement makes tool windows respond to the machine choice, so tools now appear in the window in an orientation that matches how the tool will be used on the machine, eliminating any mental disconnect when selecting the desired tools for particular operations.  

Another change allows the picking of the bottom radius of solid faces through curvature analysis. This greatly improves interactive feature recognition by removing the need to take measurements of the part to identify the bottom radius.

FeatureCAM also sees the introduction of a new hole type, 'Thread Mill Hole,' which eliminates the need to create holes, pockets or sides, and thread features as separate items. It can be used either with holes created with the 'Hole' feature or those that have been identified with 'Feature Recognition.' A range of preset threads for standard depths of drilling and thread depths can be applied or users can customize their own thread combinations.