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Author Topic: Questions about Creating Tool Paths  (Read 1888 times)

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Questions about Creating Tool Paths
« on: November 08, 2012, 09:56:36 AM »
I hope I word this in an intelligent way, but I have been curious about how any program like Mach3 takes any large piece of aluminum and whittles it down to the right shape. And more specifically, how it knows where to begin the cuts.

Let's say you start with a small block of aluminum on a mill table, and the goal is for a 1/2" ball nose end mill to create a semi-sphere. You're using a 3 axis mill.

How does the program know what the initial conditions are? I mean, how does it know that you have a square block of aluminum, and not to start by traversing right to the surface of the semi-sphere? Is there some place in Mach3 that you input the original size of the block that you start with?

Is there also a place where you specifiy the maximum depth of cut that you allow (say .025") and a finishing cut depth (.003")?

I know that I create a 3D model in software, then have that translated to G code, but I don't undertsand how the machine knows that there's a whole block of metal in its way.

This is a very basic question, but any help on this? Thanks, Tom.

Offline BR549

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Re: Questions about Creating Tool Paths
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 10:53:04 AM »
The machine is as Dumb as a box of rocks. YOU will have to explain everything to it through G CODE instructions.  IF manually programmed YOU have to account for the fact that you must whittle away all the extra metal to make the part.  In most CAMS you define the block size and IT creates the moves to do the whittling down to a finished part.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Questions about Creating Tool Paths
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 10:55:50 AM »

This is exactly what I'm getting at, so thanks. Then there is a way to specify the intial block size in a CAM program. Good, that helps.

I'm still nowhere near doing that, but I wanted to know.