Thread: Basic CAM.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:37 PM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 7,266

Picture 1)
The "Make Parameters" button. the parameters were odd numbers so I rounded them off, probably converted from metric.
in the picture you can see what parameters I changed.
If you don't change them the CNC output program will be different then the one in the next steps.

Picture 2)
Now click the "Make G-Code" button
click Ok.

Picture 3)
Click the "Run G-Code" button.
What you see is the program that a CNC uses.
I used the "Single" button and cycled through the first 25 lines one line at a time.

The yellow line is the tool cutting around the Hex. the yellow also represents the set cutting feed rate.
The faint Red lines represent rapid travel (axis motors running at full speed ).

Picture 4)
Screen shot of full run.

Picture 5)
Changed view to show Isometric run.


An over view.

Basically entered the dimensions off the print.
Block size 8"x8"x1"
Hex size 3.5" radius x 1/4" height, rotated 15ยบ

Had to tell the program what tools too use and material.

Q) What did the CAM program do ?

A) It computed all the math.
It generated all the tool-paths,
Two passes with the roughing end-mill,
one finish pass just around the hex with the finishing end-mill.

If all you have is re-sharpened end-mills, another advantage is being able to change end-mill sizes with a few key strokes.

The time it took to enter the information for CAM, less then 10 minutes,
If the tools had been in the data base the time would be less then 2 minutes just to enter the block and Hex information.

I noticed that the cuts around the Hex went in the counter-clock-wise directions, that would be considered conventional milling around the Hex surface.
For CNC milling, 95% of the time you would program climb milling.
If your mill does Not have Ball-screws then you would stay with Conventional milling around surfaces.

This is all I did with the software and there maybe tricks or bugs that I have not encountered.

I have to say Thank You, to the person who wrote the software.

This concludes the Basics of CAM.
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The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. ~Warren G. Bennis
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