Introduction: 2D Machining

This section covers the general layout found in most toolpath creation pages and the steps taken to generate a toolpath. Profiling Wizard is used as the example.

Functions

Profiling - Create a single line 2D toolpath that machines either along the vector or the outside or inside edge of a vector

2D Area Clearance - Create a 2D toolpath that machines/pockets out an area inside a vector using rest machining

V-Bit Carving - Create a 2.5D toolpath that engraves a V shape into a vector

Bevel Carving - Creates a 2.5D toolpath that engraves a prismatic/positive V shape into a vector

Drilling - Create a 2D rapid toolpath that plunges into vector areas

Delete Toolpath - Deletes the selected toolpath from the list

Tool Database - A database containing a broad range of pre-defined tools for machining

Material Setup - Specify the dimensions and origin of the material to be machined

Edit Toolpath - Change a previously generated toolpath

Save Toolpaths - Converts the toolpaths to a machine specific format using a post processor while it’s being saved

Simulate Toolpath - Mimics the toolpath machining into the material with video control to speed up or slow down

Delete Simulation - Deletes the current simulation, returning to the relief.

Reset Simulation - Resets the simulation block back to the flat defined sizes.


Example 4-1


Example 4-2


Saw Mill Tutorial

This demonstration shows some of the 2D and 2.5D machining features available within ArtCAM Standard. You will use several different types of machining toolpaths; Area Clearance, Bevel Carving, V-Bit Carving, Drilling, and a Profile pass with Bridges.

Saw Mill Tutorial

1 Click New Model on the Getting Started page

The Size for New Model dialog box appears:

This tutorial is based in the default ArtCAM function layout. If you have customised your layout and wish to return to the default, from the Window pull down menu choose Reset Layout and then click on Standard

2 Enter in the following values:

  • Units = MM (or inch)
  • Width (X) = 635 mm(25”)
  • Height (Y) = 230 mm (9”)
  • Origin = lower left corner

3 Click the OK button to accept

The vectors for this project have already been created. We will import the finished vector artwork.

4 In the Project Tree, Right click on Vectors and select Import…

5 The Load Vector Layer dialog box appears:

6 Select the file Sawmill.eps, and click the Open button

7 Switch to the 2D View

The pre-designed vectors are imported and placed on the white model area.

The vectors should look like this:

8 Press the F9 key on the keyboard. This is the shortcut for the Centre in Page function

The vectors move into the centre of the model as shown:

Now we will make the vectors bigger, so that they fill the model.

9 Ensure that the vectors are selected, and click the Transform function in the View Tools Toolbar

The Transform panel appears in the Tool Settings panel:

10 At the top in the Scale and Size area, select mm (inch) for scale and the padlock icon to remove the aspect ratio (link) for the Width and Height.

11 Change the New Width to 610mm(24”) and the New Height to 200mm(8”)

12 Select Apply to make the changes

The 2D view looks like this:

Notice when the vectors are selected, they are purple and they are selected all at once, this means they are grouped. When a set of vectors are imported into ArtCAM, they come in as a grouped entity. For machining purposes, we want to treat the vectors separately.

13 Ensure the grouped vectors are still selected and click the Ungroup function in the Vector Editing Toolbar

We are now ready to create the toolpaths.

Machining

Area Clearance Toolpath

We will create some toolpaths to clear out the background material around the letters. Since the letters will be used in a few different toolpaths as machining boundaries, we will first group the text together.

1 Using the Left mouse button, drag a box around the letters (text) to select them

The selected text should look like this:

2 Click the Group function in the Vector Editing Toolbar

3 Now (make sure the text is still selected) hold down the Shift key for a multiple selection and select the vector border surrounding the letters only

The selected vectors should look like this:

The Area Clearance toolpath can now be generated.

4 On the Project panel, click on Toolpaths to show the toolpath creation icons

5 Click on the Area Clearance toolpath function located in the lower half of the panel

The 2D Area Clearance panel automatically opens:

6 Enter a Finish Depth of 8mm(0.3”) and a Tolerance of 0.02mm(0.001”)

7 In the Machine Safe Z section, click the pull down arrow to display the hidden values

8 Change the Safe Z and Home Position Z to 10mm(0.5”)

Now we can select the tools to be used. Area Clearance allows several tools to be selected for this strategy, and will machine first with the largest tool, then the next sized tool will be used only to machine areas left un-machined by the previous tool, and so on.

