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SolidCAM 2007 R11

Milling Training Course


3D Milling

©1995-2007 SolidCAM

All Rights Reserved.


Contents

Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 About this course.............................................................................................................................9

1.2 SolidCAM 3D Machining overview............................................................................................11

1.3 Process overview...........................................................................................................................12

2. General 3D Milling

2.1 3D Milling operation dialog box overview................................................................................15

2.2 3D Roughing..................................................................................................................................17

Exercise #1: Mold core roughing..............................................................................................18


Exercise #2: Mold cavity roughing............................................................................................46
Exercise #3: Toy mold cavity roughing....................................................................................56
Exercise #4: Bottle-bottom mold cavity roughing..................................................................57
Exercise #5: Spoon die core roughing......................................................................................58
2.3 3D Semi-Finishing/Finishing......................................................................................................59

Exercise #6: Cover finishing......................................................................................................62


Exercise #7: Bottle-bottom mold cavity finishing..................................................................70
Exercise #8: Electrode finishing................................................................................................81
Exercise #9: Mold cavity finishing............................................................................................93
Exercise #10: Mold core finishing...........................................................................................108
Exercise #11: Electrode pencil milling...................................................................................118
Exercise #12: Toy mold cavity finishing.................................................................................124
Exercise #13: Spoon die core finishing..................................................................................126
Exercise #14: Spoon die cavity finishing................................................................................128
Exercise #15: Cavity finishing..................................................................................................130


SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

3. 3D Milling of Prismatic Parts

Exercise #16: Cover machining...............................................................................................135


Exercise #17: Electronic box machining................................................................................151
Exercise #18: Connector cover machining............................................................................154

4. 3D Milling of Aerospace Parts

Exercise #19: Bracket machining.............................................................................................158


Exercise #20: Aerospace support machining........................................................................169

5. 3D Drilling

4.1 3D Drill operation dialog box overview..................................................................................175

Exercise #21: 3D Drilling of the Mold core.........................................................................177


Exercise #22: 3D Drilling of the Toy mold cavity...............................................................184

6. 3D Engraving

5.1 3D Engraving operation dialog box overview........................................................................187

Exercise #23: 3D Engraving of the Spoon die core............................................................189


Exercise #24: 3D Engraving of the Mold cavity..................................................................195
Exercise #25: 3D Engraving of the Stamp insert.................................................................199

Document number: SC3DMTCENG07001


Introduction 1
SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course


1. Introduction

1.1 About this course

The goal of this course is to teach you how to use SolidCAM to machine various parts using 3D
Milling technologies. This course covers the basic concepts of SolidCAM 3D machining and is
a supplement to the system documentation and online help. Once you have developed a good
foundation in basic skills, you can refer to the online help for information on the less frequently
used options.

Prerequisites

Students attending this course are expected to have a basic knowledge of SolidCAM software.
The course has to be preceded by the SolidCAM Training Course: 2.5D Milling, in which the basic
concepts of the SolidCAM software are discussed. Detailed explanations of basic concepts are not
included in this manual.

Course design

This course uses a task-based approach to training. With the guided exercises you will learn the
commands and options necessary to complete a machining task. The theoretical explanations are
embedded into these exercises to give an overview of the SolidCAM 3D Milling capabilities.

Using this training book

This training book is intended to be used both in a classroom environment under the guidance of
an experienced instructor and as self-study material. It contains a number of laboratory exercises
to enable you to apply and practice the material covered by the guided exercises. The laboratory
exercises do not contain step-by-step instructions.

About the CD

The CD supplied together with this manual contains copies of the various files that are used
throughout this course. The Exercises folder contains the files that are required for guided and
laboratory exercises. The Built Parts folder inside the Exercises contains the final manufacturing
projects for each exercise. Copy the complete Exercises folder on your computer. The SolidWorks
files used for the exercises were prepared with SolidWorks2007.


SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Windows® XP

The screenshots in this book were made using SolidCAM2007 R11 integrated with SolidWorks2007
running on Windows® XP. If you are running on a different version of Windows, you may notice
differences in the appearance of the menus and windows. These differences do not affect the
performance of the software.

Conventions used in this book

This book uses the following typographic conventions:

Bold Sans Serif This style is used to emphasize SolidCAM options,


commands or basic concepts. For example, click on the
Change to opposite button.

The mouse icon and numbered sans serif bold text


10. Define CoordSys Position indicate the beginning of the exercise action.

This style combined with the lamp icon is used for the
Explanation
SolidCAM functionality explanations embedded into
the guided exercises. The lamp icon is also used to
emphasize notes.

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1. Introduction

1.2 SolidCAM 3D Machining overview

SolidCAM provides you with powerful 3D Machining functionality that can be used both for
prismatic parts and for complex 3D Models.

For prismatic parts SolidCAM analyzes the model and automatically recognizes pockets and profiles
to be machined using Constant-Z machining strategies. For complex shape models such as molds,
electrodes and prototypes, SolidCAM offers powerful 3D Machining, including integrated options
for material machining.

SolidCAM Milling module enables you to prepare the tool path for the following 3D Milling
operations:

3D Milling Operation

Using this operation, you can calculate the tool path


for the rough, semi-finish and finish machining of the
3D Model. A number of strategies can be applied to
provide you with effective and high-quality machining.

3D Engraving Operation

This operation enables you to perform the engraving


of text or artwork on the part faces.

3D Drill Operation

This operation enables you to perform drills that take


into account the 3D Model geometry.

SolidCAM enables you to use holes, machined by this


operation, for the Z-Entry during 3D Rough Milling.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

1.3 Process overview

The major stages of the creation process of the SolidCAM Manufacturing Project are the
following:

CAM-Part definition

This stage includes the definition of the global parameters of the Manufacturing
Project (CAM-Part). You have to define a number of Coordinate Systems that describe
the positioning of the part on the CNC Machine.

Optionally you can define the Stock model and the Target model to be used for the rest
material calculation. The Stock model describes the initial state of the workpiece that
has to be machined. The Target Model has to be reached after the machining. After
every Operation, SolidCAM calculates how much material was actually removed from
the CAM-Part and how much material is left not machined (rest material). The rest
material information enables SolidCAM to automatically optimize the tool path and
avoid air cutting.

Technology definition

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of 3D Milling operations. During the


Operation definition you have to select the Geometry, choose the tool from the Part
Tool table (or define a new one), define a machining strategy and define a series of
technological parameters.

Generally, the 3D Milling is performed in three major stages: Roughing, Semi-Finishing


and Finishing. At the Roughing stage, the fast and efficient bulk material removal has
to be performed. The finish machining allowance remains for the further semi-finish
and finish operations. At the Semi-finishing/Finishing stages, this allowance has to be
removed using a number of strategies that provide excellent surface quality.

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General
3D Milling 2
SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

You can perform 3-axis gouge-free machining on solid and surface models. This Operation offers a
wide range of roughing, semi-finishing and finishing strategies for free-form models. It can be used
to manufacture molds, dies, electrodes, prototypes and other 3D Models.

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2. General 3D Milling

2.1 3D Milling operation dialog box overview


Milling levels section Operation name section

Geometry section
Working area section

Tool section

Tolerance section

Rough section

Finish section

Semi Finish section

Operation buttons

SolidCAM 3D Milling operation dialog box enables you to define parameters of the roughing, semi-
finishing and finishing tool path on 3D Model faces.
• Geometry section

This section enables you to define or choose 3D Model for the operation.
• Tool section

This section enables you to define a new tool for the operation or choose an existing
tool from the Part Tool table.
• Operation name section

This section displays the name of the operation. Once you select a geometry and a
tool, SolidCAM automatically enters a default name (e.g. 3DM_Model_T2) based on the
Operation type, geometry name and tool number.
• Milling levels section

In this section, you have to specify the Z-levels for the operation. The default input
to these fields are the CAM-Part values you have specified in the Coordinate System
definition.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

• Tolerance section

The precision tolerances defined here directly affect the surface quality of your
machined model.
SolidCAM generates the tool path in two steps:
• SolidCAM generates a mathematical representation of surfaces and solids of
the 3D Model geometry according to the given Facet tolerance.
• SolidCAM calculates the tool path according to the value of the Tool path
tolerance that defines the accuracy of the tool path.

• Working area section

SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool path with a specified working area. In case
Working area is used, SolidCAM calculates the whole tool path and then removes the
all tool path lines that are not inside the Working area.
• Rough section

Rough milling removes the bulk of material surrounding the 3D Model. The material
is removed on Z-levels controlled by the Operation Upper level, Surface offset and
Step down values.
• Semi Finish section

Semi-Finish machining prepares the model for finishing. After semi-finishing the
model, a uniform offset remains on the material. This offset is removed in the last
finishing cut.
The same machining strategies in Finish machining can be applied for Semi-finishing.
The only difference is in one parameter, Surface offset, that controls the X,Y and Z
offset that remains on the original surface. Otherwise, all strategies are defined and
used in the same way as in finishing.
• Finish section

Finish machining generates the tool path directly on the surfaces and solids of your
3D Model geometry. No offset can be specified and the model is machined to its final
topology and dimensions. You can apply a number of different machining strategies
to finish your models. Each strategy offers parameters to adjust the strategy to your
needs.
• Operation buttons

Operation buttons enable you to save the operation data, perform the tool path
calculation, simulate the already calculated tool path, generate the G-code for the
operation and close the operation dialog box.

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2. General 3D Milling

2.2 3D Roughing

The target of the rough machining is the fast and efficient removal of the greater part of the
machining allowance with the large tools. SolidCAM provides you with the following functionalities
of the rough machining:
• Constant Z roughing of the whole model or model areas;
• Rest material machining enables you to automatically determine the areas that were not
machined in the previous stages and machine them with a smaller tool.
• A number of Z-entry strategies enabling you to choose the optimal way of the tool
plunging into the material. SolidCAM enables you to use the pre-drilled holes for the Z-
entry.
• The Open pocket functionality enables SolidCAM to locate open pocket areas and
enables you to machine them with a specific strategy. This strategy enables you to
combine pocket and profile tool paths in order to provide the best productivity in open
pocket machining.

You can use three different strategies to execute rough machining of 3D Models.

• Contour and Hatch strategies perform rough cuts on constant Z-levels that are
automatically calculated using the specified values for the Lower Level, Surface Offset
and Step down.

Contour strategy Hatch strategy

• Plunging is a totally different concept of removing


material from a given pocket, carried out with a
special tool. Instead of milling the material, the tool
moves up and down as in a drilling motion, travelling
along the specified path type.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #1: Mold core roughing

This exercise illustrates the process of rough machining using the Contour strategy in SolidCAM.

In this exercise you have perform the rough machining of the mold core of a pet dish.

Dish Mold Core

1. Load the SolidWorks model

Load the Exercise1.sldprt model located in the /Exercises folder.


This model consists of a number of features forming the solid body of the mold
core.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-Part.

Define the Stock model as the box


surrounding the model; specify the 2
mm offset to the top of the core (Z+
direction) and set the zero offset for all
the other directions.

Define the Coordinate system in the


corner of the stock model as shown.

Define the Target model.

3. Define a 3D Milling operation

When the CAM-Part is defined, right-click on the Operations header in the SolidCAM
Manager and choose the 3D Milling command from the Add Operation submenu.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed.

4. Define the geometry

The main geometry used for the 3D Milling is a 3D Model. The Geometry section of
the 3D Milling Operation enables you to define or choose an already defined 3D Model
geometry. In this exercise, the previously defined Target model geometry is used for the
3D Milling Operation definition.

In the Geometry section, choose the Target geometry from


the list as shown.

5. Define the tool

In the Tool section, click on the Select button to start the tool definition.

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2. General 3D Milling

The Choosing Tool For Operation dialog box is displayed. This dialog box displays the
content of the Part Tool table in the current CAM-Part.

Click on the Add button to define a new tool for


the operation. A tool with default parameters is
added to the Part Tool table.
In this exercise, a Ø20 end mill tool is used.
Modify the following tool parameters:

• Set the Diameter to 20.

In the Length section:


Total
Outside Holder Length
• Set the Total length to 120; Length

• Set the Outside Holder length to 100;


Cutting Length Diameter
• Set the Cutting length to 85.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Define the tool holder. Select the Holder check


box. The Holder section is activated.

In the Holder section, click on the Global


Holders table button to choose the tool holder
from the global holders table supplied with the
SolidCAM software. The Tool Holders dialog box
is displayed.

The SolidCAM tool holder is defined by combining two components.


The first component is the tool adaptor mounted in the spindle unit of
the milling machine. The tool adaptor is defined in the CNC machine
pre-processor file (MAC-file). The second component can consist
of different types of extensions and reductions like collet chucks,
arbors, shanks and any other components that you may have. The Tool
Holders dialog box enables you to choose this second component.

Choose the ER32x60 collet chuck from the list and confirm the dialog box with the OK
button. The Choosing Tool For Operation dialog box is displayed again.
Click on the Select button to confirm the dialog box and choose the defined tool for
the operation.

The Tool dialog box is displayed; confirm it with the OK button.


The tool is chosen for the operation. The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed
again.

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2. General 3D Milling

6. Define the Milling levels

At this stage you have to specify the milling levels for the operation.

Milling levels

SolidCAM performs the cutting between the Upper level and the Lower
level. The Upper level is the Z-level at which the cutting starts. The
Lower level sets the Z-level below which the tool does not mill. The
cutting path is performed between these levels. After the machining of
any cutting level, the tool vertically retreats to the Clearance level with
rapid feed. All the necessary horizontal movements are performed at
this level with rapid feed. The tool then descends to the next cutting
level. SolidCAM enables you to specify the Safety distance. The
descent movement to the Safety distance is performed with rapid
feed. From the Safety distance to the cutting level, the tool descends
with working feed.
Clearance Level

Safety Cutting
Upper level distance levels

Lower level
Rapid movements
Feed movements

Specify the Lower level for the operation, SolidCAM


enables you to define the milling levels directly on the
solid model.

In the Milling levels section, click on the Lower level


button to start the definition.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Click on the model face as shown.

The Lower level is automatically determined and displayed in the Pick Lower level
dialog box.

Confirm the Lower level definition with the button.


The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed with the
updated value of the Lower level. The pink background
of the parameter’s box means that the parameter value is
defined associatively to the solid model. If the model is
changed, this parameter value is updated automatically.

7. Define the facet tolerance

Set the Facet tolerance value to 0.01.

This tolerance value controls the maximum deviation of


the faceted model, used for the tool path calculation, from
the solid model.

The 3D Model geometry is triangulated and the resulting facets are saved
in the modelname.fct file in the CAM-Part’s folder. The triangulation is
performed on the 3D Model geometry when you use it for the first time in
a 3D Milling Operation. If you use the 3D geometry in another operation,
SolidCAM checks the tolerance of the existing *.fct file of this geometry.
It does not perform another triangulation as long as the *.fct file has been
created within the same facet tolerance.

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2. General 3D Milling

8. Choose the rough strategy

In the Rough section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box,


choose the Contour strategy from the list.

The Contour rough strategy enables


SolidCAM to produce Constant-Z pockets
on different Z-levels. Within the pockets,
the tool moves in parallel offsets to the
contour of the section of the model at the
Z-level of each step down.

The major parameters of the Contour roughing strategy are Overlap


and Step down.

Overlap

The Overlap parameter defines the tool Side step


overlap when the tool is located on the two 6 mm
adjacent lines of the tool path. Ø20

The default value is 0.65 (65% of the tool


diameter). With the tool diameter of 20
mm, an overlap of 0.7 (70%) is 14 mm. It
means the side step (the distance between
adjacent lines of the tool path) of 6 mm Overlap
for the next tool movement. 14 mm

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

SolidCAM uses the constant-Z pocketing for the roughing. With the
Step down parameter, you can define the distance between each two
successive Z-levels.
Cutting
Step down levels

Set the value of 0.7 for the Overlap. With this value, the distance between the adjacent
lines of the tool path (side step) is 6 mm.

Set the Step down to 5.

9. Define the offsets

At this stage you have to specify the allowances for the further semi-finishing/finishing
operations.

