BobCAD-CAM’s new V25 4th Axis Standard software includes everything that is needed to cut in a non-simultaneous motion. It is perfect for machinists that only need to index or wrap cuts around cylinders or tapered stock, and is commonly used to create pool cues or cut pipes.
There are three basic methods to using a 4th axis in BobCAD-CAM: wrapping, indexing, and rotary.
Wrapping refers to a continuously moving rotary axis where one axis is dropped in favor of the rotary. Wrapping does exactly what it implies – it takes your 2D or 3D tool paths and wraps them around a cylinder.
Using a wrapping group requires the user to lay his work out flat, and the tool paths will be wrapped to a defined cylinder. If the user is beginning with a solid part, BobCAD software offers an unwrapping CAD feature that will automatically unwrap the 3D geometry for him and lay it out flat, right in the program. Users also have the ability to setup multiple wrapping groups for different diameter cylinders that they are working with.
For most parts, setting up the stock is all that is required to wrap on the 4th axis.
Indexing is a manual method of indexing or rotating a part using the 4th axis. This feature allows the user to index the part for machining on a specific face. A user creates an index by picking a surface, and once the part is indexed the user can apply both your 2D and 3D tool path options.
The rotary feature is similar to wrapping, but does not require flat geometry. This feature works with a solid 3D model to create 4th Axis cutting. The fact that the user will not need to lay the work out flat, but rather simply load a solid and program it, makes working with solids much easier for machinists.
The 4 Axis Rotary toolpaths give the user the option to cut along or around the model, with a Zig, Zig Zag, or spiral pattern. It is a great toolpath that can be used for a variety of applications.