New CAD/CAM version Fikus ST 23: Moving forward on shop floor automation and productivity

Source: Metalcam Reading Time: 3 min

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Metalcam launches the new version of Fikus ST, the CAD/CAM software specially developed for the workshop. The new Fikus ST 23 improves the automation of production processes in the shop floor and thus helps to increase productivity and profitability.

Fikus ST 23 offers denser and more progressive toolpaths for high-speed machining and higher surface quality.
Fikus ST 23 offers denser and more progressive toolpaths for high-speed machining and higher surface quality.
(Source: Metalcam)

In its latest version, the improvements of Fikus ST 23 are focused on optimising the technological wizards allowing users to program any machining process efficiently and almost automatically. Now, with more options and functions, even more agility in the programming of machining operations is provided.

The other major innovation in this new version has been the Automatic Feature Recognition, which, among other improvements, incorporates intelligent machining, a step towards fully automatic milling.

Graphics have also been improved to increase the agility of Fikus to handle large files of complex parts. Now, Fikus ST 23 uses advanced rendering technology such as that used in video games, providing much more agility in moving, rotating or selecting parts. Fikus is now 4 times faster at displaying files in shaded mode.

Smart machining: Towards full automation

Fikus ST 23 introduces intelligent machining within Milling Automatic Feature Recognition, which is a decisive step forward into the future of CAD/CAM: fully automatic machining. With smart machining, in addition to recognising and machining elements, the functionality to create complete machining processes, including the choice of the appropriate tool, is added. Depending on the geometry, Fikus ST 23 intelligent machining will create necessary processes such as roughing, drilling, grooving or finishing.

Also the Automatic Recognition of Areas to be Machined in wire EDM has received multiple improvements, such as minimum and maximum diameters to be detected, or specifying a maximum pocket size below which a destructive entry point should be created.

More agile and productive

Fikus ST 23 includes a multitude of improvements aimed at increasing the agility of use and reducing programming time. The new adaptive menu, which now adapts intelligently to any screen size by maximising the most important functions that are always easily accessible, further improve ease of use. This also applies for the new dynamic view cube that allows changing the part orientation by simply clicking on the cube face or arrow, which improves the agility of handling 3D geometries.

New features in Wizards improve performance

An important improvement in the Wizards is the new template filter that will show only those templates applicable to the job users are doing, thus speeding up the selection process. A criterion applied to almost any wizard, now easier to use, such as the automatic centering cycles, or the activation/deactivation of cuts by programming Fikus to automatically thread on the first active cut.

The Geo-Phases function to program jobs without supervision is now more agile with the option to deactivate the calculations until the end of the process. Also noteworthy is the new 4X pocketing process that generates a 2X+4X pocketing. Fikus maximises the cuts in two axes, leaving only those cuts that are essential in 4 axes, which reduces machine time.

The roughing wizard also features important improvements, such as a visual submenu with predefined processes that allows for quick and intuitive programming of roughing operations. Corner management in 4X Wire EDM has also been improved.

More quality of finishing on Fikus ST 23

Many of the improvements introduced in this version have to do with the quality of finishes, especially in 3D milling, with toolpaths are denser and more progressive, obtaining a high-speed machining with higher quality. The Helical Finish has also been improved, which ensures smoother machining under all circumstances.

The new table for importing the manufacturer's tools into the tool library or the Rough Stock function that adds additional rough cuts in the same procedure, both on closed and open contours, save a lot of time in programming machining operations.

4 times faster graphics processor

The Fikus graphics engine has been thoroughly updated in this version with the latest in graphics processing, similar to those used in video games. These improvements are especially relevant in the case of large files with thousands of surfaces. New graphics processor converts surfaces into triangles, enabling faster, error-free, higher-quality 3D model rendering.

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In a test carried out by the company’s technical department, comparing the previous version 20.1 with the new Fikus ST 23 handling a file with about 2000 surfaces, the new graphics processor was 4 times faster.