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Machine Design

Spiral Toolpaths For Smoother Finishes

An interleaved spiral toolpath that uses a single pass technique to produce a superior finish on complex surfaces is available in NC software FeatureCAM.

Retract moves are kept to a minimum, so the tool stays on the metal and maintains smooth transitions for a faster and more productive toolpath. Typical Z-level cutting routines use a constant Z increment to create cutting passes, which can produce an undesirable finish on sloped surfaces or entirely miss shallow areas, depending on the depth of the Z increment. The Interleaved Spiral toolpath eliminates these problems by applying spiral cutting passes interleaved between Z levels based on desired scallop height and shape of the part. The NC software analyzes a part's slope and surfaces, and uses a scallop height constraint to calculate whether spiraling passes are needed between Z levels to produce the appropriate surface finish. Users simply specify the maximum slope value (for example, any slope less than 30°) for toolpaths to be interleaved and the software calculates where spiraling passes are needed and what Z increment is required for a constant scallop height.

Engineering Geometry Systems,
275 E. South Temple, Suite 305,
Salt Lake City, UT 84111,
(888) 393-6455,

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