9 Click the Add button in the Tools List section

10 Select the End Mill 12mm (½ Inch) from the Wood or Plastic > Roughing and 2D Finishing section of the database

The tool appears in the Tool List section:

11Repeat this procedure to select the End Mill 6mm(¼ Inch) and the End Mill 1.5mm(1/16 Inch)

There should now be three tools listed. As each one is selected, the options associated with that tool are shown below the Tools List box.

12 Select the End Mill 6mm(¼ Inch) in the Tool List box

13 Change the Tool Clearance Strategy from Raster to Offset as shown:

14 Repeat this for the End Mill 1.5mm(1/16 Inch)

15 Click the Setup… button to define the Material

16 Ensure that the Material Z Zero is set to Top of Block, and the Thickness is 12mm(0.5”) as shown above

17OK to accept

18 Click the Calculate Now button to generate the toolpaths

The 2D toolpath preview appears in the 2D view.

19 Click on the X to close the toolpath and panel

20 Click on the 3D View Tab found in the top left corner to switch to the 3D view

The toolpaths look like this:

The Toolpath Manager looks like this:

21 Click on the End Mill 12mm(½ Inch) toolpath to select it

22 Click on Simulate Control Bar

23 Play through the simulation until finished

The simulation in the 3D view looks like this:

Note that the 12 mm tool is used to machine as much material as possible without violating the letters.

24 Select the End Mill 6mm(¼ Inch) toolpath in the Project Tree

25 Right click and select Simulate

The 6 mm tool is used only in areas that can be safely machined without violating the vectors that the 12 mm tool could not fit into. This is much more efficient than re-machining the whole part.

The Simulation looks like this:

The simulation is a mimic of the actual piece after each toolpath has been machined. The simulation of 12 mm end mill was already done. The simulation for the 6 mm tool removes the material from the previous simulation.

26 Select the End Mill 1.5mm(1/16 Inch) toolpath in the Project Tree

27 Right click and select Simulate

The 1.5 mm tool now only cuts areas the 6 mm tool could not fit into. This gives nice tight corners without having to cut the whole part with the 1.5 mm tool.

Bevel Toolpath

Now we will generate a Bevel toolpath to create positive prismatic letters.

1 Click on the 2D View Tab

2 Click the background area to de-select the vectors

3 Select the grouped vector letters only as shown:

4 Select Toolpaths from the Project Tree to view all the toolpath

5 Click the Bevel Carving toolpath function in the Toolpaths Panel

The 3D Bevel Carving panel appears automatically:

6 Enter a Finish Depth of 7 mm (0.25”)

We are not using a wall height, as the background is already machined and we do not need to cut the letters out, so we will leave it set to 0.

7 Now to define the Carving Tool, click the Select... button in the Carving Tool section

8 The Tool Database appears, select the V-Bit 32mm 130 degree(V-Bit 1.25 Inch 130º) from the Wood or Plastic > V-Carving section and click the Select button

The V-bit tool should appear on the page.

Since we are not creating a Wall Height, we will not select a Profiling Tool. The Profiling Tool would be used to cut the profile of the vector leaving a straight edge.

9 Click the Calculate Now button to generate the toolpath

ArtCAM calculates the centrelines of the vectors and then generates the toolpath.

10 Click on the X to close the toolpath and panel

The Preview Vectors appear in the 2D view, and look like this:

11 Click on the 3D View Tab

The Bevel Toolpath looks like this:

12 Right click on the toolpath and select Simulate Toolpath

The Simulation looks like this:

V-Bit Carving

In this section, we will engrave some text. First we need to create the text.

1 Click on the 2D View Tab to go back to the 2D view

2 Click the Create Vector Text button in the View Tools Toolbar

The Text Tool function appears in the Tool Settings Panel:

3 Set the Style of text to be Bold, Arial, with a Size of 25mm(1”) and Character Spacing at 20, as shown above:

4 Now click the mouse button in the 2D View and type the text Reception

5 Right click to finish and exit text creation

We need to make sure that the text is centred in the sign.

6 Select the text, if not already selected, and then Shift-select the outer profile as shown. (The text MUST be selected first.)

7 Click the Centre Horizontally button on the Vector Editing Toolbar

8 Click anywhere in the 2D View to de-select the vectors

9 Then select the vector text only

10 Now use the Up or Down arrow cursor keys on the keyboard to move the letters approximately into position as shown

The finished Reception text looks like this:

We now apply a toolpath to the text using V-Bit carving.

