Tech Tuesday: Save Time Using Your CAM Software’s Advanced Roughing with Flatland Detection

Posted August 7, 2018 4:42 pm   Published by    BobCAD-CAM ">

Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD-CAM software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday. Enjoy!

Machining off our 3D models is a faster and easier way to set up and program. Being able to select the whole model and let the software find where to cut for you is a huge time saver. This eliminates the need to select and define multiple boundaries. Let’s take a look at some of the tools you can use to get the most out of your toolpath, ensuring you’re getting the results you expect from your CAM software.
sample CAM software part model
 
Here is the sample file we are working on today. As you can see, there are 3 open pockets that need to be machined.
 
You could machine this part using 2D toolpaths. BobCAD offers 7 types of pockets, one of which is Advanced Pocketing. This 2D toolpath supports open pocketing, which gives the user the control to define where they want the tool to start off of the part, eliminating tool plunges in the material.
 
Open pockets require you to create wireframe geometry and dotted lines to define the open areas for the tool to lead in from. To set up this part for 2D Milling, you’ll prep your boundaries to look like this.
2d toolpath in BobCAD CNC software
 
Because there are 2 different pocket depths, you’ll need to use 2 pocket features to program this job.

 

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Is there a faster way? Yes. Using BobCAD’s Advanced Rough toolpath. This is an extremely popular 3D toolpath and is the workhorse for many job shop manufacturers. Customers repeatedly tell us how much they like this toolpath and how powerful it is.
advanced rough option in BobCAD CAD-CAM software
 
Using the Advanced Rough toolpath has a slightly different workflow than using 2D toolpaths. To start, we can select the whole model and apply your roughing paths to it vs. having to create multiple boundaries to program the different depths of the pockets. This in itself is a huge time saver, but there’s more!
 
Advanced Rough is stock aware. Meaning it looks at the part model & the stock geometry and will start off the part, working its way in automatically.
 
Unlike BobCAD’s Standard Z level Rough, which will use the stock geometry as a center line boundary for the tool to follow.
different tool start points in CAM software
 
Another powerful feature of Advanced Rough is the toolpath patterns you can choose from.
offset in BobCAD CNC software
 
You can choose from an offset style pattern, parallel pattern or adaptive pattern. Users can control if the tool is cutting single direction or bi-direction with the Zig or Zig-Zag option.
 
So, at this point, we know when using Advanced Rough that we are using stock aware toolpath and the tool will start off the stock and work its way in. We also know we didn’t have to define the depth of our pocket in order to machine them.
 
Let’s take a look at simulation and see what our result looks like.
tool start location in CAD-CAM software
 
As you can see, it appears that we have more stock on the floor than we want; why is this?
 
The first thing we want to check is the allowance. This is the setting you use to leave stock for finishing. When using Advanced Rough users can choose from 2 allowance settings. The first choice is a global allowance which leaves a uniform amount of stock in X, Y, Z.
global offset in BobCAD CAM software
 
The second choice makes it so you can set a side & bottom allowance.
side and bottom offset in CNC software
 
This allows you to leave different amounts of stock on the walls and floor. In our example, we used a global allowance of .02.
 
So, why do we have so much stock left on the floors of our part? The reason is simple; let’s look at our depth of cut (DOC) setting.
CNC software depth of cut
 
Our DOC is now set to .200. Now let’s take a look at our floor heights.
depth of cut values in CAM software
 
As you can see, our floor heights are not an increment of the DOC. This is the reason we have extra stock left of the floors.
 
If your floors are not an increment of the DOC, then there will be extra stock left.
 
Now, you can change the depth of cut setting to be an increment of floor geometry, which will work in some scenarios but not in all.
 
Are there any other options we can use to address this issue?
 
Yes, Advanced Rough has a special option to handle this scenario.
advanced rough options in BobCAD CAM software
 
In this section of the toolpath wizard, you see a checkbox for Machine Flatlands. In order to ensure that our floors are being machined and left with the desired amount of stock for finish, we will use this option.
machine flatlands minimum maximum in CAD-CAM
 
With Machine Flatlands checked, the software will find these floor heights and machine them, leaving the defined stock allowance.
pocketing in BobCAD CAD-CAM
 

To learn more about Advanced Rough, download a demo and schedule a one-on-one screen share. Our software experts will walk you through the process and help you evaluate if using Advanced Rough for your part manufacturing is the best choice.

 

If you would like to download this file for testing, use this link. Thanks again for reading another Tech Tuesday; see you next week!

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Summary
Article Name
Tech Tuesday: Save Time Using Your CAM Software’s Advanced Roughing with Flatland Detection
Description
Machining off our 3D models is a faster and easier way to setup and program. Being able to select the whole model and let the software find where to cut for you is a huge time saver. This eliminates the need to select and define multiple boundaries. Let’s take a look at some of the tools you can use to get the most out of your toolpath, ensuring you’re getting the results you expect.
Author
BobCAD-CAM Software

  1. mark rowland says:

    this toolpath generator is really nice because .STL files apparently have no recognizable edges or surfaces that bobcad can see with the 2D mill options. However, it would be useful for the bobcad programmers to automate a procedure in bobcad that would plane off slices of an STL file to generate a wireframe that can be saved.

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