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’s CNC 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.
In the BobCAD-CAM milling software, there are two tiers when it comes to 4X milling. There is the Mill 4X Standard package and Mill 4X Pro. The Mill 4X Standard features offer indexing as well as programming for the tool to move along the rotary axis while the stock is rotating and being machined. The Mill 4X Pro package offers everything the Mill 4X Standard package does and also allows the user to program milling operations where the milling tool can move past the rotary axis while the stock is being rotated. This allows the tool to follow along shapes that are not always concentric to the cylindrical shape of the stock, and it also allows the tool to follow alongside walls of a pocket that are not pointed directly toward the rotary axis.
In this Tech Tuesday, we will be looking at a few different milling operations in the Mill 4X Standard and Mill 4X Pro packages to achieve the most efficient milling operations for this example part file with optimized cycle times for each operation. We are focusing on roughing the material around the boss and finishing the surfaces around the feature. We start with a 4X Advanced Roughing operation using a zig zag cut pattern around the stock. Notice the toolpath roughing around the corners of the boss. This 4X Pro toolpath follows the geometry to remove as much material as possible in this roughing operation.
This next operation is a 4X Standard rotary operation to follow along the outer diameter of the cylindrical surfaces we just roughed out. This operation is used to simply follow along the surfaces at a constant stepover. The tool will stay pointed directly at the rotary axis and move back and forth along the cylinder to create an even finish surface.
This next operation is an adaptive facing operation to face off the top of the boss that was just roughed out. This new adaptive cut pattern provides constant tool engagement, continually spiraling around the top face of the part. The standard facing operation takes extra time to stepover between each cut pass. This spiral toolpath is constantly cutting material away and this saves time in the machining process.
These next two operations are in Mill 4X Pro and part of our surface-based toolpaths. The toolpath is surface driven to provide an optimized cycle time and the best finish for the surfaces selected.
In the Morph Between Two Curves toolpath, you are able to select the surface edges at where you are starting the toolpath and the surface edges at which you are ending the operation. By selecting the surfaces that need to be machined, this Mill 4X Pro toolpath morphs the toolpath from the starting edges of the surfaces to the last surface edges selected. In these surface-based toolpaths where you can select your maximum stepover, you are also able to calculate the stepover based on the maximum cusp height, or scallop height leftover from the tool. In this example, you can see the smaller stepover at the bottom edges to achieve the same cusp height at this bottom radius.
Lastly, we have another surface-based toolpath called Project Curves. We selected the geometry of this operation as the edges of the bottom radius for an additional finish pass to clean up any remaining material. You have the option to lock the rotary axis in this operation or to rotate the part for the tool to follow along the surface edges.
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BobCAD-CAM has provided CAD-CAM CNC Software products to the global manufacturing industry for over 30 years. BobCAD-CAM software can be found to increase CNC productivity for many applications in aerospace, automotive, production manufacturing, mold making, general machining, woodworking as well as the medical manufacturing industry, consumer products, musical instruments, custom fabrication, defense industry and many others due to the products ability to automatically generate NC programming code for such a wide variety of CNC controllers. BobCAD-CAM software is also found in educational institutions throughout the world as well as independent hobby home use. Products include machining technology for 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC Milling, Routing, Waterjet, Plasma and Laser machines as well as 2 Axis CNC Lathe. BobCAD-CAM is modular allowing shops to start off at a reduced technology level and add technology as it is needed including an add-on, BobART, for artistic machining. Unique technology includes adaptive high-speed machining multiaxis milling and routing which is a first in the world of CAD-CAM software. BobCAD-CAM also provides a variety of quality training products that include regional and online training classes or private sessions tailored to specific applications. Professional certification and multi-tiered support solutions are available. Contact BobCAD-CAM directly for more information at 877-262-2231 or 727-442-3554
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