How should the cut levels be set up to machine the two .094" wide by .094" deep grooves that are at different levels with a .094" cutter using the Z Level Profile Toolpath? Can I do them with one toolpath? I'd like to set the depth of cut to .020" so that it takes 4 passes @ .020" and a final pass @ .014". Would I have better luck with a different toolpath?
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Because the cutting tool width is equal to the width of the groove, Zlevel Profile may not work that well unless you slightly reduce the diameter. Also, the grooves in your picture show that they have undercuts. This is a problem for Zlevel Profile. Finally, the requirement of having a different cut level distance for the last level would be a challenge for this operation.
Instead, I suggest using Planar Mill to get the desired output. Specify the following parameters:
Specify the Part Boundaries as the upper edge of the outter wall and set the Tool Side to inside.
Specify the Floor as the bottom face of the groove.
Set the Cut Pattern to Profile.
Edit the Cut Levels. Set the Type to User Defined, the Common Depth per Cut to 0.0200, and the Distance From Floor to 0.0140.
Edit the Non Cutting Moves. Set the Closed Area Engage Type to Ramp on Shape with a Ramp Angle you find acceptable. Or you can set the type to plunge if the material is soft. Set the Open Area Engage Type to Same as Closed Area.
Generate the operation. The output should be what you need.
Keep in mind that this works only with a planar floor. Your pictures appear to show that the groove floor is planar and perpendicular to the tool axis, but I'm not 100% sure.
Let us know if this works.
I made up a quick sample to show you some options if I can just figure out how to upload it.
Zlevel is probably not a good option. Besides what Justin mentions about the width of the groove being the same as the tool, you will have difficulty getting the depths the way you want them on both of the grooves. It will be good on the deeper one, but the higher one will be what NX decides. Floor Wall will cut both the inside and outside of each slot even if the size of the groove and the size of the cutter are exactly the same. Also, it will average out your cut depths and give you five passes of equal distance. Planar Mill works reallly great if you want multiple operations. You can control the first, middle and last pass depths seperately, but multiple floor depths in one operation can give you interesting results depending on the relationship of the two depths and how the boudaries interact with each other.
Finally, I got exactly what you wanted with fixed axis using boundaries and doing multiple depth passes. I used the floors as the cut geometry and and also as the part geometry. You must have part geometry to get multiple depth offsets, but if the walls are part geometry, it will not cut correctly. So I put it outside the workpiece and then picked the floors as part geometry inside the operation. Hopefully the part file will upload and you can explore the sample part.
Hope that helps,
P.S. Looks like it does not like my file. If someone will educate the newbie to the forum on how to upload an NX part file I would appreciate it...
OK thanks guys! I'm much more familiar with Planar Milling and am just expermienting with possibly a different way to do this. I was able to get Z Level Profile to work by eliminating the undercuts. The cutter being used is .0938" so I had .0000" for my out tolerance and +.0002" for my in tolerance. I did have to use two seperate toolpaths however, one for each level.