Thread milling, a popular feature request from CNC shops, was introduced in BobCAD-CAM V29 and BobCAM for SOLIDWORKS™ V6. This feature makes machining threads easier than ever – allowing you to machine tapered (pipe) threads, supporting thread side roughing and offering machine compensation support.
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As a completely new feature, we want to make sure you understand everything you can do with it. So we fielded a bunch of questions about thread milling from CNC machinists and put Al DePoalo, the voice of BobCAD AfterDark videos, on the case to provide the answers.
1) What kind of thread milling is supported in BobCAD-CAM?
Straight wall threads
Tapered wall threads
Single start threads
2) What kind of tools are supported?
3) What are the advantages of single point tools?
Tooling is less expensive
One tool can be used for different pitches
They can be used for off-size holes
4) What are the advantages of multi-tooth tools?
Faster cycle times
Great for production
Preferred for most applications
5) Does BobCAD-CAM have a thread library?
Yes, BobCAD-CAM’s thread library comes pre-loaded with 10 thread types and over 200 sizes.
Thread library options include: Thread Type, Major Diameter, Pitch, Minor Diameter, Taper Angle and Thread Angle
Thread types include:
Unified Fine UNF
Unified Coarse UNC
National Pipe Taper NPT
National Pipe Straight NPS
Metric Fine MF
Metric Coarse MC
British Standard Whitworth BSW
British Standard Pipe BSP
British Standard Fine BSF
British Association BA
Don’t see a thread size that you work with? No problem, users can edit and add as many thread types as needed.
6) Are there options to prep the hole before threading?
Using DMS in combination with our thread milling feature, you have many options to prepare the hole for threads. You can select from 8 machining cycles that include drilling and milling.
7) I thread mill regularly, are there any tools that can speed things up for me?
Yes – use the save and load feature to build a library of thread milling cycles that are fully defined and ready to use. The tools, speeds and feeds, and how you prep the hole can all be stored with the thread milling feature.
8) What about thread milling multiple locations? Is that supported?
Definitely – you can pick point locations, or a group of circles that represent your threaded holes / bosses.
9) What if they are on a different level of the part? Can you do that too?
Yes – using the hole groups, you can program thread mill cycles that start and end at different locations all in one feature.
10) My machine uses helical motion. Is that supported?
Yes – you can post your thread mill cycle using linear moves or helical moves. It all depends on what your machine supports. You pick the option that works best for you.
11) Are there any benefits of thread milling vs. tapping?
Yes – there are many, but it really depends on the type of work you do in your shop.
With thread milling, you’re able to use the same tool on different diameters – which cuts back on tool changes – and the number of tools you need to keep in stock.
Thread milling also requires less tool pressure than tapping – resulting in less tool breakage. But, let’s face it – if you overload a thread mill, it’ll break too – especially when working with small holes. So to help with that, thread milling gives you a side roughing option that lets you “walk” the tool into the wall.
Do you do any thread milling?
Give BobCAD-CAM a try and see how easy thread milling can be.