When it comes to 3D Milling, your Toolpath Stepover affects your part’s finish. Depending on the kind of job you are working on, you may or may not want Toolpath scallops left on your part. Many manufacturers find the time it takes to remove these scallops isn’t justifiable and tool marks do change the look and the feel of the part. Let’s take a look at a sample part and the different finishes that are leftover based on the Stepover.
In this example, we will examine a knife handle. Using a 3D Toolpath like planar allows the tool will work its way back and forth over the model, similar to the way you mow your lawn. The Stepover amount is the distance between passes.
A 3D Planar Toolpath is one of the most common Toolpaths used in 3D Milling. Users can control the angle of the Toolpath as well as the Stepover amount. Based on the Stepover amount, more or less material will be leftover on the part. If you run 2 planar Toolpaths, each cutting in the opposite angle, you’ll get a crisscross pattern. This pattern leaves behind texture on the part. Have you ever considered applying texture to your parts? Many knifemakers and automotive accessory manufacturers find that using textures as part of their design helps make their parts stand out.
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Manufacturers are always seeking out new ways to make their parts look better than the competition. A simple crisscross pattern can do just that. For this reason, many clients begin to look for additional Toolpaths they can use to create similar results with different patterns. This is where projection-style Toolpaths come into play.
Projection-style Toolpaths allow the user to drive their Toolpath based on the wireframe geometry or sketches they develop, projecting them down onto the surfaces or solids they’re working with. Projection-style patterns provide limitless creative control, allowing the user to create patterns that aren’t typical.
Below are some sample parts our clients have used to create interesting results. To learn more about creating patterns on your parts, click HERE for a free trial of BobCAD’s latest CAD-CAM software. Want to learn how to use the software? Click HERE to sign up for our free webinar training that includes sample files.
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