What's New in Version 29 CNC CAD-CAM Programming Software

The release of BobCAD-CAM V29 brings with it, the most powerful, versatile Lathe module in the history of the BobCAD-CAM software family. The Development team at BobCAD-CAM has rebuilt the Lathe portion of the software to deliver unparalleled control and power to our customers.

We build our software based on customer requests, and this release is no different. BobCAD-CAM V29 brings functions that provide speed, intelligence, and much needed organization to the, easy to use flow that our customers know and love. With key improvements in everything from CAD, to CAM, to Simulation, BobCAD-CAM V29 helps take the headaches out of your everyday work and will have you cutting more, have you cutting it faster, and will have you cutting more efficiently than ever before.

System Enhancements
Hide Gnomon

In order to simplify any confusion when printing or creating a setup sheet, we have added the ability to hide the WCS gnomon from the workspace.

64 bit Only Application

In order to offer the best possible experience for our customers, BobCAD-CAM moving forward will only be offered as a 64 bit application.

CAD Enhancements
Spun Profile

When working with complicated parts, it can sometimes be difficult to find the overall outline of the part to machine on a lathe. With the introduction of the Spun Profile, this is now done automatically for the customer. Just pick the direction of rotation, select the surfaces and BobCAD will do the work for you.

Chain Filleting
Chain Filleting

BobCAD has always made our CAD functions quick and easy to use, but how do you make a two click operation quicker or easier? We accomplished this by offering the option to fillet an entire chain, or multiple chains, of entities at once with the Fillet Chain(s) feature. In the case of the octagon below, using the original Between 2 Entities method will take 16 mouse clicks to complete. The new Fillet Chain(s) method will take 3 mouse clicks to complete.

Quick Unit Type Access from Status Bar

BobCAD has now placed the unit change option front and center with the addition of a drop down selection directly in the Status Bar! Switching between unit types is now easier than ever. Just click and pick.

File Open Options
File Open Options

Many customer have told us about the frustrations they have receiving files from their clients that may have been improperly saved causing files with many solids to come in as one single solid. This can cause a lot of unnecessary CAD work or back and forth phone calls. We have solved this by giving users Open File Options for supported file types. Now you can choose whether to open Curves, Solids, or both. For the solid model itself, you can choose to open the file while keeping the separate bodies as saved in the file, or choose to have our software attempt to join them.

CAM Enhancements

The simulation is an incredibly powerful tool allowing you to check everything from cut time to part deviation. In some cases, you may just need to check simple tool movement on one single operation. It is in cases like this that setting other operations to not be shown in simulation, then launching the simulation itself, checking one thing, then exiting the simulation seems to take forever. BobCAD-CAM now offers a way to track tool movements for a single operation without the need to launch the simulation. By right-clicking on an operation and selecting the Backplot options, users can now see the tool movement for a single operation directly in the CAD Window for any Mill, Lathe, Mill Turn or Wire EDM job!

Update All Geometry
Update All Geometry (CAM Tree)

There are times when, for whatever reason, something about the feature geometry changes. Maybe one or two features on the CAD model have been edited in the CAD Tree, or even worse, maybe the machine zero has changed and now every single feature in the CAM Tree needs to have the geometry reassociated. To cure headaches like these, the Update All Geometries option has been added to the Job Tree. With this option you can easily update or reassociate all modified geometries associated with the CAM Tree and recompute toolpath in one easy step.

Groups (CAM Tree)

Complicated parts can cause a complicated CAM Tree. Being able to name features only gets you so far as the number of overall features and machine setups grow. In order to bring some, much needed, organizational help to your CAM Tree, Groups can now be added to the machine setup. Adding a group creates a folder inside of your CAM Tree. Drag and drop features into the folder to save space in the CAM Tree and have the control to set Add Toolpath Pattern, Post All Yes/No and Blank/Unblank Toolpath options on all features inside of the folder at one time.

