Laser/Plasma/Waterjet Machining


BobCAM comes with the ability to generate toolpath and code for laser, plasma, and waterjet machines.

To access these machine types, you create a machine as explained in the Machine Configuration help topic. You can also select a BC machine (that is installed with the software) and if necessary, modify the definition to match your machine.


After creating a machine, you can access these machines in one of the following two ways.

Default Machine Selection

To set a machine as the default machine for each new file that is created:

  1. In the CAM Tree, right-click CAM Defaults, and click Current Settings.

  2. In the Machine Parameters page, select the machine Make and click Set As Default.


This is now the default machine for all new files that are created after making these changes.

Machine Selection for the Current Job

When creating the job:

  1. In the CAM Tree, right-click CAM Defaults, and click New Job, or in the BobCAM Menu or BobCAM Command Manager, click New CAM Job.

  2. Set the Job Type to Milling, select the machine, select the Default Parameter Template, click the check box for Start Stock Wizardand click (OK).

  3. Workpiece definition is usually not needed for these types of jobs, if you would like to use one, select it now, either way, click when you are done.

  4. Choose the Stock Type, Size, and Orientation, and click .

  5. Set clearance, machine setup location, and work offset in the Machine Setup page and click OK.

  6. Adjust current settings, posts, tools, and stock material in The Milling Job tree.

  7. Right-click on the Machine Setup to choose the Features to machine.

  8. Use The Mill Wizard to choose the Operations and set their parameters as needed to complete the features.

Using the CAM Tree:

  1. In the CAM Tree, right-click Machine, and click Edit.

  2. In the Machine Selection dialog box, select the Make, and click OK.

Using the Current Settings:

  1. In the CAM Tree, right-click Milling Job, and click Current Settings.

  2. In the Machine Parameters page, next to Make, click .

  3. In the Machine Selection dialog box, select the machine Make and click OK.

  4. You can also make any needed changes in the Milling Current Settings dialog box before clicking OK and they are saved with the selected machine for the current part only.


To learn about all of the parameters for Current Settings, view the CAM Defaults Current Settings Overview topic.

Tool Dialog Box

The parameters that are used to create operations for these machine types are the same as explained in the appropriate CAM Wizard topics. For example, the profile operation parameters are explained in the 2 Axis Wizard. The only difference in the Milling Wizards for these machine types is the Tool page as explained next.

Common Parameters

  • Tool Crib - opens the Tool Crib.

  • Assign Tool Holder- opens the Tool holder Library.


Tool Data


  • Diameter - sets the kerf width of the cut. Some machines allow this to be an adjustable value depending on the actual tip of the tool or nozzle (in the case of waterjet machines). Set this to the actual kerf width.

  • Gas Type

    • AIR - selects air as the assist gas.

    • OXYGEN - selects oxygen as the assist gas.

    • OXYACETYLENE - selects oxyacetylene as the assist gas.

  • Tool Label - since the tool cannot be changed, this box is only an informational display.

  • Holder Label - displays the name of the tool holder that is assigned.




  • ON - activates the cutter in the posted program.

  • OFF - deactivates the cutter in the posted program.





  • ON - enables the assist gas while cutting.

  • OFF - disables the assist gas while cutting.





  • Open - opens the shutter while cutting.

  • Close - closes the shutter while cutting.




Feeds and Speeds


  • Use System Feeds and Speeds - not available. Feeds and speeds must be manually entered as follows.

  • Feedrate - sets the post processed feed to use while cutting.

  • Pierce Dwell - sets the time (usually in seconds, some machines may differ) that the operation dwells to ensure a clean pierce at the beginning of a cut.

  • Pulse Frequency - sets the pulse frequency passed to the machine.

  • Power Setting - selects the power setting passed to the machine.

  • Torch Height Control - some machines allow the torch height control to be set through the NC program. If it needs to be set for your machine, enter the value here.

  • Arc Slowdown % - specify a feedrate slowdown for arcs. This is the percentage of the feedrate by which the machine slows down when cutting an arc.

  • Pressure Type - For Waterjet machines, this allow you to select the water pressure setting passed to the machine: High, Med, or Low. The actual PSI pressure cannot generally be set through an NC program.

Related Topics

The CAM Overview