This Tech Tip explains how to configure face milling operations to best cover long, narrow parts, so that cuts are always climb (or conventional) cuts and stepovers are made off the part on the short ends.
Using standard operations for face milling long parts is not satisfying in some cases.
A desired output is to use an alternative zig on the part, doing rapid motions outside the part, as seen below.
How to achieve that?
First select contour area operation type.
Set method to boundary
Use Follow Periphery
Select Boundary (face, curve....)
Edit the menbers to add stock to the edges where you want entries and exits
Set the values to get a preview similar as seen below
Note the automatic stepover steps are done in a non-suitable area
To correct this use the customize dialog to add the Cut Regions Start Points function to the UI
Options --> Other Options
Select a point of the side where you want the first entry
The first generated tool path gives an output similar as below
For face milling we do not want the plunge and uphill moves
In Cutting Parameters set the Ramp Angle to 0.000 and Extend to Boundary ON
This will get rid of the plunge and uphill moves
Last but not least, modify the engage/retracts as seen below
Note you can also achieve it using pattern methods e.g. Surface Area
Set the Surface % and Second Direction number to get the desired behaviour
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About the Author
Lars Okkels is in the Manufacturing Business Group at Siemens PLM Software and focuses on part manufacturing solutions especially for Mold & Die. He has been in the industry for over 15 years and enjoys supporting NX users applying innovative manufacturing technology solutions. Lars is originally from Denmark and now resides in Shanghai, China, with his family.