PowerMILL 8.

0

Reference
By Delcam plc

Release Issue 1.0

Disclaimer Delcam plc has no control over the use made of the software described in this manual and cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage howsoever caused as a result of using the software. Users are advised that all the results from the software should be checked by a competent person, in accordance with good quality control procedures. Information contained in this manual is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment by Delcam plc. The software described in this manual is furnished under licence agreement and may be used or copied in accordance with the terms of such licence. No part of this manual may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, for any purpose without the express permission of Delcam plc. Copyright © 1996-2007 Delcam plc. All rights reserved. Acknowledgements This documentation references a number of registered trademarks and these are the property of their respective owners. For example, Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Patents The Raceline smoothing functionality is subject to patent applications. Patent pending: GB 2374562 Improvements Relating to Machine Tools Patent granted: US 6,832,876 Machine Tools Some of the functionality of the ViewMill and Simulation modules of PowerMILL is subject to patent applications. Patent granted: GB 2 423 592 Surface Finish Prediction PowerMILL Version: 8.0 Date: 18/09/2007 19:39

Contents
Overview Screen layout 1 4
The Machining Process .....................................................................2

Graphics window ...............................................................................6 Check boxes and dialogs ...................................................................7

Help

9

Tooltips ..............................................................................................9 Status bar help....................................................................................9 Context-sensitive online help ..........................................................10 Manuals............................................................................................11

Explorer

13

Context menus .................................................................................16 Collective entity context menu................................................16 Individual entity context menus ..............................................18 Active entities ..................................................................................19 Drag and drop techniques ................................................................21 Drag and drop Toolpaths example ..........................................21 Placing Multiple Toolpaths into an NC Program....................22 NC Programs ...................................................................................24 NC Program context menu ......................................................24 Individual NC Program context menu.....................................26 NC Program Toolpath menu ...................................................34 Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program ....................................35 NC Program Dialog.................................................................38 NC Preferences Dialog ............................................................48 NC Program Preferences .........................................................54 Postprocessing toolpaths .........................................................57 Specifying the Name and Location of the Output File ...........58 Edit Selected NC Programs Dialog .........................................60 Edit All NC Programs Dialog .................................................63

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Contents • i

NC Program Commands/Comments Dialog ...........................63 Displaying NC Programs.........................................................64 Use of Variables in NC Programs ...........................................66 Toolpaths .........................................................................................67 Toolpaths context menu ..........................................................68 Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes ..........................75 Individual Toolpath context menu ..........................................79 Variable Feed Rates.............................................................. 100 Toolpath Information............................................................ 101 Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing ......... 101 Appending Toolpaths within Explorer ................................. 107 Tools ............................................................................................. 109 Tools context menu .............................................................. 110 Individual Tool context menu .............................................. 122 Tool toolbar .......................................................................... 127 Boundaries .................................................................................... 128 Creating Boundaries ............................................................. 129 Boundaries context menu ..................................................... 130 Individual Boundary context menu ...................................... 133 Boundary Toolbar................................................................. 146 Patterns ......................................................................................... 148 Patterns context menu........................................................... 148 Individual Pattern context menu........................................... 150 Embedded Pattern Dialog..................................................... 158 Pattern Toolbar ..................................................................... 159 Feature Sets................................................................................... 160 Feature Sets context menu.................................................... 160 Individual Feature Set context menu.................................... 166 Feature Dialog ...................................................................... 173 Smart Creation...................................................................... 185 Draft Angle ........................................................................... 187 Edit Features Graphically ..................................................... 190 Reverse Holes ....................................................................... 191 Editing automatically identified holes.................................. 195 Workplanes ................................................................................... 200 Workplanes context menu .................................................... 200 Individual Workplane context menu .................................... 206 Undo Redo Workplane Transformations (embedded) ......... 209 Transform Toolpath - Link (embedded)............................... 210 Levels and Sets ............................................................................. 211 Levels and Sets context menu .............................................. 211 Individual Level or Set context menu .................................. 212

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Models .......................................................................................... 215 Models context menu ........................................................... 215 Individual Model context menu ........................................... 219 Transform Model dialog....................................................... 227 Deferred Loading.................................................................. 232 Surface Modelling ................................................................ 233 Stock Models ................................................................................ 234 Stock Models context menu ................................................. 234 Stock Models state menu...................................................... 235 Individual Stock Model context menu ................................. 238 Stock Model Representation ................................................ 247 Groups........................................................................................... 248 Groups context menu............................................................ 248 Individual Group context menu............................................ 249 Macros .......................................................................................... 251 Macros context menu ........................................................... 252 Individual Macro context menu ........................................... 253 Displaying Macros in Explorer ............................................ 254 Folders .......................................................................................... 260 User Menus................................................................................... 263 Rules For Creating User Menus ........................................... 264

Browser and Recycler

266

Browser......................................................................................... 266 Starting PowerMILL with a File already Loaded ................ 267 Recycle Bin................................................................................... 269 Permanently Deleting Items ................................................. 271

Menu bar

273

Keyboard accelerators .................................................................. 274 File Menu...................................................................................... 276 File - Open Project................................................................ 277 File - Open Project Read - Only ........................................... 277 File - Close Project ............................................................... 278 File - Save Project ................................................................ 279 File - Save Project As ........................................................... 279 File - Save Template Objects ............................................... 281 File - Import Model .............................................................. 282 File - Export Model .............................................................. 284 File - Examples..................................................................... 285 File - Print Preview............................................................... 286 File - Print............................................................................. 287

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Contents • iii

File - Recent Projects............................................................ 287 File - Recent Models ............................................................ 288 File - Delete Selected............................................................ 288 File - Delete All .................................................................... 288 File - Exit .............................................................................. 288 View Menu ................................................................................... 289 View - Resize to Fit.............................................................. 289 View - Zoom to Box............................................................. 290 View - From.......................................................................... 291 View - ISO............................................................................ 292 View - Tool........................................................................... 292 View - Rotation Anchor ....................................................... 293 View - Refresh...................................................................... 294 View - Toolbar...................................................................... 295 View - Dialogs...................................................................... 295 View - Snapshot ................................................................... 296 View - Dynamic Sectioning ................................................. 297 Insert Menu................................................................................... 306 Insert - Project ...................................................................... 306 Insert - Toolpath ................................................................... 307 Insert - Template Objects ..................................................... 307 Insert - Session ..................................................................... 308 Draw Menu ................................................................................... 309 Draw - Model........................................................................ 309 Draw - Block ........................................................................ 315 Draw - Drilling Holes........................................................... 315 Draw - Active Axes .............................................................. 315 Draw - Transform ................................................................. 315 Draw - Cursor ....................................................................... 315 Draw - Wireframe................................................................. 317 Draw - Shaded ...................................................................... 317 Draw - Draw All ................................................................... 317 Draw - Undraw All ............................................................... 317 Tools Menu................................................................................... 318 Tools - Echo Commands ...................................................... 318 Tools - Reset Forms.............................................................. 319 Tools - Snapping................................................................... 320 Tools - Snap Filter ................................................................ 320 Tools - Filter Style................................................................ 321 Tools - Customise Paths ....................................................... 321 Tools - Release Licences ...................................................... 326 Tools - Request Licences...................................................... 327 Tools - Customise Colours ................................................... 328

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tools - Options ..................................................................... 333 Help Menu .................................................................................... 345 Help - Contents..................................................................... 345 Help - What's New................................................................ 345 Help - Check for PowerMILL Updates................................ 346 Help - Subscribe to the PowerMILL Newsletter.................. 346 Help - Visit the User Forum ................................................. 347 Help - Data Translation Services.......................................... 347 Help - Delcam on the Web ................................................... 348 Help - About ......................................................................... 348

Main toolbar

349

Open Project ................................................................................. 350 Save Project .................................................................................. 351 Print............................................................................................... 353 Block............................................................................................. 354 Defined By............................................................................ 354 Block - Toolbar..................................................................... 356 Block - Limits....................................................................... 357 Block - Cylinder Parameters ................................................ 357 Block - Estimate Limits........................................................ 358 Block - Remaining fields...................................................... 359 Edit a Block Graphically ...................................................... 360 Feeds and Speeds.......................................................................... 362 Using the Feeds and Speeds dialog ...................................... 367 Rapid Move Heights ..................................................................... 374 Safe Area .............................................................................. 375 Workplane ............................................................................ 376 Rapid Move Type ................................................................. 377 Start and End Point ....................................................................... 378 Lock ...................................................................................... 379 Use ........................................................................................ 380 Approach/Retract Along....................................................... 381 Leads and Links............................................................................ 382 Leads and Links - Z Heights ................................................ 383 Leads and Links - First Lead In............................................ 385 Leads and Links - Lead In - Lead Out.................................. 385 Leads and Links - Last Lead Out ......................................... 396 Leads and Links - Extensions............................................... 397 Links ..................................................................................... 399 Lead In Ramp Options.......................................................... 407 Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing ......... 410

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Contents • v

Tool Axis Direction ...................................................................... 411 Definition.............................................................................. 411 Tool Axis - Limits ................................................................ 422 Tool Axis - Collision Avoidance.......................................... 430 Raster Collision Avoidance Example................................... 435 Constant Z Collision Avoidance Example ........................... 438 Defining Limits for a Multi-Axis Machine .......................... 441 Point Distribution ......................................................................... 448 Output Point Distribution ..................................................... 448 Point Separation.................................................................... 450 Point Distribution - Mesh ..................................................... 451 Automatic Verification ................................................................. 451 Automatic Collision Checking ............................................. 452 Component Thickness .................................................................. 454 Surface Thickness................................................................. 454 Surface Defaults dialog ........................................................ 466 Toolpath Strategies ....................................................................... 467 Creating a New Toolpath Template ..................................... 471 Favourites ............................................................................. 477 Area Clearance.............................................................................. 478 Area Clearance Strategy ....................................................... 481 Buttons.................................................................................. 484 Tool....................................................................................... 485 Name..................................................................................... 485 Tolerances............................................................................. 485 Stepover ................................................................................ 488 Stepdown .............................................................................. 489 Cut Direction ........................................................................ 497 Boundary .............................................................................. 498 Create Boundary ................................................................... 502 Profiling ................................................................................ 503 Area Filter............................................................................. 508 Tool Axis .............................................................................. 509 Lead in Moves ...................................................................... 509 High Speed Machining ......................................................... 512 Rest Machining..................................................................... 524 Order and Angle of Machining ............................................ 526 Expert Area Clearance.......................................................... 543 Plunge Milling Toolpath....................................................... 558 2D Machining Wizard .......................................................... 560 Finishing ....................................................................................... 572 Strategies .............................................................................. 574 Buttons.................................................................................. 580

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Name..................................................................................... 581 Tool....................................................................................... 581 Tolerances............................................................................. 581 Stepover ................................................................................ 582 Boundary .............................................................................. 583 Leads and Links.................................................................... 584 Tool Axis .............................................................................. 585 Display.................................................................................. 585 Toolpath Specification.......................................................... 585 3D Offset Toolpath............................................................... 585 Constant Z Toolpath ............................................................. 587 Along Corner Toolpath......................................................... 591 Automatic Corner Toolpath.................................................. 594 Multi-Pencil Toolpath .......................................................... 595 Pencil Toolpath..................................................................... 596 Stitch Corner Toolpath ......................................................... 597 Disc Profile Finishing........................................................... 599 Embedded Pattern Finishing ................................................ 601 Interleaved Constant Z Finishing ......................................... 614 Offset Flat Machining........................................................... 618 Optimised Constant Z Toolpath ........................................... 619 Parametric Offset Finishing.................................................. 623 Pattern Toolpath ................................................................... 627 Profile Toolpath.................................................................... 635 Curve Projection Toolpath ................................................... 646 Line Projection Toolpath...................................................... 654 Plane Projection Toolpath .................................................... 658 Point Projection Toolpath..................................................... 663 Surface Projection Toolpath ................................................. 668 Radial Pattern Toolpath........................................................ 673 Raster Toolpath .................................................................... 675 Raster Flat Machining .......................................................... 683 Rotary Toolpath.................................................................... 686 Spiral Pattern Toolpath......................................................... 689 Surface Finishing.................................................................. 690 Swarf Machining - Overview ............................................... 695 Swarf Machining .................................................................. 696 Wireframe Swarf Finishing .................................................. 714 Wireframe Swarf Finishing .................................................. 715 Plunge Milling ...................................................................... 720 Port Machining ............................................................................. 725 Port Machining Strategies .................................................... 727 Buttons.................................................................................. 728

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Name..................................................................................... 728 Tool....................................................................................... 728 Tolerances............................................................................. 729 Stepover ................................................................................ 730 Boundary .............................................................................. 731 Leads and Links.................................................................... 733 Tool Axis .............................................................................. 734 Display.................................................................................. 734 Port Area Clearance.............................................................. 734 Port Plunge Finishing ........................................................... 741 Port Spiral Finishing............................................................. 744 Blisk .............................................................................................. 745 Blisk Machining Strategies .................................................. 746 Buttons.................................................................................. 747 Name..................................................................................... 748 Tool....................................................................................... 748 Tolerances............................................................................. 748 Stepover ................................................................................ 749 Boundary .............................................................................. 751 Leads and Links.................................................................... 753 Tool Axis .............................................................................. 754 Blisk area clearance .............................................................. 755 Blade finishing...................................................................... 763 Hub finishing ........................................................................ 766 Example of Blisk machining ................................................ 767 Drilling.......................................................................................... 775 New Dialog........................................................................... 776 Buttons.................................................................................. 779 Name..................................................................................... 779 Tool....................................................................................... 780 Tolerances............................................................................. 780 Links ..................................................................................... 781 Select and Draw.................................................................... 781 Drilling Strategy ................................................................... 782 Expert Drilling...................................................................... 788 Sorting .................................................................................. 795 Auto Hole Selection ............................................................. 799 Helical Milling...................................................................... 801 Compound Holes .................................................................. 807 Drilling Method ............................................................................ 814 Defining a Drilling Method .................................................. 816 Editing a Drilling Method .................................................... 824 Tools used in a Drilling Method........................................... 824

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Create Toolpath List ..................................................................... 825 Toolpath Verification ................................................................... 826 Split Toolpath ....................................................................... 828 Toolpath Verification - Collision Options ........................... 828 ViewMill....................................................................................... 830 Calculator...................................................................................... 831 Calculator.............................................................................. 831 Calculator - Line................................................................... 833 Calculator - Circle ................................................................ 835 Copying Data from Field to Field ........................................ 836 Measurer ....................................................................................... 838 Create Electrode............................................................................ 838 Delcam Electrode example................................................... 838 Launch AutoCAM ........................................................................ 842 PS-Exchange................................................................................. 843

View toolbar

845

View manipulation ....................................................................... 846 View along.................................................................................... 848 Isometric views............................................................................. 849 Last view and refresh.................................................................... 849 Zoom............................................................................................. 849 Block............................................................................................. 851 Shading toolbar............................................................................. 851

Tool toolbar

857

Tool dialog.................................................................................... 861 Tool length overview............................................................ 862 Tool Tip dialog ..................................................................... 864 Tool Shank dialog................................................................. 873 Tool Holder dialog ............................................................... 875 Tool Cutting Data dialog ...................................................... 878 Tool Description Dialog ....................................................... 883 Tool Assembly toolbar ......................................................... 884 Creating a Routing Tool ....................................................... 885 Creating a Tool Shank .......................................................... 887 Creating a Tool Holder......................................................... 891 Creating a Form Tool ........................................................... 896 Tool Database ............................................................................... 903 Creating tools from the tool database................................... 907

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Contents • ix

Toolpath toolbar

909

Drawing options............................................................................ 910 Transform Toolpath ...................................................................... 915 Move to Relative Position .................................................... 916 Rotate Toolpath .................................................................... 917 Mirror in Plane...................................................................... 918 Transform to Workplane ...................................................... 919 Transform to World.............................................................. 920 Limit Toolpath .............................................................................. 921 Limit Toolpath to Plane........................................................ 923 Limit Toolpath to Polygon ................................................... 924 Limit Toolpath to Boundary................................................. 925 Divide Toolpath ............................................................................ 927 Divide Toolpath by Angle .................................................... 928 Divide Toolpath by Direction............................................... 929 Divide Toolpath by Length .................................................. 931 Divide Toolpath by Time ..................................................... 932 Divide Toolpath by Retract .................................................. 933 Move Toolpath Start Points.......................................................... 934 Tool Axis Editing ......................................................................... 935 Select Regions tab ................................................................ 935 Edit Tool Axis tab ................................................................ 938 Example of tool axis editing................................................. 940 Update Region .............................................................................. 957 Reorder ......................................................................................... 959 Reorder toolbar ..................................................................... 961

Boundary toolbar

965

Boundary types ............................................................................. 967 Common boundary controls ................................................. 968 Block Boundary.................................................................... 970 Rest Boundary ...................................................................... 971 Selected Surface Boundary................................................... 972 Shallow Boundary ................................................................ 974 Silhouette Boundary ............................................................. 975 Collision Safe Boundary....................................................... 977 Stock Model Rest Boundary................................................. 979 Contact Point Boundary ....................................................... 982 Contact Conversion Boundary ............................................. 988 Boolean Operation Boundary ....................................................... 990 Example of Boolean operations on two boundaries............. 991

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

User Defined Boundary ................................................................ 993 Example of User Defined Boundary .................................... 996 Insert into Boundary ................................................................... 1000 Boundary Sketcher dialog .......................................................... 1002 Boundary Editor dialog .............................................................. 1005 Boundary Thickness ................................................................... 1006 Surface Thickness............................................................... 1007 Surface Defaults Thickness ................................................ 1011 Creating Boundaries within other Boundaries ........................... 1012 Boundary behaviour with regard to segments ............................ 1017

Pattern toolbar

1021

Pattern Maker dialog .................................................................. 1023 Insert into Pattern........................................................................ 1032

Simulation

1037

Simulation Toolbar ..................................................................... 1040 Simulation Keyboard Shortcuts.......................................... 1041 Workplane Construction from Current Machine Tool Position ............................................................................................ 1043 Simulation Information ...................................................... 1049 ViewMill toolbar ........................................................................ 1056 ViewMill Views ................................................................. 1059 Kinematic shaded image..................................................... 1062 Machine toolbar .......................................................................... 1065 Simulation viewpoint.......................................................... 1066 Create the rest roughing toolpath ....................................... 1067 Example of Gauge Distance Offset .................................... 1069 MTD-based Kinematics...................................................... 1072 Simulation Examples .................................................................. 1077 Toolpath Animation............................................................ 1077 ViewMill Simulation .......................................................... 1078 Speeding up ViewMILL simulations ................................. 1080 Machine Simulation............................................................ 1082 Combining simulations....................................................... 1084

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Information toolbar Command window Status bar Web toolbar AutoCAM Reference

1085 1086 1089 1090 1092

Project Details............................................................................. 1093 Model Details ..................................................................... 1095 Stock Details....................................................................... 1097 Preferences.......................................................................... 1098 Buttons................................................................................ 1104 AutoCAM Tools and Toolpaths ................................................. 1106 Tools Required ................................................................... 1107 Toolpath Sequence ............................................................. 1109 Final Finishing Raster Stepover ......................................... 1109 What do you want to do next?............................................ 1110 View of Batch Toolpaths.................................................... 1111 View of each Toolpath ....................................................... 1112 AutoCAM Output ....................................................................... 1112

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply 1115 Index 1139

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Overview
You can import both solid and surface CAD models in a variety of formats and use the latest machining techniques (from 2.5D through to 5axis simultaneous machining) to generate gouge-free CNC milling toolpaths. These toolpaths can then be checked for collisions against other models (for example, clamps) and the tool holder, before being output to cutter location and tape files. Prior to output, you can verify a toolpath or a complete NC program on screen, using PowerMILL's full workpiece simulation, which allows you to load entire machine tools, and visualise machine and cutting tool simulation from different perspectives. The accuracy of the machined part produced by PowerMILL is limited by the accuracy of the model read into the program. Therefore, it is essential that the original model be produced to an adequate tolerance.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Overview • 1

The Machining Process
Setup

Before you start machining, you must set the part up correctly. This involves retrieving the component, defining a block to represent the raw material, and defining various other parameters (such as the tool geometry and feed rates).
Creating Toolpaths

You can then create a variety of toolpaths, for example: Area Clearance Roughing for general area clearance. Rest Roughing to remove the material left by the larger, Area Clearance tool, leaving only areas which require smaller cutters to be remachined. High Speed Finishing 3D Offset for a high quality surface finish (in that the stepover is constant across all surfaces irrespective of whether they are steep walls or shallow contoured areas). Constant Z for steep sides, and, optionally, a continuous spiral. Optimised Constant Z for consistent tool loading and the fewest possible sudden changes in direction (3D Offset for flatter areas and Z-level finishing for steeper areas). Specialist Machining Corner machining to clean up corners that occur between nontangential surfaces. Profile machining to profile around the outside of the selected surfaces. Projection machining for awkward/less accessible areas and multi-axis machining. Rotary machining for cylindrical components. Swarf machining for cutting with the side of the tool as the tool follows two curves. You can generate a swarf toolpath from two wireframe curves and use tapered tools as required.

2 • Overview

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation

There are two modes of toolpath simulation: Workpiece simulation, which allows you to load entire machine tools and visualise machine and cutting tool simulation of the active toolpath, or of a complete NC program, from different perspectives. Tool simulation, which allows you to quickly visualise the active toolpath as it would be generated using either the original, or an alternative, cutting tool, or a complete NC program. You can also use Stock Model to visualise the unmachined stock at any point in the machining process.
Cutter File Generation

Finally, the toolpaths can be output in any of the following formats: Standard cutter location format. DUCT picture format. Postprocessed tape file format (NC Program).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Overview • 3

Screen layout
The following window is displayed on starting PowerMILL:

The screen is divided into the following main areas:

4 • Screen layout

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

- Menu bar (on page 273) provides access to a number of menus. Selecting a menu, such as File, opens a list of associated commands and sub-menus. Sub-menus are indicated by small arrow to the right of the text. For example, selecting File - Recent Projects displays a list of recently used projects. - Main toolbar (on page 349) provides quick access to the most commonly used commands in PowerMILL. - Explorer (on page 13) provides control over all PowerMILL entities. - Graphics window (on page 6) is the working area of the screen. - View toolbar (on page 845) provides quick access to the most commonly used views in PowerMILL. - Status bar (on page 1089) displays information relating to the current display. This can, for example, be a brief description of the item beneath the cursor, or information about the calculation that is in progress. - Information toolbar (on page 1085) displays some of your current setup options as a reminder. - Tool toolbar (on page 857) facilitates the rapid creation of tools in PowerMILL.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Screen layout • 5

The other toolbars are not factory defaults, and may not be shown at startup. To display any of these, select them using the View Toolbar option; for example, choose View - Toolbar - Toolpath to display the Toolpath toolbar.

Graphics window
When you start PowerMILL, the graphics window is blank except for the Transform (global coordinate system) in the middle of the screen and the Active Axes in the bottom left of the screen. These look along the Z axis by default and change as you manipulate the views. Display of the coordinate systems is controlled using Draw Transform or Draw - Active Axes. They are both ticked (and displayed) by default - simply select the required option to remove the associated tick (and axes), and then reselect it to redisplay the tick (and axes). As the axes are drawn by default in white, you will not see the axes if your background is white.

6 • Screen layout

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

If you wish to change the colours of the background, select Tools Customise Colours and choose View Background. You can change the Top and/or Bottom colours and Reset them or Restore Defaults if you change your mind afterwards:

PowerMILL remembers your toolbar and colour selections from one session to the next. For example, if you have the Toolpath toolbar shown when you exit a session, it appears the next time you start PowerMILL.If you change your background to a light colour, you can change the colour of the axes in the graphics window by selecting Transform from the above dialog.

Check boxes and dialogs
Data is entered into PowerMILL using dialogs, which contain some or all of the following: Edit boxes into which parameters are entered. Options, in the form of drop-down lists. Other toolbars or buttons.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Screen layout • 7

Check boxes, which are binary switches that you click in order to either select (tick) or deselect (untick) a particular command to change the operation of subsequent commands (for example, when you create a workplane, you select the Draw box to tick it and subsequently display the workplane (otherwise, you simply leave it unticked):

There are subtle differences between Accept, Apply, Cancel and Close: Accept - accepts the new values and then closes the dialog. Apply - accepts the new values and performs any processing tasks associated with the dialog, but leaves the dialog box open, which enables you to enter alternative values. Cancel - ignores any changes, restores the previous values, and closes the dialog. Close - closes the dialog, keeping any previous changes.

8 • Screen layout

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Help
PowerMILL offers the following forms of help: Tooltips. Status bar help. Context sensitive online help. Manuals.

Tooltips
Tooltips are displayed by hovering the cursor over the required buttons. Each tooltip gives a brief description of the function of the associated button, for example:

Status bar help
When you hover the cursor over a button, help is displayed in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen. So, when you place your cursor over the Rapid Move Heights button, you see the following help in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen as well as the tooltip:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Help • 9

Context-sensitive online help
Pressing the F1 key displays help for the area of the screen that has current focus, such as a display pane (Explorer, graphics window), a dialog, or a dialog tab. Where there is no focus, the contents page for the main Help is displayed, so that you can navigate from there. To display the help topic relating to an element on the main PowerMILL screen (a toolbar button, an Explorer entity), hold down the Shift key and press F1. When the cursor changes to , click the item of interest to open the help topic: .

If you want to cancel context-sensitive mode, press the Esc key.

10 • Help

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

To display context-sensitive help for an element within a PowerMILL dialog (such as a field or a button), click the button. When the cursor changes to , click the item to open the help topic:

Manuals
The PowerMILL manuals offer additional help. There are two types of manual: Printed manuals, for example What's New and Getting Started. Online reference manuals in PDF format, which you can print.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Help • 11

12 • Help

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Explorer

The explorer pane on the left of the graphics window allows you to control the display and statuses of all PowerMILL entities, including your macros.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Explorer • 13

An example of the explorer showing a variety of entities and associated controls:

The controls work in a similar manner for all entities: Plus and minus symbols - these work as a 'toggle': Clicking expands the associated folder and changes the symbol to . Clicking collapses the associated folder and changes the symbol back to . Light bulb symbols - these work as a three-way 'switch' for drawn entities (for example, Toolpaths and Tools): is the default setting when an entity is first created, signifying that it is currently active. Clicking changes the symbol to is drawn). (to signify that the entity

14 • Explorer

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Clicking changes the symbol to (to signify that the entity has now been hidden, or 'undrawn'). These two symbols ( and ) then work together as a 'toggle'. If an 'undrawn' entity is made active again after being inactive, then the symbol reverts to the initial . An entity is always drawn when it is first activated or reactivated. At this time, it is also written in bold and preceded by a ">" in Explorer (in the preceding example, > Tip2Dia10 is the Active tool). Many entities are given numeric default names on creation. So, for example, the first toolpath you create is automatically called "1", the second "2", and so on. It is often better to rename an entity to give it a more meaningful name. The quick way of doing this is to highlight the entity in the Explorer, and then click on it. The name is now highlighted, and has a box around it: . Enter the new name, for example RestRough, and press the . Return key:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Explorer • 15

Context menus
You can click any entity in Explorer with the right mouse button to bring up a 'context menu' of options that are available for the entity at that moment in time. If you right click a collective entity (see "Collective entity context menu" on page 16), for example Toolpaths, then the menu items will relate to toolpaths in general, allowing you, for example, to de-activate or draw them all simultaneously. If you right click an individual entity (see "Individual entity context menus" on page 18), for example a toolpath called Roughing, then the menu items will relate to just that toolpath (its display and activation status, Settings, and so on). Individual entity context menu items within a particular collective entity contain the same commands (so, for example, the context menus for all individual toolpaths, be they Roughing, Finishing, or whatever, all contain the same options).

Collective entity context menu
This is an example of Toolpaths collective context menu, with the submenu Toolpath Names displayed:

16 • Explorer

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Some of the options are common to many of the collective context menus: Deactivate - de-selects the active entity (in this case toolpath). Draw All - displays (draws) all the entities (in this case toolpaths) so that they have the symbol shown alongside them. Undraw All - hides (undraws) all the entities (in this case toolpaths) so that they have the symbol shown alongside them. Delete All - deletes all the entities (in this case toolpaths). Be careful when choosing this option as there is no 'undo'. If you want to create multiple entities (in this case toolpaths), with a common prefix, select Toolpath Names (on page 71) - Rename: None. When prompted to enter the template name, enter the prefix you want to be added to all your new toolpaths.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Explorer • 17

Individual entity context menus
As an example of the use of the menu for an individual entity, you can, in addition to the method of object renaming shown previously (see "Explorer" on page 13), select the Rename option from the entity's context menu:

Some of the options are common to many of the individual context menus: 'Switches' such as Activate and Draw. When these are ticked (as in Activate above), then the associated commands are executed. When they are not ticked (as in Draw above), then the commands are not executed (so, in this case the toolpath is not drawn - you would need to click Draw to tick the option and see the toolpath). Settings. This option displays the parameters that were used to create the entity (in this case, the Raster Finishing toolpath parameters will be displayed, and you will be then able to click on the dialog to edit them).

18 • Explorer

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Save as Template. When you create a new toolpath, you are given a choice of templates on which to base it, for example:

If you want any of the toolpaths that you have created under Toolpaths in Explorer to be added to this list of templates for future use (under any of the tabs shown), then right click the toolpath and, from the context menu, select Save as Template. After selecting the parameters to be saved, you can then save the toolpath in the folder that corresponds to the tab in which the template is to appear.

Active entities
Prior to creating a toolpath, it is essential that the entities needed for the toolpath are active, particularly the tool, workplane, boundary/pattern, and, if the toolpath is to be post-processed, the NC program. Just because an entity is drawn does not mean that is it active, and, similarly, it is possible to have active entities that are undrawn. You can only have one active entity within each collective entity. You can tell whether or not an entity is active and drawn by looking at it in Explorer:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

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Each active entity (regardless of whether or not it is drawn) is always displayed in bold type and is preceded by >, for example:

In addition, when a graphical entity is first made active, or is reactivated, it is automatically drawn and appears in Explorer alongside the symbol . Clicking changes the symbol to (to signify that the changes the symbol to (to entity is drawn). Clicking signify that the entity has now been hidden, or 'undrawn', even though it may still be active). These two symbols ( and ) then work together as a 'toggle'. If an 'undrawn' entity is made active again after being inactive, then the symbol reverts to the initial . If you wish to make an entity active so that it is displayed in bold type and is preceded by >., either: double click its icon so that it is displayed in bold type and is preceded by >. Or right click the entity in Explorer and select Activate from the context menu. Any previously active entity within the collective entity is deactivated automatically in favour of the newly activated entity.

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Drag and drop techniques
Entities can be reordered within the Explorer. This works in a similar way to many other Windows applications and is best shown by example.

If you select the bottom toolpath in the list Swarf and then drag it you will find that the cursor changes to show that it is dragging the toolpath:

Now you can place it elsewhere in the tree.

It will always place the selected toolpath after the currently highlighted toolpath. This means that to place a toolpath at the top of the tree you have to place it on the Toolpaths entity. Certain entities can be placed in other entities using drag and drop techniques. This is true for placing toolpaths in an NC Program and placing entities in a group.

Drag and drop Toolpaths example
You can drag and drop toolpaths from one NC Program to another or from the Toolpath list to an NC Program.

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1. First create a new NC Program by right clicking on NC Program in the Explorer and selecting the Create NC Program option and then click on Accept on the NC Program:1 dialog.

2. Now you can drag a toolpath, say Optimized Constant Z, from the toolpath list and drop it in NC Program 1.

3. This places a copy of toolpath Optimised Constant Z in NC Program 1.

4. Similarly you can drag and drop a toolpath between NC Programs. This copies the toolpath. So you end up with the same toolpath in two different NC Programs. A toolpath can appear in more than one NC Program. But, it can only appear once in each NC Program. If you really need the same toolpath in the NC program twice then you can make a copy of the toolpath and insert the copy into the NC program.

Placing Multiple Toolpaths into an NC Program
You can multi-select toolpaths from the toolpath list and then place them in an NC Program.

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1. First create a new NC Program by right clicking on NC Program in the explorer and selecting the Create NC Program option and then click on Accept on the NC Program:2 dialog.

2. Select the toolpaths you want in the NC Program (using the Shift key and the CTRL key as appropriate). 3. Right click in the Toolpaths area to display the Toolpaths context menu and select the Add to - NC Program option.

4. To check that this has worked, expand the NC Program 2. You will see the toolpaths selected from the list are now in this NC program.

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NC Programs
Projects can directly contain many NC Programs. These are shown in the Explorer under the NC Program branch of the tree. This allows you to place toolpaths in an NC program and then postprocess the results to create a tape file.

NC Program context menu
The NC Program context menu is raised by right clicking on the NC Program entry in the Explorer.

NC Programs - this is the name of this menu. Create NC Programs - creates a New NC Program. This displays the NC Program dialog (on page 38). Type in an appropriate Name and then click on Accept if you are happy with the default values. This NC Program is now the active NC Program and any toolpaths that you create will be displayed in the NC Program list as well as in the Toolpaths list. For more information on this dialog see NC Program Dialog (on page 38). For more information see Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program (on page 35). NC Program Names - defines the template that will be used for all new NC Programs. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Deactivate - de-selects the currently active NC program.

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Write All - postprocesses all your NC programs provided that you have specified your machine option file and any other preferences. For more information see Post Processing Toolpaths. This describes, in detail, how to postprocess a single NC Program. The principle is the same for multiple NC Programs. Setup Sheets (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - lets you create setup sheets straight away with the default set of templates included with your PowerMILL installation. You can also tailor the template set to match your needs, or completely re-design it with 3 party applications, such as Notepad, Excel, Dreamweaver, or Amaya.
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Preferences - defines all the generic information required for outputting toolpaths. Displays the NC Preferences dialog (on page 48). For more information see NC Program Preferences. Project Notes - records the project-specific data for your NC Program. Date - by default, this field displays the date of the current PowerMILL run, in the format yyyy-mm-dd. You can modify this value if required. Programmer - by default, this field displays the logged-in user name. You can modify this value if required. Customer - use this field to record the customer name. Part Name - use this field to record the part name. Order Number - use this field to record the order number. Project Name - a read-only field displaying the project name. Project Directory - a read-only field showing the full project path. CAD Model - a read-only field with a list all model files used in the project (as shown in the Explorer). Project Notes - use this field to write remarks, comments and observation that refer to entire project. Edit All - edits All NC Programs, not just new ones. The fields in this dialog are exactly the same as those on the Edit Selected NC Programs dialog (on page 60). Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260).

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Text Blocks (see "NC Program Text dialog" on page 29) - a command item that can be added anywhere in an NC program, just like a workplane. This contains the commands to be passed directly through to the machine tool. Delete All - deletes all the NC Programs. The toolpaths are not deleted and still remain in the toolpaths list, but they are no longer associated with an NC program.

Individual NC Program context menu
If you place your cursor over an individual NC Program and right click with the mouse you see the following context menu:

XYZ - this is the name of this menu and is the name of the selected NC program. Simulate from Start - enables you to simulate the selected NC program. The NC Program Toggle on the Simulation toolbar is updated with this NC Program. You can then use the Simulation Play buttons to simulate the NC Program. For more information see Example of Toolpath Animation (see "Toolpath Animation" on page 1077), ViewMill Simulation Procedure (see "ViewMill Simulation" on page 1078) or Example of Machine Tool Simulation (see "Machine Simulation" on page 1082). This feature is for visualisation purposes only and is not intended for use as a gouge checking tool.

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Write - postprocesses the NC program provided that you have specified your machine option file and any other preferences. For more information see Post Processing Toolpaths. Setup Sheets (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - lets you create setup sheets straight away with the default set of templates included with your PowerMILL installation. You can also tailor the template set to match your needs, or completely re-design it with 3 party applications, such as Notepad, Excel, Dreamweaver, or Amaya.
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Activate - it makes the NC program the active NC program. Activate Workplane - activates the workplane used to create this NC program and is the one that will be used on the machine tool. Settings - allows you to change the setting you defined when you create this NC Program initially. Any changes made here affect the SELECTED NC Program, not new ones. This displays the NC Program dialog (on page 38). For more information see Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program (on page 35). Edit Selected - allows you to change the setting you defined when you create the NC Programs initially. Any changes made here affect ALL SELECTED NC Programs, not new ones. This displays the Edit Selected NC Programs dialog (on page 60). Statistics - displays the length and time of all the leads, links and cutting moves as well as the number of lifts relating to the active NC Program. If this option is dimmed check that the NC Program is the active NC Program. Draw - determines whether the NC program is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Text Block (see "NC Program - Text Block" on page 28) - a command item that can be added anywhere in an NC program, just like a workplane. This contains the commands to be passed directly through to the machine tool.

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Insert (see "NC Program - Insert" on page 32) - inserts Workplanes and Tool Change Points into an NC Program.

Edit (see "NC Program - Edit" on page 33) - edits the active NC Program Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete NC Program - deletes the NC program. NC Program - Text Block Text Block is a command item that can be added anywhere in an NC program, just like a workplane. This contains the commands to be passed directly through to the machine tool.

Create - creates a Text Block in the NC Program. Once you have created the text block you can edit it using the context menus.

A Text Block in an NC Program has its own context menu (see "Text Block context menu" on page 29).

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Import - opens an existing text block. The Import Text Objects dialog is displayed. This is a standard Windows Open dialog. Text Block context menu Right clicking on a Text Block in the explorer displays the following menu:

Text Block - the name of the menu. Settings - this displays the NC Program Text dialog (on page 29). Remove Text Block - removes the current text block from the NC program. Export - saves an existing text block. The Export Text Objects dialog is displayed. This is a standard Windows Save dialog. Copy Text Block - copies the current text block, but doesn't add it to an NC program. NC Program Text dialog

The top left hand pane lists all the text blocks in the NC Program.

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Name - the name of the Text Block. Type - there are three types of text blocks.

The different types are represented by different icons in the Explorer:

Comment - this will appear in the NC Program Output file as a comment. For example, if you have This is a Comment then your NC Program Output file will contain something like N…(This is a Comment). Insert - this text will appear in the NC Program Output file. So this must be meaningful to the machine tool. For example, if you have M90 then your NC Program Output file will contain something like N…M90. PP Function - this is an instruction to the post processor. You must have the appropriate block in the postprocessor option file. For example, if you have Rotate 230 a suitable block needs to be added to the option file: define block ppfun Rotate A Argument end define then your NC Program Output file will contain something like N…A230. The bottom pane is where you type your text block. You can use variables (such as %[tool.radius]) in the text.

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Rotation - forces a C axis rotation in the postprocessor. If you enter 180 you will see C180 in the tape file and the postprocessor moving from C180. This enables you to rotate around the tool axis. The difference between this and using ppfun Rotate 180 is that the postprocessor takes account of the movement, so if the next move could be C10 or C170, C170 is chosen.

New Text Block - creates a text block, but doesn't add it to an NC program. Add Text Block - adds the current text block to the current NC program. Remove Text Block - removes the current text block from the NC program. Copy Text Block - copies the current text block, but doesn't add it to an NC program. Delete Text Block - deletes the current text block. Import - opens an existing text block. The Import Text Objects dialog is displayed. This is a standard Windows Open dialog. Export - saves an existing text block. The Export Text Objects dialog is displayed. This is a standard Windows Save dialog. The bottom pane is where you enter your text.

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NC Program - Statistics Statistics displays the length and time of all the leads, links and cutting moves as well as the number of lifts relating to the active NC Program. If this option is dimmed check that the NC Program is the active NC Program.

For more information see Toolpath - Statistics (on page 89). NC Program - Insert Inserts Workplanes and Tool Change Points into an NC Program.

Tool Changes - inserts the current active workplane as a tool change point before each toolpath in an NC Program. It converts this:

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to this:

Workplanes - inserts the active workplane before each toolpath in an NC Program. It converts this:

to this:

Adding a workplane at the start of an NC Program automatically makes it a tool change point. NC Program - Edit Edit - edits the active NC Program.

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Copy NC Program - creates a copy of the NC Program containing all the toolpaths of the original. The new NC Program has the same name as the original with the addition of -1. So a copy of xyz becomes xyz_1.

Notes - allows you to add notes to an NC program. Displays the Notes for NC Program dialog. In this case, the NC Program is called 2.

Date - defaults to today's date, but can be edited. Programmer - defaults to the programmer for the NC program, but can be edited. Notes - area where you record NC program notes.

NC Program Toolpath menu
If you place your cursor over a specific toolpath in an NC Program and right click with the mouse you see the following menu:

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Toolpath - this is the name of this menu. Properties - displays information about the toolpath in the following dialog:

Activate - it makes this toolpath the active toolpath. Setup Sheets: Snapshot - takes and displays snapshots. Current View - takes a snapshot of the current graphics view. Preview - displays the snapshot, that has already been defined, in the Browser pane. Remove Toolpath - removes this toolpath from this NC Program. It doesn't delete the toolpath or remove it from other NC Programs.

Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program
1. If you create a raster toolpath in the normal way you will find that it is displayed as usual in the Toolpaths list.

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2. Now create an NC Program by right clicking on NC Program in the explorer and select the Create NC Program option.

3. This displays the NC Program dialog.

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Type in an appropriate Name (of say, NCProg) and then, since you will use the default values, click on Accept. For more information on this dialog see NC Program Dialog (on page 38). 4. Then create a second raster toolpath in the same way you will find that it is displayed in the NC Program list as well as in the Toolpaths list.

5. Any subsequent toolpaths will also be added to NC Program NCProg.

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NC Program Dialog
The NC Program dialog is available from either the Settings option on the individual NC Program context menu, or by selecting the Create NC Program option on the NC Program context menu.

The top portion of the dialog contains information relevant to the NC Program as a whole. The lower portion displays information relevant to a specific toolpath within the NC program (the currently active toolpath). For more information on the lower portion of this dialog see Selected Toolpath information (on page 44). Name - the name of the NC Program as it appears in the explorer.

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Options - displays the NC Programs tab of the Options dialog. For more information see Tools - Options - NC Program (see "Tools Options" on page 333).

Root Name (on page 41) - defines the name and directory of the output file. There are a few additional special characters that you can insert here which will be automatically updated when you write the NC Program. This option is only useful for multiple output files. Output File - the name and directory of the output file when writing all the toolpaths in an NC Program in one file. The same variables are available as for Root Name (on page 41) , except %[counter] and %[toolpath]. This option is only available if you have deselected Write File for Each Toolpath on the NC Programs tab on the Options dialog. Machine Option File - defines the appropriate machine tool option file (such as Fanuc11m). Output Workplane - the workplane that will be used on the machine tool.

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Program Number - sometimes a control requires a number at the start to the NC program file, this allows you to enter that number. For example for the Fanuc controls the file looks something like this: % :1234 N10G91G28X0Y0Z0 N20G40G17G80G49 N30G0G90Z33.031 In this case 1234 is the program number. Automatic Tool Alignment - is turned off when, for some reason, the output workplane is different from the toolpath workplane but no angular moves should appear in the NC program file, for example if the head has been manually turned through the required angle. Part Name - is the name of the part which is being cut, it defaults to the same name as the NC program and can be used to appear at the beginning of the NC program file (depending on how the tape start is set in the machine option file). Tool Value - determines whether the output is specified in terms of Tool Tip or Tool Centre. The tool centre is defined as the tool tip offset by the tip radius in the direction of the tool axis. Connection Moves (on page 42) - determines how the tool moves from one toolpath to the next. In previous versions the tool moved to the new location and then rotated to the required orientation. This option is greyed out unless Multi-Axis toolpaths are present. Toolpath List (on page 43) - displays a list of the toolpaths in the NC Program together with the tool, tool diameter, tool length and tool number. Selecting one or more of the toolpaths in this list will then display the information about the toolpaths in the lower half of the dialog. Reset - resets the Tool Numbers to their original values. The Tool Number can be edited in the lower portion of the dialog and is displayed in the Toolpath List. Tool Change - specifies when a Load Tool command is written. On Change - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of the first toolpath and subsequently only if the tool geometry has changed. This will give a change if the tool length is different. Always - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of every toolpath even if the tool parameters have not changed.

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On New Tool - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of the first toolpath and subsequently only if the toolpath uses a different tool entity from the previous toolpath. Tool Number - defines which tool in the carousel, or reference number, to use. As Specified - uses the tool number specified in the Tool entity dialog or else you must type a Tool Number in the Toolpath Output dialog. If a tool number has not been specified in any dialog the a ? is displayed in the toolpath list, unless it is the first toolpath in which case the tool number is assumed to be 1. Automatic - numbers tool sequentially. The first tool is 1, followed by 2, 3, 4…. The tool numbers you edit behave like anchor points for the automatic numbering. Tool Change Position - determines whether the tool change takes place before or after the connection move. After Connection - the tool change takes place after the connection moves. This is the default behaviour and the only option in previous versions. Before Connection - the tool change takes place before the connection moves. The Before Connection option should only be used after checking the DUCTpost option files and verifying the output Root Name Root Name - defines the name and directory of the output file. There are a few additional special characters that you can insert here which will be automatically updated when you write the NC Program. This option is only useful for multiple output files. %[ncprogram] - inserts the current name of the NC Program when you write it. %[counter] - inserts the next number (0, 1, 2, 3…) when you write it. %[partname] - inserts the current value of the Part Name field when you write it. %[toolpath] - inserts the current name of the toolpath when you write it. %[workplane] - inserts the current name of the workplane when you write it.

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%[path_from_opt] - inserts a pathname based on the option file in the NC Program when you write it. For example, all NC Programs postprocessed with brid.opt option file would be written out to the /PMILL project/ncprograms/BRIDGEPORT subfolder. %[ncprogram.shortname] - forces the NC Program to have a maximum of 8 characters. You can use more than one of theses at a time. For example you could have %[ncprogram]_%[toolpath]_abc. If the NC Program was 1 and the toolpath MultipleCuts the output file would be 1_MultipleCuts_abc.tap. Connection Moves Connection Moves - determines how the tool moves from one toolpath to the next. In previous versions the tool moved to the new location and then rotated to the required orientation. This option is greyed out unless Multi-Axis toolpaths are present.

You have the choice of:

Move, Rotate - the tool moves to the new location and then rotates to the correct orientation. This was the only option in previous versions of PowerMILL. Rotate, Move - the tool rotates to the correct orientation and then moves to the new location. Simultaneous - the tool moves and rotates simultaneously.

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Toolpath List Toolpath List - displays a list of the toolpaths in the NC Program together with the tool, tool diameter, tool length and tool number. Selecting one or more of the toolpaths in this list will then display the information about the toolpaths in the lower half of the dialog.

The size of each column can be moved in a standard windows way by placing the cursor over the end of a column and dragging it to a new location.

The Number field is the Tool Number. If the Number is surrounded by brackets, (2) it indicates that there is no tool change for this toolpath. If the Number is preceded by an asterisk, * it indicates that Tool Number for this toolpath has been edited in the lower portion of this dialog. If the Number is replaced by a ? it indicates that no tool number has been specified, but a Tool Numbering of As Specified has been selected. You are not allowed to define the same Number for a tool as one that already exists for a different tool. The only time when this isn't the case is when you write a separate file for each toolpath, where all default tool Numbers will be 1. The first Tool Number in any file defaults to 1.

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Selected Toolpath information

The lower part of this dialog displays information about the selected toolpath (or toolpaths). These can be selected either from the toolpath list or from the list of toolpaths in the NC Program in the explorer. Tool - summarises the tool information defined when you created the tool. ID - the user defined name or description allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. Number - user defined tool number allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. Gauge Length - the length from tip of the tool to the top of the holder. By default this value is calculated automatically in PowerMILL from the Holder tab on the Tool dialog, but you can manually edit it here. If you do edit this value then, like the tool number, it is preceded with an *. This value is used for Multi-Axis calculation Cutter Compensation (on page 45) - for most controls except the Heidenhain the actual value used for length and radius compensation are entered into the machine tool by the operator. This is done by typing the values into a register which is then accessed by a number in the NC program. Drilling Cycle Output - saves drilling cycles as canned cycles. Coolant (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - allows you to specify the coolant: None - no coolant output. Standard - coolant turned on. Flood - coolant on flood. Mist - coolant on mist. Tap - tap coolant on.

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Air - air blast. Through - coolant through spindle. Double - two coolant codes are allowed. The coolant is always turned off at the end of a toolpath. Add Commands (on page 47) - clicking on this button displays a dialog that allows you to specify commands and comments that will be inserted into the NC toolpath. Output File - the name of the output file when writing all the toolpaths in an NC Program. The same variables are available as for Root Name (on page 41). This option is only available if you have selected Write File for Each Toolpath on the NC Programs tab on the Options dialog. Cutter Compensation Cutter Compensation - for most controls except the Heidenhain the actual value used for length and radius compensation are entered into the machine tool by the operator. This is done by typing the values into a register which is then accessed by a number in the NC program. For example, suppose you require a tool radius offset of 0.2 in the first toolpath and 0.4 in the second toolpath and set the radius offset number to 31 in the first toolpath and 32 in the second toolpath, the NC program file contains the codes G41 ... D31 in the first toolpath and G41 ... D32 in the second. Then type 0.2 into register 31 and 0.4 into register 32 and the values 0.2 and 0.4 will be used for the first and second toolpaths respectively. Most people use the same number for the length offset number, the radius offset number and the tool number, for example they expect to see T5, H5 and D5 in the same toolpath. Alternatively the radius offset number may have a fixed connection with the tool number, for example, if the tool number is 5 the radius offset number is 35, if the tool number is 7 the offset is 37.This can be easily taken care of by the postprocessor. Occasionally however it is not possible to do this, so PowerMILL has the ability to change the numbers if this is really required, but the default numbers are usually correct, and that the numbers are only used if length or radius compensation is being used.

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Length - this is the compensation length on the machine and it will only appear on files post processed for the Heidenhain control. It enables you to alter the length of the tool in the NC toolpath by specifying a new tool length here. The tool length used in PowerMILL remains unchanged. If the length compensation is switched off the value 0 will appear in the file. If it is switched on the default is the tool entity length. Length Offset Number - allows you to change the number in case the default numbers are not correct. Radius - this is the ability to offset a toolpath at the machine controller by an amount stored in a particular offset register. Compensation is added by issuing G41 (left offset) or a G42 (right offset) command at the beginning of the tool moves that require compensation. If you specify 2D currently a cutter compensation left code is issued. It is no longer possible to write normals and left/right codes in the same toolpath. So any option files which have cutter compensation left/right codes as well as the normals will have to be adjusted. Radius Offset Number - allows you to change the number in case the default numbers are not correct. 3D Cutter Compensation - when On the specified toolpath is created with the contact normals details in it. This is essential when the machine tool does the 3D cutter compensation and PowerMILL outputs i, j, k vectors in the tape file. To turn 3D Cutter compensation on for all toolpaths simply select all the toolpaths in the list and then select a Radius of 3D and check the Contact Normals option in the Calculation frame on the Tools Options - Toolpath dialog.

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Add Commands Add Commands - clicking on this button displays a dialog that allows you to specify commands and comments that will be inserted into the NC toolpath.

Commands and comments typed in here will be added to the output file. Any line starting with / is assumed to be a comment. Standard Message - defines where the standard messages generated by PowerMILL are output. There are three options: before a tool change; after a tool change; no messages are output. Command/Comment - defines where the commands/comments you have added above are output. There are two options: before a tool change; after a tool change. If you enter a command here you must ensure that the option file is set up to expect the command. Output File - defines the root name of the output file. This option is only available if you select Write File for Each Toolpath on the Option dialog. The Option dialog is available from the Options button on this dialog or from the Tools - Options - NC Program menu.

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NC Preferences Dialog
This only contains generic information rather than toolpath specific information.

These preferences only affect new NC Programs. Values entered in this dialog are then used as the default values in the NC Program dialog. You can look at it as a template. Existing NC Programs are not affected by changes here. There are two tabs one for changes to defaults for items belonging to a toolpath and one for changes to defaults for items belonging to the output mechanism.

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NC Preferences - Output The values entered here are those used as default values in the NC Program dialog.

Use Project - specifies the default output folder to be an automatically created folder called ncprograms within the project folder. Output Folder - specifies the default output directory for NC Programs. - allows you to browse to find the required directory and filename. Clicking on displays the Select Path dialog.

This is a standard PowerMILL Open dialog and is very similar to the Open Project dialog.

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Output File - defines the name and directory of the output file. There are a number of special characters that you can insert here which will be automatically updated when you write the NC Program. This option is only useful for multiple output files. %[ncprogram] - inserts the current name of the NC Program when you write it. %[counter] - inserts the next number (1, 2, 3…) when you write it. %[partname] - inserts the current name of the Project when you write it. %[toolpath] - inserts the current name of the toolpath when you write it. %[workplane] - inserts the current name of the workplane when you write it. You can use more than one of theses at a time. For example you could have %[ncprogram]_%[toolpath]_abc. If the NC Program was 1 and the toolpath MultipleCuts the output file would be 1_MultipleCuts_abc.tap. Machine Option File - specifies the default machine tool option file (such as Fanuc11m for NC Programs. Browse button - allows you to browse to find the required displays the Select

directory and filename. Clicking on the Machine Option Filename dialog.

This is a standard File Open dialog and is very similar to the Open Examples dialog. By default the dialog will display the option files contained in c:\dcam\config\ductpost\. File Type - specifies whether the toolpath will be output as either an NC Program (*.tap) or a Cutter Location (standard cutter location format file extension *.cut).

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Output Workplane - sets the output workplane on all the NC program dialogs, so if you have a machine workplane you use all the time you can set it as a preference. You can still set the workplane on the NC program dialog, or if you change your requirement later you can use the Edit Selected or Edit All dialogs available from the NC program context menu to change the output workplane in selected/all NC programs. Clicking on the Unlocked locks the output workplane. - the field is unlocked and so can be edited.

- the field is locked. So, if you try change the workplane you Locked won't succeed. 3D Machine Compensation - specifies the default value for 3D machine compensation. This enables the machine tool to do 3D cutter compensation by outputting i, j, k vectors in the tape file. Auto Tool Alignment - specifies the default value for automatic tool alignment. It is turned off when the output workplane is different from the toolpath workplane but no angular moves should appear in the NC program file. For example, if the head has been manually turned through the required angle. Part Name - specifies the default value for the part name. It is the name of the part which is being cut. It defaults to the same name as the NC program and can be used to appear at the beginning of the NC program file (depending on how the tape start is set in the machine option file). Tool Value - specifies the default value for the tool value. Determines whether the output is specified in terms of Tool Tip or Tool Centre. The tool centre is defined as the tool tip offset by the tip radius in the direction of the tool axis. Connection Moves - determines how the tool moves from one toolpath to the next. In previous versions the tool moved to the new location and then rotated to the required orientation. This option is greyed out unless multi-axis toolpaths are present.

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Now you have the choice of:

Move, Rotate - the tool moves to the new location and then rotates to the correct orientation. This was the only option in previous versions of PowerMILL. Rotate, Move - the tool rotates to the correct orientation and then moves to the new location. Simultaneous - the tool moves and rotates simultaneously. NC Preferences - Toolpath The values entered here are those used as default values in the NC Program dialog. Comments (see "NC Program Commands/Comments Dialog" on page 63) - clicking on this button displays a dialog that allows you to specify default commands and comments that will be inserted into the NC toolpath.

Tool Change - specifies the default value for the tool change. Determines when a Load Tool command is written. On Change - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of the first toolpath and subsequently only if the tool geometry has changed. This will give a change if the tool length is different. Always - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of every toolpath even if the tool parameters have not changed.

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On New Tool - a load tool command will be written at the beginning of the first toolpath and subsequently only if the toolpath uses a different tool entity from the previous toolpath. Tool Number - specifies the default value for the tool number. Defines which tool in the carousel, or reference number, to use. As Specified - uses the tool number specified in the Tool entity dialog or else you must type a Tool Number in the Toolpath Output dialog. Automatic - numbers tool sequentially. The first tool is 1, followed by 2, 3, 4… Tool Change Position - determines whether the tool change takes place before or after the connection move. After Connection - the tool change takes place after the connection moves. This is the default behaviour and the only option in previous versions. Before Connection - the tool change takes place before the connection moves. Cutter Compensation - specifies the default value for cutter compensation. Length - this is the compensation length on the machine and it will only appear on files post processed for the Heidenhain control. It enables you to alter the length of the tool in the NC toolpath by specifying a new tool length here. The tool length used in PowerMILL remains unchanged. If the length compensation is switched off the value 0 will appear in the file. If it is switched on the default is the tool entity length. Radius - this is the ability to offset a toolpath at the machine controller by an amount stored in a particular offset register. Compensation is added by issuing G41 (left offset) or a G42 (right offset) command at the beginning of the tool moves that require compensation. You specify whether you want Left or Right cutter radius compensation. Example Using Tool Number and Tool Change The Tool Number and Tool Change options are more easily explained by example. This example contains four toolpaths. Each toolpath uses a specific tool entity. Toolpath 1, Tool Entity 4 Toolpath 2, Tool Entity 7

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Toolpath 3, Tool Entity 7 Toolpath 4, Tool Entity 3 In this example Tool 7 and 3 are both 10mm Ball Nosed Tools. The tool number used with the various options is summarised in the table below: As Specified Always On New Tool On Change 4773 47-3 47-Automatic 1234 12-3 12--

NC Program Preferences
On the whole the NC preferences remain constant for each machine tool. You may want to make minor tweaks (such as the coolant type) for a specific toolpath but most of the information is specific to a machine tool rather than the toolpath. So, it makes sense to be able to pre-set these preferences. Then you can concentrate on outputting the toolpaths. NC Program Preferences for different machines can easily be predefined using macros. A good way to work is to set the required preferences in your start-up file, then you will normally only need to right click on the NC program to write it. 1. To set up the NC Program preferences right click on NC Programs in the explorer and selecting the Preferences option.

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2. This then displays the NC Preferences dialog box.

3. The first thing to do is to select the Machine Option File. Click on the Browse button to display the following:

4. Move to the directory where the option files are stored (in this case c:\dcam\config\ductpost) and select the required option file (in this case Fanuc11m.opt). Then click on the Open button. This closes the Select Machine Option Filename dialog.

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5. The NC Preferences dialog is then updated with this information. The rest of this dialog can be updated. But in this case you can assume that the default values are the correct ones.

6. Clicking on the Toolpath tab displays the next set of preferences. Again you will use the default values.

7. Click on Accept to save all these values. These values will now be applied to any future NC Programs that you write. For more information about any of the fields in the NC Preferences dialog (on page 48). .

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Postprocessing toolpaths
If you have a series of toolpaths in an NC Program (in this called NCProg). Provided that you have specified your machine option file and any other preferences (NC Preferences Dialog (on page 48) for more information on determining these preferences) you can then simply postprocess your NC Program NCProg. 1. Right click on NC Program NCProg and select the Write option.

2. PowerMILL will first calculate all the batched toolpaths, then it will post process the toolpaths using the pre-selected options. A PowerMILL information dialog is then displayed:

3. Click

to close this dialog.

4. The colour of the NC Program 1 changes from light blue to bright green to show that it has been calculated correctly.

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5. If an error occurs you will get an error message similar to the following:

to 6. In this case the NC Program changes from light blue containing a red exclamation mark to show that there was a problem writing this file. You didn't have to specify a filename or directory location as, by default, PowerMILL assumes that the file will have the same name as the NC Program name (but changes the extension, in the above example the filename is NCProg.tap). By default, the file is saved in the "current directory". If you want to specify a specific filename or directory location then you must follow the information given in Specifying the Name and Location of the Output File (on page 58). Three new types of records have been introduced. 28000 workplane records. 29000 special records which will replace some of the 2079 records. 20000 description records. They are mainly for information and will eventually allow reading a cut file back into PowerMILL. The postprocessors should normally ignore these records. If further information is required please contact Delcam. If you are outputting 3 plus 2 NC programs you must use DUCTpost 1350 or later.

Specifying the Name and Location of the Output File
By default, in PowerMILL the output file will have the same name as the NC Program name (but changes the extension).

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By default, the file is saved in the "current directory". This is a windows feature and so, if you are not careful you can find that the file is saved in a strange place (such as in the C:/WINNT/TEMP/ directory). However, you can specify the name and location of the resulting *.tap file. 1. Right click on NC Program 1 and select the Edit Selected option.

2. The Edit Selected NC Programs dialog will now be displayed.

3. Now, change the Output File to a more suitable location, choose the appropriate Machine Option File and, if necessary, update the remainder of the dialog, then click on Accept. 4. When you subsequently Write this NC Program, PowerMILL will use this information.

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You specify the name and location of the output file here, rather than prompting for the information when you Write an NC program, as prompting would be no good for the Write All command. For more information see Edit Selected NC Programs Dialog (on page 60) and Edit All NC Programs Dialog (on page 63). You can define the location of the Output File in the Tools Customise Paths menu. This displays the PowerMILL Paths dialog.

This is very similar to the Macro Paths dialog. For more information on how to use this see Adding a Macro Search Path (on page 256).

Edit Selected NC Programs Dialog
The individual NC Program context menu has the Edit Selected option. This displays the following:

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Any changes made here affect ALL SELECTED NC Programs, not new ones. The fields on the Output tab are exactly the same as those on the NC Preferences - Output dialog. For more information on these fields see NC Preferences Dialog (on page 48).

The fields on the Toolpath tab are similar to those on the NC Preferences - Toolpath (on page 52) dialog. Drilling Cycle Output - specifies the default value for the drilling cycle output. Saves drilling cycles as canned cycles. Coolant (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - allows you to specify the coolant: None - no coolant output. Standard - coolant turned on. Flood - coolant on flood. Mist - coolant on mist. Tap - tap coolant on. Air - air blast. Through - coolant through spindle. Double - two coolant codes are allowed.

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The coolant is always turned off at the end of a toolpath.

The fields on the Tool tab gives a view of the carousel for the selected NC programs. Changing any of these fields changes the value for all instances of a particular tool. Tool List - summarises the tool information defined when you created the tool. Number - user defined tool number allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. This is the same as the number specified when you created the tool. Diameter - the diameter of the tool. This is the same as the diameter specified when you created the tool. Tip - the tip radius of the tool. This is the same as the tip radius specified when you created the tool. Length - cutting length of the tool. This defaults to the recommended collision free length if you have collision checked the toolpath otherwise it is the same as the length specified when you created the tool. Overhang - the length of the cutter protruding from chuck/collet. This is the same as the overhang specified in the Collision Checker dialog. Tool ID - the user defined name allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. Name - the name of the tool. By default this is the same as the name given when the tool was defined.

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Type - the type of tool that you defined originally (such as End Mill or Tip Radiused).

Edit All NC Programs Dialog
The NC Programs right click Edit All menu displays the following:

Any changes made here affect ALL NC Programs, not new ones. The fields in this dialog are exactly the same as those on the Edit Selected NC Programs dialog. For more information on these fields see Edit Selected NC Programs Dialog (on page 60).

NC Program Commands/Comments Dialog
The NC Program Commands/Comments dialog allows you to specify commands and comments that will be inserted into the NC toolpath.

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Commands and comments typed in here will be added to the output file. Any line starting with / is assumed to be a comment. Standard Message - specifies the default value for standard messages. Defines where the standard messages generated by PowerMILL are output. There are three options: before a tool change; after a tool change; no messages are output. Command/Comment - specifies the default value for the command/comments. Defines where the commands/comments you have added above are output. There are two options: before a tool change; after a tool change. If you enter a command here you must ensure that the option file is set up to expect the command.

Displaying NC Programs
NC programs can be drawn in exactly the same way as other explorer entities using the Light Bulb toggle . With the light bulb on all the toolpaths in the NC Program are drawn:

It does not change the drawing status of any other toolpath. If you start with the following toolpaths drawn:

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Then you draw NC Program 1. All the existing toolpaths remain drawn as well as all the toolpaths in NC Program 1:

If you click on the light bulb of NC Program 1 to turn it off , the toolpaths in the NC Program 1 are undrawn whilst the remaining toolpaths are still drawn.

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Use of Variables in NC Programs
Variables are symbolic representations of the actual output that will be generated by PowerMILL. You can use any PowerMILL variable in the NC Program and NC Preferences dialogs, and in the setup sheet template tags. You can also use variables in the NC Program Comments area (accessed by clicking the Comments button on the Toolpath tab under NC Preferences):

This is particularly useful as the resolved variable values can then appear in all your NC Program files. Although the current practice is to enclose variables within curly brackets { }, you may on occasion see some variables enclosed within the percent symbol and square brackets %[ ], as in the above example. This is a valid format that has been maintained for historical reasons. A tilde (~) can be used to insert the current name of your home directory. There is a complete list of available variables in your installation, typically at C:\Program Files\Delcam\PowerMILLxxxx\lib\help\parameters\parameters.html. You can invoke multiple variables in the same string. For example you could have %[ncprogram]_%[toolpath]_abc. If the NC Program was 1 and the toolpath was MultipleCuts, then the output would resolve to 1_MultipleCuts_abc.

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Toolpaths
Projects can directly contain many toolpaths. Toolpaths are shown in the Explorer under the Toolpaths branch of the tree. Toolpaths are created using the Toolpath Strategies Main Toolbar but can be manipulated from the explorer. Each type of toolpath has a different icon in the Explorer: Drilling Area Clearance button on the

Finishing

Port

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The Toolpath list is available in the Explorer.

You can see the type of toolpath created, the name, whether it is visible and the safety of the toolpath.

Toolpaths context menu
The Toolpaths menu is raised by right clicking on the Toolpaths entry in the Explorer.

Toolpaths - this is the name of this menu. Toolbar - raises the Toolpath toolbar at bottom of the graphics window.

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For more information on this toolbar see Toolpath Toolbar (on page 909). Create Toolpath - creates a new toolpath. The New dialog is displayed. For more information see Toolpath Strategies (on page 467). Toolpath Names (on page 71) - defines the template that will be used for all new toolpaths. Batch Process - processes the batch toolpaths marked . When you create a batch toolpath PowerMILL generates a file containing all the relevant parameters to create the toolpath at a later date. It is fully defined in the sense that it can be selected and saved to session files. It just has not computed cutting moves. Any attempt to use the toolpath in operations such as editing, ViewMill, toolpath output on a batch toolpath will result in an error dialog stating that the toolpath is un-computed. When you click on Batch the progress dialog can be raised to process the model. It needs to do this to check that the model is valid but it will not go on to compute the toolpath. Invalidate All - allows you to invalidate calculated toolpaths. This changes the toolpaths to batch toolpaths marked with a . When the toolpath is locked by a Stock Model you have to unlock the Stock Model before invalidating the toolpaths. This can be useful if you have created a set of toolpaths for one model and require a similar set of toolpaths for a similar model. For more information see Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes (on page 75). Deactivate - de-selects the currently active toolpath. Draw All - displays (draws) all the toolpaths on the screen. So all toolpaths are drawn . Undraw All - hides (undraws) all the toolpaths on the screen. So all toolpaths are undrawn . Draw Links All - displays (draws) all the toolpath links on the screen. Undraw Links All - hides (undraws) all the toolpath links on the screen. Draw Leads All - displays (draws) all the toolpath leads on the screen. Undraw Leads All - hides (undraws) all the toolpath leads on the screen.

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Thickness - allows you to give different components (say surfaces or models) different thicknesses (Axial and Radial). It also allows you to give a single component different thicknesses for different toolpaths. For more information see Component Thickness (on page 72). Create NC Program - create a new NC Program. It displays the NC Program dialog which allows you to specify a new NC Program.

Type in an appropriate Name and then click on Accept if you are happy with the default values. This NC Program is now the active NC Program and any toolpaths that you create will be displayed in the NC Program list as well as in the Toolpaths list. For more information on this dialog see NC Program Dialog (on page 38). For more information see Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program (on page 35).

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Create Individual NC Programs - automatically creates an NC Program for each selected toolpath. You will end up with one toolpath in each NC Program and the NC Program will have the same name as the toolpath. For more information see Creating an NC Program for each Toolpath (on page 73). Add to NC Program - adds all the existing toolpaths to the currently active NC Program. This option is only available if there is a currently active NC Program. Any new toolpaths that are created will also be added to the currently active NC Program. Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete All - deletes all the toolpaths. Toolpath Names If you are going to create multiple toolpaths, and wish to control the naming of them, select Toolpath Names - Rename : You are prompted to enter the 'template' name, so enter the generic type of toolpath you will be creating, for example: Rename - displays the Enter Template dialog which allows you to specify a new template.

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Enter the name of the template prefix that you want to insert and then click . This displays Toolpath Names - Rename: Finishing on the menu, so that you can easily see what the prefix is. All new toolpaths will now be automatically named using this prefix (so, the next toolpath to be created will be called Finishing1, the one after that will be called Finishing2, and so on):

Toolpath Names - Rename: None - no prefix is added to all new toolpath names. Toolpath Names - Rename: Finishing - a prefix of Finishing is added to all new toolpath names. Off - removes the template so that all new toolpaths will not use a template. Existing toolpath names will remain unchanged. Component Thickness The Components tab allows you to give different components (say surfaces or models) different thicknesses (Axial and Radial). It also allows you to give a single component different thicknesses for different toolpaths. Most of the dialog is greyed out until you select one of the thickness sets from the list. For more information on radial and axial thickness see Thickness (see "Component Thickness" on page 454).

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Creating an NC Program for each Toolpath You can automatically create an NC Program for each selected toolpath. This gives you one toolpath in each output file. So, if you select 20 toolpaths this functionality will create 20 NC programs each containing one toolpath and each NC program will have the same name as the toolpath. These toolpaths can then be written. 1. Create the toolpaths you need.

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2. Select the toolpaths that you want to turn into NC Programs (in this case all of them). Then display the context menu. Select the Create Individual NC Programs option.

3. PowerMILL will now create an NC Program for each toolpath, with the same name as the toolpath. 4. To see these NC Programs, expand the NC Program list.

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5. These NC Programs can then be output using the NC Program context menu and selecting the Write All command.

6. For information as to how to post process these toolpaths see Post Processing Toolpaths (see "Postprocessing toolpaths" on page 57).

Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes
If you generate toolpaths using a model which then changes, it is now possible to update the toolpaths without having to regenerate the toolpaths. This is best shown by example using Cowling.dgk.

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1. Create a Block and some Tools, Toolpaths and Boundaries. Some of the toolpaths can be limited to a boundary.

2. This project contains three different types of boundaries: Block is just a boundary. Rest is locked as it is used to create the Corner Boundary toolpath. Shallow is locked as it is used to create the Raster Boundary toolpath, but it has also been edited. 3. Delete the model by selecting the Delete All option from the Model context menu. A PowerMILL Query dialog is then displayed. Click on Yes to delete the model. 4. From the Toolpath context menu select the Invalidate All option.

5. The toolpaths are all updated with the Calculator are deleted from the graphics window.

symbol and

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6. From the Boundary context menu select the Invalidate All option.

7. The boundaries are updated with the Calculator symbol but are still displayed. Except that any edited boundary (in this case Shallow) is not invalidated as there is no way of re-creating an edited boundary automatically.

8. Load in the modified model from File - Import Model menu option.

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9. Now re-calculate the toolpaths from the Batch - Process option on the Toolpath context menu. This operation will also calculate any boundaries that are needed to create the toolpaths. So, Rest boundary is calculated as it is used to create the Corner Boundary toolpath.

10.Re-calculate the boundaries from the Batch - Process option on the Boundaries context menu. This will re-calculate Block boundary (the only uncalculated boundary). Since we are talking about minor modifications to the model, the block must remain the same. You cannot change the block when using this technique.

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Individual Toolpath context menu
If you place your cursor over a specific toolpath and right click with the mouse you see the following menu:

1 - this is the name of this menu and is the name of the selected toolpath. Simulate from Start - enables you to simulate the selected toolpath. The Toolpath Toggle on the Simulation toolbar is updated with this NC Program. You can then use the Simulation Play buttons to simulate the NC Program. For more information see Example of Toolpath Animation (see "Toolpath Animation" on page 1077), ViewMill Simulation Procedure (see "ViewMill Simulation" on page 1078) or Example of Machine Tool Simulation (see "Machine Simulation" on page 1082). This feature is for visualisation purposes only and is not intended for use as a gouge checking tool. Activate - it makes the toolpath the active toolpath. Activate Workplane - activates the workplane used to create this toolpath.

