Consistent Tool Engagement in Five Axes

This tool path applies the consistent-tool-engagement-angle strategy that previously has been only available for two- and three-axis operations to four- and five-axis simultaneous movements.

Article From: 1/17/2013 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Click Image to Enlarge

bobcad-cam five axis

The Adaptive Roughing tool path is well-suited for features such as this pocket that follows the contour of a cylinder. It morphs a consistent-tool-engagement-angle tool path between the floor and ceiling of the pocket.

BobCAD-CAM is a software developer that has offered affordable, intuitive CAM packages for two- and three-axis machining applications for nearly 30 years. The company recently worked with ModuleWorks, an Aachen, Germany CAD/CAM component supplier, to support customers looking to perform more complicated work such as simultaneous five-axis machining. The result is BobCAD/CAM’s new Version 25 Four- and Five-Axis Mill software packages that enable it to offer a single programming platform for an increasing base of customers that are integrating higher-end equipment.

One way users can benefit from these packages is by performing four- and five-axis simultaneous roughing operations. Traditional approaches (even when a four- or five-axis machine is used) complete much of the roughing using three-axis movements. This not only leaves behind stair steps that must be cleaned up with subsequent operations, but extends programming time. Conversely, simultaneous four- and/or five-axis roughing tool paths can be much more efficient than a series of three-axis roughing with part indexing routines followed by clean-up of the additional stock left behind.

However, a new multi-axis tool path available in BobCAD-CAM’s four-and five-axis packages makes such simultaneous, multi-axis roughing routines even more efficient. Adaptive Roughing applies the consistent-tool-engagement-angle strategy that previously has been only available for two- and three-axis operations to four- and five-axis simultaneous movements.  The company says it is the first to provide a consistent-tool-engagement-angle toolpath strategy for two through five-axis operations.

Adaptive Roughing uses arcing, trochoidal movements to maintain a consistent load on the tool. This differs from conventional tool paths that base the feed rate on cutting conditions whereby the tool is under maximum load (such as when a tool is driven into the corner of a pocket, a situation when the angle of engagement with the material is much higher than with a straight-line cut.) Maintaining a consistent tool engagement angle means the programmer doesn’t have to base the feed rate of an entire tool path on that type of worst-case scenario. The result is a faster feed rate, more consistent tool wear and the full use of the tool’s length.

Applying this concept in four- and five-axis movements is useful for pockets with a floor that bends or wraps around a cylindrical surface (see the screen shot on the previous page). It essentially morphs a consistent-tool-engagement-angle tool path between the floor and ceiling of a pocket. In addition to pockets, this strategy might be promising for select moldmaking applications.

Adaptive Roughing is just one of many toolpath strategies offered in the company’s four- and five-axis software. Others include a true swarf machining tool path as well as a variety of surface-based tool paths. The software offers 100-percent-associative tool paths and supports multi-core CPUs to reduce the calculation time of complex tool paths. Plus, the company supplies postprocessors with every seat of software.

 

Comments are reviewed by moderators before they appear to ensure they meet Modern Machine Shop’s submission guidelines.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Mastercam/CNC Software, Inc.
SmartCAM features New Mill/Turn Sub-Spindle and B-axis Support, Morph Pattern Roughing.
• 2-5 Axis Milling
• Mill/Turn and Multi-Task Machining
• Solid Modeling & High Speed Machining
HSMXpress is full
featured 2 1/2-axis
CAM for SolidWorks.
Best of all, HSMXpress
is absolutely FREE!
iMachining - the
Revolution in
CAM. 70% Time
Savings and More.
Greatly Extended
Tool Life!
MMS ONLINE
Channel Partners
  • Techspex