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0 - 2D Milling Toolpaths
2011 Autodesk

Lesson overview

7.1 2D/3D/4X/5X Defined

7.2 Change CAD views to CAM views
7.3 CAD Features/Machining Features
7.4 Toolpaths listed by type and use
7.5 2D Machining Features Example
7.6 2D Toolpath Terminology
7.7 2D Toolpaths in Detail

2011 Autodesk

Explain the difference between 2-1/2D, 3D, and 4-axis machined parts.
Explain the difference between common CAD and CAM graphics views
Identify 2D machining features based on part geometry and your
knowledge of tools and 2D toolpaths.
Identify commonly used machining parameters for 2D tool path
Explain the purpose, general parameters, and use of facing tool paths.
Explain the purpose, general parameters, and use of 2D contour tool
Explain the purpose and rules for using Cutter Diameter Compensation
Explain the purpose, general parameters, and use of pocketing

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Explain the rules for slot milling toolpaths.

Explain the rules for chamfer milling toolpaths.
Explain the rules for radius milling toolpaths.
Explain the rules for drilling and peck drilling toolpaths.
Explain the rules for tapping.

2011 Autodesk

2D Milling

2D = 2-1/2D = Prismatic (All mean same thing)

Part composed of geometry in parallel planes.
Planes perpendicular to Z-axis.
XYZ Axes: All 3 axes move.
Machining in XY only.
Z-axis for positioning to depth only.

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Term commonly used in engineering.
Can also describe some 4th/5th axis parts.
Applies only in case above (Z-position, XY machining).

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typical 3D part
Some 2D Features

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Outside Contour.

Example 3D part (continued)

3D Features

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Revolved Surfaces.
Flat (must gouge check
against adjacent surfaces.

Example 4th axis substitution

Requires rotary axis (A).
Mounted parallel to X.
Tool centerline points to X-axis
Positioning move Z.
All cutting motion is (X-A).
No Y-axis motion.

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2d part Planes example (CAD VIEWS)


Model Top.
Hole Top Face.
Pocket Bottom.

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Project-6 Housing.SLDPRT

7.2 Standard CAD vs. CAM Views

Best to show part in
orientation on CNC mill.
Update Standard Views to
change Front View to Top

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Project-6 Housing.SLDPRT

How To Update views in Solidworks


Open Orientation (spacebar).

Double-Click: Front.
Highlight: Top.
Click: Update Standard


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7.3 CAD features/machining features

Parts in SolidWorks are composed of Features:

Extruded Cuts.

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2D Machining Features
CNC Mill creates features using Machining Operations:

2D Contour.
2D Pocket.
Spot Drill.
Peck Drill.

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Which machining operation to use?

Sometimes obvious:
Slot Feature => Slot Milling.
Chamfer => Chamfer Mill.
Radius => Corner Round.

Sometimes NOT obvious:

Holes (4) => Spot drill + Peck drill + Tap.
Center Hole: Drill, Circular Pocket Mill or 2D
Face vs. Contour?

2011 Autodesk

It gets even more interesting

Which side to machine first?
How to hold required tolerances?
How to grip part (work-holding)
1st Op?
2nd Op?

Where to set datum first Op? 2nd Op?

What tools to use?

2011 Autodesk

Simplify decision making

Machine side with most features first
Usually Front CAD View.

Do as few setups as possible.

Understand purpose, advantages,
and limits of each CAM toolpath type.
Learn as many work holding
techniques as you can.

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7.4 toolpaths listed by type and use

CAM toolpath functions are
grouped by type to simplify
How HSMWorks does it.

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7.5 - 2d machining features example

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2D Contour
2D Contour


2D Pocket
Slot Mill
Circular Pocket Mill

2d machining features example (Cont)

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Spot Drill

10. Drill
11. Circular Pocket Mill

7.6 - 2D Toolpath terminology

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2D Toolpath terminology
Clearance Height: 1st (rapid) move above cut.
Rapid Height: 2nd (rapid) move a.k.a. clamp clearance height.
Feed Height: 3rd (rapid) move. All motion below this height is at a
programmed feed rate.
Top of Stock: Top of finished part face.

2011 Autodesk

2D Toolpath terminology
Stepdown: How much material removed axial to tool (Z-axis) this
Depth: Final depth this cut.
Stepover: How much material removed radially to tool (XY-axis) this
XY Stock allowance: How much material remains radially when this
cut is complete.
Z Stock allowance: How much material remains axially when this cut
is complete.

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2d toolpath terminology
Toolpath Centerline: The programmed path of the tool (the path
the G-code XYZ values describe).
Rapid moves shown dashed line.
Feed moves show solid lines/arcs.

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7.7 2D Toolpaths in detail

2D Contour
2D Pocket
Slot Milling
Chamfer Milling
Radius (Corner Round)
Center Drill / Spot Facing
Drilling (Simple, Pecking)

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Facing toolpaths
Usually the first operation.
Provides flat, finished top.
Be sure to account for maximum material condition (tallest stock

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Rules for facing operations

Plunge the tool to depth away from the part face.
Be sure to account for maximum stock thickness. Add additional
roughing passes as required to ensure the first cut does not take
excessive cut for the thickest stock material.
Do not use cutter compensation.

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2D contour toolpaths

Used to rough/finish outside part walls.