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Settings - displays the parameters used to create this toolpath in the relevant finishing dialog. Recreate Block - re-creates the block used to create this toolpath. Select Surfaces - selects the surfaces used to create this toolpath. This option only displays a result if you had to select specific surfaces to create the toolpath. Draw - determines whether the toolpath is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Drawing Options (on page 910) - determines which toolpath components are displayed on the screen. These options are also available on the Toolpath toolbar. Colour (see "Toolpath - Colour" on page 86) - allows you to determine the colour of toolpaths that are drawn but not active. Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Save as Template - saves specific parameters of a toolpath as a toolpath template. This template can then be used to create other toolpaths. Add to (see "Toolpath - Add To" on page 88) - adds the toolpath to the selected entity. Create Individual NC Program - creates an NC Program for the toolpath. The NC Program will have the same name as the toolpath. Batch - this option activates or de-activates the batch toolpath. So it toggles between and . When you process a batch toolpath (by selecting Batch - Process from the right click Toolpaths menu ) only the batch toolpaths marked will be processed. This is true provided that batch toolpath you want to calculate doesn't need a "Stopped" batch toolpath in order to create the toolpath. In which case the "Stopped" batch toolpath is calculated so that the batch toolpath can be calculated. Batch processing works by creating an unprocessed toolpath, containing all of the parameters that would have been used if you clicked on the Apply button on the current machining strategy dialog box. This toolpath appears on the toolpath list with the prefix . To create a Batch Toolpath set the part up in exactly the same way as normal but, instead of clicking on Apply on any of the toolpath generation dialog boxes click on the Accept button.

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Load Settings - loads the parameters used to define the toolpath into the Finishing dialog. Statistics - displays the length and time of all the leads, links and cutting moves as well as the number of lifts relating to the active toolpath. If this option is dimmed check that the toolpath is the active toolpath.

Estimate - updates the Toolpath Statistics dialog box for the active toolpath. For more information on NC statistics see Individual NC Program context menu (on page 26). Properties - displays the extents of the toolpath (and the toolpath name). It displays the following dialog box:

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Verify - checks for the safety of the toolpath.

Toolpath - checks for the safety of the toolpath. Tool Axis - checks the toolpath against the Tool Axis Limits. If the toolpath exceeds these limits then it is limited back to the limits. Invert Selection - deselects the part of the toolpath that is currently selected and selects the part of the toolpath that is currently unselected. This can be useful when you want to work on (edit, delete..) all except one area of toolpath. It is much easier to select just the area you don't want to work on and reverse the selection before editing/deleting the rest, than to select all segments all around the graphics struggling to avoid the segments you want to keep. Edit (see "Toolpath - Edit" on page 90) - edits the active toolpath. You edit the toolpath by selecting the relevant option from the context menu. Some of these options create new, modified toolpaths. Others simply modify the existing toolpath. Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Toolpath - deletes the toolpath. Attaching Tools to Toolpaths You can attach a tool to a toolpath so that you can easily visualise where the tool is relative to the toolpath. You can then watch the movement of the tool as it moves along the toolpath which is especially useful for 5Axis toolpaths. This feature is for visualisation purposes only and is not intended for use as a gouge checking tool.

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This is available from the individual Toolpath context menu.

For more information as to how you can control the visualisation of the tool see Individual Tool context menu (on page 122). The tool will attach at the point where you select the toolpath. 1. Place the cursor where you want to attach the tool.

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2. From the context menu select the Attach Active Tool option. The tool moves to this point.

3. You can then move the tool using the arrow keys

and

.

4. To move the tool to the end of the toolpath click on the End key, or the Home key to move it to the start of the toolpath.

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5. If you have defined the tool holder and have it visible this will also be visible as you step through the toolpath.

There are many additional keys that can move the tool around the toolpath. These are summarised in the table below: Key + CTRL + Shift + CTRL + Shift + CTRL + Shift + CTRL + Shift Page Down Page Up Description moves the tool to the next toolpath point increases the step rate to 4 points increases the step rate to 8 points increases the step rate to 16 points moves the tool to the previous toolpath point increases the step rate to 4 points increases the step rate to 8 points increases the step rate to 16 points moves the tool to the start of the next toolpath segment moves the tool to the start of the current toolpath segment, or to the beginning of the previous one if the tool is already at the start moves the tool to the end of the toolpath moves the tool to the start of the toolpath

End Home Key:

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right arrow key left arrow key anything in bold is a key You can twiddle the view to get a better view then continue iterating. Toolpath - Colour Colour - allows you to determine the colour of toolpaths that are drawn but not active.

Edit - allows you to define the colour of Drawn, but not active toolpaths. Selecting this option displays the standard Select Colour dialog.

Select the colour that you want and click on OK. The colour of the toolpath is updated. Reset - resets the colour you have selected back to the default setting (grey). The colour of the Active Toolpath is unaffected by any colour allocated here.

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Template Parameter Saving Save as Template - saves specific parameters of a toolpath as a toolpath template. This template can then be used to create other toolpaths.

By default all the toolpath parameters are saved. Clicking on Save displays the Save Toolpath Template File dialog and allows you to save the template. If you tick the Save Checked Parameters Only option then you can choose which parameters you want to save and so which are picked up when the template is read. The ticked parameter values will be saved with the template and override PowerMILL's current values when the template is read back in, whilst the unchecked parameter will be set to PowerMILL's current values for those parameters when the template is read back in. Save Checked Parameters Only - when ticked only the parameters loaded with the toolpath are ticked. So, if a toolpath is created from a default template, NO parameters are ticked. If however, you read in a project and create a template from one of the toolpaths in the project then everything is ticked, as the toolpath was last read in with all its parameters. This option enables you to recall, at a later date, exactly which parameters your template contains.

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This means that you could have a template which saves the Lead In and Lead Out moves only so that these can be easily applied to another toolpath but other values, such as stepover, can be picked up from the new toolpath. For more information see Creating a New Toolpath Template (on page 324). Toolpath - Add To Add to - adds the toolpath to the selected entity.

Add to Stock Model - this does exactly the same as the individual Stock Models Object (see "Individual Stock Model context menu" on page 238) context menu option, Apply - Active Toolpath Last. Applies the active toolpath and places the toolpath at the bottom of the stock model list. If the stock model is newly created (no block has been applied) then the block associated with the toolpath is applied automatically. Add to NC Program - adds the toolpath to the currently active NC Program. This option is only available if there is a currently active NC Program. Add to Group - adds the toolpath to the currently active Group. This option is only available if there is a currently active Group. Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260).

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Toolpath - Statistics Statistics - displays the length and time of all the leads, links and cutting moves as well as the number of lifts relating to the active toolpath. If this option is dimmed check that the toolpath is the active toolpath.

Estimate - updates the Toolpath Statistics dialog box for the active toolpath.

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Toolpath - Edit Edit - edits the active toolpath. You edit the toolpath by selecting the relevant option from the context menu. Some of these options create new, modified toolpaths. Others simply modify the existing toolpath.

Transform (see "Transform Toolpath" on page 915) - creates new toolpaths by Mirroring, Moving or Rotating the active toolpath. This is available from the Transform button on the Toolpath toolbar. Limit (see "Limit Toolpath" on page 921) - creates new toolpaths by limiting the active toolpath to a Plane. This is available from the Limit button on the Toolpath toolbar. Divide (see "Divide Toolpath" on page 927) - splits the active toolpath into 2 or more sections. There are four ways of dividing a toolpath by Angle, Direction, Length or Time. This is available from the Divide button on the Toolpath toolbar.

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Reorder (on page 959) - allows you to change the order and direction of toolpath segments. It displays the Toolpath Listing dialog.

Move Start Points - allows you to manually realigned Start points of closed toolpaths (such as Constant Z). This is available from the Move Toolpath Start Points (on page 934) toolbar. button on the Toolpath

Tool Axis - allows you to edit the tool axis of selected (partial) segments of a toolpath whilst preserving the toolpath contact positions. This is available from the Tool Axis Editing (on page 935) Toolpath toolbar. button on the

Update Feed Rate Inside Boundary (see "Toolpath - Edit - Update Feed Rate Inside Boundary" on page 97) - enables you to change the feed rate of a given area of the toolpath inside a boundary. This displays the Enter the Percentage of Feed Rate Change dialog.

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Lift (see "Toolpath - Edit - Lift" on page 95) - allows the tool to withdraw gradually from the cut as it approaches the end of a pass. This displays the Toolpath Lift dialog.

Update Region (on page 957) - recalculates an existing toolpath over a limited region of the part. This means that you could make a minor change in the model and then recalculate the toolpath within a boundary that contains the change. This is available from the Update Region button on the Toolpath toolbar. Make Invalid - this is similar to Invalidate All from the Toolpath or Boundary context menu, except that this option only applies to this toolpath rather than all toolpaths. For more information see Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes (on page 75). Set Start Point (see "Start and End Point" on page 378) - defines the start point as the value currently set in the Start and End Point dialog. Set End Point (see "Start and End Point" on page 378) - defines the end point as the value currently set in the Start and End Point dialog. Set Rapid Moves (see "Rapid Move Heights" on page 374) - defines the rapid moves as the value currently set in the Rapid Move Heights dialog. Set Feed Rates (see "Feeds and Speeds" on page 362) - defines the feed rates as the value currently set in the Feed Rates dialog.

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Set Coolant - defines the coolant as the value currently set in the Feed Rates dialog.

Spindle Speed - the rotation of the spindle, measured in revolutions per minute. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol n. This value is calculated automatically from the Surface Speed value. If you edit this value then the Surface Speed value is also updated to reflect your change. PowerMILL can automatically calculate this value from the Surface Speed field on the Tool Cutting Data tab by clicking on the Feeds and Speeds (on page 362) dialog. Cutting Feed Rate - the cutting feed rate, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol f
v.

This value is calculated automatically from the Feed/Tooth value. If you edit this value then the Feed/Tooth value is also updated to reflect your change. PowerMILL can automatically calculate this value from the Feed/Tooth field on the Tool Cutting Data tab by clicking on the Feeds and Speeds (on page 362) dialog. Plunging Feed Rate - the speed of the tool when it is entering the material ready for its cutting moves, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. These are vertical moves. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol V
p.

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By default this value is Feed Rate Plunge Factor * Cutting Feed (V = V *f ). For more information, see Feed rate plunge factor (see "Options - Tool" on page 336).
p f v

Skim Feed Rate - the skim feed rate, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. Coolant (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - allows you to specify the coolant: None - no coolant output. Standard - coolant turned on. Flood - coolant on flood. Mist - coolant on mist. Tap - tap coolant on. Air - air blast. Through - coolant through spindle. Double - two coolant codes are allowed. The coolant is always turned off at the end of a toolpath. All of these fields are preceded by an icon (either or ).

Calculated - the values are calculated automatically by PowerMILL. Edited - the values are edited by you (or another user). This value will not change when a new tool is activated. Recommended: 200.00 mm/min - the recommended values. If you have specified values in the Tool - Cutting Data dialog, then the values entered there are displayed as recommended values here. Lock Connection Moves (see "Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing" on page 101) - locks selected connection moves. Unlock Connection Moves (see "Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing" on page 101) - unlocks selected connection moves. Select Locked Connection Moves - selects the locked connection moves. Notes (see "Toolpath - Edit - Notes" on page 98) - allows you to add a description and a note about the toolpath. Displays the Description and Notes for Toolpath dialog.

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Copy Toolpath - creates an exact copy of the toolpath. The new toolpath has the same name as the original with an _1 added. So, 10mmEnd becomes 10mmEnd_1. If you take a second copy it will be called 10mmEnd_2. Explode Composite Toolpath - creates a separate toolpath for each element of a composite toolpath. This is so that a composite can be broken up. Combine Composite Toolpath - converts a composite toolpath into an old style appended toolpath if possible. Composites do not have the same restrictions (same tool, workplane) that appended toolpaths do). Replace Tool - replaces the tool in the toolpath with the active tool provided that the tool used to calculate the toolpath has the same cutting geometry as the active tool. This also resets the collision safety status of the toolpath if the complete tool assembly of the active tool is different from original toolpath's tool. Delete Selected Components - deletes the selected toolpath segments. Toolpath - Edit - Lift When machining something from opposite sides, there can be mismatches in the middle where the toolpaths meet up. This may be because of differing tool orientation or machine accuracy, but a fundamental cause is that in one direction the toolpath stops while still in material, but in the other direction it runs into the machined area cut by the preceding toolpath.

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To avoid this, you need the tool to withdraw gradually from the cut as it approaches the end of a pass. Effectively the last part of each pass should be replaced by a ramp that lifts along the contact normal, while following the underlying cutter direction and maintaining the tool axis. This is a type of ramp, but one that replaces part of the toolpath and goes in the same direction, rather than being tacked on the end and backtracking.

This is achieved using the new Lift dialog available from the individual Toolpath context menu option of Edit - Lift.

Type - determines how the amount of lift varies with the distance along the segment. Linear - the amount of lift varies linearly with distance.

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Arc - the amount of lift varies as a circular arc.

Length - determines the length of the lift along the direction of the toolpath segment.

Height - determines the maximum height of the lift. Lift Start - when selected, the lift is applied to the start of the toolpath segments. If only some of the toolpath segments are selected, the lift is confined to those. If none are selected, then it is applied to all of them. Lift End - when selected, the lift is applied to the end of the toolpath segments. If only some of the toolpath segments are selected, the lift is confined to those. If none are selected, then it is applied to all of them. Toolpath - Edit - Update Feed Rate Inside Boundary Update Feed Rate Inside Boundary - enables you to change the feed rate of a given area of the toolpath inside a boundary. This displays the Enter the Percentage of Feed Rate Change dialog.

Enter an amount, say 40 (so the feed rate inside the boundary is 40% of the Feed Rate elsewhere) and then click on .

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The toolpath is modified to have the variable feed rate in it. The Draw Feeds option from the individual Toolpath context menu is automatically selected. You can now see the area with the changed feed rate.

If you want to see the standard representation of the toolpath uncheck the Draw Feeds option from the individual Toolpath context menu. Toolpath - Edit - Notes Notes - allows you to add a description and a note about the toolpath. Displays the Description and Notes for Toolpath dialog. In this case the Toolpath is called Optimised Constant Z....

Description - allows you to add a description for this toolpath. Toolpath Type - allows you to specify a type of toolpath.

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This is defined automatically but you can change it (to say SemiFinishing) by selecting another option from the drop-down list, if you want. Revision - this revision number is automatically incremented when a change is made to the toolpath. You can alter this to any value if you want. History - shows who has created and modified this toolpath and when. It contains <programmer> created <date (yyyy-mm-dd)> for the creation and <programmer> modified <date (yyyy-mm-dd)> for edited toolpaths. These are stored with the project, allowing you to keep notes on the toolpaths for yourself or other users. All of these fields may be written as comments in the NC program output file by using any of the following variables in the NC Program Commands/Comments dialog: %[notes] %[description] %[toolpath_type] %[edit_history] %[revision] Notes - area where you can type your notes.

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Variable Feed Rates
When a toolpath has variable feed rates, clicking on the light bulb (by the toolpath) displays an information dialog that shows a key to the various colours:

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Toolpath Information
Information about the parameters used to create a toolpath can be seen by expanding the toolpath.

Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing
You can now Lock Selected Lead and Link moves. Once locked it will be unaffected by subsequent editing from the Leads and Links dialog unless it is specifically selected. Selective Editing of leads and links is selective replacement of one lead or link with another. The connections selected for editing remain selected after editing so that you can easily see the new lead or link and make further edits if necessary. If the segments are not selected the settings are applied over the entire toolpath. These two options are best shown by example.

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1. Select the leads and links you need to change by placing a drag box around them. The selected leads and links turn yellow.

and select the Links tab. 2. Raise the Leads and Links dialog Change the Retract and Approach Moves to say, Tool Axis.

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3. Click on the Apply Links button to see the effect of the change.

4. You can see that the edited links are still yellow, so that you can carry on editing them if you want. Once you are happy with the links you can then lock them. 5. From the individual Toolpath context menu select the Edit Lock Connection Moves - Leads and Links menu option.

6. Now de-select the links, by clicking anywhere in the graphics window.

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7. If you now change the Lead In moves, the locked moves will not be changed:

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8. If you now change the Lead In moves the locked moves will not be changed.

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9. If you select the locked leads and links the locking will be over-ruled and you can edit them. So select a couple of the locked connection moves and one of the unlocked connection moves:

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10.You can change these connection moves.

11.You can see that the locked and unlocked connection moves have been changed.

Appending Toolpaths within Explorer
To append a toolpath (say ) drag it, press the CTRL key and drop it onto the required toolpath. During this operation the cursor changes to indicate the current status:- the toolpath is being dragged and is over an area where it cannot be dropped. - the toolpath will be appended to another. An query message is displayed.

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It is important that the is attached to the cursor. If there is no then PowerMILL will reorder the toolpaths within the Toolpaths branch rather than appending them.

Click on Yes to append the toolpaths or No to cancel the operation.

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Tools
Projects can directly contain many tools. Tools are shown in the Explorer under the Tools branch of the tree. Having tools as entities in the explorer means that you can create several tools that are not necessarily associated with a toolpath. Tools are controlled by pop-up menus, individual dialogs for each type of tool, and a Tool toolbar. Each type of tool has a different icon in the Explorer: End Mill Ball Nosed Tip Radiused Tapered Spherical Tapered Tipped Drill Tipped Disc Off Centre Tip Radiused Tapping Form Tool Invalid Tool Invalid tools are shown with a red exclamation mark ! over them .

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Tools context menu
The Tools menu is raised by right clicking on the Tools entry in the Explorer.

Tools - this is the name of this menu. Toolbar - This displays the Tool toolbar. By default this is displayed just below the explorer and graphics window.

For more information see Tool Toolbar (on page 127).

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Create Tool - displays a context menu showing the different tool types available.

For more information see Tool Dialog (on page 112). Toolpath Names (on page 71) - defines the template that will be used for all new tools. For more information see . Deactivate - deactivates the currently active tool. Draw All - displays all the tools on the screen Undraw All - hides all tools on the screen . .

Shaded (see "Tool - Shaded" on page 127) - displays a shaded tool when selected and a wireframe tool when deselected. Shaded Wireframe

If a tool shank and holder are drawn then these are displayed shaded when this option is selected and wireframe when deselected.

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Shaded

Wireframe

Draw Shank - draws the tool and shank when selected. When deselected the shank and holder are not displayed. Draw Holder - draws the tool shank and holder when selected. When deselected the holder is not displayed. Organise Catalogues (on page 118) - this allows you to select the tool catalogue and which tools are available from that catalogue. Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Add All Tools to Database - adds the tools in this project to the active tool database. The Tool Database Export dialog (on page 872) is displayed. Change Stock Material for All Tools - allows you to defines a new stock material (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) for all the tools in this project. The Enter stock material dialog is displayed. Delete All - deletes all the unused tools. The tools which are used in a toolpath are not deleted. Tool dialog The exact dialog displayed depends on the type of tool you select from the Tools context menu or from the tool toolbar. In either case select the Create option. This displays:

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or Selecting any option from the list, except From Catalogue, displays the specific tool dialog. Most fields in the dialog are similar, the only differences are to do with defining the geometry of the tool. For information see Create Tool From Catalogue (on page 114) or Form Tool (on page 867).

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Selecting the Ball Nosed tool

displays the following dialog:

For more information see Tool Tip Dialog (on page 864). Create Tool From Catalogue This option allows you to select the tool from an online catalogue. 1. Access the option by right clicking Tools in Explorer and then selecting Create Tool - From Catalogue from the resulting context menu:

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The following dialog is displayed in your browser window:

2. Select the required catalogue from the Select Catalogue dropdown list. There are two catalogues to choose from: Jabro Kobelco 3. Select from the following Restrictions to limit the choice available: Length between - specify the range in length in which you are interested. Diameter between - specify the range in diameter in which you are interested. Tool Type - specify the type of tools in which you are interested in from the drop-down list. The options are All, End Mill, Tip Radiused or Ball Nosed.

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4. Click Display Tools to list all the tools that meet your criteria:

The top of the browser window displays the tool catalogue and units used. Create - creates the tool. ID - catalogue identifier of the tool. D1 - tool diameter. D - shaft diameter. R - tool tip radius. L2 - length of the cutting portion of the tool. L - length of the tool (cutting and non-cutting portion).

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Z - number of flutes on the tool. Tool Code - catalogue code of the tool. ? - displays a window giving a pictorial key to the above dimensions (provided that they are not blocked in your browser):

< Back - returns you to the selection criteria. Return to PowerMILL - returns you to PowerMILL. If you do not see all the tools you expect, then check that they have not been disallowed by the Organise Catalogues (see "Organise Catalogues example" on page 119) option. 5. Click the Create button to create a specific tool and make it the active tool. 6. Click Return to PowerMILL to return to PowerMILL.

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Organise Catalogues Organise Catalogues allows you to select the tool catalogue and which tools are available from that catalogue. It displays the following in the browser window:

Select Catalogue - currently there are two catalogues to choose from: Jabro Kobelco Restrictions - allows you to specify the range of tools you want to find. Length between - allows you to specify the range in length in which you are interested. Diameter between - allows you to specify the range in diameter in which you are interested. Tool Type - allows you to specify the type of tools you are interested in from the drop-down list. The options are All, End Mill, Tip Radiused or Ball Nosed.

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Display Tools - displays all the tools that meet your criteria

For more information see Create Tool From Catalogue (on page 114). Return to PowerMILL - returns you to PowerMILL. Organise Catalogues example This option allows a user with 'write' access to the Tools database to include/exclude tools in/from an online catalogue. The tools that are included are available to users of Create Tool From Catalogue (on page 114).

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1. Access the option by right clicking Tools in Explorer and then selecting Organise Catalogues from the resulting context menu:

The following dialog is displayed in your browser window:

2. Select the required catalogue from the Select Catalogue dropdown list. There are two catalogues to choose from: Jabro Kobelco 3. Select from the following Restrictions to limit the choice available: Length between - specify the range in length in which you are interested. Diameter between - specify the range in diameter in which you are interested.

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Tool Type - specify the type of tools in which you are interested in from the drop-down list. The options are All, End Mill, Tip Radiused or Ball Nosed. 4. Click Display Tools to list all the tools that meet your criteria:

For all the dialog columns with the exception of Available, refer to Create Tool From Catalogue (on page 114). The following buttons are available above and below the columns: Deselect All - makes all the displayed tools unavailable to other users.

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Select All - makes all the displayed tools available to other users. Back - returns you to the selection criteria. Return to PowerMILL - returns you to PowerMILL. 5. To exclude a tool from the catalogue, remove the tick from the Available column by clicking it. If a tool does not have a tick in this column, then clicking it will restore the tick and include the tool in the catalogue. 6. Click Return to PowerMILL to return to PowerMILL. The above option does not create tools in PowerMILL. All it does is define which tools within a particular catalogue are available to other users. If you want to create a tool from a catalogue, you need to use Create Tool from Catalogue (on page 114).

Individual Tool context menu
If you place your cursor over a specific tool and right click with the mouse you see the following menu:

910160R100-MEGA/TRIBON - this is the name of this menu and is the name of the selected tool. Activate - it makes the tool the active tool.

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Settings (see "Tool - Settings" on page 124) - displays the parameters used to define the tool. Draw - determines whether the tool is displayed on the screen or not. So and . it toggles between Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. View (see "Tool - View - Tool" on page 125) - alters the view orientation to be relative to the tool rather than the workplane that you are using. Shaded (see "Tool - Shaded" on page 127) - displays a shaded tool. Draw Shank - draws the tool and shank when selected. When deselected the shank and holder are not displayed. Draw Holder - draws the tool shank and holder when selected. When deselected the holder is not displayed. Edit - displays a context menu which has Copy as the only option. This creates a copy of the tool. This new tool has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new tool can then be edited using the Parameters menu option. Add to Database - adds the tool to the active tool database. The Tool Database Export dialog (on page 872) is displayed. Change Tool Stock Material - allows you to defines a new stock material (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) for this tool. The Enter stock material dialog is displayed. Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

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For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Tool - deletes the tool. Tool - Settings Settings - displays the parameters used to define the tool. In the case of an end mill tool the following dialog box is displayed:

The fields that can be edited are white those that cannot be edited are grey. The editable fields depend on whether the tool has been used in a toolpath. If it has then the Number of Flutes is the only editable field. If the tool hasn't yet been used to create a toolpath then all the fields can be edited.

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Tool - View - Tool View - alters the view orientation to be relative to the tool rather than the workplane that you are using.

View - Down Axis - changes the view to one down the tool axis.

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View - From Side - changes the view to one with the tool vertical.

View - Set Rotation Anchor - sets the rotation anchor to the tool's tip position. So, when using the middle mouse button to rotate the model the centre of rotation will be at the tool's tip position.

To change back to a different rotation anchor use the View - Rotation Anchor menu to set a new Anchor Point.

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Tool - Shaded Shaded - displays a shaded tool.

If a tool holder is defined and drawn this will also be displayed:

Tool toolbar
Tools have their own toolbar located at the bottom of the graphics window. This is accessed either from the Explorer or from the View Toolbar - Tool menu option.

For more information see Tool toolbar (on page 857).

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Boundaries
Projects can directly contain many boundaries. Boundaries are shown in the Explorer under the Boundaries branch of the tree. Boundaries are controlled by pop-up menus, individual dialogs for each type of boundary, and a Boundary toolbar. Each type of boundary has a different icon in the Explorer: Button Context Name Block Rest Selected Surface Shallow Silhouette Collision Safe Stock Model Rest Contact Point Contact Conversion Boolean Operation Description Create a Block Boundary (on page 970) Create a Rest Boundary (on page 971) Create a Selected Surface Boundary (on page 972) Create a Shallow Boundary (on page 974) Create a Silhouette Boundary (on page 975) Create a Collision Safe Boundary (on page 977) Create a Stock Model Rest Boundary (on page 979) Create a Contact Point Boundary (on page 982) Create a Contact Conversion Boundary (on page 988) Performs a Boolean Operation (see "Boolean Operation Boundary" on page 990) on two boundaries Create a User Defined Boundary (on page 993)

User Defined

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Creating Boundaries
New boundaries are created from the Boundaries Menu, which is raised by right clicking on the Boundaries entry in the Explorer. Create Boundary displays a context menu showing the different boundary types available.

Each option creates a new boundary of the specified type and raises a dialog showing parameters specific to the type of boundary. For more information see Boundary toolbar (on page 965).

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Boundaries context menu
The Boundaries menu is raised by right clicking on the Boundaries entry in the Explorer.

Boundaries - the name of this menu. Toolbar - displays the Boundary Toolbar at the bottom of the graphics window. For more information on this toolbar see Boundary toolbar (on page 965).

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Create Boundary - displays a context menu showing the different boundary types available.

For more information on this menu see Creating Boundaries (on page 129). Paste as new Boundary - pastes entities from a model, pattern or boundary into a new boundary. If this option is dimmed you probably don't have anything on the clipboard to paste into a new boundary. To place something on the clipboard, select the entity (part of a model, pattern or boundary) and used Ctrl+C. Boundary Names - defines the template that will be used for all new boundaries. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Batch Process - processes the batch boundaries marked . When you create a batch boundary, PowerMILL generates a file containing all the relevant parameters to create the boundary at a later date. It is fully defined in the sense that it can be selected and saved to session files. It just has not computed the segments. Invalidate All - allows you to invalidate calculated boundaries. This changes the boundaries to batch boundaries marked with a . This can be useful if you have created a set of boundaries for one model and require a similar set of boundaries for a similar model. For more information see Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes (on page 75). Deactivate - deactivates the currently active boundary.

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Draw All - displays all boundaries on the screen Undraw All - hides all boundaries on the screen

. .

Thickness - allows you to control component boundary thicknesses in the same way that you can control component toolpath thickness. This displays Component Thickness dialog. For more information see Component Thickness (on page 72). Edit (see "Boundaries - Edit" on page 132) - displays the standard editing options. These editing options apply to all boundaries and not just the active one. Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete All - deletes all the unlocked boundaries. A boundary is locked automatically when it is used by a toolpath, or to limit another boundary. A boundary may also be locked manually by pressing the Lock button Boundaries - Edit Edit - displays the standard editing options. These editing options apply to all boundaries and not just the active one. on the Boundary dialog.

Move - moves all the boundaries by a specific distance in X, Y or Z. Rotate - rotates all the boundaries by a specific angle around X, Y or Z. Scale - scales all the boundaries by a specific amount in X, Y or Z. Mirror - mirrors all the boundaries in the XY, YZ or XZ plane.

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Transform to Workplane - moves all the boundaries so that it is in the same place relative to the workplane as it was to the global transform. It converts this:

to this:

Transform to World - moves all the boundaries so that it is in the same place relative to the global transform as it was to the workplane. These options are very similar to those on the Transform Model dialog (on page 227). Delete Selected Components - deletes the selected boundary components.

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Individual Boundary context menu

Block - this is the name of the boundary to which the menu refers. Copy - copies the selected segments to the clipboard Paste - pastes the entities on the clipboard into the boundary. Copy and paste works between model, boundary and pattern entities. Only closed segments are pasted into boundaries. Only wireframe geometry can be pasted from models into boundaries or patterns. You can copy and paste data within PowerMILL or from one PowerMILL session to another. Activate - makes the boundary the active boundary. Activate Workplane - activates the workplane used to create this boundary. Settings (see "Boundary - Settings" on page 136) - displays the parameters used to define the boundary.

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Recreate Block - recreates the block used to create this boundary. Select Surfaces - selects the surfaces used to create this boundary. This option only displays a result if you had to select specific surfaces to create the boundary. Draw - determines whether the boundary is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Select All - selects all segments of the boundary (they turn yellow). Deselect - deselects any selected boundary segments (they turn white). Save - saves the modified boundary. The Save Boundary dialog is displayed. This is a standard windows save dialog. Edit (see "Edit - Boundary" on page 137) - displays the editing options. Insert (see "Boundary - Insert" on page 145) - inserts entities into the boundary. Calculate - calculates a "Batch" boundary created by selecting one of the Create Boundary options in the Boundary context menu and then clicking on Accept rather than Apply. A "Batch" boundary is preceded with a to show that it needs to be calculated before it can be used. Undo Last Edit - reverts the boundary to what it was before the edit. Redo Last Undone Edit - reinstates the edit you have just undone. Clear History Buffers - empties the undo buffer, so that you can no longer undo an edit. Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

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to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Boundary - deletes the boundary. Boundary - Settings Settings - displays the parameters used to define the boundary. In the case of a shallow boundary that has been used to create a toolpath the following dialog box is displayed:

The fields that can be edited are white those that cannot be edited are grey. The editable fields depend on whether the boundary has been used in a toolpath. If it has then the Name is the only editable field. If the boundary hasn't yet been used to create a toolpath then all the fields can be edited.

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Edit - Boundary Edit - displays the editing options.

Transform (see "Transform Boundary" on page 138) - allows you to move, rotate, scale or mirror a boundary. Points (see "Boundary - Edit - Points" on page 139) - defines how to move, delete or add points to the boundary. Initially select the required Mode, then select the required points and finally click on Apply. Arc Fit Selected (on page 139) - arc fits selected segments. This is used to smooth boundaries. Spline Selected (on page 140) - this turns the sketched boundary into a spline. Polygonise Selected (on page 141) - this converts a curved boundary to a series of straight lines. Flatten - The boundary is projected (or flattened) onto the XY Plane at Z = 0. In this case the boundary need not be entirely contained within the part. Offset 3D (on page 141) - offsets a 3D boundary by a specified distance. A positive value offsets the boundary outwards, a negative valued offsets the boundary inwards. Offset 2D (Round Corners) (see "Offset 2D (Round)" on page 142) offsets a 2D boundary by a specified distance. A positive value offsets the boundary outwards, a negative valued offsets the boundary inwards. The offset has rounded corners.

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Offset 2D (Sharp Corners) (on page 143) - this is very similar to Offset 2D (Round Corners) except that the offset pattern has sharp corners. Select Duplicates - selects all duplicate segments of the boundary. This can be used very effectively in combination with Delete Selected to delete all the duplicate boundary segments. Select Area (on page 144) - allows you to select a boundary segment by area. This only works on closed segments. Make Invalid - this is similar to Invalidate All from the Toolpath or Boundary context menu, except that this option only applies to this boundary rather than all boundaries. For more information see Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes (on page 75). Copy Boundary - This creates a copy of the whole boundary. This new boundary has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new boundary can then be edited using the Parameters menu option. Copy Boundary (Selected only) - creates a copy of the selected segments of the boundary. This new boundary has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new boundary can then be edited using the Parameters menu option. Delete Selected Components - deletes all the selected segments of the boundary. Transform Boundary Transform - allows you to move, rotate, scale or mirror a boundary. It displays the following dialog:

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This is very similar to the Transform Model (see "Transform Model dialog" on page 227) dialog, except for the the addition of Transform Copy option. Transform Copy - when selected, the boundary specified above is copied when transformed and is given the name of the original boundary with the addition of _1. When deselected, the current boundary is replaced by the new transformed boundary which has the same name as the original toolpath. Boundary - Edit - Points Points… - displays the Boundary Editor dialog. This defines how to move, delete or add points to the boundary. Initially select the required Mode, then select the required points and finally click on Apply. Selected points are marked in red. To de-select points, press the Ctrl key and re-select the point(s).

However, if you want to delete a boundary segment you don't have to raise this dialog. All you need to do is select the segment and then click on the Del key. For more information see Boundary Editor Dialog (on page 1005). Arc Fit Selected Arc Fit Selected - arc fits selected segments. This is used to smooth boundaries. Taking this selected segment:

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You are then asked for an arc fitting tolerance.

The boundary is then modified to the following:

Spline Selected Spline Selected - this turns the sketched boundary into a spline.

You are then asked for an arc fitting tolerance.

The boundary is then modified to the following:

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Polygonise Selected Polygonise Selected - this converts a curved boundary to a series of straight lines.

You are then asked for an arc fitting tolerance.

The boundary is then modified to the following:

Offset 3D Offset 3D - offsets a 3D boundary by a specified distance. A positive value offsets the boundary outwards, a negative valued offsets the boundary inwards.

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You are then asked for an offset distance.

The boundary is then modified to the following:

Offset 2D (Round) Offset 2D - offsets a 2D boundary by a specified distance. A positive value offsets the boundary outwards, a negative valued offsets the boundary inwards. If you start with this boundary:

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Selecting the Edit - Offset 2D (Round Corners) will give you:

Offset 2D (Sharp Corners) Offset 2D (Sharp Corners)- This is very similar to Offset 2D (Round Corners) (see "Offset 2D (Round)" on page 142) except that the offset pattern has sharp corners. If you start with this boundary:

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Selecting the Edit - Offset 2D (Sharp Corners) will give you:

Select Area Select Area - allows you to select a boundary segment by area. This only works on closed segments.

There are two options Greater Than and Less Than. In either case the Ratio of Tool Area dialog is displayed.

Enter the required ratio and then click . A value of 1.0 matches areas equal to the area of the tool radius circle. Greater Than - selects boundary segments whose area is greater than, or equal to, the amount you specify in the dialog. Less Than - selects boundary segments whose area is less than the amount you specify in the dialog.

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Boundary - Insert Insert - inserts entities into the boundary.

Boundary - inserts another boundary into this one. The Entity Name dialog is displayed.

Enter the name of the boundary that you want to insert and then click the button. File - inserts a *.dgk or *.pic file into the boundary. The Open Boundary dialog is displayed. This is a standard Open dialog. Model - defines the boundary from the selected surface edges and adds them to the boundary. If no specific surfaces are selected then it works on the whole model. From this model geometry with one surface selected (using the left mouse button):

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The following boundary is created:

Sketch - enables you to sketch a boundary. This displays the Boundary Sketcher dialog.

For more information see Boundary Sketcher Dialog (on page 1002). Curve Modelling - displays PowerMILL's curve modelling functionality which allows you to inserts a curve into the current boundary. For more information see Insert into Boundary (on page 1000). Wireframe Modelling - displays PowerMILL's wireframe modelling functionality which allows you to inserts wireframe into the current boundary. For more information see Insert into Boundary (on page 1000). Active Toolpath - converts the currently active toolpath to a boundary and inserts it into the boundary. If this option is greyed out then you have no active toolpath. Active Pattern - converts the currently active pattern to a boundary and inserts it into the boundary. If this option is greyed out then you have no active pattern.

Boundary Toolbar
The Boundary Toolbar is displayed either by right clicking on the Boundaries menu and selecting the Toolbar option or from the View Toolbar - Boundary menu option. By default the toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the graphics window. For more information see Boundary Toolbar (on page 965).

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Patterns
Projects can directly contain many patterns. Patterns are shown in the Explorer under the Patterns branch of the tree. Patterns are controlled by context menus, individual dialogs for each type of Pattern, and a Pattern toolbar.

Patterns context menu
The Patterns menu is raised by right clicking on the Patterns entry in the Explorer.

Patterns - this is the name of this menu. Toolbar - displays the Pattern Toolbar. By default the pattern toolbar is displayed above the Explorer and Graphics Window. For more information see Pattern Toolbar (on page 1021). Create Pattern - creates a new empty pattern. .

Paste as new Pattern - pastes entities from a model, pattern or boundary into a new pattern. If this option is dimmed you probably don't have anything on the clipboard to paste into a new pattern. To place something on the clipboard, select the entity (part of a model, pattern or boundary) and used Ctrl+C. Pattern Names - defines the template that will be used for all new patterns. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71).

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Deactivate - deactivates the currently active pattern. Draw All - displays all patterns on the screen Undraw All - hides all patterns on the screen . .

Edit (see "Edit - Patterns" on page 149) - displays the standard editing options. These editing options apply to all patterns and not just the active one. Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete All - deletes all patterns. Edit - Patterns Edit - displays the standard editing options. These editing options apply to all patterns and not just the active one.

Move - moves all the patterns by a specific distance in X, Y or Z. Rotate - rotates all the patterns by a specific angle around X, Y or Z. Scale - scales all the patterns by a specific amount in X, Y or Z. Mirror in Plane - mirrors all the patterns in the XY, YZ or XZ plane. Transform to Workplane - moves all the patterns so that they are in the same place relative to the workplane as they were to the global transform. Transform to World - moves all the pattern so that they are in the same place relative to the global transform as they were to the workplane. These options are very similar to those on the Transform Model dialog (on page 227). Delete Selected Components - deletes the selected pattern components.

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Individual Pattern context menu

1 - this is the name of the pattern to which the menu refers. Copy - copies the selected segments to the clipboard Paste - pastes the entities on the clipboard into the boundary. Copy and paste works between model, boundary and pattern entities. Only closed segments are pasted into boundaries. Only wireframe geometry can be pasted from models into boundaries or patterns. You can copy and paste data within PowerMILL or from one PowerMILL session to another. Activate - it makes the pattern the active pattern. Draw - determines whether the pattern is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder.

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You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Instrument - all curves in a pattern have a direction. If you Instrument a pattern it will place an arrow on each segment (pointing towards the end of the segment) and a "X" at the end of each segment.

Colour - edits the colour of a pattern. Selecting the Edit Selected option displays the Select Colour dialog. This is a standard Windows dialog, selecting a colour here changes the colour of the pattern. Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Select All - selects all segments of the pattern (they turn yellow). Select Duplicates - selects all the duplicated segments (where one segment lies exactly on top of another) in the pattern. This can be particularly important when importing poorly defined data, especially duplicated holes. This can then be used with the Delete Selected Segments to eliminate these duplications. Select Length (see "Pattern - Select Length" on page 153) - allows you to select a pattern segments by length. This works on both open and closed segments. There are two options Greater Than and Less Than. Deselect - deselects any selected pattern segments (they turn white). Save - saves the pattern to a file as wireframe geometry. This is saved as a *.dgk, *.pic or *.dxf file. The Save Pattern dialog appears. This is a standard windows save dialog. Selected Properties - displays the extents of the selected segments in the pattern.

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Properties - displays the extents of the selected pattern.

Edit (see "Edit - Pattern" on page 153) - edits the pattern or segments of the pattern. You must select the pattern (or segments) prior to selecting the type of edit you want to perform. Insert (see "Pattern - Insert" on page 158) - inserts entities into the pattern. Undo Last Edit - reverts the pattern to what it was before the edit. Redo Last Undone Edit - reinstates the edit you have just undone. Clear History Buffers - empties the undo buffer, so that you can no longer undo an edit. Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Pattern - deletes the pattern.

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Pattern - Select Length Select Length - allows you to select a pattern segments by length. This works on both open and closed segments. There are two options Greater Than and Less Than. In either case the Length to Compare dialog is displayed.

Enter the required length and then click . Greater Than - selects pattern segments whose length is greater than, or equal to, the amount you specify in the dialog. Less Than - selects pattern segments whose length is less than the amount you specify in the dialog. Edit - Pattern Edit - edits the pattern or segments of the pattern. You must select the pattern (or segments) prior to selecting the type of edit you want to perform.

Transform (see "Transform Boundary" on page 138) - allows you to move, rotate, scale or mirror a pattern.

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Points (see "Pattern - Edit - Points" on page 156) - defines how to move, delete or add points to the pattern. Reverse Selected (see "Pattern - Reverse Selected" on page 156) reverses the direction of the selected segment. It is easiest to see the effects of this if you first Instrument the pattern. Arc Fit Selected - arc fits selected segments. This is used to smooth patterns. Arc fitting a pattern before starting an area clearance operation allows a proper offset toolpath to be created. This is very similar to Arc Fit Selected (on page 139) on the individual Boundary - Edit menu except that it can also work on open segments. Spline Selected (on page 140) - this turns the selected sketched pattern into a spline. Polygonise Selected (on page 141) - this converts a selected curved pattern to a series of straight lines. Split Selected (see "Pattern - Split Selected" on page 157) - this converts a selected pattern to a series of segments. It converts a one segment pattern containing 7 points: Close (see "Pattern - Close" on page 157) - closes the selected segment. Drop - The selected pattern is projected down the tool axis (or dropped) onto the part. The whole pattern must be contained within the part when viewed down Z.

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Flatten - The selected pattern is projected (or flattened) onto the XY Plane at Z = 0. In this case the boundary need not be entirely contained within the part.

Merge - merges a series of selected segments into one pattern containing the minimum number of segments and curves. A dialog similar to the following is displayed:

Offset 2D (Round Corners) (see "Offset 2D (Round)" on page 142) offsets a 2D pattern by a specified distance. A positive value offsets the pattern outwards, a negative valued offsets the pattern inwards. Offset 2D (Sharp Corners) (on page 143) - this is very similar to Offset 2D (Round Corners) except that the offset pattern has sharp corners. Embed (see "Embedded Pattern Dialog" on page 158) - links the pattern lying on the model to its associated surface (or surfaces). This displays the following dialog: Reverse Normals - reverses the orientation of embedded patterns. This option is only available for Embedded Patterns which are patterns with associated surface data. This surface data is fixed at time of creation of the embedded pattern. It is possible that the orientation of surfaces at creation is not what you want. If it is wrong the Reverse Normals option changes the embedded pattern to use the reversed orientation. Copy Pattern - creates a copy of the whole pattern. This new pattern has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new pattern can then be edited using the Edit menu option.

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Copy Pattern (Selected Only) - creates a copy of the selected segments of the pattern. This new pattern has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new pattern can then be edited using the Edit menu option. Delete Selected Components - deletes all the selected segments of the pattern. Pattern - Edit - Points Points - displays the Pattern Editor dialog. This defines how to move, delete or add points to the pattern. Initially select the required Mode, then select the required points and finally click on Apply. Selected points are marked in red. To de-select points, press the Ctrl key and re-select the point(s).

However, if you want to delete a pattern segment you don't have to raise this dialog. All you need to do is select the segment and then click on the Del key. This is very similar to the Boundary Editor Dialog (on page 1005). Pattern - Reverse Selected Reverse Selected - reverses the direction of the selected segment. It is easiest to see the effects of this if you first Instrument the pattern. It converts this:

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To this:

Pattern - Split Selected Split Selected - this converts a selected pattern to a series of segments. It converts a one segment pattern containing 7 points:

To a 6 segment pattern (one segment between each pair of points):

Pattern - Close Close - closes the selected segment. It converts an open segment :

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To a closed segment:

Pattern - Insert Insert - inserts entities into the pattern.

Most of these options are the same as the individual Boundary - Insert (on page 145) context menu. The only additional option is Pattern Maker, and Active Pattern replaces Active Boundary. Pattern Maker - automatically creates patterns suitable for machining between two patterns or curves. If this option is greyed out then this pattern is not the active pattern. For more information see Pattern Maker Dialog (on page 1023).

Embedded Pattern Dialog

Method - defines how the pattern is associated to the surfaces. Closest Point - the points on the curve are associated to the closest point on the surfaces provided it is within the Embedded Distance.

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Drop - the curve is projected down Z Axis of the active workplane (or dropped) onto the part. The whole curve must be contained within the part when viewed down Z. If the Closet Point method doesn't work you may find that this option does. Embedded Distance - defines the maximum distance the curve can be to the surface to enable embedding to take place. If the Embedded Distance is exceeded you get the following error message:

In this case you may find choosing a Method of Drop cures the problem. Tolerance - defines the tolerance used when Embedding Patterns. For more information on Embedded Patterns see the Example Creating an Embedded Pattern (on page 603). By default the pattern is embedded onto all the surfaces in the model. However, if you select one or more surfaces, then the curve will only be embedded onto the selected surfaces.

Pattern Toolbar
The Pattern Toolbar is displayed either by right clicking on the Patterns menu and selecting the Toolbar option or from the View Toolbar - Pattern menu option. By default the toolbar is displayed just above the graphics and explorer windows. For more information see Pattern Toolbar (on page 1021).

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Feature Sets
Projects can directly contain many feature sets. Feature Sets are shown in the Explorer under the Feature Sets branch of the tree. Feature Sets are controlled by context menus and individual dialogs for each type of Feature Set. Each type of Feature has a different icon in the Explorer: Feature Set Pocket Slot Boss Hole

Feature Sets context menu
The Feature Sets menu is raised by right clicking on the Feature Sets entry in the Explorer.

Feature Sets - this is the name of this menu.

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Create Feature Set - creates a new empty feature set .

Recognise Holes in Model - Automatically finds the holes in the model. For more information see Hole Creation From a Model (on page 162). Import - enables you to read in holes from a *.xml file. It displays the Open XML File dialog. This dialog is very similar to the Import Model (see "File - Import Model" on page 282) dialog. Feature Set Names - defines the template that will be used for all new feature sets, or entities that are created in feature sets (pocket, boss, slot or hole).

For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Select Features - this enables you to select holes by a number of different criteria. For more information see Select Features (on page 164). Deactivate - deactivates the currently active feature set. Draw All - displays all feature sets on the screen Undraw All - hides all feature sets on the screen . .

Preferences - displays the parameters used to creates features in the feature set. This displays the Feature dialog box. For more information see Feature Dialog (on page 173). Edit - Delete Selected Features - deletes the feature set that is selected in the graphics window. Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete All - deletes all the feature set.

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Hole Creation from a Model Provided that the original surface model has the holes fully defined, (they must be defined as a single surface with the top and bottom defined), then PowerMILL can automatically find these holes, which you can then drill in the normal way. Using the following example:

1. Select the area of the model that you want to search for holes:

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2. The selected hole will turn yellow:

3. Now, from the Feature Sets context menu click on the Recognise Holes in Model option.

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4. PowerMILL will create a Feature Set, finds the holes and creates a workplane:

5. You can now drill the holes in the normal way. This method assumes that the top of the hole has a higher Z value than the bottom of the hole. Select Features Enables you to select holes by a number of different criteria. The Feature Sets - Select Features menu option displays the following dialog.

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Select By - determines how you are going to select the holes.

Minimum - defines the minimum value of the item selected in the Select By drop-down list. Maximum - defines the maximum value of the item selected in the Select By drop-down list. Diameter - this shows the diameters of the holes that exist in the model. The name of this list varies depending on what is selected in the Select By drop-down list. If Depth is selected then Diameters changes to Depths. Tolerance - is the selection tolerance. If you try working with some data where the holes are not well defined you may get diameters 12.34,12.33, 12.31, 12.36.By changing the tolerance you firstly will change the list to read 12.3 or 12.4 secondly you change your selection tolerance so that it will select to within that tolerance. - moves the selected items to the Selection Filter area. Selection Filter - displays the criteria which must be met to select a hole.

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If you select a Diameter of say 10.72 and a Depth of say 50.8 then only those holes with a Diameter of 10.72 and a depth of 50.8 are selected.

However, if you select a Diameter of say 10.72 and a Diameter of say 12.7 then only those holes with a Diameter of 10.72 or a Diameter of 12.7 and a depth of 50.8 are selected. Component (on page 808) - allows you to select by the diameter or length of a particular hole component. See Example using component (on page 809) for more information. - deletes all the criteria in the Selection Filter. Select - selects all the holes that meet the selection criteria in the graphics window (turns the holes that meet the criteria yellow).

Individual Feature Set context menu

1 - this is the name of the feature set to which the menu refers.

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Activate - it makes this feature set the active feature set. Activate Workplane - activates the workplane used to create this feature set. Draw - determines whether the feature set is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Select Features - this enables you to select holes by a number of different criteria. For more information see Select Features (on page 164). Select All - selects all of the features in the feature set (they turn yellow). Select Duplicates - selects all the duplicated features (where one feature lies exactly on top of another) in the feature set. This can be particularly important when importing poorly defined data, especially duplicated holes. This can then be used with the File - Delete Selected menu option to eliminate these duplications. Deselect - deselects any selected features (they turn white). Selected Properties - displays the extents of the selected features in the feature set.

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Properties - displays the extents of the feature set.

Cap Holes (see "Cap Holes Example" on page 168) - caps the selected holes. Settings - displays the parameters used to creates features in the feature set. This displays the Feature dialog (on page 173). Edit (see "Feature Set - Edit" on page 172) - edits the feature set or features within the feature set. Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Feature Set - deletes the feature set. Cap Holes Example There is an option on the individual Feature Set context menu that allows you to cap holes. Wherever possible the hole will be capped with a surface matching the rest of the model. If a surface cannot be fitted then the holes are capped with a best fit plane. This plane will be slightly inside the surface rather than being proud. This is best shown by example.

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1. Load the 5axis_with_holes.dgk available from the Examples file.

2. Select the holes in the top of the model. This can be done by placing a drag box over them in the View From Top .

3. From the Feature Sets menu select the Recognise Holes in Model option.

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4. Several feature sets are created.

5. From the individual Feature Set context menu select the Cap Holes option.

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6. The two holes in this feature set are capped.

7. This creates a Capping Surface Model and Level.

8. If you just have the Capping Surface Level visible you can see the caps.

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Feature Set - Edit Edit - edits the feature set or features within the feature set.

Arc Fit Selected - arc fits selected features such as Bosses, Pockets and Slots (but NOT Holes). Reverse Selected Holes - reverses the hole direction of the selected holes. So, what was the top becomes the bottom of the hole. Copy Holes to Pockets - converts a holes to pockets so that you can machined the holes using Area Clearance strategies. Copy All - creates a new feature set with exactly the same features. This new feature set has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new feature set can then be edited using the Edit menu option. Copy Selected - creates a copy of the selected features of the feature set. This new feature set has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new feature set can then be edited using the Edit menu option. Delete Feature Set - deletes the selected features.

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Feature Dialog
A feature set extrudes the selected curves, or points (for holes). This extrusion can either be upstands or indents and the sides of the extrusions which can be machined are defined by the type of feature created.

Feature - Create Creates a new feature (a Pocket, Slot, Boss or Hole).

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Name root - a user definable name for the feature. If more than one feature is created the root name is given followed by a number. If no name is specified it is given a number as its name. Type - defines the sides of the extrusions which can be machined. So any of the following can be created:

Define Top By - defines the height of the top of the feature.

Absolute - defines the Z height at the top of the feature as an Absolute Z height. Height from Bottom - defines the top as a distance from the bottom of the feature. Maximum Curve Z - all features use a curve (bits of model or pattern) as the input data . These curves have a minimum and a maximum z value which can be used for feature definition. This input method is also very useful for hole definition where you have a set of Z positions that represent the top or bottom of the hole. So this is the maximum Z height of the selected curve to determine the top of the feature. Minimum Curve Z - this is the minimum Z height of the selected curve to determine the top of the feature

Top of Block - defines the top as the height of the top of the block. Line Start - defines the top as the start of the line. This option is only available if you have a Use of Lines. - specifies the value of the height of the top of the feature.

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Define Bottom By - defines the height of the bottom of the feature.

Absolute - defines the Z height at the bottom of the feature. Depth from Top - defines the bottom as a distance from the top of the feature. Maximum Curve Z - this is the maximum Z height of the selected curve to determine the bottom of the feature. Minimum Curve Z - this is the minimum Z height of the selected curve to determine the bottom of the feature. Bottom of Block - defines the bottom as the height of the bottom of the block. Line End - defines the top as the end of the line. This option is only available if you have a Use of Lines. - specifies the value of the height of the bottom of the feature. Smart Creation (on page 185) - creates nested features automatically. Draft Angle (on page 187) - allows you to create features with draft angles. Use - enables you to Area Clear circular features by creating Circular Pockets and Circular Bosses. When Holes is selected Use determines how/where the holes are created.

Points - creates circular features from points in the pattern. These points define the centre of the circular feature. Circles - creates circular features from circles in the model. The Diameter field is greyed out since the circles define this for you. Holes - creates circular features from holes in the model. The Define Top By, Define Bottom By and Diameter fields are greyed out since the holes define these for you.

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Pairs - creates circular features from pairs of circles in the model. The Define Top By, Define Bottom By and Diameter fields are greyed out since the pairs of circles define these for you. Curves - creates circular features from any curve in the model that will flatten into a circle in the given workplane. Lines - creates circular features from lines in the pattern. These lines define the top, bottom and axis of a hole. Plunges (see "Create holes from toolpath plunge points" on page 177) - creates holes from the plunge moves of the active toolpath. Normals (see "Create holes from contact normals" on page 179) creates holes from the contact normal moves of the active toolpath. - defines the diameter of the hole. This is only available if Hole is selected in the Type field. Hole Creation (on page 176) - allows you to select how and which holes are created. Apply - creates the new feature which is added to the current Feature Set. Close - closes the Feature dialog box without making any changes. Hole Creation

Multi-Axis - this only has any effect when you use the Recognise Holes in Model menu option. If selected, all the holes are placed in one feature set. If deselected, the holes are sorted into feature sets by workplane. This is only available if Hole is selected in the Type field. Compound Holes - If selected, one compound hole containing several components is created. If unselected, several individual holes are created (superimposed on each other). You can see the difference between the representation of a compound hole and an individual hole in the explorer.

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For more information, see Compound Holes (on page 807). Create From Partial Holes - enables the creation of holes from a model that has poorly or incompletely defined holes. For example, PowerMILL will create a hole from a pair of arcs. This option should always be used as a last resort as it may find many unwanted (or unexpected) holes. Create holes from toolpath plunge points Holes can be created from toolpath plunge points. Taking the following Offset Area Clearance toolpath:

1. Make sure that the relevant toolpath is active.

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2. From the Feature Sets context menu, select Create Feature Set.

Select Hole in the Type field, and Plunges in the Use field. Enter an appropriate , in this case 20. Click Apply to create the holes at all the active toolpath's plunge points.

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3. If you look in the Explorer, you can see three holes you have just created.

Create holes from contact normals Holes can be created normal to the contact point of pattern's points. Taking the following model and pattern:

1. Select the relevant pattern.

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2. From the Feature Sets context menu, select Create Feature Set.

Select Hole in the Type field, and Normals in the Use field. Choose an appropriate depth using the Define top by and Define bottom by fields. Enter an appropriate , in this case 20. Select Multi-Axis. This ensures that all holes are created in one feature set. Click Apply to create the holes at all active toolpath's plunge points.

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3. If you look in the Explorer, you can see three holes you have just created.

Feature - Edit Edits an existing feature.

You can only edit the active feature. This dialog will remain greyed out unless you have an active feature. Initially the dialog will contain the parameters of the current feature. You can then edit these to your new requirements. Name - the name of the active feature. Type - displays whether the feature is a Pocket, Slot, Boss or Hole. This field cannot be altered.

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Define Top By - defines the height of the top of the feature.

Absolute - defines the Z Height at the top of the feature as an Absolute Z height. Height from Bottom - defines the top as a distance from the bottom of the feature. Maximum Curve Z - all features use a curve (bits of model or pattern) as the input data . These curves have a minimum and a maximum z value which can be used for feature definition. This input method is also very useful for hole definition where you have a set of Z positions that represent the top or bottom of the hole. So this is the Maximum Z height of the selected curve to determine the top of the feature. Minimum Curve Z - this is the Minimum Z height of the selected curve to determine the top of the feature

Top of Block - defines the top as the height of the top of the block. Model - defines the top as the height of the top of the model. - specifies the value of the height of the top of the feature. Define Bottom By - defines the height of the bottom of the feature.

Absolute - defines the Z Height at the bottom of the feature. Depth from Top - defines the bottom as a distance from the top of the feature. Maximum Curve Z - this is the Maximum Z height of the selected curve to determine the bottom of the feature.

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Minimum Curve Z - this is the Minimum Z height of the selected curve to determine the bottom of the feature. Bottom of Block - defines the bottom as the height of the bottom of the block. Model - defines the bottom as the height of the bottom of the model. - specifies the value of the height of the bottom of the feature. Edit Colour - changes the colour of the selected feature. Clicking on this displays the standard Windows Color dialog. Select the relevant colour and click on OK to close the dialog. Draft Angle - allows you to create features with draft angles. For more information see Draft Angle (on page 187). Reverse Slots - reverses the slot direction. Diameter - defines the diameter of the hole. This is only available if Hole is selected in the Type field. Description - a user defined description. This description can then be used as a selection criteria when selecting features or for drilling methods (you can give a set of holes a description then state that the method only applies to holes with that description). For more information see Select Features (on page 164). Hole Type - a user defined description. This is only available if there is a Type of Hole. This description can then be used as a selection criteria when selecting features or for drilling methods (you can give a set of holes a description then state that the method only applies to holes with that description). For more information see Select Features (on page 164). Apply - edits the active feature. Close - closes the Feature dialog box without making any changes.

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Feature - Component Edits a component of a feature.

shows the component that you are editing. For compound holes, the component that is edited is pale yellow. To edit a different component, select the graphic.

Dimension - allows you to define the shape of the active (pale yellow) component. Upper diameter - the diameter at the top of the current component. This must be greater than or equal to the Lower Diameter. Depth - the vertical height of the component. Draft Angle (on page 187) - allows you to create features with draft angles. Lower diameter - the diameter at the bottom of the current component. This must be less than or equal to the Upper Diameter.

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Coordinates - the location of the hole. Axis - the orientation of the Z axis of the hole. This is only editable if the holes are created as Multi-Axis. If you edit any of these fields you must click Apply for them to take effect. For an example on using this dialog, see Editing automatically identified holes (on page 195).

Smart Creation
The Smart Creation option available from the Create Feature Set menu on the Feature Set context menu allows you to create nested features. This is best shown by example and uses the 2DExample.dgk model.

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1. From the Feature Set context menu, select the Create Feature Set option.

2. Fill in the dialog as shown above ensuring that you check the Smart Creation option. 3. Select the item that you want to create a feature from. In this case the base of the left hand pocket.

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4. Click on Apply. Looking in the graphics window you can see the created features.

5. If you look in the explorer you can see that 3 bosses and one pocket have been created.

Draft Angle
The Draft Angle option available from the Create Feature Set menu on the Feature Set context menu allows you to created features with draft angles.

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This is best shown by example and uses the 2DExample.dgk model.

1. From the Feature Set from the context menu select the Create Feature option.

2. Fill in the dialog as shown above ensuring that you enter a Smart Draft Angle of 5. The Define Bottom by has Minimum Curve Z selected from the drop-down list. This actually creates the same base as used in Smart Creation (on page 185), just in a different way.

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3. Select the item that you want to create a feature from. In this case the base of the left hand pocket.

4. Click on Apply. Looking in the graphics window you can see the created features. You can see the draft angle applied to the bosses and pockets.

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Edit Features Graphically
When you select a feature it is surrounded by a blue cuboid with double headed arrows at the top an bottom. This is an Instrumented Feature.

Clicking on the double arrow at the top of the feature turns the double arrow white. Now dragging the mouse changes the height of the feature. You can either drag it to the appropriate height.

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You can also click on features of a model to define the Z height. So, in this case clicking on the edge of the hole in the model.

Automatically changes the height to be that of the height of the model.

Reverse Holes
The Reverse Holes option available from the Edit menu on the individual Feature Set context menu allows you to easily reverse some holes. This allows you to reverse selected holes even if the Feature Set is not multi-axis.

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If you select some holes in Feature Set then PowerMILL will reverse these holes and place them in a suitable Feature Set. If a suitable Feature Set doesn't exist, then PowerMILL will create one. Similarly a new workplane, with the Z direction reversed, will also be created (if it doesn't exist already). If you select all (or none) of the holes in a feature set then all of the holes are reversed, the Feature Set remains unchanged and a new workplane, with the Z direction reversed, will also be created (if it doesn't exist already). This is shown using the retainerplate.dgk example.

1. You can see that there are currently 5 Feature Sets in the Project.

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2. Select the holes you want to reverse. They turn yellow.

3. From the individual Feature Sets context menu select the Edit Reverse Holes option.

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4. The selected holes are reversed, placed in a new, automatically created, Feature Set and a new Workplane is also created. This new workplane has the Z orientation reversed.

5. These holes are automatically deleted from the original Feature Set.

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Editing automatically identified holes
Holes generated automatically from the Recognise Holes in Model option on the Feature Sets context menu can now be edited. This example uses RetainerPlate.dgk from the Examples folder:

1. Select part of the model, including some of the holes. 2. From the Feature Sets context menu, select Recognise Holes in Model. This displays the Feature dialog.

3. Select the Multi-Axis and Compound Holes check boxes, and then click Apply.

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PowerMILL recognises the specified holes, which can all be edited.

- standard holes with the Z axis of the hole aligned with the workplane Z axis. - compound holes with the Z axis of the hole aligned with the workplane Z axis. - standard holes with the Z axis of the hole not aligned with the workplane Z axis. 4. Select the hole that you want to edit.

This can either be edited graphically (see "Edit Features Graphically" on page 190), or from dialogs. 5. From the graphics context menu, select Feature - Select and Edit, or from the individual Feature menu select Select and Edit to display the Feature dialog.

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or 6. Select the Component tab.

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7. Edit the required fields, in this case, the Upper Diameter, and X and Y coordinates.

Altering the Upper Diameter automatically updates the Lower Diameter. 8. Click Apply for these changes to take effect. If you edit a compound hole, select the relevant component in the graphical area of the dialog (it turns pale yellow), and then edit the appropriate values.

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When you select a hole where the Z axis of the hole is not aligned with the workplane Z axis, the Coordinates frame cannot be edited.

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Workplanes
Projects can directly contain many workplanes. Workplanes are shown in the Explorer under the Workplanes branch of the tree. Workplanes are controlled by context menus. Workplanes define the coordinate system that is used to create a toolpath.

Workplanes context menu
The Workplanes menu is raised by right clicking on the Workplanes entry in the Explorer.

Workplanes - this is the name of this menu. Create Workplane - creates a new coordinate system. The location and orientation of the new workplane is controlled by the Workplane (see "Workplane Dialog" on page 201) dialog. Workplane Names - defines the template that will be used for all new workplanes. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Deactivate - deactivates the currently active workplane. Draw All - displays all workplanes on the screen Undraw All - hides all workplanes on the screen . .

Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop entities into the folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete All - deletes all the workplanes.

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Workplane Dialog

This is very similar to the Transform Toolpath (on page 915) dialog. Name - the name of the workplane. You can edit the name here. Active Workplane - selecting a workplane from the drop-down list makes it the active workplane. In the explorer the active workplane is written in bold and preceded by a ">". Draw - displays the workplane on the screen. Transform Copy - transforms a copy of the workplane, leaving the original in its current location and orientation. Align to View - orientates the highlighted workplane so that its Z axis is aligned with the current graphics view. The axis is placed with the X axis horizontal, Y axis vertical and the Z axis coming out of the screen.

Align to Pick - aligns the workplane so that it is located where you select the surface and is normal to the surface at that point.

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Aligns the Y axis to the v direction of the underlying surface (or u direction if the v can't be achieved) as well as aligning the Z axis to the surface normal.

Align to Tool - aligns the workplane so that it is located at the tool centre with the Z axis aligned with the tool axis.

Absolute Position - translates the origin of the local coordinate system (workplane) to a specific coordinate on the global coordinate system (transform). The value entered is the absolute distance along the transform. Relative Position - translates the workplane along the specified axis by the selected distance. Enter a value in the Distance field and then click the , or button to move the workplane by the distance specified along the selected axis of the active workplane. Rotate - rotates the workplane around the specified axis by the selected angle. First enter the required rotation Angle and then click on the , or button to rotate the active workplane. Undo (see "Workplane undo example" on page 204) - undoes the last transform. If you rotate the workplane by say 30 , then Undo Last Edit undoes this transformation.

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This option is only available once you have edited (transformed) the workplane. Redo (see "Workplane undo example" on page 204) - redoes the transformation you have just undone. In the above scenario it reinstates the rotation of 30 . This option is only available once you have undone transformation. a

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Workplane undo example This example looks at how to Undo, Redo and Clear workplane transformations. 1. Start by creating a workplane (select Create Workplane on the Workplane context menu). In this case, it is 20mm in Z above the global transform:

2. Edit the workplane (select Edit - Workplane on the individual Workplane context menu). In this case, it is 30mm in X (by keying in a Distance of 30 and then clicking ).

You will now see that the Undo Workplane dialog.

button is available on the

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3. Edit the workplane (select Edit - Workplane on the individual Workplane context menu). In this case, it is 45 in Y (by keying in an Angle of 45 and then clicking ).

4. Click Undo

to remove the last transformation.

You will now see that the Redo Workplane dialog. 5. Click Undo

button is available on the

to remove the first transformation.

6. Click Redo

to add in the first transformation.

7. From the individual Workplane context menu, select Clear History Buffers option. The Undo now cease to be available. and Redo button

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Individual Workplane context menu

1 - this is the name of the workplane to which the menu refers. Activate - it makes the workplane the active workplane. Draw - determines whether the workplane is displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between and . Add to Folder - adds the selected entity to the active folder. If the option is greyed out check that you have an active folder. You can only add a Toolpath entity to a Toolpaths folder. You cannot add a Toolpath entity to a NC Program folder. For more information see Folders (on page 260). Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Properties (see "Workplane - Properties" on page 208) - displays the orientation of the workplane relative to the world (or global) coordinate system and the active workplane (if one exists). Edit (see "Workplane - Edit" on page 208) - edits the location or orientation of the workplane. Undo Last Edit - undoes the last transformation. For example, if you rotate the workplane by 30 then Undo Last Edit returns the workplane to what it was before the edit.

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This is also available from the Undo dialog (on page 201).

button on the Workplane

Redo Last Undone Edit - redoes the transformation you have just undone. In the above scenario, it reinstates the rotation of 30 . This is also available from the Redo dialog (on page 201). button on the Workplane

Clear History Buffers - clears the history of the workplane transformations. This means that you can't undo or redo any previous workplane transformations. You can undo or redo any subsequent workplane transformations. For more information, see the Workplane undo example (on page 204). Remove From Folder - removes the feature set from the current folder. It converts this:

to this:

For more information see Folders (on page 260). Delete Workplane - deletes the workplane.

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Workplane - Properties Properties - displays the orientation of the workplane relative to the world (or global) coordinate system and the active workplane (if one exists).

Elevation and Azimuth Angles are the angle of the current workplanes Z axis relative to the global coordinate system. The Angles define rotations about the X axis, then Y axis, then Z axis, (in that order and of the world or active workplane), which transform axes aligned to the global coordinate system (or active workplane as indicated) into alignment with the current workplane. Angles are given relative to both the World (global coordinate system) and active workplane (if present). Workplane - Edit Edit - edits the location or orientation of the workplane.

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Workplane - displays the Workplane dialog. This is the same dialog that is displayed when you create a workplane and allows you to edit the workplane orientation.

For more information on how to use this dialog see Workplane dialog (on page 201). Copy Workplane - copies the workplane.

Undo Redo Workplane Transformations (embedded)
Undo Last Edit - undoes the last transformation. For example, if you rotate the workplane by 30 then Undo Last Edit returns the workplane to what it was before the edit. This is also available from the Undo dialog (on page 201). button on the Workplane

Redo Last Undone Edit - redoes the transformation you have just undone. In the above scenario, it reinstates the rotation of 30 . This is also available from the Redo dialog (on page 201). button on the Workplane

Clear History Buffers - clears the history of the workplane transformations. This means that you can't undo or redo any previous workplane transformations. You can undo or redo any subsequent workplane transformations. For more information, see the Workplane undo example (on page 204).

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Transform Toolpath - Link (embedded)
This is very similar to the Transform Toolpath (on page 915) dialog.

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Levels and Sets
Projects can directly contain many levels and sets. They are shown in the Explorer under the Levels and Sets branch of the tree. Levels and sets are controlled by context menus. They help you to organise the model data. Levels in PowerMILL work in the same way as in PowerSHAPE. Any level information in PowerSHAPE is automatically transferred across to PowerMILL with the model. If you want to organise your model data then you need to create additional levels and sets, then transfer data between the levels and sets. There are several rules about levels and sets: Each entity can only be on one level. You cannot have the same entity in two different levels. Each entity can be on more than one set, or in no set. You can have the same entity in two different sets,in a set and in a level or just in one level. Deleting a project deletes all the levels and sets Deleting all the levels and sets deletes the model. Sets and levels cannot have the same name. So you cannot have a set called Hub and level called Hub.

Levels and Sets context menu
The Levels and Sets menu is raised by right clicking on the Levels And Sets entry in the Explorer.

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Levels and Sets - this is the name of this menu. Create Level - creates a new level . This new level will not contain any entities until you move them onto the level using the Acquire Selected option on the individual Level context menu. Create Set - creates a new set . This new set will not contain any entities until you move them onto the set using the Acquire Selected option on the individual Set context menu. Deactivate - deactivates the currently active level or set. Draw All - displays all levels and sets on the screen Undraw All - hides all levels on the screen . .

Delete Empty Levels and Sets - deletes all levels and sets which contain no entities. Delete All Except Non-Empty Levels - deletes all the sets (whether they contain entities or not) and deletes all the levels which contain no entities. Only levels containing entities remain.

Individual Level or Set context menu

The level and set individual context menus are the same. Main Model - this is the name of the level (or set) to which the menu refers. Activate - it makes the level (or set) the active level (or set).

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Draw - determines whether the graphics in this level (or set) are and . displayed on the screen or not. So it toggles between Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Select All - selects all entities on this level (or set).

Select Wireframes - selects all the wireframe objects on this level (or set). Select Surfaces - selects all the surface objects on this level (or set). Deselect - deselects all entities on this level (or set).

Acquire Selected Model Geometry - places the selected entity on this level (or set). Remove Selected Model Geometry - removes the selected entity from this set. Mesh - lets you see to what value you can mesh a surface. This is particularly useful when PowerMILL cannot triangulate a model due to problems with the original model. This displays the Tolerance dialog.

Enter the required meshing tolerance and then click . The surfaces on the level (or set) will then be meshed to this tolerance (if possible) and a information dialog tells you whether the meshing was successful.

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Delete Level or Set - deletes the level or set. You can only delete a level (or set) if it is empty. If you want to delete the level (or set) you must first move all the entities on the level (or set) to another level and then delete this level (or set).

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Models
Projects can directly contain many models. Models are shown in the Explorer under the Models branch of the tree. Models are controlled by context menus.

Models context menu
The Models menu is raised by right clicking on the Models entry in the Explorer.

Models - this is the name of this menu. Create Plane (on page 217) - creates a plane. Paste as New Model - pastes the entities on the clipboard into a new model. Import Model - opens an existing PowerSHAPE model. It displays the standard Open dialog. Move to the correct directory and then select the model you want.

