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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > EnRoute > 3D Profiles in Enroute 6 - Is it possible?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Question 3D Profiles in Enroute 6 - Is it possible?

    I am posting in hopes on finding a method of creating a 3D routing-offset tool path.

    Specifically, I am trying to part a vacuum formed plastic component from the surrounding material. This part is complex, and the edge I want to cut along is 3D, (picture a roller coaster path).
    I know how to machine a 3D surface, but creating a single line path that follows a 3D surface eludes me. Apply to Relief doesn't seem to have any effect on the Routing-Offset tool path, nor to an Engraving toolpath. I've tried creating a narrow relief that follows the perimeter, but when I create an Island Fill tool path, it comes out very jagged. I feel like I am close, but can't quite figure it out. Also, the way I am potentially going to get it to work takes a lot of steps and is convoluted, so finding a simpler, quicker way would be great.

    If anyone has expereince with reliefs and 3D tool paths, please chime in.


  2. #2

    Re: 3D Profiles in Enroute 6 - Is it possible?

    I don't have any experience with the full 3-d version of Enroute (Pro). But on the lesser version Enroute Plus it is possible to program a tool to follow a 3d line exactly. Using the engraving tool, simply check the "follow path" checkbox in the bottom section of the first dialog window that pop up when you click the engrave button (with the 3d drawn line selected.) The same option is also available and works the same way for an open offset tool path. I know this works because I just used it today to mill a sloped pocket in a piece. And it is also the basis for how Enroute's rapid texture tool works. I often use this tool to mill a faux "live edge" on some pieces to give the look of a piece of slab wood. I usually use about 3 or 4 passes with a 3/4" ball end mill to make an edge for a 3/4" thick board.

    Now I believe that the full 3d versios Enroute Pro, also adds the ability to carve 3d reliefs (such as milling a mold), and I don't know what other 3d features it adds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: 3D Profiles in Enroute 6 - Is it possible?

    Good point, the software does follow 3D lines when using the rapid texture function. I know it can follow any path. I guess what i'm struggling with is getting a specific 3D path into the software. I have a 3D line in Solidworks, but can't seem to find a way to import that into Enroute to use as a tool path. Any ideas there?

    Thanks for your input. And that faux live edge insight, that might come in useful.

  4. #4
    *Registered User*
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: 3D Profiles in Enroute 6 - Is it possible?

    I'm sure it can be done since even version 5.1 can do that. In my opinion after a year of working with version 5.1 this is how I would handle it. Create the entire 3D shape that you want in Solidworks and save the solid as an STL. Then you can import the STL into Enroute and make a relief from that. Follow these steps:

    Import the STL and then make sure it is scaled to the right size.

    Set the imported STL so that it's base is at Z zero.

    Draw a 2D shape around the outside of the STL that is larger than the stl.

    Select the 2D geometry you juST MADE and then select create relief icon or from the drop down menu. Usually you will be creating a flat relief from this geometry and then you will add the stl shape in the next step. So make sure that you use the add button with a flat top option.

    When you have created the relief from the 2D shape it will have some dashed line through it to show that it is a 3D relief.

    At this point in version 5.1 (don't know about 6), you can select the rendered option under the surfaces menu and the flat relief will be yellow and the imported stl will be a red color.

    Now select both the stl and the flat relief that you made from the 2d geometry by dragging a selection box around both entities. Once you do select the option add mesh under the surfaces menu. I think it's called the add mesh or something very similar. Choose the flat face option unless you want Enroute to try and smooth the faces.

    IF this works you will have the original stl and then this 3D relief that is the same shape as the stl but with this zero thickness area around the outside. They will be occupying the same space.

    Now, what you do, is get into a side view and then select the create slice under the surfaces menu. You are going to create a slice of this relief you just made but without the zero thickness skirt around the edge.

    After selecting create slice then click on the zero thickness edge of the yellow relief to select it and then click on the green checkmark. Do not select any other options at this time. This will crate a copy of the skirted relief but without the skirt on it.

    If this worked, the new relief will be added and selected. Drag it away from the others before you deselect it. Once yo have this you can delete both the red imported stl and the skirted relief.

    You now have a 3d relief of the solidworks file and you can 3d machine any of the top and side surfaces with any size ball nose mill.

    If you want a fine resolution it will take a long time to machine. Try a 90-95 percent stepover with a 1/8 inch ball mill. It will take hours but look very nice. Make sure that you rough everything in first with a bigger ball mill at about 25-35 percent step-over so that
    the finishing mill does not need to take more than one pass.

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