Mill Enhancements
Mill Express Enhancements
Thread Milling Enhancements
Tapered Threads
Tapered Threads

A popular request from customers has been the ability to machine tapered (pipe) threads. BobCAD-CAM now offers Taper Thread support and many other options to make machining threads easier than ever!

Thread Side Roughing
Thread Side Roughing

When machining threads, many situations call for taking several incremental steps into the final size of the thread. With BobCAD's V29 release, this method, called side roughing, is now supported for threading operations.

Machine Compensation Support
Machine Compensation Support

In order to give customers as much control as possible, Machine Compensation has been added to the patterns page for threading operations to give users that control.

New Thread Mill Tool Types
New Thread Mill Tool Types

Single Point threading tool and multiple tooth Thread Mill are now supported as separate tool types. The tool definitions have also been enhanced to allow for a more accurate simulation, and the definition of multiple different thread types.

Spiral Pocketing for Circles
Spiral Pocketing for Circles

Having the cleanest cuts possible is something everyone strives for. In order to create an offset style toolpath without the linking motions that show up on the final part, the 2 Axis Pocket now offers a Spiral pattern for circular Pockets. This offers the user the cleanest offset style for operations on circular pockets.

Helic Arc Output for Circular Pockets
Helical Arc Output for Spiral Entries

When the machine can accept them, outputting helixes in the g-code can save hundreds of lines of code. BobCAD-CAM will now output helixes in the posted code for all your spiral cuts. In order to assist with those whose machines cannot accept a helix, we have added Post Block: "553. Break helical arcs into lines? Y/N" which utilizes the arc break tolerance on block 320.

3-AXIS Standard Enhancements
>Advanced Pocket Calculation Improvements
Advanced Pocket Calculation Improvements

Every job has to be roughed out, and it is hard to beat the Adaptive Roughing pattern for the Advanced Pocket toolpath for a quicker, more efficient toolpath. However, the larger the job and the tighter the tolerance, the longer the job will take to compute. Now, we have made a great toolpath method even better, by improving the calculation speed and giving you smoother lead in motions. The calculation speed improvement has been tested and ranges from an amazing 20% to 90%!

>Improved Open Shape Detection
Improved Open Shape Detection

In many cases large areas inside a pocket have already been cleared by a previous operation. Forcing the software to start the cuts in the void while not trying to cut air can save a lot of time. To help with these scenarios, internal hole boundaries are now supported for Advanced Pockets by using dashed entities.

3-AXIS PRO Enhancements
Gouge Checking - Retract Tool along Tool Plane
Gouge Checking

Machining is all about having the control you need to get the required results. Having the control to handle certain surfaces or areas differently in one operation is a hugely helpful when programming the final product. To help with this Gouge Checks are now available for all the Mill Pro toolpaths. You can set various clearance options for the different components of the tool, select which surfaces you would like to check, and choose either Retract Tool, or one of the six other strategies to use in case of a gouge detection. This option can be used to handle gouges of course, but can also be used to give you even more control over how particular surfaces are handled. You can choose surfaces to give additional allowance to, or even avoid particular surfaces completely.

REST Finishing from STL Stock Model

Finishing is a huge part of machining. Everyone strives for the cleanest finish possible and the less time that has to be spent machining that perfect finish, the better. Since bigger tools get rid of more material, those are usually used first and then smaller and smaller for the finer and finer details. Being able to have each tool finish only what is needed is essential in creating the shortest program possible. Now, new Rest Finishing options have been added to the Advanced Planar, Advanced Z Level Finish, Equidistant, and Project Curves toolpaths.

BobCAD now offers two great solutions for handling your rest finishing needs:

Utilizing the Previous Tool Information – This solution is excellent when using a similar type of toolpath and utilizing a smaller tool to clean up areas the previous larger tool could not fit. This calculation has been enhanced by utilizing a new 3D trimming boundary to give an even more accurate calculation than previous versions of BobCAD.

STL Stock Model

NEW – STL Stock Model – With so many factors in what type of machining happened prior to finishing, the most accurate calculation is to utilize the stock model in its current state before figuring out the most optimal places to cut. The new Stock Model option allows users to import the cut stock model from simulation, giving the most accurate rest finishing calculation possible, completely eliminating cutting areas that have already been cut to finish size.