Surface offset

SolidCAM enables you to define the Surface offset, which is a


minimum machining allowance of material in the X, Y and Z direction
that remains on the model for the further operations. The Surface
offset value defines the closest distance the tool can get to the model.
The rough operation is performed at constant Z-levels.

Surface
Offset Step down

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2. General 3D Milling

In addition to the specified Surface offset, the roughed model shows


stairs of rest material with a height equal to the Step down value. To
obtain a uniform offset on the model, a semi-finish operation should
be executed.

Set the Surface offset value to 1. This offset is removed during the semi-finish/finish
operations.

10. Define the technological parameters

In the Rough section of 3D Milling Operation dialog box,


click on the Data button. The Contour parameters dialog
box is displayed.

This dialog box enables you to set a number of


technological parameters of the contour roughing
strategy.

Contour parameters

• Exit material

This option controls the tool movements


between the cutting areas.

Exit material option not selected

When the tool moves from one cutting


area to the next, it moves through the full
material around the island to get to the
next area to be cut, as shown.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exit material option selected

When the Exit material option is chosen,


the tool exits the material and travels
rapidly above the material to the next
cutting area as shown. The approach path
is the approach you choose.

• Connect islands

During walls and islands machining, SolidCAM uses a different


cutting direction (climb or conventional) for different areas of
the tool path. The Connect islands option enables you to prevent
such direction changes by connecting all of the areas into a single
contour. The connected contour is machined with the same
cutting direction (conventional or climb).
Conventional
Climb Climb

Mixed cutting direction Constant cutting direction

• Start from:

Inside

This option enables you to work in a pocket area starting from


the middle of the pocket and cutting towards the outside border
of the pocket.

Outside

This option enables you to work in a pocket area starting from


the outside border of the pocket and cutting towards the middle
of the pocket.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Corner

None

The tool path is formed with sharp corners


between one tool path direction and the
next.

Fillet Corner

Choosing Fillet connects each tool path


direction to the next with a given radius,
enabling a smoother transition between
tool path directions.

Smooth Corner

This option ensures that the connecting


points on the path are cleaned using a
smooth transition. The tool path forms a
loop in the corner, preventing an abrupt
change of direction.

Sharp Corner

This option ensures that using a short and


simple movement cleans the connecting
points on the path. Although this produces
a sharp movement by the tool, the path
itself is slightly shorter than the smooth
corner option. This can help to reduce the
machining time.

This option is not recommended


for high-speed cutting.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

• Direction

This option enables you to choose climb or conventional milling for


the roughing operation.

Climb Milling Conventional Milling


• Arc approximation

This command enables you to create G2/G3 G-Code output from


Contour rough operations. SolidCAM checks whether successive
points of the calculated tool path can be connected using an arc
or circle. If an arc or circle connection within the specified arc
approximation tolerance can be made, you receive arc and circle
interpolation commands G2 and G3 in the generated G-Code.

• Adjacent-toolpaths connection

This option enables you to choose the method with which the tool
moves within a pocket from one tool path to the next.

Linear connection

The tool moves in a normal approach from


one tool path to the next.

Rounded connection

The tool moves in an arc path from one tool


path to the next. The radius of the arc is
half the distance between the tool paths.

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2. General 3D Milling

In the Corner section of the Contour parameters dialog


box, choose the Smooth option.

In the Adjacent-toolpaths connection section, choose


the Rounded option.

Use of these parameters enables you to perform


smoother transition between tool path directions.

Set the Arc approximation value. Generally, the


recommended value of for the arc approximation is 2.5
times the Facet tolerance value.

In this exercise, set the Arc approximation value to


0.025.

Confirm the Contour parameters dialog box with the


OK button.

11. Define the Working area

SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool path with a specified working area.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button.

The Working area dialog box is displayed.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Working area types

SolidCAM enables you to use one or a combination of the following


four methods:
• Working area geometry. This method enables you to specify a
closed contour of the working area boundary.
• Angle limits. This method enables you to define the working area
by surface inclination angle range and to apply various machining
strategies to model areas with a different inclination.
• Selected faces. This method enables you to select the model faces
where the machining has to be performed. You can also specify the
faces that have to be avoided during the machining.
• Rest Material. With this method, you can limit the machining to the
rest material. The rest material is what has to be machined after the
previous operations in order to reach the Target model.

In this exercise, the working area is defined by a closed planar


contour.

Select the Working area check box to define the working area
geometry.

Click on the Define button to start the geometry definition. The


Geometry Edit dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables
you to select and manage geometry chains.

The geometry selection procedure and interface


is covered in detail in the 2.5D Milling part of the
SolidCAM Training course book.

In the Multi-Chain section of the dialog box, click on the Add


button. This button enables you to choose a number of chains
from a model by selecting the model elements. The program
automatically creates chains from the selected elements.

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2. General 3D Milling

The Chains selection dialog box is displayed.

Rotate the model as shown and click on the bottom face.

The selected face and its boundary are automatically


determined. Click on the button to build chains based on
the selected face boundary. The Geometry Edit dialog box is
displayed again. Confirm it with the button.

The working area geometry is defined.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Now you have to define the tool location relative to the working area.

Tool on working area

This option controls the position of Working area


the tool relative to the boundaries
of the working area. Select one of
the options from the Tool position
in the working area list field.

• Internal. The tool machines up


to the boundary of the working
area. The center point moves at
an offset equal to the tool radius.

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2. General 3D Milling

• External. The tool machines over


the boundary of the working area
by the distance equal to the tool
diameter.

• Middle. The tool machines the


working area until the tool center
is positioned on the working
area.

• Tangent. SolidCAM generates


the tool path boundaries by
projecting the planar working
area on the 3D Model. The tool
path is limited in such a way that
the tool is tangent to the model
faces at the boundary. This option
enables you to machine the exact
working area, taking into account
the 3D Model geometry.

Choose the Middle option in the Tool on working area box. The tool machines the
working area until the tool center is positioned on the defined working area.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with the OK button.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

12. Define the Z-Entry strategy

Define the way the tool plunges into the material.

Click on the Z-Entry button to display the Z-Entry dialog


box.

Z-Entry types

• None

The tool plunges into the material with


a normal downward movement at the
specified Z-feed rate.

• Angle

If you choose this Z-Entry type and


enter the Angle value, the tool enters
the material with a ramp movement.
The ramp starts from the given Safety Angle
distance down to the model contour.
If, due to the model contour, the ramp
cannot be created in a straight line,
the Z-Entry movement follows the
contour.
• Helical

The tool descends to the machining


level with a helical motion. In the Angle
field, enter the descent angle that you
would like the tool to follow. In the
Radius field, enter the radius of the
helical tool path.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Linear

The tool descends to the machining


level with a linear zigzag motion. In the
Angle field, enter the descent angle that
you would like the tool to follow.

Choose the Helical option for the Z-Entry and set the Angle
value to 5. Set the Radius value to 5.

Clear the Return to Clearance Level between Z steps check


box.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

Return to Clearance Level between Z steps

This option enables you to control the height where the horizontal
rapid movement is performed.
When this option is selected (default state), SolidCAM performs the
horizontal rapid movements on the Clearance level of the Operation
(see Step #6).
Clearance Level

Safety Cutting
distance levels

Rapid movements
Feed movements

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

When this option is cleared, SolidCAM performs the horizontal


rapid movements on the Safety distance from the last cut. SolidCAM
checks for possible collisions. In areas where the rapid movements on
the Safety distance cause gouges, the horizontal rapid movements on
the Clearance level are performed.
Clearance Level

Safety Cutting
distance levels

Rapid movements
Feed movements

13. Open pocket machining

SolidCAM enables you to customize your machining strategy for more effective
machining of open pocket areas.

During the preparation for Open pocket


the machining, SolidCAM area
generates the model sections
located at the Z-levels
determined by the Step down
value. These sections contain
both:
• Closed pocket areas, where Closed pocket
the approach from outside area

is impossible;
• Open pocket areas that are accessible from the outside.

The closed pocket areas are machined as pockets, with the tool
plunging into these areas with the Z-Entry strategy (see Step #11).
Open Pockets can be machined with a combination of pocket and
profile paths.

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2. General 3D Milling

In the Rough section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box,


click on the Mode button. The Open Pocket mode dialog box
is displayed.

This dialog box enables you to define the mode of Open


pocket machining.

There are three modes of open pocket machining:

• Pockets. Open areas at each down step Pockets


are milled as pockets.

• Profiles. Open areas at each down step Profiles


are milled by a number of equidistant
profiles starting from the outside the
model; the tool then moves in parallel
offsets to the contour of the section
on the specified Z-Levels.

• Pockets+Profile. If the open areas Profile


at each down step cannot be milled Pockets
completely with one profile, then
those unmilled areas are milled first
by pocket paths and then the profile is
used for finish.

Choose the Pockets + Profile option for the Open pocket machining.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Select the Approach open pocket from outside check box. This option enables you
to perform the approach movement from the automatically calculated point outside
of the material. The tool approaches to the necessary depth outside of the material
and then plunges into the material. Such an approach enables you to decrease the tool
loading when plunging into the material.

In closed areas, where outside approach is impossible, the tool plunges into
the material with a strategy defined in the Z-Entry field of the operation
dialog box.

Define the Profile Lead in strategy, which is the way the


tool approaches the profiles during open pocket machining.
Choose the Tangent option to perform the tool movement
tangential to the automatically calculated tool path line. Set the
Lead in Value to 15.

Confirm the Open Pocket mode dialog box with the OK


button.

14. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

15. Simulate

Click on the Simulate button in the 3D Milling Operation


dialog box. The Simulation control panel is displayed.

Click on the button to start the simulation. The


simulation is displayed directly on the solid model.

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2. General 3D Milling

Since the simulation is performed in the SolidWorks window, all the view
functions of SolidWorks such as Zoom, Pan or Rotate enable you to check
the tool path.

Switch to the SolidVerify page and start the simulation with the button.

When the simulation is finished, display the side view of the part with the button.

After the rough machining, the part faces have steps.

During finishing, these steps (cusps) cause a non-uniform tool load that result in
bad surface conditions. To remove these cusps before the finishing, it is necessary to
perform an additional rest roughing operation.

Close the Simulation control panel with the button.

Close the 3D Milling Operation dialog box with the Exit button. The SolidCAM Manager
is displayed.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

16. Define a 3D Milling Operation

Right-click on the defined 3D Milling


Operation in the SolidCAM Manager and
choose 3D Milling from the Add Operation
submenu.

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is


displayed.

17. Choose the operation template

SolidCAM enables you to choose an already defined operation as a template for


additional operations. All the template operation data can be copied to a new
operation.

In this exercise the previously defined operation is used as a template.

In the Operation name section, choose


the previously defined operation
3DR_target_T1 from the list.

All the data is copied from the template operation.

18. Define a new tool for the operation

In the Tool section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, click on the Select button to
change the current tool coming from the template operation to a new one.

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2. General 3D Milling

The Tool dialog box is displayed with the current tool data. Click on the Part tool table
button.

The Choosing Tool For Operation dialog box is displayed. In this dialog box, switch to
the Edit page to start a new tool definition.
Click on the Add button to add a new tool to the Part tool table. A new tool with the
default parameters is added.

A Ø16 end mill tool is used for the operation.

Modify the following tool parameters:


• Set the Diameter to 16.

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 95;
• Set the Outside Holder length to 85;
• Set the Cutting length to 40.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Choose the same tool holder


(ER32x60) used for the previous
operation.
Click on the Select button to confirm
the tool definition and choose the
defined tool for the operation.
Confirm the Tool dialog box with the
OK button.

19. Define the surface offset


Set the Surface offset value to 0.5.
This offset from the model is left unmachined during the
operation; it is finished in the later operations.

20. Define the Step down


Set the Step down value to 2. With this value, SolidCAM
performs the machining between the cutting levels of the
previous operation and removes the steps left unmachined.

21. Define the open pocket parameters


Click on the Mode button to display the Open pocket mode
dialog box.
Choose the Profiles mode of the open pocket machining.
Open areas at each down step are milled by a number of
equidistant profiles, starting from the outside the model; then
the tool moves in parallel offsets to the contour of the section
on the specified Z-Levels.
Note that the Tangent strategy is chosen for the Profile Lead in.
The lead in movement to the machining profiles is performed
tangentially.

22. Define the rest material machining


Since the bulk of the material is already removed in the previous rough operation, the
current operation has to be performed only on the rest material (areas left unmachined
after the previous operation).

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2. General 3D Milling

In the Working area section, click on the


Define button to display the Working area
dialog box.
Select the Cut only the Rest material
check box to perform cutting only
in the Rest material areas. SolidCAM
calculates the Updated Stock model after
all the previous operations. SolidCAM
automatically compares the updated
stock model with the target model and
generates the rest material areas.
In this operation the combination of the
working area, defined by 2D geometry,
and the rest material area is used to limit
the tool path.
Confirm the Working area dialog box
with the OK button.

23. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

24. Simulate

Perform the operation tool path simulation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.
The machining is performed in the areas where the material was left unmachined in
the previous operation.
At this stage, the exercise is finished. The CAM-Part will be finished in the coming
exercises.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #2: Mold cavity roughing

This exercise illustrates the process of rough machining using the Hatch strategy.

In this exercise you have perform the rough machining of the mold cavity for the handle.

The original model of the mold cavity contains two SolidWorks configurations: Default and Stock.

The Default configuration (see the illustration) contains the


complete cavity geometry that is used for the Target model
definition and machining operations.

The Stock configuration contains the model of the part in the


initial state before the machining. This configuration is used for
the Stock model definition.

1. Load the SolidWorks model

Load the Exercise2.sldprt model located in the /Exercises folder.

This model consists of a number of features forming the solid body of the mold
cavity.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for


the CAM-Part.

Define the Coordinate system in the


center of the cylindrical face at the top
face of the model.

Define the Stock model as 3D Model


using the Stock configuration.

Define the Target model.

3. Add a new 3D Millling Operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the Operations header and choose the 3D
Milling command from the Add Operation submenu.

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed.

4. Choose the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry from the list.

5. Define the tool

In the same manner as explained


in the previous exercise, define an
end mill tool of Ø16 mm for the
operation.
Set the following length parameters:

• Set the Total length to 60;


• Set the Outside Holder
length to 55;
• Set the Cutting length to
50.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

6. Choose the cutting strategy


In the Rough section, choose the Hatch type of the rough
machining.

The model is roughed in a linear pattern.


Hatch rough creates a linear raster tool path
up to the model contour.

Set the value of 0.7 for the Overlap. With this value, the distance between the adjacent
lines of the tool path is 4.8 mm.
Set the Step down to 5.

7. Define the machining allowances


Set the Surface offset to 1 to define the machining allowance for the finishing.

8. Define the facet tolerance


Set the Facet tolerance value to 0.01.

9. Define the technological parameters


In the Rough section, click on the Data button to define the
technological parameters of the hatching. The Hatch Data
dialog box is displayed.

Hatching parameters

• Exit material

This option controls the tool movements


between the cutting areas. See Exercise #1 for
a more detailed explanation of this option.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Hatch angle

SolidCAM enables you to choose one of the following options to


define the angle of hatching:

User-defined angle.This option enables


you to determine the angle of the tool
path.

Automatic optimal angle. SolidCAM


automatically calculates the optimal angle
of hatching to expedite the machining.
The tool path always follows the length
of the pocket no matter what angle the
pocket is facing.

You can change the angle by entering a


different delta angle value in the Delta
from optimal option.

• Keep cutting direction

This option enables you to keep a constant cutting direction during


milling.

Yes. A constant cutting direction is kept.

No. SolidCAM generates a shorter, optimized tool path by reversing


some tool movements. The milling direction may change between
climb and conventional milling.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

• Cutting direction

Zig-Zag – this option enables you to create the tool path containing
bi-directional movements.

One way – this option enables you to create the tool path containing
only one-directional movements.

Zig-Zag One Way


• Corner

None. The tool path is formed with sharp corners


between one direction and the next.

Fillet Corner.Choosing this option connects each


tool path direction to the next with a given radius
allowing a smoother transition between tool path
directions.

Choose the Automatic optimal angle option. The machining of each shaped instance
of the cavity is performed with an optimal angle.

Confirm the Hatch Data dialog box with the OK button.

