Preparing Solid Models for Manufacturing - Automatic Feature Finding Part 1

Preparing Solid Models for Manufacturing – Automatic Feature Finding Part 1

Feature Finding is a key element when preparing your solid model for Manufacturing.  You can create features by:

  • automatically deriving them using the Feature Finder command
  • create them manually by specifying the key areas from which to derive the feature, using the Mill Feature command

Edgecam interrogates the solid model and features are derived from key areas in the solid, such as edges and faces, so they correspond to these areas. The correspondence is associative, so if the model is edited the Features automatically adapt themselves.

Feature Types (AFR)
The Feature Finder icon is located on the Solids toolbar, and can also be found under the Solids/Feature Findermenu from the Main toolbar.

When working with Solid Stock Bodies Edgecam can ignore these for feature finding, and automatically select a non-stock or Fixture body. This eliminates a digitise.

For this functionality in the XY Milling Environment, use the Auto setting of the new Component Selection option.  If you wish to feature find on the stock body, use the Digitise option.

Only the features in your specified CPLs are found. For example if some pocket geometry in the solid has a planar base parallel to the XY plane of the Top CPL, this would be found if you selected the Top CPL.

The CPL in which the feature was found is indicated by the feature’s ‘CPL’ property. The Feature Browser can show features grouped according their CPL.

You can also digitise faces in which to find features. This will automatically create a new CPL for the features (if necessary), based on the face orientation.

In the ZX Turning Environment, you will notice there are appropriate parameters in the Feature Finder.


  • This command is only available when a solid model is loaded.
  • Sometimes multiple features (duplicates) can be found at the same physical location, see this information on deleting duplicates.
  • By default, features are placed on a layer associated to the feature type and given a default color. You can use the Display tab to specify a color and layer for the found features.
  •  You can also feature find on a body in the current  CPL by right-clicking the solid in the Features Window and selecting the Feature Find option from the shortcut menu.

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