Improvements To The Angle Range Calculations
Improvements To The Angle Range Calculations

The Angle Range option has been an amazing way to further the amount of control the user has on exactly where cuts need to be made. Simply set a range of angles to either avoid, or to focus on and the software does the rest. Now the Mill 3 Axis Pro toolpaths that utilize the Angle Range have an even higher level of accuracy with the new and improved algorithm driving the Angle Range calculations. See images below to see the improvement on the Angle Range. In this case the cuts have been focused on surfaces in the 0° to 30° range.

Advanced Rough
Improved Calculation Speed and Toolpath Quality
Improved Calculation Speed and Toolpath Quality

Every job has to be roughed out, and it is hard to beat the Advanced Roughing toolpath for a quicker, more efficient toolpath. However, the larger the job and the tighter the tolerance, the longer the job will take to compute. Now, we have made a great toolpath method even better, by improving the calculation speed and giving you smoother lead in motions. The calculation speed improvement has been tested and ranges from an amazing 20% to 90%!

Parallel Cutting Profile After
Parallel Cutting – Profile After

In order to give users as much control as possible, the Advanced Rough now gives the option to turn Profile After on and off when the Parallel pattern is in use. Profile After creates an additional profile pass at the end of each depth. BobCAD-CAM also provides a spacing option to control how close the initial passes are to the profile.

Stock Thickness Detection for Rest Machining

BobCAD-CAM has added Detect stock thicker than to the Advanced Rough toolpath. This option allows you to focus the toolpath on stock consisting of a particular range of thickness. Setting a value here will force the toolpath to ignore any stock whose thickness does not meet this value. This is another tool to give you as much power as possible without the need to create new geometry to use as a boundary.

Tool Outside, Inside, Center and Offset Boundaries for Advanced Rough

The Advanced Rough toolpath has always been a powerful tool, but customers loved the boundary options on the Mill Pro finishing passes so much, we have added them to the Advanced Rough as well. You can set the tool to keep to the center, stay inside, stay outside or even offset its spacing from the boundary without ever needing to create additional geometry.

Parallel and Adaptive Patterns for Flatlands
Parallel and Adaptive Patterns for Flatlands

Using the Flatlands is an incredibly easy way to face off all the flat areas of the part, without having to worry about setting depth. No matter how many different depths the flat areas exist on, just choose the Flatlands to finish them all. However, in the past, there has only been one pattern option. Now, we have added to the Offset style pattern with a Parallel, and even an Adaptive Roughing style pattern. Adaptive Roughing even provides an optimized adaptive toolpath which will approach from the air to reduce the overall machining time.

Advanced Planar
Advanced Planar Round Corners
Round Corners

The Radius value for Round Corners in the Advanced Planar toolpath has been replaced with Maximum Deviation.

Advanced Planar Step Down
Step Down

The Advanced Planar toolpath now has a Step Down option available. This will give you the ability to use multiple passes.

Advanced Z-Level Finish
Machine Vertical Walls Only
Machine Vertical Walls Only

The Machine Vertical Walls Only option has been added to the Advanced Z Level Finish in order to give you another means of controlling the surfaces to be cut.

Full Contour Pass Options
Full Contour Pass Options

By default, the Spiral pattern on the Advanced Z-Level toolpath does one full pass , or "Full Contour", at the same depth before beginning the spiral, and another at the end of the spiral. We received requests from customers to have control over these full contours, so we created additional options. You can now choose to exclude the first, last or both closed contours from the spiral.

4-AXIS Standard Enhancements
Optimized Multiaxis Posting Settings
Optimized Multiaxis Posting Settings (4 Axis Standard and Greater Modules)

The Multiaxis Posting page in the CAM Wizards has been reorganized to simplify the available parameters and make them clearer. The available Angle Pair and Pole Handling parameters are now properly updated based on the machine type (4-axis or 5-axis) and job.