10. Define the working area

In this exercise, the machining has to be performed only in the cavity areas. Define the
Working area to limit the tool path to these areas.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button.

The Working area dialog box is displayed.

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2. General 3D Milling

Select the Working area check box and click on the Define
button to start the working area geometry definition.

The Geometry Edit dialog box is displayed.

In this exercise, the external boundaries of cavities are


used for the working area geometry definition. Select these
boundaries as shown.

When the geometry is defined, confirm the Geometry Edit dialog box with the
button.

Make sure that the Internal option is chosen in the Tool on


working area section.

The tool machines up to the boundary of the working


area.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with the OK button.

11. Define the Z-Entry strategy

Define the way the tool plunges into the material.

Click on the Z-Entry button to display the Z-Entry


dialog box.

Choose the Angle option and set the Angle value to 5.


The tool will plunge into the material with the specified
angle.

Clear the Return to Clearance Level between Z-steps


option.

Confirm the Z-Entry dialog box with the OK button.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

12. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

13. Simulate

In the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, click on


the Simulate button to perform the tool path
simulation.

Perform the simulation using the HostCAD


mode.

The machining is performed inside three cavity


areas.

Rotate the model to the Top view using the


button of the CAM Views toolbar.

SolidCAM automatically determines the optimal


hatch angle for each cutting area to minimize the
number of the cutting direction changes.

Switch the solid model to the Wireframe view,


using the button in the SolidWorks toolbar
and rotate it to the Front view using the button
on the CAM Views toolbar.

Such model display and orientation enable you to see the angle Z-Entry movements.
After the simulation, return to the shaded view.

Close the simulation and return to the operation dialog box.

Click on the Exit button to close the 3D Milling Operation dialog box.

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2. General 3D Milling

14. Add a 3D Milling Operation

Add a 3D Milling operation to perform the additional roughing operation removing


the steps caused in the previous operation (cusp removal).

In this exercise, the previously defined operation is used as a template for the current
operation. In the Operation name section, choose the previous operation name (3DR_
target_T1) from the list.

The previous operation data is loaded into the current operation. This operation uses
the same geometry and tool. Now you have to modify the technological parameters to
perform the cusp removal.

15. Define the tool

In the same manner as explained


earlier, define a new tool for the
operation.
Use the Ø12 end mill tool. Set the
following length parameters:

• Set the Total length to 60;


• Set the Outside Holder
length to 55;
• Set the Cutting length to
50.

16. Change the cutting strategy

In the Rough section, change the Hatch type that was used
in the previous operation to Contour. The cusp removal is
performed in a number of concentric profiles.

Set the Step down value to 2. With this value, the tool
performs machining between the previously machined
cutting levels.

Set the Surface offset value to 0.5. This allowance is removed


in the finish operations.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Click on the Data button to set the additional parameters


of the Contour strategy. The Contour parameters dialog
box is displayed.

Set the Arc approximation value to 0.02. Confirm the


dialog box with the OK button.

17. Define the working area

Since the bulk of the material is already removed by


the previous operation, the current operation has to
be performed only in the rest material areas remaining
unmachined after the previous operation.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button to


display the Working area dialog box.

Select the Cut only the Rest material


check box to perform cutting only in the
Rest Material areas.

In this operation, the combination of the


working area defined by geometry and
the rest material areas is used to limit the
tool path.

Confirm the Working area dialog box


with the OK button.

18. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

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2. General 3D Milling

19. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the rough machining of the cavity part is finished. The roughed part will
be finished in the coming exercises.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #3: Toy mold cavity roughing

Define the CAM-Part and operations for the rough machining of the
toy mold cavity.
This exercise reinforces the following skills:
• CAM-Part definition;
• 3D Contour roughing;
• Working area definition;
• Rest material roughing.
The SolidWorks model of the toy mold cavity (Exercise3.sldprt) is located in the ../Exercises
folder.
The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part


At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part, the CNC-controller, the Machine
Coordinate System, the Stock model and the Target model.
Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for this exercise.

2. Perform rough machining


Define a 3D Milling operation using the Contour strategy to
perform the rough machining of the cavity.
Use a Ø20 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool
movements.

3. Perform rest material roughing


Define a 3D Milling operation to remove the rest material
left unmachined in the previous operation. Choose the
Contour strategy for the operation.

Use a Ø16 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define smaller Step down and Surface offset values than in
the previous operation.
Use the combination of the working area defined in the previous operation and cutting
the rest material.

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2. General 3D Milling

Exercise #4: Bottle-bottom mold cavity roughing

Define the CAM-Part and operations for the rough machining of


the bottle-bottom mold cavity presented on the illustration.
This exercise reinforces the following skills:
• CAM-Part definition;
• 3D Contour roughing;
• Working area definition;
• Rest material roughing.
The SolidWorks model of the cavity (Exercise4.sldprt) is located in the ../Exercises folder.
The following steps have to be implemented in order to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part


At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part, the CNC-controller, the Machine
Coordinate System, the Stock model and the Target model.
The Fanuc CNC-controller has to be chosen for this exercise.

2. Perform rough machining


Define a 3D Milling operation using the Contour strategy to
perform the rough machining of the cavity.
Use a Ø12 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool
movements.

3. Perform rest material roughing


Define a 3D Milling operation to remove the rest material
left unmachined by the previous operation. Choose the
Contour strategy for the operation.

Use a Ø8 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant


technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define smaller Step down and Surface offset values than in
the previous operation.
Use the combination of the working area defined in the previous operation and cutting
in rest material.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #5: Spoon die core roughing

Define the CAM-Part and operations for the rough machining of


the spoon die core presented on the illustration.
This exercise reinforces the following skills:
• CAM-Part definition;
• 3D Hatch roughing;
• Working area definition;
• Rest material roughing.

The SolidWorks model of the core (Exercise5.sldprt) is located in the ../Exercises folder.
The following steps have to be implemented in order to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part


At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part, the CNC-controller, the Machine
Coordinate System, the Stock model and the Target model.
The Fanuc CNC-controller has to be chosen for this exercise.

2. Perform rough machining


Define a 3D Milling operation using the Hatch strategy to
perform the rough machining of the core.
Use a Ø20 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool
movements.

3. Perform rest material roughing


Define a 3D Milling operation to remove the rest material
left unmachined by the previous operation. Choose the
Contour strategy for the operation.

Use a Ø16 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters and the Z-Entry strategy.
Define smaller Step down and Surface offset values than in
the previous operation.
Use the combination of the working area defined in the previous operation and cutting
in rest material.

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2. General 3D Milling

2.3 3D Semi-Finishing/Finishing

Semi-Finish machining prepares the model for


SolidCAM Finishing
finishing. After semi-finishing the model, a uniform
strategies
offset remains on the material. This offset is Linear
removed in the last finishing cut.
Offset cutting
Finish machining generates the tool path directly
on the surfaces and solids of your 3D Model Spiral
geometry. No offset can be specified and the model
is machined to its final topology and dimensions. Circular pocket
You can apply a number of machining strategies
to finish your models. Each of the strategies offers Pencil Milling
parameters to adjust the strategy to your needs.
The same machining strategies in Finish machining Constant Z
can be applied for Semi-finish. The only difference
is the definition in Semi-Finish of the Surface Constant Stepover
offset parameter that controls the X,Y and Z offset
that remains on the original surface. Otherwise, all
strategies are defined and used in the same way as
in finishing.

Linear strategy

In Linear cutting, the lines of a linear pattern with the specific


step over are generated on a 2D plane above the model. The
linear pattern is then projected on the 3D Model.

Offset Cutting finish strategy

Offset cutting is a form of 3D profile milling that can be used to mill specific areas of the model.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

• If you select one profile, you must specify Offset Geometry


the clear offset distance. On the right side of
Tool path
the profile, relative to the chain direction, the
machining is performed until the specified Clear
clear offset distance has been reached. In Offset
this example, one Offset profile on the upper
part of the model is machined normal to the
profile geometry.

• When you define two Offset profiles, both profile geometries are connected and the tool
path is projected on the 3D Model.
Offset
Geometry
Tool path

Spiral finish strategy

Different types of spiral tool path movements can be selected for this finishing strategy. The spiral
tool path pattern is first generated in 2D and then is projected on the 3D Model.

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2. General 3D Milling

Circular Pocket finish strategy

This strategy uses the selected Working area to create a 2D pocket line
pattern on a plane above the model. The line pattern is then projected
on the 3D Model.

Constant-Z Finish Strategy

This strategy is used to generate high quality finish on both steep and flat
areas. The machining of the steep areas is done by machining sections,
at Z-levels defined by either step down or scallop. The flat areas are
automatically recognized and machined with pocket strategy.

Constant Stepover strategy

The 3D Projection machining strategies (Linear, Spiral, Offset cutting,


Circular pocket) generate a 2D tool path mesh, with a constant Step
over in the plane parallel to the XY-plane of the current Coordinate
System. This 2D tool path mesh is then projected on the 3D Model to
get the 3D tool path. This method provides good results for prismatic
parts machining but has a disadvantage for the machining of curved
surfaces because it does not take into account the surface curvature
when it generates a tool path pattern.
The Constant Stepover strategy gives an excellent surface finish because
the step over is constant along all surfaces irrespective of whether they
are steep walls or shallow areas.

Pencil milling

uses an algorithm that finds all of the corners of a part


Pencil milling
and automatically drives the tool along these corners.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #6: Cover finishing

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Finishing for the


aerospace electronic box cover machining.
The Linear strategy is used in this exercise to perform the finish of
the upper faces of the model highlighted below.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the Exercise6.prt CAM-Part


located in the /Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D


roughing operations. Perform the
SolidVerify simulation of these
operations.

Rough Machining Rest material roughing

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last


operation in the list and choose Add Operation,
3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model


geometry (Target) from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add


a Ø12 ball-nosed mill.

Modify the following tool parameters:


• Set the Diameter to 12;
• Set the Corner radius to 6.

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 60;
• Set the Outside Holder length
to 50;
• Set the Cutting length to 45.

5. Define the Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the value to 0.01. Smaller


tolerance values result in better surface quality.

6. Choose the machining strategy


In the Finish section, choose the Linear strategy from the
list.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

7. Define the linear finish parameters

In the Finish section, click on the Data


button. The Linear Finish dialog box is
displayed. This dialog box enables you
to adjust the technological parameters of
the Linear strategy.

Technological parameters

• Step over

In linear finishing, SolidCAM Step over


generates a line pattern on a 2D plane
Linear pattern
above the model and then projects it
on the 3D Model. The Step over value
determines the constant distance
between all lines of the linear pattern Projected
created on the 2D plane before it is tool path

projected.

• Scallop

This parameter enables you to control the distance between the tool
path lines according to the cusp height you want to achieve on the
finished model. SolidCAM adjusts the distance between the single
lines of the 2D pattern (before projection on the model) to the
topology of the model to match the specified scallop height.

• Maximum step over

This parameter limits the Step over when the Scallop option is used.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Arc approximation

You can create G2/G3 G-Code output from Linear finish operations.
SolidCAM checks whether successive points of the calculated tool path
can be connected with an arc or circle. If an arc or circle connection
within the specified arc approximation tolerance can be made, you
receive arc and circle interpolation commands G2 and G3 in the
generated G-Code. This feature can drastically reduce the number
of lines in G-Code files. Most CNC-controllers and machines work
much faster on arcs and circles than on single tool path points or
splines. Arc approximation increases actual feed rates on older CNC-
machines and the machine works smoother.
The Tolerance value defines the tolerance SolidCAM uses to position
tool path points on arcs or circles.

In this exercise, set the Step over value to 0.2.

Direction type

This option controls the direction of the tool on each line of the
linear pattern that has been projected on the model. Different
materials and cutters require specific cutting conditions, e.g. some
tools give better surface finish when cutting only downward; in other
applications you need to use other settings to achieve optimal results.
• Zig-Zag

The tool finishes one line of the linear pattern,


then moves directly to the next line, and so on.
It mills forward and backward without leaving
the material, thus constantly switching between
climb milling and conventional milling.

Connection Radius: you can connect lines of the linear tool path with
a radius. If the Radius value is 0, SolidCAM connects the linear tool
path with straight lines.

Connection with radius Connection without radius

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

• One way

The tool finishes one line of the linear


pattern. At the end of the line, the
tool moves rapidly (G0) to the safety
distance and then to the start of the
next cut line. The tool always uses climb
or conventional milling.

• One way - Upward

The tool always cuts from the lowest


point of the tool path line to the highest
point. From the highest point of the
cut, the tool moves rapidly to the start
point of the next cut.

• One way - Downward

The tool always cuts from the highest


point of the tool path line to the lowest
point. From the lowest point of the cut,
the tool moves rapidly to the start point
of the next cut.

Define Direction angle by

• Angle

Enter the angle that defines the orientation of the tool path. The
value of 0 generates the tool path lines in the direction of the
positive X-axis.
• Line

When you choose the Line option, the Define button is activated
and you can define a line that determines the orientation of the
tool path. The direction vector is defined by picking two points that
define the start point and end point of the direction line. The angle
of the selected line is the output to the angle field.

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2. General 3D Milling

In this exercise, the machining is


performed in a number of tool paths
normal to the X-axis direction. In the
Define direction angle by section, set the
Angle value to 90.

Make sure that the default Zig-Zag option


is chosen for the Direction type.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK


button.

8. Define the Working area

The linear finishing in this exercise has to be applied to the


top faces of the model.

Work on Selected faces

SolidCAM enables you to define the area of the 3D Model machining


by selecting two sets of model faces:

Drive faces– the set of faces to be Check Faces


milled. The tool path is generated
only for machining of these faces.

Check faces – the set of faces to


be avoided during the generation of
Drive Faces
the tool path.

Other faces of the model is not considered during the tool path
calculation.
In the model shown above, SolidCAM generates the tool path only
for the shallow area. During the calculation, SolidCAM avoids the
gouging of the check faces. The remaining faces do not participate in
the tool path calculation.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

In the Working area section, click on the Define button. The


Working area dialog box is displayed.

In the Working area dialog box, select the


Work on selected faces check box.

In the Drive faces section, click on the Define


button to start the drive faces definition.

The Choose faces dialog box is displayed in


the Property Manager area.

The Choose faces dialog box enables you to perform faces selection.

Click on the CAD selection button to use the selection tool of SolidWorks.

Right-click on the top model face as shown


and choose the Select Tangency option from
the menu.

All the tangential top faces are selected. In the


Choose faces dialog box, click on the Resume
button to resume the selection.

Click on the button to confirm the


geometry selection. The Working area dialog
box is displayed again.

Click on the OK button to confirm the working area definition.

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2. General 3D Milling

9. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and linear finishing tool path is calculated.

10. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the exercise is completed.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #7: Bottle-bottom mold cavity finishing

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling


operation for semi-finishing and finishing of the bottle-bottom
mold cavity machining.
The Spiral finishing strategy is used in this exercise to semi-
finish/finish the forming faces of the cavity highlighted
below.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the CAM-Part pre-machined in Exercise #4 or Exercise7.prt located in the


/Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D roughing operations. Perform the SolidVerify


simulation of these operations.

Rough Machining Rest material roughing

2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

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2. General 3D Milling

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø10 ball-nosed mill.

Modify the following tool parameters:

• Set the Diameter to 10;

• Set the Corner radius to


5.

In the Length section:

• Set the Total length to 50;

• Set the Outside Holder


length to 45;

• Set the Cutting length to


35.

5. Define the Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01.

6. Define the semi-finish strategy

In the Semi-Finish section, choose the Spiral strategy


from the list.

Set the Offset value to 0.2. This allowance is removed


in the finishing operation.

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7. Define the spiral finish parameters

In the Semi-Finish section, click on the Data


button. The Spiral Semi-Finish dialog box
is displayed. This dialog box enables you to
adjust the technological parameters of the
Spiral finish strategy.

Path type & Profile type

By combining the options in the Path type and Profile type fields, you
can generate five types of tool path spirals.
• Linear

The tool path is performed in a radial linear


pattern defined by the Start angle and End
angle parameters in the Angle section. The
angular distance between tool path lines is
defined by the Delta angle parameter.

• Spiral

Profile type: Arcs

The machining is performed in a spiral tool path.