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Import Reference Surfaces - imports a model containing reference surfaces which will NEVER be considered for machining or collision checking. Select All - selects everything in all the models. Select Wireframes - selects all the wireframe entities in the models. Select Surfaces - selects all the surface entities in the models. Deselect all - deselects everything in all the models. Select Duplicate Surfaces - selects all duplicate surfaces in all the models. Deselect Duplicate Surfaces - deselects all duplicate surfaces in all the models. Drawing Options (see "Draw - Model" on page 309) - displays the Model Drawing Options dialog. The top half of the dialog controls the representation of the wireframe (on page 310) and the bottom half controls the representation of the shaded model (see "Shade" on page 312). Export Model - exports the currently selected surfaces. So, if you have two models in PowerMILL and you select a surface from each one and then Export Model the two selected surfaces will be exported as a DGK model. If no surfaces are selected then it will export all the models as one combined model. It displays the standard Save dialog. Move to the correct directory and then enter the required File Name and click on Save. Edit (see "Models - Edit" on page 218) - displays the editing options. Reverse Selected (see "Model - Reverse Selected" on page 221) reverses the surface orientation of the selected surface.

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Properties - displays the extents of the selected components of the model (or the extents of all the models if nothing is selected) and the number of components in the all the models. It displays the following dialog:

Delete Empty Models - deletes all levels which contain no objects. Delete All - deletes all the models. Create Plane Create Plane - creates a plane.

From Block - creates a plane with the same X and Y dimensions as the block. This displays the Enter Z Limit of Plane dialog.

Enter the required Z Height of the plane and then click then created.

. The plane is

Best Fit - creates two planes, one touching the boundary at its highest point the other through its lowest point. The planes are parallel to the best fit plane (the plane that has the smallest maximum distance from the boundary). Projected - creates a plane parallel to the XY axis of the active workplane. The plane will have the Z height of the highest point of the boundary.

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Models - Edit Edit - displays the editing options.

Move - moves the model or selected surfaces by a specific distance in X, Y or Z. Rotate - rotates the model or selected surfaces by a specific angle around X, Y or Z. Scale - scales the model or selected surfaces by a specific amount in X, Y or Z. Mirror in Plane - mirrors the model or selected surfaces in the XY, YZ or XZ plane. Transform to Workplane - moves the model or selected surfaces so that it is in the same place relative to the active workplane as it was to the world (global transform). It converts this:

to this:

Transform to World - moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the world (global transform) as it was to the active workplane.

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These options are very similar to those on the Transform Model dialog (on page 227), Delete Selected Components - deletes the selected components.

Individual Model context menu

Bottle - this is the name of the model to which the menu refers. Copy - copies entities between models, patterns and boundaries. Paste - pastes entities between models, patterns and boundaries. Load Components - loads a model, the model symbol changes from to . By default the models associated with a project are loaded when the project is loaded. If you do not want to load the models then check the Tools - Options - Import - Defer Loading option. The Load Components option allows you to load the model after using the Defer Loading option. Reimport Model - enables you to re-load a model (one that has say had some design changes) whilst maintaining the Thickness information.

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Export Model - exports the currently selected surfaces in the model. So, if you have two models in PowerMILL and you select a surface from each one and then Export Model only the selected surface in model to which the menu refers will be exported as a DGK model. If no surfaces are selected then it will export the whole (modified) model. It displays the standard Save dialog. Move to the correct directory and then enter the required File Name and click on Save. Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Surface Modelling (on page 233) - allows you to edit the surfaces displayed in PowerMILL. Split Selected - splits the selected solid model into its component surfaces. This enables you to select and work on specific surfaces in the model. Reverse Selected (see "Model - Reverse Selected" on page 221) reverses the surface orientation of the selected surface. Orient Selected Surfaces (see "Model - Orient Selected Surfaces" on page 222) - reorients the selected surface so that one side is either all blue or all brown, and the normals are all consistent. It can only really do this for touching surfaces, but it will have a go whatever. In effect this does automatically what Reverse Selected does manually. Colour (see "Model - Colour" on page 222) - determines the colour of the model. This displays the Select Colour dialog. This can be useful when you want to shade different models in different colours to easily distinguish between them. Translucency (see "Model - Translucency" on page 223) - enables translucent shading. Style (see "Model - Style" on page 224) - determines the line representation of the wireframe entities in the model. Select the required style from the menu. Select All - selects all entities in this model. Select Wireframes - selects all the wireframe entities in this model. Select Surfaces - selects all surface entities in this model. Deselect All - deselects all entities in this model.

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Select Duplicate Surfaces - selects duplicate surfaces. If you then use the Delete Selected menu option then the duplicates are deleted leaving a model with no duplicates. Deselect Duplicate Surfaces - deselects duplicate surfaces in the current selection. If you select the surfaces that you want, but think that there may be duplicate surfaces, you can use the Deselect Duplicate Surfaces command to ensure that no duplicates are selected. The duplicates are not deleted but only removed from the selection. This will then allow you to create your toolpath (such as Swarf Machining) without any problems. Properties (see "Model - Properties" on page 225) - displays the extents of the selected components of the model (or the extents of all the model if nothing is selected), the number of components in the all the model and information about individual components. Edit (see "Model - Edit (individual)" on page 226) - edits the model. Delete Model - deletes the model. Model - Reverse Selected Reverse Selected reverses the surface orientation of the selected surface. It changes this:

To this:

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Model - Orient Selected Surfaces Orient Selected Surfaces reorients the selected surface so that one side is either all blue or all brown, and the normals are all consistent. It can only really do this for touching surfaces, but it will have a go whatever. In effect this does automatically what Reverse Selected (also available from the Models context menu) does manually. It converts this:

To this:

Model - Colour Colour determines the colour of the model. This displays the Select Colour dialog. This is a standard Windows Colour dialog. Simply chooses the Colour you want and click on OK.

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The selected colour will only be visible when you Multi Colour Shade the model.

This can be useful when you want to shade different models in different colours to easily distinguish between them. Model - Translucency Translucency enables translucent shading. Initially the Enter Translucency dialog is displayed.

Enter a percentage of translucency you require and then click . The model will then appear translucent. This is only visible when the model is shaded .

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Model - Style Style determines the line representation of the wireframe entities in the model. Select the required style from the menu.

A solid style looks like this:

A dashed style looks like this:

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A chained style looks like this:

Model - Properties Properties displays the extents of the selected components of the model (or the extents of all the model if nothing is selected), the number of components in the all the model and information about individual components. It displays the following dialog:

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This dialog also gives information about individual components. You can see the extents of an individual model as well as for all the models loaded

The top of the dialog shows which model (or models) are being described. Model - Edit (individual) Edits the model.

Transform (see "Transform Model dialog" on page 227) - allows you to move, rotate, scale or mirror a model. It displays the following dialog:

Delete Selected Components - deletes the selected entities in the model.

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Transform Model dialog
Transform allows you to move, rotate, scale or mirror a model. It displays the following dialog:

This is very similar to the Transform Toolpath (on page 915) dialog. Relative Position (on page 228) - transforms the model along the specified axis by the selected distance. Enter a value in the Distance field and then click the , or button to move themodel by the specified distance along the selected axis. Rotate (on page 229) - rotates the model around the specified axis by the selected angle. First enter the required rotation Angle and then click on the appropriate axis. , or button to rotate the model about the

Scale (on page 230) - scales the toolpath around the specified axis by the specified factor. First enter the required Scale on the axis. , or and then click button to scale the model about the appropriate

Mirror in Plane (on page 230) - mirrors the model along one of the principal planes of the active workplane. If no workplane is active then the mirroring is about relevant plane of the global coordinate system. Clicking the surfaces. , or button mirrors the model and reverses all the

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Transform to Workplane (on page 231) - moves the model so that it is in the same place relative to the Active Workplane as it was to the World (global transform). Transform to World (on page 232) - moves the model so that it is in the same place relative to the World (global transform) as it was to the Active Workplane. Relative Position Relative Position transforms the model along the specified axis by the selected distance. Enter a value in the Distance field and then click the , or button to move the model by the distance specified along the axis specified. It converts this:

To this:

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The example above has the toolpath moved in by a Distance of 200mm. The move takes place relative to the origin of the workplane used to create the original toolpath. Rotate Rotates the model around the specified axis by the selected angle. First enter the required rotation Angle and then click on the , or button to rotate the model about the appropriate axis. It converts this:

To this:

by an Angle of 20. The example above has the toolpath rotated in The rotation takes place around the origin of the workplane used to create the original model.

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Scale Scales the toolpath around the specified axis by the specified factor. First enter the required Scale and then click on the , or button to scale the toolpath about the appropriate axis. The scaling takes place around the active workplane. If no workplane is active then the scaling is along relevant axis of the global coordinate system. Scaling the chamber model in by an Scale of 2 converts this:

To this:

Mirror in Plane Mirror in Plane mirrors the model along one of the principal planes of the active workplane. If no workplane is active then the mirroring is about relevant plane of the global coordinate system. Click on the , or button mirrors the model and reverses all the converts this:

surfaces. Mirroring the chamber model about

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To this:

Transform to Workplane Transform to Workplane moves the model so that it is in the same place relative to the Active Workplane as it was to the World (global transform). It converts this:

to this:

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Transform to World Transform to World moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the World (global transform) as it was to the Active Workplane. It converts this:

to this:

In the example above, the workplane is in the middle of the part and the global transform is in one corner.

Deferred Loading
You have the option not to load a model on importing a project (select Tools - Options - Import - Defer Loading).

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The following illustrates the difference between a Deferred Model and a Model:

Deferred Model is shown with a Model. Clicking loads the model:

in the explorer.

Calculating a toolpath or boundary also loads any deferred models.

Surface Modelling
Clicking on the Surface Modelling option on the individual Model context menu displays PowerMILL's surface modelling functionality.

For information on how to use Surface Modelling refer to the context sensitive help. Once you have created what you want, click and return to the PowerMILL main window. to accept the changes

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Stock Models
The stock model is a model that represents the un-machined stock at any point in the machining process. You use it by first creating a stock model entity, and then by applying a block, followed by various toolpaths. After each update, the stock model adjusts itself to show the un-machined material left from the block.

Stock Models context menu
The Stock Models menu is raised by right clicking on the Stock Models entry in the Explorer.

Stock Models - this is the name of this menu. Create Stock Model - creates a new empty stock model .

Import - allows you to import stock models. Selecting the Import option displays the standard Open dialog. Move to the correct directory and then select the required File Name and click on Open. This loads a new stock model entity with a single block state and no dependencies. Stock Model Names - defines the template that will be used for all new stock models. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Deactivate - makes the currently active stock model inactive Draw All - displays all stock models on the screen .

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Undraw All - hides all stock models on the screen Delete All - deletes all stock models.

.

Stock Models state menu
This menu controls the state of the entities in the stock model.

Stock - this is the name of the menu. Calculate - when this option is selected you can tell that the stock model has been calculated (using the Calculate option on the individual Stock Models context menu). When unselected then a batch stock model has been created, but not calculated. Lock - when this option is selected it locks the toolpath so that you cannot edit the toolpath Settings. If you try to edit the toolpath settings (from the Settings option of the individual Toolpath context menu, selecting the Edit button and then edit a value) you will see the following error message.

Activate (see "Stock Model - Activate" on page 236) - when this option is selected it becomes the active stock model state. If the stock model has been calculated then you will see the state of the stock model after this entity has been applied. If you cannot see the stock model then you need to Calculate the stock model (from the individual context menu).

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Remove - removes this entity from the stock model. This will only work if the toolpath is either unlocked or the last toolpath in the stock model. Apply Toolpath After (see "Stock Model - Apply Toolpath After" on page 238) - applies the active toolpath and places the toolpath after this toolpath in the stock model list. This will only work if the toolpaths below this are not locked. Remove Calculation - removes the calculation. It leaves everything else alone, so the stock model definition remains the same but the pink stock model mesh disappears. It will only work if the stock model is not locked, so you will have to select the lock item of the stock model state menu to unlock the stock model. If you remove the calculation of every state (you can do this by just removing the calculation of the block), then you are free to edit the stock model parameters (tolerance, stepover, workplane…). In this way you can generate a stock model at different tolerances without having to reapply the toolpaths. Stock Model - Activate When the Activate option is selected it becomes the active stock model state. If the stock model has been calculated then you will see the state of the stock model after this entity has been applied. If you cannot see the stock model then you need to Calculate the stock model (from the individual context menu). When the Block is activated:

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You will see the stock model of the block:

Similarly, when the Rest Roughing toolpath is activated:

You will see the stock model after the rest roughing toolpath has been calculated:

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Stock Model - Apply Toolpath After Apply Toolpath After applies the active toolpath and places the toolpath after this toolpath in the stock model list. This will only work if the toolpaths below this are not locked. If the AC and RestRoughing toolpaths are calculated but the ConstZFine toolpath is not then you can use the Apply Toolpath After option on the RestRoughing or ConstZFine toolpaths, but not on the AC toolpath or the Block.

- toolpaths can be added after these toolpaths. - toolpaths cannot be added after these entities. - not calculated.

Individual Stock Model context menu

RestRough - this is the name of the stock model to which the menu refers.

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Activate - it makes the stock model the active stock model. Draw - displays the stock model on the screen . Drawing Options (see "Stock Model - Drawing Options" on page 240) - displays the stock models as either Wireframe or Shaded Stock Models. Show Rest Material (see "Stock Model - Show Rest Material" on page 241) - compares the stock model with the actual model. It shows the areas of the stock model where additional material is present to a thickness greater than the Rest Thickness. This is useful to indicate where excessive material has been left on, especially to spot areas on a vertical face where the stepover was set so that it just got missed. Refresh Rest Material - updates the Show Rest Material option. This option is only required when the model is changed or the Rest Thickness is changed. Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Volume (see "Stock Model - Volume" on page 242) - calculates the Stock Model's volume. Export - allows you to export stock models. Selecting the Export option displays the standard Save dialog. Move to the correct directory and then enter the required File Name and click on Save. This saves the active state of the stock model, it doesn't save any dependencies. Calculate - performs the calculation to show the stock model. By default a batch rest model is created and is only calculated once you select this option. Apply (see "Stock Model - Apply" on page 242) - adds a block or a toolpath to the stock model. Set Tolerance (see "Stock Model - Set Tolerance" on page 244) determines the tolerance of a slice when a new stock model is created. The stock model is stored as a set of closed slices of the solid stock in X and Y. Set Stepover - the step between slices. Set Workplane - determines the workplane that is used to define the stock model.

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Set Rest Thickness - determines the minimum thickness that will be displayed when using the Show Rest Material option. The stock model ignores rest material thinner than this threshold. It is similar to the detect material thicker than option on the Boundary dialog. Edit (see "Stock Model - Edit" on page 244) - displays the editing options. Remove Triangulation - removes the stock model triangulation from disc and so substantially reduces the size of the project. If you don't select this option, then the stock model triangulation is stored with the stock model to stop recalculation. This adds to the project size considerably. Delete Stock Model - deletes the stock model. Stock Model - Drawing Options Drawing Options - displays the stock models as either Wireframe or Shaded Stock Models.

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The Wireframe option displays the wireframe view.

The Shaded option displays the shaded view.

You can only shade Stock Models generated in PowerMILL 6.0 (or later). You cannot shade stock models generated in earlier versions. For example a stock model contained within a PowerMILL 5.5 project cannot be shown shaded when opened in PowerMILL 8.0 . Stock Model - Show Rest Material Show Rest Material - compares the stock model with the actual model. It shows the areas of the stock model where additional material is present to a thickness greater than the Rest Thickness. This is useful to indicate where excessive material has been left on, especially to spot areas on a vertical face where the stepover was set so that it just got missed.

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Taking a Stock Model of a couple of finishing toolpaths:

If you Show the Rest Material you can see where excess material still remains:

Stock Model - Volume Volume - calculates the Stock Model's volume.

State - the active state of the stock model. Volume - volume of the stock model in the model units (in this case mm ).
3

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Stock Model - Apply Apply - adds a block or a toolpath to the stock model.

Block - creates a stock model of the block. All block types are supported (arbitrary, boundary or rectangular).

Active Toolpath First - applies the active toolpath and places the toolpath at the top of the stock model list (shown by in the diagram below). If the stock model is newly created (no block has been applied) then the block associated with the toolpath is applied automatically.

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Active Toolpath Last - applies the active toolpath and places the toolpath at the bottom of the stock model list (shown by in the diagram below). If the stock model is newly created (no block has been applied) then the block associated with the toolpath is applied automatically.

Stock Model - Set Tolerance Set Tolerance - determines the tolerance of a slice when a new stock model is created. The stock model is stored as a set of closed slices of the solid stock in X and Y. It displays the following dialog:

Enter a tolerance and then click on the . To see the tolerance of any stock models that you have already created then simply expand the entry in explorer. In this case the tolerance is 0.05.

Stock Model - Edit Edit - displays the editing options.

Copy Stock Model - creates a copy of the stock model. This new stock model has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. Copying, copies the current active state of a stock model into a new stock model as a single state (you cannot see the stages required to build up the copied stock model).

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If you take the following stock model, Finishing, with ConstZFine as the current active state.

Then select the Edit - Copy option you will create a new stock model called Finishing_1 containing the Finishing stock model and shows the state of the stock model after the ConstZFine toolpath has been applied.

If you take the same stock model, Finishing, but have AC as the current active state.

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Then select the Edit - Copy option you will create a new stock model called Finishing_2 containing the Finishing stock model and shows the state of the stock model after the AC toolpath has been applied.

In the explorer these two copies Finishing_1 and Finishing_2 look the same, but in the graphics window you can see that they are different. Make Invalid - This invalidates all the calculations of the states and unlocks them. This enables you to resolve dependency issues between this stock model and other entities.

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Stock Model Representation
The representation of stock models in the explorer is shown below:

shows an input to the stock model. shows an output from the stock model. shows that a batch stock model exists. This means that PowerMILL knows all the relevant parameters to create the stock model at a later date. Each state node has if it hasn't been calculated.

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Groups
Projects can directly contain many groups. Groups are shown in the Explorer under the Groups branch of the tree. Groups are controlled by pop-up menus. Groups allow you to associate various entities (such as patterns features and toolpaths).

Groups context menu
The Groups menu is raised by right clicking on the Groups entry in the Explorer.

Groups - this is the name of this menu. Create Group - creates a new empty group .

Group Names - defines the template that will be used for all new groups. For more information see Toolpath Names (on page 71). Deactivate - deactivates the currently active group. Delete All - deletes all the groups.

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Individual Group context menu

1 - this is the name of the group to which the menu refers. Activate - it makes the group the active group. Draw - displays the entities in this group on the screen . Undraw - hides the entities in this group so they are not displayed on the screen . Rename - allows you to rename the entity to give it a more meaningful name. Properties - displays the extents of the group (and the group name). It displays the following dialog box:

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Edit - displays a context menu which has Copy Group as the only option. This creates a copy of the group. This new group has the same name as the original with _1 added to it. This new group can then be edited using drag and drop techniques and the Del key to contain the required entities. Copy as NC Program - creates an NC Program containing the toolpaths in the group. The NC Program has the same name as the group. Create Individual NC Program - creates an NC program for each toolpath in the group. The NC Programs have the same name as the toolpaths. Delete Group - deletes the group. It doesn't delete the entities in the group, just the association between them.

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Macros
Projects can directly contain many Macros. Macros are shown in the Explorer under the Macros branch of the tree.

This displays all the macros contained in your search path list. Double clicking on the macro name will run that macro. For more information see Displaying Macros in Explorer (on page 254).

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Macros context menu
The Macros menu is raised by right clicking on the Macros entry in the Explorer.

Macros - this is the name of this menu. Run - runs a pre-recorded macro. This displays the Select Macro To Run dialog. This is very similar to the standard Open dialog. Simply move to the correct directory, select the macro you want to run and click on Open. Record - records a macro. But before it starts to record a macro it needs to know the name of the macro and where to save it. This displays the Select Record Macro dialog. This is very similar to the standard Save dialog. Simply move to the correct directory, type in an appropriate name for the macro in the File Name filed and click on Save. Form now on (until you select Macro Stop) all the commands that you perform in PowerMILL will be recorded into a macro file. Stop - stops the recording process.

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Macro Paths - defines which macros will be displayed in your macro list.

If you cannot see the complete path then simply place the cursor over it and a tool tip is displayed containing the complete path. This dialog understands the "." (local) and "~" (home) notation. For more information see Tools - Customise Paths (on page 321).

Individual Macro context menu

E:/homes/cmh/Pmill2/5axisdrilling-off.mac - this is the name of the macro to which the menu refers. Run - runs this macro. Each step in the macro is carried out one after the other.

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Edit… - edits this macro. Displays the macro file in WordPad.

You can now edit the WordPad file. The PowerMILL setup program automatically registers WordPad as the editor for macro (.mac) files. You can specify a different editor using the Tools - Folder Options - File Types option in Windows Explorer.

Displaying Macros in Explorer
The Macros branch of the explorer displays all the macros found in the macro search paths that you have specified. The macro search paths are scanned for macros whenever you expand the Macros branch of the . The explorer by clicking on the expand button next to directories containing macros are also shown. However, the Explorer will only display directories that actually contain macros (files with the extension .mac). You should take care when specifying macro search paths, because on a large disk it can take some time for PowerMILL to search all your paths. It is better to be very specific about the pathnames you want to display (say D:/Pmill/WhatsNew7000/Macros) rather than use generic paths (say D:/ or D:/Pmill).

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Listing Macro Search Paths You can list the pathnames that will be searched for macros from the Macro Paths option on the Macros context menu.

A list similar to the one shown below will then be visible in the PowerMILL Paths dialog.

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When it is expanded, the Macro branch in the Explorer window lists all the macros in the search path.

C:/Program Files/Delcam/PowerMILL7006/lib/Macro is not displayed, because no macro files were found in this directory. Adding a Macro Search Path To add a new macro search path select Macro Paths option from the macro type menu. This then displays the following in the dialog.

If you want to add a macro search path at the Top of the list then select the Add Path to Top of List button. If you want to add a macro search path at the Bottom of the list then select the Add Path to Bottom of List button.

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In either case the following dialog will be displayed:

Move to the appropriate directory (using the Make New Folder button if appropriate). The pathname will then be displayed at the bottom of the dialog (in this case E:\Pmill\WhatsNew7000\Macros\). The click on OK. You will now see the path added to the path list. Either at the top if you selected :

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or the bottom if you selected

:

To see the effect of this addition click on the minimise button next to followed by clicking on the expand button next to . The following will then be visible in the Explorer.

Click on the Close button to finish. To see the additional macros in the Explorer window you must minimise the macro list and then expand it again. The list is not updated automatically because scanning can take some time, so you need to force an update once you have finished editing your search paths.

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Deleting a Macro Search Path To delete a pathname from the macro list select Macro Paths option from the macro type menu. This then displays the following dialog.

Select the macro path you want to delete (in this case E:/Pmill/WhatsNew4000/Macros\) and then select the Delete The macro path list is then updated. button.

Click on the Close button to finish.

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Reordering the Macro Search Path To reorder the pathnames in the macro list select Macro Paths option from the macro type menu. This then displays the following dialog.

Select the macro path you want to move (in this case E:/Pmill/WhatsNew7000/Macros) and then select the Move Down button. The macro path list is then updated.

Select the Move Down button again to move the macro path further down or select the Move Up button to restore it to its original position. Click on the Close button to finish.

Folders
Folders give you an easy way to organise your data.

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You can create a Folder within any of the explorer entities, but they are probably of greatest use for organising tools and toolpaths. Right-click the required entity:

Create Folder - creates a folder called Folder1. You can then rename this folder in the normal way, and then drag and drop (see "Drag and drop techniques" on page 21) entities of the particular type (for example, toolpaths) into the folder:

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You can create folders within folders, and then drag and drop again:

Once you have created a folder it then has its own context menu allowing you to Create, Copy (Edit - Copy Folder) and Delete folders, as well as giving you access to all the standard options for that entity type:

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User Menus
You can create your own User Menu. This menu is available by right mouse clicking in an empty area of the Explorer window.

This menu is created as a simple XML document. Your user menu file MUST be called user_menu.xml. You must either specify the location of your user menu in Tools - Customise Paths (or more information see Customise Paths (see "Tools - Customise Paths" on page 321)) or you must place it in a directory called pmill2 which itself must be in your Home directory. Any macros called in the menu will be found via the macro paths mechanism. To create a User Menu you must: Create your home directory. Create your User Menu Decide on the directory you want to be your Home directory (say E:\homes\xyz). Add a User Environment Variable called HOME and set its value to the path of your home directory (say E:\homes\xyz). See the Windows help for more information on how to add Environment Variables.

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Now create a pmill2 directory in your Home directory using Explorer.

Your user menu file MUST be called user_menu.xml and must be saved in a directory called pmill2 which itself must be in your Home directory. The user menu file MUST be called user_menu.xml and not user_menu.txt. To see the exact command structure either: Record a macro and then edit it to see the commands used. Display the command line (View - Toolbar - Command) and then echo the commands (Tools - Echo Commands). Any commands that use double quotes " should be replaced with single quotes '.

Rules For Creating User Menus
The format of the User Menus is: <?xml version="1.0" ?> <menus xmlns="x-schema:user_menu.xsd"> <usermenu value="user_menu"> <menupage label="This is the Title"> <spacer/> <button label="Button Label" command="SOME POWERMILL COMMAND"/>

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</menupage> </usermenu> </menus> The first three lines are compulsory. And the minimum content to display a menu which simply has Menu Title as a title is: <?xml version="1.0" ?> <menus xmlns="x-schema:user_menu.xsd"> <usermenu value="user_menu"> <menupage label="Menu Title"> </menupage> </usermenu> </menus> The file is called user_menu.xml' and should be placed in the Home area. The schema user_menu.xsd must live in the same directory. Simply copying the TreeSchema.xml file and renaming it (to user_menu.xsd) will allow the new user menu to follow the PowerMILL schema. This already contains all the properties required to instigate the user menu. The XML format is very syntax sensitive, and will fail to instigate at all, if there are errors in the file (such as text Case, or open lines). By opening it in Microsoft Internet Explorer you can see the errors (but only one at a time - from the top). The errors should be fixed in turn, and then the file reopened. A good technique for correcting errors is to open the file in Explorer. If it fails to open properly, and an error message is displayed, choose the option to view the source [should open in notepad]. Correct the error, and refresh the file. Repeat this process until all errors have been corrected.

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Browser and Recycler
The remaining two tabs on the left of the graphics window are: The Browser tab which displays HTML pages in PowerMILL. which holds deleted entities.

The Entity Recycler tab

Browser
The browser tab on the left of the graphics window displays HTML pages in PowerMILL. You can detach the browser page from the Explorer by double clicking on the . This is helpful if you want to see both the browser page and the

Explorer simultaneously. Clicking on the of the detached browser docks the browser pane back in the Explorer.

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HTML pages can be displayed in PowerMILL using the File Examples menu option and then selecting an HTML document.

Starting PowerMILL with a File already Loaded
You can start PowerMILL with a file already loaded. The file can be a model file (*.dgk) or any other sort of file, say an HTM file (*.htm) which will be loaded into the browser window . 1. Create an HTML file that you want to display on starting PowerMILL (say abc.htm) and place this in the same directory as pmill.exe or else provide the full path name in step 5. If you don't know where PowerMILL is installed look at the shortcut properties (see steps 3 and 4 for more information). 2. Then create a shortcut to PowerMILL on the desktop. (if you already have one you can copy and paste it).

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3. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties from the menu.

4. This displays the following dialog:

5. Select the Shortcut tab and then edit the Target field so that it ends ¦\pmill.exe abc.htm. The space is essential it must be …\pmill.exe abc.htm and not …\pmill.exeabc.htm. If abc.htm is not in the same directory as pmill.exe then give the full path name here (say …\pmill.exe D:\MyHTML\abc.htm). 6. Click on OK to accept the changes and close the dialog.

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7. Double click on the shortcut and PowerMILL will display the HTML file in the browser window.

Recycle Bin
The browser window contains an Entity Recycler tab .

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When you start PowerMILL the Recycler is empty.

If you delete any entities in the Explorer window then the deleted entities are placed in the Recycler.

If you right click on an entity type you will see the following menu.

Delete All - permanently deletes all the entities in the recycle bin. Recover All - moves all the entities of that type (say all the boundaries) back into the explorer. If you right click on an individual entity you will see the following menu.

Delete - permanently deletes the selected entity in the recycle bin. Recover - moves the selected entity back into the explorer.

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You cannot delete locked items. If you try to you will get an error message similar to the following:

If you recover any items that are linked to any other then the linked items are also recovered (and the link remains). If the following entities are in the Recycler:

If you Recover the 1_1 Toolpath, then the Boundary and Tool are also recovered.

Permanently Deleting Items
If you want to permanently delete and item without it going into the Recycle bin you can by using the standard windows behaviour of Shift plus Delete. If you want to delete a boundary then from the individual Boundary Object context menu select the Delete option, the boundary will be placed in the Recycle Bin. If you press down the Shift key and then click on the Delete option the boundary will be permanently deleted.

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Similarly, if you select the Delete key the boundary will be placed in the Recycle Bin. If you press down the Shift and the Delete the boundary will be permanently deleted.

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Menu bar
When you open a menu (for example, File), any submenus are indicated by small arrows to the right of the text (for example File - Recent Projects >). Highlighting this arrow generates a list of commands/names specific to the particular submenu (for example, File Recent Projects displays a list of recently opened projects that will open directly when you click them). If a menu item is dimmed, then it does not apply to the active view. Clicking outside a menu box hides the menu again. Some submenus contain additional submenus (again indicated by a small arrow to the right of the text). For example, selecting Draw - Cursor and then clicking > gives you access to an additional set of Options (Centre, Tip). Pressing the Alt key also activates menu selection. After pressing it, move to the required menu using the ← → keys or by pressing the first letter of the menu name (for example H for Help). You can then select individual options, including submenu options, using the ← → ↑ ↓ cursor keys or by pressing the underlined letter for the option. Many menu options also have keyboard accelerators (on page 274), which are key combinations that allow you to access the associated functions directly without using the menus. These are displayed on the right hand side of the drop-down menus. For example, press CTRL O to select File - Open Project.

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Keyboard accelerators
Menus support accelerator hot keys (such as Ctrl + O opens a project and Ctrl + S saves a project) and mnemonic shortcuts (such as Alt + F to open the File menu). The accelerator hot keys are displayed on the menu (such as Ctrl + P in the File menu below) and the mnemonic shortcuts are underlined (such as File means that Alt + F opens the File menu).

A summary of the shortcuts are shown below. Menu Item File - Open Project File - Save Project File - Print File - Delete Selected View - Resize to Fit View - From - Right (X) View - From - Back (Y) View - From - Top (Z) View - From - Left (-X) View - From - Front (-Y) View - From - Bottom (-Z) View - ISO - 1 Shortcut Ctrl + O Ctrl + S Ctrl + P Ctrl + D F6 Ctrl + 6 Ctrl + 8 Ctrl + 5 Ctrl + 4 Ctrl + 2 Ctrl + 0 Ctrl + 1

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Menu Item View - ISO - 2 View - ISO - 3 View - ISO - 4 View - Tool - Down Axis View - Tool - Side View - Refresh View - Toolbar - Viewing Insert - Project Draw - Block Draw - Cursor - Cross hair Draw - Cursor - Tool Draw - Wireframe Draw - Shaded

Shortcut Ctrl + 3 Ctrl + 9 Ctrl + 7 Ctrl + Alt + A Ctrl + Alt + S Ctrl + R Alt + V Ctrl + I Ctrl + Alt + B Ctrl + H Ctrl + T F2 F3

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File Menu

The commands on the File menu allow you to: Handle files (Open, Close, Save and access Examples). Transfer data to and from other packages (Import, Export). Print the graphics window (Print). A list of the four most recently opened projects (Recent Projects) and the four most recently opened models (Recent Models). Delete entities (Delete). Exit PowerMILL (Exit).

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File - Open Project
Opens an existing Project. The Open Project dialog appears:

In the top pane, move to the correct directory and then select the relevant project. All projects are marked with or . Then click OK. Alternatively you can type the location and name of the project in the Folder field.

File - Open Project Read - Only
You can open a project in "read only" mode. This can be done by selecting the File - Open Project Read Only or it can occur because someone else has already opened the project and it is now locked.

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The Open Project Read - Only dialog appears:

In the top pane, move to the correct directory and then select the relevant Project. All projects are marked with or . Then click OK. Alternatively you can type the location and name of the project in the lower pane. When you open a project in read only mode you can continue working normally except that you cannot save it with the same name. If you want to save it you must do so using the File - Save Project As option.

File - Close Project
Closes the current project. The following dialog is initially displayed:

This is to warn you that you are about to remove the data from your current project. Obviously, data already saved to disk will be safe. The header tells you whether the project needs saving or not. A project that has changed since the last time it was saved has a * in the header. A project that hasn't changed since the last time it was saved has a - in the header.

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Yes - proceeds with the operation and closes the project (removing all toolpaths, patterns, Feature Sets… from the current working environment). No - reverts back to PowerMILL.

File - Save Project
Saves the current project. This is also available from the Save Project button on the top toolbar. This saves the project with the same name as before and doesn't display a dialog or issue any warnings. If the project is new and has never been saved before then the Save Project As dialog is displayed. For more information see File - Save Project As (on page 279).

File - Save Project As
Saves the current project. This saves the project with a new name and displays the Save Project As dialog.

This dialog is the standard windows File Save As dialog and is very similar to the Export Model dialog. The PowerMILL header is now updated from: to: You can see that the Project Name is preceded with a "-" to show that it has just been saved. As soon as you make any changes to the project the "-" changes to an "*" to indicate that the project has been updated since the last save.

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At this point the project is also entered in the File - Recent Projects list, for quick access later.

If you look at the directory in windows explorer you can see the files that PowerMILL has created:

Please do not edit these files - otherwise you will corrupt your data.

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File - Save Template Objects
This allows you to save a standard set of entities as a template. Any new project can then use these templates to pre-define a standard set of entities.

This dialog is a standard Save dialog. Move to the correct directory, enter a file name, and then click the Save button. The template is saved as a PowerMILL Template and has the .ptf extension added automatically.

- changes the directory to the same directory as the Project.

- changes the directory to the Examples directory.

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using the Macro Paths option on the Macros right click menu

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using the Macro Paths option on the Macros right click menu.

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File - Import Model
Opens an existing model. The Import dialog is displayed.

This is very similar to the standard Windows Open dialog Look In - select the correct directory. Go To Last Folder - click the contents of the last folder. Up one Level - click the structure. button to go back to display the

button to go up one level in the directory button to create a new

Create New Folder - click the folder/directory. View Menu - click the

button to display a drop-down menu:

Thumbnails - displays a list of the files in the directory with thumbnails displaying the types of file/folder. Tiles - displays a list of the files and file types in the directory in a tiled format. Icons - displays a list of the files in the directory with icons displaying the types of file/folder. List - displays a list of the files in the current directory without illustrating their file types. Details - displays a list of the files complete with their size, type and last modified date. File Name - Select or type the required name.

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Files of type - displays the type of file (file extension) that can be read in (*.dgk, .ig, *.tri…). Click to display a complete list of available file extensions:

Open - Click the Open button to open the file that you have highlighted. Cancel - Click the Cancel button to abandon the operation.

- displays the contents of the current Project directory.

- displays the contents of the Examples directory.

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using Tools - Customise Paths (on page 321).

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using Tools - Customise Paths (on page 321).

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File - Export Model
Saves a model. The Export dialog is displayed.

This is very similar to the standard Windows Save dialog.

- changes the directory to the same directory as the Project.

- changes the directory to the Examples directory.

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using Tools - Customise Paths (on page 321).

- changes the directory to a user defined directory. This is defined using Tools - Customise Paths (on page 321).

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File - Examples
Takes you directly to where the PowerMILL examples are stored. The Open Examples dialog box appears:

This is very similar to the Import Model dialog box. For more information on how to use this dialog see File - Import Model (on page 282).

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File - Print Preview
This allows you to view the page layout prior to printing, for example:

Print - allows you to print the picture. See File - Print (on page 287) for details. Next Page - shows the next page of the print file. If this is greyed out there are no further pages. Previous Page - shows the previous page of the print file. If this is greyed out there are no previous pages. Two Page - displays two pages of the print file at a time. Zoom In - zooms in on part of the page. Zoom Out - zooms out to see more of the page. Close - closes the Print Preview screen and returns to PowerMILL.

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File - Print
The following dialog is displayed when you select File - Print or Print on the top toolbar:

This is a standard Windows Print dialog that allows you to print the current graphics window.

File - Recent Projects
The walk through menu lists the four most recently accessed project files.

Selecting a project from the list loads that project.

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File - Recent Models
The walk through menu lists the four most recently accessed model files.

Selecting a model from the list loads that file.

File - Delete Selected
Deletes the selected items.

File - Delete All
Deletes everything permanently.

File - Exit
Leaves PowerMILL and returns to Windows. The program checks that you want to leave PowerMILL before exiting.

Click Yes to exit PowerMILL or No to remain in PowerMILL.

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View Menu

The commands in the View menu allow you manipulate the view, within the following categories: Zoom (Resize to Fit, Zoom to Box). View manipulation (From, ISO, Tool, Rotation Anchor,Refresh and Dynamic Sectioning). Define Screen setup (Toolbar, Dialogs). Save screen shots (Snapshot).

View - Resize to Fit
Zooms the image so that it just fits in the window. This is also available from the button on the View toolbar. For example, it will convert this view:

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into this:

This function will zoom in or out as required. So, it will also zoom a microscopic image on the screen to one that just fits inside the window.

View - Zoom to Box
Zooms in to a specific area of the image. This is also available from the button on the View toolbar. Click and drag (using the left mouse button) a zoom box on the image. The view is then zoomed to fit the boxed area. For example, it will convert this image:

into this:

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View - From

Manipulates the view orientation so that it is along the X, Y or Z axis. This is also available from the buttons on the View toolbar. Selecting Right (X), Back (Y) and Top (Z) defines whether the view is drawn as if looking along the X axis, Y axis or Z axis. Additional options of Left (-X), Front (-Y) and Bottom (-Z) complete the six standard planar views. For example, selecting the View Along Y button will convert this:

into this:

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View - ISO

Changes the view orientation to that of an isometric view. This is also available from the buttons on the View toolbar.

Selecting 1, 2, 3 or 4 determines the angle of projection. For example, selecting View - ISO - 1 will give this:

View - Tool

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Down Axis - changes the view to one down the tool axis.

From Side - changes the view to one with the tool vertical.

View - Rotation Anchor

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Defines the location of the centre of rotation when performing trackball twiddling. The centre of rotation is shown by a sphere when you hold down the middle mouse button:

Selected Items - the centre of rotation is at the centre of the selected items. Selected Points - the centre of rotation is at the centre of the selected points. Origin - the centre of rotation is at the origin of the active workplane. If no workplane is active then the centre of rotation is at the origin of the global coordinate system (transform). Active Tool - the centre of rotation is at the tool's tip position. View - the centre of rotation is at the centre of the current view (in the centre of the screen).

View - Refresh
Redraws all the currently drawn components, repairing any 'damage' to the screen image.. This is also available from the toolbar. button on the View

This can be useful as the image can lose definition as items are un-drawn and re-drawn on the screen.

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View - Toolbar
Defines which toolbars are displayed in PowerMILL.

Toggles the display of the toolbars, command window and status bar. When selected, an is placed next to the option and it is displayed on the main screen.

View - Dialogs
Allows you to alter the display of error messages.

Toggles the display of error and warning messages, and command errors, between on-screen dialogs and the command window. When selected, an is placed next to the option and the associated messages are displayed in the form of dialogs (otherwise, they are displayed in the command window).

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Errors and Warnings - controls how to display error and warning messages. For example, if Errors and Warnings is selected, then you will see a dialog:

Otherwise, you will see a message in the command window:

Command Errors - controls how to display invalid command messages. For example, if you type a command incorrectly (say "Create Workpane" rather than "Create Workplane") then, if Command Errors is selected, you will see a dialog:

Otherwise, the message will be displayed in the command window:

In most instances it is better to have the dialog displayed as it draws your attention to the error and will not continue until you have responded to it. However there are instances when you may want to ignore any errors (such as when running automatic tests).

View - Snapshot
You can easily save screen shots by using the View - Snapshot menu option.

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Selecting the View - Snapshot menu option displays the following dialog:

You can save the image as a PNG (*.png), JPEG (*.jpg) or Bitmap (*.bmp) file. These files can then be inserted into other documents.

*.PNG files have a high quality image but are also very compact (have a small file size).

View - Dynamic Sectioning
Dynamic Sectioning gives you the ability to section quickly through the current view. This can be particularly useful when analysing a portion of a toolpath.

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It is a dynamic state and cannot be saved.

Selecting the option displays the Dynamic Sectioning dialog:

Position (on page 300) - determines which clip plane is enabled and the position of the clip plane. Distance (on page 301) - details the distance of the clipping planes from the origin of the active workplane and allows you to create a workplane on the clipping plane. Axis (on page 302) - determines the orientation of the clipping planes in terms of the active workplane or the view. Draw Edges - draws the clipped edges of the shaded model. This behaviour is dependent on the graphics card.

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Translucency - draws the clipped sections translucent. When you select this option, it is often clearer if you also select the Draw Edges option.

Dynamic sectioning can also be controlled by keyboard shortcuts. These are defined in the table below. Key → ← CTRL + → CTRL + ← Home CTRL + Home End Description moves the front clipping plane forward moves the front clipping plane back moves the back clipping plane forward moves the back clipping plane back moves the front clipping plane to the most positive axis position moves the back clipping plane to the most negative axis position moves the front clipping plane to the most negative axis position (this may not be possible if the planes are locked) CTRL + End moves the back clipping plane to the most positive axis position (this may not be possible if the planes are locked)

Key: → right arrow key ← left arrow key

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anything in bold is a key The keyboard focus has to be in the graphics window (click in the graphics window to give it the focus) for these shortcuts to work. Position Position Determines which clip plane is enabled and the position of the clip plane.

Front - enables the front clipping plane. This is enabled by default. Front Slider - determines the position of the clipping plane.

Back - enables the back clipping plane. This is disabled by default. Back Slider - determines the position of the clipping plane.

Lock - locks the front and back clip planes in their current position. So, when one clip plane is moved the other is also moved relative to it, maintaining the same distance between them.

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Reset - resets the model to have no clip planes.

The front and back clip planes are not allowed to cross. Distance Distance Details the distance of the clipping planes from the origin and allows you to create a workplane on the clipping plane.

The distance of the front clipping plane from the origin. Clicking creates a workplane on the front clipping plane.

, the distance fields are updated to reflect the When clicking on distance of the clipping planes to this new workplane. The distance of the back clipping plane from the origin. Clicking creates a workplane on the back clipping plane.

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Axis Axis determines the orientation of the clipping planes. View - The clipping planes are parallel to the current view.

X - The clipping planes are parallel to the X axis of the current workplane.

Y - The clipping planes are parallel to the Y axis of the current workplane.

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Z - The clipping planes are parallel to the Y axis of the current workplane.

Example Using Dynamic Sectioning This example shows you the power of Dynamic Sectioning when used to help you analyse a toolpath. This uses the Flats.dgk example with a simple Area Clearance toolpath. The tool is on the toolpath at an area of interest (use the Attach Active Tool to Start from the Toolpath right click menu and then step through the toolpath to the area of interest).

1. From the Graphics right click menu select the Dynamic Sectioning option.

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2. This displays the Dynamic Sectioning dialog.

3. Change the Axis to Y so that the sectioning is done normal to the Y axis of the global transform (as there is no active workplane).

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4. Select the back option and move the slider immediately above this option to display a dynamic section. You will see the model being 'cut away':

5. If you change your View you can see the position of the tool on the model more clearly.

6. In certain cases, Dynamic Sectioning can offer a much clearer result than the Translucency (from the Model right click menu) of the model.

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Insert Menu

The commands on the Insert menu allow you to merge data with existing data.

Insert - Project
Merges the selected project into the existing project, after initially displaying the Insert Project dialog:

This is very similar to the Open Project dialog. For more information on how to use this, see File - Open Project (on page 277).

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Insert - Toolpath
Merges the selected toolpaths into the existing project, after initially displaying the Insert Toolpath dialog:

This is very similar to the Import Model dialog. For more information on how to use this see File - Import Model (on page 282).

Insert - Template Objects
Merges the selected template into the existing project, after initially displaying the Insert Template dialog:

This is very similar to the Import Model dialog. For more information on how to use this see File - Import Model (on page 282). You can use project templates to set-up a standard set of entities. Any new project can then use these templates to pre-define a standard set of entities. This will save time and encourage consistency. The entities you can save in a template are:

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The Tools you want in each project. For example you can define a standard set of tools that you will use in your project. This can ensure that tools are named and numbered consistently as well as ensuring that the geometry of the tool coincides with the tooling available on the shop floor. For example you may have one template which contains the tools you will use for High Speed Machining Aluminium, another containing the tools you will use for conventional machining mild steel and another containing the tools you will use for High Speed Machining Hard Steel. Patterns for machining of similar parts. A standard set of Workplanes. This prevents you from having to create and edit the same workplanes each time you start a new project. A standard set of Levels. NC Program Preferences so that you can pre-define the preferences for each specific machine tool.

Insert - Session
Imports an old session file into the existing project, after initially displaying the Insert Session dialog:

This is very similar to the Import Model dialog. For more information on how to use this see File - Import Model (on page 282).

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Draw Menu

The commands on the Draw menu allow you to: Control which entities are visible on the screen (Block, Drilling Holes, Active Axes, Transform, Wireframe, Shaded, Draw All, Undraw All). Controls how entities are displayed on the screen (Model, Cursor).

Draw - Model
Determines how the model is drawn. The Model Drawing Options dialog appears:

The top half of the dialog controls the representation of the wireframe (on page 310) and the bottom half controls the representation of the shaded model (see "Shade" on page 312).

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Wireframe Style - controls the line display of the wireframe. There are three options:

Solid - displays the wireframe as a solid line. This is the default option.

Dashed - displays the wireframe as a dashed line.

Chained - displays the wireframe as a chained line (dot dashed line).

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Once you have selected a line Style for the wireframe, then the Wireframe button on the View toolbar will toggle between the selected style and not displaying the wireframe. Colour - defines the colour of the wireframe. The currently selected . To change the colour colour is displayed on the dialog Colour click on the to display the Select Colour dialog.

This is the standard Windows colour selector dialog. Laterals - Draws the laterals of a feature or a surface.

Longitudinals - Draws the longitudinals of a feature or a surface.

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With both the Laterals and the Longitudinals selected, you see the complete feature or surface.

Filter Angle - Stl and ttr formats can produce acceptable wireframe representation by modification of the wireframe angle filter. You are encouraged to experiment with this filter to produce the best result for a particular model. The default value is 20 degrees. A smaller value will produce more boundaries and a larger value will produce less. You will generally need a smaller value if your model consists mainly of very smooth surfaces. Note that this value has no impact on the type of wireframe generated for Delcam formatted triangles, that is to say *.tri and *.dmt files. Shade

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Shade Inside - when this option is selected, the underside of the model is shaded red. Shade Inside is the default setting.

Draw Outlines - when this option is selected, edge curves of surfaces are drawn in black. This is only visible if the wireframe is not drawn.

When this option is deselected, edge curves of surfaces are drawn in the surface colour.

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Shade Colour - defines the colour of the plain shaded model (the colour of the model when you select the Plain Shade button on the View toolbar). The currently selected colour is displayed next to the field. To change the colour, click to Shade Colour display the Select Colour dialog:

This is the standard Windows colour selector dialog. Shade Tolerance - the shading tolerance is specified here. The finer the tolerance, the smoother the shading will be, but the rendering time will increase. The tolerance used here is purely a visual tolerance and does not affect the machining tolerance. Draft Angle Shading - alters the draft angle used in Draft Angle Shading available from the Draft Angle Shade toolbar. button on the View

Draft Angle - anything less than the value typed here will be shaded red. Warning Angle - anything less than the value typed here but larger than the Draft Angle will be shaded yellow. In the case where there is a draft angle of 5° and a warning angle of 20°, then anything less than 5° is shaded red, anything between 5° and 25° is shaded yellow, and anything above 25° is shaded green. Minimum Radius Shading - alters the radius used in Minimum Radius Shading available from the Minimum Radius Shading button on the View toolbar. Minimum Tool Radius - anything less than the value typed here will be shaded red.

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Draw - Block
Determines whether or not the block is visible on the screen.

Draw - Drilling Holes
Determines whether or not drilling holes are displayed on the screen.

Draw - Active Axes
Determines whether or not the active axes (active workplane) are displayed on the screen.

Draw - Transform
Determines whether or not the transform (global coordinate system) is displayed on the screen.

Draw - Cursor
Determines how the cursor is displayed, whether as a cross-hair or the current tool (which means that you can perform a visual check as to the accessibility of a tool onto the part). In the latter case, you can choose whether the tool has its centre or tip at the central cursor location. The original cursor will always be displayed at the same time.

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Draw - Cursor - Cross Hair - determines whether or not a cross hair cursor is visible on the screen. Ctrl H is a short cut for this operation.

Draw - Cursor - Tool - determines whether or not the current tool cursor is visible on the screen. Ctrl T is a short cut for this operation.

Draw - Cursor - Options - Centre - determines whether or not the Tool Cursor has its centre at the central cursor location. Draw - Cursor - Options - Tip - determines whether the Tool Cursor has its tip at the central cursor location. This is the default option.

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Draw - Wireframe
Determines whether or not the wireframe model is displayed on the screen. This offers the same functionality as toolbar. Wireframe on the View

Draw - Shaded
Determines whether or not the shaded model is displayed on the screen. This offers the same functionality as toolbar. Plain Shade on the View

Draw - Draw All
Draws on the graphics display all entities that can be drawn.

Draw - Undraw All
Removes from the graphics display all entities that are currently drawn. These entities are not deleted.

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Tools Menu

The commands on the Tools menu allow you to: See the syntax in the PowerMILL command window (Echo Commands). Reset check boxes and parameters on dialogs to their default state (Reset Forms). Snap to entities (Snapping and Snap Filter). Operate on specific entities (Filter Style). List, add, re-order and delete pathnames that will be searched and displayed (Customise Paths). Manage licence permissions (Release Licences, Request Licences). Specify preferences relating to tolerances, toolpaths, views and shading (Customise Colours, Options).

Tools - Echo Commands
The Tools - Echo Commands option allows the command issued on pressing a button or selecting a menu item to be echoed in the command window. This is of great use when debugging macros. The following example shows the commands issued when you create a block at the model limits. 1. Display the command window by selecting the View - Toolbar Command menu option. 2. Turn the echo on by selecting the Tools - Echo Commands menu option. 3. Click the Block button .

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4. Click the Calculate button on the Block dialog. 5. Click the Accept button on the Block dialog. 6. Turn the echo off by deselecting the Tools - Echo Commands menu option. 7. Close the command window by clicking of the window. The command window will show the following: in the top left corner

The [ FORM BLOCK\R] response shows that the Form Block command was issued. This can be used to: 1. Find the actual command that is issued so that you can input it into a macro. In this case you can see that the actual command issued is Echo off DCPDebug Untrace Command Accept. 2. Trace a macro execution when debugging a faulty macro, pinpointing which command is causing a problem. In this case, if you select Tools - Echo Commands and then run a macro (by selecting the macro in the explorer and then, using the right click menu, selecting Run) you can see all the commands that are issued from the macro and identify any problem areas.

Tools - Reset Forms
Resets check boxes and parameters to the values defined when you started PowerMILL. To effectively return the program to its startup state, use the Tools Reset Forms and File - Delete All commands. The Reset command only resets parameters. It does not apply the new values or delete anything.

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Tools - Snapping
When selected, this option allows snapping to the entities defined in Tools - Snap Filter (on page 320).

Tools - Snap Filter
Specifies the particular entities to be snapped to when using the mouse. Model Boundary Pattern Feature Anywhere - you can pick any point in space.

The snapping behaviour is most useful for Measuring and Sketching Boundaries and Patterns. Measuring - enables you to measure between points on the model, boundary and pattern (provided that the relevant snap filter is selected). You can also measure points in free space if the snapping is disabled or the Anywhere option is selected. Boundary and Pattern Sketching model points. - enables you to sketch using

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Tools - Filter Style
This option allows you to operate on specific entities.

For example, to delete all blue entities: 1. If all the Filter Style options are selected (as above), then deselect them all by selecting Tools - Filter Style - Invert. 2. Select Tools - Filter Style - Blue. 3. Drag a box over the whole model. Now only the blue entities are selected and these can be deleted using the File - Delete Selected (on page 288) menu option.

Tools - Customise Paths
This enables you to define the search paths that will be used to find macros, NC Program Output, setup sheets, templates and the custom directories assigned to the following File dialog buttons (for example, for the import and export of models):

- the Examples directory.

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- user defined directory, for example the directory from which models are to be imported.

- user defined directory, for example the directory into which models are to be exported. Selecting Tools - Customise Paths displays the following dialog:

The "." indicates the path to the 'local' folder. The tilde symbol ("~") indicates your Home directory. PowerMILL will automatically find macros that are in subdirectories of Home called either pmill2 or pmill4. The PowerMILL paths dialog enables you to view, add, delete and re-order the pathnames that are searched for within each path type specified in the drop-down list:

Macro Paths - enables you to re-order, add, delete and list the macro pathnames. For more information see Displaying Macros in Explorer (on page 254). NC Program Output - enables you to define the location of the Root Name specified in the NC Program dialog (on page 38).

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File Dialog Example Button (see "Defining File Dialog Buttons" on page 324) - enables you to define a shortcut to the examples directory. This is then accessed when you select Open dialog. on a File

File Dialog Button 1 (see "Defining File Dialog Buttons" on page 324) - enables you to define a shortcut to a specified directory. This is then accessed when you select Open dialog. on a File

File Dialog Button 2 (see "Defining File Dialog Buttons" on page 324) - enables you to define a shortcut to a specified directory. This is then accessed when you select Open dialog. on a File

Template Paths - enables you to add additional tabs to the standard tabs on the New dialog available from the Toolpath Strategies button . Setup Sheets Template Paths - defines the location of your setup sheet templates. This is then used when you Setup Sheets Settings from the context menu for an individual NC Program entity. Option Files - defines the location of the Option Files. This is then used in the Machine Option File field in the NC Program dialog (on page 38). Add Path to Top of List list. Add Path to Bottom of List path list. Delete - adds a new path to the top of the path - adds a new path to the bottom of the

- deletes the selected path from the path list. - moves the selected path down the path list. - moves the selected path up the path list.

Move Down Move Up

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Path List - displays the paths currently set up for the path type, for example:

Creating a New Toolpath Template It is possible to use the Tools - Customise Paths dialog to modify the contents of the New dialog displayed when you click the Toolpath Strategy button. This is a two stage process: 1. Create tabs on the New dialog (on page 471). 2. Insert a Toolpath Template into the tabs on the New dialog (on page 473). Defining File Dialog Buttons To define the File Dialog buttons select Macro Paths option from the macro type menu. Then change the Path Selection to File Dialog Button 1 from the drop-down list. This then displays the following in the dialog.

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Select the Add Path to Top of List will be displayed:

button. The following dialog

Move to the appropriate directory (using the Make New Folder button if appropriate). The pathname will then be displayed at the bottom of the dialog (in this case E:\Pmill\WhatsNew7000\). The click on OK. You will now see the path added to the path list.

Click on the Close button to finish.

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To see the effects of this change then select the File - Examples menu button. The files displayed will be option and then click on the those in the directory you specified above.

If you add more than one path to the path list only the contents of the path at the top of the list will be displayed. You can repeat the same process for File Dialog Button 2.

Tools - Release Licences
This option allows you to release licences that PowerMILL has already obtained.

Releasing those licences that you no longer need will make them available to others who may require them.

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PowerMILL automatically releases FLEX licences after two hours of inactivity (although this time is configurable by the FLEX server System Administrator). The licence will automatically be requested (see "Tools - Request Licences" on page 327) when activity is resumed. If a licence is requested which is no longer available, then the program will wait until it does become available. You must be in possession of the relevant licence in order to calculate an entity (toolpath, boundary, block, NC Program…). However, you can Batch a toolpath if you don't possess the correct licence. Then, when you can get hold of the right licence you can process the toolpath.

Tools - Request Licences
This option allows you to request licences that PowerMILL needs to perform certain operations.

In the above example, the only licence that you can request is POWERMILL PORT. If you request an available licence and it is available, then the corresponding permissions will be added to your session. You may want to do this in order to reserve licences for later use in a session. PowerMILL automatically releases (see "Tools - Release Licences" on page 326) FLEX licences after two hours of inactivity (although this time is configurable by the FLEX server System Administrator). The licence will automatically be requested when activity is resumed. If a licence is requested which is no longer available, then the program will wait until it does become available.

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PowerMILL automatically obtains the appropriate licence for you as it is needed. So, for example, clicking Apply when projection machining will automatically try to obtain the ADVNC licence for you if it is not already assigned to your session of PowerMILL. If successful, the relevant licence permissions will be added to your current session and retained until the session is ended or, until you decide to relinquish the licence. Alternatively, if the licence is not available (because all of those particular licences are already assigned to other users/sessions or, because it has not been purchased by your organisation) then a message will appear to notify you of this and the toolpath will not be created.

Tools - Customise Colours
This option allows you to select entity colours from the range of 32-bit colours via the standard Windows colour selector. Any colour change that you make is global. This means that the changes are remembered between PowerMILL sessions and are applied to all projects. Select Tools - Customise Colours from the menu to display the Customise Colours dialog:

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The left hand side of the dialog displays the items that can have customised colours. Selecting an item in the tree enables the Selected Colour area of the dialog, which displays the current colour of your selected item. Either click this colour or click Edit to display the standard Windows colour editing dialog:

Select the required colour and click OK to display this colour in in the Selected Colour area of the Customise Colours dialog. Reset - reverts your colour selection to what it was when you started PowerMILL. Copy - copies the currently selected colour onto the clipboard. Paste - pastes the colour on the clipboard into the selected colour. Clipboard Colour - shows the colour currently on the clipboard.
All Colours

The functionality available here is useful if you want to utilise different colour schemes for different types of work.

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Import Colour Table - loads a colour table from file. This displays the Import Colour Table dialog, which works in the same way as all Windows Open dialogs :

Save Colour Table - saves the current colour table. This displays the Export Colour Table dialog, which works in the same way as all windows Save dialogs . All files are saved as Colour Table files *.pmlct. This can be useful if you need different colour schemes for different projects.

Reset All - reverts your colour selection to what it was when you started PowerMILL. Restore Defaults - resets all the colours to their default values. The following Query dialog is displayed.

Click Yes to restore the defaults or No to cancel the request.

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Feature or Pattern Colours

The active feature is drawn using its colour property (for example, the colour extracted from the CAD model). If an active feature does not have a colour property, then it is drawn in the active feature colour defined here. The same is true for Patterns. Customising Colours This example looks at changing the colour of selected items, using the Chamber.igs model from the Examples file.

1. From the Tools menu, select the Customise Colours option (see "Tools - Customise Colours" on page 328), followed by Selection Colour:

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2. Edit the colour from yellow to green:

3. Click OK. 4. The Customised Colour dialog reflects your new choice of colour:

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5. The model is updated to reflect the change in colour:

You can see the colour change more easily if you look at it without the shading:

Tools - Options
Allows you to specify tolerances and toolpath, view and shading options

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These user preferences are saved automatically in the registry when you exit PowerMILL. All entries (View, Import, NC Programs, Tolerance, Toolpath) are read in at startup and saved on leaving PowerMILL. Options - Tolerance

Wireframe Polygonisation Tolerance - defines the maximum deviation between the original curve and a series of straight lines used to represent the curve. This is used whenever curves are required to be converted into a series of straight lines. Closure Tolerance - determines whether an open segment can be considered closed. If two end points are less than this distance apart, an extra line is created to close them. Model Import Tolerance - determines the accuracy used to translate from the import file format to a dgk format. If, for example, the file is an IGES file, then it determines how closely the dgk matches the original. Unit System Units (mm or inches) are stored in the project. You cannot change the units once you have created an entity. Metric (millimetres) - selecting this option enables metric units.

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Imperial (inches) - selecting this option enables imperial units. Options - Toolpath

Activation Raise Dialog - when this is selected, the machining strategy dialog box associated with the active toolpath is automatically opened. When this is deselected, no dialog boxes are opened. Selection Cutting Moves - selecting this enables the selection of cutting moves in the active toolpath. Connection Moves - selecting this enables the selection of connection moves in the active toolpath. Calculation Contact Normals - when this is selected, toolpaths are created with the contact normals details in them. This is essential when the machine tool does the 3D cutter compensation and PowerMILL outputs I, J, K vectors in the tape file. Auto Activate - selecting this ensures that the most recently created toolpath is the active toolpath.

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Save on Calculation - when this is selected, the PowerMILL project is automatically saved after the processing of each toolpath, when processing batch toolpaths. Drawing Tool Axis Length - controls the length of the lines drawn to represent the tool axis at each point. These are displayed when you Draw Toolpath Axes . Contact Normal Length - controls the length of the lines drawn to represent the contact normals at each point. These are displayed when you Draw Toolpath Contact Normals Options - Tool Feeds and Speeds .

Feed Rate Plunge Factor - specifies the plunge rate as a percentage of the cutting rate when loaded from the active tool. The default value is 0.1. This is remembered for future PowerMILL sessions. Auto Load Feed Rates - automatically loads the Feed Rates stored in the Cutting Data tab on the Tools dialog when the tool is activated. This is remembered for future PowerMILL sessions.

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Auto Load Depth of Cut - automatically loads the Axial Depth of Cut and Radial Depth of Cut stored in the Cutting Data tab on the Tools dialog when the tool is activated. This is remembered for future PowerMILL sessions. Database Database File path - specifies the location of the tool database. - allows you to find the required directory and filename. - displays the name of the selected tool database. A sample tool database is available in the Examples folder. Load Shank with Tool - when selected, loads the shank as well as the cutter from the database. When deselected, only loads the cutter from the database. Double Click to Create Tools - when selected, double clicking on a tool displayed in the Search Results of the Tool Database creates that tool. When deselected, tools are only created by using the Select All, Select None and Create Tools buttons.

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Options - View

Dynamic Framerate Minimum Framerate - specifies the desired frame rate for dynamic rendering. If PowerMILL can't render a frame dynamically with this value, the view is simplified. Preferred Framerate - controls various aspects of the view's lighting characteristics (number of lights, back facing surface shading) only when the Minimum Framerate can be achieved without simplification. If the value is set to 0, there are no lighting simplifications. Animation Time Limit - specifies the time to animate to the specified orientation selected from the View Toolbar. A time limit of 0.0 disables animation. No animation occurs if PowerMILL considers the current view too complicated. Pick Radius - represents the size of the hot spot used for picking. A large radius requires less accuracy in the placing of the cursor, but may result in a close (and unwanted) item being selected. A small radius requires greater picking accuracy but is more precise. This radius can be any positive value. The default value is 1.

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Drawing Tolerance - represents how arcs are displayed on the screen. The arcs are displayed as a series of straight lines on the screen. The Arc Tolerance defines the maximum deviation between the actual curve and the straight line representation. The default value is 0.1. If the arcs appear faceted then use a smaller tolerance. Spin View - allows you to spin the model from a dynamic rotation. If you dynamically rotate your model, once you let go of the middle mouse button, the model will continue rotating. To stop the rotation, do one of the following: Deselect the Spin View check box. Do another dynamic rotation, but keep the view in one particular orientation for a period before letting go of the middle mouse button. Perform another task (such as selecting another menu option or clicking on a button). Instrument on Selection - enables instrumentation of features when selected, so that the blue drag arrows are drawn on the selected feature. Deselecting the option disables instrumentation. Use Model Colour for Holes - when this option is selected, the holes are the colour of the Model. When the option is deselected, they are the colour of the Feature Set. View Background Image (on page 339) - allows you to choose an image (rather than a colour) as a background to PowerMILL. View Background Image View Background Image - allows you to choose an image (rather than a colour) as a background to PowerMILL.

or background image.

- displays the name of the selected

Load Background Image from File - displays the View Background Image dialog, which allows you to open an existing image file. Remove Background Image - removes the currently selected image and reverts to colour defined in Tools - Customise Colours (on page 328) - View Background.

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Fit - controls how the image fits into the background. Clip - the image is clipped in one direction so that it fits in the other. In the picture below the top and bottom of the image are clipped. The scaling is uniform.

Whole - shows the whole of the image, with borders in the background colour. The scaling is uniform.

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Stretch - the image is stretched in one direction. In the picture below the width of the image is stretched. The scaling is NOT uniform.

Tile - duplicate instances of the image make up the background.

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Options - Import

Split Solids on Import - automatically splits a solid model into a surface model on import into PowerMILL. This option is selected by default. Defer Loading (see "Deferred Loading" on page 232) - by default, the models associated with a project are loaded at the same time as the project. If you do not want the models to be loaded, then simply select the Defer Loading option. Deferred Loading You have the option not to load a model on importing a project (select Tools - Options - Import - Defer Loading). The following illustrates the difference between a Deferred Model and a Model:

Deferred Model is shown with a Model.

in the explorer.

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Clicking

loads the model:

Calculating a toolpath or boundary also loads any deferred models. Options - NC Programs

File Type - specifies whether the toolpath will be output as an NC Program (*.tap), a Cutter Location (standard cutter location format file extension .cut) or a Duct Picture (.pic). Format - if you select a File Type of Cutter Location, then this option becomes available. It determines the format of the cut file (Binary, ASCII or Print). The default setting is Binary, the standard format used by the Delcam Postprocessor. ASCII formats will create much larger cut files, but are necessary when: User edits are required. Files are transferred between UNIX and Windows platforms. An alternative way to transfer files between the two platforms is to use the edit tpoutput cutfformat command. The Print format is recommended when Delcam post processors are NOT used.

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Write File for Each Toolpath - when this is selected, a separate file is written for each toolpath in an NC Program. Use Toolpath Workplane for Output - when this is selected, the NC program is written using each toolpath workplane. When it is deselected, the NC program uses the output workplane defined in the NC Program dialog. Produce Info File - specifies whether or not an Information File is required. Output File Extension Option File - defines the appropriate extension for a particular machine tool option file. For example you would probably want to change a Heidenhain controller to have an .hnc extension rather than the default .tap extension.

The first field defines the machine tool controller; the second field defines the extension applied to the output file. If you don't want your output file to have an extension then type '.' in the extension field. Path - defines the folder to which the NC Programs using these preferences will be written. Arc Fit Factor - allows you to create smoother toolpaths. The arc fitting is done to a proportion of the machining tolerance for that toolpath; the proportion is the 'arc fit factor'. The default factor is 0.5 (so, if the factor is not changed arc fitting will be done to half the machining tolerance). This means that, if the toolpath tolerance is 0.1, and the Arc Fit Factor is 0.5, then the arc fitted toolpath can be 0.05 away from the original toolpath (which itself could be 0.1 away from the model). Increasing the Arc Fit Factor from 0.5 can cause undesirable results. Only increase this value if you fully understand the implications. Load Setup Sheets with Project - selecting this option ensures that PowerMILL automatically browses existing setup sheets when a project is loaded.

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Help Menu

The commands in the Help menu allow you to: access the online help system (Contents, What's New). get general information about PowerMILL (About). get general information about Delcam (Data Translation Services, Subscribe to the PowerMILL Newsletter, Visit the User Forum, Delcam on the Web). get updated versions of PowerMILL (Check for PowerMILL Updates).

Help - Contents
Activates a Windows Help screen showing the contents of the PowerMILL online help. For more information on using the Help system, see Getting Help (see "Help" on page 9).

Help - What's New
Activates an HTML page in the browser window showing the most important new features in this version and several videos of the new features. Clicking the What's New link on this page displays the standard What's New online help.

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Clicking o

displays a video of the associated feature:

Help - Check for PowerMILL Updates
Allows you to download the latest release versions of PowerMILL. The instructions on how to do this are displayed in PowerMILL's browser view tab . PowerMILL goes to the Web to check for patch updates for the version currently running. It also checks for newer versions. If there are newer versions available, the user is given the option to go to the product updates site.

Help - Subscribe to the PowerMILL Newsletter
This option automatically prepares an e-mail to send to Delcam so that you can subscribe to the PowerMILL Newsletter. Simply send the e-mail to subscribe to the newsletter.

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Help - Visit the User Forum
This option allows you to join and then participate in user discussions on PowerMILL or any other Power Solution product. It displays the Power Solution User Forum page, from the www.delcam.com (http://www.delcam.com) website, in PowerMILL's browser view tab .

This page explains how you can Join and then use the forum. The forum is intended for new and established users to share ideas and experiences.

Help - Data Translation Services
Displays the PS-Exchange Pay-per-use Information page in PowerMILL's browser view tab . The page explains how you can use the Pay-per-use facility when you don't have the required translator.

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Help - Delcam on the Web
Displays the PowerMILL or Delcam home page in PowerMILL's browser view tab .

Simply select the required page.

Help - About
Displays information about the version of PowerMILL you are using. Click OK to close the dialog.

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Main toolbar
The Main Toolbar provides quick access to the most commonly used tools in PowerMILL. By default it is located just below the menu bar but it can be relocated anywhere around the PowerMILL window, or as a separate window. The order, reading from left to right, reflects the sequential stages used to set up, rough, finish, verify and visualise a part. Each button either opens a dialog box or performs an operation. On the whole, when machining a component, it is best to work through the various procedures in the order that they are presented on the toolbar.

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Open Project
opens an existing PowerMILL project, displaying the Open Project dialog:

In the top pane, move to the required folder and then select the relevant project (projects are marked with either for Version 6 (or earlier) projects, or for Version 7 (or later) projects). Then click OK to open the project and associated model simultaneously. Alternatively, you can type the pathname of the project in the bottom Folder pane. As you type, the folder display is updated. Clicking in the bottom right hand corner of the dialog allows you to resize the dialog. PowerMILL automatically remembers the new size of the dialog.

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Save Project
saves the current project with the same name as before and doesn't display a dialog or issue any warnings. This is also available from the File - Save Project menu. If no project is active then the Save Project As dialog is displayed:

This dialog is the standard Windows File Save As dialog. The PowerMILL header is now updated from: to: You can see that the Project Name is preceded with a "-" to show that it has just been saved. As soon as you make any changes to the project the "-" changes to an "*" to indicate that the project has been updated since the last save:

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At this point the project is also entered in the File - Recent Projects list, for quick access later.

If you look in E:\Pmill\GettingStarted60\Simple Example directory. you can see the files that PowerMILL has created:

Please do NOT edit any of these files - otherwise, we cannot guarantee the correct working of PowerMILL. However, you can put additional files in this directory, such as the associated model, Word document or associated bitmaps.

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Once you have saved a project, you will see either (for a pre-Version 7 project), or (for a Version 7 or post-Version 7 project) placed beside the file in the Project dialogs:

Print
The following dialog is displayed when you select File - Print or Print on the top toolbar:

This is a standard Windows Print dialog that allows you to print the current graphics window.

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Block
The button displays the Block dialog, which defines the shape, size and orientation of the raw material to be machined.

Defined By
Specifies how to define the block. There are several ways of defining the block: 1. Box (see "Block - Box" on page 355) - where the raw material is a rectangular block that can be defined by minimum and maximum X, Y, Z points.. 2. Picture (see "Block - Picture" on page 355) - where the raw material is an extrudion, where the extrusion can be defined by a 2D contour (a cylindrical bar or pre-drawn billet). The contour must be saved as a DUCT picture file (*.pic). The 2D picture must form a closed contour and not intersect itself (or any other contour). 3. Triangles (see "Block - Triangles" on page 356) - where the raw material is a complex shape which can be defined by a 3D triangle model (a pre-cast block).. 4. Boundary (see "Block - Boundary" on page 356) - for machining a specific area defined by an extruded 2D contour.

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5. Cylinder - where the raw material is cylindrical. The axis of the cylinder is defined as being up the Z axis. These five options are selected from the Defined By pull down menu.

