In this first lesson, we will program a simple 3D milling part, utilizing FeatureCAM's surface milling strategies. However, before we dive into our first part, we will first take another look at the workflow of programming parts in FeatureCAM. This workflow will help guide us through the programming of every part in FeatureCAM, whether it is one of the parts shown in this class, or you own part in your shop.
In this class, we will once again be following the same workflow covered in the FeatureCAM Standard class to help us program three different parts. While each part may be different, the workflow we follow to program them will remain the same. After completing this class, you will be able to use the workflow outlined in this class to tackle any project you may encounter in your shop. Whether you are programming a simple block with holes, or a complex 5-Axis part, following this workflow will help ensure you are able to complete your projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With a blank milling document open, we can now import our solid model to program features from.
The Import Wizard will help us setup our part, covering our stock step, as well as some of our machining prep.
Now that we have completely worked through the import wizard, we are just a few short steps away from creating features.
With our part imported, stock setup, and machining details accounted for, we are ready to start programming!
Now, with our model imported and setup, we are ready to start programming features. Immediately, it is obvious that this model cannot be defined using FeatureCAM's 2.5D features. We will need to machine this entire model using traditional surface milling strategies. Select the model surfaces by box selecting the entire model
Notice the small areas not touched by the finishing operation in the lower curved corners. This is due to tool selection. By default all surface milling operations select a 0.5" end mill. This default behavior can always be changed in the Machining Attributes. In this case, the curvature of the 0.5" ball end mill is simply not small enough to machine the desired contour, and a smaller tool will be required.
Now that we have fixed that issue, it's time to take a look at surface finish. Notice how the finish on the corners along the x-axis look good, but the finish along the y-axis leaves large scallops. This is because we are going an X-Parallel operation. Any surfaces where the tool is machining along the slope will look fine, but machining across slopes will leave larger scallops.
Notice how much better the finish is on the corners of the model.
Notice how improved the surface finish is now! While the finish is much better, if you navigate to the details tab of the results window, you will notice that this part now takes roughly an hour to machine. You will want to consider machining time when modifying attributes such as stepover, and choose the value that best suits your project's needs (surface finish vs. time, etc.)
With our final simulation run, our NC Code has been generated and is ready to be sent to the machine.
Note: This exercise is for educational purposes. The post-processor used in this exercise is a generic post-processor used for training that will likely not work for your machine. Do not attempt to run any code generated in this exercise.
Share a photo of your finished project with the class!
Nice work! You've completed the class project