The spiral tool path is defined by the
following parameters:
• Start Angle;
• End Angle;
• Start Radius;
• End Radius;
• Delta Radius.

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2. General 3D Milling

Profile type: Lines

The machining is performed by a linear spiral


tool path.
The spiral is defined by the following
parameters:
• Start Radius;
• End Radius;
• Delta Radius.

• Circular

Profile type: Arcs

The machining is performed in a number


of concentric arcs/circles defined with the
following parameters:
• Start Angle;
• End Angle;
• Start Radius;
• End Radius;
• Delta Radius.

Profile type: Lines

The machining is performed in a number of


concentric squares defined with the following
parameters:
• Start Radius;
• End Radius;
• Delta Radius.

In the Path type section, choose the Spiral option to perform the spiral tool path. Make
sure that the Arcs option is chosen in the Profile type section.

In the Radius section, set the Delta value to 0.3. This parameter defines the distance
between the turns of the spiral.

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8. Define the spiral center

At this stage, you have to define the center point of the spiral. In this exercise, the
center point is defined as a sketched point located on the center of the top face of the
cavity. To create this point, do the following:

Select the top face of the mold cavity as shown.

Click on the Sketch button to create a new


sketch on the selected face.

Sketch a new point and apply the Concentric


geometric relation between the sketched point
and the circular edge of the cavity.

The sketched point is located in the center of the cavity at the top plane. Confirm the
relation definition with the button.

Close the sketch.

In the Spiral Semi-Finish dialog box, click on


the Pick center of spiral path button.

The Pick Center point of tool path dialog box


is displayed.

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2. General 3D Milling

Click on the sketched point as shown. The


coordinates are displayed in the Pick Center point
of tool path dialog box.

Confirm the center point selection with the button. Confirm the Spiral Semi-
Finish dialog box with the OK button.

9. Define the working area

At this stage, you have to define a working area to limit the tool path.

In the Working Area section, click on the Define button. The Working area dialog box
is defined.

In the Working area dialog box, select the Working area


check box and choose the already defined working area
geometry from the list. This geometry was previously used
to limit the roughing tool path.

Click on the Show button to check the working area


geometry.

In the Show geometry dialog box, click on


the button. The Working area dialog box
is displayed.

In the Tool on Working area section, choose


the Middle option.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with


the OK button.

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10. Define the Z-Entry strategy

In the Semi-Finish section, click on the Z-Entry button to


define the way the tool plunges into the material. The Z-
Entry dialog box is displayed.

Choose the Arc option from the list and set the Arc radius
value to 5. The tool plunges in a spiral movement with the
specified radius.
Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

11. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the spiral tool path is calculated.

12. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the semi-finish machining of the mold cavity is completed.

13. Add a 3D Milling operation

Add a new 3D Milling operation to perform


the finishing of the mold cavity. The finishing
is also performed with the Spiral strategy.

In the Operation name section, choose the previous operation (3DS_SP_target_T3)


from the list to use it as a template for the current operation.
All the data of the template operation are copied to the current operation.

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2. General 3D Milling

Operation name

Once you select a geometry and a tool, SolidCAM automatically


enters a default name (e.g. 3DM_Model_T2) based on the operation
type, geometry name and tool number.

TR_Profile_T1

Operation type Geometry


Tool
abbreviation name

You can then change the Operation name, if necessary.

SolidCAM uses the following Operation type abbreviations for the


3D Milling Operations:
3DR 3D Roughing
3DS_Lin Linear 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DS_Offs Offset cutting 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DS_Sp Spiral 3D Semi-Finish strategy;
3DS_Cir Circular Pocket 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DS_CZ Constant-Z 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DS_Pen Pencil Milling 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DS_CS Constant Stepover 3D Semi-Finish strategy
3DF_Lin Linear 3D Finish strategy
3DF_Offs Offset cutting 3D Finish strategy
3DF_Sp Spiral 3D Finish strategy
3DF_Cir Circular Pocket 3D Finish strategy
3DF_CZ Constant-Z 3D Finish strategy
3DF_Pen Pencil Milling 3D Finish strategy
3DF_CS Constant Stepover 3D Finish strategy
3DD 3D Drill Operation
3DE 3D Engraving Operation

When you add a new operation, you can use an existing operation as
a template for the new operation. All fields of the template operation
are copied and you only need to edit some changing parameters, e.g.
select another geometry or surface offset.

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14. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add Ø6 ball-nosed mill.

Modify the following tool parameters:

• Set the Diameter to 6;


• Set the Corner radius to 3.

In the Length section:

• Set the Total length to 50;


• Set the Outside Holder
length to 45;
• Set the Cutting length to
40.

15. Choose the finishing strategy

In the Semi-Finish section, choose the None option from the list.

In the Finish section, choose the Spiral option from the list.

Click on the Data button to define the


Spiral finishing parameters. The Spiral
Finish dialog box is displayed.

Choose the Linear option in the Path


type section. The tool path is performed
in a radial linear pattern.

Define the angular distance between tool


path lines. Set the Delta value in the Angle
section to 0.2.

In the same manner as explained earlier,


define the spiral center using the same
sketched point used in the previous
operation.

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2. General 3D Milling

Tool path connections

• Direction type

Zig-Zag. The tool finishes one line of the


spiral pattern and then moves directly to
the next tool path line, and so on. It mills
forward and backward without leaving the
material, thus constantly switching between
climb milling and conventional milling.

One way. The tool finishes one line of the


linear pattern. At the end of the line, the tool
rapids (G0) to the safety distance and then to
the start of the next cut line. The tool always
uses climb or conventional milling.

• Connection type

This option enables you to control the way the tool moves between
two adjacent tool paths.

Stairs. The tool moves in two steps between


two adjacent tool paths. If the next path is
lower than the present path, the tool first moves
away from the surface in the XY direction and
then moves downwards in Z. In case the next
path is higher than the present path, the tool
first moves upwards in Z and it approaches the
surface in the XY direction.

Smooth. Between two adjacent tool paths, the


tool moves on the surface of the model. The
line connecting the two adjacent tool paths
is projected on the model. When you use the
Smooth option, the tool does not leave the
material when moving to the start point of the
next tool path.

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Make sure that the Zig-Zag option is chosen in the Direction type section. With this
option, bi-directional zig-zag movements are performed without air movements.

16. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the spiral finishing tool path is calculated.

17. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the machining of the mold cavity is finished.

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2. General 3D Milling

Exercise #8: Electrode finishing

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Finishing for the electrode machining.

Mold cavity Electrode

The Circular pocket strategy is used in this exercise to finish the forming
surfaces highlighted on the illustration.

The Offset cutting strategy is used in this exercise to finish the parting
surfaces highlighted on the illustration.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the pre-machined CAM-Part Exercise8.prt located in the /Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D roughing operations. Perform the SolidVerify


simulation of these operations.

Rough Machining Rest material roughing

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2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø10 ball-nosed mill.

Modify the following tool parameters:


• Set the Diameter to 10;
• Set the Corner radius to 5.

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 50;
• Set the Outside Holder length to 45;
• Set the Cutting length to 35.

5. Define Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01.

6. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Circular pocket strategy


from the list.

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This strategy uses the selected working area to create a 2D pocket line pattern
on a plane above the model. The line pattern is then projected on the 3D
Model. During this projection, the Z-position of the tool is calculated to
avoid gouging of the material.

Working area

7. Define the Circular pocket parameters

In the Finish section, click on the Data


button. The Circular Pocket Finish dialog
box is displayed. This dialog box enables
you to adjust the technological parameters
of the Circular pocket finish strategy.

Circular Pocket parameters

Cutting direction

The pocket is machined in either Conventional or Climb direction.

Start from

The machining can be started from Outside or Inside the pocket.

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Connection type

This option enables you to control the way the tool moves between
two adjacent tool paths.

Stairs. When the Stairs option is activated, the


tool moves in two steps between two adjacent
tool paths. If the next path is lower than the
present path, the tool first moves away from
the surface in the XY direction and then
moves downwards in Z. In case the next path
is higher than the present path, the tool first
moves upwards in Z and then approaches the
surface in the XY direction.

Smooth. Between two adjacent tool paths, the


tool moves on the surface of the model. The
line connecting the two adjacent tool paths
is projected on the model. When you use the
Smooth option, the tool does not leave the
material when moving to the start point of the
next tool path.

Step over

In pocket finishing, SolidCAM generates the pocket line pattern on


a 2D plane above the model and then projects it on the 3D Model.
The Step over value determines the constant distance between the
lines of the pocket created on the 2D plane before it is projected on
the model.

In the Start from section, choose the Outside option to start the machining from
outside.

In the Connection type section, choose the Smooth option.

Set the Step over value to 0.2.

Click on the OK button to confirm the Circular pocket parameters.

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8. Define the working area

The working area definition is necessary for the circular pocket machining. The shape
of the working area directly effects the tool path.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button to start the definition.

In the Working area dialog box, select the Working area check
box and click on the Define button to define the geometry.

Select the working area geometry at the boundary of the


forming faces as shown.

Confirm the selection.

In the Working area dialog box, choose the Middle option in the Tool on working area
section.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

9. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the circular pocket finishing tool path is
calculated.

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10. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

11. Add a 3D Milling operation

Add a new 3D Milling operation to perform the machining of the parting surface.

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

12. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø8 ball-nosed mill.

Modify the following tool parameters:

• Set the Diameter to 8;

• Set the Corner radius to 4.

In the Length section:

• Set the Total length to 50;

• Set the Outside Holder


length to 45;

• Set the Cutting length to


40.

13. Define the Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01.

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14. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Offset cutting strategy from


the list.

Offset cutting is a form of 3D profile milling that can be used to


mill specific areas of the model. This strategy offers two possible
alternatives of profile selection:

• If you select one profile, you have to specify the Clear offset distance.
The machining will be performed at the defined side of the profile
until the specified Clear offset distance has been reached.
Offset Geometry

Tool path

Clear
Offset

• When you define two profiles, both profile geometries are


connected and the tool path is projected on the 3D Model.
Offset
Geometry
Tool path

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In the Finish section, click on the Data button.


The Offset Finish dialog box is displayed. This
dialog box enables you to define the technological
parameters of the offset cutting.

15. Define the Offset geometry

In the Offset geometry name section, click on


the Define button to define the offset cutting
geometry. In this exercise, two closed contours
are defined and the offset cutting is performed
between them.
The Geometry Edit dialog box is displayed.

Select the external edges of the parting


surface as shown to define the first
geometry chain.

When the first chain is completely selected,


start the definition of the second chain.

Start the selection from the opposite edge


of the same face that was used for the
definition of the start edge of the first
chain. Make sure that the directions of
both of chains are the same.

Complete the chain and confirm the


selected geometry with the button.

The Offset Cutting Finish dialog box is


displayed.

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2. General 3D Milling

16. Define offset cutting parameters

Cutting area

• Clear offset

This value determines the offset distance from the profile that will be
machined. This field is available if you use an offset geometry that
consists of only one profile. In this exercise the geometry has two
profiles, therefore this field is unavailable.
• Step over

In offset cutting, SolidCAM generates the offset pattern on the XY


plane above the model and then projects it on the 3D Model. The
Step over value determines the constant distance between all lines of
the offset pattern created on the plane before it is projected.
• Tool side

This option enables you to define the side of the geometry relative to
the geometry direction, where the Clear offset is applied.

Geometry direction Left side machining Right side machining

This option is not relevant in this exercise, where the geometry is


defined by two chains.

Set the Step over value to 0.2.

Cutting direction

• Cross Finish

Select this check box if you want


to perform a Cross finish on the
offset area. After finishing the
machining in the first specified
direction, i.e. parallel or normal
to the profile geometry, the other
cutting direction is also applied.

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• First cutting direction

If you have selected the Cross finish check box, both cutting directions
are applied to the offset area. Select which one you want to start with.
When no cross finish is used, only the selected option is performed.
Parallel to geometry. SolidCAM generates a pattern with offset lines
parallel to the offset profile geometry. This pattern is then projected
on the model.
Normal to geometry. SolidCAM generates a pattern with offset lines
normal (90 degrees) to the offset profile geometry. This pattern is
then projected on the model.

Tool path connections

• Direction type

Zig-Zag. The tool finishes one line of the offset pattern and then
moves directly to the next line and so on. It mills forward and backward
without leaving the material, thus constantly switching between climb
milling and conventional milling.
One way. The tool finishes one line of the offset pattern. At the end
of the line, the tool moves rapidly (G0) to the safety distance and
then to the start of the next cut line. The tool always uses climb or
conventional milling.
• Connection type

This option enables you to control the way the tool moves between
two adjacent tool paths.
Stairs.The tool moves in two steps between two
adjacent tool paths. If the next path is lower than
the present path, the tool first moves away from the
surface in the XY direction and then downwards in
Z. In case the next path is higher than the present
path, the tool first moves upwards in Z and then
approach the surface in the XY direction.
Smooth. Between two adjacent tool paths, the
tool moves on the surface of the model. The line
connecting the two adjacent tool paths is projected
on the model. When you use the Smooth option,
the tool does not leave the material when moving
to the start point of the next tool path.

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2. General 3D Milling

Make sure that Parallel to geometry option is chosen in the First cutting direction
section. The machining is performed parallel to the geometry.

Choose the Zig-Zag option in the Direction type section. The machining is performed
in both directions without leaving the material.

Choose the Smooth option in the Connection type section to perform the smooth
connection between adjacent tool path lines.

Confirm the Offset Cutting Finish dialog box with the OK button. The 3D Milling
operation dialog box is displayed.

17. Define the Z-Entry strategy

In the Finish section, click on the Z-Entry button to define


the way the tool plunges into the material. The Z-Entry
dialog box is displayed.

Choose the Angle along path option and set the Angle
value to 10.

With the Angle along path option, the tool plunges in a ramp movement
defined by the specified angle. The ramp starts from the given safety distance
down to the model contour. If the ramp cannot be created in a straight line,
the Z-entry movement follows the tool path contour.

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18. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the offset cutting finish tool path is
calculated.

19. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the machining of the electrode is finished.

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2. General 3D Milling

Exercise #9: Mold cavity finishing

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling


operation to perform the finish machining of the bottle-
bottom mold cavity roughed in Exercise #2.
A combination of two finishing strategies is used in this
exercise to perform the finish machining of the forming faces
of the cavity highlighted on the illustration.
All the steep areas of the cavity are machined using the
Constant-Z strategy. The shallow areas are machined using the
Constant Stepover strategy.

In the current exercise, only one instance of the forming faces is machined.
The other two instances can be machined either by defining a different
working area or by defining a circular pattern of operations.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the CAM-Part pre-machined in Exercise #2 or Exercise9.prt located in the


/Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D roughing operations. Perform the SolidVerify


simulation of these operations.

Rough Machining Rest material roughing

2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

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3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add Ø8 ball-nosed mill.


Modify the following tool
parameters:
• Set the Diameter to 8;
• Set the Corner radius to 4.

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 60;
• Set the Outside Holder
length to 55;
• Set the Cutting length to
50.

5. Define the Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the value to 0.01 to provide the necessary accuracy
for the model faces triangulation. Smaller tolerance values result in better surface
quality.

6. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant-Z strategy from the list.

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2. General 3D Milling

With this strategy, SolidCAM generates a


number of planar sections of the model.
Section planes are parallel to the XY plane
of the current coordinate system. For each
section profile machining is performed.
This strategy produces high quality finish
especially on steep surfaces and minimizes
full 3-axis movements that slow down CNC-
machines and controllers.

7. Define the Constant Z finish parameters

In the Finish section, click on the Data button. The


Constant-Z Finish dialog box is displayed. This
dialog box enables you to define the technological
parameters of the Constant-Z finish strategy.

Select the Constant-Z Wall machining section


check box. This section enables you to define the
technological parameters for the machining of
steep areas.

Step down

SolidCAM enables you to choose one of two options for Constant-Z


wall machining:

• Constant step down

Starting from the Upper level, the specified step down is used to
calculate each successive Z-level. The value of 20 for the Upper level
and the constant step down of 1.5 produce a tool path on the model
contour at Z 20, Z18.5, Z17, Z 15.5, etc. until the Lower level is
reached.