Block - Box Select the Defined by - Box option if the raw material is a rectangular block that can be defined by minimum and maximum X, Y, Z points. The X, Y, Z values can be calculated automatically by selecting the Calculate button. If an Expansion of, say, 15 is entered, then PowerMILL will offset the block by 15mm from the minimum block size to just enclose the model. Block - Picture Select the Defined by - Picture option if the raw material is an extrusion which can be defined by a 2D contour (a cylindrical bar or predrawn billet). The contour must be saved as a DUCT picture file (*.pic). The 2D picture must form a closed contour and not intersect itself (or any other contour). On selecting Picture, from the Defined By pull down list, select the Load button to display the Open Block dialog box which allows you to open an existing picture file:

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For more information on how to use the Open Block from Picture dialog, see Import Model (see "File - Import Model" on page 282). The Min Z and Max Z values can be altered to specify the height/length of the extrusion. The Calculate button automatically specifies the length of the extrusion. Block - Triangles Select the Defined by - Triangles option if the raw material is a complex shape which can be defined by a 3D triangle model (a pre-cast block). On selecting Triangles, from the Defined By pull down list, select the Load button to display the Open Block dialog which allows you to open an existing triangles file:

For more information on how to use the Open Block from Triangles dialog, see Import Model (see "File - Import Model" on page 282). Block - Boundary Select the Defined by - Boundary option if you want to machine a specific area defined by an extruded 2D contour. You need to define the Boundary using the Boundary Entity in explorer and then enter the extruded length in the Block dialog box by either specifying a Min Z and a Max Z or using the Calculate button.

Block - Toolbar

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Load Block from File - displays the Open Block from Picture or the Open Block from Triangle dialog, which allows you to open an existing picture or triangle file. This is only available if you have a Defined By option of Triangles or Picture. For more information see the Defined By (on page 354)section. Delete Block - deletes the block. Locks to World Space - locks the block to the global coordinate system rather than relative to a specific workplane. This is only available when the Block is Defined By Triangles.

Block - Limits
This option should be selected if the raw material is a rectangular block that can be defined by minimum and maximum X, Y, Z points. The X, Y, Z values can either be entered individually or calculated automatically by clicking the Calculate button. If a value (say, 15) is entered in the Expansion field, then it will offset the block by 15mm from the minimum block size to just enclose the triangle model. Locking Specific Limits You can lock a specific X, Y or Z limit (Max or Min) so that whatever you do to change the model limits, this particular limit will remain unchanged. Unlocked - the field is unlocked and so can be edited.

- the field is locked. So, if you try to re-calculate the Block Locked Limits by either typing in a specific value or by typing in an Expansion value, the Locked values will remain unchanged. The above two buttons work as a toggle. So, if you click the Unlocked button it locks the field and changes the button to Locked , and, similarly, if you click the Locked changes the button to Unlocked. Unlock All Limits button, it unlocks the field and

- unlocks all the locked fields simultaneously.

Block - Cylinder Parameters

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These options are only available if you select a Defined By of Cylinder. The Calculate button automatically calculates the limit of the block to be just big enough to contain the entity selected in the Type field. Centre X - defines the X coordinate of the centre of the circle defining the cylinder. Centre Y - defines the Y coordinate of the centre of the circle defining the cylinder. Radius - defines the radius of the circle defining the cylinder. Unlocked changes it to Locked changes it to Unlock All - the field is unlocked and so can be edited. Clicking . - the field is locked and so cannot be edited. Clicking . - unlocks all the locked cylindrical parameters.

Apart from defining the diameter and location of the circle forming the cylinder, the only other dimension required is the Z height. This is specified in the Min Z and Max Z fields.

Block - Estimate Limits

The Calculate button automatically calculates the limit of the block to be just big enough to contain the entity selected in the Type field. Expansion - offsets the block from the minimum block size by the specified distance. However, if you are working with a surface file then you must specify a Tolerance. Type - determines which entity is used when you calculate the limits.

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Tolerance - this is used when placing a block at the limits of a DGK surface file. The surface of such a file must be tested to work out the limits for the block. This testing needs to be done to a tolerance. A very small tolerance may take a long time to process, but a large tolerance produces less precise results.

Block - Remaining fields
Draw - determines whether or not the block is visible on screen. Opacity - provided that the Draw option is selected, the Opacity slider determines how the block is displayed. If the slider is at the extreme left, then the block is drawn as a wireframe. If the slider is at the extreme right, then an opaque block is drawn. In between, the block is shaded translucently, with translucency decreasing the further the slider is to the right.

Accept - accepts the values on the Block dialog and closes the dialog. Cancel - closes the Block dialog without updating the block.

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Edit a Block Graphically
When you select a block it is surrounded by a blue cuboid with double headed arrows on all faces. This is an Instrumented Block.

Place the mouse over the double arrow at the side of the block. This turns the double arrow white. Now clicking and dragging the mouse changes that dimensions. You can either drag it to the appropriate length:

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or you can click on a feature of the model to define a specific dimension of the block. So, in this case clicking on the edge of the hole in the model,

automatically changes the width of the block.

Clicking in the graphics area (or on another entity) deselects the block and removes the instrumentation.

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Feeds and Speeds
Feeds and Speeds defines the machine feeds and spindle speeds.

Toolpath Properties - loads the appropriate values when the tool is activated.

Toolpath: Corner Finishing - displays the name of the active toolpath whose feeds and speeds are described. Type - specifies the type of toolpath cut with this tool. This is either Roughing or Finishing. Currently, this parameter only used to output a record in the cut file for the postprocessor, where it can be used, for example, to select different smoothing tolerances on the CNC.

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Operation - specifies the cutting mode of the tool.

This allows you to set the tool/material properties for different toolpath operations. This is not a parameter, and so it does not set the actual toolpath operation. Selecting the Type and Operation allows PowerMILL to load the appropriate values from the tool definition when the tool is activated. Tool Properties - information about the tool used to create the toolpath.

Displays information about the tool used to create the toolpath. Tool/Material Properties - cutting conditions of the tool and material.

Surface Speed - the speed of the tool when material is being removed, measured in metres (or inches) per minute depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol v .
c

The surface speed represents the rate at which the cutting edges of the tool can be driven through the material. This values is used to calculate the Spindle Speed. Feed/Tooth - the cutting feed per tooth, measured in mm or inches depending on the Units setting.

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In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol f

z.

The feed per tooth is determined by the construction of the tool, and may be limited by the strength of the cutting edges or the capacity of the tool to remove swarf. This value is used to calculate the Cutting Feed Rate. If only one flute is specified for the tool, then Feed/Tooth is the same as Feed/Rev. Axial Depth of Cut - the depth of cut measured along the tool axis in mm or inches depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol a
p.

The maximum value is limited by the flute length of a solid cutter or by the inserts fitted. Typically, this value is used to set the maximum Stepdown for Area Clearance and Constant Z machining. Radial Depth of Cut - the depth of cut measured normal to the tool axis, measured in mm or inches depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol a
e.

Typically, this value is used to set the Stepover for machining. All of these fields are preceded by an icon (either or ).

Calculated - the values are calculated automatically by PowerMILL. Edited - the values are edited by you (or another user). This value will not change when a new tool is activated. Recommended: 200.00 mm/min - the recommended values. If you have specified values in the Tool - Cutting Data dialog, then the values entered there are displayed as recommended values here.

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Cutting Conditions - machine tool cutting conditions.

Spindle Speed - the rotation of the spindle, measured in revolutions per minute. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol n. This value is calculated automatically from the Surface Speed value. If you edit this value then the Surface Speed value is also updated to reflect your change. PowerMILL can automatically calculate this value from the Surface Speed field on the Tool Cutting Data tab by clicking on the Feeds and Speeds (on page 362) dialog. Cutting Feed Rate - the cutting feed rate, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol f
v.

This value is calculated automatically from the Feed/Tooth value. If you edit this value then the Feed/Tooth value is also updated to reflect your change. PowerMILL can automatically calculate this value from the Feed/Tooth field on the Tool Cutting Data tab by clicking on the Feeds and Speeds (on page 362) dialog. Plunging Feed Rate - the speed of the tool when it is entering the material ready for its cutting moves, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. These are vertical moves. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol V
p.

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By default this value is Feed Rate Plunge Factor * Cutting Feed (V = V *f ). For more information, see Feed rate plunge factor (see "Options - Tool" on page 336).
p f v

Skim Feed Rate - the skim feed rate, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. Coolant (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - allows you to specify the coolant: None - no coolant output. Standard - coolant turned on. Flood - coolant on flood. Mist - coolant on mist. Tap - tap coolant on. Air - air blast. Through - coolant through spindle. Double - two coolant codes are allowed. The coolant is always turned off at the end of a toolpath. All of these fields are preceded by an icon (either or ).

Calculated - the values are calculated automatically by PowerMILL. Edited - the values are edited by you (or another user). This value will not change when a new tool is activated. Recommended: 200.00 mm/min - the recommended values. If you have specified values in the Tool - Cutting Data dialog, then the values entered there are displayed as recommended values here. Working Diameter - the effective tool diameter.

This frame enables you to make corrections for the working diameter of the tool. For example, when surface milling with anything other than a square-ended cutter with a small depth of cut, the full diameter of the cutter is never engaged in the material. If the spindle speed is calculated using the tool diameter, the surface speed of the part of the tool in the cut will be less than it should be.

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Depth off Cut - depth of cut of the strategy a .
p

Surface Slope - inclination from the horizontal of the surface being machined. The inclination of the surface being machined has an influence on the effective tool diameter. Overhang Compensation - the correction required when extensions are fitted. The distance a tool projects out of the tool holder can have a huge impact on tool life, especially for solid carbide cutters. Excessive overhang increases both tool deflection and vibration, both of which increase the rate of wear. Most tool manufacturers make specific recommendations similar to the following: ap' = ap * (4Dc/1)2, where ap' - revised depth of cut ap - depth of cut Dc - cutting diameter Typically, this correction is not made for indexable insert cutters since the length is predetermined by the holder construction. However, if extensions are fitted, some kind of reduction should be made. Reset - loads the values from the active tool's Cutting Data (see "Tool Cutting Data dialog" on page 878) into this dialog. Apply - loads the values in this dialog to the active toolpath. Accept - accepts the values on the dialog and closes it. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the feed rates. For more information see Using the Feeds and Speeds dialog (on page 367).

Using the Feeds and Speeds dialog
1. If you create a Tool , but don't define any Cutting Data (see "Tool Cutting Data dialog" on page 878), then you will see the Feeds and Speeds dialog.

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All fields are preceded by values. 2. Create a new Tool Cutting Data.

, and have no recommended

(with a valid diameter), and add in some

3. Double-click on the relevant item in the list.

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4. The Edit Cutting Data dialog is displayed. Enter appropriate cutting data.

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5. Look at the Feeds and Speeds dialog again, and you will see that the values are the same as before, except that there are now Recommended values for the fields for which you entered values in the Tool - Cutting Data dialog.

6. Click Reset to update the values in the Feeds and Speeds dialog with those from the Tool - Cutting Data dialog.

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7. To manually edit a field, type the required value in the relevant field of the Feeds and Speeds dialog.

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In this case, the Cutting Feed Rate was edited and is now preceded by to show that it has been edited manually. The Plunging Feed Rate and Feed/Tooth have also changed, as the values have been calculated (Plunging Feed Rate = Cutting Feed Rate * Feed Rate Plunge Factor). The Feed Rate Plunge Factor is defined on the Tool tab of the Tools - Options dialog.

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8. Clicking changes it to , and updates the value in the Feeds and Speeds dialog to the recommended value.

In this case, clicking Reset would have had the same result. The difference is that Reset updates all values with those in the Tool - Cutting Data dialog, whereas clicking only updates that particular field (and any fields calculated from that field). Any field on the Cutting Feed dialog with a value of 0.0, or no value, is not fed through to the Feeds and Speeds dialog.

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Rapid Move Heights
displays the Rapid Move Heights dialog, which defines when the tool is to move at the rapid rate (the speeds are defined in the Feed Rates (see "Feeds and Speeds" on page 362) dialog) in order to move the tool between two points in the shortest possible time. The rapid move is generally made up of the following three moves: 1. An up move from the last cutting position to a safe Z height. 2. An across move at constant Z to the new start cutting position. 3. A down move to the new start Z height.

Absolute Heights Defines when the tool moves at the rapid rate for absolute moves. Safe Area (on page 375) - allows you to specify a Safe Area over which rapid moves are allowed to take place. This is an extension to the Safe Z Plane concept (thought of as a plane normal to the Z direction of the toolpath workplane). Workplane (on page 376) - the workplane used to define the Safe Area above (if different from the toolpath workplane). Safe Z - a constant level in Z to which the tool will lift up, prior to making rapid moves across the workpiece.

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Start Z - an absolute value in Z to which the tool will move down at rapid rate, prior to cutting into the work piece. Reset To Safe Height - automatically calculates the new heights based on the maximum Z height of the block size plus the incremental Z heights. That is: Reset Safe Z = Block Model Max Z + Inc Start Z + Inc Safe Z Reset Start Z = Block Model Max Z + Inc Start Z Apply to Active Toolpath - automatically loads the values in this dialog to the active toolpath. Incremental Defines when the tool moves at the rapid rate for incremental moves. Rapid Move Type (on page 377) - determines the use of absolute and incremental Z heights. Safe Z - an incremental value in Z above the Incremental Start Z to which the tool will move up at rapid rate, prior to moving across the workpiece. (Only available for roughing.) Start Z - an incremental value in Z above a pre-machined level to which the tool will move down at rapid rate. Accept - accepts the values on the dialog and closes it. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the values.

Safe Area
Safe Area allows you to specify a Safe Area over which rapid moves are allowed to take place. This is an extension to the Safe Z Plane concept (thought of as a plane normal to the Z direction of the toolpath workplane).

Plane - the safe area is defined by a user defined plane, not necessarily normal to the Z direction of the toolpath workplane. This can be particularly useful for 3+2 machining in order to keep the rapid moves within the travel limits of the machine tool. You define the plane by defining its Normal.

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Cylinder - the safe area is defined by a cylinder. This is appropriate for rotary toolpaths, or more generally, wherever radial motion is required. You define the cylinder by defining its Position (centre) and Direction (of the axis). Sphere - the safe area is defined by a sphere. Spherical surfaces offer closed volumes that can be used to circumscribe the rapid moves. You define the sphere by defining its Centre. Box - the safe area is defined by a cuboid. Box-shaped surfaces offer closed volumes that can be used to circumscribe the rapid moves. You define the box by defining its Corner and Dimensions. In general, rapid moves are expressed as Rapid Feed (G1) moves to ensure that they follow the shape of the safe area. There are two exceptions to this rule where Rapid (G0) moves are used instead: when using a Planar Safe Area that is normal to the Z axis of the toolpath's workplane (for example a Safe Z plane). when rotary machining with a Cylindrical Safe Area oriented along the X axis of the toolpath's workplane.

Workplane
The workplane used to define the Safe Area above (if different from the toolpath workplane). The options below the Workplane field depends on the type of Safe Area (on page 375) selected. Links defined with a Safe Area entail the following movements. First, the tool retracts away from the part according to the Retract options specified on the Links tab of the Leads and Links dialog (see "Links" on page 399). If this move intersects the safe area it is trimmed at that point; otherwise the tool moves to the safe area. How it does so depends on the type of safe area that is used: Planes - the movement is in the direction normal to the plane. Cylinder - the movement is radial. Spheres - the movement is along the tool axis. Box Shaped - the movement is normal to the side of the box that is contacted.

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The tool axis remains fixed until the tool reaches the safe area. The path from the safe area is similar to the retract path. Once again, the tool axis remains constant during this approach. It is only as the tool moves over the surface of the safe area that any reorientations occur. The first approach at the start of a toolpath and the final retract at its end proceed in the same manner, determined by the options set in the Start and End Point (on page 378) dialog.

Rapid Move Type
Rapid Move Type determines the use of absolute and incremental Z heights. Absolute - moves at the rapid rate up to Absolute Safe Z and down to Absolute Start Z. Skim - moves at the rapid rate up to Incremental Safe Z above the lowest slice to avoid hitting the model, and drops down to Incremental Start Z. This is only available for roughing strategies. Plunge - Moves at the rapid rate up to Absolute Safe Z and down to Incremental Start Z. The following table summarises how the Rapid Move Type determines the use of absolute and incremental Z heights. Rapid Move Type Up & Across Moves Down Moves

Absolute Safe Z Absolute Plunge Skim X X

Increment al Safe Z

Absolute Start Z X

Increment al Start Z X

X

X

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Start and End Point
The button displays the Start and End Point dialog which enables you to define the location of the tool at the start and end of the toolpath.

The Start Point and End Point tabs contains the same fields (except that Approach is replaced by Retract on the End Point tab). Lock (on page 379) - a toggle that determines whether or not the start point is updated when changes are made to values that were used to create the point.
Method

Provides a list of methods that you can use to define the start point. Use (on page 380) - defines the location of the start point. Override Tool Axis - allows you to define a different Tool Axis orientation from the one for the first or last segment. Selecting this option makes the Tool Axis area available. Approach/Retract Along - equivalent to the links functionality but specific to the First Approach and Final Retract moves. Tool Axis - the First Approach and Final Retract moves have the same orientation as the tool axis. Contact Point - the First Approach and Final Retract moves are normal to the contact point. This option is not available if the toolpath is not generated with contact normals.

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Tangent - the First Approach and Final Retract moves are tangential. For more information see Leads and Links - Links (see "Links" on page 399). Approach/Retract Distance - the length of the approach move at the start/end of the toolpath.
Coordinates

The coordinates when you select a Use of Absolute.
Tool Axis

Defines the Tool Axis of the start and end point of a multi-axis toolpath. All 3-axis toolpaths will always have the Tool Axis set to vertical. Apply Start Point - automatically loads the values on the Start Point tab to the start point of the active toolpath. Apply End Point - automatically loads the values on the End Point tab to the end point of the active toolpath. Apply - accepts the values on the current tab and continues displaying it. Accept - accepts the values on the dialog and closes the dialog. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the start and end points.

Lock
Lock is a toggle that determines whether or not the start point is updated when changes are made to values that were used to create the point. The two toggle settings are as follows (to alternate the settings, simply click the button): - the start point will be recalculated whenever any of the values upon which it has been set to depend are changed. For example, for a blockdependent start point, a change in Safe Z will also trigger a recalculation of the start point. - the start point will remain locked until you explicitly recalculate it on the Start Point tab. The Method area is greyed out when the point is locked.

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Use
Use defines the location of the start point.

Block Centre Safe - the start point is at Safe Z above the block centre:

First Point Safe - the start point is at Safe Z above the first point in the toolpath. For multi-axis toolpaths, the start point is set by considering a point that is the specified distance from the first point on the toolpath, measured along the tool axis, and projecting this onto the Safe Z plane, or cylinder in the case of rotary toolpaths.

First Point - the start point is positioned at the specified distance from the first point in the toolpath, measured along its tool axis.

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Absolute - the start point is positioned independently of all other properties at the point defined by the coordinates field.

Approach/Retract Along
Approach/Retract Along is equivalent to the Links (on page 399) functionality but specific to the First Approach and Final Retract moves. Tool Axis - the First Approach and Final Retract moves have the same orientation as the tool axis. Contact Point - the First Approach and Final Retract moves are normal to the contact point. This option is not available if the toolpath is not generated with contact normals. Tangent - the First Approach and Final Retract moves are tangential. For more information see Links (on page 399).

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Leads and Links
displays the Leads and Links dialog, which defines the leads and links of a finishing toolpath.

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Leads and Links - Z Heights
These determine the incremental start and safe Z heights.

Skim Distance - the clearance distance (above the model) used by all skim links, or height above un-machined stock when roughing. Plunge Distance - specifies the distance above the start of a toolpath segment at which to stop a rapid plunge, and to perform a controlled approach to the toolpath. Gouge Check - switches the gouge checking on or off. Incremental Distances (on page 384) - for area clearance toolpaths, this option allows you to select from where the plunge moves and ramp leads are measured.

Apply Links - applies just the link values to the currently active toolpath. Apply - applies the lead and links values to the currently active toolpath. Accept - accepts the values on this dialog and close the dialog. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the leads and links.

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Incremental Distances For area clearance toolpaths Incremental Distances allows you to select from where the plunge moves and ramp leads are measured.

Toolpath Point - the incremental distances used to describe plungemoves and ramp leads are measured relative to the start of the toolpath segment (current Z Height). So a Plunge Distance of 2 will give this result:

Previous Z Height - the incremental distances used to describe plungemoves and ramps leads are measured relative to the Z Height that lies above the start of the toolpath segment (previous Z Height). This is only available for area clearance toolpaths. So a Plunge Distance of 2 will give this result:

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Leads and Links - First Lead In
This dialog allows you to specify leads for the First Lead In that are different from those used for the remaining Leads In and Out of the toolpath.

Selecting the Use a Separate First Lead In option activates the fields on the right of the dialog, which offer the same functionality as the Lead In tab (except that the Lead In Ramp Options (on page 407) offer you only a single choice). For more information, see Leads and Links - Leads In - Leads Out (see "Leads and Links - Lead In - Lead Out" on page 385) and Choice of Leads In and Out (on page 388).

Leads and Links - Lead In - Lead Out
The Lead In and Lead Out tabs are very similar: Lead In controls the tool's movement prior to beginning a raster path. Lead Out controls the tool's movement at the end of a raster path.

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You can select a 2nd Choice for the Lead In in the event that the gouge checking indicates that your 1st Choice will gouge.

Choice - defines the type of Lead In for more information see Choice of Leads In and Out (on page 388). Distance - determines the length to extend the Lead In move before the toolpath starts. If the Lead In is an arc move, then the distance is the length of the linear tangential move between the arc and the cutting portion of the toolpath. Angle - determines the angle span of the Lead In move. This option is only available if you select Vertical Arc or Horizontal Arc as a Lead In move. Radius - determines the radius of the Lead In move. This option is only available if you select Vertical Arc, Horizontal Arc, Horizontal Arc Left or Horizontal Arc Right as a Lead In move. Gouge Check - Switches the gouge checking on or off.

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Overlap Distance - the distance by which a Lead In or Lead Out can overlap a closed toolpath segment.

Allow Start Points to be Moved - when selected, this option moves the start points on closed toolpath segments to try and find a non-gouging position. When deselected, PowerMILL will not move the start points this means that if you carefully position a start point, you can prevent PowerMILL from moving it. Add Leads to Short Links - this option controls whether or not leads are added to short links. By default, leads are applied to all link moves. However, for reasons of efficiency and/or quality, there can be occasions where you want leads on long link moves and on the moves at the start and end of the toolpath, but don't want leads on short link moves. Add Leads at Tool discontinuities - enables you to insert leads and links between continuous segments where there is an angular change in tool axis between neighbouring segments. This ensures that any reorientation of the tool axis at a specific point takes place away from the part. Angular Threshold - the minimum angle required before leads and links are inserted. The angle is the change in the tool axis between neighbouring segments. Ramp Options - refer to Lead In Ramp Options (on page 407). The following two buttons are available on the Lead In tab: Copy to Lead Out - copies the Lead In values to the Lead Out tab.

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Copy From Lead Out - copies the Lead Out values to the Lead In tab. The following two options are available on the Lead Out tab: Copy to Lead In - copies the Lead Out values to the Lead In tab. Copy From Lead In - copies the Lead In values to the Lead Out tab. Apply Links - applies the link values to the currently active toolpath. Apply - applies the lead and links values to the currently active toolpath. Accept - accepts the values on this dialog and closes it. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the leads and links. Choice of Leads In and Out The choice of Leads In and Leads Out are:

None - the moves are set to None by default, which has no effect on the active toolpath. Surface Normal Arc (on page 390) - a tangential arc lead lying in the plane defined by the toolpath's tangent direction and the surface normal. If selected, the Distance, Angle and Radius and buttons in the dialog will become available. The toolpath must have contact normals for this option to be available; otherwise PowerMILL reverts to Vertical Arcs. Vertical Arc (on page 391) - inserts a tangential arc at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Radius and Angle fields become available. Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option. Horizontal Arc (see "Leads and Links - Horizontal Arc" on page 392) inserts a circular arc move at a constant Z level at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Radius and Angle fields become available.

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Horizontal Arc leads can be added to open as well as closed segments. Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option. Extended Move (on page 393) - inserts a straight tangential move at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Distance field becomes available. Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option. Boxed (see "Leads and Links - Boxed" on page 394) - inserts a straight move at a constant Z level at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Distance field becomes available. Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option. Straight - inserts a straight move at a constant Z level at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Distance and Angle fields becomes available. Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option. Distance - determines the length of the Lead In move before the toolpath starts. Angle - determines the angle of the Lead In move relative to the toolpath segment. For a raster toolpath, a value of 0 will give the same result as selecting the Approach Outside option on the Area Clearance (see "Lead in Moves" on page 509) dialog. Ramp - allows the tool to ramp into the model at a specified angle. This can allow a non-plunging tool to be used but is dependent on the tool and the material. When you select this option, the Ramp Options button becomes available.

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Pocket Centre - produces a tangential lead move that, in the case of Lead Ins, starts at the centre of the pocket (Lead Outs finish there). The centre is assumed to be the centre of the box that encloses the closed segment. This option is particularly useful when profiling pocket features which have been pre-drilled at the centre, although it can be used with any closed segment.

Surface Normal Arc Surface Normal Arc is a tangential arc lead lying in the plane defined by the toolpath's tangent direction and the surface normal. If selected, the Distance, Angle and Radius and buttons in the dialog will become available. The toolpath must have contact normals for this option to be available; otherwise PowerMILL reverts to Vertical Arcs.

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The Surface Normal Arc option offers a way of automatically obtaining the orientation that is appropriate for each segment. Because it uses the surface normal, the orientation of the Surface Normal Arc varies with the steepness of the surface. So, on shallow regions, it approximates to a vertical arc, but on steep areas it approximates to a horizontal arc:

Vertical Arc Vertical Arc inserts a tangential arc at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Radius and Angle fields become available.

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Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option.

Looking in detail, you can see how the Radius and Angle parameters control the Tangential Arc produced:

Key: r - radius x° - tangent angle Leads and Links - Horizontal Arc Horizontal Arc - inserts a circular arc move at a constant Z level at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Radius and Angle fields become available. Horizontal Arc leads can be added to open as well as closed segments.

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Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option.

Extended Move Extended Move inserts a straight tangential move at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Distance field becomes available.

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Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option.

This view along the Y axis shows how the Distance parameter determines the Extended move produced:

Leads and Links - Boxed Boxed inserts a straight move at a constant Z level at the end of (or prior to) each raster path. If selected, the Distance field becomes available.

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Since this extends the path, gouging may occur. So don't forget to select the Gouge Check option.

Again, the Distance parameter will determine the Boxed move produced at a constant Z height:

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Leads and Links - Last Lead Out
This dialog allows you to specify leads for the Last Lead Out that are different from those used for the remaining Leads In and Out of the toolpath.

Selecting the Use a Separate Last Lead out option activates he fields on the right of the dialog, which offer the same functionality as the Lead Out tab. For more information, see Leads and Links - Leads In - Leads Out (see "Leads and Links - Lead In - Lead Out" on page 385) and Choice of Leads In and Out (on page 388).

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Leads and Links - Extensions
Extensions - essentially adds another lead to the existing ones. This is particularly useful when applying cutter compensation to 2.5D machining examples.

Inward - adds an additional Lead In before the existing one. The choice of Inward Extension is exactly the same as for the Choice of Leads In and Out (on page 388). Outward - adds an additional Lead Out after the existing one. The choice of Outward Extension is exactly the same as for the Choice of Leads In and Out (on page 388). Distance - determines the length of the extension move. This option is only available if you select an Extension of Straight, Extended or Boxed. Angle - determines the angle span of the Extension move. This option is only available if you select an Extension move of Vertical Arc, Horizontal Arc, Horizontal Arc Left or Horizontal Arc Right. Radius - determines the radius of the Extension move. This option is only available if you select an Extension move of Vertical Arc, Horizontal Arc, Horizontal Arc Left or Horizontal Arc Right. For more information see Using Extensions (on page 398).

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Using Extensions If you have a 2.5D machining example with Horizontal Arc Lead In moves then it is difficult to apply cutter compensation, as this can only operate on linear moves (and not circular ones). So, these Extensions let you add a Straight lead, prior to the Lead In, over which distance the cutter compensation can take effect. So, on the chamber.tri example, if you have a Constant Z toolpath and create Lead In and Lead Out moves of Horizontal Arc, and then select the Extensions tab, you could input the following: an Inward Extension of Straight a Distance of 10 an Angle of 90; and the same on the Outward side:

When you click Apply or Accept, you would see the following:

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In detail:

Links
Defines how to make the link moves between the cutting moves in a toolpath.

Short/Long Threshold - defines when a short link becomes a long one. Short - the type of link moves to connect adjacent passes. Long - the type of link moves to determine how the tool leads out of and into adjacent paths. Default - the type of link moves to be used if long or short types gouge.

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All the link options (see "Choice of Links" on page 400) are available for Short links. Only the Safe, Incremental and Skim link options are available for Long and Default links.

Retract and Approach Moves (on page 403) - determine the length and orientation of the link moves. Arc Fit Rapid Moves (on page 406) - places arcs on the corners of link moves as it rapids across the part. This avoids sudden changes in direction and is useful when high speed machining. Gouge Check - selecting this ensures that all links are gouge checked. Apply Links - applies the link values to the currently active toolpath. Apply - applies the lead and links values to the currently active toolpath. Accept - accepts the values on this dialog and closes the dialog. Cancel - closes the dialog without updating the leads and links. Choice of Links The choice of Links is as follows:

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Safe - the tool moves to Safe Z before making the link move.

Incremental - the tool descends at rapid feed from Safe Z to the specified incremental distance above the contact point, and then plunges the remaining distance. If you have a multi-axis toolpath, the tool retracts a set distance along the tool axis and then retracts to Safe Z along the Z axis. It comes down from Safe Z along the Z axis and completes the approach along the tool axis. The distance moved along the tool axis is controlled by the Plunge Distance on the Z Heights tab (see "Leads and Links - Z Heights" on page 383) of the Toolpath Lead and Links dialog.

Skim - the links traverse clear of the part by the specified incremental distance, descend at rapid feed to the specified incremental distance above the contact point, and then plunge the remaining distance. If you have a multi-axis toolpath, the tool retracts by Safe Z along the tool axis. It approaches from Safe Z away along the tool axis, plunging from a distance of Start Z away.

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On Surface - the links follow the surface of the triangulated model, and so prevent gouging.

Stepdown - the links traverse clear of the part by an amount, so that with the specified stepdown the vertical descent will reach the next contact point. Straight - straight-line moves are used. These straight moves between raster paths could cause gouging over curved areas of the model. Circular Arc - the tool moves are circular.

Adjacent Lead In/Lead Out must be aligned to ensure tangential continuity:

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Retract and Approach Moves

There are four types of Retract and Approach Moves

Along Tool Axis

The links have the same orientation as the tool axis.

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Along Contact Normal

The links are normal to the contact point (or normal to the Leads In/Out). This can be particularly useful for tipped disc cutters where moving along the tool axis may not be possible (for example, when undercutting). This option is not available if the toolpath is not generated with contact normals. Along Tangent

Along Radial Enables retract and approach moves perpendicular to both the tool axis and the tangent direction of the toolpath.

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To use this option contact normals must be stored with the toolpath.

Automatically Extend - lengthens the retract and approach moves made within links so that they retract to/approach from the safe area/skim surface over which the intervening moves are made. This lengthens the initial move at the start, and the final move at the end. Maximum Length - the maximum length of the extension. Retract Distance - defines the length of the Retract move. Approach Distance - defines the length of the Approach move. This toolpath has Retract and Approach Moves set to 0:

This toolpath has Automatically Extended selected:

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This toolpath has Automatically Extended deselected and a Retract and Approach Distance of 10:

- retract along tool axis. - retract normal to the safe plane. Arc Fit Rapid Moves Arc Fit Rapid Moves places arcs on the corners of link moves as it rapids across the part. This avoids sudden changes in direction and is useful when high speed machining. When the option is deselected, you get sharp corners between the link and the rapid moves:

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When the option is selected, then arcs (the radius being controlled by the Arc Radius (TDU) field) are placed between the link and the rapid moves:

Lead In Ramp Options
This dialog becomes available when you select the Ramp Options button on any of the Lead tabs in the Leads and Links dialog:

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The 1st Choice and 2nd Choice tabs offer the same functionality, allowing you to create an alternative Ramp move (Toolpath, Line or Circle). For example, if you select a Lead In of Ramp which cannot be created because of likely gouging, PowerMILL will try to create the alternative move specified under 2nd Choice above before resorting to your 2nd Choice Lead In option. To set up these alternative moves, click the Ramp Options button and select the required type of Ramp move from the Follow drop-down list. This dialog is similar to the Ramp Options dialog available from the Options button on the Area Clearance dialog. Max Zig Angle - the angle of descent formed as the tool ramps into the block. Follow (on page 409) - controls the direction of the ramp: Circle Diameter (TDU) - controls the circle diameter. This value is represented in Tool Diameter Units. Tool Diameter Units - the distance relative to the tool diameter. So, with a 10mm tool and a TDU of 2, this gives an actual value of 20mm. Ramp Height - determines the height from which the ramp descends. This is measured with respect to the Tool Axis Direction. For multiaxis machining, this means that retraction is along the tool axis rather than up the Z axis. For 3-axis machining, the Tool Axis Direction is the same as the Z axis. The ramp will always begin from a height which is equal to or greater than the height specified in the Height field plus the height of the toolpath segment. Ramp Length (see "Lead In Ramp Options - Ramp Length" on page 409) - normally the Ramp Length should be greater than the tool diameter to allow swarf to clear from beneath the tool. Zag Angle Independent - when selected, the Zag Angle can be different from the Zig Angle. When deselected, the Zag Angle is the same as the Zig Angle. Max Angle - this is specified in the same way as the Zig Angle. Extend - extends the ramp moves at the start or end of a toolpath. For ramp leads that are following the toolpath, this option enables a Ramp Lead In (or Lead Out) to be extended to the end (start) of its associated toolpath segment.

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Follow Follow controls the direction of the ramp: Toolpath - the ramp moves follow the profile of the toolpath. If Closed Segments Only is selected, then only closed paths are used. Line - the ramp moves are normal to the cutting direction at that point. If the requested line cannot be fitted into the area, then the Toolpath method is used automatically:

Circle - the ramp moves are around a circle. If the requested circle cannot be fitted into the area, then the Line method is used automatically. Lead In Ramp Options - Ramp Height Ramp Height determines the height from which the ramp descends. This is measured with respect to the Tool Axis Direction. For multiaxis machining, this means that retraction is along the tool axis rather than up the Z axis. For 3-axis machining, the Tool Axis Direction is the same as the Z axis. Incremental - specifies the height above the toolpath segment for the start of the ramp. Segment - the start of the ramp is at the same height as the end of the previous toolpath segment, provided that this is higher than the toolpath segment by the amount specified in the Height field. Segment Incremental - the start of the ramp is at the same height as the end of the previous toolpath segment plus the height specified in the Height field. The ramp will always begin from a height which is equal to or greater than the height specified in the Height field plus the height of the toolpath segment. Lead In Ramp Options - Ramp Length Normally the Ramp Length should be greater than the tool diameter to allow swarf to clear from beneath the tool.

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Finite - when selected, a maximum cutting Length can be entered. When deselected, the tool will ramp down in a single pass. Length (TDU) - the value entered here determines how many Zig and Zag moves are required in the ramp. This value is represented in Tool Diameter Units (see above). These are illustrated in the diagram below:

Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing
You can lock selected lead and link moves. Once locked, they will be unaffected by subsequent editing from the Leads and Links dialog unless it is specifically selected. Selective Editing of leads and links is the selective replacement of one lead or link with another. The connections selected for editing remain selected after editing so that you can easily see the new lead or link and make further edits if necessary. If the segments are not selected, the settings are applied over the entire toolpath. These two options are best shown by example in Locking Lead and Link Moves and Selective Editing (on page 101).

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Tool Axis Direction
The Tools Axis Direction tool. dialog controls the orientation of the

Definition
This area of the dialog controls how you want the tool to orient itself whilst cutting a multi-axis toolpath. The default value is Vertical which is used for standard 3-axis machining. The different areas of the dialog become available as different options are selected from the Tool Axis (on page 412) drop-down list.

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Tool Axis Defines how to define the tool orientation. The default value is Vertical, which is used for standard 3-axis machining. However, it can also be a fixed angle or a continuously changing orientation.

Vertical - The tool remains aligned with the Z axis of the active workplane. This is the default value and is the value used for standard 3axis machining. Lead/Lean - The tool is at a fixed angle relative to the Z axis of the active workplane. The tool is still dropped down the Z axis onto the model. Lead - the tool angle, with respect to Z, is in the feed rate direction. Lean - the tool angle, with respect to Z, is perpendicular to the feed rate direction. For more information see Lead/Lean Angles or Fixed Angle (see "Lead/Lean Angles" on page 415). Towards Point - The tool tip always tries to point towards the fixed point. The angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information, see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418). From Point - The tool tip always tries to point away from the fixed point. The angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information, see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418).

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Towards Line - The tool tip always tries to point towards the fixed line. The angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information, see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418). From Line - The tool tip always tries to point away from the fixed line. The angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418). Towards Curve - the tool tip always tries to point towards the fixed curve. The curve must be a pattern with a single segment (selectable in the Pattern field below the current field), as the angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information, see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418). From Curve - the tool tip always tries to point away from the fixed curve. The curve must be a pattern with a single segment (selectable in the Pattern field below the current field), as the angle of the tool is constantly changing. For more information, see Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418).

Fixed Direction - The tool axis stays along the vector defined by the IJK vector. For more information, see Fixed Direction (on page 422). Automatic - PowerMILL uses the geometry to determine the tool axis. This is particularly useful for Swarf and Wireframe Swarf machining where automatic means following the surface rulings. Point - defines the fixed point. This is only available if you select a Tool Axis of Toward Point, From Point, Towards Line or From Line. Direction - defines the direction of the line from the fixed point. This is only available if you select a Tool Axis of Towards Line or From Line.

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Tool Axis Limits - selecting this option enables the Limits tab (see "Tool Axis - Limits" on page 422), which enable you to define limits on the direction of the tool axis while cutting a multi-axis toolpath. Draw Tool Axis (on page 414) - selecting this option displays the point or line that has been used to define the tool axis in red. Automatic Collision Avoidance (see "Tool Axis - Collision Avoidance" on page 430) - selecting this option enables the Collision Avoidance tab, which allows you to access 5-axis options that will automatically tilt the tool axis, in a user defined way, to avoid collisions between the shank / holder of the tool assembly and the model. This only works when machining with the tip of the tool.

Draw Tool Axis Draw Tool Axis - displays the point or line that has been used to define the tool axis in red. If you select a Tool Axis of Toward Point or From Point, you will see the following:

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If you select a Tool Axis of Toward Line or From Line, you will see the following:

If you select a Tool Axis of Toward Point or From Point, you will see the following:

Lead/Lean Angles The tool is at a fixed angle relative to the local normal to the pattern frame (the one you can see using the Preview button on the finishing form). The local normal is going to vary as you go along the pattern, at each point of the pattern and relative to the direction of the pattern at each point.

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You can specify two different angles - Lead and Lean. If you specify both a Lead and a Lean angle, the Lead Angle is applied first in the direction of the move, and then the Lean Angle is applied from this rotated position towards a vector perpendicular to the move. Lead Angle (on page 417) - defines a rotation of the tool axis in the direction of travel. It is measured from the perpendicular to the direction of travel. 0° is vertical. Typically, this is used to avoid cutting at the centre of a ball nosed tool on flattish areas. A typical Lead Angle is 15º. Lean Angle (on page 418) - defines a rotation of the tool axis at right angles to the direction of travel. 0° is vertical. Typically, a Lean Angle is used to avoid the tool holder colliding with the part, to avoid collisions caused by a step, or to allow you to use a smaller tool when machining up to a step.

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Lead Angle Lead Angle defines a rotation of the tool axis in the direction of travel. It is measured from the perpendicular to the direction of travel. 0° is vertical. Typically, this is used to avoid cutting at the centre of a ball nosed tool on flattish areas. A typical Lead Angle is 15º, although the diagram below shows a Lead Angle of 30º for reasons of clarity:

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Lean Angle Lean Angle defines a rotation of the tool axis at right angles to the direction of travel. 0° is vertical. Typically, a Lean Angle is used to avoid the tool holder colliding with the part, to avoid collisions caused by a step, or to allow you to use a smaller tool when machining up to a step. The diagram below has a Lean Angle of 30º:

Continuously Changing Orientation The top of the tool always tries to point towards/from a fixed point/line/curve. The angle of the tool is constantly changing.

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Towards Point - The head of the machine tool moves significantly whilst the tip of the tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool towards a point.

From Point - The tip of the tool moves significantly while the head of the machine tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool away from a point.

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Towards Line - The head of the machine tool moves significantly while the tip of the tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool towards a line.

From Line - The tip of the tool moves significantly while the head of the machine tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool away from a line.

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Towards Curve - The head of the machine tool moves significantly while the tip of the tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool towards a curve.

From Curve - The tip of the tool moves significantly while the head of the machine tool remains relatively still. This option orientates the tip of the tool away from a curve.

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Fixed Direction The tool axis is oriented in a fixed direction relative to the currently active workplane defined by a specified IJK vector. Although it can be difficult to work out the required IJK vector, this option can enable you to machine undercut areas very effectively.

PowerMILL first searches in the direction specified, and then, if that fails, searches in the opposite direction.

Tool Axis - Limits
This area of the dialog controls angular limitations of the machine toolpath which therefore limits the angle at which a tool can be positioned while cutting a multi-axis toolpath.

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You can only define these limits if you have the Tool Axis on the Definition tab set to anything other than Vertical or Fixed Direction, and if Tool Axis Limits is selected on the same tab. Mode - defines what happens to the toolpath when one of the angular limits is met. The effects of both of these options can be seen in Example of a Limited Toolpath (on page 424). Remove Toolpath - removes the toolpath outside the angular limit. Move Tool Axis - keeps the tool axis at the machine limit on reaching an angular limit. Workplane - defines the workplane in which the angular limits are measured. By default, the active workplane is used. If no workplane is specified, then the global coordinate system is used. The effects of both of these options can be seen in Example of a Clamping Workplane (on page 427). Angle Limits Azimuth Angle - defines the angular limits of the machine tool in the XY plane. 0° is along the X axis; 90° is along the Y axis. Elevation Angle - defines the angular limits of the machine tool above the XY plane. 0° is in the XY Plane; 90° is along the Z axis. Damping Angle - the angle away from the limits at which damping (slowing down) will start to occur. If the axis is further away from the limits than this angle, then it will remain unaltered. If it is closer, then it will gradually be pushed away from the limits. In this way, if the axis is moving fast towards the limits, then it will slow down gradually, starting when it gets to within this angle from the limits. The advantages of using the damping angle is that a sudden change in the axis velocity can cause marks to appear on the part. Using a damping angle stops these marks. Project to Plane - this is the same as setting the elevation angle to zero. Since the elevation angle is fixed, this constitutes 4-axis machining.

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Draw Limits - selecting this option displays a graphic of the machineable portion, for example:

The portion of the sphere (or cone with a spherical top) is centred at the origin of the active workplane. If no active workplane exists, then it is placed at the origin of the global coordinate system. The origin is depicted by a small sphere. This graphic is displayed at an arbitrary size, and if you zoom in or out and then refresh the display, the size of this graphic alters. This is to ensure that it is visible whatever the zoom factor. Translucency Percentage - If Draw Limits is selected, you can enter in this field the percentage translucency of the tool axis limits drawn on screen. Example of a Limited Toolpath The effects of the Tool Axis Direction Angle Limits are best seen by example. The following example uses Knob.dgk from the Examples directory. 1. Initially create a Surface Projection toolpath with a Pattern Direction of V. The toolpath below was created with a 10mm Ball Nosed Tool and a Stepover of 5. The Primary Tool Axis is set to Lead/Lean with Lead and Lean Angles of 0°.

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2. If you attach the tool to the toolpath (by selecting Attach Active Tool to Start from the individual toolpath's context menu in Explorer), and then move the tool along the toolpath(using → + CTRL + Shift), you can see the angle of the tool as it creates the toolpath. To see the shaded tool, select Shaded from the individual tool's context menu in Explorer. 3. To limit the range of the machine tool, select a Mode of Remove Toolpath, an Elevation Angle Start of 0°, and an End of 90°:

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4. If you recalculate the Surface Projection toolpath (leaving the other parameters unchanged) you will see that only a portion of the toolpath is created (until the tool tries to exceed the Elevation Angle limits):

5. Now change the Mode to Move Tool Axis, but keep the Elevation Angle Start of 0° and End of 90°. Recalculate the Surface Projection toolpath. You will see that more of the toolpath is created, but that the tool angle never exceeds the limits:

6. Now change the Mode back to Remove Toolpath, keep the Elevation Angle Start of 0° and End of 90°, and change the Azimuth Angle to a Start of 180° and an End of 270°.

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7. Recalculate the Surface Projection toolpath. You will see the following:

Example of a Clamping Workplane A clamping workplane gives you the ability to specify limits relative to a particular workplane. If you are generating a toolpath in one workplane (A), and the machine limits are available in another (B), then it is easier to specify the limits by making B the clamping workplane. As an alternative, you could convert the limits from workplane B to workplane A, but this is very time consuming. This example look at a toolpath limited by the Tool Axis Limits and uses a Clamping Workplane. It uses Knob.dgk from the Examples directory, rotated through 270° in Y. In this case, the toolpath is generated in the but the machine limits are available in the workplane, workplane.

1. Initially create a Surface Projection toolpath with a Pattern Direction of V. The toolpath below was created with a 10mm Ball Nosed Tool and a Stepover of 5. The Primary Tool Axis is set to Lead/Lean with Lead and Lean Angles of 0°:

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2. Now to limit the range of the machine tool. From the Tool Axis Direction dialog, select the Limits tab. Now select a Mode of Remove Toolpath and an Elevation Angle Start of 0° and End of 90°:

3. If you recalculate the Surface Projection toolpath (leaving the other parameters unchanged) you will see that only a portion of the toolpath is created (until the tool tries to exceed the Elevation Angle limits):

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4. However, this is not what you require, as the machine limits are not defined in the correct workplane. Therefore you need to create a workplane rotated around Y by 270°. From the Workplanes context menu in Explorer, select Create Workplane. 5. From the individual workplane's context menu, select the Edit Workplane...Rotate Y option, entering an Angle of 270° before clicking Accept:

dialog select the Limits tab. 6. From the Tool Axis Direction Now select a Workplane of 1 (or whatever you called the workplane you have just created).

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7. If you recalculate the Surface Projection toolpath (leaving the other parameters unchanged, and ensuring that the new workplane is not active) you will see that a different portion of the toolpath is created:

Tool Axis - Collision Avoidance
This area of the dialog automatically tilts the tool axis, in a user defined way, to avoid collisions between the shank/holder of the tool assembly and the model.

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This tab is only available if you select the Automatic Collision Avoidance check box on the Definition (on page 411) tab.

Tilt Tool Axis (on page 431) - specifies how the tool will move to avoid any collisions. Tool Clearances (on page 432) - specifies the clearance around the tool shaft, shank and holder. Point - defines the fixed point. Direction - defines the direction of the line from the fixed point. Draw Tilt Direction (on page 433) - displays the direction you have specified. Tilt Tool Axis Tilt Tool Axis specifies how the tool will move to avoid any collisions. Lean - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt from the original axis (specified on the Definition (on page 411) tab) in the Lean direction until the collision is avoided. For more information, see Lead/Lean Angles or Fixed Angle (see "Lead/Lean Angles" on page 415). Lead - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt from the original axis in the Lead direction until the collision is avoided. Towards Point - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point towards the Point, until the collision is avoided, to become a Toward Point Tool Axis.

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From Point - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point away from the Point, until the collision is avoided, to become a From Point Tool Axis. Towards Line - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point towards the Line, until the collision is avoided, to become a Toward Line Tool Axis. From Line - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point away from the Line, until the collision is avoided, to become a From Line Tool Axis. Towards Curve - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point towards the curve, until the collision is avoided, to become a Toward Curve Tool Axis. The curve must be a pattern with a single segment (selectable in the Pattern field below the current field). From Curve - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point away from the curve, until the collision is avoided, to become a From Line Curve Axis. The curve must be a pattern with a single segment (selectable in the Pattern field below the current field). Surface Normal - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point towards the Surface Normal direction until the collision is avoided. Fixed Direction - if a collision is detected, the tool will tilt such that the tool tip tries to point towards the Fixed Direction until the collision is avoided. For more information, see Fixed Direction (on page 422). For more information, see Tool Axis (on page 412) , or Continuously Changing Orientation (on page 418). Tool Clearances The tool clearances specify the clearance around the tool shaft, shank and holder.

Shank Clearance - represents a specified “safe” area around the tool shank which is taken into account when checking for collisions. Holder Clearance - represents a specified "safe" area around the tool holder which is taken into account when checking for collisions.

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PowerMILL automatically adds a small tapered clearance around the shaft of the cutter.

Holder Clearance Shank Clearance Tool Shaft Clearance Draw Tilt Direction Draw Tilt Direction displays the direction you have specified. If you specify Towards Point or From Point, then you can see the specified point:

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If you specify Towards Line or From Line, then you can see the specified line:

If you specify a Fixed Direction, then you can see the specified line with an arrow on it to indicate the direction:

If you specify a Lead, Lean or Surface Normal, the option has no effect.

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Raster Collision Avoidance Example
This simple example uses a raster toolpath over a step to show the effect of Collision Avoidance.

If you create a simple raster toolpath over this, you will get collisions of the shank as it climbs or descends the step:

One way round this is to increase the length of the tool. Another way is to change the toolpath strategy.

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The third way is to use Collision Avoidance. In this case, the initial Tool Axis is Vertical.

1. Select the Automatic Collision Avoidance check box and then switch to the Collision Avoidance tab:

2. Enter a Tool Tilt Axis of Lead, a Shank Clearance of 1.0 and a Holder Clearance of 1.0.

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3. Create a new raster toolpath. You can see that the toolpath now tilts on the steep portions to avoid the tool holder colliding:

4. However, the toolpath is still 3-axis on the flat portions where the tool holder doesn't collide:

In summary, the tool tries to respect the original Tool Axis Definition for as much of the toolpath as possible. Only when this isn't possible does the tool axis change, in the direction specified in the Tool Tilt Axis field, until the tool assembly no longer collides.

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Constant Z Collision Avoidance Example
This is a slightly more complex example. It uses a Constant Z toolpath on the bucket.dgk model. The toolpath has been limited to just the inside of the bucket:

The Tool Axis Direction Vertical:

has a Definition with a Tool Axis of

Make sure that Automatic Collision Avoidance is selected. On the Collision Avoidance tab, set the following: Tilt Tool Axis - Lean Shank Clearance - 1.0

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Holder Clearance - 3.0

If you look at the Constant Z toolpath, the tool starts off vertical:

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Then a lean angle is applied so that the tool holder just clears the model:

As the toolpath proceeds down the model, the lean angle changes so that the tool holder just clears the model:

And so on down the model:

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Defining Limits for a Multi-Axis Machine
The secondary tool axis allows you to limit the angle at which a tool can be positioned while cutting a multi-axis toolpath. However, it is not always immediately obvious how to translate the machine tool angular limits with PowerMILL's Azimuth and Elevation angles. This looks at a couple of machine configurations with different angular limits. The configuration of the rotary axes varies widely. However, the differences between many of these are relatively minor, and there are really only three fundamentally different machine configurations: Table - Table (on page 442) Head - Head (on page 445) Head - Table (on page 447) The example below show you how to transpose the angular limits on the machine tool to the Azimuth and Elevation limits on the Limits tab on the Tool Axis Direction dialog. These examples all use a sphere with a Surface Projection toolpath. If no secondary tool axis limits are imposed, you will see the following toolpath:

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Table - Table Both rotary axes move the table.

With table - table machine tools, typical angular limits are: X ± 30 Y ± 360 The machine tool Y limits are equivalent to the Azimuth Angle or the angular limits in the XY plane. The Y limit of ± 360 translates to Azimuth Angle limits of 0 to 360. The machine tool X limits are equivalent to the angle above the XY plane. However, they are not the same angle. This is best described using the diagram below. The machine tool measures the angular range relative to the Z axis and PowerMILL measures it relative to the XY plane. So, the angle required for the limit is the complementary angle to the one given for the machine tool.

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This means that the X limit of ± 30 translates to Elevation Angle limits of 60 to 90:

If you select a Mode of Remove Toolpath this will machine a sphere to the following extent:

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With Draw Limits selected, you can see a graphic of the machineable portion:

The portion of the sphere is centred at the origin of the active workplane. If no active workplane exists, then it is placed at the origin of the global coordinate system. The origin is depicted by a small sphere. This graphic is displayed at an arbitrary size and if you zoom in or out and then refresh the display, the size of this graphic alters. This is to ensure that it is visible whatever the zoom factor. For more information see Alternative Table - Table (on page 444) machine Alternative Table - Table Alternative typical table - table machine tools angular limits are: X ± 100 Y ± 360 This translates to Azimuth Angle limits of 0 to 360 and to Elevation Angle limits of -10 to 90.

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If you select a Mode of Remove Toolpath, this will machine a sphere to the following extent:

With Draw Limits selected, you can see a graphic of the machineable portion:

Head - Head Both rotary axes move the head.

With head - head machine tools, typical angular limits are:

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X ± 60 Z ± 360 The machine tool Z limits are equivalent to the Azimuth Angle or the angular limits in the XY plane. The Z limit of ± 360 translates to Azimuth Angle limits of 0 to 360. The machine tool X limits are equivalent to the angle above the XY plane. The machine tool measures the angular range relative to the Z axis and PowerMILL measures it relative to the XY plane. So, the angle required for the limit is the complementary angle to the one given for the machine tool. This is described in more detail in Table - Table (on page 442). The X limit of ± 60 translates to Elevation Angle limits of 30 to 90.

If you select a Mode of Remove Toolpath this will machine a sphere to the following extent:

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With Draw Limits selected, you can see a graphic of the machineable portion:

Alternative typical Head - Head machine tool angular limits are: X -50 to +60 Z ± 360 This translates to Azimuth Angle limits of 0 to 360 and to Elevation Angle limits of 30 to 90. In this case, although the machine tool limits appear to be different to those in the first Head - Head example, the PowerMILL angular limits are in fact the same. This happens because rotating the head 180 about Z then gives you the complete range. Head - Table One rotary axis moves the head; the other moves the table

The machine tool X limits are equivalent to the angle above the XY plane. However, it is the complementary angle to the Elevation angle. The machine tool Z limits are equivalent to the Azimuth Angle. This is described in more detail in Table - Table (on page 442).

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Point Distribution
The Point Distribution dialog controls the point distribution of every toolpath in PowerMILL.

Output Point Distribution (on page 448) - controls the point distribution of a toolpath. Point Separation (on page 450) - allows you to enter the maximum distance between toolpath points. Mesh (see "Point Distribution - Mesh" on page 451) - defines the size of the mesh relative to the machining tolerance. The smaller the Mesh Factor, the finer the mesh, and consequently the toolpath takes longer to calculate, but it is more accurate.

Output Point Distribution

Output Type - controls the point distribution of a toolpath.

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Tolerance and Keep Arcs - automatically removes unnecessary points in the toolpath while maintaining tolerance:

You can see the points are not equispaced, as unnecessary points have been deleted. Also, some of the points are blue: these indicate the arc centres. The red points either side of the blue ones are the arc ends. Tolerance and Replace Arcs - this is similar to Tolerance and Keep Arcs except that all arcs are replaced by straight line segments (polylines). This option is suitable for machine tools which don't handle arcs well. Redistribute - allows the insertion of new points. This ensures a constant distance between points, only inserting extra points if they are necessary to keep tolerance. This can be especially useful when using the Maximum Point Separation option. Redistribute may increase toolpath creation time but reduce time on the machine tool. This option is suitable for machine tools that can handle large numbers of equispaced points.

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Fit Arcs - produces toolpaths with arcs inserted wherever possible. This option is suitable for machine tools which handle arcs well, but is only available for 3-axis toolpaths.

The blue points indicate the arc centres. The end points of the arcs are the red points either side of a blue point. Attach the tool and step through the toolpath to see this clearly. Tolerance Factor - determines the number of points removed. This must have a value between 0 (a minimum number of points are removed) and 1 (maximum point removal whilst maintaining tolerance, so that the toolpath contains the minimum number of points).

Point Separation

Limit Point Separation - when selected, this option allows you to enter the maximum distance between toolpath points. Maximum Point Separation - maximum distance between consecutive toolpath points. These options are not available if you select an option of Fit Arcs.

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Point Distribution - Mesh

Mesh Factor - this effects the triangulation tolerance and must have a value between 0 and 1. The smaller the Mesh Factor, the finer the mesh, and consequently the toolpath takes longer to calculate, but it is more accurate. Selecting Limit Maximum Triangle Length enables the Maximum Triangle Length field where you can enter the required value. Maximum Triangle Length - the maximum length of the hypotenuse of the triangle. Limiting the maximum triangle length will decrease the faceting on gently curved surfaces. But, it will also increase machining time, because more triangles are generated. So, only limit the triangle length where faceting causes a problem.

Automatic Verification
enables automatic verification of toolpaths on creation. It displays the Automatic Verification dialog.

Head Clearance - represents the length of the tool, holder and machine used internally. The default value is set to 600 mm. This value can be set even if you do not define a shank or holder. If the height of the tool is less than the Head Clearance value, then an additional component is added internally to the tool assembly. This component has the same diameter as the last item in the tool assembly (if automatic collision checking is on), and a length such that the total tool assembly length specified is the same as the Head Clearance value.

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If Automatic Collision Checking is Off, the height of the tool is the cutter length, and the diameter is the smallest of the cutter, shank and holder diameters. For disc cutters, a component is only added if the shank or holder is defined. If Automatic Collision Checking is On, the height of the tool is the cutter, shank and holder length, and the diameter is the same as the last item in the tool assembly. If you define a tool assembly which is longer than the Head Clearance value then the Head Clearance value is ignored. The height of the tool is just the cutter if Automatic Collision Checking is Off and is the cutter, shank and holder if Automatic Collision Checking is On. For disc cutters, if a shank holder is defined, then additional components are added to give the total tool assembly a length equal to the Head Clearance value. If you define a tool assembly which is longer than the Head Clearance value, then the Head Clearance value is ignored. Automatic Collision Checking (on page 452) - controls collision checking of toolpaths during toolpath calculation.

Automatic Collision Checking
Automatic Collision Checking - controls collision checking of toolpaths during toolpath calculation. When selected, the tool shank and holder are collision checked. The resulting toolpath only contains the non-colliding (safe) moves. This can lead to gaps in the toolpath. If unselected, the tool shank and holder are not collision checked. Collision checking using the Toolpath Verification dialog will check against shank and holder regardless of this option. Shank Clearance - represents a specified “safe” area around the tool shank which is taken into account when checking for collisions. Holder Clearance - represents a specified “safe” area around the tool holder which is taken into account when checking for collisions.

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Holder Clearance Shank Clearance Buttons Apply - applies the values entered, but leaves the dialog displayed. Accept - applies the values entered and closes the dialog. Cancel - closes the dialog without applying the values.

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Component Thickness
The Thickness Preferences button gives you direct access to the Surface Defaults (see "Surface Defaults dialog" on page 466) tab that enables you to set all your default thickness rules for the model you are to machine. This is very similar to the Surfaces tab (see "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), except that the values applied in the Surface Defaults tab are default values applied to all new toolpaths and boundaries.

Surface Thickness
The Surfaces tab (see "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), with its use of thickness sets, allows you to give different components (typically, model surfaces) a specific uniform thickness, or a specific Axial thickness and a specific Radial Thickness. It also allows you to assign different thicknesses to components depending on the toolpaths or boundaries using them. Most of the dialog is greyed out until you select one of the thickness sets from the list. The thicknesses added to individual components are added to the general Thickness. So if there is a general Thickness of 0.5 and a Component Thickness of 0.2, then the total thickness on the component is 0.7.

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For information on each field in the dialog, see Surface Thickness dialog (on page 455). For information on how to assign thicknesses to a set of components, see Assigning Thickness values (on page 459). For information on how to avoid specific areas of a model. see Machining Mode example (on page 463). Surface Thickness dialog

Toolpaths / Boundary Drop-Down List - determines whether the component thicknesses data is associated with a toolpath or a boundary. Select either Toolpaths or Boundaries .

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Toolpaths / Boundary Selection - determines the toolpath or boundary to which the current set of component thicknesses refers. Each different toolpath and boundary can have a different set of component thicknesses applied to it. This list contains either toolpaths or boundaries depending on your selection in the drop-down list.

Copies all the thickness data from an existing toolpath or boundary.

Toolpaths / Boundary Drop-Down List - determines whether the component thicknesses data is copied from a toolpath or boundary. Select either Toolpaths or Boundaries . Toolpaths / Boundary Selection - determines the existing toolpath or boundary from which you want to copy component thicknesses. This list contains either toolpaths or boundaries depending on your selection in the drop-down list. Select Components - selects all the components in the selected thickness set(s). Acquire Components - places the selected components into the selected thickness set. Remove Components - removes the selected components from the selected thickness set(s). Remove All Components - removes all the components from the selected thickness set(s). Copy Default Data - this copies the values defined on the Surface Default tab. When you create a new set of thickness data for a toolpath or boundary, the values currently in the Surface Default tab are automatically copied into this dialog. If you change the Surface Defaults, the Component Thickness values are not automatically updated unless you specifically click .

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Acquire Model's Components - places the whole model into the selected thickness set. The model is selected from the drop-down list beside this button. Acquire Level's Components - places the whole level into the selected thickness set. The level is selected from the drop-down list beside this button. Use Axial Thickness - when selected. this option enables you to select separate Radial and Axial Thickness values. When deselected, you can only select a single Thickness. Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in all directions. This is available if Use Axial Thickness is deselected. Radial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. This option only becomes available if Use Axial Thickness is selected. Axial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. This option only becomes available if Use Axial Thickness is selected. For more information on radial and axial thickness, see Radial and Axial Thickness (on page 486). Machining Mode - there are three modes of applying the component thickness: Machine - is used for a component that the toolpath will machine. Collision - is used for a component that will not be machined, but must be avoided (such as a clamp). Ignore - is used for a component that will not be machined and was created only for construction purposes (such as a guiding surface used in multi-axis machining). The option selected here determines the colour displayed in the Mode column in the Thickness List Control. Thickness List Control (on page 458) - selecting one of these thickness sets determines the colour of the components when Thickness Shaded.

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Thickness List Control Thickness List Control - selecting one of these thickness sets determines the colour of the components when Thickness Shaded.

Set - this has either or in depending on the option chosen (boundary or toolpath) in the top left hand frame of the dialog. Thickness - displays the thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to this component from this tab. Axial - displays the Axial Thickness applied to this component from this tab. Total Thickness - displays the thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to this component from this tab plus the thickness applied in the Area Clearance or Finishing strategy dialogs. Total Axial - displays the Axial Thickness applied to this component from this tab plus the thickness applied in the Area Clearance or Finishing strategy dialogs.. Components - displays the number of components that have been selected to arrive at the thickness. Mode - displays the type of machining mode selected for these components.

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You can also see that the Mode field is coloured Machine - White Collision - Yellow Ignore - Red

.

Selected - Grey (when the graphics window has the focus) or Blue (when the Thickness dialog has the focus). These default colours can be changed by selecting Tools - Customise Colours (on page 328), followed by Machining Mode. Assigning Thickness values To assign thickness values to a set of components: 1. Select either Toolpaths or Boundaries . from the drop-

, depending on whether down list in the top left of the dialog the component thickness data is to be associated with a toolpath or a boundary. 2. The adjacent drop-down list displays a list of either toolpath or boundary names depending on your selection at step 1. From this list, select the particular toolpath or boundary to which the thickness data refers. 3. If you wish to copy thickness data from an existing toolpath or boundary, go to the Clone section of the dialog:

Here, you need to select either Toolpaths or Boundaries from the drop-down list, select the particular toolpath or boundary from which data is to be copied in the adjacent drop-down list, and then click the button.

4. Select the required set in the bottom of the dialog.

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5. To acquire additional components for the set from the graphics area, select them using the left mouse button and then click Acquire Components. A component cannot belong to more than one set, so if you acquire the selected components for a set, and then acquire the same components for another set, the components will be removed from the original set and added to the last set. To display all the components of a set in the graphics area, select the set and then click Select Components.

To remove individual components from the selected set, select them in the graphics area and then click Components. Remove

To remove all the components from the selected set, click Remove All Components. To copy in the values from the Surface Defaults dialog (on page 466), click Copy in Default Thickness Data.

When you create a new set of thickness data for a toolpath or boundary, the values currently in the Surface Defaults dialog (on page 466) are automatically copied into this dialog, but if you change the Surface Defaults they are not updated unless you click .

To acquire all the components from a particular model, select the model from the drop-down list adjacent to the Acquire Model's Components button, and then click the button. To acquire all the components from a particular level, select the level from the drop-down list adjacent to the Acquire Level's Components button, and then click the button. 6. Once you have acquired all the necessary components for a set, specify the Thickness values:

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Select Use Axial Thickness if you wish to specify separate Radial and Axial Thickness values. When deselected, it only allows you to select a single Thickness value. Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in all directions. Radial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. Axial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. 7. Select the Machining Mode for the set from the following: Machine - is used for components that the toolpath will machine. Collision - is used for components that will not be machined, but must be avoided (such as clamp components). Ignore - is used for components that will not be machined, in that they were created purely for construction purposes (such as the components of a guiding surface used in multi-axis machining). The option selected here determines the colour displayed in the Mode column below. The default colours are white for Machine, yellow for Collision, and red for Ignore. These can be changed by selecting Tools - Customise Colours from the menu and then selecting Machining Mode.

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8. Repeat from step 4 as required, and then review your sets once they are complete:

Set - this has either or next to it depending on the option chosen (Boundary or Toolpath) in the top left hand frame of the dialog. Thickness - displays the thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to the set's components within this dialog. Axial - displays the Axial Thickness applied to the set's components within this dialog. Total Thickness - displays the total Thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to the set's components (that is to say Area Clearance plus Finishing plus Components plus Collision Checking). Total Axial - displays the total Axial Thickness applied to the set's components (that is to say Area Clearance plus Finishing plus Components plus Collision Checking). Components - displays the number of components that have been selected to have the associated thickness values.

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9. Each set when selected has a colour alongside it. This is the colour that will be used to shade the set's components when Thickness Shade is selected from the Shading toolbar (on page 851). If you wish to change these colours, select Tools - Customise Colours from the menu and then select Default Thickness Sets. Machining Mode example This example looks at how to ensure that the clamps are not machined, but are avoided.

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1. Select all the surfaces that make up the clamps:

button to display the 2. Select the Thickness Preferences Surface Defaults tab, and select the top thickness set:

3. Select a Machining Mode of Collision, click Acquire Components , and then click Apply.

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4. To visualise the results, click the pull-out shading button from the View toolbar and click the Default Machining Mode Shade button .

Now for all toolpaths created for this part, the clamps will not be machined, but they will be avoided.

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Surface Defaults dialog
The Surface Defaults dialog enables you to define a standard set of thickness data that is not attached to any specific toolpath or boundary. You can therefore use it to set all your default thickness rules for the model you are to machine.

This is very similar to the Surfaces dialog (see "Surface Thickness" on page 454), except that the values applied here are default values applied to all new toolpaths and boundaries. Any existing toolpaths or boundaries are not altered by any changes made here. Set - this a visual reminder to indicate that this is a Default setting not attached to any specific toolpath or boundary.

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Toolpath Strategies
The Toolpath Strategy enables you to select the type of toolpath that you want to create. It displays the New dialog:

The tabs at the top of the dialog are just a way of ordering the toolpath strategies. By default there are seven tabs, but since you can add and delete your own (see "Creating a New Toolpath Template" on page 324), there could be any number: 2.5D Area Clearance (see "Area Clearance" on page 478) - this tab contains all the 2.5D area clearance strategies available.

3D Area Clearance (see "Area Clearance" on page 478) - this tab contains all the 3D area clearance strategies available.

Blisks (see "Blisk" on page 745) - this tab contains the area clearance and finishing strategies required to machine a blisk or impeller.

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Drilling (on page 775) - this tab contains all the drilling strategies.

Favourites (on page 477) - this tab contains all the strategies available in your Favourites drop-down list .

Finishing (on page 572) - this tab contains all the finishing strategies available.

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Ports (see "Port Machining" on page 725) - this tab contains all the port machining strategies available.

Large Icons - displays the contents of the tab as icons.

List - displays the contents of the tab as a list.

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Browse For Template - displays the Open Template dialog which allows you to select a template:

This is a standard File Open dialog. Select the required file and then click the Open button. Filter - help you find the required toolpath. Entering some text in the Filter field toolpaths which contain Pencil. (say Pencil) displays the

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Preview - displays a graphic of the type of toolpath that you are going to create. For example, if you have a Strategy of Raster you will see the following:

Creating a New Toolpath Template
It is possible to use the Tools - Customise Paths dialog to modify the contents of the New dialog displayed when you click the Toolpath Strategy button. This is a two stage process: 1. Create tabs on the New dialog (on page 471). 2. Insert a Toolpath Template into the tabs on the New dialog (on page 473). Create tabs on the New Dialog The first stage is to create the required new tabs for the New dialog: 1. First create a new master directory in Windows Explorer to hold the new templates, for example Company Templates. Within this master directory, create any sub-directories, for example Press Die and Mould Tools. These directory names will be the tabs that you see on the New dialog. Consult the templates directory within your installation before creating the directories. This contains your default tabs and templates, and you need to be aware that: If you create a tab with the same name as an existing tab, then the contents of the two tabs will be merged. If you create a toolpath template with the same name as one of the PowerMILL default templates, then your template will be displayed in preference to the PowerMILL one.

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2. From the Tools menu, select Customise Paths, followed by the Template Paths option:

3. Click the Add Path to Top of List Select Path dialog:

button. This displays the

4. Move to the master directory that you created at step 1 and click the OK button.

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5. You are returned to the PowerMILL Paths dialog with the new template path displayed:

6. Click Close to close the dialog. 7. Click the Toolpath Strategy new tabs: button and you will see the

8. Click Cancel to close the dialog. Insert a Toolpath Template into the tabs on the New dialog Now you have created the new tabs, you need to insert the appropriate toolpath templates into them. You need to base each template on one of PowerMILL's existing toolpaths. 1. To base your toolpath on a Raster Finishing toolpath, click the Raster Finishing associated dialog: button to display the

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2. Enter the default values that you want, for example a Tolerance of 0.05 and a Stepover of 2, and so on, and then click Accept to create the toolpath.

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3. Go to Explorer, and, from the context menu for the individual Toolpaths entity that you have just created, select the Save as Template option:

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4. This displays the Template Parameter Saving dialog:

5. Either leave the Save checked parameters only box deselected so that all parameters will be saved, or select the box (as above) and then selectively click the parameters that you wish to save. 6. Click Save to display the Save Toolpath Template File dialog:

7. Move to the required directory, for example Mould Tools, enter the required name (for example My Raster Template), and then click the Save button.

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8. Click the Close button on the Template Parameter Saving dialog: 9. Click the Toolpath Strategy toolpath under the new tab: button and you will see the

10.Click Cancel to close the dialog.

Favourites
This tab contains a list of your most commonly used toolpath strategies. If you create a tab with the same name as an existing tab, then the contents of the two tabs will be merged. Therefore, if you create your own Favourites in addition to the default PowerMILL Favourites, the full list (including your own) will be displayed in the Create Toolpath drop-down list the Main Toolbar. on

If you create a toolpath template with the same name as one of the PowerMILL default templates, then your template will be displayed in preference to the PowerMILL one. To create your own Favourites and add to the list of available toolpaths in the Create Toolpath drop-down list : 1. Follow "Creating Tabs on the New Dialog" in Creating a New Toolpath Template (on page 324) to create a sub-directory/tab of Favourites within Company Templates.

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2. Follow "Inserting a new Toolpath Template into the Tabs on the New Dialog" in Creating a New Toolpath Template (on page 324) and create a new template of My 3D Offset in the newly created Favourites sub-directory/tab. 3. Click the Toolpath Strategy button and you will see the My 3D Offset toolpath at the top of the Favourites tab:

4. You can also see the My 3D Offset toolpath at the bottom of the Create Toolpath drop-down list available on the Main Toolbar.

Area Clearance
The Area Clearance tabs on the Toolpath Strategy defines how the model will be machined during roughing. New dialog

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For example, if you select the 3D Area Clearance tab:

and then select Raster AreaClear Model followed by OK, the following happens: A batch toolpath is created under the Toolpaths folder in Explorer:

You can tell that it is a batch toolpath because of the .

