4 Axis Indexing, Wrapping and Rotary Q & A

Posted June 14, 2017 10:51 am   Published by    BobCAD-CAM ">
Get answers to all of the important questions about 4 axis indexing, wrapping and rotary with BobCAD-CAM software for CNC milling.

You’re one click away from subscribing to BobCAD’s YouTube channel. Access more webinars like this and much more!

Subscribe to BobCAD-CAM's CNC Software Blog

Join your fellow manufacturers! Get BobCAD-CAM’s latest CAD-CAM articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email below:


1) What is the difference between Mill 4 Axis Standard and Mill 4 Axis Pro?

The user experience for Mill 4 Axis Standard versus Mill 4 Axis Pro is quite a bit different. To start with, Mill 4 Axis Pro is sold on subscription. And no, that doesn’t mean that it’s a monthly payment or that the software can be turned off at any time. “On Subscription” just means that when you purchase the package, you get 12 months of updates, upgrades and technical support included.
4 Axis Pro Milling Toolpaths
Mill 4 Axis Pro also unlocks many new surface based toolpaths that you can use for 3 and 4 axis machining. We also turn on the machine simulation portion of the software, which is normally sold separately as our Machine Simulation Pro module.
So it’s quite a package with a ton of value and options built right into it. Just as a little perspective for you – the cost of our Mill 4 Axis Pro package is comparable to what you’ll typically see companies charge for their 2 axis milling packages.

2) Is machine simulation included with the Mill 4 Axis Standard?

No. The Machine Simulation Pro is an add on for the Mill 4 Axis Standard package.
CNC Machine Simulation

3) For setting the start point, does it matter where you click on a profile?

No. Selection, start of cut and direction are separate steps.
Profile Start Point

4) Do you select geometry differently when creating indexing or wrapping toolpaths?

No. The selection methods are the same as any 2 or 3 axis toolpath.
4 Axis Wrapping Group Selections

5) Instead of the tool spinning around the part, can you use backplot and have the part spin?

Not in the CAD interface using backplot. However, you could use the simulation to simulate the path and choose tool focus to get that result.
Tool Focus for Backplot

6) Can you take multiple passes when using the 4 axis rotary toolpath?

Yes. There is a multiple passes option. You can even trim to stock to eliminate air cutting.
Multiple Passes Rotary Trim to Stock Combination

7) What is the relevance of the work offset in the stock setup?

It is used to move the part around in simulation.
Work Offset Machine Simulation

8) Can I make my own 4 axis machine with STL models?

Yes, you can build your own machines for machine simulation using the Machine Simulation Pro add on.
4 Axis CNC Mill Machine Model for Simulation

9) What kind of 4 axis configuration does BobCAD-CAM support?

BobCAD-CAM supports X, Y and Z axis rotary configurations. In order to use the Z axis, you would need to force table rotation with the multiaxis posting tab.
4 Axis CNC Milling Table

10) How does the wrapping group affect speeds and feeds?

It depends on how your post is set up. On posting block 441, you have these option to change from inches per minute to inverse time.
Post Process Without Inverse Time
441. Multiaxis feed type (0=UPM 1=INV on all 2=INV on Rotary 3=INV on 4 and 5 Axis) ? 0

11) Can you machine a whole part using 4 axis rotary?

Yes. The only thing you have to look out for is the rotary toolpath dipping past the axis of rotation. It would be a problem if there are open sections of your model that would allow the toolpath to cross the axis of rotation.
4 Axis Rotary Toolpath Around the Full Part

12) Does BobCAD-CAM support relatively large contour carvings, ones that generate millions of lines of code?

Yes. But it is important to make sure that your computer has the memory and processing power to support working with larger data sets.

13) Does BobART work with the 4th axis?

Yes. With BobART you can lay out 3D emboss models that you can then machine with your 4th axis.

14) I have BobCAD-CAM V29 Mill 3 Axis Professional – how does it work when I add on or upgrade to the 4th axis.

Great question – if you don’t currently have the Mill 4 Axis Standard package, you can simply add it on to your license. Once you’ve made the purchase, we update your license and the features turn on in your software. It’s just that easy.

15) What would you do differently if you were working on a swiss machine with live tooling in Z axis?

The workflow for mill turn machines would be the same for indexing, wrapping and rotary toolpaths.
CNC Mill Turn Turret

16) Can I get a recording of this webinar to review later?

Yes. All of our webinars are recorded and uploaded to our website HERE and YouTube channel.

Read this article to learn more about 4 axis indexing, wrapping and rotary.

Download BobCAD-CAM 4 Axis Standard Demo Today

2 responses to “4 Axis Indexing, Wrapping and Rotary Q & A”

  1. Jon Ballou says:

    I have been using BobCam V5 Mill and Bob Art with Solidworks. Recently I added a 4th rotary axis to my 3 axis machine. Would like to upgrade to 4 Axis Pro. My DYI machine does mostly wood projects, furniture, carvings, etc. Not a production shop. Custom made furniture.

    • Mike Downss says:

      Jon, what state do you currently operate out of? I can pass your info on to our team and we will reach out to you today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *