Chip Removal Chamber of Horrors

This case history from Mastercam is appropriately themed for Halloween.


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Fiendishly fast CNC cutting created this “chamber of horrors,” which is not such a bad problem to have after all.

This case history from Mastercam/CNC Software Inc. is appropriately themed for Halloween:

Any sorcerer will tell you that ghoulish consequences may result for those who do not heed the admonishments of technology wizards and other magical advisors. A case in point is the recent experience of Planet Tool & Engineering (O'Fallon, Missouri). 

The company wanted to explore the benefits of using Mastercam tool paths incorporating Dynamic Motion technology for high-speed roughing of aerospace components and other parts. The technology adjusts tool motions in accordance with material conditions ahead of the tool to maintain a constant chip load. It makes it possible to machine rapidly at stepovers of 50 percent or less with deep (frequently full-flute) engagement of the end mill. It’s almost spooky!

Engineers at the Planet Tool & Engineering divined that there could be multiple treats associated with this approach, including faster programming, reduced tool wear and dramatically higher material removal rates (up to 70 percent). 

There was also an annoying trick that might materialize should programmers like Chris Branco ignore sage advice from Jeff Kleinheider of Mastercam reseller QTE Manufacturing Solutions: His machine could be cutting, as if possessed by a demon, at a pace with which its chip-removal system could not contend.

Alas, this prophecy came to pass. Mr. Branco ignored the warning and went forward programming one of the first parts, an aluminum enclosure for aerospace electronics, at the highest possible material removal rates based on the cutting tool vendor’s chipload recommendations. The photo above is a reminder of what happens with you disregard your CAM software vendor's warnings. The offending chip-removal system must now be exorcised, or replaced entirely.

To read about another shop’s success with Mastercam Dynamic Motion, click here.


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