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• Variable step down

SolidCAM automatically calculates the necessary step down to


produce the specified scallop (cusp height) on the model surface.
On steep areas, the step down is naturally larger than on more level
areas.
The Scallop value defines the
cusp height of the resulting
surface finish. The smaller the
value, the smoother is the surface
finish. Scallop

The Maximum step down


parameter defines the maximum
value of the step down, when
the Scallop option is used.
Minimum step down. On nearly level areas, the necessary step down to
achieve the specified scallop can be very small. You can set a minimum
step down value that overrides the smaller step down generated by
the scallop calculation.

In this exercise, the constant step down is used. Choose


the Constant Step down option and set the Step down
value to 0.2.

During the tool path calculation, several model sections parallel to the XY-plane are
generated. These sections are machined with the profile milling technology.

You can control the way the tool leads in and leads out from these profiles.

Lead in Lead in / Lead out

You can control the way the tool leads in and leads out from the
profile. Select an option from the list field and enter the Distance
value for this option.

The following Lead in/Lead out strategies are available:


• None

The tool approaches to or retreats from the milling level exactly


adjacent to the start point of the material.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Arc

The tool approaches to or retreats from the


material with a tangential arc.

Lead in
value
• Normal

The tool approaches to or retreats from the


material from a point normal to the profile.

Lead in
value

• Tangent

The tool approaches or retreats on a line


tangent to the profile. The length of the
tangent can be set in the Value field.
Normal
If you define the Normal value, the tool starts Lead in
with the movement normal to the profile value
and then approaches tangentially.

Choose the Arc option for Lead in and Lead


out and set the radius Value to 2. The lead
in/out movements are performed with arcs.

Connection type

This option enables you to control the way the tool moves between
two adjacent tool paths.
• Stairs

The tool moves in two steps between two


successive tool paths. If the next path is
lower than the present path, the tool first
moves away from the surface in the XY
direction and then moves downwards in
Z. In case the next path is higher than the
present path, the tool first moves upwards
in Z and then approaches the surface in the
XY direction.

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• Tangential

Between two successive tool paths, the


tool first moves away from the contour in
a tangent movement. Then it continues
in a 3D arc/spiral movement to the next
Z-level and approaches the next contour
with a tangent movement.

The Approach radius value defines the radius of the 3D arc that is used
to create the tangential move between two successive Z-levels. The
value defines the maximum radius used as SolidCAM automatically
reduces the radius if the model topology does not leave enough space
to approach with the specified radius. This may happen in narrow
cavities of the model when a large tool is being used.

When the Tangential connection type is chosen, the Lead


in/Lead out options are unavailable.

Cutting direction (Cut from)

• Top to bottom

The machining starts from the Upper level and continues downwards
in the Z direction until the Lower level is reached.
• Bottom to top

The machining starts from the Lower level and machines upwards to
the Upper level.

Milling type

• Climb milling

Climb milling is performed.


• Conventional

Conventional milling is performed.

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2. General 3D Milling

Open contour strategy

This field controls the milling direction on contours that cannot be


closed because the model or a specified working area does not enable
SolidCAM to continue the tool path to a closed loop.
• One way

After finishing the tool path at the specific Z-level, the tool retreats to
the Clearance level and moves to the start point of the next Z-level,
always keeping the cutting direction specified in the Milling type.
• Zig-Zag

This option enables the tool to change the cutting direction when it
encounters open contours. The milling direction on open contours
is switching between climb and conventional milling until the open
contour is finished. With the Zig-Zag option, rapid moves from Z-
Level to Z-level are greatly reduced.

Make sure that the Top to bottom option is chosen


in the Cut from section. The machining in this
exercise is performed from the Upper Level
downward to the Lower Level.
Make sure that Climb milling is chosen in the
Milling Type section.

Make sure that the One way option is chosen in


the Open Contour strategy section. The machining
is performed in one direction keeping the climb
milling type.
Confirm the Constant-Z parameters with the OK
button.

8. Define the Working area

At this stage, you have to define the working area to limit the tool path.

In this exercise, the tool path is limited by the combination of two working areas:

• Working area defined by a geometry. This working area is used to limit the
tool path to one instance of the cavity’s forming faces.

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• Working area defined by surface inclination angle range. This method


enables you to apply various machining strategies to model areas with
different inclination. In this exercise, the chosen Constant-Z strategy is used
to machine steep areas. The shallow areas are machined later with a different
strategy.

In the Working Area section, click on the Define button. The Working area dialog box
is displayed.
In the Working area dialog box, select the Working area check box and click on the
Define button to start the geometry definition.

Using the Geometry Edit dialog box, define the


geometry as shown.
Confirm the defined geometry.
Choose the Middle option in the Tool on
working area section.

In the Working area dialog box, select the


Angle Limits check box to define the surface
inclination angle range.

How is the angle limit calculated in SolidCAM?

At each point where the tool contacts with the machining surface,
SolidCAM determines the normal vector at the contact point, directed
to the tool sphere center (for ball-nosed tools); for end mills with
rounded corners, the vector is directed from the contact point to the
radius center.

The angle of this vector, relative to the Z-axis, is used for the angle
limits calculation.

The Angle Limit section in the


Working area dialog box enables
you to define the angle range.

• Minimum angle. This value


defines the lower limit of Angle Normal vector
the angle range. Contact point

• Maximum angle. This value


defines the upper limit of
the angle range.

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A particular feature of the Angle Limits method


is related to machining of the model edges: it is
impossible to determine a single contact point
between the edge and the tool surface. The tool
“rolls” over the edge, continuously keeping in
contact until the angle of the normal vector at the
contact point is in the defined range.

The resulting tool path will be rounded. Such tool


path rounding causes the breaking of the sharp
corners. The machining time is also increased.

The Trim rounding option enables you to avoid unnecessary tool path
rounding.

When this option is activated, SolidCAM trims the tool path at the
point where the tool axis is coincident to the surface boundary.

Rounded tool path Rounding trimmed

Set the Minimum angle value to 30 and the Maximum angle


value to 90. All the steep areas with the inclination angle
from 30° up to 90° are machined.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with the OK button

9. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the Constant-Z finish tool path is
calculated.

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10. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the


HostCAD mode.

11. Add a 3D Milling Operation

Add a new 3D Milling operation to perform


the finish machining of the shallow areas.

Use the previously defined Constant-Z


finishing operation as the template to copy all
the data from it.

The current operation uses the same geometry and tool.

12. Define the finishing strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant Stepover finishing


strategy from the list.

Constant Stepover finish strategy

The 3D Projection machining strategies (Linear, Spiral, Offset cutting,


Circular pocket) generate a 2D tool path mesh, with a constant Step
over in the plane parallel to the XY-plane of the current Coordinate
System. This 2D tool path mesh is then projected on the 3D Model to
get the 3D tool path. This method provides good results for prismatic
parts machining but has a disadvantage for the machining of curved
surfaces because it does not take into account the surface curvature,
when it generates a tool path pattern.

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The Constant Stepover strategy gives an excellent surface finish


because the step over is constant along all surfaces irrespective of
whether they are steep walls or shallow areas.

Tool path with Constant Tool path with Constant Stepover


Stepover in the XY-plane along the surface generated with
the Constant Stepover strategy

13. Define Constant Stepover parameters

In the Finish section of the 3D Milling operation dialog box, click on the Data button.
The Constant Stepover Finish dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables you to
define the technological parameters of the Constant Stepover strategy.

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Operation type

SolidCAM provides five types of the Constant Stepover strategy:

• Profile with Offset

The tool mills from the geometry Step Over


you have chosen to the Clear Geometry
offset distance. SolidCAM
Clear Offset
enables you to specify the Step
over distance. Both Step over
and Clear offset are measured
along the surface.

Tool path

• Pocket

The tool mills within the boundaries of the geometry until the entire
pocket is machined. The geometry used with this option must consist
of a number of closed chains, same as a geometry for a regular Pocket
operation.

SolidCAM defines a number of Pocket geometry


Tool path
offsets to the geometry with the
specified Step over, measured
along the surface. If there is an
island, the tool mills evenly from
the outside chain toward the
island and from the island toward
the outside chain. The two paths
join in the middle between the
two chains. The shape of the
tool path is determined by both
the outside geometry and the
island geometry.

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• Profile with limit

This option enables you to Chain #1


create the tool path between two
chains that can be open. The
tool mills from the first chain
Step Over
toward the second chain copying
the shape of the first chain along Tool Path
the surface being machined with
the specified Step over. The
Step over is measured along the Chain #2
surface.

• Ruled Surface

This option enables you to create the Tool path Second


tool path between two chains that can chain
be open. The tool mills from the first
geometry towards the second geometry
while morphing from the shape of the
first geometry to the shape of the second
geometry, with the specified Step over.

First chain
• Pocket - auto boundaries

With this option, the tool mills within the boundaries of the geometry
in the same manner as in the Pocket operation type. The working area
geometry is automatically used as a pocket geometry for this option.

Choose the Pocket - auto boundary option from the Operation type list and set the
Step over value to 0.2 to provide smooth surface finish.

In the Direction section, choose the Climb option to perform the climb milling.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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14. Define the Working area

In the Working area section of the 3D


Milling Operation dialog box, click on the
Define button to start the working area
definition. The Working area dialog box
is displayed. This dialog box contains the
data received from the previous operation
used as a template.

The Working area is defined as a


combination of two working areas: the
Working area defined by geometry and
the Working area defined by surface
inclination angle range.

Change the surface inclination angle


range to perform the machining of
shallow areas.

Set the Minimum angle value to 0 and the Maximum angle


value to 32. Note that the Maximum angle value is greater
than the Minimum angle value of the previous operation,
resulting in 2° overlap. This overlap between tool paths is
used to avoid the occurrence of unmachined areas.

The working area defined by geometry is the same. It enables you to perform the
machining for one instance of the forming faces. In the Tool on working area section,
choose the Internal option to limit the tool path inside the working area.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with the OK button.

15. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the Constant Stepover finish tool path is
calculated.

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16. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD mode.

Simulate both of the finish operations in the HostCAD mode.

Simulate both of the finish operations in the SolidVerify mode.

Note that the overlapping of the surface inclination angle ranges used for the
Constant-Z and Constant Stepover strategies enables you to perform a smooth
transition between the tool paths generated by the two operations.

At this stage, the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #10: Mold core finishing

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling operation


for the finish machining of the mold core roughed in Exercise
#1.

A combination of two finishing strategies is used in this exercise


to perform the finish machining of the forming faces of the core
highlighted on the illustration.

All the steep areas of the core are machined using the Constant-Z
strategy; all the shallow areas are machined using the Constant Stepover
strategy.

The Linear finish strategy is used in this exercise to perform the


machining of the parting surfaces.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the CAM-Part pre-machined in Exercise #1 or Exercise10.prt located in the


/Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D roughing operations.

2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

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4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add Ø10 ball-nosed mill.
Modify the following tool parameters:
• Set the Diameter to 10;
• Set the Corner radius to 5.
In the Length section:
• Set the Total length to 95;
• Set the Outside Holder length to 85;
• Set the Cutting length to 40.

5. Define Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01.

6. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant-Z strategy from the list. This strategy is used
for the machining of steep areas.
Click on the Data button. The Constant-
Z Finish dialog box is displayed. This dialog
box enables you to define the technological
parameters of the Constant-Z finish strategy.
Select the Constant-Z Wall machining check
box.
This section enables you to define the
technological parameters for the machining of
the steep areas.
Define the Step down for the Constant-Z
finishing. In this exercise, use the Variable
Step down option. SolidCAM automatically
calculates the necessary steps down to produce
the specified scallop (cusp height) on the
model surface.
Set the Scallop value to 0.03. Set the Maximum
Step down value to 0.2.

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Define the way the tool leads in and leads out


from the Constant-Z profiles.
In the Lead in and Lead out sections, choose
the Arc option from the list and set the radius
Value to 2. The Lead in/Lead out movements
are performed with an arc.
In the Open contour strategy section, choose
the Zig-Zag option. This option enables the
tool to change the cutting direction when
it encounters open contours in the model.
The milling direction on open contours is
switching between climb and conventional
until the open contour is finished. With the
Zig-Zag option, rapid moves from one Z-
Level to the next Z-level are greatly reduced.
Confirm the Constant-Z parameters with the
OK button.

7. Define the Working area

The Constant-Z finishing in this exercise is limited by a combination of two working


areas defined by the following methods:
• Working area defined with drive/check faces. This option enables you to
perform the machining only on the forming faces of the core.
• Working area defined via angle limits. This option
enables you to define the working area by surface
inclination angle range. In this exercise, the steep areas
are machined with the Constant-Z strategy.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button. The


Working area dialog box is displayed.

In the Working area dialog box, select the Work on selected


faces check box.

In the Drive faces section, click on the Define button to start


the drive faces definition.

The Choose faces dialog box is displayed in the Property


Manager area. The Choose faces dialog box enables you to
perform faces selection.

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Click on the CAD selection button to use


the selection tools of SolidWorks.

Right-click on the top model face as


shown and choose the Select Tangency
option from the menu.

All the tangential top faces are selected. In


the Choose faces dialog box, click on the
Resume button to resume the selection.

Click on the button to confirm the geometry selection. The Working area dialog
box is displayed again.

In the Check faces section, click on the Define button to define the faces to be avoided
during the tool path generation. The Choose faces dialog box is displayed in the
Property Manager area.

In the same manner as explained earlier, select the parting faces as shown.

Click on the button to confirm the geometry selection. The Working area dialog
box is displayed again.

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SolidCAM enables you to specify the offset for the check faces when
the machining is performed on the selected faces.
Offset

Check face Check face

Drive face Drive face

Offset for check faces is not defined Offset for check faces is defined

Using this offset, you can perform the machining at a safety distance
from the check surfaces.

Set the Offset value to 0.1.


Now you have to define the surface inclination angle range to perform the Constant-Z
finishing in the steep areas only.
Select the Angle limits check box and define the angle
range.
Set the Minimum angle value to 30.
Set the Maximum angle value to 90.
Click on the OK button to confirm the working area
definition.

8. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the Constant-Z finishing tool path is
calculated.

9. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the


HostCAD mode.

Now you have to perform the machining of the


shallow areas.

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2. General 3D Milling

10. Add a 3D Milling Operation

Add a new 3D Milling operation to perform the finish machining of the shallow
areas.

Use the previously defined Constant-Z finishing operation as the template to copy all
the data from it.

The current operation uses the same geometry and tool.

11. Define the finishing strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant


Stepover finishing strategy from the list.

Click on the Data button to define the


Constant Stepover parameters. The Constant
Stepover Finish dialog box is displayed.

This dialog box enables you to define the


technological parameters of the Constant
Stepover strategy.

Choose the Pocket - auto boundaries option


from the Operation type list and set the Step
over value to 0.1 to provide smooth surface
finish.

With the Pocket - auto boundaries option, the tool mills within the working area
geometry until it has machined the entire pocket. SolidCAM generates a number of
offset tool paths to the geometry with the specified Step over measured along the
surface.

In the Direction section, choose the Climb option to


perform the climb milling.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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12. Define the Working area

In the Working area section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, click on the Define
button to define the working area. The Working area dialog box is displayed. This
dialog box contains the data received from the previous operation used as a template.

The Working area is defined as a combination


of the working area defined by drive/check
faces and working area defined by surface
inclination angle range.

Change the surface inclination angle range to


perform the machining of shallow areas.

Set the Minimum angle value to 0 and


Maximum angle value to 32. Note that
the Maximum angle value is greater then
the Minimum angle value of the previous
operation, resulting in 2° overlap. This
overlap between tool paths is used to avoid
the occurrence of unmachined areas.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with


the OK button.

13. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the Constant Stepover finish tool path is
calculated.

14. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the


HostCAD mode.

Now you have to perform the machining of the


parting surfaces.

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2. General 3D Milling

15. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

Use the previously defined Constant Stepover finishing operation as the template to
copy all the data from it. The current operation uses the same geometry and tool.

16. Choose the machining strategy

In the Finish section choose the Linear strategy from the list.

Click on the Data button. The Linear


Finish dialog box is displayed. This dialog
box enables you to adjust the technological
parameters of the linear strategy.