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The Area Clearance dialog is displayed:

The left and half of the right side of the dialog is standard for all toolpaths and defines the parameters used to create the toolpath (such as the tool, tolerance, stepover, stepdown, boundary required for toolpath). The batch toolpath is converted to a complete toolpath once you enter the relevant values on the dialog and click the Apply button.

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Area Clearance Strategy
Define the area clearance strategy that you want to use:

The strategy selected defines the method used to remove the material enclosed within the contours on each roughing level. These moves remove the material contained within the profiles. The options available are: 1. Raster 2. Profile 3. Offset 4. Plunge

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Raster - comprises of straight line moves parallel to either the X or Y axis:

Profile - machines around the profiles of the Z slices created:

Offset - clears an area with contours generated by repeatedly offsetting the initial slice until no further offset is possible:

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If you select a stepover distance greater than the tool radius PowerMILL automatically activates a command to detect and machine any small islands of material. This function creates additional toolpaths that are integrated into the main toolpath. A linking method is used that produces far fewer tool lifts. Plunge - is where a specialised cutting tool is used to remove large amounts of material from a component through a series of vertical plunging movements:

You also have the choice of whether you are machining the Model or Feature Set. Model - standard 3-axis machining of a model imported into PowerMILL. Available from the 3D Area Clearance tab. Feature Set - 2.5D machining of features (pockets, slots, bosses or holes). Available from the 2.5 D Area Clearance tab.

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Buttons
When you create a toolpath, you raise the appropriate dialog, fill in the required fields, and then click Apply. The toolpath is created and the dialog used to create it is displayed, but with nearly all the options dimmed except for the buttons at the top.

Recycle Toolpath - enables you to edit the parameters of the toolpath you have just created, and then recalculate it. The new toolpath will overwrite the previous one.

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Copy Toolpath - enables you to make a copy the toolpath you have just created. The copy has the same name as the previous one, but with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want and recalculate it. Clicking either of these buttons will re-activate the dimmed fields.

Tool
The tool used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tool area:

Create Tool - this works in exactly the same way as on the Tool toolbar, allowing you to create a new tool. For more information, see Tool Toolbar (on page 857). Active Tool - displays the active tool (the tool that will be used to calculate the toolpath). The drop-down list displays all the defined tools. Selecting one of the tools from the list will make that tool the active tool. Editor - this works in exactly the same way as Edit Tool on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857). It displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog, it will edit your active tool.

Name
Defines the name of the toolpath. This name will appear in Explorer.

Tolerances
The tolerance used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tolerances area:

Tolerance - determines how accurately the toolpath follows the contours defined by the model file.

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Point Distribution (on page 448) distribution of the toolpath.

- enables you to alter the point

Thickness (see "Radial and Axial Thickness" on page 486) - specifies the amount of material to be left on within tolerance.

If you click the Thickness

button, the Thickness field changes to

Radial Thickness and the Axial Thickness field also becomes available so you can specify different values for Radial and Axial Thickness.

To avoid too much material being removed, Thickness should be greater than Tolerance. - displays the Component Thickness dialog (see Thickness "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), which allows you to specify the thicknesses of the different surfaces. Radial and Axial Thickness

If you click the Thickness

button, the Thickness field changes to

Radial Thickness and the Axial Thickness field also becomes available, so that you can specify separate Radial and Axial Thickness values:

Thickness directions:

- applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in all

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Radial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool:

- applies the thickness as an offset to the tool, Axial Thickness in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the tool used for machining relative to the actual tool:

Variable thickness (that is to say, separate Radial and Axial Thickness values) is particularly useful for orthogonal parts. It is possible to use variable thickness on sloping walled parts, although it is more difficult to predict the results. Typically, it is used on flat bottomed parts with pockets. In aerospace parts of this type, you may want the area clearance toolpath to finish the floor of the pocket, but to leave material on the thin vertical walls. In this case, you would have a specific Radial Thickness and an Axial Thickness of 0:

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Alternatively, this method can also be used to finish the steep side walls and leave material on the bottom. In this case you would have a Radial Thickness of 0 and a specific Axial Thickness:

Stepover
Stepover defines the distance between successive area clearance passes:

- This option is only available if you select an Offset Area Clearance strategy, and selecting it allows you to specify the Number of Offsets in the adjacent field. Number of Offsets - specifies the number of offsets. For example, if you enter 2 offsets, then you get the final profile pass (closest to the contour) followed by 2 offset passes:

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Lead In Moves (see "Leads and Links - Lead In - Lead Out" on page 385) for toolpaths that have a fixed number of offsets can now be less than the tool radius away from the slices.

Stepdown
You can define the Z Heights from within the main Area Clearance dialog. However, if you need a more complex set of Z Heights, you can use the Area Clearance Z Heights (on page 492) dialog. Stepdown - has two modes available from the drop-down list Automatic and Manual. Automatic - the Z Heights are defined from the Area Clearance dialog at the time that the area clearance toolpath is calculated, and any existing Z Heights are deleted. Enter the required Stepdown value.

PowerMILL creates a Z Height up to the Stepdown value entered, from the top of the block, and then steps down a defined height in Z. The final Z height will be at the bottom of the block. The Stepdown definition takes into account existing Z Heights (such as those calculated when the Machine Flats option is selected). PowerMILL looks at pairs of existing Z Heights and adds the minimum number of extra Z Heights between them such that the stepdown between heights is less than or equal to the specified Stepdown value. This offers the same functionality as Define by Stepdown on the Area Clearance Z Heights (on page 492) dialog. Manual - allows you to specify the Z Heights exactly by clicking the Z Heights button which raises the the Area Clearance Z Heights (on page 492) dialog.

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Machine Flats (on page 490) - identifies flat areas of the model and creates Z Heights on these areas. This is only available if you select a Stepdown Mode of Automatic. Since this option can be used in conjunction with a Stepdown value, then the two different types of Z Heights can be calculated at the same time. There are three options available from the Machine Flats drop-down list: Level - machines whole flat levels: Area - machines flat areas only (rather than the whole level): Off - flat areas are not considered: Machine Flats Machine Flats - identifies flat areas of the model and creates Z Heights on these areas. This is only available if you select a Stepdown Mode of Automatic. Since this option can be used in conjunction with a Stepdown value, then the two different types of Z Heights can be calculated at the same time. There are three options available from the Machine Flats drop-down list: Level - machines whole flat levels:

Looking from a different angle, you can see that three complete levels are machined:

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Area - machines flat areas only (rather than the whole level):

Looking from a different angle, you can see that only the flat areas are machined in the first level:

Off - flat areas are not considered:

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The Flat Machining Advanced Settings are available if you select an option of Level or Area. These options are enabled from the Expert

area of the Area Clearance dialog (raised by clicking the Arrow the right hand side of the Area Clearance dialog) and selecting a Slices Definition mode of Model:

on

For more information see Flat Machining Advanced Settings (on page 552). Z Heights on the Area Clearance dialog Clicking the Z Heights button displays the Area Clearance Z Heights dialog which defines the Z Heights at which the model will be sliced during roughing.

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The Z Heights button of Manual.

is only visible if you select a Stepdown

Create Z Heights (on page 494) - defines how the Z Heights are created. Reference (see "Reference Z Heights" on page 496) - enables the appending or deleting of Z Heights from other entities. Delete by Picking - allows you to delete Z Heights by selecting them in the graphics window.

Start Picking Mode - selecting this button activates the others buttons in the frame. Delete the Selected Z Heights - if you select a Z Height (or several Z Heights) in the graphics window, and then click the button, the Z Heights will be deleted. Quit Picking Mode - stops you from being able to delete Z Heights by picking. The button becomes unavailable.

These options do not change the active toolpath. They are only using the information from the active toolpath to generate appropriate Z Heights for the new toolpath. Draw - specifies whether the Z Heights will be visible on the screen.

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Deletes all the Z Heights in the new toolpath. List of Z Heights - the right hand side of the dialog displays a list of the Z Heights in the toolpath:

Create Z Heights Create Z Heights defines how the Z Heights are created. There are five ways of defining the Z Heights, available on the Defined By drop-down menu: 1. Number 2. Stepdown 3. Value 4. Intermediate 5. Flat Number - divides the block equally into the defined number of Z Heights, the lowest of which will be at the bottom of the block. Stepdown - creates a Z Height at the top of the block and then steps down a defined height in Z. The final Z Height will be at the bottom of the block. The Stepdown definition takes into account existing Z Heights. This makes it easier to generate an optimum set of Z Heights. So, PowerMILL looks at pairs of existing Z Heights and adds the minimum number of extra Z Heights between them such that the stepdown between heights is less than or equal to the specified Stepdown.

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Constant Stepdown - this check box is available with the Stepdown option and affects the way in which the Stepdown is calculated. When the check box deselected, the Stepdown will be the amount specified for all levels except for the last one, which will be at the bottom of the block:

When this option is selected, the Stepdown will be the same between all levels but will not be identical to the amount specified (in this example 25).

Value - adds in additional Z Heights at a specified height. Intermediate - adds in additional Z Heights between existing ones. Flat - identifies flat areas of the model and creates Z Heights on these areas. The field next to the Defined by pull-down list displays the number, distance or value of the Z Heights. Calculate - calculates the values of the Z Heights.

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Reference Z Heights Reference enables the appending or deleting of Z Heights from other entities. Entity - the first drop-down list determines what type of entity is referenced when appending/deleting Z Heights:

Toolpath - enables the appending of Z Heights from another toolpath. Boundary - enables the appending of Z which are determined by the height of the boundary. Pattern - enables the appending of Z which are determined by the height of the pattern. Feature Set - enables the appending of Z which are determined by the height of the feature set. Active Entity - the second drop-down list determines which entity (for example, the name of the actual toolpath) is referenced:

Action - the final drop-down list determines how the Active Entity is referenced:

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Append All - if you have selected an entity of toolpath then it creates Z Heights at the same Z Heights of the selected toolpath. If the entity is anything other than toolpath then it creates Z Heights at the highest and lowest point of the entity. These Z Heights are added to any that you have already created for this toolpath. Append Top - if you have selected an entity of toolpath then it creates a Z Heights at the same Z Height as the highest in the selected toolpath. If the entity is anything other than toolpath then it creates a Z Height at the highest point of the entity. Append Bottom - if you have selected an entity of toolpath then it creates a Z Heights at the same Z Height as the lowest in the selected toolpath. If the entity is anything other than toolpath then it creates a Z Height at the lowest point of the entity. Delete All - deletes the Z Heights contained in the entity from those in the new toolpath. Delete Top - if you have selected an entity of toolpath then it deletes a Z Heights at the same Z Height as the highest in the selected toolpath. If the entity is anything other than toolpath then it deletes a Z Height at the highest point of the entity. Delete Bottom - if you have selected an entity of toolpath then it deletes a Z Heights at the same Z Height as the lowest in the selected toolpath. If the entity is anything other than toolpath then it deletes a Z Height at the lowest point of the entity. Find Common - finds the Z Heights that are common to the selected entity and this toolpath. Calculate - calculates the Z Heights from the referenced entity.

Cut Direction
The Profile and Area Clearance Moves can both be forced to incorporate particular milling technologies, which are selected using the Cut Direction parameter:

Any - creates toolpaths using both climb and conventional milling. This minimises the tool lifts and tool travel. Climb - creates toolpaths using only climb milling.

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Boundary
This part of the Area Clearance toolpath dialog enables you to specify the area which you want to area clear:

The above options enable you to localise roughing without having to change the block, and utilise tool containment. This even works with Keep Outside. Create Boundary - this works in exactly the same way as the Create Boundary option on the Boundary toolbar (on page 965), and is also equivalent to selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer. It allows you to create a new boundary. For more information, see Boundary Entity (see "Boundaries" on page 128). The drop-down list contains the different boundary types:

Selected Boundary - the drop-down list to the right of Create Boundary displays the boundary that will be used to limit the toolpath. The drop-down list displays all the defined boundaries. The selected boundary becomes the active boundary. If you don't want to use a boundary to calculate the toolpath, then select a blank boundary from the list. Editor - displays the Boundary Editor dialog that allows you to edit the active boundary. Limit - defines which part of the tool can touch the boundary:

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Tool Centre - the centre of the tool cannot go outside the boundary. Tool Periphery - offsets the boundary inwards by the tool radius. The whole tool is contained within the boundary. For more information on how these limits work, see Boundary - Limit (on page 499). Trimming - trims the toolpath to the active boundary. There are two options: Keep Inside - the toolpath generated inside of the boundary is kept. Keep Outside - the toolpath generated outside of the boundary is kept. Boundary - Limit How to limit a toolpath to a boundary is best shown by an example. 1. Take the Chamber.igs model and create a Shallow Boundary around it.

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2. Create an area clearance toolpath within the boundary.

3. Looking down Z, you can see that the Links are also contained within the boundary:

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4. If you create the same toolpath but change the Boundary Limit from Tool Centre to Tool Periphery, you get the following toolpath:

You can also use this technique to contain the tool within a specific area. This means that you can keep the tool clear of any clamps. Because roughing boundaries limit the tool centre, to keep the entire tool within a boundary requires different boundaries for each toolpath, unless you use the Limit - Tool Periphery option. This option means that you can create one boundary and use it for all tools. 5. Create a boundary around the part:

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6. Create a boundary from the block:

7. Offset the boundary by selecting Edit - Offset 2D (Round Corners) from the individual boundary's context menu in Explorer:

8. Now you can create an area clearance toolpath using this boundary and therefore ensure that the toolpath plus all approach moves are contained within the boundary.

Create Boundary
Create Boundary - this works in exactly the same way as the Create Boundary option on the Boundary toolbar (on page 965), and is also equivalent to selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer.

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It allows you to create a new boundary. For more information, see Boundary Entity (see "Boundaries" on page 128). The drop-down list contains the different boundary types:

Profiling
This area of the dialog contains optional profile moves to guide the tool around the profile at the cutting feed rate.

When - determines how profile moves are performed in relation to the area cutter moves. This is only available if you select an Area Clearance Strategy of Raster. The possible options are: Before - the tool profiles the workpiece first and then moves inwards to clear the remaining area. This involves two cutter moves with associated rapid and level moves. After - machines the innermost profile first and then moves outwards to clear the area, finally machining the workpiece profile. This also involves two cutter moves with associated rapid and level moves. During - selects intelligently between the behaviour of the Before and After options depending on the position of the outer profile relative to the block boundary. If the outer profile lies entirely on the block boundary, the Before option is used. If any part of the outer profile touches the workpiece, the After option is used. There is no Z lift between area clearance and profile moves. None - machines the first offset profile then moves inwards to clear the remaining area. The workpiece profile is not machined.

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Cut Direction - the Profile and Area Clearance Moves can both be forced to incorporate particular milling technologies. The possible options are: Any - the tool will travel in either direction, backwards and forwards. Climb - this will create roughing passes using only climb milling. This will result in more lifts and tool travel. Conventional - this will create roughing passes using only conventional or 'upcut' milling. This will also result in more lifts and tool travel. Final Profile Pass - Every Z (on page 505) - allows you to perform an Area Clearance move with an Allowance, followed by a final profiling pass without the allowance, at the same Z Height. This is particularly useful for machining thin, high walled parts (typically aluminium parts with ribs or extruded parts with thin walls). You area clear one level and then profile that level. This minimises the vibration of walls and maintains the rigidity of the part as you machine it. This technique can be used to finish the part as it descends down the part, although a final finishing pass may be required. Final Profile Pass - Last Z (on page 506) - allows you to perform an Area Clearance move with an Allowance for every Z Height until the lowest Z Height where it is followed by a final profiling pass without the allowance, at the lowest Z Height. This technique can be used to finish the part with one final profiling pass where you cut on the side of the tool, though a finishing pass may be required. Allowance - determines the thickness of the final profiling pass. This value must be less than the radius of the flat end of the tool.

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Final Profile Pass - Every Z Final Profile Pass - Every Z allows you to perform an Area Clearance move with an Allowance, followed by a final profiling pass without the allowance, at the same Z Height.

The first area clearance move would clear the following:

This is then followed by a profile move:

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This is then followed by a second area clearance move:

And so on down the part. This is particularly useful for machining thin, high walled parts (typically aluminium parts with ribs or extruded parts with thin walls). You area clear one level and then profile that level. This minimises the vibration of walls and maintains the rigidity of the part as you machine it. This technique can be used to finish the part as it descends down the part, although a final finishing pass may be required. Final Profile Pass - Last Z Final Profile Pass - Last Z allows you to perform an Area Clearance move with an Allowance for every Z Height until the lowest Z Height where it is followed by a final profiling pass without the allowance, at the lowest Z Height.

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The first area clearance move would clear the following:

This is then followed by a second area clearance move:

And so on down the part:

This is then followed by a single profile move:

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This technique can be used to finish the part with one final profiling pass where you cut on the side of the tool, though a finishing pass may be required.

Area Filter
Enables areas to be automatically ignored based on their size relative to the tool diameter, thus enabling you to define a different machining method for small areas and large areas.

The filtering takes place after the toolpaths are calculated. This means that you apply different filter values, quickly see the result, and then determine the most appropriate value. Area Filter - when selected, this option allows filtering. Filter - determines which part of the toolpath is deleted. The options are: Larger Than - deletes the areas larger than that specified by the Threshold. Smaller Than - deletes the areas smaller than that specified by the Threshold. Threshold (Tool Diameter Units) - the size against which all areas are compared. The value entered represents the ratio between the tool diameter and the longest principal axis of each individual area. For example, a value of 2.0 means that the length of the longest principal axis of an area is compared against twice the tool diameter. Filter Only Enclosed Areas - this option is only available when Smaller Than is selected for the Filter. Selecting the option means that only small areas which contain ramp moves will be filtered, and that small areas containing, say, approach outside moves will not be filtered. Although this can be a useful option, a better way to avoid ramping into small areas is to select the Approach Outside option (from the Lead In Moves (on page 509) area of the Area Clearance dialog). Drilling toolpaths are NOT affected by the filter. So, a single drilling toolpath can be used for any filtered toolpath. This means that it is possible to generate a drilling move for an area that hasn't been machined, or to a greater depth than required.

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Tool Axis
Tool Axis - displays the tool axis that will be used to create the toolpath.

- displays the Tool Axis Direction (on page 411) dialog, which enables you to edit the tool axis.

Lead in Moves
Defines how the tool approaches the path.

Type - this moves the tool between start Z and the level to be machined. The options are as follows: Plunging - plunges directly into the model. Ramping - allows the tool to ramp into the model at a specified angle during area clearance moves. This can allow a non-plunging tool to be used but is dependent on the tool and the material. When you select this option, the Ramp button becomes available. Drilling - plunges into pre-drilled holes created by the drill paths. Options - displays the Ramp Options (on page 510) dialog. This is only available when Ramping is selected for the Lead In Moves Type. Approach Outside - when selected, this forces the Level moves to approach the block model from the outside. Approachable paths available for this type of move in the slice model are drawn in orange by default. Drilling Holes - you can use patterns as the input positions for drilling holes. This allows you to pre-define holes using a pattern. PowerMILL will also output the new hole positions as hole features. This then enables you specify the position of the drilled lead in move. These options are only available if you select a Lead In Moves Type of Drilling: Input - the pattern defining the input positions for drilling. Output Holes - the name of the pattern and feature set used to define the hole that is used for the lead in move.

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Ramp Options If on the Area Clearance dialog you select a Lead In Move Type of Ramping (see "Lead in Moves" on page 509), the Options button becomes available. Clicking Options displays the following dialog:

Max Zig Angle - the angle of descent formed as the tool ramps into the block. Follow - controls the direction of the ramp: Toolpath - the ramp moves follow the profile of the toolpath. Line - the ramp moves are normal to the cutting direction at that point. If the requested line cannot be fitted into the area, then the Profile method is used automatically.

Circle - the ramp moves are around a circle. If the requested circle cannot be fitted into the area, then the Line method is used automatically. Circle Diameter (Tool Diameter Units) - controls the circle diameter. This value is defined in Tool Diameter Units. Ramp Length

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Finite - when this option is selected, a maximum cutting Length can be entered. When the option is deselected, the tool will ramp down in one pass. Length - the value entered here determines how many Zig and Zag moves are required in the ramp. This value is represented in Tool Diameter Units. Normally, the Ramp Length should be greater than the tool diameter to allow swarf to clear from beneath the tool. Zag Angle Independent - when this option is selected, the Zag Angle can be different from the Zig Angle. When it is deselected, the Zag Angle is the same as the Zig Angle. Max Angle - this is specified in the same way as the Zig Angle. These options are illustrated in the diagram below:

Tool Diameter Units - is the distance relative to the tool diameter. So with a 10mm tool and a TDU of 0.5, this gives an actual value of 5mm.

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High Speed Machining
This area of the dialog controls various smoothing options to avoid sharp changes in tool direction when high speed machining. The options available depend on the Strategy chosen.

High Speed Machining - Raster

Profile Smoothing (on page 513) - allows the arc fitting of slices to avoid sharp changes in direction. This works in a very similar way to the Arc Fitted Corner Correction (see "Corner Correction" on page 590) for Constant Z Finishing. Machine All Raster Spans - when selected, all raster spans are machined. When the option is deselected, 'unnecessary' raster spans are left unmachined. An 'unnecessary' raster span is one where the tool either doesn't remove any material or doesn't remove any material that a future pass would not remove. This can happen on the first and possibly the last raster span of an area, and where the raster spans are shorter than the diameter of the tool. For high speed machining, it is best to have this option selected to ensure an even loading on the tool.

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Minimise Full Width Cuts - removes (as far as is possible) all raster moves that could cause the tool to cut on its full width. Due to the searching nature of the raster pattern, the tool may occasionally be cutting on its full width. This is not generally a problem when cutting soft material, but can cause tool damage when machining hard material. Maintain Constant Stepover - the stepover within an area remains constant (so that cutter passes lie on both edges of each area). Selected Deselected

Profile Smoothing Profile Smoothing allows the arc fitting of slices to avoid sharp changes in direction. This works in a very similar way to the Arc Fitted Corner Correction (see "Corner Correction" on page 590) for Constant Z Finishing. If you select the Profile Smoothing option, the Corner Radius (Tool Diameter Units) slider becomes available. The radius is defined as a proportion of the tool diameter. The default value is 0.05. So, if you have a tool of diameter 10mm (radius 5mm) then the arc radius will be 0.5mm. The Corner Radius slider can have a value between 0 and 0.2. Using a Corner Radius of 0.2 you will get the following:

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The light slice shows the Smoothed profile and the dark slice shows the Normal toolpath. Arc fitting is of particular importance when high speed machining, as it eliminates sudden changes in tool direction. High Speed Machining - Offset

Smoothing toolpaths enables you to reduce tool loading by avoiding sharp corners and full width cuts. For more information on the effects of smoothing, see Tool Loading (on page 520). Profile Smoothing (on page 513) - allows the arc fitting of slices to avoid sharp changes in direction. This works in a very similar way to the Arc Fitted Corner Correction (see "Corner Correction" on page 590) for Constant Z Finishing. Links (on page 515) - allows you to create link moves between offsets within the toolpath. There are three options: Straight Smooth None Smoothing Allowance (on page 519) - replaces sharp corners with rounded corners. Defines the maximum deviation from the sharp corner. The maximum this can be set to is 40% of stepover. This means that if you have a 10mm stepover the maximum deviation from the sharp to the rounded corner is 4mm. Trochoidal Moves - controls the creation of trochoidal moves. There are three options: None - no trochoidal moves are created. Full - trochoidal moves are created all along the toolpath. For more information, see Tool Loading (on page 520).

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Restrict Overload - as the tool approaches overload, PowerMILL automatically puts in a trochoidal path to remove the overload. This happens in corners, narrow channels, slots, and the first cut of an offset toolpath (which is, in effect, a narrow channel). Since some tool overload may be acceptable, it can be controlled by the slider. The default setting for the allowable overload is 10% of existing stepover. So, if you use a stepover of 10 and an allowable overload of 10%, trochoidal moves will not start appearing until an overload condition of 10% is exceeded. For more information, see Tool Loading (on page 520). The Trochoidal Moves options only become available if, at the bottom of the dialog, you have a Type of Model or a Preference of Maintain Cut Direction.

Links Links - allows you to create link moves between offsets within the toolpath. There are three options: Straight Smooth None

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Straight

Smooth

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None

If you specify Links of None and you also have a Fixed Number of Offsets applied (see Stepover (on page 488) for more information) you can then apply Links from the Leads and Links dialog .

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Change the links from the Leads and Links dialog so that the Short and Long Links are Skim links and click the Apply Links button:

You can see the change in the Area Clearance toolpath.

You can see that the Apply buttons have been made more specific, so you now have the Apply Links button.

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Smoothing Allowance Smoothing Allowance replaces sharp corners with rounded corners. it dfines the maximum deviation from the sharp corner. The maximum this can be set to is 40% of stepover. This means that if you have a 10mm stepover the maximum deviation from the sharp to the rounded corner is 4mm.

Using the Smoothing Allowance produces a toolpath with fewer small arcs, which makes the toolpath more suitable for high speed machining. The original profile has the same number of points in it - it is just the offset passes that have a reduction in the number of points.

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Tool Loading Restrict Tool Overload is particularly important when working with solid carbide tools where you are cutting on the side rather than the tip of the tools. These tools run at high speed and work best when taking deep cuts with a small stepover. This means that the tool only has a small angle of engagement. As soon as the angle of engagement increases, the risk of tool damage increases. To minimise tool damage, you must minimise the angle of engagement. This can be done in two ways: Avoid sharp corners. Avoid full width cuts, or even cuts with a large angle of engagement which cause excessive tool loading. There are different mechanisms to avoid sharp corners and tool overload. Looking at the Powerdrill.dgk model from the Examples file:

If you create a standard offset area clearance toolpath on this model using an Offset Type of Model (see "Order and Angle of Machining - Feature Set - Offset" on page 532) (available from bottom right hand side of the Area Clearance dialog ), you will get a toolpath like this:

There are various problems with this toolpath, especially if you are high speed machining, when you try to avoid sudden changes in tool direction:

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1. The links from one offset to the next are perpendicular. This leads to a sudden change in tool direction.

2. There are too many sharp corners.

3. There are too many full width cuts.

Options to control all these are available on the High Speed Machining area of the Area Clearance dialog: If you select Links - Smooth, while leaving Smoothing Allowance and Restrict Tool Overload deselected, the toolpath changes to this:

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Looking in detail:

If you also select a Smoothing Allowance, then the toolpath changes to this:

Looking in detail:

If you now also select Trochoid Moves of Restrict Overload, the toolpath changes to this:

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As the tool gets towards overload, PowerMILL automatically put in a trochoidal path to take away the overload:

Looking in at a corner in even more detail, you can see the trochoidal path more easily:

Since some tool overload may be acceptable, it can be controlled by the slider. The default setting for the allowable overload is 10% of existing stepover. So, if you use a stepover of 10 and an allowable overload of 10%, trochoidal moves will not start appearing until an overload condition of 10% is exceeded.

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If you now select Trochoid Moves of Full, the toolpath changes to this:

High Speed Machining - Profile

Profile Smoothing (on page 513) - allows the arc fitting of slices to avoid sharp changes in direction. This works in a very similar way to the Arc Fitted Corner Correction (see "Corner Correction" on page 590) for Constant Z Finishing.

Rest Machining
This enables you to use a large tool to carry out efficient volume removal and then use a smaller tool to eliminate the large terraces and to rough areas of the model that the large tool couldn't reach, such as pockets and corners. The smaller tool only machines areas that could not be reached by the original tool. This is called 'rest machining'.

Rest Machining - when this is enabled, you can select a Reference Toolpath or Stock Model for rest machining. When the option is deselected, standard area clearance toolpaths will result.

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Reference Type - select either Toolpath or Stock Model as the reference for the rest machining. Reference Name - select the name of the Reference Toolpath or Stock Model to be used as the reference toolpath/stock model, by selecting it from the drop-down list . If Toolpath is selected as the Reference Type, then all the toolpaths are listed here with the active toolpath displayed by default. Detect Material Thicker Than - the calculation ignores rest material thinner than the threshold specified here. This helps to avoid thin regions being rest roughed, where the benefit of a second cut is negligible. These thin regions can be caused by cusps from the previous toolpath. Typically, you use this option when rest roughing with a smaller tool to minimise the areas to be machined to details such as corners. The semifinishing toolpaths can then be used to remove the cusp material. Expand Area By - rest areas are expanded by this distance, measured along the surface. This can be used in conjunction with Detect Material Thicker Than to firstly reduce the areas to be machined to the details (say, corners), and then offset these areas slightly to ensure that all the detail (for example, on the corners) is machined.

Consider Previous Z Heights - if Rest Machining is enabled, you are also able to select the Consider Previous Z Heights option, which causes the Z Heights from the active toolpath to become available for consideration by the new toolpath (provided that you are creating a rest roughing toolpath).

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Machine Between - calculates new Z Heights at the Stepdown specified (in the Stepdown (on page 489) frame). The Reference Toolpath Z Heights are then excluded from use. This leaves you with the effect of Machine Between, which can be useful when rest machining with the same size tool to try and reduce the terracing. Re-machine and Machine Between - calculates new Z Heights at the Stepdown specified (in the Stepdown (on page 489) frame). In this case, the Reference Toolpath Z Heights are NOT excluded from use. This can be useful when rest machining with a different tool from the one used in the Reference Toolpath.

Order and Angle of Machining
This area of the dialog controls the order and angle of machining. The options available depend on the Strategy chosen.

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. This is Sorting available at the bottom of all Area Clearance dialogs.

These ordering options allow you to specify the direction in which the tool moves to machine pockets or levels, and works in the same way as those found in the Drilling (on page 775) strategies.

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The table below lists the available Sorting (on page 795) choices: Buttons Description As Created Along X, one-way Along X, two-way Along Y, one-way Along Y, two-way Along diagonal 1, one-way Along diagonal 1, two-way Along diagonal 2, one-way Along diagonal 2, two-way Shortest path Next closest area Concentric circles Radial pattern The tool simply follows the order chosen. To see three examples of different Sorting methods to give you an idea of the effect of choosing different options, see Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). For more information on all the Sorting options, see Sorting (on page 795). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. The options available are: Pocket - one pocket is completely machined before going on to the next. So, pockets are machined in preference to levels. Level - one level is completely machined before going down to the next. So, levels are machined in preference to pockets. Style - determines the order in which segments are machined: Refer to Order and Angle of Machining - Raster (on page 528) for more details and an example. The Style options are only available if the Cut Direction (on page 497) is set to Any.

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Raster Angle - the angle of the roughing pass can be manually or automatically defined. When not set to Manual, PowerMILL automatically calculates the most appropriate angle depending on the mode selected. This can be based on an individual area, each pocket, each level, or the whole model. Refer to Order and Angle of Machining Raster (on page 528) for more details and some examples. Order and Angle of Machining - Raster

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more Sorting information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Style - if the Cut Direction (on page 497) is set to Any, these options allow you to determine the order in which segments are machined: One Way Grouped - this will machine the segments, choosing the shortest distance between each.

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Two Way Joined - this will machine the segments in the same order, also choosing the shortest distance between each. However, the segments will be joined:

Raster Angle - the angle of the roughing pass can be manually or automatically defined. When not set to Manual, PowerMILL automatically calculates the most appropriate angle depending on the mode selected. This can be based on an individual area, each pocket, each level, or the whole model. Auto by Area - PowerMILL looks at each area in turn and decides the most suitable angle for each one. In the case of the mouse triangle model below, there is the large area outside the mouse, and three areas inside:

Notice that PowerMILL has chosen a different angle for each area. Auto by Pocket - selects the optimum angle for each pocket over the whole block size. Auto by Model - selects the optimum angle to be used throughout the entire model. Auto by Level - selects the optimum angle for each particular level.

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Manual - defines the angle to be used throughout the whole model. In the case of the mouse triangle model below, a Manual Angle of 45 has been selected:
o

Order and Angle of Machining - Offset

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more Sorting information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Type - you can choose between two Types of offset: either All or Model. All - produces the following type of offset:

This produces a toolpath which minimises the number of lifts and works extremely well for soft materials.

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Model - produces the following type of offset:

This produces a toolpath which: Maintains constant tool load and chip production; Maintains cut direction; Avoids machining small or thin walled upstands; Minimises full width cuts. You should be aware that this method does have an increased number of lifts. Direction - controls the direction of offset moves. This can be set to: Outside In - machines from the outermost profile, moving inward. Inside Out - machines from the innermost profile, moving outward. Auto - automatically selects either of the previous methods based on whether a core or a cavity is being machined. A core is defined as an area whose outermost boundaries are ALL lying on the outside of the block. Preferences - specifies whether you want to minimise air moves or maintain cut direction. This option is only available if you have a Type of All. Minimise Air Moves - each area is machined with one plunge at the start of the toolpath. This works well if cut direction is not important, as it is difficult to maintain cut direction if you are not allowed to lift the tool. Maintain Cut Direction - introduces additional lifts when required to maintain cut direction. If you want to use trochoidal machining (refer to Tool Loading (on page 520)), you must select this option.

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Order and Angle of Machining - Profile

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more Sorting information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Slot Cutting - this option is only available when you create a Feature Set Profile Area Clearance toolpath (see "Order and Angle of Machining - Feature Set - Profile" on page 533). Order and Angle of Machining - Feature Set - Raster

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more Sorting information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Style - determines the order in which segments are machined. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining - Raster (on page 528). Raster Angle - the angle of the roughing pass can be manually or automatically defined. When not set to Manual, PowerMILL automatically calculates the most appropriate angle depending on the mode selected. This can be based on an individual area, each pocket, each level, or the whole model. Refer to Order and Angle of Machining Raster (on page 528) for more details and some examples. Order and Angle of Machining - Feature Set - Offset

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Sorting - enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Type - you can choose between two Types of offset: either All or Model. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining Offset (on page 530). Direction - controls the direction of offset moves. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining - Offset (on page 530). Preferences - specifies whether you want to Minimise Air Moves or Maintain Cut Direction. This option is only available if you have a Type of All. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining Offset (on page 530). Order and Angle of Machining - Feature Set - Profile

- enables you to specify the toolpath order. For more Sorting information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526) and Toolpath Sorting (on page 535). Ordering - determines the order of the Area Clearance toolpath. For more information, see Order and Angle of Machining (on page 526). Slot Cutting - defines which side of the slot you machine: Keep Left - the material to the left of the slot is removed. Keep Right - the material to the right of the slot is removed. Centreline - machines along the centreline of the slot.

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To machine both sides of a slot, simply machine it once using Keep Right and then again using Keep Left. This will, of course, create two toolpaths:

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Toolpath Sorting A Sorting option, similar to that available for Drilling, is available at the bottom of all Area Clearance dialogs:

These ordering options allow you to specify the direction in which the tool moves to machine pockets or levels, and works in the same way as those found in the Drilling (on page 775) strategies. The table below lists the available Sorting (on page 795) choices: Buttons Description As Created Along X, one-way

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Along X, two-way Along Y, one-way Along Y, two-way Along diagonal 1, one-way Along diagonal 1, two-way Along diagonal 2, one-way Along diagonal 2, two-way Shortest path Next closest area Concentric circles Radial pattern The tool simply follows the order chosen. Examples of different Sorting methods follow. Along Y (Model Machining) 1. Import the 3D_Pockets.dgk model, and calculate a block from max/min limits:

2. Create a 10mm Ball Nose tool.

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3. Set the Tool Start Point Z10.

to an Absolute value of X0, Y0,

4. From the Toolpath Strategies button , select an Offset AreaClear Model strategy from the 3D Area Clearance tab (note all of the AreaClear strategies contain these Sorting options, but for this example the Offset will be used, the obvious difference being the toolpath type generated). The Sorting and Ordering options are at the bottom right of the form. The ordering allows the user to machine by Pocket (one pocket at a time) or by Level (machining each stepdown level at a time, for the whole model). 5. Leave the default Ordering option set to Pocket, and change the Sorting method to a Along Y, one-way . 6. Call the toolpath Offset AC, Along Y, 1 Way. 7. Leave everything else as default and click Apply. 8. The toolpath should look something like this (note the Link moves):

Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Along Y, 1 Way - View in +Z

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Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Along Y, 1 Way Isometric View You may now wish to simulate the toolpath, to see the machining order more clearly. Along Y Two Way (Model Machining) 1. To see this, select the Offset AC, Along Y, 1 Way toolpath created before (see "Along Y (Model Machining)" on page 536), and select the Settings option from the individual toolpath's context menu in Explorer. 2. Create a Copy of the toolpath , and change the name of the copy to Offset AC, Along Y, 2 Way. 3. From the Sorting list, change the sorting to Along Y, 2 way (to create a toolpath moving in 2 directions), and click Apply.

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4. The toolpath should look something like this (again, note the Link moves):

Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Along Y, 2 Way - View in +Z

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Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Along Y, 2 Way Isometric View Radial Pattern (Model Machining) The final alternative example is to use the radial pattern. This calculates a radial movement of the tool, from the tool start point, and machines the pockets in turn as they meet the radial path. 1. Select the Offset AC, Along Y, 2 Way toolpath created before (see "Along Y Two Way (Model Machining)" on page 538), and select the Settings option from the individual toolpath's context menu in Explorer. 2. Create a Copy of the toolpath , and change the name of the copy to Offset AC, Radial Pattern. 3. Select the Start and End Point to the Block Centre Safe. button, and set the start point

4. From the Sorting list, change the sorting to Radial pattern (to create a toolpath moving radially from the start point), and click Apply. 5. The toolpath should look something like this (note the different Link moves):

Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Radial Pattern - View in +Z

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Offset Area Clearance, Sorting: Radial Pattern Isometric View Sorting in 2.5D Feature Machining As well as Area Clearance Model machining and Drilling Strategies, Sorting can also be used for 2.5D Feature machining. Start a fresh project by Closing the previous project, selecting File Delete All, and then selecting Tools - Reset Forms. 1. Import the 2D_Wireframe.dgk model, and create a User Defined Boundary from the outer wireframe rectangle (Boundary Wireframe level), by selecting the outer wireframe rectangle and then clicking the Model button Accept button. followed by the

2. Using this newly created boundary, calculate a Block from the Boundary, setting the Max Z to 0, and the Min Z to -30. 3. Create a 10mm Ball Nose tool. 4. Select all the wireframe entities in the Pocket Wireframes level, and create a Pocket Feature Set, from 0 (top) to -25 (bottom).

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5. Set the Tool Start Point Z10.

to an Absolute value of X0, Y0,

6. From the Toolpath Strategies button , select an Offset AreaClear Feature Set strategy from the 2.5D Area Clearance tab (note again, that all of the AreaClear strategies contain the Sorting options). 7. Leave the default Ordering option set to Pocket, and change the Sorting method to Along Y, one-way . 8. Call the toolpath Offset AC (2.5D), Along Y, 1 Way. 9. In the Stepdown area, change the Z Height Generation Mode to Manual, and then manually calculate the Stepdown in the Z Heights area (to make sure that no path is created at Z = 0). 10.Leave everything else as default and Apply. 11.The toolpath should look something like this (note the Link moves):

Offset Area Clearance (2.5D), Sorting: Along Y, 1 Way Isometric View

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You may now wish to simulate the toolpath, to see the machining order more clearly. As can be seen from this example, the sorting process is identical to that of the Model Machining and Drilling strategies. If the other examples were repeated for feature machining, the outcome would be the same for those too.

Expert Area Clearance

Clicking the Arrow on the right hand side of the Area Clearance dialog displays the Expert area of the Area Clearance dialog:

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Expert Area Clearance - Slices The Expert area of the Area Clearance dialog contains the following information on how to create or modify Slices:

Slices - a drop-down list determines how the slices are defined: Model - generates the slices from the current model. This is the default option. Feature Set - generates slices from the current feature set. Boundary - generates the slice from the current boundary. The Z Height will either be at the Z coordinate of the 2D boundary or at the maximum Z coordinate on a 3D boundary. Pattern - generates the slice from the current pattern. The Z Height will either be at the Z coordinate of the 2D pattern or at the maximum Z coordinate on a 3D pattern. File - Reads in the required slices from a DUCT Picture File. Toolpath - Extracts the slice data from the active toolpath. Flat - allows you to use the Area Clearance strategy to automatically machine flat areas using a flat ended tool. Allow Tool Outside Block - selecting this option allows the tool outside the confines of the block. This option should always be selected if the block has been defined to represent the actual size of stock you are machining. This will maximise the removal of material during area clearance and avoid plunge or ramp entries wherever possible. This option is only available if you define the Slices from the Model. Calculate - calculates the slices based on the setting and associated parameters. This stage is not mandatory as the slices will automatically be calculated before creating any toolpaths if the existing slices don't match the current parameters. Draw - specifies whether or not the slices are visible on screen. Slices from File

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If you define the Slices from File, the dialog changes to the following:

In the blank field, you can either enter the pathname of the required file, or allow it to be entered automatically when you select the file using the File Open button : File Open - displays the Open Slices dialog. This is very similar to the Open Model dialog, except that the Files of type has DUCT Picture (*.pic) as the only option. For more information on how to use this dialog, see Import Model (see "File Import Model" on page 282). Calculate - calculates the slices. Draw - when selected the slices are drawn and you can easily select them. By default, the slices are red, and the selected slices are a brighter red. Delete by Picking (on page 545) - enables you to delete slices by picking. When you select one of the first three buttons in the frame, the remaining buttons in the frame become available:

Save Slice - allows you to save the selected slice(s) as a picture: This is very similar to the Export Model dialog, except that the Save as type has DUCT Picture (*.pic) as the only option. For more information on how to use this dialog, see Export Model (see "File Export Model" on page 284). Delete all Slices - deletes all the slices. Delete by Picking Delete by Picking

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Enables you to delete slices by picking. When you select one of the first three buttons in the frame, the remaining buttons in the frame become available:

Ensure that Draw is selected so that the slices are drawn and you can easily select them. By default, the slices are red, and the selected slices are a brighter red. Delete a Specified Level - allows you to delete the slices and slice segments on a selected level. Delete a Specified Pocket - allows you to delete the slices and slice segments on a selected pocket. Delete a Specified Area - allows you to delete the slices and slice segments within an area, by selecting a contour within that area. This is best shown by example. If you have a slice like this:

and then select one contour, say the circle, all segments of the slice within that area will be selected:

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Clicking

then deletes the slice(s) from the area:

Delete the Selected Slice - click this button to remove the selected slice(s) from the graphics window. Quit Picking Mode - stops you from being able to delete slices, by disabling the button. Restore Deleted Slices - brings back any slices that you have just deleted. Area Clearance Cutter Compensation

There are three Type options: Off - the machine tool compensates for the entire tool radius.

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This is of limited use, as most machine tools will not accurately represent the contour in concave corners or when an arc exists that is less than the tool radius. Also, PowerMILL cannot perform the majority of collision avoidance functions without knowing the tool diameter. This is often referred to as Part Edge Programming. This option is only available for Feature Set machining.

The area that the machine tool will have a problem with is shown below:

Automatic (on page 550) - PowerMILL compensates for the entire tool radius. Protected (on page 551) - PowerMILL compensates for the nominal tool radius and the machine tool compensates for the difference from nominal.

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Minimum Radius - is the minimum radius of concave corners after applying tool radius cutter compensation. This avoids small arcs which some machine tools have difficulties processing. This option is only available when you have a Cutter Compensation type of Protected. If you select a Cutter Compensation method of either Off or Protected you must ensure that the Radius is set to Left or Right in the Cutter Compensation frame of the NC Program dialog (accessed from the Settings option on the context menu for the individual NC Program in Explorer). This ensures that the toolpath is offset, by the machine tool, by an amount stored in a particular offset register. Compensation is added by issuing G41 (left offset) or a G42 (right offset) command at the beginning of the tool moves that require compensation. Off This is of limited use, as most machine tools will not accurately represent the contour in concave corners or when an arc exists that is less than the tool radius. Also, PowerMILL cannot perform the majority of collision avoidance functions without knowing the tool diameter. This is often referred to as Part Edge Programming. This option is only available for Feature Set machining.

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The area that the machine tool will have a problem with is shown below:

Automatic It assumes that you know the accurate tool size, or that the toolpaths are only generated once a tool has been measured, and is the default option. In this case PowerMILL automatically allows for cutter compensation, so the machine tool does not need to:

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Protected Protected is similar to Off in that the machine tool compensates for the tool radius and PowerMILL adds arcs to concave corners to protect against the machine tool rejecting the toolpath. It corrects the limitations of the Off option by ensuring that, in concave corners, a Minimum Radius field controls the size of the arc in corners after a tool radius offset. Most machine tools will then be able to accurately represent the contour in concave corners. This means that PowerMILL can use the nominal tool size to check for collisions, but last-minute correction for the actual tool size is applied on the machine, which is the place where the actual tool size is known. Provided that the actual tools are always smaller than the nominal (this is how tool wear normally works), then PowerMILL can guarantee that toolpaths will not gouge. However, extreme wear may result in material being left unmachined.

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In this case, the machine tool will be able to cope with the top left hand corner:

Flat Machining Advanced Settings The Flat Machining Advance Settings become available when you opt to define Slices from a flat ended tool:

The Flat Machining Advanced Settings frame appears below the Slices frame:

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Allow Tool Outside Flat - selecting this option allows the tool to go outside the flat area. This alleviates the problem of running the tool along a sharp edge:

Approach Allowance (Tool Diameter Units) - specifies the approach outside allowance as a percentage of the tool diameter. Flat Tolerance - this allows you to find areas that are almost flat (that is to say, flat within the tolerance specified here). Ignore Holes (on page 553) - ignores holes that are smaller than the value specified here. Multiple Cuts (see "Flat Machining - Multiple Cuts" on page 554) selecting this option allows multiple cuts. Ignore Holes Ignore Holes ignores holes that are smaller than the value specified here. Threshold (Tool Diameter Units) - defines which holes will be ignored. For example, with a value of 2, any holes up to twice the tool diameter will be ignored.

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If the holes are NOT ignored you will get a toolpath like this:

If the holes are ignored, you will get a toolpath like this:

Flat Machining - Multiple Cuts Multiple Cuts allows multiple cuts: Number of Cuts - defines the number of passes.

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Stepdown - defines the distance between each pass.

Final Stepdown - selecting this option allows you to add a different distance for the final step. In other words, you may want a general stepdown of 3mm with a final pass that has a 1mm stepdown. This in effect gives you a couple of roughing passes followed by a finishing pass. Final Stepdown Distance - the distance of this final pass from the penultimate pass.

This is different from the Stepdown option of Machine Flats (see "Stepdown" on page 489). The Flat Slices coincide exactly with the flat surfaces but, when using the Stepdown option of Machine Flats, the Z Heights are offset by Tolerance.

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Offset Machining Advanced Settings or If you select an Area Clearance strategy of , you will see the following advanced settings:

Machine Smallest First - selecting this option causes the smallest islands of material to be machined first to avoid tool damage. Remove Cusps - controls both the maximum stepover and the addition of cusp removal moves. This option is selected by default, which means that the stepover is limited to the maximum flat diameter of the tool (so, a 10mm tool with a 2mm tip radius will have a maximum stepover of 6mm). Cusp reduction moves will be added to ensure that no cusps are left and that no tall thin upstands are formed. Spiral - selecting this option when available causes spiralling to occur (where the original offsets are closed and have one-to-one nesting). For example, it converts this:

to this:

The Spiral option is not available except when you select Minimise Air Moves (see "Order and Angle of Machining Offset" on page 530) or Restrict Tool Overload (see "High Speed Machining - Offset" on page 514).

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Remove Cusps Remove Cusps controls both the maximum stepover and the addition of cusp removal moves. This option is selected by default, which means that the stepover is limited to the maximum flat diameter of the tool (so, a 10mm tool with a 2mm tip radius will have a maximum stepover of 6mm). Cusp reduction moves will be added to ensure that no cusps are left and that no tall thin upstands are formed. When the option is deselected, the stepover is limited to the diameter of the tool. Cusp reduction moves will only be added to prevent tall thin upstands forming. This can be useful when machining soft materials where any remaining cusps will be removed by the next Z Height, as the additional moves slow down machining unnecessarily. However, additional moves to prevent the forming of tall thin upstands are added. The following two toolpaths were created using the same tool (a tip radiused tool with a 10mm radius and a 2mm tip radius), and at the same setting (a stepover of 8mm) on the Offset Area Clearance dialog. This toolpath was created with the Remove Cusps option selected:

This toolpath was created with the Remove Cusps option deselected:

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Plunge Milling Toolpath
Plunge Milling is where a specialised cutting tool is used to remove large amounts of material from a component through a series of vertical plunging movements. The major benefit of plunge machining is that material removal rates can be very high and in certain cases exceed rates achievable by more conventional 'profile' machining. Plunge machining places extreme demands on both the CNC machine and cutting tool. As such, it is vital that you fully understand the limitations of your production facilities before undertaking any plunge machining. Failure to recognise these limitations and work within them can lead to severe damage to your equipment. To create a Plunge Milling toolpath you must have an existing toolpath which provides the pattern for the plunge milling toolpath, and a stock model which defines the current state of the stock. You must be careful about entry points, and pre-drill holes into any pockets - otherwise they will be ignored. You select a Plunge Milling toolpath using the Toolpath Strategy button:

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The items on the right of the resulting Toolpath Strategy dialog are as follows:

Toolpath - select, from the drop-down list, the toolpath that will be used to act as a pattern for the Plunge Milling toolpath. Stock Model - select, from the drop-down list, the unmachined stock model, so that PowerMILL can work out what material needs to be removed. Core Radius - enter the value that defines the central portion of the tool where there are no cutting edges. Pull Back Distance - enter the distance that the tool will pull back away from the model to ensure that there are no dwell marks on the part or extraneous cutting moves added. During Plunge Milling, the tool is placed under enormous stress; this causes the tool to be deflected. For this reason, it is often necessary to pull the tool back from the part at the end of each cutting move. This releases the stresses and the tool reverts to its original shape so you don't get any unexpected cutting moves.

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2D Machining Wizard
The 2D machining wizard helps you to machine 2.5D features. This is best shown by example, using the 2DExample.dgk model.

button, select the 2.5D 1. Using the Toolpath Strategies Area Clearance tab, followed by the 2D Machining Wizard:

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2. Click OK to display the following screen, and enter a Wizard Session Name of, say, Trial:

3. If required, select a workplane from the Workplane drop-down list, to define the tool axis direction. If you want to create a new workplane, click the New Workplane button. If you want to use the global coordinate system, then don't select a workplane. Similarly, if you have a Feature Set you want to use, you can select this from the drop-down list - otherwise, a new Feature Set will be created.

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4. Click Next to display the following screen:

5. Select the item from which you want to create a feature, in this case the base of the left hand pocket:

6. In the Feature Creation page of the Wizard: Select a Define Top by of Absolute from the drop-down list and enter a value of 50.

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Select a Define Bottom by of Minimum Curve Z from the drop-down list. This will have the base of the pocket at the height of the base plane you selected. If you had selected something that wasn't planar, then the base height would be at the lowest point of your selection. Select the Create Pocket Feature drop-down list: button from the Create

You will now see that not only the pocket, but also the three bosses that are in the pocket, are created:

If required, you can determine the size and location of the features graphically. For more information, see Edit Features Graphically (on page 190).

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The features are added to the dialog:

7. Click Next to choose which features you want to machine. In this case, leave all four features selected:

Only selected features are machined (unless you don't select any features, in which case all features are machined). So, in the above example, selecting all four features or selecting no features will create the same result.

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8. Click Next to define the machining parameters:

9. Click the Block

button to raise the Block dialog:

10.Under Estimate Limits, select a Type of Feature and then click the Calculate button followed by Accept.

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A block is drawn around the features:

Having a Block just around the features is fine in this example, but you may well want to create a block around the entire model in other cases. 11.You will now see that the remaining Wizard parameters (Rapid Move Heights, Feed Rates and Start Point) are now available. In this case you can use the default values, so simply click Next. 12.The following screen is displayed. Select the Machining Strategy you want, say Offset AreaClear Feature Set and click Create.

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13.This displays the standard Offset Area Clearance [Feature Set Machining] dialog. Create a suitable Tool (say, a 10mm End Mill), and select any other options you require.

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14.Click Apply to create the toolpath:

15.Click Cancel to Close the Offset Area Clearance [Feature Set Machining] dialog. 16.Click Start on the left hand side of the 2D Machining Wizard to begin creating another 2D toolpath:

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17.Select the Create New Feature Set option and enter a new Name, say Slot.

to raise the 18.Now click the New Workplane button Workplane dialog. Enter a Name of Slot. Click the Align to Pick button on the Wizard and then click the base of the slot. and then select it as the Active Workplane:

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19.Click the Align to Pick button on the nd then Accept button to close the Workplane dialog. You can now see the new workplane with the Z axis coming out of the slot:

20.Select it as the Active Workplane in the Wizard.

21.Click Next on the Wizard and then select the item from which you want to create a feature, in this case the base of the slot. 22.In the Feature Creation page of the Wizard: Select a Define Top by of Absolute from the drop-down list and enter a value of 50. Select a Define Bottom by of Minimum Curve Z from the drop-down list. Select the Create Slot button drop-down list: from the Create Feature

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You can also determine the size and location of the features graphically. For more information see Edit Features Graphically (on page 190). You will now see that the slot is created:

You can now edit the feature graphically by clicking on the double arrow at the top of the slot which turns the double arrow white. You can drag it to the appropriate height. For more information see Edit Features Graphically (on page 190). The feature is added to the dialog:

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If required, you can use the Reverse Slot reverse the direction of the slot.

button to

23.You can then carry on with the Wizard as shown in steps 7 to 15, to create the toolpath for the slot.

Finishing
The Finishing tab on the Toolpath Strategy how the model will be machined during finishing: New dialog defines

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Selecting one of the options from this dialog and then clicking the OK button creates a batch toolpath and then displays the Finishing dialog:

The left side of the dialog is standard for all toolpaths and defines the parameters used to create the toolpath (such as the tool, tolerance, stepover, boundary, and the leads and links required for toolpath). The right hand half of the dialog contains data that is specific to one type of toolpath or a particular strategy type. The batch toolpath is automatically created in Explorer, under the Toolpaths folder:

You can tell that it is a batch toolpath because of the . This is converted to a complete toolpath once you enter the relevant values on the Finishing dialog and click the Apply button.

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For more information on the New dialog, see Toolpath Strategies (on page 467).

Strategies
Defines the finishing strategy that you want to use:

The various strategies are listed below: 3D Offset - creates a toolpath by offsetting the model and block. This technique is best suited to machining areas which require a constant stepover and works well on near vertical surfaces. For more information see 3D Offset Toolpath (on page 585). Constant Z - creates a toolpath by slicing the model at specific Z Heights. For more information see Constant Z Toolpath (on page 587).

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Corner Along - creates a multiple trace corner toolpath which will cut parallel to the trace lines. For more information see Along Corner Toolpath (on page 591).

Corner Automatic - creates a multiple trace corner toolpath with Stitch toolpaths an the Steep areas and Along toolpaths on the Shallow areas. For more information see Automatic Corner Toolpath (on page 594). Corner Multi Pencil - creates a multiple trace corner toolpath. For more information see Multi-Pencil Toolpath (on page 595).

Corner Pencil - creates a single trace corner toolpath. For more information see Pencil Toolpath (on page 596).

Corner Stitch - creates a multiple trace corner toolpath which will cut across the trace lines. For more information see Stitch Corner Toolpath (on page 597).

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Disc Profile - uses a tipped disc tool to create profile toolpaths. The edge of the tool, rather than the tool tip is driven along the surface. For More Information see Disc Profile Finishing (on page 599).

Embed Pattern - uses an Embedded Pattern to define the contact points of the toolpath. For more information see Embedded Pattern Finishing (on page 601).

Interleaved Constant Z - creates Constant Z toolpaths in the steep areas of a model and 3D Offset toolpaths in the shallow areas. For more information see Interleaved Constant Z Finishing (on page 614). Offset Flat - provides a simple interface to machine flat areas on a model. Creates a toolpath by offsetting the model and block. For more information see Offset Flat Machining (on page 618).

Optimised Constant Z automatically creates Constant Z toolpaths on the steep portions of the model and 3D Offset toolpaths on the shallow portions of the model. For more information see Optimised Constant Z Toolpath (on page 619).

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Parametric Offset - takes the rulings between two curves to generate a toolpath. For more information see Parametric Offset Finishing (on page 623). Pattern - creates a toolpath from a pattern entity by projecting it onto the model. For more information see Pattern Toolpath (on page 627).

Profile - allows you to pick a selection of surfaces and profile around the outside of these surfaces. For more information see Profile Toolpath (on page 635).

Projection Curve - similar to the Line Projection Finishing strategy, except that the pattern is a curve rather than a line. For more information see Curve Projection Toolpath (on page 646).

Projection Line - creates a cylindrical pattern and projects it onto the model. This finishing technique is best suited to near vertical surfaces. For more information see Line Projection Toolpath (on page 654).

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Projection Plane - creates a planar pattern and projects it onto the model. This finishing technique is best suited to near vertical surfaces. For more information see Plane Projection Toolpath (on page 658).

Projection Point - creates a spherical pattern and projects it onto the model. This finishing technique is best suited to near vertical surfaces. For more information see Point Projection Toolpath (on page 663).

Projection Surface - this is drive surface machining. When multi-axis machining, it gives 5-axis surface normal parametric machining. For more information see Surface Projection Toolpath (on page 668).

Radial - creates a radial pattern within a boundary and projects it onto the model. For more information see Radial Pattern Toolpath (on page 673).

Raster - creates a raster pattern within a boundary and projects it onto the model. For more information see Raster Toolpath (on page 675).

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Raster Flat - provides a simple interface to machine flat areas on a model. Creates a toolpath comprising of straight line moves parallel to either the X or Y axis. For more information see Raster Flat Machining (on page 683). Rotary - creates a toolpath by rotating the model around the X axis, with linear motion provided by the Y and Z axis pair. For more information see Rotary Toolpath (on page 686).

Spiral - creates a spiral pattern within a boundary and projects it onto the model. For more information see Spiral Pattern Toolpath (on page 689).

Surface - similar to Surface Projection Machining, except that there is no projection. Surface Finishing just machines the selected surface and will not attempt to machine any other surfaces. For more information see Surface Finishing (on page 690). Swarf - creates toolpaths which cut with the side of the tool. This technique only works on developable surfaces as the tool needs to be in contact with the surface for the whole cutting depth. For more information see Swarf Machining (on page 696).

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Wireframe Swarf - creates a swarf toolpath from two wireframe curves. Creates a toolpath cutting with the side of the tool as the tool follows the two curves. For more information see Wireframe Swarf Finishing (on page 715).

Buttons
When you create a toolpath, you raise the appropriate dialog, fill in the required fields, and then click Apply. The toolpath is created and the dialog used to create it is displayed, but with nearly all the options dimmed except for the buttons at the top.

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Recycle Toolpath - enables you to edit the parameters of the toolpath you have just created, and then recalculate it. The new toolpath will overwrite the previous one. Copy Toolpath - enables you to make a copy the toolpath you have just created. The copy has the same name as the previous one, but with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want and recalculate it. Clicking either of these buttons will re-activate the dimmed fields.

Name
Defines the name of the toolpath. This name will appear in Explorer.

Tool
The tool used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tool area:

Create Tool - this works in exactly the same way as on the Tool toolbar, allowing you to create a new tool. For more information, see Tool Toolbar (on page 857). Active Tool - displays the active tool (the tool that will be used to calculate the toolpath). The drop-down list displays all the defined tools. Selecting one of the tools from the list will make that tool the active tool. Editor - this works in exactly the same way as Edit Tool on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857). It displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog, it will edit your active tool.

Tolerances
The tolerance used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tolerances area:

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Tolerance - determines how accurately the toolpath follows the contours defined by the model file. Point Distribution (on page 448) distribution of the toolpath. - enables you to alter the point

Thickness (see "Radial and Axial Thickness" on page 486) - specifies the amount of material to be left on within tolerance.

If you click the Thickness

button, the Thickness field changes to

Radial Thickness and the Axial Thickness field also becomes available so you can specify different values for Radial and Axial Thickness.

To avoid too much material being removed, Thickness should be greater than Tolerance. - displays the Component Thickness dialog (see Thickness "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), which allows you to specify the thicknesses of the different surfaces.

Stepover
The stepover used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Stepover frame:

Stepover - defines the distance between successive finishing passes. Cusp Stepover - calculates the stepover value to give a cusp height of the machining tolerance using the current tool, when machining a plane inclined at 45°. This is the worst case cusp height for any given tolerance.

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Boundary
The boundary used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Boundary area:

Create Boundary - this works in exactly the same way as the Create Boundary option on the Boundary toolbar (on page 965), and is also equivalent to selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer. It allows you to create a new boundary. For more information, see Boundary Entity (see "Boundaries" on page 128). The drop-down list contains the different boundary types:

Selected Boundary - the drop-down list to the right of Create Boundary displays the boundary that will be used to limit the toolpath. The drop-down list displays all the defined boundaries. The selected boundary becomes the active boundary. If you don't want to use a boundary to calculate the toolpath, then select a blank boundary from the list. Editor - displays the Boundary Editor dialog that allows you to edit the active boundary. Trimming - trims the toolpath to the active boundary. There are two options: Keep Inside - the toolpath generated inside of the boundary is kept. Keep Outside - the toolpath generated outside of the boundary is kept.

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Using the powerdrill example, define the Block and Tool, and then sketch a boundary:

Then use Constant Z Finishing and select Boundary Trimming to be Keep Inside the following toolpath is generated:

Leads and Links
A summary of the leads and links used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Leads and Links area.

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The Lead In, Lead Out, Short Links and Long Links fields display the leads and links used to create the toolpath. You cannot edit these fields here. They simply display the values defined in the Leads and Links dialog . Leads and Links - displays the Leads and Links (on page 382) dialog, which enables you to edit the Leads and Links.

Tool Axis
Tool Axis - displays the tool axis that will be used to create the toolpath.

- displays the Tool Axis Direction (on page 411) dialog, which enables you to edit the tool axis.

Display
Preview - for some toolpaths, displays the pattern that will be used to create the toolpath. Draw - defines whether or not the preview pattern is displayed on screen.

Toolpath Specification
The remainder of the dialog changes depending on the Strategy chosen.

3D Offset Toolpath
This finishing technique is best suited to machining areas, which require a constant stepover and works well on near vertical faces.

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Spiral - creates a spiral 3D offset toolpath. With the Spiral option deselected you will get the following result:

With the Spiral option selected you will get the following result:

You can see that this minimises the number of tool retracts and converts the original closed contours into one long spiral. Maximum Offsets - when this option is selected, the number of offsets used for the toolpath is restricted to the number specified. Pattern - As usual with offset machining, a boundary must be created to define the extents of the area to be machined, so this field enables you to select a pattern (a specific profile) from the drop-down list. Start on Pattern - when this option is selected, the toolpath is started on the pattern itself, rather than at half an offset away from it. Direction - determines whether Climb or Conventional methods of milling are used, although you also have the option of Any, which allows Zigzag cutting on open toolpath segments. Closed segments default to Climb cutting.

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Constant Z Toolpath
Creates a toolpath by slicing the model at specific Z Heights.

Spiral (on page 588) - produces a spiral path between two consecutive closed contours. This minimises the number of lifts of the tool and maximises cutting time while maintaining more constant load conditions and deflections on the tool. Minimum Stepdown - determines the constant stepdown value between successive machined levels. Calculate Using Cusp - when this option is selected, the stepdown will be influenced by the Maximum Stepdown and the Cusp Height (which become available in the dialog). When this option is deselected, the stepdown between successive Z Heights has a constant value equal to the Minimum Stepdown:

Maximum Stepdown - specifies the maximum allowable stepdown when calculating the stepdown using cusp heights. This stops excessive stepdown on vertical walls.

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Cusp Height - specifies the stepdown so that the height of the material left between Z Heights does not exceed the Cusp Height. However, if the calculated value is smaller than the Minimum Stepdown, it is set to Minimum Stepdown. Corner Correction (on page 590) - when this option is selected, arcs are created in all internal corners of a Constant Z toolpath, using the Arc Radius specified. Arc Radius (Tool Diameter Units) - This defines the radius used if you activate Corner Correction. The radius is defined as a proportion of the tool diameter. The default value is 0.05. So, if you have a tool of diameter 10mm (radius 5mm), then the Arc Radius will be 0.5mm. The Arc Radius slider can have a value between 0 and 0.2. For more information see Corner Correction (on page 590). Pocket Machine - when this option is selected, areas are machined pocket by pocket. When the option is deselected, areas are machined level by level. Direction - determines the direction in which the toolpath will be machined. The options available are Conventional, Climb or Any. Any allows Zigzag cutting on open toolpath segments. Closed segments default to Climb cutting. To change the cut direction for closed segments, use the Reorder Toolpath button Toolpath toolbar. Spiral Spiral produces a spiral path between two consecutive closed contours. This minimises the number of lifts of the tool and maximises cutting time while maintaining more constant load conditions and deflections on the tool. on the

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For example, it converts this:

to this:

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Corner Correction When Corner Correction is turned off, sharpening is carried out on all internal corners, as in the following example:

When Corner Correction is turned on for the same example, arcs are created in all internal corners, using the Arc Radius specified:

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Arc fitting is of particular importance when high speed machining as it eliminates sudden changes in tool direction.

Along Corner Toolpath
Creates a corner toolpath which will follow the trace lines. It is used to clean up corners that occur between non-tangential surfaces. They are automatically calculated inside any existing boundary. If there is no boundary then one is created using the parameters set on the Boundary dialog box.

Direction - determines whether Climb or Conventional methods of milling are used. Output - specifies the type of toolpath you want to generate. This has three options. Steep - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of at least the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Shallow - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of up to the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Both - displays both the steep and shallow portions as two separate toolpaths.

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Maximum Passes - determines the number of passes that you want to create. Select Max Passes and then enter the number of passes you want in the next field. An Along Corner toolpath without any restrictions to the number of passes looks like this:

If you select Maximum Passes and enter the number of passes you want (in this case 1). You will then get a result similar to the following:

Threshold Angle - determines the angle, from the horizontal, at which steep and shallow portions are split when you select a type of Steep or Shallow. Cusp - The stepover between tool passes is automatically calculated using the cutter geometry and this cusp height. Overlap - specifies the amount that the toolpath is extended beyond the borders of the un-machined region. Detection Limit - only corners below the angle specified will be found. Reference (on page 593) - allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath (a pencil toolpath) and / or a Reference Tool (tool used to create the original pencil toolpath).

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Reference This area of the dialog box allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath and / or a Reference Tool.

If no reference toolpath is used a pencil toolpath is created with the old tool and then a corner toolpath is created from the pencil toolpath using the new, smaller tool. The intermediate pencil toolpath is then deleted (so is no longer accessible from within PowerMILL). Using a reference toolpath enables you to select a pencil toolpath. This could be an edited pencil toolpath. The Reference Tool is automatically set to the tool used to create this (edited) pencil toolpath. The automatic corner toolpath is then created from this pencil toolpath using the new, smaller tool. So, you can create a pencil toolpath with tool A, edit the toolpath (say by limiting) and then create a corner toolpath with tool B from the edited pencil toolpath. Use Toolpath Reference - when selected, allows you to select a Reference Pencil Toolpath for corner machining. When unselected, standard corner finishing will result. The reference toolpath must be a pencil toolpath and the tool used to create this toolpath is calculated automatically. Toolpath Name - either type or select the reference toolpath from the drop-down list. Tool - when corner finishing you must specify the dimensions of the previously used tool. Either define the tool geometry here or select it from the drop-down list. When you use a Reference Toolpath the tool used to define the reference toolpath MUST be larger than the tool used to create the corner toolpath. If you use the same tool you may get unreliable results.

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Automatic Corner Toolpath
Creates a corner toolpath which produces Stitch toolpaths on the Steep areas and Along toolpaths on the Shallow areas. It is used to clean up corners that occur between non-tangential surfaces. They are automatically calculated inside any existing boundary. If there is no boundary then one is created using the parameters set on the Boundary dialog box.

Direction - determines whether Climb, Conventional, or Both methods of milling are used. Output - specifies the type of toolpath you want to generate. This has three options. Steep - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of at least the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Shallow - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of up to the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Both - displays both the steep and shallow portions as two separate toolpaths. Threshold Angle - determines the angle, from the horizontal, at which steep and shallow portions are split when you select a type of Steep or Shallow. Cusp - The stepover between tool passes is automatically calculated using the cutter geometry and this cusp height. Overlap - specifies the amount that the toolpath is extended beyond the borders of the un-machined region. Detection Limit - only corners below the angle specified will be found.

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Reference (on page 593) - allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath (a pencil toolpath) and / or a Reference Tool (tool used to create the original pencil toolpath).

Multi-Pencil Toolpath
Creates a multiple trace toolpath by taking contours from the unmachineable areas of a previous tool called the Reference Tool. It is used to clean up corners that occur between non-tangential surfaces. They are automatically calculated inside any existing boundary. If there is no boundary then one is created using the parameters set on the Boundary dialog box.

Direction - determines whether Climb, Conventional, or Both methods of milling are used. Output - specifies the type of toolpath you want to generate. This has three options. Steep - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of at least the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Shallow - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of up to the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Both - displays both the steep and shallow portions as two separate toolpaths. Maximum Passes - determines the number of passes that you want to create. Select Max Passes and then enter the number of passes you want in the next field. For an example of this see Maximum Passes in Along Corner Toolpath (on page 591).

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Threshold Angle - determines the angle, from the horizontal, at which steep and shallow portions are split when you select a type of Steep or Shallow. Cusp - The stepover between tool passes is automatically calculated using the cutter geometry and this cusp height. Overlap - specifies the amount that the toolpath is extended beyond the borders of the un-machined region. Detection Limit - only corners below the angle specified will be found. Separate Regions - processes each continuous pencil segment independently. This produces smoother results but nearby regions might be machined twice. Reference (on page 593) - allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath (a pencil toolpath) and / or a Reference Tool (tool used to create the original pencil toolpath).

Pencil Toolpath
Creates a single trace toolpath. It is used to clean up corners that occur between non-tangential surfaces. They are automatically calculated inside any existing boundary. If there is no boundary then one is created using the parameters set on the Boundary dialog box.

Direction - determines whether Climb, Conventional, or Both methods of milling are used. Output - specifies the type of toolpath you want to generate. This has three options. Steep - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of at least the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Shallow - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of up to the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Both - displays both the steep and shallow portions as two separate toolpaths.

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Threshold Angle - determines the angle, from the horizontal, at which steep and shallow portions are split when you select a type of Steep or Shallow. Detection Limit - only corners below the angle specified will be found. Reference (on page 593) - allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath (a pencil toolpath) and / or a Reference Tool (tool used to create the original pencil toolpath).

Stitch Corner Toolpath
Creates a corner toolpath which will cut across the trace lines. It is used to clean up corners that occur between non-tangential surfaces. They are automatically calculated inside any existing boundary. If there is no boundary then one is created using the parameters set on the Boundary dialog box.

Direction - determines whether Climb, Conventional, or Both methods of milling are used. Output - specifies the type of toolpath you want to generate. This has three options. Steep - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of at least the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Shallow - displays the portion of the toolpath, which makes an angle of up to the Slope Angle to the horizontal. Both - displays both the steep and shallow portions as two separate toolpaths.

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Threshold Angle - determines the angle, from the horizontal, at which steep and shallow portions are split when you select a type of Steep or Shallow. Cusp - The stepover between tool passes is automatically calculated using the cutter geometry and this cusp height. Overlap - specifies the amount that the toolpath is extended beyond the borders of the un-machined region. Detection Limit - only corners below the angle specified will be found. Reference (on page 593) - allows you to specify a Reference Toolpath (a pencil toolpath) and / or a Reference Tool (tool used to create the original pencil toolpath).

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Disc Profile Finishing
Disc Profile Finishing uses a tipped disc tool to create profile toolpaths. The edge of the tool, rather than the tool tip is driven along the surface. This strategy will not cut at sharp angles, but will retract, reposition and then plunge before continuing machining.

Drive Curve - when selected an embedded pattern determines the machining profile rather than the selected surface. Embedded Pattern - determines which curve will be used to create the cutting moves. This allows you to profile a specific part of the model, rather than all of it. Tool Axis - the orientation of the tool axis. The toolpath always cuts the outside. The standard Tool Axis frame on the left side of the dialog is always set to Automatic. Orientation - determines the tool shank orientation.

