Freesteel Blog » Truemill videos

Truemill videos

Monday, January 22nd, 2007 at 7:32 pm Written by:

I wrote the FAQ before checking things out more carefully. Surfcam have some nice videos of the Truemill thing in action, and it seems on one or two of the examples it clears more than one level.

To recap, our Adaptive Clearing algorithm uses a model of the stock, and is very good at the rest roughing cycle. So, by default, it cuts a layer at the greatest depth of the tool, and then clears the remaining material on a series of up-stepping layers to leave a well-roughed part. To the best of my knowledge, the Truemill algorithm is less good at this because it plans the toolpath from the shape of the pocket and is less able to take advantage of any areas that have already been cleared.

However, the final video on the page, labelled: “Stainless 420/ .750 inches deep/ 125IPM /3175MMPM/ (short version)”, shows the tool clearing on an upper level at 1minute into the video. Unfortunately, they’ve edited out the crucial period where it would be possible to see whether the it was done efficiently, or there was a lot of cutting of air.

There’s also a a nice screencast on this page explaining the Tool Engagement Angle. The first versions of our algorithm also used an “engagement angle”, but we had to change it to engagement width once we applied it to ball-nosed cutters where the radius changes significantly towards the tip of the tool. A small stepover with a ball-nosed cutter on a series of straight cuts has a constant engagement width (equal to the stepover) at any height, however the engagement angle gets wider when the radius of the tool starts to shrink.

Other observations

The other thing they’ve got now is RapidRough, which is some kind of rest roughing cycle. It’s good to see that Step Reduction MillingTM no longer gets a mention as this was a feature so trivial it caused a psychological disconnect just knowing that someone had bothered to go to the trouble of patenting and trademarking it; you always wondered if there you were missing something that made it more than the utter obviousness of inserting a plurality of smaller steps between the bigger steps.

It was no surprise that the patent office had accepted it, because they accept anything and have serious conflicts of interest on account of getting paid per patent while not being liable for compensation to the victims who have had to fight against a bogus patent until it gets over-turned in court. It was a marketing ploy. However, it always seemed to be treating end-users as though they were idiots who couldn’t recognize detrivializing hype.

So, it’s a lot better now. I could say about how the page doesn’t get new diagrams very often (now missing the dog on the skateboard), lacks an RSS feed, blog, public user forum; but most CAM companies don’t do the internet well. Counter-intuitively, having a network of dealers (note: selection box on country doesn’t do anything) doesn’t lead to good web-pagery. Since the company doesn’t sell through the web-page, it’s not taken very seriously. You just need to have one, and you try to make it so it’s not embarrassing. Of course, if you gave editing rights to all the salesmen and told them that making good improvements to the company webpages could make up for not hitting quarterly sales targets, then things would get fixed every quarter.

No need to point out that our webpage is not all that great either, but we are just two people, and we’re supposed to be doing some programming as well. However, Martin and I spent all morning cutting wood off a fallen tree with a small saw. The tree came down in the same storm that nearly stranded me in Manchester, and closed all the trains in Germany for the first time since the war.

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