In my last post, I showed several wrong ways to machine steep and non-steep geometry. In this post, I will show a method that is better.
NX CAM can scrutinize a model and determine the angle of steepness relative to the tool axis. It does it by creating a tessellated approximation of the actual surfaces, and then comparing those surfaces to a fixed vector…oh, who am I kidding? I don’t know how it does it, and that’s OK. All I know is it works.
The NC programmer can limit a specific machining strategy based on the angle of the surface to the tool axis. The default angle is 65°, but I will use 45° for my demo.
I will use Z-Level machining for the steep areas. Z-Level steps down a given amount in the Z-axis on each successive pass as it profiles the geometry. Another name for this is “waterline machining”.
For the non-steep areas I will use Area Milling with the cut pattern set to Follow Periphery (the NX CAM name for offset pattern).
So, about that Grand Canyon hike – the next day I got up early, packed my tent and hiked out of that hole. I did it two hours quicker than the hike in. I also lost about 10 lbs (5 kg) over that two-day excursion, and I walked like Festus from Gunsmoke for a week. Still, I highly recommend hiking it if you ever get the chance.
Thanks for reading.
Jim has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and over 25 years of experience in the CAD/CAM field. He serves as Field Support for Siemens PLM CAM products. Prior to his current role, he held stints as CNC Programmer, CAD/CAM Department Manager, CAD/CAM instructor, and Project Coordinator for Siemens PLM CAM software development. He also made the Kessel Run in slightly over 18 parsecs.