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Inside:

Outside:

Elevation - the angle of the disc axis, from the horizontal. An elevation angle of 30

Profile Total depth of Cut - the total depth that is required.

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The Depth of Cut, , is measured in the plane of the disc. This means that the depth of cut is not necessarily along the Z axis.

Min Curvature Radius - the minimum machineable curvature radius. When the curvature is sharper than this, the tool will retract, re-position and then plunge before continuing machining. Multiple Cuts allows multiple profiling paths. The first pass is at a depth determined by the Stepdown value, the last pass is at Total Depth of Cut. Stepdown - defines the distance between different machining levels. Direction - determines the milling strategy. Any - creates toolpaths using both conventional and climb milling, as appropriate. Climb - creates toolpaths using only climb milling. Conventional - creates toolpaths using only conventional or 'upcut' milling. Pocket machine - when selected, PowerMILL machines one pocket at a time. When unselected PowerMILL machines one level at a time.

Embedded Pattern Finishing
Creates a toolpath with the contact point defined by an embedded curve. Before you create an embedded pattern finishing toolpath you must create an embedded pattern.

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This dialog is very similar to the Profile Toolpath dialog.

Drive Curve - defines which pattern will be used to create the toolpath and how the tool moves along the surface. Pattern - selects the embedded pattern that defines the contact point of the toolpath. Degouge - when this option is selected the tool can move normal to the surface (by up to the distance specified in the Degouge Tolerance field) to enable the toolpath to move to a safe position. When unselected, the embedded pattern defines the point on the surface which may or may not gouge. Degouge Tolerance - the maximum distance, normal to the surface, that the toolpath can move to find a safe position. Lower Limit - defines the lowest position of the toolpath. Gouge Avoidance - determines what happens to the toolpath when a surface prevents profiling at the lowest position. Strategy - determines how the toolpath behaves when another surface would cause gouging. Lift - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath segments are removed. Trace - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath is raised as little as possible until it reaches a position at which it can machine. It will only raise the toolpath to a position defined in the Upper Limit field. If you do not specify an upper limit then an infinite upper limit is assumed.

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Upper Limit - determines whether you want to set an upper limit, on how far the toolpath can be raised, or not. Once you get above this limit then the toolpath segments are removed. This option only becomes available if a Strategy of Trace is selected and Gouge Check is On. Upper Limit Value - the distance above the surface of the highest segment. This option only becomes available if Upper Limit is selected. Multiple Cuts - allows multiple profiling passes. Mode - determines how the multiple profiles are created. Off - only a single profiling path is created. Offset Down - offsets the top profile, moving down. Where the top profile is the embedded pattern moved up the tool axis by the upper limit. Offset Up - offsets the bottom profile, moving up. Where the bottom profile is the embedded pattern moved up the tool axis by the axial offset or whatever is required by trace degouge option(if selected). Offset Merge - offsets the top and bottom profile merging from one to the other. Maximum Stepdown - the maximum distance between successive passes. Number of Cuts - limits the number of passes when creating a toolpath with multiple cuts. Pocket Machine - when selected, areas are machined pocket by pocket. When deselected, areas are machined level by level.

Example Creating an Embedded Pattern This examples uses phone.dgk available from the Examples file and has a simple rectangular Block defined. First you need to create a pattern and then you must embed it. 1. From the Pattern right click menu select the Create option. Or use Create Pattern on the Pattern toolbar. 2. From the Pattern toolbar select the Insert File into Active Pattern option . You will see the Open Pattern dialog.

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3. Click Patterns.

to display the Examples file and then click on

4. Finally select the TrebleClef.dgk pattern and click on Open.

5. Now to embed the curve from the Pattern Object right click menu select the Edit - Embed menu option. 6. The Embed Pattern dialog is displayed.

7. Choose a Method of Closest Point, an Embedding Distance of 0.1 and a Tolerance of 0.1, then click on Apply.

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8. An Embedded Pattern is created and is marked by explorer. The original pattern is also kept.

in the

This embedded pattern can now be used in an Embedded Pattern Finishing toolpath. Example of Embedded Pattern Finishing Toolpath - Engraving Once you have an Embedded Pattern you can use it to define the tool contact point of a toolpath. This example looks at an engraving toolpath. The Embedded Curves Finishing dialog is very similar to the Profile Finishing dialog.

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1. From the Toolpath Strategies button on the Main toolbar, select the option. This displays the following dialog:

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2. Tool - from the Tool drop-down list click on the Tapered and create a tool with the following Spherical Tool dimensions:

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3. Tool Axis - change the Tool Axis to a Tool Axis of Lead/Lean, with a Lead of 0 and a Lean of 0.

4. Remainder of the Toolpath Dialog - you now need to complete the remainder of the Embedded Curves Finishing dialog.

Drive Curve - enter an Embedded Pattern of Treble Clef_1 Created in Example Creating an Embedded Pattern (on page 603). Lower Limit - have an Axial Offset of -1. Gouge Avoidance - deselect Gouge Check. Since you are engraving the surface you want the toolpath to gouge the surface.

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Upper Limit - select this and have a value of 3. This option will only be available when you select the Mode of Offset Down. Multiple Cuts - have a Mode of Offset Down. Maximum Stepdown of 1. Max Number of Cuts - deselected. Pocket Machine - deselected. Apply the toolpath. 5. The embedded toolpath is now created.

6. You can see that the lowest pass of the toolpath is 1mm below the embedded pattern. You can sometimes get a difference between the toolpath and the embedded pattern as the embedded pattern is at the tool contact position and the toolpath is at the tool tip position. 7. If you look at the toolpath in the explorer you can see the warning symbol. This is here as the toolpath intentionally cuts into the surface to create the engraving.

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8. To get rid of this warning you would have had to gouge check the toolpath.

9. However, if you do this the lowest, engraving pass is removed. If you can you look at the toolpath in the explorer see the toolpath is good.

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Example of Embedded Pattern Finishing Toolpath - Contact Point This example looks at a contact point toolpath. Typically this is used where you want to define the exact position (of contact point) of a toolpath. This example uses Cowling.dgk available in the Examples directory.

1. Create a Block and a Tool. 2. Create a Pattern and Insert a File into Active Pattern .

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3. Select the Pattern Cowling_ContactPoint.dgk available in the Examples - Pattern directory.

4. Now to embed the pattern. From the Pattern Object right click menu select the Edit - Embed menu option.

5. As the pattern is above the model, choose a Method of Drop and click on Apply. An Embedded Pattern is created and is marked by in the explorer. The original pattern is also kept.

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6. From the Toolpath Strategies button select the option.

on the Main Toolbar,

7. Now complete the finishing dialog: Drive Curve - enter an Embedded Pattern of Cowling_ContactPoint_1. Lower Limit - have an Axial Offset of 0. Gouge Avoidance - select Gouge Check. Since you are specifying the exact location of the toolpath you want to ensure that the toolpath doesn't gouge the surface. Strategy - Trace Upper Limit - since you are only going to create a single pass leave this option deselected. Multiple Cuts - have a Mode of Off.

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Apply the toolpath.

Interleaved Constant Z Finishing
Interleaved Constant Z Finishing strategy creates Constant Z toolpaths in the steep areas of a model and 3D Offset toolpaths in the shallow areas. This differs from Optimised Constant Z Finishing as you can specify when to change from 3D Offset machining to Constant Z machining using the Threshold Angle field, and you can specify an Overlap where both 3D Offset and Constant Z toolpaths are created. Also Optimised Constant Z Finishing only uses whole segments, whereas Interleaved Constant Z Finishing will split segments at the shallow boundary. This means that Interleaved Constant Z Finishing toolpaths have far more retracts than Optimised Constant Z toolpaths.

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Threshold Angle - the surface slope, measured from the horizontal, that determines the split between Constant Z and 3D offset machining.

Shows the 3D Offset toolpath in the shallow areas. Shows the Constant Z toolpath in the steep areas.

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Offset Overlap - the size of the overlap area where Constant Z and 3D Offset machining occur. This minimises marks on the model caused by a sudden switch from Constant Z to 3D offset machining.

Shows the 3D Offset toolpath overlapping into the steep areas. Shows the Constant Z toolpath. Direction - defines whether you want Climb, Conventional or Any (both climb and conventional milling). Use Separate Offset Stepover - allows you to define a different stepover for the steep and shallow portions of the toolpath. Normally the stepover is defined by the Stepover field on the left hand side of the dialog. If you select this option, then only the steep (or Constant Z) portion of the toolpath is defined by the Stepover field on the left hand side of the dialog.

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Shallow Stepover - defines the stepover of the shallow (or 3D Offset) portion of the toolpath.

Shows the 3D Offset toolpath stepover in the steep areas. Shows the Constant Z toolpath stepover in the shallow areas. When machining the bottom of a pocket PowerMILL machines form out to in. However, when machining the top of a boss (an area with no steep regions above it) PowerMILL machines from inside to out.

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Offset Flat Machining
An Offset Flat Finishing strategy is now available to provide a simple interface to machine flat areas on the model. More extensive Flat Machining options are available on the Area Clearance dialog.

More extensive Flat Machining options are available on the Area Clearance dialog. For more information see Stepdown (on page 489) and Flat Machining Advanced Settings (on page 552) .

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Final Stepdown - allows you to add a different distance for the final step. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting (see "Flat Machining Advanced Settings" on page 552) frame. Flat Tolerance - this allows you to find areas that are almost flat (flat within the tolerance specified here). These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting (see "Flat Machining Advanced Settings" on page 552) frame. Allow Tool Outside Flat - allows the tool to go outside the flat area. This alleviates the problem of running the tool along a sharp edge. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting (see "Flat Machining Advanced Settings" on page 552) frame. Ignore Holes - ignores holes smaller than a value specified here. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting (see "Flat Machining Advanced Settings" on page 552) frame. High Speed Machining - this area allows you to specify various smoothing options to avoid sharp changes in tool direction when high speed machining. These are the standard Offset Area Clearance options for more information see High Speed Machining - Offset (on page 514). Rest Machining - this enables you to use a large tool to do efficient volume removal and then use a smaller tool to eliminate the large terraces and to machine areas of the model that the large tool couldn't reach such as pockets and corners. The smaller tool only machines areas that could not be reached by the original tool. These are the standard Area Clearance options for more information see Rest Machining (on page 524).

Optimised Constant Z Toolpath
Creates a constant Z toolpath on the steep portions of a model and 3D offset toolpath on the shallow portions.

Spiral (on page 620) - creates a spiral toolpath rather than a series of closed loops. This can minimise the number of lifts.

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Closed Offsets (on page 621) - creates the 3 D offsets from the outside in. When deselected creates the 3 D offsets from the inside out. Direction - defines whether you want Climb, Conventional or Both climb and conventional milling. Use Separate Offset Stepover (on page 621) - enables you to enter a different value for the Shallow Stepover. This value must be greater than or equal to the Stepover value. Once you set a Shallow Stepover the Stepover field becomes the Steep Stepover. Looking at the camera.ttr from the Examples directory, you can see the effect of having a different stepover on the steep and shallow portions. Spiral Spiral creates a spiral toolpath rather than a series of closed loops. This can minimise the number of lifts. It converts this:

To this:

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Closed Offsets Closed Offsets creates the 3 D offsets from the outside in. When deselected creates the 3 D offsets from the inside out. It converts this:

To this:

Use Separate Offset Stepover Use Separate Offset Stepover enables you to enter a different value for the Shallow Stepover. This value must be greater than or equal to the Stepover value. Once you set a Shallow Stepover the Stepover field becomes the Steep Stepover. Looking at the camera.ttr from the Examples directory, you can see the effect of having a different stepover on the steep and shallow portions.

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It converts this:

To this:

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Parametric Offset Finishing
Parametric Offset Finishing machines between two curves. This strategy takes the rulings between two curves to generate the parametric offset toolpath.

Start Curve - a pattern defining the start of the toolpath.

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End Curve - a pattern defining the end of the toolpath.

Shows the End Curve. Shows the Start Curve. Offset Direction - determines how the two curves are joined. Across - the toolpath goes from a point on the start curve to one on the second curve. An example of an Across toolpath is shown below.

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Along - the toolpath is more like an offset toolpath radiating out from the start curve to the end curve. An example of an Along toolpath is shown below.

Limiting Method - determines how the pattern limits the toolpath. Tip Position - the tip of the tool follows the pattern. Contact Position - the contact point of the tool follows the pattern Edge Tolerance - defines the tolerance between the tool contact point and the Start Curve and End Curve. This tolerance has an effect on the quality of the resulting toolpath. An Edge Tolerance of 0 uses the automatic tolerance. This option is only available if you have a Limiting Method of Contact Position. The automatic value works well in most cases. However, when using a very small machining tolerance, specifying an Edge Tolerance can dramatically improve toolpath quality. It is recommended that the Edge Tolerance is larger than the input tolerance. Minimum Stepover - this strategy determines its own stepover based on the tool radius and tolerances used. However, if you want to override this stepover, you need to change this value (which defaults to 0.0 to indicate that the stepover is being calculated automatically). Maximum Stepover - if the automatically generated stepover is too large, you can restrict it by specifying a Maximum Stepover.

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Maximum Offsets - controls the maximum number of offsets.

Selecting this option following result:

and then entering a value of 10 produces the

Direction - defines whether you want Climb, Conventional or Any (both climb and conventional milling).

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Pattern Toolpath
Uses a 2D picture as a pattern and then projects it onto the model. This is then machined. The Picture can contain any number of open or closed 2D contours.

Drive Curve (on page 627) - determines which curve or set of curves will be used to create the cutting moves. Lower Limit (on page 628) - this sets the lowest position of the machining pass. The pattern options are shown using this example: Gouge Avoidance (on page 631) - determines what happens to the toolpath when a surface prevents cutting at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve. The options are shown using a modified example. Multiple Cuts (on page 632) - allows multiple profiling paths. Drive Curve Drive Curve - determines which curve or set of curves will be used to create the cutting moves. Use Toolpath - uses a 3-axis toolpath as the drive curve. In effect, this axially offsets the toolpath up Z by the tool tip radius (converts the tool tip coordinates to tool centre coordinates, for a ball nosed tool the tip radius equals the tool radius) and then converts this toolpath to a pattern. This option can be used to convert an existing 3-axis toolpath into a multi-axis toolpath. Pattern - select the pattern from the drop-down list.

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Ordering - reorders the pattern segments to reduce link distance.

Free Direction - reorders the segments, allowing them to be reversed. Fixed Direction - reorders the segments but does not allow them to be reversed. Pattern - keeps the order the same as the input pattern. No re-ordering takes place. Pocket Machine - when selected and the multiple cuts option is selected, then it machines each pocket individually. Otherwise it machines each level individually Lower Limit Lower Limit sets the lowest position of the machining pass. The pattern options are shown using this example:

It is a cylindrical surface with a pattern of some text (PowerMILL). The pattern is placed above the cylindrical surface. To create the toolpaths you must select the text (PowerMILL) as the pattern.

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Base Position - this sets the lowest position of the toolpath.

Automatic - drops the tool onto the part down the tool axis. This is the same as Drop when the tool axis is vertical.

If you have a different tool axis, say To Line, you will get a different result:

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Drive Curve - uses the edge of the selected pattern.

Drop - drops the tool onto the part down the Z axis. This is the same as Automatic when the tool axis is vertical.

Axial offset - this offsets the pattern in Z. So, if you want the toolpath to be above the pattern then it must be a positive value. Zero depth is where the tool tip touches the pattern. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve.

If you have use a negative offset, so that the pattern would gouge into the part, then the result depends on the Gouge Avoidance options you select.

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Gouge Avoidance Gouge Avoidance determines what happens to the toolpath when a surface prevents cutting at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve. The options are shown using a modified example. Strategy - determines how the toolpath behaves when another surface would cause gouging.

Lift - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath segments are removed. In this case the letters "w e r" are removed.

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Trace - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath is raised as little as possible until it reaches a position at which it can machine. It will only raise the toolpath to a position defined in the Upper Limit field. If you do not specify an upper limit then an infinite upper limit is assumed.

Upper Limit - determines whether you want to set an upper limit on how far the toolpath can be raised or not. Once you get above this limit then the toolpath segments are removed. This option only becomes available if a Strategy of Trace is selected and Gouge Check is On. Upper Limit Value - the distance above the surface of the highest toolpath. Once you get above this limit then the toolpath segments are removed. This option only becomes available if the Upper Limit is selected.

In this case the letter "e" is removed. Multiple Cuts Multiple Cuts allows multiple profiling paths. Mode - determines how the multiple toolpaths are created.

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Off - only a single toolpath is created.

Offset Down - offsets the top cutting move, moving down.

You can see that the lower levels of the toolpath are cropped. In detail:

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Offset Up - offsets the bottom cutting move, moving up.

You can see that the upper levels of the toolpath are cropped. In detail:

Offset Merge - offsets the top and bottom cutting move merging from one to the other.

You can see that the no levels of the toolpath are cropped. In detail:

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Maximum Stepdown - the maximum distance between successive passes. Number of Cuts - limits the number of passes when creating a toolpath with multiple cuts. Selecting Number of Cuts and entering a value of 2 will give this result:

Profile Toolpath
This technique allows you to pick a selection of surfaces and profile around the outside of these surfaces. This technique will only work on surface models (not triangle models).

All the examples shown here have a base plane underneath the model which is not visible. If no base plane was present the toolpath would be very different and in some cases no toolpath would be created. Drive Curve (on page 636) - determines which curve or set of curves will be used to create the cutting moves.

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Lower Limit (on page 637) - this sets the lowest position of the profiling pass. Gouge Avoidance (see "Profile Toolpath - Gouge Avoidance" on page 639) - determines what happens to the profile toolpath when a surface prevents profiling at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve. Multiple Cuts (on page 640) - allows multiple profiling paths. Advanced (see "Advanced Profile Finishing" on page 644) - can sometimes help to improve toolpaths on complex parts. Profile machining automatically creates good results on many complex parts but there are cases where the balance of tolerances and lengths chosen to create the toolpath may be inappropriate. Drive Curve Drive Curve determines which curve or set of curves will be used to create the cutting moves. Side - determines whether you profile on the Inside Edge.

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or Outside Edge of the surface.

Radial Offset - the gap between the tool and the edge curve of the surface. Direction - determines the direction of cut (Climb or Conventional) for the toolpath. Lower Limit Lower Limit - this sets the lowest position of the profiling pass. Base Position - this sets the lowest position of the toolpath.

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Automatic - drops the tool onto the part.

If the tool misses the part then no toolpath is produced. In this case if there is no base plane then half the toolpath "disappears".

Drive Curve - uses the edge of the selected surface.

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Axial offset - this is the depth of the toolpath relative to the selected surfaces. So, if you want the toolpath to be above the selected surfaces then it must be a positive value. Zero depth is where the tool touches the surfaces. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve. The following toolpath is created if you select the two squares: and have a base plane.

Profile Toolpath - Gouge Avoidance Gouge Avoidance - determines what happens to the profile toolpath when a surface prevents profiling at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Drive Curve. Strategy - determines how the toolpath behaves when another surface would cause gouging. Lift - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath segments are removed.

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Trace - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath is raised as little as possible until it reaches a position at which it can machine. It will only raise the toolpath to a position defined in the Upper Limit field. If you do not specify an upper limit then an infinite upper limit is assumed.

Upper Limit - determines whether you want to set an upper limit on how far the toolpath can be raised or not. Once you get above this limit then the toolpath segments are removed. This option only becomes available if a Strategy of Trace is selected and Gouge Check is On. Upper Limit Value - the distance above the surface of the highest profile. This option only becomes available if Upper Limit is selected.

Multiple Cuts Multiple Cuts allows multiple profiling paths.

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Mode - determines how the multiple profiles are created. The various options are shown using the following model with the lower angled plane selected:

Off - only a single profiling path is created.

Offset Down - offsets the top profile, moving down.

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In detail:

Offset Up - offsets the bottom profile, moving up.

In detail:

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Offset Merge - offsets the top and bottom profile merging from one to the other.

In detail:

Maximum Stepdown - the maximum distance between successive passes. Number of Cuts - limits the number of passes when creating a toolpath with multiple cuts. Selecting Number of Cuts and entering a value of 3 will give this result:

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Advanced Profile Finishing Advanced can sometimes help to improve toolpaths on complex parts. Profile machining automatically creates good results on many complex parts but there are cases where the balance of tolerances and lengths chosen to create the toolpath may be inappropriate.

Smoothing - Improves the smoothness of the profiling normal to the surface. Up/Down Axis (TDU) - this type of smoothing can be particularly effective in removing excessive "judder" caused by offsetting internal corners. It is best to try smoothing with the default values initially. Too much smoothing can distort the profile by flattening out too far. An un-smoothed profile (a value of 0.0):

If this is smoothed it is converted to this:

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Angular - 5º is the default value. This type of smoothing can be particularly effective when multi-axis machining and can be used to smooth profiles from trimmed surfaces. Trimmed surfaces can have a "lumpy" edge which is then magnified by the profiling. Angular smoothing minimises this. Tolerances - determines the tolerances used when profile machining. For more information see Advanced Swarf Finishing Dialog (on page 709). Surface Joining Tolerance - this value may be used to disassociate the machining tolerance from the tolerance used to define what is a gap between surfaces. Occasionally a machining tolerance will be chosen that is smaller than the gap between surfaces. When this occurs two segments of toolpath will be created. To ensure one continuous toolpath across a gap a larger surface joining tolerance may be used. Degouge Tolerance - the maximum distance (in addition to radial offset) that is used to push the tool away from the surfaces to avoid gouges. It defines the upper acceptable bound for this intermediate form of gouge avoidance. If gouges greater than this value are detected then the tool will be lifted axially to avoid the gouge. Negative Clearance When profile machining you can now have a negative clearance. This allows you to place the tool over the surface edge and therefore to produce a profile toolpath along a curve. The following example uses a 20mm End Mill and uses a Lower Limit Base Position of Drive Curve.

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Looking in detail:

Curve Projection Toolpath
This new strategy is similar to the Line Projection Finishing strategy except that the pattern is a curve rather than a line.

This dialog is very similar to the Line Projection Toolpath (on page 654). Pattern - defines the pattern that will be used to create the toolpath. Direction - when set to Inwards, then cylindrically shaped regions or objects can be machined. The output is similar to that of Constant Z Machining, but paths are only produced on external (visible) surfaces. When set to Outwards, then internal fillets, holes or cavities can be machined - in particular spiralling down a hole. Pattern (on page 647) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath.

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Preview - produces a quick preview toolpath over the projection shape. A simple toolpath is machined over an imaginary shape. Draw - toggles the display of the preview toolpath. Pattern

Style (on page 648) - defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern. Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining. Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern. Direction - specifies whether the direction is Clockwise or Anticlockwise. Ordering - determines how each successive toolpath segment is linked. One Way - the tool can only cut in one direction. One Way Grouped - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Two Way - the tool cuts in both directions. Two Way Joined - the tool cuts in both directions and successive toolpath segments are joined. Up - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Down - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. For more information see Ordering (on page 679).

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Sequence (on page 667) - allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

Azimuth Angle - the pass is at Start Angle, successively adding Angular Stepover until End Angle is reached. The Angular Limits are measured anticlockwise about the Z axis, with 0 at the X axis. Angular Stepover - the angle between consecutive passes. This option is only available if you select a Style of Circular or Spiral. Parametric Pattern Limits - limits the area that will be machined when selected. The limits are determined by the Start and End fields. Start - when the Pattern Limits is selected, this determines where machining starts. End - when the Pattern Limits is selected, this determines where machining ends. Style Style defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern.

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Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining.

Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern.

Style - Projection Finishing defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern. Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining. Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern.

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Example Using Curve Projection Finishing This strategy is similar to the Line Projection Finishing strategy except that the pattern is a curve rather than a line. It is a technique that can be used when the surface definition isn't adequate to provide good results when using surface projection finishing. This uses the channels.dgk example:

It consists of two channels. One has a well defined surface the other, two poorly defined surfaces.

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Surface projection works well on the well defined surface and badly on the poorly defined surfaces.

If you look in detail at the back channel you can see the problem:

Curve projection Finishing can be used to solve this problem. You need a Pattern to define the locus of the toolpath. In this case a pattern called Spine.dgk (in the Examples\Patterns file) going though the centre of the channel.

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1. From the Toolpath Strategies button select the Finishing and the

on the Main toolbar option.

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2. Select the Pattern and a Style of Linear. The Direction, Angles and Stepover will depend on you model. Then Apply the toolpath.

3. This produces the required smooth toolpath. Looking in detail:

4. If you offset the spine up the Z axis you can get a more complete toolpath in the channel.

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Line Projection Toolpath
Projects a cylindrical pattern onto the model. This pattern is then machined. The centre of this cylinder is the focus of the pattern and is defined by the Azimuth and Elevation sliders. The range of the pattern is described in terms of height and angular limits. This allows projection to/from a non-vertical (typically horizontal) line. Imagine machining a half-cylinder lying on a plane. Project Inwards for a Male cylinder, Outwards for a Female. An elevation angle of 90° makes the projection line horizontal, and a range of 0-180° (depending on Azimuth angle) with a line option will produce toolpath segments along the length of the cylinder. This is a useful technique for bottle moulds.

Location - determines the start of the line, and is entered as X, Y, Z coordinates. Azimuth - This determines the angle of the line in the XY plane. An azimuth angle of 0° is along the X axis, 90° along the Y axis and 180° along the -X axis. Elevation - This determines the angle of the line relative to the vertical (Z). An elevation angle of 0° makes the projection line vertical (down the Z axis). An elevation angle of 90° makes the projection line horizontal (in the XY plane).

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Direction - when set to Inwards, then cylindrically shaped regions or objects can be machined. The output is similar to that of Constant Z Machining, but paths are only produced on external (visible) surfaces. When set to Outwards, then internal fillets, holes or cavities can be machined - in particular spiralling down a hole. Pattern (on page 655) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath. Preview - produces a quick preview toolpath over the projection shape. A simple toolpath is machined over an imaginary shape. Draw - toggles the display of the preview toolpath. Pattern

Style (see "Line Projection - Pattern - Style" on page 657) - defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern. Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining. Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern. Direction - specifies whether the direction is Clockwise or Anticlockwise. Ordering - determines how each successive toolpath segment is linked. One Way - the tool can only cut in one direction. One Way Grouped - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Two Way - the tool cuts in both directions. Two Way Joined - the tool cuts in both directions and successive toolpath segments are joined. Up - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths.

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Down - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. For more information see Ordering (on page 679). Sequence (on page 667) - allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds. Azimuth Angle - the pass is at Start Angle, successively adding Angular Stepover until End Angle is reached. The Angular Limits are measured anticlockwise about the Z axis, with 0 at the X axis.

Start Angle - 180° End Angle - 360° Angular Stepover - the angle between consecutive passes. This option is only available if you select a Style of Circular or Spiral. Height - the first pass is at Start Height, successively adding Height Stepover until End Height is reached.

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Line Projection - Pattern - Style Style defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern.

Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining.

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Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern. As with Point projection finishing, the Rotational parameters are no longer functional and the Clockwise/Anti-Clockwise drop-down menu becomes active.

Plane Projection Toolpath
Projects a planar pattern onto the model. This pattern is then machined. The plane technique produces a pattern on a plane. The plane, which is located by an Anchor Point, can be rotated about the Z axis, and inclined to the vertical plane. The range of the pattern is described in terms of height and width limits.

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This can be used for machining near vertical faces, as well as flat inclined surfaces which require a constant stepover.

Anchor Point XYZ - locates the plane. By default this is at the origin of the workpiece.

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Azimuth - the rotation is measured anti-clockwise about the Z axis with 0 at the X axis.

Rotation of 270° Elevation - the plane can also be inclined to the vertical in order to produce a more effective finish over sloped areas of the model. This will result in the pattern being projected downwards onto the model. This may mean altering the anchor point of the plane so that the entire model is machined, or increasing the Start Height.

Inclination of 20° Direction (on page 661) - defines the direction of the projection. Two options are available: Inwards and Outwards. As you toggle these two options the arrows on the plane toggle provided that the Inclination angle is Zero.

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Pattern (on page 662) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath. Preview - produces a quick preview toolpath over the projection shape. A simple toolpath is machined over an imaginary shape. Draw - toggles the display of the preview toolpath. Direction Direction - defines the direction of the projection. Two options are available: Inwards and Outwards. As you toggle these two options the arrows on the plane toggle provided that the Inclination angle is Zero. Inwards

Outwards

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Pattern

Pattern Direction - defines the orientation of the pattern. The two options available are U and V (the surface parametric directions). Ordering - determines how each successive toolpath segment is linked. One Way - the tool can only cut in one direction. One Way Grouped - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Two Way - the tool cuts in both directions. Two Way Joined - the tool cuts in both directions and successive toolpath segments are joined. Up - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Down - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. For more information see Ordering (on page 679). Sequence (on page 667) - allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

Height - when using a V pattern direction, each pass goes from Start Height to End Height. The first pass is at Start Width, successively adding Width Stepover until End Width is reached.

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Width - when using an U pattern, each pass goes from Start Width to End Width. The first pass is at Start Height, successively adding Height Stepover until End Height is reached.

Point Projection Toolpath
Projects a spherical pattern onto the model. The centre of this sphere is the focus of the pattern. This pattern is then machined. The range of the pattern machined is defined in terms of elevation and angular limits.

Origin Point - determines the centre of the sphere, and is entered as X, Y, Z coordinates. Direction - the projection direction. Two options are available. Inwards - for machining hemispherical regions or objects. Outwards - for machining internal corners or cavities. Pattern (on page 664) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath.

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Preview - produces a quick preview toolpath over the projection shape. A simple toolpath is machined over an imaginary shape. Draw - toggles the display of the preview toolpath. Pattern

Style (see "Point Projection - Pattern - Style" on page 665) - defines the shape of the pattern. Three different styles are available. Linear - this technique produces a line pattern. Circular - this technique produces a circular pattern at sequential Z heights, in a similar manner to constant Z height machining. Spiral - this technique produces a spiral pattern. Direction - specifies whether the direction is Clockwise or Anticlockwise. Ordering - determines how each successive toolpath segment is linked. One Way - the tool can only cut in one direction. One Way Grouped - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Two Way - the tool cuts in both directions. Two Way Joined - the tool cuts in both directions and successive toolpath segments are joined. Up - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Down - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. For more information see Ordering (on page 679).

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Sequence (on page 667) - allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

Elevation Angle - defines the start angle, end angle and the angle between consecutive passes. The elevation values are measured from the horizontal plane.

Start - 0°, End - 30°

Start - 0°, End - 15°

Azimuth Angle - the angular limits are measured anti-clockwise about the Z axis, with 0 at the X axis.

Rotation Angle Start - 0° End - 270° Angular Stepover - the angle between consecutive passes. This option is only available if you select a Style of Circular or Spiral. Point Projection - Pattern - Style Style defines the shape of the pattern. Three options are available.

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Radial - projects a radial pattern onto the surface. The centre of the circle is the focus of the pattern. The range of the pattern machined is again defined in terms of elevation and angular limits.

Circular - projects a circular pattern onto the surface. The centre of the circle is the focus of the pattern. The range of the pattern machined is again defined in terms of elevation and angular limits.

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Spiral - projects a spiral pattern onto the surface from Elevation Start to Elevation Finish with a Pitch of Elevation Stepover When machining using the spiral pattern, the Rotational Limits are no longer functional. Instead, a Clockwise/Anti Clockwise drop-down menu becomes active.

Sequence Sequence allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

None - the raster type movement is maintained. Out to In - the line projection toolpaths are transformed from a raster type movement to a constant Z or spiral type movement. With One Way selected you get:

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With One Way deselected you get:

In to Out - the line projection toolpaths are transformed from a raster type movement to a constant Z or spiral type movement. This is shown below. With One Way selected you get:

With One Way deselected you get:

Surface Projection Toolpath
Surface Projection is a type of drive surface machining. When Multi-Axis machining it gives 5-Axis surface normal parametric machining.

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Surface Units (on page 669) - describes how the stepover and limits are defined. Projection Direction - specifies the direction the surface is projected onto the model. Two options are available. Inwards - projects the surface pattern in the opposite direction to the surface normals by taking the pattern points far from th surface in the direction of surface normals. Outwards - projects the surface pattern in the opposite direction to the surface normals by taking the pattern points far from th surface in the opposite direction of surface normals. Smoothing Tolerance - the tolerance to which the splined curve must follow the surface pattern. If this is set to 0 then an automatic tolerance is used. Angular Smoothing Tolerance - the tolerance to which the surface normals of the splined curve must match the normals of the surface pattern. If this is set to 0 then an automatic tolerance is used. This strategy initially generates a pattern on the surface (to the specified limits) and then splines the pattern and generates the toolpath from this pattern, by projecting it onto the surface. Pattern (on page 670) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath. Preview - produces a quick preview toolpath over the projection shape. A simple toolpath is machined over an imaginary shape. Draw - toggles the display of the preview toolpath. Surface Units Surface Units describes how the stepover and limits are defined. The options are: Distance - the stepover and limits are defined by the physical distance. Parametric - the stepover and limits are defined by the parameterisation of the surface. Normalised - the stepover and limits are defined by the parameter of the surface normalised to the range [0,1]. For example if the minimum U is 1 and the maximum U is 5 then you get the following: Parametric value 1 Normalised value 0

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2 3 4 5

0.25 0.5 0.75 1

Pattern

Pattern defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath. Pattern Direction - defines whether the pattern follows the U or V direction of the underlying surface. Ordering - determines how each successive toolpath segment is linked. One Way - the tool can only cut in one direction. One Way Grouped - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Two Way - the tool cuts in both directions. Two Way Joined - the tool cuts in both directions and successive toolpath segments are joined. Up - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. Down - this is not available for any pattern projection toolpaths. For more information see Ordering (on page 679). Limits - you can now select the limits of the toolpath in the U and V direction. Start - determines where machining starts. This is only available if either U or V is selected. End - determines where machining stops. This is only available if either U or V is selected.

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Start Corner (see "Surface Projection - Pattern - Start Corner" on page 671) - you can choose between four different start corners.

Sequence (on page 667) - allows you to alter the sequence of toolpath segments. This can be useful during line projection of shapes such as bottle moulds.

Surface Projection - Pattern - Start Corner Start Corner you can choose between four different start corners.

For example, if you create a toolpath with Surface Units of Distance and Limits deselected, or with Limits selected and a Start of 0 and an End of 100, you get the same result:

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If you change the Pattern Direction from U to V you will see the following:

If you change the Limit of the U direction you will see the following:

If you change the Limit of the U and V direction you will see the following:

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Radial Pattern Toolpath
Creates a 2D radial pattern within a boundary and then projects it onto the model. This pattern is then machined.

Centre Point - defines the origin of the radial pattern. Since the pattern is centred at the origin of the active workplane, it may need moving before it is projected onto the work surface. The radial pattern can automatically be centred to the middle of the block by clicking on the Reset to Block Centre. Start and End Radius - controls the dimensions of the pattern and the direction of the first pass. This is illustrated in the diagram below:

Start Angle and End Angle - determine over what portion of a full circle the picture is generated, and whether the tool travels in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Angles are measured anti-clockwise from the positive X axis. Start Angle > End Angle - tool travels clockwise. End Angle > Start Angle - tool travels anticlockwise.

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These two alternatives are illustrated in the diagram below:

If you want to machine an area anticlockwise starting at 350 and ending at 10 you need to think about the values you enter. If you enter a Start Angle of 350 and an End Angle of 10 then PowerMILL will travel clockwise and machine the opposite of what you want. So you must enter a Start Angle of 350 and an End Angle of 370 to get the desired result. Corners (on page 674) - controls how sharp corners are handled. Corners Corners controls how sharp corners are handled. Arc Fitted - when selected arcs are created in all internal corners and makes the toolpaths more suitable for high speed machining. When deselected creates a toolpath which may contain sharp changes in direction. Arc Radius (TDU) - defines the radius used for arc fitting. This option is only available if you select Arc Fit. The radius is defined as a proportion of the tool diameter. The default value is 0.05. So, if you have a tool of diameter 10mm (radius 5mm) then the arc radius will be 0.5mm. The Arc Radius slider can have a value between 0.005 and 0.2. For more information see Corners (on page 681).

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Raster Toolpath
This finishing technique is best suited to rectangular models and consists of creating a raster pattern within a boundary and projecting it onto the model.

Angle - Defines the angle of passes relative to the X axis:

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Start Corner - Defines at which corner the machining starts.

Perpendicular Pass Perpendicular Pass - defines a second raster pass perpendicular to the first one. Shallow Angle - allows you to create a perpendicular pass only where necessary - rather than over the whole model. Optimise Parallel Raster - if a raster toolpath is created with a parallel and perpendicular pass, with a shallow angle greater than 0, there is an option to trim the parallel pass so it doesn't machine the areas that the perpendicular pass machines. The examples of the various options in the Perpendicular Pass frame are shown in Perpendicular Pass Examples (on page 676). Ordering (on page 679) - determines the order in which the segments are machined.

Perpendicular Pass Examples Perpendicular Pass - defines a second raster pass perpendicular to the first one. Shallow Angle - allows you to create a perpendicular pass only where necessary - rather than over the whole model. Optimise Parallel Raster - if a raster toolpath is created with a parallel and perpendicular pass, with a shallow angle greater than 0, there is an option to trim the parallel pass so it doesn't machine the areas that the perpendicular pass machines. The effects of the various options in the Perpendicular Pass frame are best shown using the chainsaw.ige model in the Examples file. No Perpendicular Pass

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Perpendicular Pass - deselected. In this case all other options in the frame are greyed out.

One raster pass over the whole part. Perpendicular Pass, Shallow Angle 0 Perpendicular Pass - selected. Shallow Angle - 0.

Two perpendicular raster passes over the whole part. You can see the raster passes perpendicular to each other Perpendicular Pass, Shallow Angle 5 Perpendicular Pass - selected. Shallow Angle - 5.

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One raster pass over the entire model. A second pass, perpendicular to the first, that only machines the areas of the model that are steeper than the Shallow Angle.

You can see the single raster pass over the flat area and the steep sides where the first clears the material effectively and the second perpendicular pass is restricted to the steep areas where the first pass didn't clear the material effectively. Optimise Parallel Raster Perpendicular Pass - selected. Shallow Angle - 5. Optimise Parallel Pass - selected. The second pass only machines the areas of the model steeper than the Shallow Angle. The first pass machines everything except the areas covered by the second pass.

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You can see the first raster pass over the flat area and the steep sides where the first clears the material effectively and the first pass is removed from the areas where the second pass clears the area effectively. The second perpendicular pass is restricted to the steep areas where the first pass didn't clear the material effectively. In this case both the first and second passes are limited, whereas in the previous example only the second pass was limited.

Ordering

All the options are described below and are best described using the simple picture below assuming that the numbered lines are segments of toolpaths. One Way - this will machine the segments in the following order:

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One Way Grouped - this will machine the segments, choosing the shortest distance between each.

Two Way - this will machine the segments in the following order: .

Two Way Joined - this will machine the segments in the following order: :

Up - cutting will always take place on the upward stroke. PowerMILL re-arranges the order and direction of the toolpath segments so they cut only upwards. This may include splitting the segments which include a change of direction.

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Down - cutting will always take place on the downward stroke. PowerMILL re-arranges the order and direction of the toolpath segments so they cut only downwards. This may include splitting the segments which include a change of direction. Arc Radius - Specifies the radius used to fit arcs between consecutive raster paths. This option is only available if you select the Two Way Joined option. The value entered here indicates the maximum possible arc radius. The maximum value used internally is half the stepover.

Corners

Arc Fitted - when selected arcs are created in all internal corners and makes the toolpaths more suitable for high speed machining. When deselected creates a toolpath which may contain sharp changes in direction.

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Arc Radius (TDU) - defines the radius used for arc fitting. This option is only available if you select the Arc Fit option. The radius is defined as a proportion of the tool diameter. The default value is 0.05. So, if you have a tool of diameter 10mm (radius 5mm) then the arc radius will be 0.5mm. The Arc Radius slider can have a value between 0.005 and 0.2.

The yellow toolpath shows the Normal toolpath and the green toolpath shows the Arc Fitted toolpath. Arc fitting is of particular importance when high speed machining as it eliminates sudden changes in tool direction.

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Raster Flat Machining
Raster Flat Finishing provides a simple interface to machine flat areas on a model.

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More extensive Flat Machining options are available on the Area Clearance dialog. For more information see Stepdown (on page 489) and Flat Machining Advanced Settings (on page 552). Final Stepdown - allows you to add a different distance for the final step. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting frame (in the Expert area of the dialog). Flat Tolerance - this allows you to find areas that are almost flat (flat within the tolerance specified here). These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting frame (in the Expert area of the dialog). Allow Tool Outside Flat - allows the tool to go outside the flat area. This alleviates the problem of running the tool along a sharp edge. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting frame (in the Expert area of the dialog). Ignore Holes - ignores holes smaller than a value specified here. These are the standard Area Clearance options available in the Flat machining Advanced Setting frame (in the Expert area of the dialog). High Speed machining (see "Raster Flat Machining" on page 685) this area allows you to specify various smoothing options to avoid sharp changes in tool direction when high speed machining. Rest Machining - this enables you to use a large tool to do efficient volume removal and then use a smaller tool to eliminate the large terraces and to machine areas of the model that the large tool couldn't reach such as pockets and corners. The smaller tool only machines areas that could not be reached by the original tool. These are the standard Area Clearance options for more information see Rest Machining (on page 524).

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Raster Flat Machining High Speed machining - this area allows you to specify various smoothing options to avoid sharp changes in tool direction when high speed machining. You can see this if you compare the results of Profile Smoothing being off, and Profile Smoothing being set to it's maximum value.

This picture shows both toolpaths (the green toolpath has smoothing and the grey one doesn't). Notice how, when Profile Smoothing is switched on, the toolpath edges are smoother and more curved. These are the standard Raster Area Clearance options for more information see High Speed Machining - Raster (on page 512).

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Rotary Toolpath
Creates a toolpath by rotating the job around the X axis, with linear motion provided by the Y and Z axis pair.

X Limits - define the absolute limits of the finishing path along the X axis. These can be manually defined, or automatically defined by pressing the Reset to Block Limits button. Technology (see "Rotary Toolpath - Technology" on page 687) specifies the cutting technology used for rotary milling. Angular Limits - define the angular positions at which machining will Start and End. It is only available during Circle or Line milling. The Start field defines the angular position at which machining is to start, and the End field defines the end angle.

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The angular limits are measure in an anti-clockwise direction when viewed along the positive X axis. The area machined is between the start and end angles.

Reset to Full Circle - ensures that the full 360° are machined. Rapid Move Heights. Safe Area - shows you how the Safe Area, over which rapid moves are allowed to take place, is defined. You cannot change this here. If this option is not correct then click on to change it. Rapid Move Heights - displays the Rapid Move Heights dialog which allows you to change the Safe Area (or any other field).

For more information see Rapid Move Heights (on page 374). Rotary Toolpath - Technology Technology specifies the cutting technology used for rotary milling. Technique - specifies the milling technique (Circle, Line or Spiral).

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Circle - the job rotates with the tool at a fixed position, effectively machining a circle. The tool then steps over the required amount and machines the next circle.

Line - the tool traverses along the X axis in straight lines, with the rotary axis only used at the end of each pass to reposition the job.

Spiral - a continuous spiral is cut along the length of the job. To ensure a clean finish a full circle is cut at the two ends. Since rotation is continuous, only Climb and Conventional milling are available (so, you must have a rotary head that can make an unlimited number of rotations). For the same reason, the Links section is no longer an option.

Direction - determines whether Climb, Conventional, or Any methods of milling are used. Some machine tools may have a limited rotary travel. Selecting Any will alternate the direction of the circles to prevent the rotary axis from “winding up” too far.

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Y-Offset - distance can be specified to avoid cutting on the centre of the tool. This view along the X axis shows how an offset tool approaches a cylindrical shape:

Spiral Pattern Toolpath
Creates a 2D spiral pattern within a boundary and then projects it onto the model. This pattern is then machined.

Centre Point - defines the origin of the spiral pattern. Since the pattern is centred at the origin of the active workplane, it may need moving before it is projected onto the work surface. The spiral can automatically be centred to the middle of the block by clicking on the Reset to Block Centre button. Start and End Radius - control the dimensions of the pattern and determine whether the tool moves inwards towards the centre of the spiral or outwards away from the centre. If the end radius is greater than the start radius, the tool will move outwards. If the start radius is greater than the end radius, then the tool will move inwards.

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This is illustrated in the diagram below:

Polygonisation Tolerance - determines how accurately the spiral pattern follows a true spiral. Direction - the tool direction can be either Clockwise or Anticlockwise.

Surface Finishing
Surface Finishing is similar to Surface Projection Machining, except that there is no projection. Surface Finishing just machines the selected surface and will not attempt to machine any other surfaces.

These options are very similar to the Surface Projection toolpath (on page 668) options. Surface - determines how the selected surface is machined. Surface Units (on page 669) - describes how the stepover and limits are defined.

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Surface Side - defines whether the Outside is machined

or whether the Inside is machined.

Pattern (on page 670) - defines the limits and orientation of the toolpath. When you specify the Stepover for Surface Finishing, it is the stepover of the contact point of the tool. The graphical representation of the toolpath in PowerMILL shows the tool tip position. Therefore there are certain situations (specific part and tool geometries) where the representation of the toolpath in PowerMILL looks as though the stepover is not being respected. This is not the case. If you generate a contact point toolpath you can see that the stepover is respected.

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Surface Finishing Example This example compares the results of Surface and Surface Projection finishing using SurfaceFinishing.dgk from the Examples file. The results of Surface Finishing can be particularly beneficial when wanting to machine a single surface in a cavity.

1. Select the surface you want to machine:

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2. Click the Strategies button and from the Finishing tab select the Surface Finishing option:

3. Accept the default options on the Surface Finishing dialog and click on Apply. Click on Cancel to close the dialog. You can see the toolpath that is created:

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4. Looking in detail:

5. You can now repeat the process but use a strategy of Projection Surface Finishing again using the default options. In this case the following toolpath is created:

6. Obviously you can spend time changing the limits so that no toolpath is created on the top surface.

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7. Looking in detail you can see that, using the defaults, not as much of the selected surface is machined using the Projection Surface Finishing strategy as opposed to the Surface Finishing strategy:

Swarf Machining - Overview
Swarf Cutting is when you cut with the side of the tool and only works on developable surfaces as the tool needs to be in contact with the surface for the whole cutting depth. For a tool to swarf cut, it has to be able to have contact with the surface at all points along the cutting edge of the tool. For non-developable surface, PowerMILL will always leave material on or produce fragmented toolpaths (rather than gouge). This means that you need to look at parts carefully before trying to swarf cut them. It may be that rotating the part (cutting from the side rather than the top of an aerofoil blade) may produce the desired result. Swarf machining will make every attempt to machine the selected surfaces but you may have to consider running more commands including ones with different options for swarf milling to obtain the best machining results.

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It is possible to identify approximately whether a surface is developable and ruled by shading and also displaying its wire frame geometry within PowerMILL. You can then orientate the view to be roughly down the expected tool axis vector. If the surface top edge and the surface bottom edge appear to be parallel at all points on both edges and no shaded elements are visible then the surface is roughly developable and ruled. PowerSHAPE has various functions that allow you to determine whether swarf machining will machine the surfaces in one command. Swarf machining therefore differs significantly from Profile machining (with the lean set to 90°). When profile is used, the surface normals along the edge and the tool direction are used to create the tool-axis and this axis position can be completely different from the one calculated by swarf machining.

Swarf Machining
Swarf Cutting is when you cut with the side of the tool and only works on developable surfaces as the tool needs to be in contact with the surface for the whole cutting depth.

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Many options on this dialog are similar to those on the Profile dialog. The options in the dialog are described using the following model with the main surface selected. Drive Curve (on page 698) - determines which surface or set of surfaces will be used to create the cutting moves. Lower Limit (on page 700) - determines the location of the toolpath. Gouge Avoidance (on page 703) - determines what happens to the swarf toolpath when a surface prevents machining at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Top or Bottom (not Automatic). Multiple Cuts (see "Swarf Machining - Multiple Cuts" on page 706) allows multiple toolpaths. Advanced - displays the following dialog:

Swarf machining automatically creates good results on many complex parts but there are cases where the balance of tolerances and lengths chosen to create the toolpath may be inappropriate. The Advanced Swarf Finishing dialog (on page 709) can sometimes help to improve toolpaths on complex parts. Tool Axis

Automatic Direction - PowerMILL uses the geometry to determine the tool axis. Tool Axis - displays the Tool Axis Direction dialog. The only Tool Axis options available are Vertical or Lead / Lean. If you select Vertical then you don't need the ADVNC and MULTIAXIS licences.

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If you select a Tool Axis of lead / Lean you can only select a Lean Angle. The Tool Axis Lean Angle is limited to a maximum of 75°. Drive Curve Drive Curve determines which surface or set of surfaces will be used to create the cutting moves. The options in the dialog are described using the following model with the main surface selected.

Surface Side - determines whether you swarf cut on the Inside.

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or Outside of the surface.

Radial Offset - the gap between the tool and the surface.

Arc Radius (TDU) - enables PowerMILL to put an arc into a sharp corner.

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Minimum Fanning - as the toolpath moves from one surface to another there can be a change in the ruling direction. Since the tool aligns itself with the ruling direction you have to specify the distance over which the tool can change from one ruling direction to the next. The fanning distance is measured as the smallest movement on either surface edge (or the distance the closest part of the tool is to the opposite part of the surface before fanning starts). The actual fanning distance may be larger than the Minimum Fanning specified, so as to prevent the toolpath from gouging.

Pocket Machine - when selected machines areas pocket by pocket, when unchecked separate areas are machined alternately. Obviously selecting the Pocket Machine option only makes sense if you allow multiple cuts (Multiple Cuts Mode is set to anything except Off). Direction - determines the direction of cut (Climb or Conventional) for the toolpath. Lower Limit Lower Limit determines the location of the toolpath. The options in the dialog are described using the following model with the main surface selected.

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Base Position - this sets the lowest position of the toolpath. Automatic - drops the tool onto the part. If no surfaces are underneath the surface being "swarfed" then no toolpath is produced in that area. The lack of a base surface accounts for the lifts in the example below.

Top - machines the top edge of the selected surface.

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Bottom - machines the bottom edge of the selected surface. What happens when the bottom edge is hidden by other surfaces depends on what you select in the Gouge Avoidance area. The example below has a Lower Limit of Bottom and a Gouge Avoidance Strategy of Lift.

Workplane - drops the tool onto the part but never allows it to go below the specified workplane. Workplane - the workplane that defines the lower Z Height.

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Offset - offsets the lowest position of the toolpath along the tool axis from the position defined in Base Position.

Looking at a an Offset with a Base Position of Bottom.

Gouge Avoidance Gouge Avoidance determines what happens to the swarf toolpath when a surface prevents machining at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Top or Bottom (not Automatic).

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The options in the dialog are described using the following model with the main surface selected.

Strategy - determines how the toolpath behaves when another surface would cause gouging. Lift - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath segments are removed.

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Trace - tries to machine at the lowest position. If it can't machine at the lowest position the toolpath is raised as little as possible until it reaches a position at which it can machine. It will only raise the toolpath to a position defined in the Upper Limit field. If you do not specify an upper limit then an infinite upper limit is assumed.

Upper Limit - determines whether you want to set an upper limit on how far the toolpath can be raised or not. Once you get above this limit then the toolpath segments are removed. This option only becomes available if a Strategy of Trace is selected and Gouge Check is On. None - if there is no upper limit specified it is assumed that there is an infinite limit. Top - the limit is determined as the distance from the top edge. Bottom - the limit is determined as the distance from the bottom edge. Workplane - drops the tool onto the part but never allows it to machine above the specified workplane. Workplane - the workplane that defines the upper Z Height.

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Upper Limit Value - the maximum height of the toolpath.

Swarf Machining - Multiple Cuts Multiple Cuts allows multiple toolpaths. The options in the dialog are described using the following model with the main surface selected.

Mode - determines how the multiple swarf toolpaths are created.

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Off - only a single toolpath is created.

Offset Down - offsets the top cutting path , moving down.

Offset Up - offsets the bottom cutting path , moving up.

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Offset Merge - offsets the top and bottom cutting path merging from one to the other.

Maximum Stepdown - the maximum distance between successive passes. Number of Cuts - limits the number of passes when creating a toolpath with multiple cuts. Selecting Number of Cuts and entering a value of 3 will give this result:

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Advanced Swarf Finishing dialog This is available by clicking on the Advanced button at the bottom of the Swarf Machining dialog.

Smoothing Up/Down Axis (TDU)) - allows the command to smooth out regions of toolpath within the supplied tolerance. Surface Joining Tolerance - this value may be used to disassociate the machining tolerance from the tolerance used to define what is a gap between surfaces. Occasionally a machining tolerance will be chosen that is smaller than the gap between surfaces. When this occurs two segments of toolpath will be created. To ensure one continuous toolpath across a gap a larger surface joining tolerance may be used.

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Surface Joining Tolerance 0.0

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Surface Joining Tolerance 0.6

Degouge Tolerance - the maximum distance (in addition to radial offset) that is used to push the tool away from the surfaces to avoid gouges. It defines the upper acceptable bound for this intermediate form of gouge avoidance. If gouges greater than this value are detected then the tool will be lifted axially to avoid the gouge. This value can therefore be used to control the location and amount of material left on non-swarfable surfaces. For example, if material on a surface can mostly be machined by swarf machining, but there is a region where 3 mm of material could be left then you can choose a radial offset of 3 mm to leave 3mm of material on the whole of the surface or you can set a radial offset of zero and a degouge tolerance of 3 mm. In the latter case, the surface will be completely machined where possible, but some material of up to 3mm will be left on a part of the surface.

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Degouge Tolerance remains in effect even if Gouge Check is not selected. Axis Calculation Tolerance - for a relatively rare number of geometries, the tool axis can waver slightly as it positions accurately on the surfaces to be machined. This can be due to small but significant changes in the geometry as the tool moves from one position to another. To allow a degree of latitude for the command, this tolerance can be set to a value larger than the machining tolerance to allow the tool axis to be stabilised as it moves across this geometrically varying region. As a consequence excess material may be left on the surface involved but the load on the tool may be reduced. No Axis Calculation Tolerance

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Axis Calculation Tolerance 0.5

Fan at end on Planes - when selected means that fanning will happen only in the end region of a plane. When deselected means that fanning will happen everywhere. Reverse Axis - rotates the axis direction by 180. Follow Surface Laterals - when selected, the swarf toolpath follows the underlying surface rulings.

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When deselected this is not necessarily the case.

Wireframe Swarf Finishing
Wireframe Swarf Machining enables you to create a swarf toolpath from two wireframe curves. PowerMILL creates a toolpath cutting with the side of the tool as the tool follows the two curves. As with Swarf Machining you must be able to create a developable surface from the two wireframe curves. For more information see Swarf Machining (on page 696). To create a wireframe swarf toolpath you must first create a Pattern from each curve. It is important to Instrument the patterns to ensure that the patterns are in the same direction.

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If they aren't you must select one of the patterns and then from the Pattern Object right click menu select the Edit - Reverse Selected option.

Wireframe Swarf Finishing
Wireframe Swarf Machining enables you to create a swarf toolpath from two wireframe curves. PowerMILL creates a toolpath cutting with the side of the tool as the tool follows the two curves. As with Swarf Machining you must be able to create a developable surface from the two wireframe curves. For more information see Swarf Machining (on page 696).

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The Wireframe Swarf Finishing dialog similar to the Swarf Finishing dialog

is very .

Drive Curve (on page 698) - determines which surface or set of surfaces will be used to create the cutting moves. The options which aren't the same as in the Swarf Finishing dialog are described below. Top Wireframe - select the Pattern which is used to define the top from the drop-down list. Bottom Wireframe - select the Pattern which is used to define the bottom from the drop-down list.

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Wireframe Side - select which side of the pattern you want to machine.

Selecting the Left Side creates the following toolpath:

Selecting the Right Side creates the following toolpath:

Lower Limit (on page 700) - determines the location of the toolpath. Gouge Avoidance (on page 703) - determines what happens to the swarf toolpath when a surface prevents machining at the lowest position. This option is only available if you select a Lower Limit of Top or Bottom (not Automatic). Multiple Cuts (see "Swarf Machining - Multiple Cuts" on page 706) allows multiple toolpaths.

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Advanced - displays the following dialog:

Wireframe swarf machining automatically creates good results on many complex parts but there are cases where the balance of tolerances and lengths chosen to create the toolpath may be inappropriate. The Advanced Wireframe Swarf Finishing dialog can sometimes help to improve toolpaths on complex parts. Angular Ruling Tolerance - the angular tolerance used when generating ruling between two wireframe curves. This creates the ruling by matching the top and bottom normals within the angular tolerance. This is similar to the creation of developable surface from two rail curves. The remainder of this dialog is the same as Advanced Swarf Finishing Dialog (on page 709). Wireframe Swarf Preview (on page 718) - displays the rulings between curves based on the input ruling tolerance so that you can simulate the result, alter the tolerance until you are happy and then calculate the toolpath. Wireframe Swarf Preview The Wireframe Swarf Preview functionality differs slightly from the Swarf Preview functionality. The Wireframe Swarf Preview just displays the rulings between curves based on the input ruling tolerance so that you can simulate the result, alter the tolerance until you are happy and then calculate the toolpath.

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Selecting the Draw option and then clicking on the Preview button on the Wireframe Swarf Finishing dialog prior to calculating the toolpath will show the following:

Zooming in you can see the rulings more clearly:

The remainder of the dialog is the same as Swarf Machining (on page 696).

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Plunge Milling
Plunge milling is where a specialised cutting tool is used to remove large amounts of material from a component through a series of vertical plunging movements. The major benefit of plunge machining is that material removal rates can be very high and in certain cases exceed rates achievable by more conventional “profile” machining. Plunge machining places extreme demands on both CNC machine and cutting tool. As such it is vital that you fully understand the limitations of your production facilities before undertaking any plunge machining. Failure to recognise these limitations and work within them can lead to severe damage to your equipment. To create a Plunge Milling toolpath you must have an existing toolpath which provides the pattern for the plunge milling toolpath and a stock model which defines the current state of the stock. You must be careful about entry points and pre-drill holes into any pockets otherwise they will be ignored. A more detailed document Plunge Machining Guidelines gives general advice on using plunge milling toolpaths.

Toolpath - an existing toolpath which provides the pattern for the plunge milling toolpath. Stock Model - defines the current state of the stock. Core Radius - the radius of the central portion of the tool where there are no cutting edges.

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Pull Back Distance - the distance that the tool will pull back away from the model to ensure that there are no dwell marks on the part or extraneous cutting moves added. During Plunge Milling, the tool is placed under enormous stress; this causes the tool to be deflected. For this reason, it is often necessary to pull the tool back from the part at the end of each cutting move. This releases the stresses and the tool reverts to its original shape so you don't get any unexpected cutting moves.

Example Using Plunge Milling This uses Impeller.dgk.

1. Create a Block

and a 20mm End Mill Tool .

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2. Create a Raster Finishing Toolpath

.

3. Create a Stock Model of the block by selecting Create from the Stock Models right click menu. Then on the Stock Model Object menu select Apply Block and then Calculate.

4. From the Toolpath Strategies button Clearance tab and then Plunge Milling 5. This displays the Plunge Milling dialog.

select the 3D Area .

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In the Toolpath drop-down list select the Raster Finishing Toolpath created in step 2 . This is used to act as a pattern for the Plunge Milling toolpath. In the Stock Model drop-down list select the stock model created in step 3. This displays the un-machined stock so PowerMILL can work out what material needs to be removed. Enter a Core Radius of 2. This defines the central portion of the tool where there are no cutting edges. Enter a Pull Back Distance of 0.5. This defines the distance that the tool will pull back away from the model to ensure that there are no dwell marks on the part or extraneous cutting moves added. During Plunge Milling, the tool is placed under enormous stress; this causes the tool to be deflected. For this reason, it is often necessary to pull the tool back from the part at the end of each cutting move. This releases the stresses and the tool reverts to its original shape so you don't get any unexpected cutting moves. Click on Apply. 6. The Plunge Milling toolpath is now calculated.

7. It is easier to see this toolpath using the new ViewMill Simulation. From the Plunge Mill Toolpath right click menu select Animate - Start. This raises the Simulation Toolbar.

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8. Click on the ViewMill Toggle button

and click on Play

.

9. You can see that this creates a very rapid volume removal rate, but it is likely that this will need to be followed by a rest roughing toolpath.

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Port Machining
The Ports tab on the Toolpath Strategy the model will be port machined. New dialog defines how

In all cases the strategies create toolpaths in a port (or tube) and the toolpath retracts back safely up the port. An approximate centreline of the port is required. Port Machining strategies only work with spherical tools (ball nosed and spherical tipped disc tools).

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Selecting one of the options from this dialog and then clicking on the OK button creates a batch toolpath and then displays the Port Machining dialog.

The left side of the dialog is standard for all toolpaths and defines the parameters used to create the toolpath (such as the tool, tolerance, stepover, boundary, leads and links required for toolpath). The right hand half of the dialog contains data that is specific to one type of toolpath or a particular strategy type. The batch toolpath is automatically created in the explorer.

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You can tell that it is a batch toolpath because of the . This is converted to a complete toolpath once you enter the relevant values on the finishing dialog and click on the Apply button on the Machining dialog. For more information on the New dialog see Toolpath Strategies (on page 467) in the reference documentation.

Port Machining Strategies
Defines the Port Machining strategy that you want to use.

The various strategies are listed below: Port Area Clearance (on page 734) - creates a toolpath by offsetting the model and block. This technique is best suited to machining areas which require a constant stepover and works well on near vertical surfaces. Port Plunge Finishing (on page 741) - enables plunge machining inside a port. Plunge machining automatically creates good retract moves. All plunge toolpaths are continuous 5-axis toolpaths.

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Port Spiral Finishing (on page 744) - enables spiral machining inside a port.

Buttons
When you create a toolpath, you raise the appropriate dialog, fill in the required fields, and then click Apply. The toolpath is created and the dialog used to create it is displayed, but with nearly all the options dimmed except for the buttons at the top. Recycle Toolpath - enables you to edit the parameters of the toolpath you have just created, and then recalculate it. The new toolpath will overwrite the previous one. Copy Toolpath - enables you to make a copy the toolpath you have just created. The copy has the same name as the previous one, but with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want and recalculate it. Clicking either of these buttons will re-activate the dimmed fields.

Name
Defines the name of the toolpath. This name will appear in Explorer.

Tool
The tool used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tool area:

Create Tool - this works in exactly the same way as on the Tool toolbar, allowing you to create a new tool. For more information, see Tool Toolbar (on page 857).

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Active Tool - displays the active tool (the tool that will be used to calculate the toolpath). The drop-down list displays all the defined tools. Selecting one of the tools from the list will make that tool the active tool. Editor - this works in exactly the same way as Edit Tool on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857). It displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog, it will edit your active tool.

Tolerances
The tolerance used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tolerances area:

Tolerance - determines how accurately the toolpath follows the contours defined by the model file. Point Distribution (on page 448) distribution of the toolpath. - enables you to alter the point

Thickness (see "Radial and Axial Thickness" on page 486) - specifies the amount of material to be left on within tolerance.

If you click the Thickness

button, the Thickness field changes to

Radial Thickness and the Axial Thickness field also becomes available so you can specify different values for Radial and Axial Thickness.

To avoid too much material being removed, Thickness should be greater than Tolerance. - displays the Component Thickness dialog (see Thickness "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), which allows you to specify the thicknesses of the different surfaces.

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Stepover
The stepover frame varies between an area clearance and a finishing toolpath. Port Area Clearance Stepover frame.

Stepover - defines the distance between successive machining passes (see (see ). ). Stepdown - defines the distance between different machining levels.

Port Finishing Stepover frame.

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Stepacross - defines the distance between successive machining passes (see ).

Boundary
The boundary used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Boundary area:

Create Boundary - this works in exactly the same way as the Create Boundary option on the Boundary toolbar (on page 965), and is also equivalent to selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer.

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It allows you to create a new boundary. For more information, see Boundary Entity (see "Boundaries" on page 128). The drop-down list contains the different boundary types:

Selected Boundary - the drop-down list to the right of Create Boundary displays the boundary that will be used to limit the toolpath. The drop-down list displays all the defined boundaries. The selected boundary becomes the active boundary. If you don't want to use a boundary to calculate the toolpath, then select a blank boundary from the list. Editor - displays the Boundary Editor dialog that allows you to edit the active boundary. Trimming - trims the toolpath to the active boundary. There are two options: Keep Inside - the toolpath generated inside of the boundary is kept. Keep Outside - the toolpath generated outside of the boundary is kept.

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Using the powerdrill example, define the Block and Tool, and then sketch a boundary:

Then use Constant Z Finishing and select Boundary Trimming to be Keep Inside the following toolpath is generated:

Leads and Links
A summary of the leads and links used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Leads and Links area.

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The Lead In, Lead Out, Short Links and Long Links fields display the leads and links used to create the toolpath. You cannot edit these fields here. They simply display the values defined in the Leads and Links dialog . Leads and Links - displays the Leads and Links (on page 382) dialog, which enables you to edit the Leads and Links.

Tool Axis
Tool Axis - displays the tool axis that will be used to create the toolpath.

- displays the Tool Axis Direction (on page 411) dialog, which enables you to edit the tool axis.

Display
Preview - for some toolpaths, displays the pattern that will be used to create the toolpath. Draw - defines whether or not the preview pattern is displayed on screen.

Port Area Clearance
Port Area Clearance enables rapid removal of material inside a port.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern - the pattern serves three purposes: 1. Indicates the port to machine. The pattern must be entirely within the port you want to machine. 2. Controls the orientation of the slices. The slices are normal to the pattern. If you use Workplane Limits then the workplanes override the pattern. 3. Determines which end of the port is machined first. A typical pattern can be seen in below.

Clearance (on page 736) - the tool shank and holder clearance. This is in addition to any Thickness defined and is added to the side of the tool to avoid collision with cusps or un-machined material. Port Machining uses a series of 3+2 Axis machining strategies wherever possible. The clearance value dictates when PowerMILL needs to change from one axis to the next. Limits (on page 736) - determines what portion of the model is machined. By default the whole model is machined. Ramping - determines how the tool descends into the block. Slope Angle - the angle of descent as the tool ramps into the block. Ramp Diameter (TDU) - the ramp moves are made in a circle spiralling down into the block. The Ramp Diameter controls the maximum circle diameter in Tool Diameter Units (on page 739).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 735

Machining Options (on page 737) - determines which ends of the ports are used and how far you machine down each end of the port. Clearance Clearance - the tool holder, shank and side of cutter clearance.

Holder Clearance Shank Clearance Tool Shaft Clearance PowerMILL automatically adds a small tapered clearance around the bottom of the shaft of the cutter. The length of the tapered portion is the same as the tool radius. Limits

Limits determines what portion of the model is machined and controls the direction of the slices. By default the whole model is machined. The limits are at the tool centre (sphere centre) not the tool tip position.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Workplane Limits - if selected the toolpath is limited to the workplanes specified below. If workplane limits are used then the plane of the slices is interpolated between the XY planes of the two workplanes. Upper Limit - select a workplane to define the upper machining limit (say (say in the figure below). in the figure below). Lower Limit - select a workplane to define the lower machining limit

Limits are useful when: 1. The pattern extends beyond the end of the port. 2. The orientation of the port doesn't match the plane normal to the pattern. Port machining only machines closed slices. 3. You only want to machine part of the port. Machining Options

Machining Options - determines which ends of the ports are used and how far you machine down each end of the port.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 737

Machine - determines which ends of the ports are used and how far you machine down each end of the port. One end of the port is called End (say in the figure below) and the other Start (say below). in the figure

Maximum from End - machines as far as possible down one end of the port before machining down the other end of the port. Using the diagram above, PowerMILL would machine as far as possible from before trying to machine from . Maximum from Start - machines as far as possible down the other Start end of the port before machining down the other end of the port. Using the diagram above, PowerMILL would machine as far as possible from before trying to machine from . Equally from Ends - machines equally down both ends of the port. From End Only - machines as far as possible down one end of the port only. Using the diagram above, PowerMILL would machine as far as possible from . From Start Only - machines as far as possible down the other Start end of the port only. Using the diagram above, PowerMILL would machine as far as possible from .

The Start and End are determined by the direction of the Pattern. Workplane limits override the Pattern direction. Spiral - spirals inside slices.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Partial - if there are full slices which cannot be machined from either end, then Partial machines the maximum possible area (while avoiding collisions). This calculation is slower and some rest material will remain. Tool Diameter Units Tool Diameter Units - is the distance relative to the tool diameter. So with a 10mm tool and a TDU of 0.5, this gives an actual value of 5mm. Port Machining Area Clearance Machining Strategy PowerMILL will start machining the port with a 3-Axis strategy if it can.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 739

Once it can no longer create the toolpath without a collision, PowerMILL automatically creates a tool axis which will enable further 3+2 Axis machining. This continues down the port and PowerMILL will then create a 5-Axis strategy if necessary.

Once no further toolpath can be created while accessing one side of the port, PowerMILL accesses the port from the other end and applies the same principle of machining with 3+2 Axis strategies wherever possible.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Port Plunge Finishing
Port Plunge Finishing enables plunge machining inside a port. Plunge machining automatically creates good retract moves. All plunge toolpaths are continuous 5-Axis toolpaths.

Pattern - defines the location of the port and the orientation of the subsequent machining. For more information, see Port Area Clearance (on page 734). Clearance (on page 736) - the tool holder, shank and side of cutter clearance.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 741

Limits (on page 736) - determines what portion of the model is machined. By default the whole model is machined. Direction - defines whether you want Climb, Conventional or Any (both climb and conventional milling). Merge (on page 742) - determines how the machining from either end of the port meets. Merge Merge determines how the machining from either end of the port meets.

Merge Point - determines how far (as a percentage) you machine down each end of the port. Lift Start - the distance before the Merge Point that the tool starts to lift. Overlap - the distance centred on the Merge Point that the toolpaths overlap. This is an actual value (not a percentage). Lift Height - the distance away from the port walls (into the centre) that the tool lifts at the Merge Point. The lift at the end of the toolpath segment will be greater.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Lift Start and Lift Height are needed to minimise the effects of tool springback. When you machine the port from the first end, the tool is plunging into thick material and the resulting forces push the tool away from the side of the port (leaving small amounts of material on the port). Now you machine from the other end. Initially there are similar forces on the tool (causing springback), but when the tool reaches the start of the overlap distance, the forces suddenly change and the tool springback suddenly reduces. This looks like a "dig in" but is actually just machining to the required depth. The Lift Start and Lift Height values minimise this effect.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 743

Port Spiral Finishing
Port Spiral Finishing enables spiral machining inside a port.

Pattern - defines the location of the port and the orientation of the subsequent machining. For more information, see Port Area Clearance (on page 734). Clearance (on page 736) - the tool holder, shank and side of cutter clearance.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Limits (on page 736) - determines what portion of the model is machined. By default the whole model is machined. Direction - defines whether you want Climb, Conventional or Any (both climb and conventional milling). Merge (on page 742) - determines how the machining from either end of the port meets.

Blisk
The Blisks tab on the Toolpath Strategy New dialog contains the area clearance and finishing strategies required to machine a blisk or impeller.

Blisk machining strategies only work with: Spherical tools (ball nosed, tapered spherical, and spherical tipped disc tools). A cylindrical symmetric hub containing one untrimmed surface of revolution. A cylindrical symmetric shroud containing one untrimmed surface of revolution that must match the blade (and splitter) profile. At least 2 blades. If there is a splitter blade, it must extend as far radially as the left and right blade. The fillet must be in the same level (or set) as the blade.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 745

Selecting one of the options from this dialog and then clicking OK creates a batch toolpath and displays the Blisk Area Clearance dialog.

Blisk Machining Strategies
Defines the Blisk Machining strategy that you want to use.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The various strategies are listed below:

Blisk Area Clearance (on page 755) - enables rapid removal of material when machining a blisk.

Blade Finishing (on page 763) finish machines the blades.

