How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog, we showed you how to set up the multi-sided part shown below:

How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

In Part 2, we will show you how to load a tool library and program the toolpaths needed for Setup 1 (TOP). This article assumes that you have already familiarized yourself with VisualCAMc basics. If you are a new user, I recommend that you first review the VisualCAMc Quick Start Guide video. Also for brevity, we will not be showing every dialog. We will show you which icon or button to press to display a dialog and then list only those parameters that you need to check. The remaining parameters can remain at their default values.

The Part

The part for this exercise is located in the Onshape Document named “Worm Gear Housing – VisualCAMc Guide.” The Document is located in your VisualCAMc Public folder that was added to your Onshape account. I suggest that you first make a copy of this Document to use with this step-by-step guide. Just left-click on the Onshape Document, select “Copy Workspace,” and change the name if desired. The illustration below shows you the four directions (or Setups) that will be used to machine this part.

How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

Setup Directions for Machining

Fixturing

For this part, we will assume that the stock is being fixtured to the CNC machine table using fixture blocks and side access compression-style clamps. To avoid the clamps, we will be machining the outer perimeter at ½ depth from Setup 1 (TOP) as well as doing the same from Setup 4 (BOTTOM). This will leave you 0.7” from the base of the part for clamping.

Load the Tool Library

To save time programming this part, we have created a predefined tool library containing all the cutting tools you will need to program all four sides of the part. Here is how to access and load this tool library:

  1. With the VisualCAMc app loaded and the Onshape part document open, you will see a Folder tab element called Library, located to the right of the VisualCAMc tab. Select it now.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  2. From the Library folder, select the tab for the file “Worm-Gear-Housing.csv.”
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  3. Now select the Download button in the top-right corner of the Onshape browser.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  4. The file will download to your local hard drive.
  5. Open the local folder where the downloaded file is located and move it to your desktop or a folder location that you have access to.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  6. Now select “All Tabs” to get back to and select your VisualCAMc tab.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  7. From the VisualCAMc Machining Browser, select the Tools tab.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  8. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the Tools Library (lower) section of the browser, select the Import Tools Library icon from the toolbar.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  9. Use the File Open dialog to locate the file “Worm-Gear-Housing.csv” that you just downloaded in the previous step and pick Open.
  10. The tools in the library are listed in the lower portion of the Tools browser. Make sure the Tools Library selector is set to Worm-Gear-Housing.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  11. Now Left-Click-Drag each tool from the Worm Gear Housing Tool Library (bottom of the browser) up and into the Tools folder of the Tools in Session (top of the browser). Do this for each tool.

    Note: You can also do this while creating each machining operation (i.e., when the operation dialog is displayed) by switching to the Tools tab, drag and drop a tool, and switch back to the Machining Job tab.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

  12. Your Tools in Session list should look like this:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  13. Now change back to the Machining Job tab of the Machining Browser.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

Machining Setup 1 (TOP)

How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)With the Machine, Post, Stock, Setups and Tool Library defined, we are now ready to program the top side of the part. These toolpaths will be located under Setup 1 (TOP) in the Machining Bowser. The completed Setup in the Machining Job tree is shown here.

Since this is a more advanced tutorial, we will assume that you are familiar with the Machining Browser and toolpath operation dialogs. We will simply list the key parameters that need to be checked for each toolpath strategy.

Top Face Off:

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Work Zero located directly beneath Setup 1 (TOP). NOTE: It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation! We want these toolpath operations to be located BELOW the Work Zero in Setup 1 (TOP).
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 2-½ Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select “Facing” to display the Facing dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, right-click on the bottom edge of the part to chain-select the entire bottom perimeter.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name, enter: Top Face Off
  6. For the Tool, select: Face Mill: 2”
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters:
    Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
  10. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Location of Cut Geometry: Pick Top: -0.10 (this is the top of the part)
    Total Cut Depth: 0
  11. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Exit: None
  12. Check the following Advanced Parameters tab:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  13. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  14. Now right-click on Top Face Off in the Machining Browser and select “Simulate.” The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  15. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Z Rough (Top):