In this exercise, the step over is defined by


the cusp height you want to achieve on the
finished model (scallop). SolidCAM adjusts
the distance between the single lines of
the 2D pattern (before projection on the
model) to the topology of the model to
match the specified scallop height.

Set the Scallop value to 0.01. Set the


Maximum Step over value to 1.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

17. Define the working area

The linear finishing in this exercise has to be applied to the parting surfaces of the
mold core.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button. The Working area dialog box
is displayed.

In the Working area dialog box, select the Work on selected faces check box.

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In the Drive faces section, choose the set of


parting surfaces from the list (selected_faces1).

In the Check faces section, choose the set of


forming surfaces from the list (selected_faces).

Make sure that the Offset value is set to 0.1. This


parameter enables you to avoid the touching of
the already machined forming faces.

Click to clear Angle limits check box.

Click on the OK button to confirm the working


area definition.

18. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the linear finishing tool path is
calculated.

19. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD mode.

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2. General 3D Milling

Perform the simulation of all the finishing operations in the HostCAD and SolidVerify
modes.

At this stage, the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #11: Electrode pencil milling

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling


operation for the finish machining of the electrode pre-
machined in Exercise #8.

In this exercise, the Pencil milling strategy is used for the


machining of the intersection area between the faces highlighted
on the illustration.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the CAM-Part pre-machined in Exercise #8 or Exercise11.prt located in the


/Exercises folder).

This CAM-Part contains four 3D roughing operations.

2. Add a new 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

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2. General 3D Milling

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation.


Add a Ø2 ball-nosed mill.
Modify the following tool
parameters:
• Set the Diameter to 2;
• Set the Corner radius to
1.

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 36;
• Set the Outside Holder
length to 30;
• Set the Cutting length to 25.

5. Define Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01 to provide the necessary
accuracy for the model faces triangulation. Smaller tolerance values result in better
surface quality.

6. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Pencil Milling strategy from the list. This strategy is
used for machining of the corners.

During the finish machining,


some of the model corners are
left unmachined because they are
unreachable for the tool with the
specified diameter. A special milling
strategy has to be applied to remove
the material from these corners.
Pencil milling uses an algorithm that
finds all of the corners of a part and
automatically drives the tool along
these corners.

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Click on the Data button. The Pencil Milling dialog box


is displayed. This dialog box enables you to adjust the
technological parameters of the Pencil Milling strategy.

Pencil Milling parameters

Bitangential angle

The Bitangential angle is a


complement to the 180° of Corner Bitangential
the corner angle. SolidCAM angle angle
machines all corners with the
Corner angle smaller than
(180° - Bitangential angle).

Direction mode

• Standard

The tool mills the center line of Pencil milling from its start to its end
in one movement.

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2. General 3D Milling

• Upward

The tool always mills from the lowest point of the center line of
Pencil milling to the highest point. As a result, the center line of pencil
milling is divided into several segments with the tool moving rapidly
from the end of one segment to the start of the next segment.

Segment #1 Segment #2

• Downward

The tool always mills from the highest point of the center line of
Pencil milling to the lowest point. As a result, the center line of pencil
milling is divided into several segments with the tool moving rapidly
from the end of one segment to the start of the next segment.

Segment #1 Segment #2

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Offset

SolidCAM machines at an offset


from the center line of Pencil Tool path
milling. The following data has to be Center line
defined:
• Step over. Defines the step over
in both sides from the center line
of Pencil milling.
• Number of passes. Defines the
number of offset passes.
Start from:

• Inside. SolidCAM machines the center line of Pencil milling and


then the offset passes at each side.

Center line 3
2
1
4
5

• Outside. SolidCAM machines the offset passes from each side at


the center line and then the center line of Pencil milling.

Center line 1
2
5
4
3

Set the Step over value to 0.1.

Set the Number of passes to 10.

In the Start from section, choose the Outside option.

SolidCAM machines five offset passes from each side of


the center line (with the Step over equal to 0.1) and then
the center line of Pencil milling.

Confirm the Pencil milling data with the OK button.

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2. General 3D Milling

7. Define the Working area

At this stage, you have to define a working area to limit the area where the Pencil
milling is performed.

In the Working Area section, click on the Define button. The Working area dialog box
is displayed.

In the Working area dialog box, select


the Working area check box and click on
the Define button to start the geometry
definition.

Using the Geometry Edit dialog box,


define the geometry as shown.

Confirm the defined geometry.

Confirm the Working area dialog box


with the OK button.

8. Save and calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the pencil milling tool path is calculated.

9. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #12: Toy mold cavity finishing

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the finish


machining of the toy mold cavity presented on the illustration.
The cavity part was rough machined in Exercise #3.
This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Constant-Z finishing;
• Constant Stepover finishing;
• Working area definition by a geometry;
• Working area definition by surface inclination angle
range.
Use the resulting CAM-Part of Exercise #3 or the Exercise12.prt CAM-Part located in the ../
Exercises folder.
The following operations are applied to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Constant-Z finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
steep areas of the cavity.

Use a Ø10 ball-nosed mill for the operation.


Define the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool


movements. In this exercise, the tool path is limited
by a combination of two working areas:

• Working area defined by a geometry.


Use the upper loop as shown to limit
the tool path.

• Working area defined by surface


inclination angle range. Define the
surface inclination angle range from
30° till 90° to perform the machining
of the steep areas of the model.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Constant Stepover finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant Stepover strategy to perform the
finish machining of the shallow areas of the cavity.

Use a Ø10 ball-nosed mill for the operation. Choose the Pocket-auto boundaries
method and define the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool movements. In this exercise, the
tool path is limited by a combination of two working areas:

• Working area defined by geometry. Use the same geometry used for the
previous operation to limit the tool path.

• Working area defined by surface inclination angle range. Define the surface
inclination angle range from 0° till 32° to perform the machining of the
shallow areas of the model.

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Exercise #13: Spoon die core finishing

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the finish


machining of the spoon die core presented on the illustration.
The core part was rough machined in Exercise #5.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Constant-Z finishing;
• Circular Pocket finishing;
• Linear finishing;
• Working area definition by a geometry;
• Working area definition by model faces.

Use the resulting CAM-Part of Exercise #5 or Exercise13.prt CAM-Part located in the ../Exercises
folder.

The following operations are applied to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Circular pocket finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Circular


Pocket strategy to perform the finish machining
of the forming faces of the core.

Use a Ø10 ball-nosed mill for the operation.


Define the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area by a geometry to avoid


unnecessary tool movements.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Constant-Z finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
interlock faces.
Use a Ø10 ball-nosed mill for the operation.
Define the relevant technological parameters.
Define the working area by geometry to avoid
unnecessary tool movements.

3. Linear finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Linear


strategy to perform the finish machining of the
parting face.

Use a Ø16 end mill for the operation. Define the


relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area by model faces. Choose


the planar parting face for the drive face as shown
below.

Choose the interlock faces for the check faces and


specify the offset value to avoid the unnecessary
contact with the already finished faces.

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Exercise #14: Spoon die cavity finishing

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the finish


machining of the spoon die cavity presented on the
illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Constant-Z finishing;

• Constant Stepover finishing;

• Working area definition by a geometry;

• Working area definition by model faces.

Use the pre-machined Exercise14.prt CAM-Part located in the ../Exercises folder.

The following operations are applied to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Constant-Z finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
interlock faces.

Use a Ø8 bull-nosed mill with the corner radius


of 1 mm for the operation. Define the relevant
technological parameters.

Define the working area by geometry to avoid


unnecessary tool movements.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Constant Stepover finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant


Stepover strategy to perform the finish machining
of the shallow areas of the cavity.

Use a Ø8 bull-nosed mill with the corner radius


of 1 mm for the operation. Choose the Pocket-
auto boundaries method and define the relevant
technological parameters.

Define the working area by model faces. Choose the forming faces as drive faces, as
shown below.

Choose the interlock faces for the check faces and specify the offset value to avoid the
contact with the already finished faces.

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Exercise #15: Cavity finishing

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the finish


machining of the cavity presented on the illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Constant-Z finishing;

• Constant Stepover finishing;

• Working area definition by geometry;

• Working area definition by surface inclination angle.

Use the pre-machined Exercise15.prt CAM-Part located in the ../Exercises folder.

The following operations are applied to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Constant-Z finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
cavity.

Use a Ø8 ball-nosed mill for the operation. Define


the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area to avoid unnecessary


tool movements. In this exercise, the tool path is
limited by the combination of two working areas:

• Working area defined by geometry.


Define the geometry chain as shown to
limit the tool path.

• Working area defined by surface


inclination angle range. Define the
surface inclination angle range from 30°
till 90° to perform the machining of the
steep areas of the model.

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2. General 3D Milling

2. Constant Stepover finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant


Stepover strategy to perform the finish machining
of the shallow areas of the cavity.

Use a Ø8 ball-nosed mill for the operation. Choose


the Pocket-auto boundaries method and define
the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area to avoid unnecessary


tool movements. In this exercise the tool path is
limited by the combination of two working areas:

• Working area defined by geometry. Use the same geometry defined for the
previous operation to limit the tool path.

• Working area defined by surface inclination angle range. Define the surface
inclination angle range from 0° till 32° to perform the machining of the
shallow areas of the model.

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3D Milling of
Prismatic Parts 3
SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

SolidCAM provides you with powerful functionality for 3D Milling of prismatic parts. SolidCAM
analyzes the model and automatically recognizes pockets and profiles to be machined using Constant-
Z machining strategies.

The major advantages of using 3D Milling for machining of prismatic parts vs. 2.5D operations
(Profile Pocket and Slot) are the following:

• Automatic recognition of pocket and profile areas enables you to shorten programming
time and get the optimized tool path for roughing and finishing.

• The Rest Material roughing options enable you to perform re-machining of areas that
were not machined by the previous tool. SolidCAM automatically performs a profile-
style or pocket-style tool path to remove the rest material.

• The Constant-Z finishing strategy enables you to perform separate finishing for walls
(using the profile-style tool path) and floor (using the pocket-style tool path).

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3. 3D Milling of Prismatic Parts

Exercise #16: Cover machining

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling


functionality for prismatic parts machining.
In this exercise you have to perform the rough and finish
machining of the cover part presented on the illustration using
SolidCAM 3D Milling functionality.

1. Load the SolidWorks model

Load the Exercise16.sldprt model that is located


in the /Exercises folder.
This model contains a number of features forming
the solid body of the cover.

2. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage, you have to define the CAM-Part


and all its components.
Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-
Part.
Define the Coordinate system at the corner of the
model box as shown.
Define the Stock model as a box surrounding the
model.
Define the Target model.

3. Define a 3D Milling operation

When the CAM-Part is defined, right-click on the Operations header in the SolidCAM
Manager and choose the 3D Milling command from the Add Operation submenu.

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed.


In the Geometry section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, choose the Target
geometry from the list.

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SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

4. Define the tool

Define a new Ø16 end mill tool and choose it for the operation.

5. Choose the rough strategy

In the Rough section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, choose the Contour
strategy from the list.
The Contour rough strategy enables you to produce Constant-Z pockets at different
Z-levels. Within the pockets, the tool moves in parallel offsets to the contour of the
section of the model at each step down.

Set the Step down to 3.

6. Define the offsets

At this stage, you have to specify the allowances for the further semi-finishing/finishing
operations.

In 3D Milling of prismatic parts, you often need to use different


offset values for vertical and horizontal areas.
Floor
Wall Offset
Offset

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3. 3D Milling of Prismatic Parts

With the Wall Offset value you can define the XY offset of any surface
that is not flat. To define the Z offset to the absolute horizontal (flat)
surfaces, use the Floor Offset parameter.

Set the Wall offset value to 0.2 and Floor offset value to 0.1. These offset is removed
in finish operations.

7. Define the Clean flat options

SolidCAM generates a set of Z-levels with an equal step down.


Sometimes the model ledge (with the specified offset) lies between
the Z-levels (defined by Step down) and is not machined.
Z-levels with the
equal Step Down

Model with
offset
Unmachined
ledges between
Z-Levels

Using the Clean flat options, SolidCAM enables you to perform the
machining of such ledges.
• Clean flat at end of Rough

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM performs roughing at each


step down level and then returns to the flat areas that are between the
step down levels.
• Clean flat during roughing

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM performs roughing at the step


down level. Then the tool machines the flat area that is located between
the current step down level and the next one. After completing the
flat area, it goes to the next step down.

Choose the Clean flat at the end of Rough option for the operation.

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8. Define the Z-Entry strategy

Define the way the tool plunges into the material.

Click on the Z-Entry button to display the Z-Entry


dialog box.

Choose the Helical option for the Z-Entry and set the
Angle value to 5. Set the Radius value to 5.

Clear the Return to Clearance Level between Z steps


check box.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

9. Define the Open Pocket machining

SolidCAM enables you to customize your machining strategy for more effective
machining of open pocket areas.

In the Rough section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, click on the Mode button.
The Open Pocket mode dialog box is displayed.

Choose the Pockets + Profile option for the Open pocket machining.

Turn on the Approach open pocket from outside option. This option enables you to
perform the approach movement from an automatically calculated point outside of the
material. The tool descends to the necessary depth outside of the material and then
plunges horizontally into the material.

In closed areas where outside approach is impossible, the tool plunges into
the material with the strategy defined in the Z-Entry field of the operation
dialog box.

Define the Profile Lead in strategy, which defines how the


tool approaches the profiles during open pocket machining.
Choose the Tangent option to perform the tool movement
tangential to the automatically calculated tool path line. Set
the Value to 10.

Confirm the Open Pocket mode dialog box with the OK


button.

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10. Define the Working area

In the Working area section of the 3D Milling operation dialog box, click on the Define
button to start the working area definition. The Working area dialog box is displayed.

Define the working area as shown to limit the tool


path by avoiding the machining of the external
walls.

In the Tool on working area section of the Working


area dialog box, choose the External option. The
tool machines over the boundary of the working
area by the distance equal to the tool diameter.

Confirm the working area definition with the OK button.

11. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

12. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

After the rough operation, the bulk of material is removed. Note that some areas are
left unmachined, therefore rest material machining has to be performed.

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13. Define a 3D Milling Operation

At this stage, you have to perform the rest material machining.

Right-click on the defined 3D Milling Operation in the SolidCAM Manager and choose
3D Milling from the Add Operation submenu.

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed.

14. Choose the operation template

Use the previous operation as a template for the current operation. In the Operation
name section, choose the previously defined operation 3DR_target_T1 from the list.
All the data is copied from the template operation.

Define a new Ø8 end mill tool and choose it for the operation.

15. Rest Material machining

With the 3D Roughing strategy, Working Area Rest Material Area


SolidCAM generates a number of
sections parallel to the XY-plane
of the CAM-Part coordinate
system. These sections are
generated with a Z-step defined
either by constant step down
or by scallop. In each of these
sections, SolidCAM uses the
section profile geometry to
produce a pocket tool path.

When a large tool is used, the tool leaves material in areas where it
cannot enter.

The rest material option enables you to remove the material from the
unmachined areas without defining a new geometry.

In the Rest Material section, choose the Rest option from the list.

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Click on the Data button to define the


parameters of the rest material machining.

The Rest Material dialog box is displayed.

The Rest Material Machining is defined by the following major


parameters:

• Previous tool diameter — the diameter of the rough end mill that
was used in the previous Operation.

• Previous wall offset — the wall offset of the previous Operation.

• Extension/Overlap — the extension distance that you would like to


have at the and end of the rest material machining.

Extension

Rest Material

Set the Previous tool diameter value to 16.

Set the Previous wall offset value to 0.2.

Set the Extension/Overlap value to 1.

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Milling type

Choose the Milling type either as Separate areas or Around profile. In


separate areas, SolidCAM generates a profile or pocket tool path to
clean areas that the previous tool could not mill. The around profile
strategy generates a closed profile to mill the rest material.

Around Profile - SolidCAM machines the whole profile.

Rest Material

Separate areas - SolidCAM machines only areas not machined with


the previous tool.