Hub Finishing (on page 766) finish machines the hub.

Buttons
When you create a toolpath, you raise the appropriate dialog, fill in the required fields, and then click Apply. The toolpath is created and the dialog used to create it is displayed, but with nearly all the options dimmed except for the buttons at the top.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 747

Recycle Toolpath - enables you to edit the parameters of the toolpath you have just created, and then recalculate it. The new toolpath will overwrite the previous one. Copy Toolpath - enables you to make a copy the toolpath you have just created. The copy has the same name as the previous one, but with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want and recalculate it. Clicking either of these buttons will re-activate the dimmed fields.

Name
Defines the name of the toolpath. This name will appear in Explorer.

Tool
The tool used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tool area:

Create Tool - this works in exactly the same way as on the Tool toolbar, allowing you to create a new tool. For more information, see Tool Toolbar (on page 857). Active Tool - displays the active tool (the tool that will be used to calculate the toolpath). The drop-down list displays all the defined tools. Selecting one of the tools from the list will make that tool the active tool. Editor - this works in exactly the same way as Edit Tool on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857). It displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog, it will edit your active tool.

Tolerances
The tolerance used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tolerances area:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tolerance - determines how accurately the toolpath follows the contours defined by the model file. the Thickness button is greyed out as you can only specify a general Thickness value, you cannot have have differing Radial and Axial Thickness values. Point Distribution (on page 448) distribution of the toolpath. - enables you to alter the point

Thickness (see "Radial and Axial Thickness" on page 486) - specifies the amount of material to be left on within tolerance. To avoid too much material being removed, Thickness should be greater than Tolerance. - displays the Component Thickness dialog (see Thickness "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), which allows you to specify the thicknesses of the different surfaces.

Stepover
The stepover frame varies between an area clearance and a finishing toolpath. Blisk Area Clearance Stepover frame.

Stepover - defines the distance between successive machining passes (see ).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 749

Stepdown - defines the distance between different machining levels. (see ).

Blisk Finishing Stepover frame.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Stepdown - defines the distance between successive machining passes (see ).

Boundary
The boundary used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Boundary area:

Create Boundary - this works in exactly the same way as the Create Boundary option on the Boundary toolbar (on page 965), and is also equivalent to selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 751

It allows you to create a new boundary. For more information, see Boundary Entity (see "Boundaries" on page 128). The drop-down list contains the different boundary types:

Selected Boundary - the drop-down list to the right of Create Boundary displays the boundary that will be used to limit the toolpath. The drop-down list displays all the defined boundaries. The selected boundary becomes the active boundary. If you don't want to use a boundary to calculate the toolpath, then select a blank boundary from the list. Editor - displays the Boundary Editor dialog that allows you to edit the active boundary. Trimming - trims the toolpath to the active boundary. There are two options: Keep Inside - the toolpath generated inside of the boundary is kept. Keep Outside - the toolpath generated outside of the boundary is kept.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Using the powerdrill example, define the Block and Tool, and then sketch a boundary:

Then use Constant Z Finishing and select Boundary Trimming to be Keep Inside the following toolpath is generated:

Leads and Links
A summary of the leads and links used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Leads and Links area.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 753

The Lead In, Lead Out, Short Links and Long Links fields display the leads and links used to create the toolpath. You cannot edit these fields here. They simply display the values defined in the Leads and Links dialog . Leads and Links - displays the Leads and Links (on page 382) dialog, which enables you to edit the Leads and Links.

Tool Axis
Tool Axis - displays the tool axis that will be used to create the toolpath.

- displays the Tool Axis Direction (on page 411) dialog, which enables you to edit the tool axis. By default this is set to Automatic which is the recommended Tool Axis. If the Tool Axis is set to anything other than Automatic an intentionally unsafe toolpath is produced. The toolpath will have the desired tool axis with NO attempt is to make it safe. This toolpath can be used as a starting point to construct a toolpath by other methods (such as pattern machining or manual tool axis editing) if automatic tool axis proves unsuccessful.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Blisk area clearance
Blisk Area Clearance enables rapid removal of material when machining a blisk or impeller. Blisk area clearance only machines down to a level that it can machine completely.

Blisk Definition - defines the different parts of the blisk or impeller, and how many blades you want to machine. Initially, you must define the geometry that makes up the individual components of a blisk. Each of the blisk components must be grouped together into a single Level or Set.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 755

A blisk such as:

which contains no splitter blades or fillets, can be represented as:

- hub - shroud - left blade - right blade

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

An impeller such as:

Can be represented as:

- hub - left blade - right blade - splitter blade - fillet for left blade - fillet for splitter blade - fillet for right blade

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 757

The shroud isn't displayed, but is required. When defining your levels/sets they must contain the following surfaces: Hub level/set must contain surfaces . . , and and and and . . . .

Shroud level/set must contain surfaces Fillets level/set must contain surfaces

Left Blade level/set must contain surfaces Right Blade level/set must contain surfaces Splitter Blade level/set must contain surfaces

Hub - select the Level or Set that defines the hub geometry from the drop-down list. Shroud - select the Level or Set that defines the initial unmachined stock geometry from the drop-down list. Fillets - select the Level or Set that defines the fillet geometry from the drop-down list. All the fillets must also be in the Level or Set that defines the blade. Since entities can be in only one level (but can belong to many sets) if levels are used to define the blade, then a set must be used to define the fillets. The fillet surface must belong to both the level defining the blade and the set defining the fillet. Left Blade - select the Level or Set that defines the left blade (and any fillet) geometry from the drop-down list. The left blade must be positioned clockwise from the right blade. So the left blade is the blade on the left when viewed looking into the gap that will be machined, in the direction of the central axis, with the Z axis of the active workplane pointing upwards. Right Blade - select the Level or Set that defines the right blade (and any fillet) geometry from the drop-down list. The right blade must be positioned counter-clockwise from the left blade.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Splitter Blade - select the Level or Set that defines the splitter blade (and any fillet) geometry from the drop-down list. Hub - select the Level or Set that defines the hub geometry from the drop-down list. Machine - the number of blades you want to machine. One Blade - area clears between the two selected blades.

All Blades - area clears the whole blisk.

Total Number - the total number of blades on the blisk. This option is only available if you select a Machine option of All Blades. Calculate - automatically calculates the Number of blades on the blisk. Tool Axis Elevation - these options are only available if you select a Tool Axis of Automatic. From - defines the initial target tool axis.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 759

Radial Vector - a radial tool axis normal to the Z axis. Hub Normal - a tool axis normal to the hub. This gives a continuously changing elevation angle. Shroud Normal - a tool axis normal to the shroud. This gives a continuously changing elevation angle. Offset Normal - a tool axis normal to the current toolpath offset. This gives a continuously changing elevation angle. Average Hub Normal - a tool axis which is the average angle if Hub Normal was selected. This gives a constant target elevation angle. If possible, PowerMILL will keep to this angle; otherwise PowerMILL deviates as necessary. Average Shroud Normal - a tool axis which is the average angle if Shroud Normal was selected. This gives a constant target elevation angle. If possible, PowerMILL will keep to this angle; otherwise PowerMILL deviates as necessary. Average Offset Normal - a tool axis which is the average angle if Offset Normal was selected. This gives a constant target elevation angle. If possible, PowerMILL will keep to this angle; otherwise PowerMILL deviates as necessary. Angle - elevation angle. This option is only available with a From of Radial Vector. Machining - defines the offset profile, order and direction for machining. Offset - defines how to offset from the hub profile to the shroud profile. Off - only machines the last slice, closest to the hub. This is equivalent to selecting the Hub Finishing (on page 766) strategy. Offset Down - offsets the shroud profile. The offsets continue as an offset of the shroud until the hub profile is reached, at which point the hub profile is followed. Offset Up - offsets the hub profile. Merge - starts by offsetting the shroud profile and slowly migrates the offset so that at the end it's offsetting the hub profile.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

An offset of Merge gives this result:

- shows the first offset which follows the shroud profile. - shows the last offset which follows the hub profile. - shows the hub. - shows the shroud. The profiles between the first and last offsets gradually change from the shroud profile to the hub profile. Pocket machine - when selected, PowerMILL machines one pocket at a time. When unselected, PowerMILL machines one level at a time. This option is only available if you select a Machine of All Blades. Pocket machine is selected:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 761

Pocket machine is unselected:

Direction - determines the milling strategy. Climb - creates toolpaths using only climb milling. Conventional - creates toolpaths using only conventional or 'upcut' milling. Any - creates toolpaths using both conventional and climb milling, as appropriate. Blisk Area Clearance will not machine below a level that it has not machined completely.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Blade finishing
Blade Finishing finish machines the blades of a blisk or impeller. Whether this is done one blade at a time or one pocket at a time depends on the Machining Operation selected.

This diagram shows Machine - One Blade and an Operation of Machine All Faces. The majority of this dialog works in exactly the same way as the Blisk Area Clearance (on page 755) dialog. Blisk Definition - defines the different parts of the blisk or impeller, and how many blades you want to machine. Tool Axis Elevation - defines the initial target tool axis.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 763

Machining - defines the offset profile, order and direction for machining. The only additional option here is Operation. Operation - defines which faces of the blades are machined. Machine Left Blade - all the faces of the left hand blade are machined. This option minimises the number of lifts. If this option is combined with Machine of All Blades, then all the blades are machined completely.

Machine All Faces - machines all the faces in the pocket. Machine Splitter - machines all the faces of the splitter. Left and Splitter Blades - machines all the faces of the left blade, and all the faces of the splitter. Right and Splitter Blades - machines all the faces of the right blade, and all the faces of the splitter. Machine Left Blade and Machine All Faces produce toolpaths encompassing the whole blisk (assuming the blisk has no splitter blades) if a Machine option of All Blades is selected. However, the actual toolpaths and leads and links will look different.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

When finishing single blades, the blades on either side of the blade being machined must be modelled (though they don't have to be on any particular level or set).

- blade to be machined. , - blades which must be modelled, but don't need to be on any specific level or set.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 765

Hub finishing
Hub Finishing finish machines the hub between two blades.

The majority of this dialog works in the same way as the Blisk Area Clearance (on page 755) dialog. Blisk Definition - defines the different parts of the blisk or impeller, and how many blades you want to machine. Tool Axis Elevation - defines the initial target tool axis. Machining - defines the offset profile, order and direction for machining. The only difference is that Machine gives you the option of One Pocket or All Pockets.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Example of Blisk machining
This example looks at how to set up and machine a simple blisk. It uses Blisk_Simple.dgk in the Examples folder.

1. Create the Levels and Sets (on page 767). 2. Define the Block and Tool (on page 769). 3. Define Surface default thickness (on page 770). 4. Create the Blisk Area Clearance toolpath (on page 771). 5. Define appropriate Leads and Links (on page 772). Create the levels and sets To machine a blisk, each blisk components must be grouped into a series of levels or sets. The model in this example contains the necessary levels and sets.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 767

There is no reason why Whole Blisk is a set and the rest are levels. Whole Blisk could have been a level, with all the rest being sets. They can't all be levels as Whole Blisk contains entities which are in the other levels/sets. What is important is that the hub, shroud, left blade, right blade and splitter blade (if they exist) are all in individual levels/sets.

- hub - shroud - left blade - right blade These four sets/levels are the only surfaces that are required to machine the whole blisk.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Define the block and tool The block is a simple cylindrical block.

1. Create a cylindrical Block

.

2. Create a 25mm diameter Ball Nosed Tool On the Tip tab, enter: Diameter - 25 Length - 80

.

On the Shank tab, click on the Add a Shank component button, and enter: Upper diameter - 25

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 769

Length - 80 Define surface default thickness For all Blisk Machining strategies, you must have a Shroud defined as a Level or Set. However, this surface must be ignored when creating the toolpath, otherwise it would be impossible for the tool to access the material to be removed. 1. In the Thickness Preferences Defaults tab. dialog, open the Surface

2. Select the first thickness set in the list Mode of Ignore.

, and a Machining

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Select the Shroud in the graphics window, and click the Acquire Component 4. Click Accept. Create the Blisk area clearance toolpath You have now completed the setup, and can create the toolpath. 1. Click the Toolpath Strategies button, open the Blisks tab, and then select the Blisk AreaClear Model strategy. button.

This example uses a coarse Tolerance, Stepover and Stepdown. The Tool Axis is set to Automatic.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 771

2. Select the appropriate levels (or sets) to define the Hub, Shroud, Left Blade and Right Blade. Leave the Splitter Blade field blank. 3. Select a machine of One Blade if you want to minimise machining time. Otherwise, select a Machine of All Blades, and click the Calculate button to area clear the whole blisk. 4. Select an Elevation From of Hub Normal, and an Offset of Offset Up. 5. Click Calculate to compute the toolpath.

Define appropriate leads and links The cutting moves of the toolpath created in Create the Blisk area clearance toolpath (on page 771) are correct, but the links need to be defined appropriately. One of possible solutions is offered below:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

1. In the Leads and Links

dialog, click the Lead In tab.

Select: 1st Choice - Extended Move Distance - 10 Click Copy to Lead Out to copy these valued to the Lead Out tab. 2. Open the Links tab.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 773

Select: Short/long Threshold - 100 Short - Circular Arc Along - Tool Axis Automatically - selected Maximum Length - 250 3. Click Apply to apply the changes to the active toolpath.

When the Allow Start Points to be Moved on the Lead In tab of the Leads and Links dialog is selected, then the lead in and lead out moves of closed toolpath segments are placed in the middle of the concave part of the main blade. This can leave witness marks on the part. If you deselect this option, the closed toolpath segments start and end at the Z minimum of each blade.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Drilling
The Drilling tab on the Toolpath Strategy New dialog defines how the model will be machined during drilling.

Selecting Drilling from this dialog and then clicking on the OK button creates a batch toolpath and then displays the Drilling dialog. Before outputting any drilling toolpaths please ensure that your post processor is configured to support drilling.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 775

This dialog defines which holes to drill and how to drill them.

New Dialog
This dialog enables you to select the type of toolpath that you want to create.

Selecting one of the options from this dialog and then clicking on the OK button does one of two things:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

If you select a Strategy then a batch toolpath is created and the Drilling dialog is displayed.

The left side of the dialog is standard for all toolpaths and defines the parameters used to create the toolpath (such as the tool, thickness and links required for toolpath). The right hand half of the dialog contains data that is specific to drilling. The batch toolpath is automatically created in the Explorer. This is converted to a complete toolpath once you enter the relevant values on the finishing dialog and click on the Apply button on the Drilling dialog.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 777

If you select a Method then a batch toolpath is created and the Drilling Methods dialog is displayed.

The list includes some basic methods. You can create your own methods to suit your particular way of working. For more information see Drilling Method (on page 814). For more information on the New dialog see Toolpath Strategies (on page 467).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Buttons
When you create a toolpath, you raise the appropriate dialog, fill in the required fields, and then click Apply. The toolpath is created and the dialog used to create it is displayed, but with nearly all the options dimmed except for the buttons at the top.

Recycle Toolpath - enables you to edit the parameters of the toolpath you have just created, and then recalculate it. The new toolpath will overwrite the previous one. Copy Toolpath - enables you to make a copy the toolpath you have just created. The copy has the same name as the previous one, but with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want and recalculate it. Clicking either of these buttons will re-activate the dimmed fields.

Name
Defines the name of the toolpath. This name will appear in Explorer.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Main toolbar • 779

Tool
The tool used to calculate the toolpath is displayed in the Tool area:

Create Tool - this works in exactly the same way as on the Tool toolbar, allowing you to create a new tool. For more information, see Tool Toolbar (on page 857). Active Tool - displays the active tool (the tool that will be used to calculate the toolpath). The drop-down list displays all the defined tools. Selecting one of the tools from the list will make that tool the active tool. Editor - this works in exactly the same way as Edit Tool on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857). It displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog, it will edit your active tool.

Tolerances

Tolerance - determines how accurately the toolpath follows the hole. Thickness (see "Radial and Axial Thickness" on page 486) specifies the amount of material to be left on within tolerance. Radial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. Axial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool, in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the drill. To avoid too much material being removed, Thickness should be greater than Tolerance.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Links
A summary of the links used to calculate the toolpath are displayed in the Links area.

The Short Links and Long Links fields display the links used to create the toolpath. You cannot edit these fields here. They simply display the values defined in the Leads and Links dialog . Leads and Links - displays the Leads and Links dialog. This enables you to edit the Leads and Links. For more information see Leads and Links (on page 382).

Select and Draw

Draw - when selected draws the tool in the selected holes.

When deselected the tool is not drawn in the selected holes.

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Main toolbar • 781

Select - enables you to select holes by a number of different criteria. The Feature Selection dialog is displayed. For more information see Select Features (on page 164).

Gouge Check - when selected gouge checks your drilling toolpath. There are times where holes are capped, partially capped, not modelled or partially modelled which all show the required drilling toolpath to be gouging. To avoid these problems don't Gouge Check the Drilling toolpath.

Drilling Strategy

Cycle Type (on page 783) - determines how the drilling is performed.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Define Top By (on page 784) - allows you choose the start places for drilling. Operation (on page 785) - defines the drilling operation and drilling depth. Sorting - defines the order you will drill the selected holes. The start point is always that which is nearest to the tool start point. For more information see Sorting (on page 795). Drilling Values (on page 786) - these values are displayed pictorially. The names of these fields are shown as tooltips. Multi Axis - all multi-axis drilling toolpaths are identified with a the top right hand corner of the dialog. in

PowerMILL knows when a drilling toolpath is Multi-Axis and defines the appropriate toolpath. Multi-Axis Drilling toolpaths are created when the holes have a different axis from the active workplane. 3-Axis toolpaths are created when the holes have the same axes direction as the active toolpath. Cycle Type Cycle Type determines how the drilling is performed there are several options here:

Single Peck - the drilling is performed in one operation. Deep Drill - the drilling is performed in several stages (multiple peck). Break Chip - the drilling is performed in several stages (multiple peck) with a dwell at each peck. Tapping - the drilling is performed in one way and reverse out.

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Rigid Tapping - allows a Peck Depth to be entered as well as a Pitch. The number of pecks and the pitch are output in record 29000. Helical - This enables you to bore out a large hole with a small tool. The concept is similar to trochoidal milling. The difference being that the trochoidal milling machines a slot (no variation in Z) and the helical milling drills a hole (machines down the Z axis). For more information see Helical Milling (on page 801). Ream - the first of the boring cycles (G85). Counter Bore - the second of the boring cycles (G86). Profile - cuts the hole using circular moves. A tool smaller than the size of the hole is required. At each depth it moves on to edge of the hole using a circular arc lead with a straight extension, cuts a circle, then moves back to the centre with a circular arc lead and straight extension. You may use a thickness value to create a smaller hole. Fine Boring - an alternative deep drilling cycle, so may be used for machines where there are a variety of deep drilling cycles. It is anticipated that "Fine Boring" will be used for the Fanuc control fine boring cycle. Deep Drill 2 - a second deep drill cycle where the drilling is performed in several stages (multiple peck). Reverse Helical - a second helical drill cycle. This enables you to bore out a large hole with a small tool. It performs a helical movement from the bottom of the hole. So this can only be used for finishing a hole (the hole must have been pre-drilled). Cycle 1 to Cycle 5 - alternative deep drilling cycles, so may be used for machines where there are a variety of deep drilling cycles. It is anticipated that "Fine Boring" will be used for the Fanuc control fine boring cycle. Bore3 to Bore 5 - These correspond to the third, fourth and fifth type of boring cycles (G87-G89) normally found on a machine tool. The difference between the boring operations varies from machine tool to machine tool.

Define Top By Define Top By allows you choose the start places for drilling. Hole Top - drilling starts at the top of the hole.

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Use Component Top - drilling starts at the top of the component rather than the top of the hole. This can be useful when drilling compound holes. Block - drilling starts at the top of the block. In the example below the 1 shows the Hole Top and 2 shows the Component Top.

Operation Operation defines the drilling operation and drilling depth.

Drill to Hole Depth - drills to the hole depth. The Hole Depth value is filled in and greyed out and is defined from the Feature definition. Full Diameter - the full diameter of the tool drills to a specific depth. In this case, the bottom tip of the tool drills further into the material. Through Hole - drills through the hole. The hole depth plus the tapered part of the drill plus a fiddle factor are added together to define the Hole Depth value. Centre Drill - centre drills the part. By default the Hole Depth value is the radius of the drill. Pre Drill - drills to the hole depth. By default the Hole Depth value is defined from the Feature definition of the hole depth. Counter Bore - counter bores the part. By default the Hole Depth value is the radius of the drill. Chamfer (on page 790) - Chamfers the hole to the width specified by the Chamfer frame on the Advanced Drilling dialog.

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User Defined - allows you to type in the incremental distance above the hole where you want the pecking to start. This can be useful when you have a large amount of material above the top of the hole that needs to be removed using a drilling cycle. Drilling Values Drilling Values - these values are displayed pictorially. The names of these fields are shown as tooltips.

Clearance - the distance above the top of the hole. By default this is the same as the Incremental Start Z. Peck Depth - defines the maximum distance the drill will plunge in any one move when using Deep Drill or Break Chip. Feed Rate - the speed of the tool when it is plunging into the material. These are vertical moves. By default this is the same as the Plunge field on the Feed Rate dialog . If you change the value in the Drilling dialog the Feed Rate dialog is not updated for example if you alter the Pitch for Tapping you would not expect this to change the Plunge Feed Rate for the next finishing toolpath. Spindle Speed (rpm) - the rotation of the spindle in rpm. By default this is the same as the Spindle Speed field on the Feed Rate dialog . For similar reasons to the Feed Rate above, if you change the value in the Drilling dialog the Feed Rate dialog is not updated. Start - the incremental distance above the hole where you want the pecking to start. If you wish to drill just to the top of the hole you then set the depth to 0 (depth is still measured from the top of the hole). Depth - defines the depth of the drilling in the hole. Dwell Time - the tool dwells before retracting at the end of each peck. This value defines the length of time that the drill remains at the bottom each peck.

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Component (on page 808) - allows you to select by the diameter or length of a particular hole component. When you do select by this means the complete hole is selected (and not just the hole component). Drilling Cycle Output - saves drilling cycles as canned cycles. This is particularly useful when Profile Drilling. You can create a Drilling Template and select your Drilling Cycle option from the template. The options you select on the Drilling dialog (including the state of the Use Drilling Cycles) are also selected on the NC Program dialog by default, but you can change your mind on the NC Program dialog. Pitch - this replaces Peck Depth for strategies such as Helical, where pitch is just a distance.

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Pitch also replaces Feed Rate for strategies such as Tapping, where pitch is the feed per revolution.

Expert Drilling

An Expert Drilling dialog is available by clicking on the Arrow the right hand side of the dialog.

on

Exactly what is shown on the right hand side depends on the options selected in the left hand side of the dialog.

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Clockwise - the default is for drilling toolpaths go anti-clockwise. This option now allows clockwise drilling. Coolant - allows you to specify the coolant type for each individual drilling toolpath. Retract - allows you to specify whether you make a Partial or Full retract. If you have a Cycle Type of Helical then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Taper (on page 789) frame. You can create a Chamfer (on page 790) with a tool larger than the hole without having to define the hole as a tapered hole by selecting an Operation of Chamfer. This then enables a Chamfer frame in the Advanced Drilling dialog. Feed Rate reduction Factors (see "Feed Rate Reduction" on page 791) - allows you to reduce the feed rate towards the top or bottom of a hole. If you have a Cycle Type of Deep Drill then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Decreasing Pecks (on page 793) frame. If you have a Cycle Type of Profile then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Profile (on page 794) frame. Taper If you have a Cycle Type of Helical then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Taper frame.

Draft Angle - allows you to specify a draft angle when Helical Drilling. This enables you to easily create a chamfer.

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Chamfer You can create a Chamfer with a tool larger than the hole, without having to define the hole as a tapered hole, by selecting an Operation of Chamfer. This then enables a Chamfer frame in the Advanced Drilling dialog. If you have a Cycle Type of Single Peck the following Chamfer frame is displayed:

In this case the tool must be larger than the hole. If you have a Cycle Type of Profile, a different Chamfer frame is displayed:

In this case the tool must be smaller than the hole. Diameter - this is the diameter at the top of the hole. Initially this is the diameter of the hole without the chamfer. As you enter a width, the diameter changes to be the width of the original hole plus twice the width value. Width - this is the increase in radius of the hole. Tooltip Clearance - the distance between the lower edge of the chamfer and the tip of the tool. You can only use a Drill or a Tapered Tool.

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Feed Rate Reduction Feed Rate Reduction allows you to reduce the feed rate towards the top or bottom of a hole for Single Peck, Ream and the Boring cycles.

This means the tool can slow down at the bottom of a hole, or move on slowly then speed up (or even "slow, quick, slow" for the situation where there are two holes, one above the other and fresh air in between). If the machine used has a drilling cycle which supports this option, this can be set up in the option file (otherwise, you need to set the cycle output to off on the NC program form). Start Distance - the distance over which the start feed rate is reduced. A value of 0.2 reduces the feed rate for 20% of the hole length. Start Feed - the factor by which the feed rate is reduced at the top of a hole. A value of 0.25 reduces the feed rate by 25%. End Distance - the distance over which the end feed rate is reduced. A value of 0.35 reduces the feed rate by 35% of the hole length. End Feed Rate - the factor by which the feed rate is reduced at the bottom of a hole. A value of 0.3 reduces the feed rate by 30%.

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All the numbers are factors, so must be between 0 and 1.

Safe Z Top of the hole. Point at which the feed rate reaches 100%. Point at which the feed rate starts to decrease again. Bottom of hole. Retract Feed - the factor by which the feed rate is reduced (or increased) as he drill retracts up the hole. A value of 2 increases the retract feed rate to be twice the feed rate. Retract at Rapid - when selected, the drill retracts up the hole at the Rapid Feed Rate Feed rate. . When deselected, the drill retracts at the Retract

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Decreasing Pecks If you have a Cycle Type of Deep Drill then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Decreasing Pecks frame.

Decreasing Pecks - allows you to reduce the peck depth towards the bottom of a hole for Deep Drill or Break Chip cycles. Peck Decrease - the factor by which the peck depth should be reduced. A value of 0.25 reduces successive peck depths by 25%. Subsidiary Peck - the distance between successive pecks. The drill only retracts to the clear plane at the Peck Depth rather than the Subsidiary Peck distance. So, if you have a Peck Depth of 3 and a Subsidiary Peck of 1, the drill moves as follows:

- Down 1.0 - Up 0.1 - Down 1.1 - Up 0.1 - Down 1.1 - Up to the Clear Plane

- Down 4.0 - Up 0.1 - Down 1.1 - Up 0.1 - Down 1.1 - Up to the Clear Plane

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and so on... Minimum Peck - the minimum allowable peck depth. When this value is reached no further decrease in peck depth takes place. Retract Factor - the factor by which the drill retracts between one peck and the next. A value of 0.25 retracts the drill by 25% of the peck depth between successive pecks. Retract Feed - the factor by which the feed rate is reduced (or increased) as he drill retracts up the hole. A value of 2 increases the retract feed rate to be twice the feed rate. Retract at Rapid - when selected, the drill retracts up the hole at the Rapid Feed Rate Feed rate. Profile If you have a Cycle Type of Profile then the Expert Drilling dialog has a Profile frame. . When deselected, the drill retracts at the Retract

Draft Angle - allows you to specify a Draft Angle and therefore create a chamfer. Overlap Angle - the angle (between 0° and 90°) over which the profile overlaps. Lead Distance - the distance of the Lead move before (or after) the drilling toolpath. It is not the length of the arc but the straight line distance from the start point to a point on the circumference of the circle. Final Profile Pass - allows you to have a different allowance for the final profiling pass. For more information see Profiling (on page 503).

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Sorting
Selection an option from the Sorting drop-down list defines the order you will drill the selected holes. The start point is always that which is nearest to the tool start point.

As Created - creates a random toolpath where the holes are drilled in the order in which they were created.

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X One Way - creates a toolpath where the holes are drilled along X.

X Two Way - creates a toolpath where the holes are drilled along X, using two-way machining.

Y One Way - creates a toolpath where the holes are drilled along Y. Y Two Way - creates a toolpath where the holes are drilled along Y, using two-way machining. Diagonal 1 One Way - creates a diagonal one-way machining toolpath.

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Diagonal 1 Two Way - creates a diagonal two-way machining toolpath.

Diagonal 2 One Way - creates a diagonal one-way machining toolpath. Diagonal 2 Two Way - creates a diagonal two-way machining toolpath. Shortest Path - this attempts to create the shortest toolpath overall.

Closest Point - this moves from one hole to the next closest hole. This may not be the shortest toolpath overall.

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Concentric Circles - drills in concentric circles radiating out from the tool start point position.

Radial - drills holes radially radiating out from the tool start point position.

Cylinder - drills holes along a cylinder.

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Auto Hole Selection
Taking the example below, which has two 5mm holes, four 10mm holes and a pocket.

From the Toolpath Strategies button

select a Drilling strategy.

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Click on the Select button to display the following:

In the Diameters area click on 5.00 and then click on the button. This enters Diameter 5 in the Selection Filter area. Now both the 5mm holes are selected

Now do the same for the 10mm holes.

Now all the 10mm holes are selected. For more information see Select Feature (see "Select Features" on page 164).

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Helical Milling
This enables you to bore out a large hole with a small tool. The concept is similar to trochoidal milling. The difference being that the trochoidal milling machines a slot (no variation in Z) and the helical milling drills a hole (machines down the Z axis). This example looks at helical milling a 20mm diameter hole with a 15mm diameter drill. 1. Initially you must import a model (in this case dash_wire.dgk), create a block and define a 15mm drill tool.

2. Now you need to create a hole. From the right click Feature Sets menu select Create Feature Set.

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3. This creates a new empty Feature Set. Now to create the hole, from the right click Feature Sets object menu select Settings.

4. This displays the Feature dialog.

5. Select the points at the centre of the holes and then define the following: Type - Hole Use - Points Diameter - 20

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Then also define the depth of the hole. In this case : Define Top By - Absolute with a Value of 10. Define Bottom By - Absolute with a Value of -5. Then click on Apply and then Close. You will now see the holes:

You now need to Drill the holes. 6. First raise the Drill dialog by clicking on the Toolpath Strategies .

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7. Select the Drilling tab and select the Drilling option from the list. Click on OK this then displays the Drilling dialog.

8. Click on the Select button. This displays the Feature Selection dialog.

9. In the Selection Filter select All Holes and then click on the Select button followed by the Close button. 10.On the Drilling dialog and enter the following values:

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Name - HelicalDrilling Tool - select the 15mmDrill tool Cycle Type - Helical Operation - Drill to Hole Depth Clearance - 5 Pitch - 5

11.Click on Apply to calculate the drilling toolpath and then on Close to close the Drilling dialog.

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You can see the helical drilling toolpath. This can easily visualised using ViewMill.

Or without the tool:

You must ensure that the tool you use to helical mill the hole is at least half the size of the hole. We recommend that the tool diameter is between 60% and 90% of the hole diameter. If the tool is less than half the size of the hole then an upstand will be left in the centre of the hole and, at the end, when the tool offsets itself inwards to finish the bottom the hole, the tool will break. Clearly, it doesn't make sense to use this method if the tool diameter is the same size as the hole diameter.

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Compound Holes
Compound Holes contain several superimposed holes. Taking this example:

If you create a Compound Hole you will create one hole containing two components: The first component has a length Component of First. The second component has a length a Component of Second or Last. and diameter and diameter . This has a . This has

If you create individual holes you will create two holes: The first hole has a depth The second hole has a depth and diameter and diameter . .

You can see the difference between the representation of a compound hole and an individual hole in the Feature Sets created.

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A compound hole can have a Top, Bottom and Component Top.

The fist component has a Top Component of First. The second component has a Top Bottom

and Bottom

. This has a and

, Component Top

. This has a Component of Second.

Component Component allows you to select by the diameter or length of a particular hole component. When you do select by this means the complete hole is selected (not just the hole component). The Component option is available on the Drilling Methods, Drilling Strategy and Feature Selection dialogs (the latter is available from the Select button on the Drilling Strategy dialog).

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Component is only available for Compound Holes.

First - the component with the largest diameter. Second - the second component of the hole. Third or Last - the component with the smallest diameter. Second or Last - the component with the smallest diameter. The smallest diameter component is always the Last component. So in the picture above the Last component is the same as the Second in one hole, and the same as the Third in another. Example Using Component This example shows you how to use the Component option when drilling compound holes. It uses the Component Holes.dgk model in the Examples file.

1. Create a Block

.

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2. From the Feature Sets right click menu select Create Feature Set.

Choose a Type of Hole, Use of Holes and ensure that Compound Holes are selected. Then click Apply followed by Close.

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3. A feature set containing some simple holes and some compound holes is created.

- Compound hole - Simple hole 4. From the Drilling tab on the Toolpath Strategies select the New Drilling Method strategy. dialog

5. In the Selection frame, choose a Select By of Diameter and a Component of Largest.

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In the Diameters frame select 18.0 and click the right hand frame.

so it appears in

6. You can now see all the holes with the first (or largest) component of 18.0 selected. Since you are selecting by diameter, the Largest is the same as the First. If you were selecting by depth, this wouldn't necessarily be true.

7. In the Process frame of the Drilling Methods dialog click on the Add Strategy button. 8. Enter the following: Cycle Type - Single Peck Define Top By - Hole Top Operation - Drill to Hole Depth Now Close the strategy dialog.

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9. Click Apply to calculate the toolpath.

Although you selected all the holes with a Largest Component of 18.00, you actually drilled them with a 11mm diameter drill to the depth of the complete hole and not just to the depth of the first component.

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Drilling Method
Selecting a Drilling Method from the New dialog displays the Drilling Methods dialog.

Processes - displays the drilling method that you have defined. Add Process - adds a new process to the drilling method. A process is a collection of selections and strategies. Name - gives a name to a Process. This field becomes available when you have just created a new process (by clicking on the New Process button) or when you click on a process in the Processes area.

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Add Strategy - defines a strategy which is added to the current process. This displays the Drilling dialog. You can then change the values in the Drilling dialog to reflect requirements you have. The strategy name displayed in the Processes area is the Cycle Type defined in the Drilling dialog. Save - saves the drilling method. The Export Method dialog is displayed. This is very similar to all other Save dialogs. Move to the correct directory and save the method as a PowerMILL template. - deletes the selected processes. If no processes are selected then it deletes all the processes. Selection

Selection - displays the selection criteria that you have defined. Select by - determines how you are going to select the required holes. A drop-down list is displayed giving the selection criteria

The remaining fields change their name depending on the option selected in the Select by pull down list. Minimum - defines the minimum value of the item selected in the Select By drop-down list.

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Maximum - defines the maximum value of the item selected in the Select By drop-down list. Text - the final field changes depending on the item selected in the Select By drop-down list. In all case you need to enter some text. Component (on page 808) - holes can be selected by depth and diameter. You can select by all diameters and lengths in Compound Holes (on page 807) using the Component. You can select all holes with one hole index and then drill to another. For example, you can select all compound holes with a diameter of, say, 20 and a length of 5, and then drill them using another tool index with, say, a diameter of 12 and a length of 25. - deletes the selection criteria.

Defining a Drilling Method
This example shows you how to define a drilling method for tapping. It uses the RetainerPlate.dgk model from the Examples file. Since this model was created in imperial units, imperial units will be used throughout. Please check that Units are Inches on the Info toolbar. If not then change Tools - Options - Working Units to Imperial.

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This example will look at creating a tapping cycle for the 4.5 inch and 1.5 inch holes. Initially you must load RetainerPlate.dgk and create a block. Then select the whole model and from the Feature Sets right click menu select the Recognise Holes in Model. Make Feature Set 1 active.

1. Click on the Toolpath Strategies button Drilling tab.

and then select the

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2. Select the New-Drilling-Methods strategy and click on OK. This displays the Drilling Methods dialog.

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3. You can start by clicking the Process called Process. Enter a Process Name ( ), say 4.5 Inch Tap, and press the enter key. This name is now visible in the Processes area.

4. Now you need to select the 4.5 inch holes. Select a Select by of Diameter ( ) (even if it is already selected, reselect it) and a )of 4.49 and a Maximum Diameter Minimum Diameter (

( )of 4.51. These values are then displayed in the Selection area. Click on Apply. 5. An Information dialog is now displayed, saying Toolpaths Created. Simply Close this dialog.

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6. Now you want to centre drill the 4.5 inch holes. Click on the Add Strategy ( ) button. This displays the Drilling dialog.

7. Enter the following values: Cycle Type - Single Peck Operation - Centre Drill Depth - 0.2 Split Toolpaths - selected Then click on Close on the Drilling Strategy dialog. 8. Now you want to deep drill the 4.5 inch holes. Click on the Add Strategy ( dialog: ) button. Enter the following values into the Drilling

Cycle Type - Deep Drill Operation - Drill to hole Depth Peck Depth - 0.5 Radial Thickness - 0.02 Axial Thickness - -0.2 Split Toolpaths - selected

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Then click on Close on the Drilling Strategy dialog. 9. Finally tap the 4.5 inch holes. Click on the Add Strategy button. Enter the following values into the Drilling dialog: Cycle Type - Tapping Operation - Drill to hole Depth Pitch - 0.1 Radial Thickness - 0 Axial Thickness - -0 Split Toolpaths - selected Then click on Close on the Drilling Strategy dialog.

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10.Create a new Process by clicking on the Add Process button and then enter a Name, say 1.5 Inch Tap, and press the enter key. This name is now visible in the Processes area. 11.Now you need to select the 1.5 inch holes. Click on the Add Selection button. Enter a Select by of Diameter and a Minimum Diameter of 1.49 and a Maximum Diameter of 1.51. These values are then displayed in the Selection area. The Selection is now visible in the Processes area. 12.To create the drilling strategies simply repeat steps 7 - 11.

13.To save this drilling method click on the Save button displays the Export Method dialog.

. This

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14.Move to the required directory. In this case the Drilling directory and give the drilling method a name, say, My Tapping, and click on Save. 15.To calculate all the drilling toolpaths click on Apply on the Drilling Methods dialog. The toolpaths area created and an Information window is displayed:

16.Close all the dialogs (Information, Drilling and Drilling Methods). 17.Looking in the explorer you can see the toolpaths and tools that have been created.

18.The toolpath gives information about the drilling method used to create the other toolpaths.

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Editing a Drilling Method
To edit a drilling method simply display the method and click on the strategy or selection that you want to edit. Then save the method.

Tools used in a Drilling Method
In the Defining a Drilling Method (on page 816) example no tools were defined. PowerMILL simply worked out what drills were required given the hole size and the radial thickness specified. If you look at the tools defined they are : A drill with diameter 4.5 inches. A drill with diameter 4.46 inches, created because of the Radial Thickness - 0.02 used when Deep Drilling. A tap with diameter 4.5 inches. A drill with diameter 1.5 inches. A drill with diameter 1.46 inches, created because of the Radial Thickness - 0.02 used when Deep Drilling. A tap with diameter 1.5 inches. You can specify a tool in any of the following ways: Define a tool from the Drilling dialog. Select a tool from the list in the Drilling dialog. Create Tool drop-down list in the Active Tool drop-down

Define a drill or tap with a specified Diameter. PowerMILL determines whether to create a Tap (if the Strategy is Tapping) or a Drill (for any other Drilling Strategy) in the Drilling dialog. Define a drilling tool with a diameter specified by the hole size less the Radial Thickness in the Drilling dialog. In this case you don't specify any tool and let PowerMILL determine the tool automatically. Define a drilling tool with a diameter specified by the hole size. In this case you don't specify any tool and let PowerMILL determine the tool automatically.

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Create Toolpath List
The Create Toolpath drop-down list lets you select the type of toolpath you want to create from a list of favourites. The toolpath displayed on the toolpath toolbar depends on which toolpath you select from the drop-down list:

This is a list of the default favourites. You can change this list to your own list. For more information see Favourites (on page 477). This works in a very similar way to the Create Tool button on the Tool Toolbar. Selecting any one of the buttons on the list displays a toolpath dialog box. If, for example, you select the Raster Area Clearance option the Raster Area Clearance dialog is displayed.

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Toolpath Verification
The toolpath verification dialog checking. encompasses collision and gouge

Check - checks the toolpath to see it any part of collides or gouges. There are two options: Collisions - checks the toolpath against the tool holder and/or shank hitting the part. Gouges - checks the toolpath against the cutting part of the tool. Check Against - checks the toolpath against the model or a named stock-model. Models - checks the toolpath against the models in the project. Stock Model - checks the toolpath against the stock model. You select the stock model from the drop-down list.

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Scope - controls which elements of the toolpath are checked. If the toolpath contains selected components of the type specified, then only that set of selected components will be checked. So, for example, if the scope has been set to Links, then if some of the links within the toolpath have been selected, only that subset of selected links will be verified.

All - all the toolpath components are checked. Cutting Moves - the toolpath cutting moves are checked. Connection Moves - the toolpath leads and links are checked. Leads - the toolpath leads are checked. Links - the toolpath links are checked. Split Toolpath (on page 828) - determines how the toolpath is split into its safe and unsafe portions. Head Clearance - represents the length of the tool, holder and machine used internally. The default value is set to 600 mm. This value can be set even if you do not define a shank or holder. If the height of the tool is less than the Head Clearance value, then an additional component is added internally to the tool assembly. This component has the same diameter as the last item in the tool assembly (if automatic collision checking is on), and a length such that the total tool assembly length specified is the same as the Head Clearance value. Collision Options (see "Toolpath Verification - Collision Options" on page 828) - options which are only relevant to collision checking. Draw Unsafe Moves - when this box is selected, colliding moves in the toolpath are highlighted. Apply - automatically highlights any areas where gouging occurs (colliding toolpaths are shown in red). It also displays the depth of the gouge, and the tool overhang required to prevent gouging.

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The values entered in the dialog are remembered. This means that if you have collision checked a toolpath then the values displayed in this dialog are those used to perform the collision check. If the toolpath has not been collision checked then the values displayed in the dialog are those used for the previous toolpath that was collision checked.

Split Toolpath
Split Toolpath - determines how the toolpath is split into its safe and unsafe portions. Output Safe Moves - creates a toolpath containing the portions of the toolpath that miss the model. Output Unsafe Moves - creates a toolpath containing the portions of the toolpath that hit the model. Reorder Toolpaths - reorders the toolpaths to minimise the 3D distance between the ends of segments whilst maintaining the cutting direction of segments. When gouge-checking against a stock model, the useful moves are those which gouge the stock model, as they are the ones that actually cut something. Split Moves - when selected, splits individual moves (for example, individual segments, leads, links…) into their safe and unsafe portions. When deselected, the entire move is added to the unsafe toolpath if any portion of it is unsafe. Overlap - the amount by which an unsafe move is extended to overlap with an adjacent safe move. This reduces surface marks where clear and colliding toolpaths meet. Minimum Length - the minimum length required for the safe portion of an unsafe move to be kept on the safe toolpath. For example, if part of a segment is unsafe, but the SAFE portion is shorter than this minimum length then it too will be added to the unsafe toolpath.

Toolpath Verification - Collision Options
Collision Options are the options which are only relevant to collision checking.

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Substitute Tool - replaces the tool used to create the toolpath with one with the same Tool - Tip definition, but a differing Tool - Shank and Tool - Holder definition. This enables you to define the toolpath with just the tool defined and then collision check it once you have defined the tool shank and tool holder. If a Tool is only locked by one toolpath, then that Tool Holder can be modified during the collision checking process. If a Tool is locked by more than one toolpath then it is not possible to modify the Tool Holder. However, the way around this is to display the Settings of the tool (available from the right click Tool Object menu) and to Copy Tool Profile. The tool used in the active toolpath is then replaced by this copy. Since this tool is now only locked by one toolpath, then that Tool Holder can be modified during the collision checking process. Shank Clearance - represents a specified “safe” area around the tool shank which is taken into account when checking for collisions. Holder Clearance - represents a specified “safe” area around the tool holder which is taken into account when checking for collisions.

If the clearance area gouges into the job, then the collision is detected and the depth of the gouge is printed. This depth can then be checked with the clearance value to determine whether it is safe to proceed with the job. For example, a tool might produce a 2mm gouge when using a 15mm clearance. Whether it is safe to continue depends on the thickness left by preceding toolpaths.

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Calculate Collision Depth - controls whether a collision depth is provided. (Some users found this calculation too slow and only needed a yes/no does the toolpath collide or not.) Adjust Tool - allows the properties (overhang, cutting length) of the tool to be modified. It takes into account the collision depth required to make the toolpath safe.

ViewMill
ViewMill provides a 3D graphical simulation of the active toolpath or NC program. It provides a means of visual verification that allows toolpaths to be checked before they are machined. ViewMill is a separate program, which can be run from within the PowerMILL program. button The ViewMill Toolbar is displayed either by clicking on the or from the View - Toolbar - ViewMill menu option. By default the toolbar is displayed at the top of the graphics window. For more information on both this toolbar and the enhanced workpiece simulation toolbar, refer to the chapter on Simulation (see "Simulation" on page 1037).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Calculator
The button displays the PowerMILL Calculator dialog. The calculator can also be accessed by right clicking in any editable text field on a dialog.

Calculator
There are two different calculators available from the tabs: The simple calculator,

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The scientific calculator.

Using the calculator is straightforward, just click on the buttons as you would a physical calculator, or else type in the expression in the white band at the top of the calculator. The Backspace button deletes the last entry. The Enter key performs the calculation. The expression you have entered is displayed in the white band at the top of the calculator with the result shown in the grey band above.

Values displayed in the calculator can be copied into other dialogs using the right click menu and selecting Copy, followed by Paste.

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You can also use Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste your values.

Values displayed in other dialogs can be copied into the calculator using the right click menu and selecting Copy, followed by Paste (or Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste). For instance, you copy the Distance value from the Measure dialog.

Calculator - Line
The Line tab gives the distance, angle and elevation between two points. You can either select a point from the graphics window or type coordinate fields in the Line tab of the Calculator dialog box. This gives access to points such as the home position (0,0,0) or the corner of the block.

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If you have an Anchor Point selected and want to select a different Anchor Point simply press on another tab on the Calculator dialog and then back on the Line tab again.

Initially the dialog box contains a whole series of “xxxxxxx”. On selecting a point with the left mouse button its X, Y, Z coordinates are displayed in the Anchor Point area of the dialog box. On selecting a second point with the left mouse button its X, Y, Z coordinates are displayed in the End Point area of the dialog box. The Anchor Point can be reset by selecting the same point twice.

The other fields are then calculated from these two points.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Difference - specifies the difference in X (and Y and Z) between the Anchor Point and the End point. Angle - specifies the angle in the three planes between the Anchor Point and the End Point. Distance - specifies the length of a line joining the Anchor Point to the End Point. Elevation - specifies the angle of the line joining the Anchor Point to the End Point to the horizontal plane. Anchor Point - The first point you select automatically becomes the Anchor Point. However, if you now want to select a new Anchor Point simply select the new point twice. The first time you select it, it will become the End Point, you can ignore the results of this. Then select the point again and it will become the new Anchor Point.

Calculator - Circle
The Circle tab fits a circle to three selected points and determines the Centre, Radius and Diameter of the circle.

Start Point - Selecting a point with the left mouse button displays its X, Y, Z coordinates. Mid Point - Selecting a second point with the left mouse button displays its X, Y, Z coordinates. End Point - Selecting a third point with the left mouse button displays its X, Y, Z coordinates and defines a circle. The other fields are then calculated from these three points.

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Centre - the centre of the circle defined by the three triangle node points. Radius - the radius of the circle defined by the three triangle node points. Diameter - the diameter of the circle defined by the three points. This is useful for determining the size of fillets and features on a model.

Copying Data from Field to Field
The example below shows you how to copy data from one field to another. 1. Display the Line tab of the Calculator dialog two points in the model. and click on

2. Highlight the figures in the Distance filed and then raise the right click menu and select Copy.

3. Display the Simple Calculator tab of the Calculator dialog

.

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4. Place the cursor in the white band and then raise the right click menu and select Paste.

5. The distance field is now placed in the calculator.

If you want to copy the information from an editable field (white rather than grey) then there is no right click menu (right clicking in the field displays the calculator)in this case you can use Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste your values.

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Measurer
The button displays the Calculator dialog box with the Line tab displayed. The Line tab gives the distance, angle and elevation between two points. The Circle tab gives the centre, radius and diameter created between three points. You can either select a point from the graphics window or type coordinate fields in the Calculator dialog box. This gives access to points such as the home position (0,0,0) or the corner of the block.

Create Electrode
Create Electrode allows you to generate electrodes. Refer to the PowerSHAPE documentation.

Delcam Electrode example
This example shows you how to transfer a surface from PowerMILL into Delcam Electrode, create an electrode, and then transfer the electrode back into PowerMILL as a new project.

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1. Start PowerMILL and open Speaker.dgk from the File Examples menu.

2. Create a new project using File - Save Project as. 3. Select the surfaces from which you want to create the electrode.

4. Click the Create Electrode button

on the Main toolbar.

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5. The Delcam Electrode module is displayed inside PowerMILL, displaying the surfaces that you selected in PowerMILL (if this is the first call to the module during the current PowerMILL session, it may take some time for a window to be opened).

6. Select just the surfaces from which the electrode is to be created. 7. Click the button on the above toolbar to bring up the Wizard:

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8. Go through the Wizard. Once you click Finish, the electrode is created within Delcam Electrode:

9. You are asked whether or not you wish to create another electrode:

10.Click Yes to stay within Delcam Electrode. Then click the Model View button and repeat from step 6 to create another electrode. Otherwise, go to step 11.

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11.Click

to save your changes and return to PowerMILL, where is displayed showing the Electrode

the HTML Browser page Project:

12.Clicking the Open Project button in the HTML Browser opens a new project in PowerMILL containing the electrode (the original project is automatically saved and closed for you):

The project is named automatically as the name of the original project with a suffix of _electrode_1. The Electrode Details shown at step 8 are also displayed in the HTML Browser window.

Launch AutoCAM
AutoCAM is an automatic machining package within PowerMILL that automatically machines a part and then creates the NC Program files. It uses a wizard style interface within PowerMILL to guide you through the process. This is available from the Launch AutoCAM button main toolbar. on the

This is a module that can be used by users with little, or no, machining experience, or can be used for creating toolpaths for fairly simple models. In either case AutoCAM will create reliable toolpaths. An experienced user may well be able to produce more efficient toolpaths but this automatic process can just be left running overnight utilising what would otherwise be dead time on the computer and the machine tool.

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For more details, refer to AutoCAM Reference (on page 1092).

PS-Exchange
You can access PS-Exchange by clicking the button on the Main toolbar, the PowerMILL installation CD, or the Delcam website (http://www.delcam.com/general/software/ps-exchange.asp).

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View toolbar
The View toolbar provides quick access to the most commonly used views in PowerMILL. By default it is located on the right hand side of the graphics screen, but it can be relocated anywhere around the PowerMILL window, or as a separate window. If the View toolbar is not currently displayed, select View Toolbar - Viewing from the menu. Six of these views are along the primary axes (see "View along" on page 848). See below. There are also four Isometric views (on page 849). See below. Six of these buttons have a small black arrow in the bottom right hand corner. If you hover on one of these buttons a pull-out toolbar is displayed. See below.

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The isometric views are often the best starting point for dynamically manipulating the view using the mouse.

- View Along (on page 848) (X, -X, Y, -Y, Z, -Z) - Isometric Views (on page 849) - Last View (see "Last view and refresh" on page 849) - Refresh (see "Last view and refresh" on page 849) - Resize to Fit (see "Zoom" on page 849) - Zoom Options (see "Zoom" on page 849) - Block (on page 851) - Shading Toolbar (on page 851), with Plain Shade selected - Wireframe (on page 856)

View manipulation
The most common way of controlling the viewpoint in PowerMILL is by using the mouse.

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It is recommended that you use a three-button mouse. By holding down the middle button and moving the mouse pointer in the graphics area, you can control the view of the model. When you are moving the mouse (with the middle button pressed) the trackball is visible on the screen:

Start with the cursor in the middle of the window and press the middle mouse button, then drag the cursor up the screen. The image moves as you move the mouse. The table below summarises the view control available. View 3-button mouse 2-button mouse manipulation Trackball Rotation Rotate about X Rotate about Y Rotate about Z Pan Zoom In / Out Zoom to Box Resize to fi Middle button Shift + Alt + Left button Shift + Alt + Middle button Shift + Alt + Right button Shift + Middle button Ctrl + Middle button Alt + Middle button F6 Ctrl + Shift + Right button Shift + Alt + Left button Not implemented Shift + Alt + Right button Shift + Right button Ctrl + Right button Alt + Right button F6

The View toolbar (on page 845) options are also available from the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard. First, you must ensure that: the cursor focus is in the graphics window; the Numeric Lock is on;

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the Control key is pressed down. Then press the appropriate key: ISO 4 7 View from left (X) 4 ISO 1 1 View from back (Y) 8 View from top (Z) 5 View from front (-Y) 2 View from bottom (-Z) 0 View from right (X) 6 ISO 2 3 ISO 3 9

View along
The View Along options allow you to orientate the view so that it is along the X, Y or Z axis. This consists of three separate pull-out toolbars. Hovering on any of these buttons displays a 2D View toolbar. View Z toolbar View from top (Z) View from bottom (-Z) View X toolbar View from right (X) View from left (-X) View Y toolbar View from front (-Y) View from back (Y)

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

As an example, selecting the View from back (Y) this:

button will convert

into this:

Isometric views
The ISO View options allow you to project the view angle using any of the four isometric views shown on the toolbar. This is a pull-out toolbar. Hovering on the currently selected ISO View button (in this case ISO 1 For example, selecting ISO 1 ) displays the ISO View toolbar. will give this:

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Last view and refresh
Last View - takes you back to the previous view, and then toggles between the previous view and the view that was current when you selected Last View. View Refresh - redraws all the currently displayed components, repairing any damage to the screen image. This can be useful if the image loses definition as items are undrawn and redrawn on the screen.

Zoom
The Zoom options image on the screen. (in this case Resize to Fit and control the zoom factor of the This is a pull-out toolbar. Hovering on the currently selected Zoom button ) displays the Zoom toolbar. Resize to Fit - zooms the image so that it just fits in the window. It converts this:

into this:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

This function will zoom in or out depending on the current view. So, as an inverse to the above example, it will also zoom a microscopic image to one that just fits inside the window. Zoom In - doubles the size of the image. Click this button repeatedly until the required zoom factor is reached. The image is zoomed about the centre of the graphics window. Zoom Out - halves the size of the image. Click this button repeatedly until the required zoom factor is reached. The image is zoomed about the centre of the graphics window. Zoom to Box - zooms in to a specific area of the image. Click and then use the left mouse button to drag a zoom box on the image. The view is then zoomed to fit the boxed area. For example, It will convert this:

into this:

Block
The Block button toggles the display of the block on and off. The display of the block can also be toggled using the Ctrl + Alt + B hot key shortcut. button on the The block is defined using the Block (on page 354) Main toolbar. It is drawn as a translucent block by default.

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Shading toolbar
The Shading options choose one of the various shading options. button (in this case Plain Shade allow you to This is a pull-out toolbar. Hovering on the currently selected Shade ) displays the Shading toolbar.

Once you select an option other than Plain Shade , the newly selected option becomes the default Shading option. Thickness Shade - shades the components of a model by thickness, as described in the Component Thickness (see "Component Thickness" on page 454) dialog.

Machining Mode Shade - shades the components of a model according to the Machining Mode specified in the Surfaces tab in the Component Thickness (see "Component Thickness" on page 454) dialog for the specific toolpath or boundary. The different options are shaded in different colours. Components that use the Machining mode of Machine are shaded the Model Shading Colour. Components that use the Machining mode of Collision are shaded yellow by default.

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Components that use the Machining mode of Ignore are shaded red by default.

Default Thickness Shade - shades the components of a model by thickness as specified in the Surface Defaults tab in the Component Thickness (see "Component Thickness" on page 454) dialog. Default Machining Mode Shade - shades the components of a model according to the Machining Mode specified in the Surfaces Defaults tab in the Component Thickness (see "Component Thickness" on page 454) dialog. The different options are shaded a different colour: Components that use the Machining mode of Machine are shaded the Model Shading Colour. Components that use the Machining mode of Collision are shaded yellow by default. Components that use the Machining mode of Ignore are shaded red by default. The Shade Inside option, which is available when you select Draw - Model from the menu - refer to Shade (on page 312), is ignored for all Thickness shading options .

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Draft Angle Shade - helps to identify undercut areas. It is sensitive to the surface orientation.

The red indicates areas that are less than the Draft Angle, and the yellow indicates areas that are within the Warning Angle.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

To change the draft angle used in the shading, edit the fields in the Draft Angle Shading pane in the Shade area of the Model Drawing Options dialog, which available when you select Draw - Model from the menu:

For more information, see Shade (on page 312). Minimum Radius Shade - helps to identify the most suitably sized cutting tool. This works irrespective of the surface orientation.

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Areas shaded red cannot be machined using the specified tool. To change the radius used by the shading, use the Minimum Tool Radius field in the Minimum Radius Shading area of the Model Drawing Options dialog, which available when you select Draw - Model from the menu (see above). Only DGK models can be 'minimum radius' shaded. Other models will be shaded white because normal and curvature information needs to be available. Multi-Colour Shade - shades the model in the same colour as the wireframe. Wireframe:

Multi-Colour Shade:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Plain Shade - displays the shaded representation of the model. Unlike the Multi-Colour Shade option described above, the Plain Shade option shades the model in the colour selected in the Shade Colour field in the Shade area of the Model Drawing Options dialog.

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Tool toolbar
The Tool toolbar provides quick access to tool creation. By default it is located at the bottom of the graphics window, but it can be relocated anywhere around the PowerMILL window, or as a separate window.

If you wish to create a ready-made tool from an online catalogue, refer to Create Tool From Catalogue (on page 114). If the Tool Toolbar is not displayed, you can access it by selecting View - Toolbar - Tool from the menu. If you have a Tool Axis of anything other than Vertical the Tool toolbar shows that Multi-Axis machining is enabled.

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Create Tool - this pull-out list lets you select the type of tool you want to create.

The tool type that you last selected is currently displayed on the Toolbar, and this is the active tool type (an End Mill in the above example).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Clicking any of the types on the pull-out list, or the active tool type if you wish to select the same type as before, displays the appropriate tool dialog. If, for example, you click the Ball Nosed Tool button , the Ball Nosed Tool dialog is displayed.

Tool Database (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - enables you to search and select a tool from the database. Active Tool - this drop-down list contains all the available tools and the tool that is currently active is displayed on the toolbar (it is blank if no tool is active). Tool Diameter - displays the current diameter of the active tool. If you want to edit this value, click the Edit toolbar to redisplay the Tool dialog. button on the

Tip Radius - displays the tip radius of the active tool. If you want to edit this value, click the Edit redisplay the Tool dialog. button on the toolbar to

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Multi-Axis Machining Enabled - the tool axis is anything other than Vertical. Displays the Tools Axis Direction dialog (see "Tool Axis Direction" on page 411). If you edit this dialog it will edit the tool axis for the active tool. Edit Tool - displays the specific Tool dialog of the active tool. If you edit this dialog it will edit your active tool. For more information, refer to Tool dialog (on page 861). Delete Tool - deletes the active tool.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool dialog
The exact dialog displayed depends on the type of tool you select from the Create Tool pull-out list.

End Mill Ball Nosed Tip Radiused Tapered Spherical Tapered Tipped Drill Tipped Disc Off Centre Tipped Radiused Tapping Form Tool Routing Tool

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For example, selecting the Ball Nosed tool following dialog:

displays the

Tool length overview
The diagram below shows a cutting tool made up of a tip (yellow) and shank (green) mounted in a shrink-fit holder (red). The tool is mounted in the spindle of a machine (grey).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The colours shown here correspond to those used in the PowerMILL Tool dialogs.

The Cutting Length represents the part of the cutter that removes material. This is set up in PowerMILL as the Tip Length. The Overhang is the amount by which the cutter protrudes from the tool holder. This, typically, includes part of the Shank Length. The Overhang is fixed when the cutter is mounted in the holder. To obtain maximum tool life, the Overhang is typically kept to the minimum necessary to prevent the holder from hitting the part or unmachined stock. The Holder Length is the total length of all parts of the holder assembly that protrude from the spindle when the holder is mounted in the machine. The Gauge Length is the total length of the cutter and holder assembly when it is mounted in the machine. It is measured from the tip of the tool to the Gauge Face, which is the ground face of the spindle.

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Tool Tip dialog
The Tip tab of the Tool dialog defines the cutting portion of the tool. With the exception of the Form Tool (on page 867) and Routing Tool (on page 870), the dialog is similar for all the tool types except that the Geometry area changes according to the type of tool requested.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

For a more complicated tool such as an Off Centre Tip Radiused Tool, the Geometry pane has additional entries.

There are additional parameters for Tip Radius, Tip Radius X and Tip Radius Y. The Tool Status field can be particularly useful here to help you to define a valid tool. In this case the tool can be Valid, Tip Radius Y Too Big, Tip Radius X Too Big or Tip Radius X Too Small. The fields common to each dialog are as follows: Name - the name of the tool. As with other entities, the default name is a number. Geometry - this area describes the parameters that are required to define the tool. Tool Status - defines the current status of the tool, and is updated automatically as geometry values are set. You need to reset the values as required if Valid is not shown. Tool Number - user defined tool number allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. Number of Flutes - the number of flutes on the tool. Tool Assembly - displays the defined tool tip, tool shank and tool holder.

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- adds this tool to the tool database. The Tool Database Export dialog (on page 872) is displayed. Tool Assembly Toolbar (on page 884) - allows you to duplicate or remove a tool assembly.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Form Tool You can create your own complex tools by defining a half-profile of your Form Tool in terms of line and arc spans. The Form Tool option is available from the Create Tool pull-out list on the Tool Toolbar (on page 857).

Name - defines the name of the tool. As with other entities, the default name is a number. Geometry - this area allows you to create your own tool, using the Tool Creation toolbar (on page 869) spans as required. to add and remove

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Span Dimensions - defines the length and location of individual spans.

Start (X,Y) - defines the start point of the next segment. Centre (X,Y) - defines the centre point of an arc segment. End (X,Y) - defines the end point of the next segment. Update Span - if you make amy manual adjustments, clicking this button updates the Span Dimensions. Tool Status - defines the current status of the tool. In this case the tool can be No Spans (the default state prior to tool creation), Length too Small or Valid. This field is updated automatically as geometry values are set. The Status cannot be Valid until at least one span has been added. Tool Number - user defined tool number allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. Tool ID - user defined name allocated to the tool and added to the cut file. By default this is the same as the Name. Number of Flutes - the number of flutes on the tool. Tool Assembly - displays the defined tool tip, tool shank and tool holder. Tool Assembly Toolbar (on page 884) - allows you to duplicate or remove a tool assembly. For examples of how to create a form tool, see Creating a Form Tool (on page 896) and Creating a Form Tool, Shank and Holder (see "Creating a Form Tool, Shank and Holder in PowerSHAPE" on page 901). A restriction is that the shape is convex, since PowerMILL can only machine with convex tools.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Creation toolbar allows you to add and The Tool Creation toolbar remove spans as required in order to define the tool profile, retrieve a tool profile from store, or save one to store: Add Line Span - adds a line from the end of the previous segment to the value entered in the End (X,Y) field in Span Dimensions. If the line is the first segment then the line starts at 0,0.

Start (X,Y) - defines the start point of the next segment. Centre (X,Y) - defines the centre point of an arc segment. End (X,Y) - defines the end point of the next segment. Update Span - if you make amy manual adjustments, clicking this button updates the Span Dimensions. Add Arc Span - adds an arc from the end of the previous segment to the value entered in the End (X,Y) field in Span Dimensions. The radius of the arc is determined by defining the centre of the arc in the Centre (X,Y) field. If the arc is the first segment then the arc starts at 0,0.

Start (X,Y) - defines the start point of the next segment. Centre (X,Y) - defines the centre point of an arc segment. End (X,Y) - defines the end point of the next segment.

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Update Span - if you make amy manual adjustments, clicking this button updates the Span Dimensions. Remove Last Span - deletes the last span. Clear Tool Profile - deletes all the spans. Load Tool Profile - loads a tool profile from a *.dgk file. The Import Tool Profile dialog is displayed. This is a standard PowerMILL Import dialog. Simply move to the appropriate directory, select the tool profile you require, and click Open. Save Tool Profile - allows you to save the current tool profile, using the Export Tool Profile dialog. Move to the required directory, give the tool profile a suitable name, and click Save. All tool profiles are automatically saved with a *.dgk file extension. Routing Tool Routing tools often have a ballrace on the end which is used to guide the tool against the edge of a workpiece. The toolpath produced with a routing tool is a kind of profile or swarf cut, generated using a standard End Mill with diameter selected to match the position of the actual (or imaginary) ballrace used to guide the tool. You can create a toolpath using a routing tool and then simulate the toolpath to see the effect of the routing tool. You can create your own routing tools by defining a half-profile of your Routing Tool in terms of line and arc spans.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The Routing Tool option is available from the pull-out list on the Tool toolbar (on page 857).

This dialog is the same as the Form Tool (on page 867) dialog, except that there is an additional option of End Mill Diameter, which is the effective diameter that PowerMILL uses when creating the toolpath. For an example of how to create a routing tool, see "Creating a Routing Tool" below. Unlike a Form Tool, a Routing Tool can be concave.

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Tool toolbar • 873

Tool Database Export dialog The Tool Database Export dialog controls how tools created in PowerMILL are exported to the database.

Export Options

Tool Geometry - exports the tool tip geometry to the tool database. Cutting Data - exports the cutting data to the tool database. Stock Material - allows you to change the stock material of the tool being exported. - lists all the stock material types. If the material specified doesn't exist, then it is added to the tool database when exported. Define a New Stock Material - adds a new stock material to the list. On export any new materials are added to the tool database. Tool Family - indicates to which tool family (if any) the tool belongs. Tools with the same family and with the same stock material share cutting data.
Export Details

Summarises what will be exported to the tool database.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Shank dialog
The Shank tab of the Tool dialog defines the non-cutting portion of the tool. Although it is different to the Tool Holder (see "Tool Holder dialog" on page 875) which is defined on the next tab, the way in which you create a shank is very similar to how you create a tool holder. Toolpaths will avoid contact with the Tool Shank.

The cutting portion of the tool is yellow, the non-cutting portion green and the tool holder pink. Component - the tool shank components that you have defined are displayed on the left hand side of the dialog. Add Shank Component - adds an additional section to the tool above the currently selected section. Once you have added a section you define it in the Dimensions area of the dialog. Remove Shank Component - deletes the currently selected section of the tool shank (the one that is pale green). Delete Shank - deletes the whole of the tool shank. Shank Dimensions

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 875

Shank Dimensions - allows you to define the shape of the active section of the tool shank (the one that is pale green). Upper Diameter - the diameter at the top of the current section of the tool shank. This must be greater than or equal to the Lower Diameter. Lower Diameter - the diameter at the bottom of the current section of the tool shank. This must be less than or equal to the Upper Diameter. Length - the vertical height of the current section of the tool shank. Tool Length - summarises of the overall tool length is given at the bottom of the dialog. These fields are for information only and cannot be modified: Cutting Length - the vertical height of the cutting portion of the tool, defined in the Length field in the Tip tab. Shank Length - the vertical height of all sections of the tool shank. Tool Assembly - displays the defined tool tip, tool shank and tool holder. Tool Assembly Toolbar (on page 884) - allows you to duplicate or remove a tool assembly.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Holder dialog
The Holder tab of the Tool dialog defines the holder portion of the tool. Toolpaths will avoid contact with the Tool Holder.

The cutting portion of the tool is yellow, the non-cutting portion green and the tool holder pink.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 877

You can add in as may components to a tool holder as you require. You can also save a definition to a tool holder store or retrieve a tool holder. The left hand side of the dialog displays a dynamically updated picture of the tool holder:

The right hand side of the dialog shows the entire assembly of tool holder, tool shank and tool tip. This picture is also updated automatically as you define additional components. Holder Name - the name of the Tool Holder. As with other entities, the default name is a number. By default this is the same as the Tool Name, but if you import a Tool Holder from a file using the toolbar shown below, the file name automatically becomes the Holder Name. Tool Holder toolbar - allows you to define the shape of the tool holder, retrieve a tool holder from file, or save one allows you to define the shape The Tool Holder toolbar of the tool holder, retrieve a tool holder from store, or save one to store: Add Holder Component - adds an additional section to the tool holder above the currently selected section. Once you have added a section you can define it in the Dimensions area of the dialog. Remove Holder Component - deletes the currently selected section of the tool holder (the one that is pale pink). Clear Tool Holder - deletes all the sections of the tool holder, leaving just the tool. Load Tool Holder - allows you to import a pre-defined tool holder into the current tool holder above the currently selected component. The Import Tool Holder dialog is displayed.

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This is a standard PowerMILL Import dialog. Simply move to the appropriate directory, select the tool holder you require, and click Open. All tool holders have a *.pmlth or *.dgk file extension. Save Tool Holder - allows you to save the current tool holder, using the Export Tool Holder dialog. Move to the required directory, give the tool holder a suitable name, and click Save. All tool holders are automatically saved with a *.dgk file extension, unless you specify a *.pmlth file extension. Dimensions - allows you to define/edit any portion of the tool holder. The active section of the tool holder is the one that is pale pink.

Tool Assembly Toolbar (on page 884) - allows you to duplicate or remove a tool assembly.

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Tool toolbar • 879

Tool Cutting Data dialog
The Cutting Data tab displays parameters related to the cutting behaviour of the tool. Typically, cutting data values will depend on the material being cut.

Tool Family - provides a way to group tools together, so that they can share cutting data in the database. For example, you can enter the tool material name as the Tool Family, then all tools with the same Tool Family and Stock Material will share cutting data. The Cutting Data records are synchronised and shared for all tools with the same Family Name and Stock Material. If you have a blank Stock Material, then the cutting data is synchronised and shared for all tools with the same Family Name, blank Stock Material and Cutting Data records. They are not shared for tools with blank Family Name, and the same Stock Material and Cutting Data records. If you change the Tool Family, the Cutting Data from other tools with the same Tool Family and Stock Material will be applied to this tool. If no tools in the project or tool database share the same Tool Family and Stock Material, the Cutting Data remains unchanged.

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- adds a new Tool Family. The Enter the new family name dialog is displayed.

Enter a name (which cannot contain any spaces). Click on the new name, or to cancel.

to accept

Tool ID - the user-defined name allocated to the tool, and added to the cut file. By default, this is the same as the Name. Coolant (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) - allows you to specify the coolant: None - no coolant output. Standard - coolant turned on. Flood - coolant on flood. Mist - coolant on mist. Tap - tap coolant on. Air - air blast. Through - coolant through spindle. Double - two coolant codes are allowed. The coolant is always turned off at the end of a toolpath.
Cutting Data table

This table summarises the information in the Edit Cutting Data dialog (on page 880). To edit any of the values, double-click on one of the rows in the list. Clear - clears the cutting data for the selected row.

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Tool toolbar • 881

Delete - clears all the cutting data and the tool family. Edit - edits the cutting data for the selected row. Display Feed/Tooth in TDU - displays the feed/tooth and depth of cut values in tool diameter units rather than actual values. Tool Diameter Units - is the distance relative to the tool diameter. So with a 10mm tool and a TDU of 0.5, this gives an actual value of 5mm. Hide Empty Rows - hides all empty rows. This makes it easier to use if you want only one or two feed and speed sets for a tool. A single row of data is always shown. If there is no cutting data then the default Finishing/General empty row is shown. This row can be used for all your cutting data if you don't want to differentiate between the different toolpath types. Edit Cutting Data dialog The Edit Cutting Data dialog allows you to edit the cutting data displayed Cutting Data tab of the Tool dialog.

Toolpath Type - specifies the type of toolpath cut with this tool. This is either Roughing or Finishing. Operation - specifies the cutting mode of the tool.

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Tool Properties - summarises information from the Tip (see "Tool Tip dialog" on page 864) and Cutting Data (see "Tool Cutting Data dialog" on page 878) tabs. Tool ID - the name of the tool. This is the same as the Tool ID on the Cutting Data tab. Diameter - the diameter of the tool. This is the same as the Diameter on the Tip tab. Tool Family - the tool family to which the tool belongs. Number of Flutes - the number of flutes on the tool.
Tool/Material Properties

Axial Depth of Cut - the depth of cut measured along the tool axis in mm or inches depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol a
p.