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Top Face Off operation you just created. NOTE: It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. From the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 3 Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Z Level Roughing.
  4. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then select Z Level Roughing to display the operation dialog.
  5. For the machining regions, right-click on the bottom edge of the part to chain-select the entire bottom perimeter. If the regions are preselected from the previous Facing operation, skip this step.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  6. For the toolpath Name enter: Z Rough (Top)
  7. For the Tool, select: Flat Mill: 0.5.
  8. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  9. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  10. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    In Tolerance: 0.001
    Out Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0.025
    Use Facing cut patterns for core regions: Checked
  11. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters/Cavity/Pocket cut patterns tab:
    Stepover Distance: % Tool Dia.: 40
    Cleanup Pass: Checked
  12. Check the following Core/Facing cut patterns tab:
    Island Offsets: Checked
    Stepover Distance: % Tool Dia.: 40
    Corner Cleanup: Checked
  13. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Stepdown: Distance: 0.125
    Cut Levels: Top: -0.10
    Cut Levels Bottom: -1.50
    Clear Flats: Checked
  14. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Helix, Angle: 10, Height: 0.05, Radius: 0.0625
    Always engage in previously cut area if possible: Checked
  15. Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Exit: None
  16. Check the following Advanced Parameters:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  17. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  18. Now right-click on Z Rough (Top) in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  19. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Outer Pocket Profile:

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Z Rough (top) operation you just created. It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 2-½ Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Profiling to display the operation dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, left-click to select the 5 edges on each side of the part as shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name enter: Outer Pocket Profile
  6. For the Tool, select: Flat Mill: ⅜”.
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
    Cut Start Side: Determine using 3D model
    Total Cut Width: 0
  10. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Location of Cut Geometry: At Bottom
    Total Cut Depth: 1.0
    Rough Depth/Cut: 0.188
    Depth First: Selected
  11. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Engage Motion: Radial (use default values)
    Apply entry/exit at each cut level: Checked
    Exit: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Retract Motion: Radial (use default values)
  12. Check the following Advanced Parameters:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  13. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  14. Now right-click on Outer Pocket Profile in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  15. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Parallel Finish (Gear Pocket):

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Outer Pocket Profile operation you just created. It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 3 Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Parallel Finishing to display the operation dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, left-click to select the 4 edges on each side of the cylinder shaped pocket as shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name enter: Parallel Finish (Gear Pocket)
  6. For the Tool, select: Ball Mill: 0.25”.
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    In Tolerance: 0.001
    Out Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
    Stepover Distance: % Tool Dia.: 10
  10. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Engage Motion: Linear: Length: 0, Angle: 0
    Exit: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Engage Motion: Radial (use default values)
    Apply entry/exit at each cut level: Checked
    Exit: Retract Motion: Linear: Length: 0, Angle: 0
    Cut Connections: Straight
  11. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  12. Now right-click on Parallel Finish (Gear Pocket) in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  13. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Gear Pocket Profile:

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Parallel Finish (Gear Pocket) operation you just created. NOTE: It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 2-½ Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Profiling to display the operation dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, left-click to select the 5 edges on each side of the part as shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name enter: Gear Pocket Profile.
  6. For the Tool, select: Ball Mill: 0.25”.
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
    Cut Start Side: Determine using 3D model: Checked
    Corner Cleanup: Checked
    Total Cut Width: 0
  10. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Location of Cut Geometry: At Top
    Total Cut Depth: 0.500
    Rough Depth/Cut: 0.125
  11. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Lines & Arcs
    Approach Motion: Length: 0.25
    Engage Motion: Radial: Radius: 0.25
    Apply entry/exit at each cut level: Checked
    Exit: Lines & Arcs
    Retract Motion: Radial: Radius: 0.25
  12. Check the following Advanced Parameters:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  13. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  14. Now right-click on Gear Pocket Profile in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  15. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Pocketing (Gear Pocket Thru Hole):

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Gear Pocket Profile operation you just created. NOTE: It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar, select the 2-½ Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Pocketing to display the operation dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, left-click to select the top edge of the gear pocket thru hole as shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name enter: Pocketing (Gear Pocket Thru Hole)
  6. For the Tool, select: Flat Mill: ¼”
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
    Stepover Distance: % Tool Dia.: 10
    Cleanup Pass: Checked
  10. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Location of Cut Geometry: At Top
    Total Cut Depth: 0.500
    Rough Depth/Cut: 0.125
  11. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Helix, Angle: 10, Height: 0.05, Radius: 0.0625
    Exit: Radial: Radius: 0.0625
  12. Check the following Advanced Parameters:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  13. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  14. Now right-click on Pocketing (Gear Pocket Thru Hole) in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  15. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Perimeter Profile (Half Depth):