11 Ensure only the Reception text is still selected

12 Click the V-Bit Carving toolpath on the Toolpaths panel

The V-Bit Carving panel appears automatically.

13 Select the Click to Select... to select the Carving Tool

14 Select the V-Bit 32mm 90 degree(1.25 Inch, 90º) tool from the list, and click the Select button to select it

15 Next click the Calculate Now button to calculate the Toolpath

ArtCAM automatically generates the centrelines of the vectors and calculates the toolpath. The Preview Vectors appear in the 2D View and look like this:

16 Click on the X to close the toolpath and panel

17 Click on the 3D View Tab

The toolpath looks like this:

18 Right click on the V-Bit Carving Toolpath in the Project Tree and select Simulate Toolpath

The Simulation looks like this:


Drilling

Now we can drill the holes needed to mount the sign to the wall.

1 Click on the 2D View Tab

2 First, select both hole positions marked in the 2D View using the left mouse button as shown. (Select one, and then Shift-select the other)

3 Now click the Drilling toolpath function on the Toolpaths panel

The Drilling function appears automatically:

4 The Finish Depth is 12mm(0.5”) to ensure the holes go all the way through the material

5 Click the Select... button to select a Tool

6 Select the End Mill 12mm(1/2 Inch) by double clicking it

Note as we stretched the vectors un-proportionally, the drill holes are no longer true circles so we will use the all vectors option instead of Circular Vectors.

7 In the Drill Centre of... section of the Drilling Page, select the option All Selected Vectors

8 Click the Calculate Now button to generate the toolpath

The Preview Vectors look like this:

9 Click on the X to close the toolpath and panel

10 Click on the 3D View Tab

The Drilling Toolpath looks like this:

11 Right click on the Drilling Toolpath in the Project Tree and select Simulate Toolpath

The simulation looks like this:

Profile Toolpath & Bridges

We are now ready to cut out the sign by profiling around the outermost vector.

1 Click on the 2D View Tab

2 Select the outermost vector in the 2D View as shown

3 Select the 2D Profiling toolpath function on the Toolpaths panel

The Profiling function appears automatically:

4 Change the profile option to Outside

5 The Finish Depth is 12mm(0.5”)

6 Click the Click to Select... button to select the Profiling Tool

7 Double click the End Mill 6mm(¼ Inch) to select it

8 Change the Stepdown to 12mm(0.5”) by using the pull arrow to access the tool parameters

9Check the option Add Lead In/Out Moves in the Profiling Panel as shown

The Panel is expanded to show the options for Leads:

10 Select the option Circular Arc, and enter a Distance of 12mm(0.5”) and a Radius of 12mm(0.5”)

11 Check the option Add Bridges.

The panel is expanded to show the options for the Bridges:

12 In the Constant Numbersection, enter4.

13 Enter a Bridge Length of 12mm (0.5”) and a Bridge Thickness of 5mm (0.125”).

14 Check the 3D Bridges option to create a 3D bridge.

This will leave four bridges or 'tabs' around the profile, a length of 12 mm, and Z height (Thickness) of 1 mm. These will help to keep the sign in place while cutting it out of the material.

15 Click the Add button to add the Bridges to the Toolpath.

We will now move the bridges to more sensible positions which will be easier to remove the sign.

16 Select Edit Bridges.

17 Move the mouse over the centre of the left bridge, (Zoom in if necessary using the wheel on the mouse).

18 Hold the Left mouse button down, and drag the Bridge to a more sensible position as shown below.

19 Now move the other bridges in the same way so that they are in positions as shown below.

20 Zoom into the top-left bridge using the wheel on the mouse.

21 You can remove the bridge by clicking on the centre of the bridge and pressing d.

22 Now add the Bridge back in by clicking the Profile Toolpath.

23 Move the cursor over one end of the Bridge, and using the Left mouse button, drag the end to extend the Bridge as shown below, (do this for the remaining bridges).

24 Click Calculate Now to generate the Toolpath

We can now simulate the Profile Toolpath.

25 Right click on the Toolpath in the Project Tree and select Simulate Toolpath

The Simulation looks like this:

26 Select the Simulation branch in the Project Tree

27 In the Rendering section below choose Light Oak (H) as the Material to see what the toolpath will look like once cut into the material

28 Zoom in to view one of the bridges as shown:

This tutorial is complete.

CLASS PROJECT

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