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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > SprutCAM > SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100
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  1. #1
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    SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    I am struggling with SprutCAM v9 to try to get decent toolpaths for some rotary machining. I generally use Fusion 360 for CAM, but it will not handle 4th axis stuff, so I have gone back to SprutCAM v9, which I got with my PCNC1100 a few years back.
    I am having trouble understanding the term "stock" as it is used in the SprutCAM rotary machining sense. I read the manual 10 times and I still don't get it. Assume that I have a piece of cylindrical stock in my 4th axis with a tail stock. The part (model) varies in diameter from say 10% of the stock diameter to say 90% of the diameter. I am using linear toolpaths, which I can generate, but the tool plunges all the way to the finished diameter and there seems to be no way to specify a depth of cut. Assume a 1.5 in long 1/2 in diameter ball nose end mill in a TTS holder. The material I am cutting is rigid foam. I am making a plug for a fiberglass mold.

    Any help in understanding how to control the toolpath will be appreciated.

    Jim

  2. #2

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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    Stock = blank?

    Not familiar with Sprutcam, a "finishing" toolpath could omit the option of multiple depth of cuts and instead offer multiple passes. Ensure you have a "roughing" toolpath and that depth of cut option should show up.
    (wild guess mind you)

  3. #3
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    When I setup those operations I use the total depth to be milled as the stock value. Then set step to some number that works for depth of cut.
    Attachment 426754
    hope this helps

    btw I found some rotary ops generated code to be kind of flakey with lots of strange un-needed moves. I tend to set and tune settings until I get good clean code. Not clear if its the model, me or the operation settings that causes this or all 3.

    Same operation setup in using 2d contour for the same rotary operation. Then normal depth of cut is used to control number of rough passes

    Attachment 426758

    Sample of code generated by 4th axis rotary operation and also same thing using 4th axis 2d contour used with rotary settings.
    (Rotary machining oring)


    N60 T10 G43 H10 M6
    (0.125 Spherical Mill C2 Carbide)
    N70 S5100 M3 M8
    N80 G0 G94 A0.
    N90 M1
    (Set B-axis tilt position0 degrees)
    N100 X1.0195 Y0.
    N110 Z0.7503
    N120 G1 Z0.6041 F6.
    N130 G93 A-358.767 F1.59
    N140 A-359.386 F919.41
    N150 Y-0.0001 Z0.584 A-359.693 F296.42
    N160 Y0. Z0.5641 A-360. F296.95
    N170 A-718.767 F1.7
    N180 A-719.388 F981.44
    N190 G94 Y0.0003 Z0.639 F6.
    N200 Z0.739 F6.
    N210 G0 Z0.7503




    (2D contouring rotary groove oring)
    N220 A-41.923
    N230 X1.0185 Y0.
    N240 Z1.65
    N250 Z0.795
    N260 G1 Z0.595 F6.
    N270 G93 A318.077 F1.6
    N280 G0 Z1.65
    N290 Z0.77
    N300 G1 G94 Z0.57 F6.
    N310 G93 A678.077 F1.68
    N320 G0 Z1.65
    N330 G30 Z1.65 M5 M9
    N340 M30
    %

  4. #4
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    For this discussion, I am going to call the piece of material I am cutting the "workpiece" and the thing I want to end up with the "model."
    I have been playing around with the stock value and it does seem to control the thickness of the total cut (rather than the depth of cut). However, the program should know where the edges of the workpiece are because I have given it a cylindrical workpiece of known dimensions. If I set the "stock" value to 2, it generates toolpaths that are outside the workpiece. The toolpaths follow the contours of the model and cut air. It makes no sense at all. If I set the stock value to 0, it makes just one path a final dimension so the depth of cut is huge. I have tried negative values for stock and it won't calculate any toolpaths.

    Do you think that 2D countour would produce better toolpaths? If so, how to you tell it that you want rotation of the A axis?

  5. #5

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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    (deleted) irrelevant to the question.

  6. #6
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    I watched a older video from sprut on this topic. No audio, but the general idea he presents is to do all the roughing work with several separate flat milling operations where the A axis is rotated between operations and only use the rotary machining for the finishing. I note that Rotary Machining is on a finishing menu. I that the way anyone else does this?

  7. #7

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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    At this point it would greatly help to see your model (and blank) to be able to suggest best roughing/finishing strategies.

    Depending on the model:
    For 3D contours, a continuous rotation may be used for roughing, and a similar strategy for finishing.
    For prismatic and/or symmetric geometries, planar rough toolpaths are normally used (i.e. often required/best to lock the rot axis for roughing)

  8. #8
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    I am still working on the model and I will post it when its done. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how to do it with SprutCam and I'm using a test model that's just a solid of rotation of a wavy line. I do appreciate the comments.

  9. #9

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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    No worries. Passion for everything CAD/CAM here so hit us!

    Word of advice; start with simple/symmetric geometries before launching into simultaneous 4ax machining. Wavy lines (3D) aren't necessarily the easiest to program in CAM especially if the software you use is new to you.

    Have fun & g'luck!

  10. #10
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    Quote Originally Posted by jimlake View Post
    I am still working on the model and I will post it when its done. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how to do it with SprutCam and I'm using a test model that's just a solid of rotation of a wavy line. I do appreciate the comments.
    Hard to say exactly how to setup operations like this. I find no less then 2-10 ways to do anything in sprutcam. I use ver 12x and many operations have changed. As you mentioned stock definition, part model, model import and operation results are not always predictable and close attention is required for many settings, simulation and code generated. I find at times its super easy to get results for rotary ops and other times I fight it and end up just using brute force to get the right results.

    Side note , i was thinking fusion had decent 4th axis ops these days.

  11. #11
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    If fusion 360 has 4th axis capability, its hard to find. I'm looking at the multi axis tab and it lists three options, swarf, multi axis contour and flow. The descriptions for each of them don't include 4th axis machining. If you have any better information on this, please share.

  12. #12
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    Re: SprutCAM for 4th axis on PCNC100

    Quote Originally Posted by jimlake View Post
    If fusion 360 has 4th axis capability, its hard to find. I'm looking at the multi axis tab and it lists three options, swarf, multi axis contour and flow. The descriptions for each of them don't include 4th axis machining. If you have any better information on this, please share.
    Sorry no experience with fusion, just what I see online.
    I think your on the right track. I would use normal indexed rouging operations to remove most of the material then setup 3d or 2d rotary operations to finish all the features and surfaces.

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