Freesteel Blog » A new machining strategy is born

A new machining strategy is born

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 at 12:18 pm Written by:

A couple of days ago I thought of a natural way to generate constant-Z (waterline passes) within a rest area boundary, as it is generated in my code. So I turned off the internet until now so I could get it done.

As you can see, there isn’t much resampling in the corners, because I’m not doing any subdivision on the inner areas of the cutter location surface; this will require some planning to make it possible to rework these areas after they have been generated.

However, it looks like it could be robust and fast enough to make it possible to mess around with the positioning of the slices. That means, rather than having to step down in Z evenly, we can generate the contours for loads of tiny increments in Z, and choose the ones which are the best positioned (as we do for conventional Z-profiling). The stepping in Z will be closer together on the shallower slopes so that the toolpaths are evenly spaced apart.

The connectivity of a rest area region, as it runs up and down and along all the inner edges where the larger cutter couldn’t reach, is often very complex, which means that finding the right order for all the little paths is quite tricky.

This will be a job to do in Python, at least experimentally. Might be able to experiment with really radical spiral motions on walls where the contours form loops. We’ll see.

I’ve also not got the answer for the flat areas of the rest area region. Should there be a scallop path from the last Z-toolpath? It’s not easy to see how to do it. The scallop implementation requires generating a whole new contour per step. This Z-cut thing involves tracking a path within one model.

One interesting point about this strategy is that it uses every part of the system, from pencil milling, fillet surfaces, contact area detection, and scallop offsets. If this works well, then so does everything else. So it’s a benchmark for the whole.

Now time to see what’s come through my emails in the past two days. Uh-oh.

1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel » Blog Ar&hellip replies at 3rd December 2006, 12:24 am :

    […] mber of ideas, some of which will probably void all that excitement I was having about the Z-level machining within waterline areas. I was genuinely surprised when I saw Vero Software’s sp […]

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