This topic explains the Patterns page of the 4 Axis Rotary operation found in the Mill 4 Axis Rotary Wizard.


Cut Pattern

  • Zig - sets the cutting method to one-way. All cutting feed moves share the same direction.




  • Zig Zag - sets the cutting pattern to alternate directions. Each toolpath segment changes cutting direction along the part.




  • Spiral - (used with Around style only) creates a spiral or ramping cutting pattern along the surface.




  • Style - defines the general cutting direction of the Rotary toolpath. Select from one of the following options.

    • Along - creates a toolpath that is parallel to the rotary axis of the part.

    • Around - creates a toolpath that is normal to or cuts across the rotary axis of the part.






  • SideShift - defines a distance that the tool is shifted away from the center of the rotary axis. When a side shift is applied, the tool does not point directly to the rotary axis. This can be used to minimize cutting with the center of the tool (or to cut with the front of the tool).



Rotary Axis

You must select the Rotary Axis being used for the feature, which includes the Direction and the Base Point.


Important: The Rotary Axis Direction and Base Point parameters are used for the toolpath creation and are not necessarily the same as the machine's rotary axis.


Select the proper axis for the part orientation:


  • X Axis - Rotation around the X Axis.

  • Y Axis - Rotation around the Y Axis.

  • Z Axis - Rotation around the Z Axis.

  • User Defined - Rotation to be defined manually with the Direction values below.



  • - opens the Re/Select Geometry dialog to allow you to define the location of the Rotary Axis.

    • Method - Choose between Pick a line, or Pick two points. The Selected Geometry group will then allow you to select a line, or a Start Point and an End Point.


  • Point Tool to Rotary Axis

Select the check box to force the tool axis to point at the defined rotary axis of the part.

Clear the check box to turn off this option.




  • Direction - displays the direction vector for the selected rotary axis. The XYZ values are automatically updated when you select X Axis, Y Axis, or Z Axis. For example, rotation around the X-axis is defined by the vector X1Y0Z0. When selecting User Defined, the Direction XYZ values become available for you to define a custom rotary axis direction vector.



  • Base Point - is used to define the distance from the Machine Setup (machining origin) to the rotary axis of the part. If the Machine setup is aligned with the rotary axis of the part, the Base Point values should be X0Y0Z0 (for most scenarios). As another example, if you set the Machine Setup to the top of a four-inch cylinder, you define the Base Point as X0Y0Z-2.





  • 5th Axis
    These options are only available with the 5 Axis Standard, or the 5 Axis Pro modules.

    • Locked at Angle - is used to lock the 5th axis to a fixed angle.

    • Relative to Cutting Direction - provides a fixed tilting angle relative to the toolpath cutting direction. This setting forces the Point Tool to Rotary Axis parameter.

      • Angle - type the tilt angle for the selected 5th axis parameter.

Note: For more information about the toolpath output, view Output Format.





Cut Direction

You can define the cutting direction as:


  • Clockwise - based on the right-hand rule of the selected rotary axis direction.

  • Counterclockwise - based on the right-hand rule of the selected rotary axis direction.




Angular Start/End

  • Cut All - creates a toolpath for the entire part (or geometry selection).

  • Cut Interval- enables the Angle Start and Angle End parameters for you to define an angular cut interval.

    • Angle Start - defines the amount of rotation, from zero degrees, where the toolpath begins.

    • Angle End- defines the amount of rotation, from zero degrees, where the toolpath ends.


Related Topic

Click Next> > to move on to the Parameters page.