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Author Topic: Axis substitution with Mastercam  (Read 8356 times)

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Axis substitution with Mastercam
« on: January 27, 2009, 01:25:31 AM »
Hi, I'm now ready to build my 4th Axis for my cnc router but have some questions I would like to ask.

First, I'm in the process of learning Mastercam for some time now but never learned the 4/5 axis so far. So I bought a couple of books from Volumes Direct, a dozen actually but specially 2 for multi/Axis.

I bought my indexer, a 6in chuck and a live center + a Kelling 5 amp stepper driver.

I know I can change angular properties inside Mach3 with A, B, and C axis but can also do it with Mastercam X3.

If I want to do indexing with Mastercam, I think I must use a 4th axis vertical milling in order to get axis substitution, but is it better to do it with Mach3 or with Mastercam or do I have to do axis substitution with both software.

I can make my drawing with Solidworks 2008 and use Wrap tool to place the sketch onto the cylinder and can also do it with Mastercam but at the end, this become a little bit confusing.

Should I use Mach3 with 2 axis, X and Z and replace the Y axis as the A axis or use Mach3 as a real 4 axis router, i.e. X, Y, Z and A.

I'm just looking for some more experienced Mach3 user the get some clues in order not to loose too much time, but anyway, I have a lot of that  precious time to spend since I had an accident at my work 3 months ago and

next week I will  have a third surgery to my arm that have been broken at multiple places with an open wound, got my arm grabbed when was machining a big shaft on a conventional lathe , almost lost my arm, somewhat lucky.

So please, everybody be careful when using those machines.

So any help will be greatly appreciated.

Sorry if I made some mistype, English is not my primary language.

Look at the pic to see what happen to those that do not take care of what there're doing.

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Axis substitution with Mastercam
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 04:41:06 AM »
You do not say what you are trying to do. It seems that you wish to do some engraving or similar cutting work on the side of a cylinder. To do that you seem to be drawing a flat picture, then wrapping it round the cylinder in Solidworks.

The problem is the diameter of the cylinder - and - therefore - the length of the picture or script.

Some people, faced with this problem, have the A axis set out as a linear axis, and adjusted the steps per unit to match the circumference of the cylinder (in fact they merely ran the A axis from the X or Y drivers as a three axis machine). This only worked on a fixed diameter of cylinder.

If you want to use a rotary or angular axis on the cylinder, then you will have to use mastercam to produce the GCode, and also have Mach 3 set up as A axis angular.

I have been thinking about the use of a fourth axis, because so many applications can be run on three axis. My own problem is milling large wheels, where my miller does not have the reach for a full wheel. The solution is to use a circular table and mill a segment, then rotate the table to the next segment. Do I need a fourth axis to achieve that, or can I do it manually.

I suppose the true fourth axis (i.e. angular) is the milling arm, where it is used to come in and drill, or machine a block of material at an angle. In the old days we would have to set up the workpiece at the correct angle, then mill it vertically. Today just tell the machine.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.


Re: Axis substitution with Mastercam
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 12:34:50 PM »
IF you have a good CAM then it is best to just let the CAM write the code using A as angular. That way you are not flip floppy mach setup around.

JIM, yes you can do your wheels with a 4th, by simple indexing each segment OR just let the 4th run as a true axis Cam will be need to write the code.
It will depend on your CAM being 4 axis capable. I do this on the BP because of small work envelope.

(;-) TP
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 02:12:03 PM by ostie01 »