Best CAD CAM Lathe Features | 2023

Posted February 14, 2023 11:41 am   Published by    BobCAD-CAM ">

Best CAD-CAM Lathe Features  In 2023

What is the most common cnc in the shop? That’s right a lathe, in fact market-wide, Did you know there is twice the number of lathes as mills? This is why our training event topic and blog post for this week is about the best CAD CAM features for cnc lathe programming. For all the shops that focus on pins, shafts, and other round parts commonly manufactured on a lathe. This week’s topic is for you!

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CAD Features For Lathe

When it comes to g-code programming for a cnc lathe, calculating endpoint locations for lines, arcs, and tangent positions is commonplace. This is why you’ll find programmers doing this math with either a calculator or by hand. Having a CAD package to snap and measure point locations based on a customer supplied files.  A CAD package to open and measure part features without having to ask the customer or engineering department for CAD support,  you can do it yourself with BobCAD’s stand-alone design software.

  • Direct & Neutral File Translators
  • Geometry Tools for Reposition & Editing
  • Wire Frame From Surface / Solids

CAM Features for Lathe

Go from toolpath to g-code faster with BobCAD’s wizard-driven CAM features for cnc lathes / turning centers. Stepping you through the process by answering questions about toolpath settings, taking the guesswork out of programming your lathe.

Machining Cloud Tool Import

Use the world’s most dynamic resource of tooling to build your lathe tool library online, complete with inserts, holders and more! Easily import your machining cloud tool assemblies using export options specific to BobCAD. Helping you better manage tooling for programming a CNC lathe while making toolpath simulations/verification more accurate.

CAM Tree Templates

Setup and reuse your CAM Tree on future projects! Save and reuse your setup, stock, tooling, machining features, and more! Best for CNC lathe programming parts with similar features or sizes, templates make quick work of these projects!

User Defined Toolpath Defaults

Adjust factory settings to your preference, customizing machining wizards to align with your shop’s programming process. Streamlining workflow for faster programming of CNC lathes.

Stock Condition at the Start of the Job

Bob CAD CAM for Lathe allows the user to define the shape of the starting stock into two types, Cylindrical and Revolution. The cylindrical shape allows to indicate an external diameter, internal diameter and logically a length.

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The revolution type allows you to select a 2D profile created by the user previously, which will become our initial material shape. This is used when you have a cast preform or a part from previous machining.

Best Toolpath Features for Lathe

Doing the most with your geometry selection is the goal of the following time-saving lathe programming features. Why spend time editing geometry when you can use toolpath settings to make adjustments on the fly?

Toolpath Extensions

This handy lathe programming feature makes it easy to adjust where toolpath is created by either extending beyond your selection or by trimming it back. You get independent control for the start and end of the selected profile.

Remove Undercut

This toolpath setting “jumps over ” grooves and other part features that would require the tool to cut down. Use a check box in the toolpath wizard to avoid these areas, eliminating the need to edit geometry directly.

Lathe Programming Power

Using CAM software for lathe programming provides additional cutting options beyond the canned cycles your machine supports. Gain more lathe programming power by adding toolpath strategies for roughing and finishing your OD and ID profiles.

Chip Break Example

It’s all about the chips, and chip control. When roughing stringy material, your chips might end up looking like a bird’s nest around your tool and spindle. Use the chip break check box and customize the toolpath settings. Helping you avoid messes like the one you see below.

brids nest

Simulation & Reporting Tools for Lathe

One of the best features of CAD CAM software for lathe is the visual aids and the documentation you get about your projects. These tools make it easier to see what you’ve done and how ya done it!

CAM Tree Flyouts

Talk about fast editing,with CAM Tree flyouts you can see and edit critical toolpath settings faster than opening the wizard. Most commonly used to edit fees and feeds.

Backplot Toolpath

Check your toolpath by watching your tool follow your toolpath in the CAD screen. Helping you verify the start and end of cut, direction, and more. Get a better view of what’s happening with new tool display settings.

Solid Simulation

Do a dry run off the machine, this way, you can make adjustments or catch errors before running the job. See the material being removed, check for collisions, and use a cutaway view for internal details.

Post Processors for Lathe

Get the right code to your machine without editing. You can download one of our free post-processors here. If you don’t see your machine/controller model, you can request one here.

Post Processor Training for Lathe

BobCAD provides all the self-help resources you would need to fully customize post processors, which includes a dedicated help system and online classes on post building.


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Changes applied in recent releases represent a significant saving of programming and machining time; for this reason, we recommend watching all the training videos, attending all of our webinars/training events, read our blogs, and use your online training.  BobCAD is constantly evolving, you may be wasting time and money just due to your lack of knowledge.

Thank you all very much and we look forward to seeing you at the next webinar on this topic:

BobCAD CAM V35 | Lathe Live Training Event  : February 15th @ 1PM

Related Video(s)

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Which toolpath options come with what package?

Use the toolpath matrix and see what toolpath options come with what packages.

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