Previous Angle Pair Settings

Previously, a single group was shared for 4-axis or 5-axis machines.

New Layout and Improved Options

Now the Angle Pair group is automatically updated to only show the parameters that apply to the current machine (4-axis or 5-axis).

Simplified Pole Handling Settings

The Pole Handling options were also previously shared between 4-axis and 5-axis machines. For 4-axis machines, the list is now simplified to show only the settings that apply.

4-AXIS PRO Enhancements
Extended Edge Curve
Extend Edge Curve

Another way we have managed to save you from the need to create additional geometry is with the Extend Edge Curve that has been added in the Surface Quality section of Morph Between 2 Curves, and Parallel to Multiple Curves. This option forces the software to extend the edge curve in the background so the toolpath does not wrap around the open ends of a curve when the surface continues beyond the ends of the curve.

Exact Stepover Option
Exact Stepover Option

A new option has been added to the Morph Between 2 Curves and Parallel to Multiple Curves toolpaths to assist with surface quality. In the Advanced dialog of the Surface Quality section there is now a Stepover Calculation option that allows you to select from an Approximate or Exact calculation method.

New Flowline Toolpath

The 4 Axis Pro toolpaths now include a Flowline toolpath that requires only a single surface selection, which allows you to get flowline-style toolpath quicker than ever before. The toolpath follows the U or V direction of the selected surface, so just set the Style to “Along” or “Around” to determine the direction of the toolpath.

New Mirror Option

The Mirror option was added to the Roughing tab of the Multiaxis Wizard to allow for mirroring of the toolpath across any axis. This is a great way to save time when creating finishing paths for symmetrical part geometry. Just turn on the mirror option, select an axis, and compute the toolpath. Mirror is available for all 4 Axis Pro toolpaths except for the 5 Axis Pro - Multiaxis Roughing.

Common Direction for Tilting Options
Common Direction Tilting Options

When using multiaxis toolpaths a good method, in many cases, is to keep the tool normal to the surface at all times. There are many times, though, that using this method will cause a lot more movement than we would want. With Common Direction, the aim is to find a single tool axis orientation on the full toolpath or a single contour that works well on all areas of the selected surfaces. With the Common Direction, the tool axis is set to a normalized, single direction for all toolpath points and the option is available for all tilting strategies.

Gouge Checking - Retract Tool Along Tool Plane
Gouge Checking - Retract Tool Along Tool Plane

A new gouge checking strategy moves the tool out of gouging using the tool plane or at a right angle to the tool axis. When gouges are detected, the software moves the tool away from the cutting direction at a right angle (into the tool plane).

User Controlled Point Distribution

All surfaced based Multiaxis toolpaths now put the control over toolpath point distribution in your hands. You can enter a Maximum Distance and/or a Minimum Distance with a Deviation Factor. This allows you to have unprecedented control over the tolerance of the final part.

5-AXIS PRO Features
Maintain Tilt
Maintain Tilt

In many cases, the tilt of the tool is based on the surfaces being cut. Drastic changes in the surface can cause the axis of the tool to shift significantly over a short distance. This shift is most noticeable when the surface normal in fillets changes from 90 to 0. Maintain Tilt has been added to the Tool Axis Control tab to resolve these issues. This option can be used when the Tilted with Fixed Angle to Axis option is selected.

Lathe Enhancements

BobCAD-CAM is very proud to introduce the newly enhanced Lathe module within the V29 suite of products. With enhancements to the Feature types, new toolpath additions to every single operation, this is by far the most powerful CNC Lathe system ever offered by BobCAD-CAM.

Overall System Enhancements

The Feature definition for all lathe features has been completely rethought out to deliver a more easily understood and flexible system.

Overall Lathe Enhancements

The Feature definition for all lathe features has been completely rethought out to deliver a more easily understood and flexible system.

New Lathe Tool and Holder Definitions

Another new addition to the lathe system is a complete rework of the lathe tools, including ISO standard insert definition, as well as easily created tool holders without the need to create geometry!

Feature Type and Regions Lathe
Feature Type & Regions

Once a feature has been selected, choose the Feature Type and a Region.