  1. From the Machining Job, select the Pocketing (Gear Pocket Thru Hole) operation you just created. NOTE: It is important to know what is currently selected in the Machining Job tree before creating an operation.
  2. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    Then from the VisualCAMc Main toolbar select the 2-½ Axis menu.
  3. How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
    From the menu, select Profiling to display the operation dialog.
  4. For the machining regions, right-click on the bottom edge of the part to chain-select the entire bottom perimeter as shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  5. For the toolpath Name enter: Perimeter Profile (Half Depth)
  6. For the Tool, select: Flat Mill: 0.5
  7. Set the Feeds and Speeds suitable for machining 6061 Aluminum.
  8. Set Clearance Plane to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane.
  9. Check the following General Parameters tab:
    Tolerance: 0.001
    Stock: 0
    Cut Start Point for Closed Curves: Use Midpoint of longest side: Checked
    Cut Start Side: Determine using 3D model: Checked
    Total Cut Width: 0
  10. Check the following Cut Levels Parameters tab:
    Location of Cut Geometry: Pick Top: 0.00
    Total Cut Depth: 0.800
    Rough Depth/Cut: 0.250
  11. Check the following Entry/Exit Parameters tab:
    Entry: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
    Apply entry/exit at each cut level: Checked
    Overlap Dist for Closed Profiles: 0.200
    Exit: Lines & Arcs (use default values)
  12. Check the following Advanced Parameters:
    Perform Arc Fitting: Checked
    Fitting Tolerance: 0.002
  13. Pick Generate Toolpath. The results should be similar to the toolpath shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  14. Now right-click on Perimeter Profile (Half Depth) in the Machining Browser and select Simulate. The toolpath will simulate in the display window:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  15. Use the controls on the Simulate toolbar and then pick Exit from the toolbar to close the simulation. The in-process stock will display over the part.

Post Process G-Code

You can post a G-Code file for one or more toolpath operations, an entire Setup of operations or the entire Machining Job. For this part, we will post each Setup to individual G-Code files. That way we can decide later (i.e., at the CNC machine) in which order we want to machine each setup.

  1. From the Machining Job tree, select Setup 1 (TOP), right-click and select Post-Process. This will post all operations within (below) that setup.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  2. The G-Code file is automatically downloaded to your local hard drive and will use the file naming conventions specified in the Preferences dialog. To change these preferences, select the Preferences icon How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)located at the top-right corner of the Machining Browser and then select the Post tab of the Preferences dialog shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  3. Based on my Post Preferences, the file named “Worm Gear Housing – VisualCAMc Guide_Setup 1 (TOP).nc” was downloaded to my default downloads folder on my local computer.
  4. I can go to that file and open it to see the G-Codes for Setup 1 (TOP). A portion of the file is shown below:
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

Machining Setup 2 (LEFT) and Setup 3 (RIGHT)

Here is a look at the toolpath strategies for Setup 2 (LEFT) and Setup 3 (RIGHT). Both setups have two Profiling toolpaths to machine the half pockets on both sides of the part. For brevity, we will only summarize them here and go into more detail in a companion post:

  1. Setup 2 (Left), Profile (Outer Left) shown:

    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2) How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)
  2. Setup 3 (RIGHT), Profile Inner Right) shown:

    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2) How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

Machining Setup 4 (BOTTOM)

How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)Here is a look at the toolpath strategies for Setup 4 (BOTTOM). This setup has a mixture of 2½ Axis, 3 Axis and Drilling toolpath strategies. Again, for brevity, we will only summarize them here and go into more detail in a future post:

  1. The toolpath strategies used in Setup 4 (BOTTOM) are shown here in the Machining Job tree.
  2. The HS Rough Pockets (⅜” EM) is shown below with the High Speed pocketing cut pattern.
  3. The toolpath strategies used in this setup (from top to bottom) include: Facing, Z Level Roughing, Profiling, Drilling and Hole Pocketing.
    How to Machine a Multi-Sided Part in VisualCAMc for Onshape (Part 2)

Let’s Review:

  1. You can machine multi-sided parts in VisualCAMc using Setups. Each Setup can have one or more Work Zeros and contain all of the toolpath strategies needed for that setup.
  2. The 2½ Axis machining strategies used for Setup 1 (TOP) include Facing, Profiling and Pocketing. The 3 Axis machining strategies used include Z Level Roughing and Parallel Finishing.
  3. Each toolpath can be graphically simulated to show the tool motions and the in-process stock definition.
  4. The entire Setup was posted to a g-code file for the Haas controller, downloaded to my computer, and displayed in notepad for my final review.
  5. The blog post covered Setup 1 in detail. Look for future companion blog posts that illustrate setups 2, 3 and 4 in detail.

Try It Yourself

If you want to learn more about the VisualCAMc Milling plugin for Onshape, check out MecSoft’s Products Page and YouTube Channel for what’s new, specifications, videos, tutorials and more. To get VisualCAMc, go to the Onshape App store and add VisualCAMc to your Onshape account. Enjoy!

You may also like...

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注