Rest Material

In 3D Milling with Separate Area machining strategy, SolidCAM can


generate two types of tool paths, depending on the volume of the rest
material and on the previous and present tool diameters:

• Pocket-style tool paths

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• Profile-style tool paths

SolidCAM generates a pocket or profile tool path in each area of the


rest material.

Pocket-style tool path areas can be either open or closed depending


on the approach possibilities.
Closed Pocket-style Open Pocket-style
tool path area tool path area

Profile-style
tool path area

Open Pocket-style tool path area

In the Rest Material dialog box, choose the Separate areas option to perform the
machining only in the rest material areas.

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Lead in/Lead out

The approach to the open pockets can be performed from the already
machined area, in contrast to the closed pockets where the approach
from the outside is not possible.

The Z-Entry strategy defined in the 3D Milling Operation dialog box


enables you to choose the approach functionality for the closed
pocket areas.

SolidCAM automatically determines the optimal point for the


approach to the open pocket areas.
Approach point

Open Pocket-style
tool path area
The Lead In and Lead Out options define the approach/retreat
strategy for the Profile-style tool path areas. The following strategies
are available:

• None
• Normal
• Arc

In the Lead in and Lead out sections,


choose the Arc option. Set the Value to 2.

The approach to the open areas is


performed with an arc movement. For the
closed areas, the Helical Z-entry strategy is
used.

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SolidCAM enables you to specify the areas where the rest material
cutting is performed in pocket or profile manner.
• Island – only tool paths that touch
pocket islands are cut.
• Island + Wall – tool paths that touch
both pocket wall and islands are cut.
• Wall - only tool paths that touch the wall
are cut.

Compensation

When the Compensation check box is selected, SolidCAM uses tool


radius compensation commands (G41, G42 for Fanuc) in the G-Code
output.

Open contour strategy

This option enables you to define a direction for the open contours
machining.

• One Way. The tool moves along an open


contour at a specific Z-level. At the end
of the contour, the tool moves with rapid
feed (G0) to the Safety distance and then
starts machining of the open contour
on the next Z-level. The tool uses either
climb or conventional milling.

• Zig-Zag. The tool finishes an open


contour at the specific Z-level and then
moves directly to the next Z-level and
so on. It mills forward and backward
without leaving the material, thus
constantly switching between climb
milling and conventional milling.

Make sure that the One way option is chosen in the Rest Material dialog box.
Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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16. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

17. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

The Ø8 tool used in this operation performed the rest material machining in the model
corners and also machined two pockets at the bottom face of the model.
At this stage, the roughing is finished. Now you have to perform the finish
machining.

18. Define the 3D Milling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, define a new 3D Milling Operation.

Choose the Target model geometry for the operation.

Define a new Ø6 end mill tool and choose it for the operation.

19. Choose a finish strategy

In the Finish section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, choose the Constant-Z
strategy from the list.

With the Constant-Z strategy, SolidCAM automatically recognizes wall and floor areas
and enables you to perform the separate machining of these areas.

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Click on the Data button to define the Constant-Z parameters. The Constant-Z Finish
dialog box is displayed.

20. Define the Constant-Z Wall machining parameters

Select the Constant-Z Wall machining check box.

Set the Step down value to 2. SolidCAM creates sections parallel to the XY-plane at
each 2 mm. These sections are machined with a profile tool path.

In the Lead in/Lead out sections, choose the Arc option and set the Value to 2. The
tool performs the approach/retreat movements to the profile with an arc.

21. Define Constant-Z Flat Floor machining parameters

Select the Constant-Z Flat Floor machining check box.

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Constant-Z Flat Floor machining


SolidCAM recognizes planar areas
on 3D Models and performs the
machining of these areas using the
pocket technology.
Automatic flat floor machining
greatly reduces programming time
of 3D Models with 2.5D features
like pockets and profiles on different
Z-levels.
Scallop

Enter the scallop (cusp height) of the finished surface you want to
achieve. SolidCAM automatically calculates the side step of the tool.
• Maximum step over. If you use an end mill or a bull-nosed tool, the
step is as large as the flat area of the tool, e.g. for a bull-nosed tool
with the 6 mm diameter and the 1 mm corner radius, the step on
flat areas is 4. To limit the side step of the tool, enter the maximum
step value.
Machining style

SolidCAM enables you to choose between two styles of floor


machining during Constant-Z finishing:
• Contour style. Select this option if you want to machine the flat
floor areas on your model as a contour style pocket. The pocket
tool path consists of parallel offsets to the outside contour of the
flat area.
• Hatch style. The tool mills the flat area in a linear pattern.
Mode

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to define a specific strategy


for milling the open pocket areas. You can combine pocket and profile
tool paths in order to provide the best productivity in open pocket
machining.
Arc approximation

SolidCAM enables you to use arc approximation for Constant-Z floor


machining.

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Set the Scallop value to 0.5. Set the Maximum step over to 3.

Make sure that the Contour style option is chosen.

Click on the Mode button to define the parameters of


the open pocket machining. The Open Pocket dialog box
is displayed.

Define the Lead in strategy for the open pocket areas.


Choose the Tangent option and set the Value to 2.

Select the Approach open pocket from outside check


box.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

At this stage, all parameters of the Constant-Z finish machining have been defined.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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22. Define the Working area

In the Working area section of the 3D Milling operation dialog box, click on the Define
button to start the working area definition. The Working area dialog box is displayed.

Choose the working area defined in the Step #10 (w_a) for the operation.

In the Tool on working area section of the Working area dialog box, choose the Middle
option. The tool machines the working area until the tool center is positioned on the
working area geometry.

Confirm the working area definition with the OK button.

23. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

24. Simulate

Perform the operation tool path simulation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the exercise is finished.

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Exercise #17: Electronic box machining

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the machining


of the electronic box presented on the illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Contour roughing;

• Rest Material roughing;

• Constant-Z finishing;

• Working area definition by a geometry.

The SolidWorks model of the electronic box (Exercise17.


sldprt) is located in the ../Exercises folder.

The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final


CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-


Part.

Define the Stock model as the box surrounding


the model.

Define the Coordinate system at the corner of the


model box as shown.

Define the Target model.

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2. Perform rough machining

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Contour


strategy to perform the rough machining of the
electronic box.

Use a Ø14 end mill for the operation. Define the


relevant technological parameters and the Z-Entry
strategy.

Define the working area to avoid unnecessary tool


movements.

3. Perform rest material roughing

Define a 3D Milling operation to remove the rest material left unmachined in the
previous operation. Choose the Contour strategy for the operation.

Use a Ø8 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters and
the Z-Entry strategy.

Use the working area defined in the previous operation.

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4. Constant-Z wall finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
wall faces of the electronic box.

Use a Ø4 end mill for the operation. Define the


relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area by a geometry to avoid


unnecessary tool movements.

5. Constant-Z floor finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-Z strategy to perform the finish
machining of the floor faces of the electronic box.

Use a Ø4 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters.

Use the working area defined in the previous operation to limit the tool path.

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Exercise #18: Connector cover machining

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the


machining of the connector cover part presented on
the illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Contour roughing;

• Rest Material roughing;

• Constant-Z finishing.

The SolidWorks model of the connector cover


(Exercise18.sldprt) is located in the ../Exercises
folder.

The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-Part.

Define the Stock model as the box surrounding the model.

Define the Coordinate system at the corner of the model box as shown.

Define the Target model.

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2. Perform rough machining

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Contour strategy to perform the rough
machining of the connector cover.
Use a Ø14 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters and
the Z-Entry strategy.

3. Perform rest material roughing

Define a 3D Milling operation using a Ø8 end mill to remove the rest material
left unmachined in the previous operation. Choose the Contour strategy for the
operation.

Define an additional 3D Milling operation using a Ø5 end mill to remove the rest
material left unmachined in the previous operation. Choose the Contour strategy for
the operation.

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4. Constant-Z wall finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-Z strategy to perform the finish
machining of the wall faces of the connector cover.

Use a Ø4 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters.

5. Constant-Z floor finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-Z strategy to perform the finish
machining of the floor faces of the connector cover.

Use a Ø4 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters.

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Aerospace Parts 4
SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

Exercise #19: Bracket machining

This exercise illustrates the use of SolidCAM 3D Milling


functionality for the aerospace parts machining.

In this exercise you have to perform the rough and


finish machining of the bracket part shown below using
SolidCAM 3D milling functionality.

1. Load the SolidWorks model

Load the Exercise19.sldprt model that is located in the /Exercises folder.

This model contains a number of features forming the solid body of the bracket.

2. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part and all its components.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-Part.

Define the stock model as a box surrounding the bracket model. Set the offset from
the model sides to 2.

Define the Coordinate system at the


corner of the model box as shown.

Define the Target model.

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3. Define the 3D Milling operation

Define a 3D Milling Operation to perform the rough machining of the bracket part.
Right-click on the Operations header in the SolidCAM Manager and choose the 3D
Milling command from the Add Operation submenu.

The 3D Milling Operation dialog box is displayed.

In the Geometry section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, choose the Target
geometry from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new Ø14 end mill tool and choose it for the operation.

5. Define Milling levels

Define the Lower level of the operation using the


solid model geometry. Click on the model vertex
as shown.

6. Choose the rough strategy

In the Rough section of the 3D Milling Operation dialog box, choose the Contour
strategy from the list.

The Contour rough strategy enables SolidCAM to produce Constant-Z pockets at


different Z-levels. Within the pockets, the tool moves in parallel offsets to the contour
of the section of the model at each step down.

Set the Step down to 2.

In the Clean flat section, choose the Clean flat during Rough option. When this option
is chosen, SolidCAM performs roughing at the step down level. Then the tool machines
the flat area that is located between the current step down level and the next one. After
completing the flat area, it goes to the next step down.

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Click on the Mode button to define the parameters of the


open pocket machining. The Open Pocket mode dialog
box is displayed.

In the Mode section, choose the Pockets option. Both


closed and open areas at each step down are milled as
Pockets.

Select the Approach open pocket from outside check


box to perform approach to the open pocket areas from
outside.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

7. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

8. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the roughing is finished, now you have to perform the finish machining.

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9. Define a 3D Milling Finish operation

Define a new 3D Milling operation to perform


the finish milling of the highlighted fillet face.

The machining is performed with the Linear


strategy.

Choose the Target model geometry for the


operation.

Choose the same Ø14 tool used in the previous


operation.

10. Define the finishing parameters

In the Finish section, choose the Linear


strategy from the list. Click on the Data
button to define the Linear finishing
parameters. The Linear Finish dialog box
is displayed.

In the Technology section, set the Step


over value to 0.2.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK


button.

11. Define the working area

At this stage, you have to define the working area to limit the machining to the selected
face.

In the Working area section, click on the Define


button to start the definition. The Working area
dialog box is displayed.

Select the Work on selected faces check box.

Define the Drive face for the operation as


shown.

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In the Tool on working area section of the Working area dialog box, choose the Middle
option. The tool machines the working area until the tool center is positioned on the
working area geometry.
Confirm the working area definition with the OK button.

12. Define the facet tolerance

Set the Facet tolerance value to 0.01.

13. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

14. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.
At this stage, the linear finish of the fillet face is completed.

15. Define an additional 3D Milling operation

Define a new 3D Milling operation to perform


the finish milling of the highlighted inclined face.

The machining is performed with the Linear


strategy.

Since this operation uses the same geometry


(target model) and tool (Ø14 end mill) as the
previous operation, use the previous operation as
a template.

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16. Define the finish parameters

In the Finish section, choose the Linear


strategy from the list. Click on the Data
button to define the Linear finishing
parameters. The Linear Finish dialog box
is displayed.

In the Technology section, set the Step


over value to 0.1.

In the Define direction angle by section,


set the angle Value to 45.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK


button.

17. Define the working area

At this stage, you have to define the working area to limit the machining to the selected
face.

In the Working area section, click on the Define button to start the definition. The
Working area dialog box is displayed.

In the Working area dialog box, select the Work on selected faces check box.

Define the Drive face for the operation


as shown.

In the Tool on working area section of


the Working area dialog box, choose the
Internal option. The tool machines up to
the boundary of the working area.

Confirm the working area definition with


the OK button.

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18. Define Milling levels

Define the Lower level of the operation


using the solid model geometry. Click on
the model vertex as shown.

19. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved


and the tool path is calculated.

20. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the linear finish of the inclined face is completed.

At the next stage you have to perform the finish machining of the
internal faces of the bracket. The machining is performed in two 3D
Milling operations using the Constant-Z strategy.

The first operation performs the


machining of the walls using a ball-nosed
end mill.

The second operation performs the


machining of the floor areas using an
end mill.

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21. Add a new 3D Milling operation to finish the walls

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.


In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.
Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø6 ball-nosed mill.

22. Define Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01 to provide the necessary
accuracy for the model faces triangulation. Smaller tolerance values result in better
surface quality.

23. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant-Z strategy from the list.
In the Finish section, click on the Data button. The Constant-Z Finish dialog box is
displayed. This dialog box enables you to define the technological parameters of the
Constant-Z finish strategy.

Select the Constant-Z Wall machining


check box. This section enables you to
define the technological parameters for
the machining of the steep areas.
In the Constant Step down section, set
the value to 0.4.
In the Open contour strategy section,
choose the Zig-Zag option. This option
enables the tool to change the cutting
direction when it encounters open
contours in the model. The milling
direction on open contours changes
between climb and conventional milling
until the open contours are finished. With
the Zig-Zag option, rapid moves from Z-
Level to Z-level are greatly reduced.
Confirm the Constant-Z parameters with
the OK button.

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24. Define the Working area

In the Working area section, click on the


Define button. The Working area dialog
box is displayed.

Define the working area using the model


edges as shown.

In the Tool on working area section of


the Working area dialog box, choose
the Middle option. The tool machines
the working area until the tool center
is positioned on the working area
geometry.

Confirm the Working area dialog box with the OK button.

25. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

26. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation using the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage, the Constant-Z finish of the vertical walls of the bracket is completed. In
the next stage you have to perform the machining of the floor areas.

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27. Add a new 3D Milling operation to finish the horizontal areas

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Milling.

The 3D Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø8 end mill to the Part Tool table and
choose it for the operation.

28. Define Facet tolerance

In the Facet tolerance section, set the tolerance value to 0.01.

29. Define the finish strategy

In the Finish section, choose the Constant-Z strategy from the list.

In the Finish section, click on the Data button. The Constant-Z Finish dialog box is
displayed. This dialog box enables you to define the technological parameters of the
Constant-Z finish strategy.

Select the Constant-Z Flat Floor machining check box. This section enables you to
define the technological parameters for the machining of the horizontal floor areas.

Set the Scallop value to 0.5 and the Maximum step over value to 4.5.

Make sure that the Contour style option is chosen. The machining is performed with
the contour strategy.

Click on the Mode button to define the open pocket


machining parameters. The Open Pocket mode dialog box
is displayed.

Select the Approach open pocket from outside check box.


The approach movement into the open pocket areas is
performed from outside of the model.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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Confirm the Constant-Z Finish dialog


box with the OK button.

30. Define the Working area

In the Working area section click on the


Define button, the Working area dialog
box is displayed.
Choose the same working area defined in
Step #24 for the previous operation.

In the Tool on working area section of


the Working area dialog box, choose
the Middle option; the tool machines
the working area until the tool center
is positioned on the working area
geometry.
Confirm the Working area dialog box
with the OK button.

31. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

32. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.
At this stage, the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #20: Aerospace support machining

Define a number of 3D Milling operations for the machining


of the aerospace support part presented on the illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• Contour roughing;

• Linear finishing;

• Constant-Z finishing;

• Working area definition by model faces.

The SolidWorks model of the aerospace support part (Exercise20.sldprt) is located in the ../
Exercises folder.

The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define the CAM-Part

At this stage you have to define the CAM-Part.

Choose the Fanuc CNC-controller for the CAM-Part.

Define the Stock model as the box surrounding the model.

Define the Coordinate system at the corner of the model box as shown.

Define the Target model.

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2. Perform rough machining

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Contour strategy to perform the rough
machining of the aerospace support.
Use a Ø16 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters and
the Z-Entry strategy.

3. Constant-Z wall finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-


Z strategy to perform the finish machining of the
wall faces of the aerospace support.