Lathe Contraints

The constraints give the user the ability to define the area in which the toolpath will be generated without the need to trim and extend geometry.

From Stock- Sets the Top of Feature to the highest point of the stock diameter.
From Feature- Sets the Top of Feature to the highest point of the selected feature geometry.
Custom- Sets the Top of Feature from the highest point of the selected feature geometry to the value entered. This allows you to pick a point as well.

Lathe Extension

Extensions allow you to extend and trim the virtual feature geometry without the need to adjust the actual CAD geometry. Choose the Start / End option, and then enter the values to trim and extend those virtual geometries along the chain. You can even create them at an angle, and this can all be done without the need to touch a CAD Tool.

Automatic Removal of Undercuts
Automatic Removal of Undercuts

For years, BobCAD-CAM has trained users on how to add geometry to CAD model to act as a bridge over areas of the geometry. With this method, you could keep the tool away from particular areas of the model you did not want to be cut with a particular operation. The new Undercut options offers a way to do this by simply selecting a check box in the Lathe Wizard. Pick an entire chain for the feature geometry and select what should be left out without the need to touch a CAD tool. Select Remove Primary Undercut, Remove Secondary Undercut, or both to have full control over what the operation completes.

Rapid Plane

The Lathe module now provides you with a Rapid Plane option to allow users control over where the rapid motion to the feature ends.

New Lathe Feature Types
Lathe End Face Feature
End Face Feature

BobCAD-CAM has added a new feature called the End Face Feature. The purpose of the End Face Feature is to have a lathe feature that makes facing off the part quick and easy without having to draw in any additional geometry.

Lathe Groove Feature
Groove Feature

The Lathe module now has a separate Groove Feature to choose from. This feature, gives users the ability to choose multiple grooves at one time, and even rotate the feature for grooves on an angle.


Rotations of grooving features can be accomplished by entering an angle or picking geometry to align the walls or the floor of the feature with.

Operation Enhancements

Each operation has had several toolpath enhancements made to give the most possible control you could ever need in a lathe toolpath.

Rough Turning Operation

The roughing operation used for both turning and facing has seen several enhancements and further control offered.

Various Pattern Types

BobCAD-CAM customers have been requesting an Offset style pattern to assist with cast, or custom stock and general efficiency. BobCAD-CAM V29 now offers this pattern option for use with the lathe roughing.


Once a pattern is chosen, you can now choose from a Standard or Zig Zag style cut to get exactly what you are looking for.


Once the tool is engaged in a pass, it is usually preferable to continue up the geometry in order to eliminate steps in the roughing pass. Now, you can set not only the lead out options, but what happens prior to the lead out of each pass. You can set each pass to track back to the distance of the previous pass, set each pass to do nothing before the lead out or even set a custom distance to track back to.

Rough Allowance

Users now can add an additional pass to the groove roughing to clear any steps and leave a consistent amount of material for finishing.

Pattern Repeat Operation

The pattern repeat operation used for both turning and facing has seen several enhancements and further control offered.

Various Pattern Types

BobCAD-CAM now offers Pattern and Sorting options for the Pattern Repeat operation. Choose between the Standard or Offset Pattern and set either a Standard or Zig Zag style sorting option.


Once a pattern is chosen, you can now choose from a Standard or Zig Zag style cut to get exactly what you are looking for.

Basic Finish Operation

The basic finish operation used for both turning and facing has seen several enhancements and further control offered.

Various Pattern Types

When finishing a lathe part, many variables go into the decision of how exactly the part should be finished. Between the allowance that has been left, the tool being used and the shape of the part, a basic continuous pass on the part may not be ideal. In previous versions, breaking up a finishing pass into separate directions would require separate features. With the pattern options now available in the turn finishing pass, BobCAD-CAM offers a way to Alternate between face and turn methods all in one operation. When you choose the Alternate method over the standard Continuous method, you have the option to Face Vertical Only, Turn Diameter Only, handle both scenarios at once, and even decide whether to include or exclude angled walls with a simple check box.