Use Cutter Diameter Compensation (CDC) to control precision

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Rules for 2d contour toolpaths

Only use CDC when needed (+/- .005in tolerances typical).
Use line/arc leadin/out as shown in the diagram. Line should be
at least .01in.
Set rapid height to clear all clamps and obstacles.
Rough leaving constant thickness of material for finishing pass to

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Rules for 2d contour toolpaths

Extend cut depth below profile when part will be faced on opposite
side so no flashing will remain.
Plunge away from the profile when possible.
Take finish path at full depth to eliminate tool marks on walls left by
multiple finishes.
Use an additional finish (spring pass) on tall walls to ensure wall is
straight (not tapered due to tool deflection).

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Cutter diameter compensation (CDC)

Causes tool to veer toward (G41) or away (G42) from part by amount
Actual value set by CNC machine operator.

Compensates for tool wear & deflection.

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Cutter diameter compensation

Compensation value found by measuring machined feature and
comparing it with actual feature value.
Difference is entered by machine operator into a CDC register (D1,
D2, etc) on CNC control.
The next time program run, tool will veer off programmed course by
this amount.
CDC is the key to highly precise machining.

2011 Autodesk

Rules for cdc

Use ONLY when necessary.
Usually with tolerance +/-.005 to +/- .0005.

Must be turned on/off with lead in/out lines (not with arcs).
Line must be > max CDC value.
Usually > .010

CDC cannot be activated/deactivated with arc move. This will cause

a control error.

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2D Pocketing
Used to clear excess stock from enclosed boundaries
Usually Extrude-cut features

May include finish pass on floor and walls

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Rules for pocketing

Rough passes should leave constant thickness of material to be

removed by finish pass.
Roughing (serrated) end mills have high removal rates, but cannot
be used to finish floor/walls.
Plunge using Helical or ramp move (unless using a center-cutting
end mill or dropping through a pre-drilled pilot hole).
Pilot hole diameter should be at least 50% of pocketing tool
Best to climb cut (CCW motion) for most materials.
Use CDC only on finish passes, and only when really necessary to
hold feature tolerance.

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Slot milling
A specialized case of Pocket
In HSMWorks, choose 2D
Pocket, it recognizes Slot and
will apply a Slot milling

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Rules for slot milling

Use a tool diameter smaller than the slot width.
Milling a straight line with a tool the same width as the slot will leave
a poor finish.

Ramp plunge is the most effective method.

Take a finish pass all around the slot to leave a good surface
finish and produce a straight and correct size slot.

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Chamfer milling

For Chamfering:

Use Chamfer Mill.

For precision deburring (removing sharp edges)

Can use spot drill.

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Rules for Chamfer milling

Tip of chamfer mill is not sharp point.

Must offset path so tool tip is not on bottom edge of chamfer.

Consider setting TLO high (+.01) and then adjusting at machine to get
correct chamfer size.

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Radius milling
Machine fillet on outside corners.
Uses a special corner-round tool.

Vertical and horizontal edges of tool are tapered slightly so radius blends
to adjacent part walls.

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Rules for radius milling

Take both a rough and finish pass to leave a better finish.
Radius mills only work on 2D paths.
Another way to form a radius is to use a ball mill and 3D tool path.
The only way to create a 3D fillet.
Good also if you dont have the correct size radius mill.
See: 3D Toolpaths lesson for more information.

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Center drilling Spot drilling

Puts conical face on part.

Prevents subsequent drill from wobbling.
Ensure hole locates precisely.
Spot drilling forms conical face for machine screw recess.

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Rules for center drilling

To Calculate Depth:
For center drilling (tip depth = radius of subsequent hole).
For spot facing (tip depth determined by spot diameter).

Use combination center-spotting drill for spot faced holes.

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Drilling is the most common machining operation.
Shallow holes can be drilled in one pass.
Deep holes use a Peck Drill cycle.

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Rules for peck drilling

Use Peck drill for hole depth > drill diameter.
Center drill all holes to ensure hole locates precisely.
For thru holes, include a breakthrough allowance to ensure the
bottom edge of hole is a sharp edge (no flashing).

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Similar to simple drill cycles, but speed/feed coordinated to match
thread lead.
Spindle reverses at bottom of hole to back tap out of hole.

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Rules for tapping

Use a Drill Chart (Appx. A) to find the correct drill size for cutting
Use the manufacturers recommendations to find drill size for
form taps.
If the machine does not support Rigid Tapping, a special
floating tapping head must is required. Refer to the
manufacturers documentation for proper setup and use.

2011 Autodesk

Rules for tapping

Specify tip depth sufficient to account for the initial taper of the
Older machines may require additional feed height to allow
spindle to reach full speed.
Consider using tapping fluid instead of coolant, especially on
small holes.

2011 Autodesk

Milling toolpaths are classified as 2D, 3D and Multi-axis (4th/5th axis).
2D parts are also known as 2-1/2D or Prismatic.
CAM Views are in reference to how the part is clamped to the CNC
machine. This is often different than CAD Views.
SolidWorks parts are composed of Features.
Features are machined using machining Operations.
Knowing which operation to apply to which feature comes with a
little practice.
Usually machine the side with the most features first.
Facing is usually the first machining operation.

2011 Autodesk


Use 2D Contour for machining outside part walls.

Use CDC only on precision dimensions.
CDC must be turned on/off with a line move (never an arc).
Use 2D Pocket to rough/finish material in closed boundaries.
Chamfer milling can be used for precision de-burring.
Center drill all holes to ensure precise location of drilled holes.
Peck drill all holes greater in depth than the tool diameter.
Unless the CNC supports Rigid Tapping, you must use a floating
tapping attachment.

2011 Autodesk