September 3, 2015

Technical: SmartCAM Regions. Part 1

Hi, and another very warm welcome from all of us to all of you.

You’ve reached the SmartCAMcnc Blog. We created our blog to primarily inform about this-or-that aspect of our CAM software / CNC Programming software, but we also post other information that we hope you will find interesting and informative.

We intend to provide a mixture of information here on our blog that will be of interest to our valued existing customers and potential new SmartCAM users alike.

We just know that this post will be of interest to everyone who understands CAM. It has a technical bias, where I’d like to provide information to you about one of the most powerful yet possibly underused features of SmartCAM Milling applications:

SmartCAM Regions

Part 1

Rest Mill Regions
SmartCAM Region technology is applied in several use cases in SmartCAM. In this first part of our discussion about Regions we’ll focus on how they are used for Rest Milling functionality; creating regions of material left-over after roughing that can be used as inputs to a Region Roughing Process to generate rest milling toolpath using smaller diameter tooling. 

An extract from our reference documentation can set the scene for us:

Use Rest Output to create 2D rest mill regions representing uncut material left behind by the roughing tool. The rest mill regions can then be cut with a smaller tool using the Region Rough process and a Part Offset toolpath. 

SmartCAM Rest Milling

We’ve roughed out the pocket on the model below using a 1 inch diameter tool in the Wireframe Pocket Process.

The Process includes options to generate the rest-regions needing to be machined, in this case by a finishing or semi-finishing tool of 1/2 inch diameter.

I’ll focus on just one area of the model, and remove the holes from the view just for clarity.

The picture below shows the Pocket Process Parameters panel and the settings I have used to control Rest Mill Region output.

The rest regions required for the smaller tool are automatically generated on my preferred CAD Layer, 7, and as a Named Group called ‘Restmill Regions’ when my options are used. The rest mill region results for the sample model are shown in blue:

Rest Machining
The Rest Roughing process can then be used to easily generate rest region clean-up toolpaths. The image below shows the roughing toolpath in dark blue and the rest-machining process toolpaths in red:


And I have verified the toolpaths using SmartCAM ShowCut verification. The effect of the roughing and rest mill toolpaths are easiest to see in the plan view:

That completes the first part of my short overview of the SmartCAM Region tools. With the use case that we have just studied, you have seen that they can provide significant time-savings when rest-machining regions are unavoidable and need to be processed.
More later
We intend to cover another use of SmartCAM Region technology in an additional article soon; to create machining boundaries that can be comprised of wholly closed or open regions.

Keep in touch
Check back with us soon, won’t you. If you’re interested in speaking to us about SmartCAM then contact us using the link to our email that we’ve included below.

We hope you have found this detail of our SmartCAM CAM software interesting and helpful.

Have a great day,

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