Groove Roughing Operation

The rough grooving operation used for both turning and facing has seen several enhancements and further control offered.

Various Pattern Types

Grooves now offers combinations of patterns and sorting options so that a user can accomplish features exactly as they wish. Standard, Single Pass, and Zig Zag are all pattern options available to the user.


If a Standard pattern is chosen, you can choose the order of the cuts to get exactly what you are looking for.


When a Single pass is chosen you will be able to choose how to line the tool up with the constraint of the selected geometry.

Rough Allowance

Users now can add an additional pass to the groove roughing to clear any steps and leave a consistent amount of material for finishing.

Rough Allowance

Users now can add an additional pass to the groove roughing to clear any steps and leave a consistent amount of material for finishing.

Multiple Depth Grooving

Grooves can now be broken into multiple depths by the user. We offer control over whether to use multiple depths, and even how to organize those depths. This additional option allows for use in combination with pecking, so material can be removed a layer at a time.


In some cases the selected geometry causes the toolpath to be broken separate areas along a number of passes. With the Processing area, you will be able to decide how the tool will move between the separated areas of toolpath.

Groove Finish Operation

The Groove Finish operation used for both turning and facing has seen several enhancements and further control offered.

Force Down Cutting

Grooving tools are always more effective when the force is applied straight down into the material. The Groove Finish operation now offers an option to force that down cutting motion, and even has that set as the default method. On top of that, you can even apply a custom overlap amount so the final pass will overlap the first. This creates a much cleaner finish, the user and the final customer will both appreciate.

Corner Type

How the tool moves from one piece of geometry to another can make a big difference over the result of the final part. In some cases users want to round the tool over corners to help de-bur the part. In other cases parts require precise, sharp corners. BobCAD-CAM now offers a Sharp Corner option for the toolpath creation and compensation calculation to give users the best of both worlds.

Rapid on Entry Options

Approach options have now been added to the Rapids page. Now along with the rapid exit options, you will be able to control the approach options in order to control every aspect of the Lathe job.


With the new Lathe module, come tons of new lead options to go along with the custom lead that was already available.

Simulation Enhancements
Simulation Smart View
Smart View (Rotation Cube)

To make switching views in the simulation easier, the Smart View option has been added. The Smart View feature can be utilized with the Rotation Cube. While on, the Rotation Cube will allow you to click on a face of the cube to shift to the Top, Bottom, Right, Left, Front, and Back views. Clicking on the corners of the Rotation Cube will allow you to quickly shift into the various isometric views.

Automatic Quality Improvements
Automatic Quality Improvements

When simulating stock removal, the graphic quality is always turned down while the simulation is running. This helps in facilitating a smooth running simulation. Once the simulation has stopped there has been an option to refine the graphic quality to show a more accurate representation of the result. This refine now happens automatically when the simulation is stopped without the need to do so manually.

Measure Distance Between Components

The Measure Distance function now has the ability to measure distances between machine components as well as between distances on the stock itself.

Simulation Video Capture
Video Capture

For quite some time now, users have been able to save an entire simulation as an .exe file. This has allowed users to share the simulation and all the controls in the simulation to share with the boss to green light a project, or perhaps, to gain the business of a potential client. However, providing this much power, control, and data to others can, sometimes, be counterproductive. Now we offer the ability to simply capture a video of the graphics window, allowing you to keep things simple when needed.

Program Based Stop Conditions

Additional options have been added to the Program Based Stop Conditions. Along with the options to Stop on Tool Change and Stop on Operation Change, the On Block option has been added to allow for further stop control. The On Block gives users the option to force the simulation to stop at the particular move block defined by user. The Stop Before Occurrence option gives users the option to force the simulation to stop before the specified type of occurrence.

Set All to Initial Values

Users will now have the option to set all axis values to the initial starting points of the program.

Robust Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys have been added to many of the options in simulation. It is now possible to switch between backplot mode and material removal mode with the press of a key. Other additions include tool focus options, simulation speed and view controls, along with all the run controls.