Instead of having to install CAM software on your computer, the Onshape App Store offers Integrated Cloud Apps that let you quickly and seamlessly create machining operations for your CAD models. I’d like to introduce you to OnCreate3D, a free and convenient integrated app for 3D milling, offering a variety of toolpaths such as Contour, Pocket, Parallel, Radial and more.
Let’s take a look at how to use OnCreate3D to create machining operations and NC File output for your Onshape models!
The first step is going to the Onshape App Store. You can find the App Store button in the top right corner of your Document.
Once in the Onshape App Store, click the “CAM” filter on the left.
Click “OnCreate3D” and then “Subscribe.” Now you will need to confirm by clicking “Get for free” and then entering your Onshape password. This adds the OnCreate3D app to your Onshape account.
Once you have subscribed to the OnCreate3D app, you can export your model by clicking the “+” icon in the bottom left corner of any Document. You will see an option to “Add application.” Choose your product (in this case, OnCreate3D) and the app launches. The first time the app launches, you will need to authenticate it. Then simply choose the part or assembly that you want to create the machining sequences for.
Once you have chosen the part to take to OnCreate3D from a selection dialog box, a new tab opens up and shows your model within the OnCreate3D application. OnCreate3D automatically creates the Mill3D type project for you.
You will see buttons in the toolbar for creating various toolpath operations on your model. Hovering the mouse over each button will show you a tooltip. At the center of the toolbar, you will find the file name and units. On the right side of the toolbar, you will see buttons to manipulate views and download NC Files.
Your operations list will show you various toolpath operations when you have created them. Currently, however, the tree will be empty. Click on the “Finish Parallel Toolpath” button to create your first toolpath operation. It will launch a dialog box to ask your input for tool parameters, motion parameters and operation parameters specific to this operation. Let’s accept the default parameters and click OK.
As the application processes the data and creates a toolpath, you will see various messages popping up in the bottom right corner. Once the operation is complete, it is added to the Operations List, and the toolpath motions are displayed in graphics. The app is now ready to process further input.
Use the left mouse button to dynamically rotate the model, the middle mouse button to zoom in/out and the right mouse button to pan the model.
Click the “Play” button at the top right of the toolbar to simulate the toolpath operation. A small dialog will appear to allow you to increase/decrease the speed of simulation.
You can create multiple toolpath operations and try changing parameters to get the feel of how operations are created. Each new toolpath operation will be added to the Operation List. Only one toolpath operation is displayed at a time and you can select the operation to display by clicking on it.
Here’s an example of the Finish Contour toolpath operation:
Here’s an example of the Finish Radial Toolpath:
The final step is getting the NC File output for you to machine the component on your CNC Machine. Click on the NC button, and choose “Edit Post file” on the dropdown menu. You will then see a dialog box to edit POST parameters. Once you are done with your modifications, click to accept the changes.
Now, click “Download NC File” in the dropdown menu to save the NC File on your computer. The file will be in your download folder and can be displayed in your choice of text editor.
So now it’s time to have some fun with Onshape and OnCreate3D!
Clicking on the OnCreate3D logo in the top toolbar will take you to the application’s dashboard. If you have exported many parts from Onshape to OnCreate3D, you will see all of them in the dashboard.
Without the hassles of software installation, you can now have CAD and CAM at your fingertips. You can use OnCreate3D to generate NC Files or just for finding cycle times for machining. Stay tuned for some exciting upcoming features, including: stock display and its use in toolpath calculations, rewind/forward during simulation for large toolpath operations, and using Onshape sketches for Mill2D projects to create simple 2.5 Axis milling and lathe toolpath operations.