Use a Ø10 ball-nosed end mill for the operation.


Define the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area by selecting model faces.


Select the faces as shown.

Select the check faces as shown and specify the


offset value.

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4. Constant-Z floor finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Constant-Z strategy to perform the finish
machining of the floor faces of the aerospace support.

Use a Ø8 end mill for the operation. Define the relevant technological parameters.

Choose the same drive/check faces as in the previous operation.

5. Linear finishing

Define a 3D Milling operation using the Linear


strategy to perform the finish machining of the
top faces of the aerospace support walls.

Use a Ø10 ball-nosed end mill for the operation.


Define the relevant technological parameters.

Define the working area by selecting model faces.


Select the faces as shown.

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This operation enables you to perform drills while taking into


account the solid model geometry. There are two uses for this
operation:

• The tool drills the stock up to a user-defined offset


from the solid model. SolidCAM uses these holes
for the Z-Entry during 3D Roughing (3D Milling
Operation).

• With negative offset value,SolidCAM uses this


option to create holes in the solid model, with the
depth measured from the model surface.

Same as a regular Drill Operation, the 3D Drill Operation


supports the canned drill cycles provided by your particular
CNC Machine such as threading, peck, ream, boring, etc.

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5. 3D Drilling

4.1 3D Drill operation dialog box overview

Milling levels section Operation name section


Geometry section

Drill cycle
Tool section section

3D Model Geometry Sequence


section section

Operation
buttons

• Geometry section

This section enables you to define or choose the geometry of the drill positions.

• Tool section

This section enables you either to define a new tool for the operation or choose an
existing tool from the Part Tool table.

• 3D Model Geometry section

This section enables you to define or choose the 3D Model geometry that is used for
the drilling depth definition.

• Operation name section

This section displays the name of the operation.

• Milling levels section

In this section, you have to specify the Z-levels for the operation. The default input
to these fields are the CAM-Part values you have specified in the Coordinate System
definition. The drilling depth is defined by the Offset from model parameter.

• Drill cycle section

This section enables you to choose a canned drill cycle for the operation.

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• Sequence section

This section enables you to define the sequence of drill positions in order to have
minimum movements between drill positions.

• Operation buttons

Operation buttons enable you to save the operation data, perform the tool path
calculation, simulate the already calculated tool path, generate the G-code for the
operation and close the operation dialog box.

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5. 3D Drilling

Exercise #21: 3D Drilling of the Mold core

This exercise illustrates the use of the 3D Drilling operation to


prepare Z-Entry points for the mold core roughing. The rough
machining of the mold core was explained in detail in Exercise #1.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the CAM-Part pre-machined in Exercise #1 or Exercise21.prt located in the


/Exercises folder.

This CAM-Part contains two 3D roughing operations. Perform the SolidVerify


simulation of these two operations.

Rough Machining Rest material roughing

2. Add a new 3D Drilling operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last


operation in the list and choose Add Operation,
3D Drill.

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The 3D Drill Operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

At this stage, you have to specify the geometry of drill


positions.

In the Geometry section, click on the Define button to start


the geometry definition.

The XY Drill Geometry Selection dialog box is displayed. This


dialog box enables you to specify the drill positions for the
operation.

In the Select centers by section, choose the Pick position


option. With this option, you can define drill positions one by
one using the SolidWorks selection options. You can also type
the coordinates (X,Y,Z) into the Edit bar and confirm each
drill point by clicking on the Enter button of the Edit bar.

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5. 3D Drilling

Rotate the model to the Top view using the


button.
Select the drill positions directly on the solid model as
shown.

The 3D drilling is performed in the selected positions. Confirm the selection with the
button.
The 3D Drill operation dialog box is displayed again.

4. Define the tool


Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø21 drill tool.
Set the following tool parameters:
• Set the Diameter to 21.
In the Length section:
• Set the Total length to 85;
• Set the Outside Holder length to 75;
• Set the Cutting length to 65.

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5. Define the 3D Model

The SolidCAM 3D Drill operation enables you to


perform drilling while taking into account the 3D
Model geometry.

In the 3D Model geometry section, choose the Target


model geometry from the list.

6. Define offset from model

Offset from model

SolidCAM enables you to define


the depth of the 3D drilling by
the Offset from model value. The Stock Offset
Offset from model value can be from model

either positive or negative. With


negative offset value SolidCAM
uses this option to create holes
in the solid model, with the
depth measured from the model Solid Model
surface.

Set the Offset from model value to 0.5. The drilling is performed up to 0.5 mm offset
from the model.

At this stage, the definition of the 3D Drilling operation is completed. For more
detailed explanation about drilling options and their parameters, refer to the SolidCAM
Milling User guide book.

7. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Drill Operation data is saved and the tool path is
calculated. Click on the Exit button to close the operation
dialog box.
The SolidCAM Manager is displayed.

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5. 3D Drilling

8. Change the sequence of operations

SolidCAM enables you to change the sequence of


operations in the SolidCAM Manager.

Drag the just defined 3D Drill operation to the


beginning of the operation list as shown in order
to use the holes, machined by this operation, for
the Z-entry movements during the further 3D
roughing operation.

9. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the 3D drilling


operation. Right-click on the relocated 3D Drill
operation and choose the Simulate command
from the list.

Perform the simulation in the SolidVerify mode.

When the simulation is completed, return to the


SolidCAM Manager with the button.

10. Edit the 3D Milling operation

At this stage, you have to modify the Z-entry parameters of the 3D Milling operation
to use the pre-drilled holes.

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In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the first 3D Milling operation (3DR_target_T1)


and choose the Edit command from the menu. The 3D Milling operation dialog box is
displayed.

In the Rough section, click on the Z-Entry button.


The Z-entry dialog box is displayed.

In the Z-Entry strategy section, change the strategy


from Helical to None. With this type of Z-Entry
the tool plunges into the material with a normal
downward movement at the specified Z-feed
rate.

Select the Drill Points check box. The geometry


defined in the 3D Drill operation (3DD_drill_T3)
is automatically chosen.

Confirm the dialog box with the OK button.

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11. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.

The 3D Milling Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

12. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the SolidVerify mode.

The tool performs the Z-entry movements using the holes, pre-drilled within the 3D
Drill operation.

13. Recalculate the rest roughing operation

Note that the rest material roughing operation in the CAM-Part is now marked with
the asterisk (*). This sign means that the operation requires recalculation because of
the changes in the tool path of the previous operations.

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the rest material roughing operation (3DR_
target_T2) and choose the Calculate command from the menu.

At this stage the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #22: 3D Drilling of the Toy mold cavity

Define a 3D Drill operation and modify the existing operations


to perform the rough machining of the toy mold cavity
presented on the illustration.

This exercise reinforces the following skills:

• 3D Drilling;

• 3D Roughing.

The pre-machined CAM-Part of the toy mold cavity


(Exercise22.prt) is located in the ../Exercises folder.

The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final CAM-Part:

1. Define a 3D Drill operation

Define a 3D Drill operation to perform the preliminary


drilling for the further Z-Entry.

Use the drill tool of Ø21 for the operation.

Place the 3D Drill operation at the beginning of the


operations sequence.

2. Edit the 3D roughing operation

Edit the Z-entry strategy options of the 3D roughing


operation to use the pre-drilled holes for the Z-
Entry.

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3D Engraving 6
SolidCAM2007 3D Milling Training Course

With SolidCAM 3D Engraving, you can mill text or any other profile on a 3D Model. The text or
profile is projected on the model surfaces; the projected contour is then engraved up to a specified
depth.

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3D Engraving

5.1 3D Engraving operation dialog box overview

Milling levels section Operation name section

Geometry section

Tool section
Fill section section

Engraving geometry section Tolerance section

Operation buttons

Engraving technology section


• Geometry section

This section enables you to define or choose 3D Model for the operation.

• Tool section

This section enables you to either define a new tool for the operation or choose an
existing tool from the Part Tool table.

• Engraving Geometry section

In this section, you have to define the engraving geometry, i.e. the geometry of a
profile that you want to engrave on the 3D Model surface.

• Operation name section

This section displays the name of the operation.

• Milling levels section

In this section you have to specify the Z-levels for the operation. The default input
to these fields are the CAM-Part values you have specified in the Coordinate System
definition. In this section, you also have to specify the engraving depth.

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• Tolerance section

The precision tolerances defined here directly affect the surface quality of your
model.

• Engraving technology section

This section enables you to define a number of parameters of the engraving


technology.

• Fill area section

SolidCAM enables you to fill the engraving area with a hatch or with a number of
equidistant profiles.

• Operation buttons

Operation buttons enable you to save the operation data, perform the tool path
calculation, simulate the already calculated tool path, generate the G-code for the
operation and close the operation dialog box.

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3D Engraving

Exercise #23: 3D Engraving of the Spoon die core

This exercise illustrates the use of the SolidCAM 3D Engraving


operation for engraving text on the top face of the spoon die
core pre-machined in Exercises #5 and #13.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the Exercise23.prt CAM-Part located in the /Exercises folder.


This CAM-Part contains a number of 3D Milling operations for the core faces roughing
and finishing.
The model used in the CAM-Part contains a sketch with the text that has to be engraved
on the top face of the die core.

2. Add a new 3D Engraving operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last


operation in the list and choose Add Operation,
3D Engraving.

The 3D Engraving operation dialog box is


displayed.

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3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø1 ball-nosed mill.

Set the following tool parameters:

• Set the Diameter to 1;

• Set the Corner radius to 0.5.

In the Length section:

• Set the Total length to 20;

• Set the Outside Holder length to 15;

• Set the Cutting length to 10.

5. Define the Engraving geometry

In the Engraving geometry name section, click on the


Define button to start the definition of the engraving
geometry.

The Geometry Edit dialog box is displayed.

In the Multi-chain section, click on the Add button.

The Chains Selection dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables you to choose
a number of chains from a model by selecting the model elements. The program
automatically creates chains from the selected elements.

In the Type section, choose the Text option. This option


enables you to select the text contained in the SolidWorks
model sketches.

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3D Engraving

Select the text geometry as shown.

Confirm the selection with the button. SolidCAM automatically converts the
selected text into geometry chains.

The Edit Geometry dialog box is displayed again. Confirm the engraving geometry
definition with the button.

The 3D Engraving operation dialog box is displayed.

6. Define the facet tolerance

Set the Facet tolerance value to 0.01.

7. Define the engraving depth

In the Milling levels section, set the Engraving depth value


to 0.5.

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8. Define the engraving technology parameters

Engraving technology parameters


Type

This option enables you to semi-finish


and/or finish the engraved profile on the
model surface.
• Semi-finish machines the engraving
profile up to an offset specified in
the Offset field with cutting depths
defined in the Step down field.
• Finish machines the engraving
profile to its final dimensions in
one step down.
• Both. Use this option to machine the engraving profile first
with a semi-finish cut and then with a finishing cut.

Side

The tool can cut either to the left, to the right or on the engraving
geometry.
• Right. The tool cuts on the right side of the profile geometry
up to the distance defined as the Offset value.
• Left. The tool cuts on the left side of the profile geometry up
to the distance defined as the Offset value.
• Middle. The center of the tool moves on the profile
geometry.

Offset

You can specify the offset from the engraving geometry for a Semi-
finish operation on the left or right side of the geometry. This offset
is machined in the finish cut if you have defined one.

Step down

This value defines the successive Z-cutting depth during the Semi-
finish operation of the engraving profile.

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3D Engraving

• From Upper level. SolidCAM performs roughing passes at each


down step from the Upper level to the virtual surface located
at an offset from the actual surface. This offset is defined in
the Engraving depth field.
Upper Level

Actual surface

Virtual surface with offset


defined as Engraving depth

• From surface. SolidCAM executes roughing passes at each


step down only from an actual surface to a virtual surface
defined in the Engraving depth field.
Geometry
Actual surface

Virtual surface with offset


defined as Engraving depth

In the Type list, choose the Both option to perform


both Semi-finish and Finish engraving.

In the Side list, choose the Middle option. The center


of the tool moves on the profile geometry.

In the Step down section, choose the From surface


option and set the Value to 0.1. The tool path is
performed in a number of passes at each step down
from the actual surface to a virtual surface defined in
the Engraving depth field.

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9. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Engraving Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.

10. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the operation in the HostCAD and SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the exercise is completed.

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3D Engraving

Exercise #24: 3D Engraving of the Mold cavity

This exercise illustrates the use of the SolidCAM 3D Engraving


operation for the hatch engraving on the mold cavity pre-machined
in Exercises #2 and #9.

1. Load the SolidCAM Part

Load the Exercise24.prt CAM-Part located in the /Exercises folder.


This CAM-Part contains a number of 3D Milling operations for the cavity roughing
and finishing.

2. Add a new 3D Engraving operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, right-click on the last operation in the list and choose Add
Operation, 3D Engraving.

The 3D Engraving operation dialog box is displayed.

3. Define the geometry

In the Geometry section, choose the Target model geometry (Target) from the list.

4. Define the tool

Define a new tool for the operation. Add a Ø1 ball-nosed mill.


Set the following tool parameters:
• Set the Diameter to 1;
• Set the Corner radius to
0.5;

In the Length section:


• Set the Total length to 20;
• Set the Outside Holder
length to 15;
• Set the Cutting length to
10.

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5. Define the Engraving geometry

In the Engraving geometry name section,


click on the Define button to start the
definition of the engraving geometry.

Using the Edit Geometry dialog box,


select the engraving geometry as shown.

6. Define the facet tolerance

Set the Facet tolerance value to 0.01.

7. Define the engraving depth

In the Milling levels section, set the Engraving depth value to 0.1.

8. Define the engraving technology parameters

Fill area

SolidCAM enables you to perform the filling of the closed engraving


geometry.

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3D Engraving

• Hatch. SolidCAM fills the engraving


geometry with a linear raster tool path,
according to the specified Step over Hatch
angle
and Hatch angle.

Step over

Engraving
geometry

• Contour. The tool moves on parallel


Step over
offsets to the pocket contour with the
specified Step over.

Engraving
geometry

The contours are machined in either clockwise (CW) or


counterclockwise (CCW) direction.
The Wall parameter enables you to specify the offset from the
engraving geometry. SolidCAM generates the contour equidistant
to the engraving geometry at the specified offset. The engraving is
performed inside this contour.

In the Fill area section, choose the Hatch option from the
list and set the Hatch angle to 45°. Set the Step over value
to 3.

Set the Wall value to 3.

The hatch filling of the engraving geometry is performed.

9. Save and Calculate

Click on the Save&Calculate button.


The 3D Engraving Operation data is saved and the tool path is calculated.
Close the operation dialog box with the Exit button.

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10. Add a new 3D Engraving operation

In the SolidCAM Manager, add a new 3D Engraving operation.

Since this operation uses the same tool, geometry and technological parameters as the
previous 3D Engraving operation, use the previous operation as a template for the
current one.

Change the Hatch angle parameter to 135° to perform the additional hatching normal
to the previous operation tool path.

Save the operation data and calculate the tool path.

11. Simulate

Perform the simulation of the both 3D Engraving Operations in the HostCAD and
SolidVerify modes.

At this stage the exercise is completed.

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Exercise #25: 3D Engraving of the Stamp insert

Define a number of 3D Engraving operations to


perform the machining of the stamp insert presented
on the illustration.

Use the pre-machined Exercise25.prt CAM-Part


located in the ../Exercises folder.

The rough and finish operations are performed to prepare the top face of the stamp insert for the
engraving.

The DesignModel component of the CAM-Part assembly contains a sketch that has to be engraved
on the top face of the stamp insert.

The following steps have to be implemented to reach the final CAM-Part:

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1. Hatch engraving

Define a number of 3D Engraving operations to


perform the hatch engraving between the circles
highlighted below.

Use a Ø1 ball-nosed end mill for the operation. Perform the engraving up to 0.1 mm
depth.

2. Image and text engraving

Define a number of 3D Engraving operations to


perform the engraving of the elements highlighted
below.

Use a Ø1 ball-nosed mill for the operation. Perform the engraving up to 0.2 mm
depth.

Congratulations!

You have successfully finished the 3D Milling part of the SolidCAM2007 Milling Training Course.

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