Contour Milling

CIMCO CNC-Calc V8 can generate contour milling toolpaths - with and without radius compensation.

You can watch the related video for this part of the tutorial here:

Creation of Contour Toolpaths

To begin the creation of an NC program for the contour operation, select Contour Milling to generate a CNC-toolpath for contour milling (ensure that ISO Milling is selected in the field File Type).

Write the text CONTOUR in the Comment field of the CNC-Calc pane Contour Milling. This text will be included at the start of the final NC code for this operation. When multiple operations exist in the same NC program, the comments will help to locate and identify the start of each operation.

Move the pointer over the outlining contour of the drawing. This highlights the contour element; the arrows indicate the direction the tool will travel. Click on the part of the element that makes the contour direction clockwise like in the picture below.

What side the tool will machine is controlled by the Work Side drop-down box on the General tab in the parameters dialog.

Click on the button Parameters in the CNC-Calc pane Contour Milling. This will open the configuration dialog for setting the contour milling parameters.

Enter the values into the Parameters dialogs as shown in the pictures below.

General Tab

This tab contains all the general parameters that are used for roughing and finishing in both depth and side cuts.

Linking Tab

Configures the way that the tool moves between cuts. This is known as a linking move. A linking move consist of three phases: 1: The Retract move from the current depth to the configured height where horizontal moves can be safely executed. 2: A horizontal move to the place where the start point of the next cut. 3: Down movement to the start point of the next cut.

Side Cuts Tab

Configures the cuts taken in the XY direction.

Depth Cuts Tab

Configures the cuts taken in the Z direction.

Lead In/Out Tab

Configures the way the tool will approach the contour at the start/end of the roughing, and for each finishing pass.

The use of lead in/out is optional, when the compensation is set to computer or none. It is however mandatory, when any compensation is performed by the controller.

Now, close the parameters dialog with OK. To show the generated toolpath click on Show Toolpath button in the Contour Milling pane.

Click on the button Export Clipboard. The NC operation is now in the clipboard, and it is ready for insertion.

Change the window to that of the NC program and press Ctrl+End to move to the very end of the file. Insert the text from the clipboard just before the M30 line, either by pressing Ctrl+V, or selecting the icon Paste from the Edit toolbar in the Editor tab.

The NC program in the Editor now consists of two operations, and currently they are both made with the same tool. Now we need to insert a new tool for the contour operation. See section "Inserting a Tool with Feed and Speed Calculator" for information on how to insert a tool using the Feed and Speed Calculator.