Exploring the Advanced 4 Axis options in BobCAD-CAM

Posted January 8, 2024 4:42 pm   Published by    BobCAD-CAM ">

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BobCAD-CAM continues to redefine the landscape of computer-aided design and machining with its latest release, featuring an array of sophisticated 4 Axis options. Let’s delve into the intricacies of these cutting-edge options, designed to elevate your machining capabilities to new heights.

1. Maximum/Exact Angle Step: Precision in Rapids

The 4 Axis Rotary operation now boasts enhanced control over rapid moves with the introduction of the Maximum/Exact Angle Step options in the Links page. This feature provides the ability to set a maximum angle step for rapid moves, offering a nuanced approach to the control of rapid moves. Specifying an angle step as either a maximum angle or an exact value, provides unparalleled control over your machining process.

Maximum divides evenly Exact uses the value and a remainder


2. Machining Area Enhancements: Radial Limits Refined

The Depths Cuts calculation in 4 Axis Rotary operations sees an improvement in working with radial limits. Previous versions had limitations where the first depth cut would be directly at the outer limit, causing complications. The latest update ensures the first depth cut is applied one level below the outer limit, enhancing precision and eliminating the need for radial limit adjustments.

Old New


3. Feedrate for Links: Tailored Speed Control

The new Feedrate for Links feature brings a new level of control to machining speeds. Rather than relying solely on rapids, you can now set specific speeds for links within the same toolpath area, links between different regions, and even links between individual slices. This fine-tuned control ensures smooth machine movements, optimizing both precision and efficiency.

Access through the Utility page in the Advanced UI


4. Filtering Contours: Precision in Detail

Adding a layer of precision, the Filtering Contours feature allows you to ignore smaller contours based on a percentage of the tool value or a specified value. This level of control can be applied to open contours, closed contours, or both, giving you the flexibility to focus on the contours that matter most.

Filtering open contours Filtering closed contours Filtering open and closed contours


5. Conical Machining: Tailored for Conical Shapes

The 4 Axis Advanced Rough and Advanced Finish operations introduce the Conical Machining option, revolutionizing the toolpath application to conical shapes. No longer limited to cylindrical shapes, this option ensures that the toolpath is specifically designed for conical shapes, addressing issues such as steps on conical floors and eliminating air cutting on the smaller end. Gain control over your machining with options to set conical start and end values.


6. New Boundary Option: Enhanced Containment Control

Both the 4 Axis Advanced Rough and Advanced Finish operations now offer the ability to select a 3D containment boundary. This feature, familiar to Mill 3 Axis operations, allows for more specific areas of the model to be defined for cutting, offering increased control and precision.

Before 3D Containment Adding 3D Containment After 3D Containment


7. Force Floor Cuts: Versatile Depth Control

The Force Floor Cuts option, once exclusive to Adaptive Depth Step, is now available for Constant Depth Step in 4 Axis Advanced Rough and Finish operations. This option ensures that floors are cut to the final depth without the need for meticulous depth of cut settings. Achieve seamless machining with precision and ease.

Force Floor Cuts Off Force Floor Cuts On


8. Side Shift: Extended Capability in Rough Operations

In a significant expansion of capabilities, the 4 Axis Advanced Rough operation now incorporates a Side Shift value for selected Cut Patterns. Previously available only in the 4 Axis Rotary operation, this feature provides an extra edge, allowing for the most effective cuts by offsetting the tool from the axis of rotation.


9. Spiral Cut Pattern: Optimal Machining for Pockets

For Offset and Spiral cut patterns in the 4 Axis Advanced Rough, the tool now starts in the middle of the pocket for barbell-style geometries. This adjustment ensures a more effective toolpath, starting from the center and working out, optimizing machining for various geometries.

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10. Lead In/Out for Finishing: Intelligent Placement

The Lead In/Out movements in 4 Axis Advanced Finish operations are now automatically placed intelligently using 3-axis movements. The algorithm has been refined to ensure leads are strategically positioned at the most convex points inside the contour of closed pocket areas or at the center point in straight regions. This improvement enhances the consistency and accessibility of start points while simplifying NC programs with reduced rotational movements.


11. Floor Finishing Options: Tailored Surface Finishes

The Floor Finishing options in 4 Axis Advanced Finish operations now offer a choice between Radius Constant finish and the new Cylindrical or Conical Surfaces finish. This additional option provides the tools needed to focus on desired machining surfaces with precision.

Part Radius Constant Cylindrical or Conical Surfaces


12. Overlap: Seamless Finish Transitions

The Overlap group in the Parameters page of the Advanced Finish toolpath allows you to extend the point at which the toolpath begins and ends, ensuring the entry into and exit from the part surface do not occur at the same location. This feature contributes to a smoother final finish, eliminating visible marks on the finished part.

Amount in Closed Contours = 0 Amount in Closed Contours = 0.25


13. Optimized Automatic Arcs: Enhanced Toolpath Control

When using Surface toolpath types with automatic arcs and blended spline links, the Lead-in and Lead-out options now include Align Towards Previous Cut and Align Towards Next Cut. These options allow you to control how automatic arcs end, influencing the shape of blended spline links. By directing the automatic arcs towards the next cut, the blend spline links stay closer to the surface being machined, reducing cycle times and enhancing precision.

Align toward next cut = 0 Align toward next cut = 1


14. Considered Profile Section Options: Fine-Tuned Contact Points

New options are introduced to determine the shape considered when defining the point of contact on the tool. Choose from Full Profile, Curved Profile, Flatness Diameter, Tip Radius, Convex Tip, Cone, Cylinder, and Barrel. These options allow for positioning the contact point not only on the curved sections of the profile but also on the entire profile, including cylindrical and conical sections.

Considered Profile : Curved Profile Considered Profile : Cone


15. Tilted with Fixed Angle to Surface Normal: Controlled Tool Tilt

Adding to the array of tilting options, the Surface toolpath types now include the Tilted with Fixed Angle to Surface Normal option. This feature allows you to adjust the tilt based on the surface normal, providing precise control over tool tilt in multiaxis machining. Simply select the option, choose your reference surface, and set your angles.

In conclusion, the 4 Axis features in BobCAD-CAM’s latest release introduce a myriad of advancements, delivering unprecedented control, precision, and efficiency to the world of machining. Elevate your machining capabilities with these cutting-edge features, unlocking new possibilities for intricate and flawless designs.

Questions? Call Us to speak with a CAD CAM Pro!

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