In this first lesson, we will continue our exploration of the world of 5-axis machining, this time, programming a 5-axis simultaneous part. In this lesson we will utilize both rotational axes to rotate our part while machining. As always, we will use the same workflow to help guide us through the programming of this part.
In this class, we will once again be following the same workflow covered in the FeatureCAM Standard, and FeatureCAM Premium classes to help us program two 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.
It looks like our holder is colliding into the part during the finishing operation. On a 3-axis machine, our solution might include using a longer tool, but in this case, we have a 5-axis machine – so let’s utilize our machine’s 5-axis simultaneous capabilities to correct this collision!
Now we can see that the tool axis has changed to reflect our specified ‘fixed’ tool axis vector (depending on the machine, you will see these changes reflected by rotating either the table or the head). This change has completely eliminated the collisions we were experiencing earlier, and this program is safe enough to send to the machine now. However, let’s take a look at some of the other options we have utilize our 5-axis machine’s capabilities when programming surface milling features.
As we can see, the ‘Lead and Lean’ options allow us to specify a tool-axis angle in reference to the direction of travel at all times – when we are machining a horizontal wall, the tool is completely vertical, and when we are machining a vertical wall, our tool is horizontal because we have indicated a lead and lean angle of zero. These options can help us generate safe, efficient tool path in a lot of situation, but in this situation, it seems that these lead and lean angles have created machine collision where the table has collided with the machine, so in this case, lead and lean angles may not be our best option.
As you probably noticed, when enabling the automatic tilting options, we let FeatureCAM recognize when we are about to collide, and only engage our rotational axes when needed to prevent collisions. So in this case specifically, we kept the tool-axis fixed vertically until the holder was about to collide with the part, and then altered the lead angle accordingly.
For this example, let’s stick with this last option, and send our NC Code to the machine.
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