The maximum value is limited by the flute length of a solid cutter or by the inserts fitted. Typically, this value is used to set the maximum Stepdown for Area Clearance and Constant Z machining. Radial Depth of Cut - the depth of cut measured normal to the tool axis, measured in mm or inches depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol a
e.

Typically, this value is used to set the Stepover for machining. Surface Speed - the speed of the tool when material is being removed, measured in metres (or inches) per minute depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol v .
c

The surface speed represents the rate at which the cutting edges of the tool can be driven through the material. This values is used to calculate the Spindle Speed. Feed/Tooth - the cutting feed per tooth, measured in mm or inches depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol f
z.

The feed per tooth is determined by the construction of the tool, and may be limited by the strength of the cutting edges or the capacity of the tool to remove swarf. This value is used to calculate the Cutting Feed Rate.

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Tool toolbar • 883

If only one flute is specified for the tool, then Feed/Tooth is the same as Feed/Rev. - loads the Surface Speed and Feed/Tooth from the active toolpath (from the Feeds and Speeds dialog). Edit Feed/Tooth and Depth of Cut in TDU - displays the Feed/Tooth and Depth of Cut values in tool diameter units rather than actual values. Tool Diameter Units - is the distance relative to the tool diameter. So with a 10mm tool and a TDU of 0.5, this gives an actual value of 5mm.
Cutting Conditions

Spindle Speed - the rotation of the spindle, measured in revolutions per minute. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol n. This value is calculated automatically from the Surface Speed value. If you edit this value then the Surface Speed value is also updated to reflect your change. Cutting Feed Rate - the cutting feed rate, measured in mm or inches per minute depending on the Units setting. In calculations, this value is represented by the symbol f
v.

This value is calculated automatically from the Feed/Tooth value. If you edit this value then the Feed/Tooth value is also updated to reflect your change.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Description Dialog
The Description tab of the Tool dialog allows you to add user-defined parameters to the tool and a record in the cut file.

Description - any text entered here is written as a 29000 record in the cut file, and can be displayed in setup sheets. User Defined Settings - adds user-defined parameters to the tool. Name - enter the name of the new setting. Setting names must start with a letter and can only contain letters (A-Z, a-z), numbers (0-9) or the underscore character (_). - adds the new Name to the list. List - displays a list of all user-defined parameters.

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Tool toolbar • 885

Edit Selected Setting - enables you to edit the selected setting. Selecting a setting in the list displays the Name and Value here. Name - displays the name of the setting selected in the list. You can edit this name. Value - displays the value of the setting selected in the list. You can edit this value. - deletes the setting. Tool Assembly - displays the defined tool tip, tool shank and tool holder components which are controlled using the Tool Assembly toolbar .

Tool Assembly toolbar
The Tool Assembly toolbar allows you to duplicate or remove a tool assembly, and, in the case of a Form Tool (on page 867) or Routing Tool (on page 870), import a tool assembly that was created elsewhere (for example using PowerSHAPE (see "Creating a Form Tool in PowerSHAPE" on page 898)). Copy Tool Profile - creates a new tool entity based on the current one. It has the same name as the previous one with the addition of _1. You can then change any parameters you want without changing the original tool, but you need to bear in mind that, where the original tool is used in an active toolpath, the new tool assembly will replace the original tool assembly. This option is only available if you are displaying the Settings of an existing tool (available from the context menu for the tool object in Explorer). This can be used to create a shank and/or holder for an existing tool definition and is particularly useful when collision checking. Clear Tool Assembly - resets all the tool, shank and holder parameters. The Tool entity still exists in Explorer but is marked to show that it no longer has an appropriate definition. Load Tool Assembly - if you have the Form Tool or Routing Tool dialog displayed, this option allows you to load a tool, shank and holder profile from a *.dgk file. The Import Tool Assembly dialog is displayed.

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This is a standard PowerMILL Import dialog. Simply move to the appropriate directory, select the tool assembly you require, and click Open. A tool assembly must have the tool defined in yellow, the shank in green and the holder in pink.

Creating a Routing Tool
This example takes you through the creation of a routing tool. 1. From the Create Tool pull-out list option. select the Routing Tool on the Tool toolbar,

on the Tool Creation toolbar (on 2. Click Load Tool Profile page 869), move to the appropriate directory. in this case, you can use Tool_Routing.dgk from the Examples directory.

3. Create a simple Block Min X - 0, Max X - 100 Min Y - 0, Max Y - 100 Min Z - 0, Max Z - 20

with dimensions of something like:

4. From the Models context menu, select Create Plane - From Block, and then enter a suitable Z Limit, of say 0, for the plane. 5. Select View - Toolbar - Pattern from the menu to display the Pattern toolbar. 6. Click Create Pattern on the Pattern toolbar (or select Create Pattern from the Patterns context menu). 7. Click Insert Model into Active Pattern toolbar on the Pattern

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Tool toolbar • 887

8. Create a Pattern Finishing toolpath from the Finishing tab on the New dialog (available from Toolpath Strategies ). Make sure that you select a Tool of the routing tool you have just created and a Drive Curve - Pattern of the pattern you have just created, then click on Apply.

The result should look something like this:

9. If you simulate the toolpath you can see the effect of the routing tool. On the ViewMill toolbar click the Toggle button .

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

10.On the Simulation toolbar, select the toolpath created and then Play the simulation.

you have just

Creating a Tool Shank
This example takes you through the creation of a shank for a specific tool. 1. Right-click the required tool in Explorer, and select the Settings option from the tool's context menu.

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Tool toolbar • 889

2. Select the Shank tab from the Tool dialog.

3. Click the Add Component the tool shank.

button to add the first portion of

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

4. Enter the following values in the Dimensions area of the Shank tab:

Upper Diameter - 15 Lower Diameter - 15 Length - 20 5. Click the Add Component of the tool shank. button to add the second portion

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Tool toolbar • 891

6. Enter the following values in the Dimensions area of the Shank tab:

Upper Diameter - 25 Lower Diameter - 25 Length - 20 Clicking any portion of the tool shank turns it paler green its values are then displayed in the Dimensions area for editing. Clicking Remove Shank Component deletes the currently selected portion of the tool shank (the pale green portion). 7. Click Close. The tool and tool shank are displayed in the graphics window:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Creating a Tool Holder
This example takes you through the creation of a holder for a specific tool. 1. Right-click the required tool in Explorer, and select the Settings option from the tool's context menu.

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Tool toolbar • 893

2. Select the Holder tab from the Tool dialog:

3. Click the Add Component the tool holder.

button to add the first portion of

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

4. Enter the following values in the Dimensions area of the Holder tab.

Upper Diameter - 60 Lower Diameter - 30 Length - 50 Press the Tab key if you want to see the immediate results of any amended Dimensions in the Tool Assembly. 5. Click the Add Component of the tool holder. Upper Diameter - 60 Lower Diameter - 60 Length - 40 7. Ensure that the second portion of the tool holder is selected (pale pink) before adding the third. Otherwise the next component will be added below rather than above it. button to add the second portion

6. Enter the following values in the Dimensions area.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 895

8. Click the Add Component the tool holder. Upper Diameter - 110 Lower Diameter - 60 Length - 50

button to add the third portion of

9. Enter the following values in the Dimensions area.

10.Ensure that the third portion of the tool holder is selected (pale pink) before adding the fourth and final portion. Otherwise the next component will be added below rather than above it. 11.Click the Add Component of the tool holder. button to add the fourth portion

12.Enter the following values in the Dimensions area of the Holder tab.

Upper Diameter - 110 Lower Diameter - 110 Length - 50

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Your tool holder should now resemble the following: Clicking any portion of the tool holder turns it paler pink - its values are then displayed in the Dimensions area for editing. Clicking Remove Holder Component deletes the currently selected portion of the tool holder (the pale pink portion). 13.Click Close. The tool, shank and tool holder are displayed in the graphics window:

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Tool toolbar • 897

Creating a Form Tool
This example takes you through the creation of a form tool. 1. From the Create Tool pull-out list select the Form Tool (on page 867) on the Tool toolbar, option.

to add a line segment. In the 2. Click the Add line Span button Span Dimensions area, enter End - 10, 0 and then click Update Span.

to add an arc segment. In the 3. Click the Add Arc Span button Span Dimensions area, enter Centre - 10, 10 and End - 20, 10, and then click Update Span.

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Tool toolbar • 899

4. Click the Add line Span button , enter End - 20, 50 in the Span Dimensions area, and then click Update Span:

5. Click Close to complete the tool definition. The tool is now displayed:

Creating a Form Tool in PowerSHAPE This example covers the creation of a form tool in PowerSHAPE. It is assumed that you have a working knowledge of PowerSHAPE. 1. In PowerSHAPE, ensure that you have an XY View displayed 2. Create the shape of the Form Tool, remembering that the first point must be at 0,0: .

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Insert fillets:

4. Concatenate the lines and curves to form one composite curve:

5. Save the curve as a *.dgk file (for example, FormTool.dgk). 6. Return to PowerMILL. 7. From the Create Tool pull-out list select the Form Tool (on page 867) on the Tool toolbar, option.

8. Click the Load Tool Profile (see "Tool Creation toolbar" on page 869) button in the Geometry area of the dialog and import the tool that you have just created.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 901

The Form Tool Tip dialog is updated with the profile you created, and the tool is also displayed in the graphics window, for example:

Restrictions on Creating a Form Tool in PowerSHAPE There are certain rules which must be followed when creating an allowable .dgk profile for a form tool in PowerSHAPE. The red spans in the figures below are spans which break the rules, and so will not create a form tool. All curves used to create a form tool must be lines or arc spans. All lines and arc spans must be concatenated to form one composite curve. The composite curve, or profile, must have be convex. It cannot have any concave regions.

Each span must have an increasing X value.

Each span must have an increasing Y value.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

There cannot be any gaps between neighbouring spans.

The curve direction must be from 0,0 to the end of the form tool.

Creating a Form Tool, Shank and Holder in PowerSHAPE You can define a tool, shank and holder in PowerSHAPE and import the entire assembly into PowerMILL. 1. In PowerSHAPE ensure that you have an XY view displayed .

2. Create the shape of the Form Tool remembering that the first point must be at 0,0. In this case, you must include the return horizontal line at the top of the tool. Form one composite curve and change the colour to yellow:

3. Then create a composite curve for the shank and change its colour to green. In this case, the return horizontal line at the top of the tool is coincident with the horizontal line at the bottom of the shank:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 903

4. Now create a composite curve for the holder and change its colour to red. In this case, the return horizontal line at the top of the shank is not coincident with the horizontal line at the bottom of the holder:

5. Save this as a *.dgk file. 6. Return to PowerMILL. 7. From the Create Tool pull-out list select the Form Tool (on page 867) on the Tool toolbar, option.

button on the Tool Assembly 8. Click the Load Tool Assembly toolbar (on page 884) and import the tool assembly that you have just created. The Form Tool dialog is updated with the profile you created. 9. Click Close. The tool assembly is displayed in the graphics window:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Database
The Tool Database defined database. dialog allows you to select tools from a pre-

The dialog splits into three: Search Settings - allows you to select the criteria to find the required tool(s).

You can select a tool by entering search criteria in any number of the fields (or, entering no search criteria, to display the whole database for the selected tool type), and then clicking the Search button. Name - allows you to search by the name of the tool.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 905

Search String - enter the characters you are looking for in the Tool Name. Search Mode - defines how characters in the Name field are searched. Equals - the Tool Name only contains the characters in the Name field. Like - the Tool Name contains the characters in the Name field, but may contain additional characters. Diameter - allows you to search by the diameter range of the tool specified by the Minimum and Maximum fields. Length - allows you to search by the length range of the tool specified by the Minimum and Maximum fields. Tip Radius - allows you to search by the tip radius range of the tool specified by the Minimum and Maximum fields. Type - allows you to search by the tool type specified. Flutes - allows you to search by the number of tool flutes. Tool Family - allows you to search by the tool family specified. Search - searches the database for all the tools that meet your criteria. Reset - resets the search criteria to those displayed at start up. Stock Material - allows you to specify the stock material type.

The stock material displayed here is the material that will be associated with any new tool created in PowerMILL, whether it be from the tool database or otherwise. If the tool is created from the database, it inherits any cutting data that exists for that tool and stock material combination in the database. - displays the stock material to which the cutting data refers. This drop-down list contains all the available stock material types. Define a new Stock Material - defines a new stock material for use with the tool database. This displays the New Stock Material Name dialog:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Enter a name for the new stock material, and then click

.

Spaces are not allowed in stock material names, but numbers are. So Mild Steel isn't allowed, but Mild_Steel or Mild_Steel_1 are. Search Results - shows the tools in the database that meet your search criteria.

Tool List - displays all tools that meet the search criteria. It also gives details of the tool's dimensions. The size of each column can be moved in a standard Windows way by placing the cursor over the end of a column and dragging it to a new location. This works in the same way as the Toolpath List (on page 43) in the NC Program dialog. - shows the number of records found. Select All Search Results - selects all listed tools. Deselect All Search Results - deselects all selected tools. Delete - deletes the selected records. Create Tools - creates the selected tools in your project, and adds them to the Explorer. You can select tools by either using the Select All any of the standard Windows selection methods. button or by

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 907

Options for Tool Database - displays the Tools - Options Tool (see "Tool tab" on page Error! Bookmark not defined.) tab. Enables you to specify the location of the Tool Database and how the tools are created.

Hovering the mouse over the Tool Database dialog header displays the database file path in the status bar help.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Creating tools from the tool database
This example shows you how to create tools from the tool database. 1. Click the Tool Database button on the Tool toolbar.

2. Enter the search criteria you are interested in. For example, to list all end mills with a diameter between 4mm and 5mm. Enter a Type of End Mill.

Select the Diameter option, and select a Min of 4.0 and a Max of 5.0.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool toolbar • 909

3. Click the Search button to find the tools that meet your criteria.

4. Select the tools you want to add to your project.

5. Click the Create Tools button. PowerMILL creates the specified tools in your project, and adds them to the Explorer.

6. Click Close to close the dialog.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar
The Toolpath toolbar provides quick access to toolpath creation and editing. By default it is located at the bottom of the graphics window, but it can be relocated anywhere around the PowerMILL window, or as a separate window. Active Toolpath - this drop-down list displays the currently active toolpath (it is blank if no toolpath is active) and contains a list of all the available toolpaths. Transform Toolpath (on page 915) - creates new toolpaths by Moving (see "Move to Relative Position" on page 916), Rotating (see "Rotate Toolpath" on page 917) or Mirroring (see "Mirror in Plane" on page 918) the active toolpath, or by transforming it to the Workplane (see "Transform to Workplane" on page 919) or World (see "Transform to World" on page 920). Limit Toolpath (on page 921) - creates new toolpaths by limiting the active toolpath to a Plane (see "Limit Toolpath to Plane" on page 923), Polygon (see "Limit Toolpath to Polygon" on page 924) or Boundary (see "Limit Toolpath to Boundary" on page 925). Divide Toolpath (on page 927) - splits the active toolpath into two or more sections. There are five ways of dividing a toolpath: by Angle (see "Divide Toolpath by Angle" on page 928), Direction (see "Divide Toolpath by Direction" on page 929), Length (see "Divide Toolpath by Length" on page 931), Time (see "Divide Toolpath by Time" on page 932) or Retract (see "Divide Toolpath by Retract" on page 933).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 911

Move Toolpath Start Points (on page 934) - allows you to manually realign start points of closed toolpaths (such as Constant Z or 3D Offset). Update Region (on page 957) - enables you to recalculate an existing toolpath over a limited region of the part. This means that you could make a minor change in the model and then recalculate the toolpath within a boundary that contains the change. Reorder (on page 959) - allows you to manipulate the segments of the active toolpath. Copy - creates an exact copy of the active toolpath. The new toolpath has the same name as the original with an _1 added. So, Roughing becomes Roughing_1. If you take a second copy it will be called Roughing_2, and so on. Delete Toolpath - deletes the active toolpath. Toolpath Drawing options (on page 910) - the remaining options are switches that allow you to turn the display of particular components on and off for the active toolpath..

Drawing options
The drawing options described are all 'toggles' on the Toolpath toolbar (on page 909). This means that you click once to turn on the display of particular components for the active toolpath, and then click again to turn them off.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Draw Toolpath Links - draws the links for the active toolpath, for example:

Draw Leads - draws the leads for the active toolpath, for example:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 913

Draw Points - draws each toolpath point for the active toolpath in red, and draws the arc centres in blue. These are used for visualisation of point density:

Draw Tool Axes - draws the axis of the tool at each toolpath point so that you can visualise the changing tool orientation:

Draw Contact Normals - draws the toolpath contact normals at each toolpath point in red.

914 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

This option is available only if you select Contact Normals in the Calculation area of the Toolpath tab of the Options dialog on the Tools menu. The contact normals are the I, J, K vectors.

Draw Contact Track - draws the trace of the toolpath contact points in red. This option is available only if you select Contact Normals in the Calculation area of the Toolpath tab of the Options dialog on the Tools menu. The contact normals are the I, J, K vectors.

- standard toolpath trace in green. - toolpath contact point trace in red.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 915

Draw Feeds - determines whether or not the feeds for the active toolpath are displayed.

916 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Transform Toolpath
The following dialog is displayed when you click on the Toolpath toolbar (on page 909), or select Edit - Transform from the context menu for the toolpath object in Explorer:

Toolpath - this field defaults to the name of the active toolpath. If this is not the toolpath to be transformed, select the required toolpath from the drop-down list. Active Workplane - selecting a workplane from the drop-down list makes it the active workplane. In Explorer, the active workplane appears in bold type and is preceded by >. Active - when this box is selected, the selected toolpath becomes the active toolpath. In Explorer, the active toolpath appears in bold type and is preceded by >. Draw - when this box is selected, the selected toolpath is drawn in the graphics window. Transform Copy - if this box is selected, the selected toolpath will be copied when it is transformed and given the name of the original toolpath with the addition of _1 (and then _2, and so on). If the box is deselected, the current toolpath will be replaced by the new transformed toolpath, under the same name as the original toolpath. The selected toolpath can be transformed using any of the following options:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 917

Move to Relative Position (on page 916) - transforms the toolpath along the specified axis by the selected distance. Enter a value in the Distance field and then click the , or button to move thetoolpath by the specified distance along the selected axis. Rotate (see "Rotate Toolpath" on page 917) - rotates the toolpath around the specified axis by the selected angle. First enter the required rotation Angle or and then click on the , button to rotate the toolpath about the appropriate axis.

Mirror in Plane (on page 918) - mirrors the toolpath around the specified axis. Transform to Workplane (on page 919) - moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the Active Workplane as it was to the World (global transform). Transform to World (on page 920) - moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the World (global transform) as it was to the Active Workplane.

Move to Relative Position
This option transforms the toolpath along the specified axis by the selected distance. Enter a value in the Distance field and then click the , or button to move the toolpath by the specified distance along the selected axis.

918 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The example above shows the toolpath being moved along the axis by the specified Distance. The move takes place relative to the origin of the workplane used to create the original toolpath, creating a new workplane. This workplane is in the same relative position to the new toolpath as the global coordinate system was to the original toolpath.

Rotate Toolpath
This option rotates the toolpath around the specified axis by the selected angle. Enter the required rotation Angle on the Transform Toolpath (on page 915) dialog, and then click the , or button to rotate the toolpath by the selected angle about the specified axis.

The example above shows the toolpath rotated in by an Angle of 90. The rotation takes place around the origin of the workplane used to create the original toolpath, creating a new workplane. This workplane is in the same relative position to the new toolpath as the global coordinate system was to the original toolpath.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 919

Mirror in Plane
This option mirrors the toolpath around the specified axis. Clicking the , or button mirrors the toolpath about the specified axis of the active workplane.

. The mirroring The example above shows the toolpath mirrored in takes place around the origin of the workplane used to create the original toolpath.

920 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Transform to Workplane
The option moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the active workplane as it was to the World (global transform).

In the example above, the workplane is in the middle of the part and the global transform is in one corner.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 921

Transform to World
The option moves the toolpath so that it is in the same place relative to the World (global transform) as it was to the active workplane.

In the example above, the workplane is in the middle of the part and the global transform is in one corner. A new workplane is created. This workplane is in the same relative position to the new toolpath as the global coordinate system was to the original toolpath.

922 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Limit Toolpath
As with the Transform Toolpath (on page 915) functions, the Limit To Plane, Polygon and Boundary commands create new toolpaths that are based on the active toolpath. It is essential to have an active toolpath for this functionality to work. on the Toolpath The following dialog is displayed when you click toolbar (on page 909), or select Edit - Limit from the context menu for the toolpath object in Explorer:

Limit to - this drop-down list has three options: Plane (see "Limit Toolpath to Plane" on page 923) - limits (cuts) the active toolpath to a specified plane. The Plane area of the dialog Polygon (see "Limit Toolpath to Polygon" on page 924) - limits (cuts) the currently active toolpath to a specified polygon. Boundary (see "Limit Toolpath to Boundary" on page 925) limits (cuts) the currently active toolpath to a specified boundary. Plane Type - defines the limiting plane. These options are only available if you have a Limit to of Plane.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 923

Plane X - defines the YZ plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the X coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Plane Y - defines the XZ plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the Y coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Plane Z - defines the XY plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the Z coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Arbitrary - either pick two points on the screen using the left mouse button to define the normal to the required plane, or enter X, Y and Z coordinates in the Point and Normal frames of the dialog. Point - defines the origin of the plane. Normal - defines the direction of the normal of the plane.Save - this drop-down list has three options: Boundary Boundary - determines which boundary is used to limit the toolpath. You can select the required boundary from the drop-down list. This option is only available if you have a Limit to of Boundary. Projection Plane - determines in which plane the toolpath is limited. Select one of the following from the drop-down list: Workplane, View Plane or Best Fit Plane. This option is only available if you select the Limit to Boundary option. Save - determines which side of a plane, polygon or bundary is saved. There are three options: Inner Outer Both Determines whether the toolpaths on the Inner, Outer or Both sides of the plane, polygon or boundary are kept. For a closed polygon or boundary it is obvious what is inside or outside. However, this is not the case for a plane. So, each plane has an arrow, normal to the plane, at each corner, to indicate which side of the plane will be selected. The boundary or polygon must be a closed, non-intersecting contour. Delete Original - selecting this box means that the original toolpath is will be removed when the new limited toolpath is created. Deselect it to keep the original toolpath.

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Reorder - selecting this box means that the limited toolpath will be reordered to minimise air time. Deselect it to avoid reordering.

Limit Toolpath to Plane

Limits (cuts) the active toolpath to a specified plane. Define the Plane and click Apply. When limiting to a Plane, the graphical representation of the plane has arrows on it indicating which part(s) of the toolpath will be kept, depending on the setting of the Save option.

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Toolpath toolbar • 925

In this case, if you want to keep the Inner:

you end up with the following:

If the Plane Type is set to Arbitrary, and you select the the plane by clicking in the graphics window with the left mouse button, the first click sets the plane origin, and the second click sets another point on the plane - the plane normal always remains in the viewing plane.

Limit Toolpath to Polygon

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Limits (cuts) the currently active toolpath to a specified polygon. Sketch a polygon with any number of sides, using the mouse button, and then click Apply. Original toolpath:

Limited toolpath:

Limit Toolpath to Boundary

Limits (cuts) the active toolpath to a specified boundary, created using Explorer. Select the Boundary from the drop-down list, select a Projection Plane of Workplane, View Plane or Best Fit Plane, and then click Apply.

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Toolpath toolbar • 927

Original toolpath:

Limited toolpath:

This result is the same as when you use Limit Toolpath to Polygon (on page 924). It is up to you which option you want to use, but there will be occasions where one will be easier/faster to use than the other and other times where there is really no difference between the two.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Divide Toolpath
Clicking Divide Toolpath displays the following dialog:

There are five ways of dividing a toolpath: Angle (see "Divide Toolpath by Angle" on page 928) - splits a toolpath into two parts depending on the angle each move makes with the XY plane. The angle is independent of the cutting direction. This option may be used to generate optimised perpendicular finishing passes. Direction (see "Divide Toolpath by Direction" on page 929) splits a toolpath into parts depending whether the tool is cutting Up, Down, or Flat. Options are provided to keep different combinations of the three different portions. This option is useful when you want to machine certain areas with a tool that cannot machine downwards, or if you want to machine flat areas with an end mill. Length (see "Divide Toolpath by Length" on page 931) - splits a toolpath into several sections so that the distance travelled by the tool within each section does not exceed a specified limit. This option is useful if tool life is limited. Time (see "Divide Toolpath by Time" on page 932) - splits a toolpath into several sections so that the machining time of each section does not exceed a specified limit. Time is calculated using the specified feed rate. This option is useful if tool life is limited. Retract (see "Divide Toolpath by Retract" on page 933) - splits a toolpath at each tool retract point.

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Toolpath toolbar • 929

Divide Toolpath by Angle

Angle - this is the limiting slope measured from the XY plane. Remove Segments Smaller Than - removes segments that are smaller in length than the figure entered here. The higher the value, the smaller the fragmentation. This value should normally be set to a similar value to the machining tolerance. Save - this drop-down list has three options: Steep Shallow Both The illustrations below show the effects of dividing a toolpath with a limiting Angle of 30° degrees, keeping Both parts:

The two new toolpaths have the same name as the original but have _1 and _2 appended to the original name:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

_1 contains the steep portion:

_2 contains the shallow portion:

Divide Toolpath by Direction

Flat Angle - an angle limit measured from the XY plane. A move is counted as Flat if it makes an angle with the XY plane smaller than this limit.

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Toolpath toolbar • 931

Remove Segments Smaller Than - removes segments that are smaller in length than the figure entered here. The higher the value, the smaller the fragmentation. This value should normally be set to a similar value to the machining tolerance. Subtract - there are three areas that you can separate from the whole toolpath: Up - this subtracts the moves that are cutting Up, leaving only moves that are Flat or Down. Down - this subtracts the moves that are cutting Down, leaving only moves that are Flat or Up. Flat - this subtracts moves that are Flat, leaving only moves that are Up or Down. Save - this specifies which part of the toolpath to keep: Subtract - keeps the part of the toolpath specified by the Subtract option. Remainder - keeps the part of the toolpath not specified by the Subtract option. Both - keeps both parts of the toolpath as two separate toolpaths. The illustrations below show the effects of dividing a toolpath with a Flat limit of 0.5°. Subtract is set to Up, and Keep is set to Both.

In this case, two new toolpaths are created. One contains the Subtract portion and the other contains the Remainder. The two new toolpaths have the same name as the original but have _1 and _2 appended to the name:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

_1 contains the Remainder portion (the Down and Flat moves):

_2 contains the Subtract portion (the Up moves):

If you want to keep just the upward portion of the toolpath, select Save Subtract. Similarly, if you want to keep just the downward and flat portion of the toolpath, select Save Remainder.

Divide Toolpath by Length

Length - The required maximum length of each portion of the toolpath. If a small value for Length is specified, dividing a toolpath may produce a very large number of new toolpaths. To save you having to delete many toolpaths, a confirmation dialog is displayed before producing any new toolpaths:

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Toolpath toolbar • 933

Click on Yes to divide the toolpath, No to abandon the operation. Under certain circumstances toolpaths may exceed the specified length. To avoid starting a cut in the middle of the part, toolpath division only occurs at links between segments. Each toolpath generated by dividing contains one or more segments, so if one or more segments in the original toolpath are longer than Length, some of the toolpaths produced will be also. In this case a warning message is displayed:

Most pattern finishing toolpaths comprise one long segment, unless they have been limited. For toolpaths like this, divide by length will have no effect. To enable the toolpath to be divided, use the Edit Limit (see "Limit Toolpath" on page 921) command to break the toolpath into several segments.

Divide Toolpath by Time

Minutes - The required maximum cutting time for each portion of the toolpath. Cutting time is calculated using the length of the toolpath and the specified feed rate: no account is taken of machine acceleration or deceleration.

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If a small value for Minutes is specified, dividing a toolpath may produce a very large number of new toolpaths. To save you having to delete many toolpaths, a confirmation dialog is displayed before producing any new toolpaths:

Click on Yes to divide the toolpath, No to abandon the operation. Under certain circumstances toolpaths may exceed the specified duration. To avoid starting a cut in the middle of the part, toolpath division only occurs at links between segments. Each toolpath generated by dividing contains one or more segments, so if one or more segments in the original toolpath cut for longer than the number of Minutes, then some of the toolpaths produced will do the same. In this case, a warning message is displayed:

Most pattern finishing toolpaths comprise one long segment, unless they have been limited. For toolpaths like this, division by time will have no effect. To enable the toolpath to be divided, use the Edit Limits (see "Limit Toolpath" on page 921) command to break the toolpath into several segments.

Divide Toolpath by Retract

This option splits the toolpath at each tool retract point, enabling you to reorder the resulting toolpath pieces as required.

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Toolpath toolbar • 935

Any links at cutting feed rate (on surface, circular…) are retained and the toolpath in this event is only divided at rapid retract points. There are no options on this dialog - simply click Apply to divide the toolpath.

Move Toolpath Start Points
The Move Toolpath Start Points option allows you to manually realign start points of closed toolpaths. This only works on closed segments (typically Constant Z or 3D Offset). Once you have created a toolpath, you can then move the start point of an individual segment. 1. Once you select the option from the Toolpath toolba (see "Toolpath toolbar" on page 909)r, or from the toolpath object's context menu in Explorer (right-click and select Edit - Move Start Points), the command window at the bottom of the display prompts: Pick Point, apply [RET] or quit [ESC]: 2. Click in the graphics area to sketch line segments. Each line is taken in turn and the intersection of the line and each individual segment is added and used as the start point for that segment. This applies only to closed segments, and multiple intersections on the same segment with the same line are ignored. Because each line is taken in turn, if the start point is moved by one line a subsequent line may move that start point again. If the view point on the screen is moved mid-operation, then all stored lines are discarded. 3. Press the Return key to accept the segments, in which case the new toolpath has the same name as the original but has _1 appended to the original name, or else press the Esc key to abandon the operation.

936 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tool Axis Editing
The Tool Axis Editing dialog allows you to edit the tool axis of selected (partial) segments of a toolpath whilst preserving the toolpath contact positions. This can be used to: Manually redistribute toolpath points and calculate the tool axis in any region of the toolpath in order to improve (smooth) the machine tool movement at the start of each toolpath pass. The Point Distribution example (on page 945) illustrates how this functionality might be applied to the start of each toolpath segment. Locally modify the specified tool axis to achieve extra clearance. Modify the whole toolpath when the job is moved from one machine tool to another, with different tool axis limits. Initially, you must define the region you want to edit in the Select Regions tab (on page 935). Then you define how you want edit the tool axis in the Edit Tool Axis tab (on page 938).

Select Regions tab
The Select Regions tab enables you to define the area of the toolpath you want to edit.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 937

Define Region By - controls how to select the region of the toolpath you want to edit. Most of the Tool Axis Editing dialog is similar to the Limit Toolpath (on page 921) dialog: Plane - selects the region of the toolpath to one side of the specified plane. This works in exactly the same way as Limit Toolpath to Plane (on page 923). Polygon - selects the region of the toolpath to one side of the specified polygon. This works in exactly the same way as Limit Toolpath to Polygon (on page 924). For more information, see steps 2-5 in the Point Distribution example (on page 945). Boundary - selects the region of the toolpath to one side of the specified boundary. This works in exactly the same way as Limit Toolpath to Boundary (on page 925). Whole segments - selects complete segments of the toolpath. For more information, see the Multiple selection example (on page 954). Pairs of Points - selects the region of the toolpath between two points. For more information, see steps 3-5 in the Tool axis editing example (on page 950). Plane Type - defines the limiting plane. These options are only available if you have a Define Region By of Plane: Plane X - defines the YZ plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the X coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Plane Y - defines the XZ plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the Y coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Plane Z - defines the XY plane. Either pick a point on the screen using the left mouse button, or enter the Z coordinate in the Point frame of the dialog. Arbitrary - either pick two points on the screen using the left mouse button to define the normal to the required plane, or enter X, Y and Z coordinates in the Point and Normal frames of the dialog. Point - defines the origin of the plane. Normal - defines the direction of the normal of the plane. Boundary

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary - determines which boundary is used to limit the toolpath. You can select the required boundary from the dropdown list. This option is only available if you have a Define Region By of Boundary. Projection Plane - determines in which plane the toolpath is limited. Select one of the following from the drop-down list: Workplane, View Plane or Best Fit Plane. This option is only available if you select the Limit to Boundary option. Side - determines which side of the plane, polygon or boundary is selected: Inner Outer For a closed polygon or boundary it is obvious what is inside or outside. However, this is not the case for a plane. So, each plane has an arrow, normal to the plane, at each corner, to indicate which side of the plane will be selected. The boundary or polygon must be a closed, non-intersecting contour. Save Selection - saves the currently selected portions of the toolpath, and adds it to any other portions of the toolpath that have already been saved. For more information, see Multiple selection example (on page 954). Clear Selection - removes all portions of the toolpath from the Saved Selection.

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Toolpath toolbar • 939

Edit Tool Axis tab
The Edit Tool Axis tab enables you to define how you want to edit the toolpath. You must define the area of the toolpath you want to edit on the Select Regions tab (on page 935), before you can edit it.

Type of Editing - determines whether you want to make local changes by defining a new tool axis, changing the existing tool axis at a constant rate or manipulating the point distribution: New Axis Definition - defines a new Tool Axis, and can also manipulate the existing Point Distribution. Axis Interpolation - causes the Tool Axis to change at a constant rate over the selected region, and it can manipulate the Point Distribution. Tool Axis - displays the tool axis that will be used in the selected toolpath region.

- displays the Tool Axis Direction (on page 411) dialog, which enables you to edit the tool axis. This option is available only if you have a Type of Editing as New Axis Definition.

940 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Point Distribution - when selected, displays the point distribution used to create the toolpath, for example:

- displays the Point Distribution (on page 448) dialog, which enables you to edit the point distribution of the toolpath. Blend Distance - distance over which the tool axis will change from the new orientation to the original. This minimises marks on the model caused by a sudden change in tool axis. For more information, see Blend Distance example (on page 957). Undo - undoes any changes that you have made. This option is not available until you have selected Apply. The Undo option becomes unavailable if you: Deactivate the current toolpath. Edit the toolpath using something other than the Tool Axis Editing dialog. Close the dialog. Apply - applies the edits defined in the dialog. Cancel - closes the dialog without making any additional edits.

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Toolpath toolbar • 941

Example of tool axis editing
This example looks at the different options available for tool axis editing using the Impeller.dgk model available from the Examples folder. Calculate a Block from the Model Limits and create a 10mm Ball Nosed tool.

Before you can edit the toolpath you must create one. In this case, a surface machining toolpath, which is then trimmed so that the nearvertical end fillet of the blade remains unmachined. 1. Select the splitter blade .

942 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

2. Click the Toolpath Strategies button, select the Finishing tab, and choose the Surface Finishing option.

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Toolpath toolbar • 943

3. In the Surface Finishing dialog, select the Max U Max V option in the Start Corner field, and then press the Tool Axis button.

Select: Lead/Lean in the Tool Axis field Enter -70 in the Lean field 4. Click Accept to close the Surface Finishing dialog. 5. Click Apply to calculate the toolpath, then click Cancel.

944 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

6. Limit this toolpath, so that the end fillet is not machined. From the individual Toolpath context menu, select Edit - Limit.

Select: Limit to - polygon Delete Original - deselected Save - Outer 7. Create a polygon by selecting points similar to points and below: , ,

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 945

8. Click Apply, then click Cancel to trim the toolpath and close the dialog. dialog, change the Lead In to 9. From the Leads and Links Extended Move with a Distance of 30.

10.Click the Copy to Lead Out button to apply the Extended Move to the Lead Out. 11.Click Apply, then click Accept.

The next few examples look at editing this toolpath in a variety of ways: The Point Distribution example (on page 945) looks at tool axis interpolation to smooth the machine tool movement in a specified region of the toolpath.

946 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The Tool Axis editing example (on page 950) shows how to modify the toolpath tool axis locally to gain extra clearance. The Multiple Selection example (on page 954) shows how to multi-select regions of a toolpath before editing the tool axis. The Blend Distance example (on page 957) shows how to the smooth transition between the original and the edited tool axis. Point distribution example This example looks at tool axis interpolation and point redistribution within a selected region. The machine tool movement at the start of each toolpath segment is smoothed by making the tool axis change more gradual. This example uses the impeller.dgk model available in the Examples folder, and assumes that you have completed the procedure in the Example of tool axis editing (on page 940).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 947

1. Look at the fillet of the blade toolpath, and select Draw Toolpath Points .

2. Open the Tool Axis Editing dialog by clicking Toolpath toolbar.

on the

Select: Define by Region - Polygon Side - Inner

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Create a polygon by selecting points similar to points and below:

,

,

4. Click the Save Selection button. The selected portions of the toolpath turn white. 5. If you want to add additional portions of toolpath, select them first, and then click the Save Selection button to add them to the current selection. In this case, you have already selected the required portion.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 949

6. Open the Edit Tool Axis tab.

Select: Type of Editing - Axis Interpolation. 7. Click the Point distribution button.

Select: Output Type - Redistribute Tolerance Factor - 0.5 Limit Point Separation - selected

950 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Maximum Point Separation - 0.5 Mesh Factor - 0.1 Limit Maximum Triangle Length - selected Maximum Triangle length - 1.0 8. Click Accept to close the Point distribution dialog. 9. Click Apply to create the additional points.

Draw Contact Track (embedded) Draw Contact Track - draws the trace of the toolpath contact points in red. This option is available only if you select Contact Normals in the Calculation area of the Toolpath tab of the Options dialog on the Tools menu. The contact normals are the I, J, K vectors.

- standard toolpath trace in green. - toolpath contact point trace in red.

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Toolpath toolbar • 951

Tool axis editing example This example looks at modifying the specified tool axis to achieve extra clearance around the fillet area. This example uses the impeller.dgk model available in the Examples folder, and assumes that you have completed the procedure in the Example of tool axis editing (on page 940).

1. Look at the fillet of the blade toolpath, and select Draw Toolpath Points . 2. Animate the toolpath to see the clearance issue. From the individual Toolpath context menu, select the Attach Active Tool to Start option, and then move the tool. There are many ways of achieving this; using CTRL+End key and then pressing works well.

952 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Select on the Toolpath toolbar to open the Tool Axis Editing dialog.

Select: Define by Region - Pairs of Points 4. Select two points on the bottom toolpath segment in a similar position to those shown below.

5. Click the Save Selection button. The selected portions of the toolpath turn white.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 953

6. If you want to add additional portions of toolpath, select them first, and then click the Save Selection button to add them to the current selection. In this case, you have already selected the required portion. 7. Open the Edit Tool Axis tab.

Select: Type of Editing - New Axis definition Blend Distance - 5

954 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

8. Click the Tool Axis button. Change the Lean Angle to -10, and then click Accept.

9. Click Apply on the Tool Axis Editing dialog. 10.If you animate the toolpath again (see step 2) you can see the difference in the tool clearance in this region of the toolpath.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 955

11.Zoom in on the edited part of the toolpath to see the difference that the change of tool axis has made.

- original toolpath. - edited toolpath. The Blend Distance was added so that the Lean Angle of the tool is changed from -70 to -10 over a period of 5mm rather than instantaneously. The same also occurs at the end of the region, where Lean Angle of the tool is changed from -10 to -70 over a period of 5mm rather than instantaneously. For more information, see the Blend Distance example (on page 957). Multiple selection example This example demonstrates how to multi-select regions of a toolpath before editing the tool axis. This example uses the impeller.dgk model available in the Examples folder, and assumes that you have completed the procedure in the Example of tool axis editing (on page 940).

956 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

1. Select on the Toolpath toolbar to open the Tool Axis Editing dialog. Select: Define by Region - Whole Segments 2. In this case, it's easier to select the segments without having the model visible. Click the Shade undraw the model. and Wireframe buttons to

3. Select a couple of toolpath segments using a drag box.

4. Click the Save Selection button. The selected segments turn white (shown in black below).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 957

5. Select another couple of toolpath segments using a drag box.

6. Click the Save Selection button. The selected segments are added to the previous ones.

7. Click the Clear Selection button to deselect all the selected segments.

958 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Blend distance example When a Blend of 5mm is used, you can see the smooth transition between the original and the edited tool axis:

When a Blend of 0 is used, you can see the discontinuity between the original and the edited tool axis:

Update Region
The Update Region button enables you to recalculate an existing toolpath over a limited region of the part. This means that you could make a minor change in the model and then recalculate the toolpath within a boundary that contains the change. This technique works best on flat or shallow regions.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 959

The recalculation is done within the active boundary and not necessarily in the area where the model has been changed. If you start with this model and raster toolpath:

and then place a cap on one of the pockets:

960 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

you can recalculate the toolpath within this boundary to create the following:

The recalculation is based on the existing toolpath geometry and not on the input toolpath strategy.

Reorder
The Reorder button allows you to change the order and direction of toolpath segments. It displays the Toolpath Listing dialog:

This dialog displays all the toolpath segments and allows you to reorder them, altering the machining order.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath toolbar • 961

A segment is defined as the path between two links, and the leads and links associated with moved segments are modified appropriately. Selecting components within the list also selects them graphically, turning them yellow. Similarly, selecting a segment from the graphics window moves to that segment in the list. The columns in the list are as follows: - segment number. - coordinates of the segment start point. - coordinates of the segment end point. - segment length. - number of points in the toolpath segment. The Reorder (see "Reorder toolbar" on page 961) toolbar on the left hand side of the dialog control how the selected segments are reordered:

in the bottom right hand corner of the dialog allows you to resize the dialog to display more (or fewer) toolpath segments.

962 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Reorder toolbar
The Reorder toolbar on the left hand side of the Toolpath Listing dialog control how the selected segments are reordered:

Any movement or removal of segments causes all the segments to be renumbered accordingly. Delete Selected - deletes the segments selected in the list. Move to Start - moves the segments selected in the list view to the start of the toolpath. Move Up - moves the segments selected in the list view up one position Move Down - moves the segments selected in the list view down one position. Move to End - moves the segments selected in the list view to the end of the toolpath. Reverse Order - reverses the order of the selected segments in the toolpath sequence. If no segments are selected, then the whole toolpath is reversed. Reverse Direction - reverses the direction of each selected segment, so that the start and end points are switched round. If no segments are selected, then the direction of the whole toolpath is reversed.

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Toolpath toolbar • 963

Alternate Direction - reverses the direction of each alternate selected segment, so that the start and end points of every other segment are switched round. If no segments are selected, then this is applied to the whole toolpath. If you select several segments in the list view:

and then click the Alternate Direction button every other selected segment is reversed:

, the direction of

In this case, segments 1 and 3 have been reversed, whilst segments 0 and 2 have not. If you select all the segments in a one way cutting toolpath, then it is converted to one that cuts in both directions (and the other way round). As an example: the following is converted: to this:

964 • Toolpath toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The following toolpaths cannot be zigzagged in this fashion: Roughing ramp leads. Drill moves. Although all other types of toolpath can be zigzagged, it is generally inappropriate to apply this command to roughing or Constant Z toolpaths Automatic Reorder - reorders the toolpath to minimise the 3D distance between the ends of segments, while maintaining the cutting direction of segments. This always works on the entire toolpath (not on selected segments). Only segments separated by Safe Z links are reordered. This option is unsuitable for Constant Z and roughing toolpaths where the ordering must take proper account of pockets. Automatic Reorder and Reverse - as for Automatic Reorder, except that it also allows segments to be reversed to minimise the air time between segments. This usually results in fewer lifts than Automatic Reorder.

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Toolpath toolbar • 965

Boundary toolbar
To select the Boundary toolbar, either: right click the Boundaries menu in explorer and select the Toolbar... option from the resulting context menu; or select View - Toolbar - Boundary from the menu. By default the toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the graphics window:

Create Boundary - this pull-out list lets you select the type of boundary you want to create. Refer to Boundary types (on page 967). The type of boundary that is currently displayed on the toolbar at the base of the list is the one that was last selected:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary toolbar • 967

Selecting any one of these buttons on the list displays a Boundary dialog box. This works in exactly the same way as selecting Create Boundary from the Boundaries context menu (see "Creating Boundaries" on page 129) in Explorer. Active Boundary - displays the active boundary. If no boundary is displayed, then there is no active boundary. The drop-down list contains a list of all available boundaries. File - allows you to insert a *.dgk or *.pic file into the boundary, using the Open Boundary dialog:

Select the required file and click the Open button. Save - saves the modified boundary. Insert into Boundary (on page 1000) - selecting any one of these buttons on the toolbar inserts the associated entity into the current boundary. This works in exactly the same way as selecting Insert from an individual boundary's context menu. Edit - allows you to edit the boundary points, in the same way as if you had selected Edit - Points… from the individual boundary's context menu in Explorer. The resulting dialog works as described in Boundary Editor dialog (on page 1005). Clear - deletes the boundary geometry but not the entity itself, which means that the graphical information is deleted, but that the entity name still exists in Explorer. Delete - deletes the active boundary from both the screen and Explorer.

968 • Boundary toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary types
You can create the different types of boundary described in the table below using either the Boundary toolbar (on page 965) or the Boundaries context menu in Explorer:

Button

Context Name Block Rest Selected Surface Shallow Silhouette Collision Safe Stock Model Rest

Description Create a Block Boundary (on page 970) Create a Rest Boundary (on page 971) Create a Selected Surface Boundary (on page 972) Create a Shallow Boundary (on page 974) Create a Silhouette Boundary (on page 975) Create a Collision Safe Boundary (on page 977) Create a Stock Model Rest Boundary (on page 979)

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary toolbar • 969

Button

Context Name Contact Point Contact Conversion Boolean Operation

Description Create a Contact Point Boundary (on page 982) Create a Contact Conversion Boundary (on page 988) Performs a Boolean Operation (see "Boolean Operation Boundary" on page 990) on two boundaries Create a User Defined Boundary (on page 993)

User Defined

Common boundary controls
The boundary dialogs share some common controls: Lock - locks the boundary so that its parameters cannot be changed. When a boundary is locked, the button changes to and all the parameter fields become 'read-only'. Click the button again to unlock the boundary. This is particularly useful for protecting complex boundaries that may have taken some time to calculate. Name - sets the name of the boundary. You can also change the name of the boundary using the Explorer controls. Tolerances

Tolerance - tolerance used for calculation of the boundary. Determines how accurately the boundary follows the underlying geometry. Thickness - machining thickness applied for calculation. Refer to Boundary Thickness (on page 1006).

970 • Boundary toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

- clicking this allows you to determines the radial and axial thicknesses for selected surfaces on the boundary. For more information, refer to Boundary Thickness (on page 1006). Any toolpaths that use a particular boundary should typically all have the same Tolerance and Thickness settings as the boundary. Tool

to create a new tool, or Either select a tool from the pull-out list select an existing tool from the drop down list on the right. Limit

Select the Limit Boundary check box if the new boundary is to be limited by an existing boundary (select the existing, limiting boundary from the drop-down list on the right). Select the Inside radio button if the new boundary is to be inside the limiting boundary, or the Outside radio button if the new boundary is to be outside it. The limiting boundary cannot itself be limited by another boundary. Apply - calculates the boundary immediately using the parameter settings from the dialog. Accept - stores the boundary parameters and closes the dialog without calculating the boundary. The boundary will be calculated automatically when it is first needed. Cancel - closes the dialog without storing the boundary parameters.

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Block Boundary
This option creates a boundary at the extents of the block.

Block - shows the current block type. Click Block dialog (see "Block" on page 354).

to change it and raise the

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Rest Boundary
This option creates a boundary which shows the region where a new, smaller tool, will machine further into a corner than the original larger tool. It takes its contours from the regions left unmachined by the Reference (previous) tool. The boundaries consist of closed profiles around those regions. These can then be machined with a smaller tool to avoid remachining the whole model.

Detect Material Thicker Than - the calculation will ignore rest material that is thinner than the threshold specified here. Expand Area By - rest areas are expanded by this distance, measured along the surface. A negative value reduces the size of rest areas. Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Reference Tool - specifies the Reference tool, typically the larger tool used to create the original toolpath.

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. Either select a tool from the pull-out list to create a new tool, or select an existing tool from the drop down list on the right. Limit - limits the boundary to an existing boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968).

Selected Surface Boundary
This option will only find the areas that the chosen tool touches on the surface(s) that is currently selected. This means that it avoids undercuts and enables you to machine only the selected surfaces without touching neighbouring (unselected) surfaces.

Top - select this check box if the boundary is to follow the top edges of any vertical surfaces. Otherwise, leave it unselected so that the boundary follows the bottom edges.

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Roll Over - select this check box if the boundary, and any toolpaths using the boundary, are to roll over the edges of the selected surfaces. With Roll Over off (the default), the boundary and toolpath look like this:

With Roll Over on, the boundary and toolpath look like this:

Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Limit - limits the boundary to another boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Selected Surface Boundaries are recalculated if the selected surfaces change. Selected surface boundaries behave in a similar way to toolpaths. This means that they take into account the selection state at the time of calculation. Batch boundaries use the selection state at the time of their creation.

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Shallow Boundary
This option creates a boundary at the junction of near horizontal areas and near vertical areas. The boundary will takes its contours from the areas on the model that lie within a slope angle, and it should be used to machine areas with large cusps left after Constant Z machining. What is seen to be horizontal or vertical is defined in the Shallow Boundary dialog:

Upper Angle - the maximum surface slope, measured from horizontal, of areas enclosed by the boundary. Lower Angle - the minimum surface slope, measured from horizontal, of areas enclosed by the boundary. Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Limit - limits the boundary to another boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Silhouette Boundary
This option creates a boundary as the silhouette of the model, taking its contours from the silhouette of the model projected in the Z axis. Using this boundary minimises lifts caused by the tool losing contact with the triangle model.

On Model - this switch controls the placement of boundaries on vertical walls. If On Model is selected (the default), then the boundary will be positioned at the top of vertical walls.

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If On Model is deselected, the boundary will be positioned at the bottom of the block:

Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Limit - limits the boundary to another boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Collision Safe Boundary
This option creates a boundary that is limited by tool length, which allows you use a short tool over the majority of the toolpath and then only use long tools where they are really necessary. The boundary can then be used to determine the long/short boundary between these toolpaths. The boundary defines the safe (non-colliding) region with the specified tool.

Holder Clearance - represents a specified 'safe' area around the tool holder which is taken into account when creating the boundary.

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Shank Clearance - represents a specified 'safe' area around the tool shank which is taken into account when creating the boundary:

Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Limit - limits the boundary to another boundary. For more information, see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Stock Model Rest Boundary
This option creates a boundary around the stock model rest material, highlighting the region where there is a difference between the model and the stock model. The dialog is very similar to the Rest Boundary (on page 971) dialog, except that the Reference Tool area is not relevant and so is not displayed:

The Stock Model and Tolerance values default to the values set in the active stock model. The Tolerance value does not need to be the same as that of the stock model, and you can change it as required. If you do change it, PowerMILL will calculate the appropriate stock model internally. The calculation will ignore rest material that is thinner than the threshold specified in the field Detect Material Thicker Than. The default for this threshold is the Rest Thickness value in the active stock model, but you can change it to be any other value. If you do change the value, PowerMILL will calculate the appropriate stock model internally. Expand Area By - rest areas are expanded by this distance, measured along the surface. A negative value reduces the size of rest areas. For more information on how to use stock model rest boundaries, refer to Example of Stock Model Rest Boundary (on page 980).

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Example of Stock Model Rest Boundary This example looks at a raster toolpath on the Cowling.dgk model.

1. Create a Tool, Block and Raster toolpath. 2. Select the Create option from the Stock Models context menu in Explorer. 3. From the context menu for the resulting individual stock model, select the Stepover option:

4. Enter a value of 0.1 and click

.

5. From the context menu for the resulting individual stock model, select the following options: Apply - Active Toolpath First Calculate Show Rest Material. You will now see something similar to this:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

If you hadn't changed the stepover, the result would have been much coarser:

6. Now you can create a boundary based on this stock model. Select Create Boundary - Stock Model Rest from the Boundaries context menu in Explorer. This displays the following dialog:

7. Select the name of your Stock Model (in this case Raster), and the tool you want to use for the boundary.

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8. Click Apply to create the boundary:

Contact Point Boundary
This option creates a boundary that limits the tool contact point rather than the tool tip position.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The Selected Surface Boundary (on page 972) option, on its own, works very well for machining a surface (or surfaces) with adjacent unselected surfaces. However, it is not designed for the case of machining an isolated surface(s) (one with no adjacent surfaces). In this case, if you use the Selected Surface Boundary option, the tool will 'roll over' the edge as there are no unselected surfaces to stop it, and it is advisable to use the Contact Point Boundary option instead.

The options in the Insert pane allow you to insert the associated entities into the boundary: File - allows you to insert a *.dgk or *.pic file into the boundary, using the Open Boundary dialog: Select the required file and click the Open button. Insert Boundary - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the boundary selected in the drop-down list:

Insert Pattern - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the pattern selected in the drop-down list:

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Insert Toolpath - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the toolpath selected in the drop-down list:

Only closed contours are inserted into a boundary from a file, pattern or toolpath. Open contours are ignored. Insert Model - click this button to insert into the boundary the edges of the model surfaces currently selected in the graphics window. PowerMILL automatically detects and removes edges that are adjacent and within Model Tolerance, so that only the outline of a group of adjoining surfaces is added to the boundary. To be considered adjacent, surfaces must be oriented consistently. In default shading mode, consistently oriented surfaces will all be shaded in the same colour (orange or red). Surfaces can be reversed if necessary using the Reverse Selected command from the Models context menu in Explorer. Edge Tolerance defines the tolerance between the boundary and the surface. This tolerance has an effect on the quality of the resulting boundary. An Edge Tolerance of 0 uses the automatic tolerance. Boundary Sketcher - click this button to add sketched geometry to the boundary, using the Boundary Sketcher dialog (on page 1002). The options in the Edit pane allow you to modify or remove the boundary: - opens the Boundary Editor dialog (on page 1005) to allow you to edit individual points in the active boundary. - clears the boundary, deleting all geometry. For more information on how to use contact point boundaries, refer to Example of Contact Point Boundary (on page 984). Example of Contact Point Boundary This example uses the 5_axis_Test.dgk model.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

1. Select the relevant surface. In this case, the top surface is selected and the remaining surfaces have been deleted:

2. Select Create Boundary - Contact Point from the Boundaries context menu:

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The following dialog is displayed:

button to create the contact point boundary 3. Click the Model for the selected surfaces.

4. Click Accept to close the dialog. 5. This boundary is independent of the tool. The tool-specific boundary will be calculated automatically on toolpath creation. 6. Create a block ball nosed). at the limits of the model, and a tool (20mm

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

7. Now create a Raster Finishing toolpath using the Contact Point Boundary (this means leaving the boundary active). The Contact Point Boundary is converted to the actual boundary required for the 20mm ball nosed tool:

If you had had a Selected Surface Boundary you would have seen the following result:

You can see that in this case the toolpath can roll-over the edges, whereas with the Contact Point Boundary the rollover is prevented.

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Contact Point boundaries work well if you select several surfaces or surfaces with two coincident sides (such as a cylinder). For example, if you select the cavity of the 5_axis_Test.dgk model:

and then create a Contact Point boundary from this, the desired boundary will be created:

Contact Conversion Boundary
This option converts a Contact Point Boundary (on page 982) into a boundary that can be used for a specific tool.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The Contact Point Boundary is independent of the tool and defines the contact point of a tool, whereas the Contact Conversion Boundary is tool-specific and defines the tool centre as calculated from the contact point derived in the Contact Point Boundary.

Tolerances - defines the Tolerance and Thickness used to create the boundary. For more information see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Edge Tolerance defines the tolerance between the boundary and the surface. This tolerance has an effect on the quality of the resulting boundary. An Edge Tolerance of 0 uses the automatic tolerance. Tool - defines the tool used to create the boundary. For more information see Common Boundary Controls (on page 968). Contact Point Boundary (on page 982) - select from the drop-down list the Contact Point Boundary that is to be converted into a boundary that uses the tool specified in this dialog.

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In most instances you won't need to create Contact Conversion Boundaries - you can just create a Contact Point Boundary and then PowerMILL will automatically create the relevant boundary for a specific tool when the toolpath is created. However, you may want to create a Contact Conversion Boundary if you wish to create several toolpaths with the boundary. This would then speed up the toolpath calculation time.

Boolean Operation Boundary
This option allows you to perform Boolean operations (such as add, subtract and intersect) on two existing boundaries.

Reference Boundaries - defines the two boundaries you want to work on. Boundary A - select, from the drop-down list, the first boundary you want to use. Boundary B - select, from the drop-down list, the second boundary you want to use.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary A must be different from Boundary B. If you choose a Type of Subtraction, Boundary B is subtracted from Boundary A. So the order of selection of the A and B boundaries is important. If you choose a Type of Addition or Intersection then the order of selection is irrelevant. The result is the same whichever order the A and B boundaries are selected. Boolean Operation Type - defines which Boolean operation to perform. Addition - creates a boundary which is the addition of the two boundaries (Boundary A + Boundary B). Subtraction - creates a boundary which is the subtraction of Boundary B from Boundary A (Boundary A - Boundary B). Intersection - creates a boundary which is the intersection of Boundary A with Boundary B. For more information, see Example of Boolean operations on two boundaries (on page 991).

Example of Boolean operations on two boundaries
This example shows the effect of Boolean operations on two boundaries.

- Boundary A - Boundary B

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Addition gives:

Subtraction: as Boundary A and If you selected subtraction gives: as Boundary B then

as Boundary A and If you selected subtraction gives:

as Boundary B then

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Intersection gives:

User Defined Boundary
This option creates a boundary from a shape defined using the following dialog:

The options in the Insert pane allow you to insert the associated entities into the boundary: File - allows you to insert a *.dgk or *.pic file into the boundary, using the Open Boundary dialog: Select the required file and click the Open button.

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Insert Boundary - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the boundary selected in the drop-down list:

Insert Pattern - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the pattern selected in the drop-down list:

Insert Toolpath - click this button to insert into the boundary the contents of the toolpath selected in the drop-down list:

Only closed contours are inserted into a boundary from a file, pattern or toolpath. Open contours are ignored. Insert Model - click this button to insert into the boundary the edges of the model surfaces currently selected in the graphics window. PowerMILL automatically detects and removes edges that are adjacent and within Model Tolerance, so that only the outline of a group of adjoining surfaces is added to the boundary. To be considered adjacent, surfaces must be oriented consistently. In default shading mode, consistently oriented surfaces will all be shaded in the same colour (orange or red). Surfaces can be reversed if necessary using the Reverse Selected command from the Models context menu in Explorer. Boundary Sketcher - click this button to add sketched geometry to the boundary, using the Boundary Sketcher dialog (on page 1002).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Curve Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Composite Curve Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

Click

to end the Curve Modelling session.

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Wireframe Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Wireframe Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

to save your changes and return to PowerMILL, or Click abandon your changes and return to PowerMILL.

to

Refer to Example of User Defined Boundary (on page 996) for the use of Wireframe and Curve Modelling. The options in the Edit pane allow you to modify or remove the boundary: - opens the Boundary Editor dialog (on page 1005) to allow you to edit individual points in the active boundary. - clears the boundary, deleting all geometry.

Example of User Defined Boundary
This example shows you how to create a boundary on a surface using the Modeller.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The example assumes that you have the Modeller installed. Although it is installed as separate program, the Modeller is started automatically for you from inside PowerMILL whenever it is needed. The most appropriate type of modelling is chosen, the choice depending on where within PowerMILL the Modeller is called. The three available types are: Surface Modelling (which does not apply to boundaries), Wireframe Modelling , and Curve Modelling (which is made up of a subset of the Wireframe Modelling options). The example covers both Wireframe Modelling Modelling . , and Curve

1. Start PowerMILL and open Speaker.dgk from the File Examples menu. 2. Select the surface from which you want to create your boundary.

3. Click the Wireframe Modelling toolbar (on page 965).

button on the Boundary

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Boundary toolbar • 999

This action simultaneously creates a new boundary and opens a Wireframe Modelling session within PowerMILL, following which the selected surface is displayed within the new session window:

4. To create a boundary on the surface, click the Curve Creation button on the top toolbar of the Modeller. on the side toolbar: 5. Click the Composite Curve button

The Create Composite Curve toolbar is displayed:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

6. Select the surface edge:

7. The Modeller now traverses round the boundary of the surface:

button (now highlighted) on the Create Composite 8. Click the Curve toolbar to save the boundary curve. on the Create Composite Curve toolbar to end the 9. Click Curve Modelling session. button (now highlighted) on the top toolbar to save 10.Click the your changes and return to PowerMILL.

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Boundary toolbar • 1001

The boundary curve is displayed in PowerMILL. If you cannot see it, undraw the wireframe and shaded view using the buttons. and

This boundary can now be used in the same way as any other boundary to help generate toolpaths.

Insert into Boundary
- The following Insert into Boundary options are available from the Boundary toolbar (on page 965): The options work in much the same way as the Insert into Pattern (on page 1032) buttons insert entities into the active pattern. Boundary - inserts another boundary into the active boundary. PowerMILL prompts for the name of the boundary to be inserted, for example:

Having entered the name of the boundary to be inserted, click Pattern - inserts the active pattern into the boundary.

.

Toolpath - converts the active toolpath to a boundary and adds it to the active boundary. Model - defines a boundary from the selected surface edges and adds them to the active boundary. If no specific surfaces are selected, then the inserted boundary is defined using the whole model. Refer to Insert into Pattern (on page 1032) for an example.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Sketch - enables you to sketch a pattern, displaying the Boundary Sketcher dialog (on page 1002). Curve Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Composite Curve Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

Click

to end the Curve Modelling session.

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Wireframe Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Wireframe Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

to save your changes and return to PowerMILL, or Click abandon your changes and return to PowerMILL.

to

Boundary Sketcher dialog
This dialog allows you to sketch a boundary which can contain one or more closed segments:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The segments can be nested. For example, the following picture contains 3 segments, which together form one boundary.

To add a point to the boundary: 1. Select Absolute or Relative from the Definition drop-down list. 2. Select XY-Plane or View Plane from the Projection drop-down list. 3. Select the point by either: clicking the left mouse button in the graphics area (the coordinates of the selected point are displayed in the above dialog in accordance with the Definition setting); or manually entering the point's X, Y and Z coordinates in the above dialog, and then clicking The dialog controls are as follows: Add Point - adds a point specified by the X, Y and Z fields on the dialog. Delete Last Point - deletes the last point (regardless of whether this was added using the cursor or the Add Point button). For example: Add Point.

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becomes:

Delete Last Segment - deletes the last segment or the whole loop. For example:

becomes:

Close Segment - closes the current segment. Definition - determines whether the selected points' coordinates are Absolute or Relative. Projection - determines whether points are added to the XY-Plane or View Plane. Accept - closes the segment and dialog.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary Editor dialog
This dialog defines how you move, delete or add points to the boundary. Initially select the required Mode, then select the required points, and finally click Apply.

To modify the boundary points: 1. Select the required Mode:

2. Select the point(s) to be deleted/moved/inserted by either: clicking the left mouse button near a point in the graphics area; or enclosing a set of points within a drag box using the left mouse button. Selected points are encircled. To deselect points, press the Ctrl key and then reselect them. 3. If moving a point, either specify the X, Y and Z coordinates of the move in the Boundary Editor dialog or click the left mouse button in the graphics area. 4. Click Apply to carry out the selected action: If Delete Point is the selected Mode, all points selected at step 2 are removed. If Move Point To is the selected Mode, the point selected at step 2 is moved to the point specified at step 3. If Move Point By is the selected Mode, the point selected at step 2 is moved by the distance specified at step 3. If Insert Point is the selected Mode, all points selected at step 2 are added to the boundary.

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5. Once you have completed the required edits, click Accept to close the dialog.

Boundary Thickness
The basic boundary Thickness value is specified in the Tolerances pane of the relevant boundary dialogs:

You have the option of specifying a Radial Thickness and a separate Axial Thickness by selecting the Use Axial Thickness check box. The Thickness field then changes to Radial Thickness and the Axial Thickness field also becomes available:

Clicking the Thickness button allows you to specify the thicknesses of the different boundary surfaces (see "Assigning Thickness values" on page 459). When a single Thickness is specified for a boundary, the associated value is applied as an offset to the tool in all directions. When a Radial Thickness is specified, the associated value is applied as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. When an Axial Thickness is specified, the associated value is applied as an offset to the tool in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. For more information see Radial and Axial Thickness (on page 486).

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Surface Thickness
The Surfaces tab (see "Surface Thickness dialog" on page 455), with its use of thickness sets, allows you to give different components (typically, model surfaces) a specific uniform thickness, or a specific Axial thickness and a specific Radial Thickness. It also allows you to assign different thicknesses to components depending on the toolpaths or boundaries using them. Most of the dialog is greyed out until you select one of the thickness sets from the list. The thicknesses added to individual components are added to the general Thickness. So if there is a general Thickness of 0.5 and a Component Thickness of 0.2, then the total thickness on the component is 0.7.

For information on each field in the dialog, see Surface Thickness dialog (on page 455). For information on how to assign thicknesses to a set of components, see Assigning Thickness values (on page 459). For information on how to avoid specific areas of a model. see Machining Mode example (on page 463).

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Assigning Thickness values To assign thickness values to a set of components: 1. Select either Toolpaths or Boundaries . from the drop-

, depending on whether down list in the top left of the dialog the component thickness data is to be associated with a toolpath or a boundary. 2. The adjacent drop-down list displays a list of either toolpath or boundary names depending on your selection at step 1. From this list, select the particular toolpath or boundary to which the thickness data refers. 3. If you wish to copy thickness data from an existing toolpath or boundary, go to the Clone section of the dialog:

or Boundaries Here, you need to select either Toolpaths from the drop-down list, select the particular toolpath or boundary from which data is to be copied in the adjacent drop-down list, and then click the button.

4. Select the required set in the bottom of the dialog. 5. To acquire additional components for the set from the graphics area, select them using the left mouse button and then click Acquire Components. A component cannot belong to more than one set, so if you acquire the selected components for a set, and then acquire the same components for another set, the components will be removed from the original set and added to the last set. To display all the components of a set in the graphics area, select the set and then click Select Components.

To remove individual components from the selected set, select them in the graphics area and then click Components. Remove

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To remove all the components from the selected set, click Remove All Components. To copy in the values from the Surface Defaults dialog (on page 466), click Copy in Default Thickness Data.

When you create a new set of thickness data for a toolpath or boundary, the values currently in the Surface Defaults dialog (on page 466) are automatically copied into this dialog, but if you change the Surface Defaults they are not updated unless you click .

To acquire all the components from a particular model, select the model from the drop-down list adjacent to the Acquire Model's Components button, and then click the button. To acquire all the components from a particular level, select the level from the drop-down list adjacent to the Acquire Level's Components button, and then click the button. 6. Once you have acquired all the necessary components for a set, specify the Thickness values: Select Use Axial Thickness if you wish to specify separate Radial and Axial Thickness values. When deselected, it only allows you to select a single Thickness value. Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in all directions. Radial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool radially. This controls the size of tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. Axial Thickness - applies the thickness as an offset to the tool in the tool axis direction only. This controls the tip position of the tool used for machining relative to the actual tool. 7. Select the Machining Mode for the set from the following: Machine - is used for components that the toolpath will machine. Collision - is used for components that will not be machined, but must be avoided (such as clamp components).

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Ignore - is used for components that will not be machined, in that they were created purely for construction purposes (such as the components of a guiding surface used in multi-axis machining). The option selected here determines the colour displayed in the Mode column below. The default colours are white for Machine, yellow for Collision, and red for Ignore. These can be changed by selecting Tools - Customise Colours from the menu and then selecting Machining Mode. 8. Repeat from step 4 as required, and then review your sets once they are complete:

Set - this has either or next to it depending on the option chosen (Boundary or Toolpath) in the top left hand frame of the dialog. Thickness - displays the thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to the set's components within this dialog. Axial - displays the Axial Thickness applied to the set's components within this dialog.

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Total Thickness - displays the total Thickness (or Radial Thickness) applied to the set's components (that is to say Area Clearance plus Finishing plus Components plus Collision Checking). Total Axial - displays the total Axial Thickness applied to the set's components (that is to say Area Clearance plus Finishing plus Components plus Collision Checking). Components - displays the number of components that have been selected to have the associated thickness values. 9. Each set when selected has a colour alongside it. This is the colour that will be used to shade the set's components when Thickness Shade is selected from the Shading toolbar (on page 851). If you wish to change these colours, select Tools - Customise Colours from the menu and then select Default Thickness Sets.

Surface Defaults Thickness
The Surface Defaults dialog enables you to define a standard set of thickness data that is not attached to any specific toolpath or boundary. You can therefore use it to set all your default thickness rules for the model you are to machine.

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This is very similar to the Surfaces dialog (see "Surface Thickness" on page 454), except that the values applied here are default values applied to all new toolpaths and boundaries. Any existing toolpaths or boundaries are not altered by any changes made here. Set - this a visual reminder to indicate that this is a Default setting not attached to any specific toolpath or boundary.

Creating Boundaries within other Boundaries
The following example shows how you can create a boundary within another boundary. 1. Start PowerMILL and open Pockets.tri from the File Examples menu. 2. Create a Block and define a 10mmm ball nosed Tool .

3. Select the fillet around the rectangular pocket:

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4. Create a Selected Surface Boundary (on page 972) by right clicking Boundaries in Explorer and selecting Create Boundary - Selected Surface from the resulting context menu:

5. Give the boundary a Name of SelSurface in the resulting dialog, and leave the default values as they are:

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6. Click Accept to create the following boundary and close the dialog:

7. Delete the inner contour by selecting it and clicking the Del key:

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8. Now create a Shallow Boundary inside this existing boundary by selecting Create Boundary - Shallow from the Boundaries context menu in Explorer and completing the Shallow Boundary dialog as follows:

9. You need to select the previous boundary (SelSurface) as the Inside Limit Boundary and then click Apply.

You can see that the shallow boundary has been created within the selected surface boundary.

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Similarly, you can create the shallow boundary outside the selected surface boundary by selecting the Outside radio button and clicking Apply:

10.To create the whole shallow boundary, deselect Limit Boundary and then click Accept:

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

This creates the full shallow boundary:

Boundary behaviour with regard to segments
When creating a toolpath, PowerMILL machines inside the selected boundary segment. If no segments are selected, PowerMILL uses the whole boundary, which can be used to minimise the amount of editing of boundaries required. However, you need to take care because PowerMILL will not record which part of the boundary was selected when the toolpath was created, and so it is more difficult to recreate the toolpath. The following example illustrates the behaviour with regard to selected segments. 1. Start PowerMILL and open Pockets.tri from the File Examples menu:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary toolbar • 1019

and Tool and then create a Shallow 2. Create a Block Boundary (see "Creating Boundaries within other Boundaries" on page 1012).

1020 • Boundary toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Then create a 3D Offset toolpath on the shallow areas:

4. Select the three boundary segments at the top of each pocket:

5. Create a Constant Z toolpath.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Boundary toolbar • 1021

You can see that the Constant Z toolpath has only been created inside the selected segments of the boundary.

1022 • Boundary toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar
To select the Pattern toolbar, either: right click the Patterns menu in Explorer and select the Toolbar... option from the resulting context menu; or select View - Toolbar - Pattern from the menu. By default, the toolbar is displayed just above the graphics and Explorer windows: Create Pattern - creates a new empty pattern. Active Pattern - displays the active pattern. If no pattern is displayed, then there is no active pattern. The drop-down list contains a list of all available patterns. Automatic Pattern Generation - creates a pattern from and between curves, using the Pattern Maker dialog (on page 1023). File - allows you to insert a *.dgk or *.pic file into the pattern, using the Open Pattern dialog: Select the required file and click the Open button. Save - saves the modified pattern. Insert into Pattern (on page 1032) - selecting any one of these buttons on the toolbar inserts the associated entity into the current pattern. This works in exactly the same way as selecting Insert from an individual pattern's context menu.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1023

Edit - allows you to edit the pattern points, in the same way as if you had selected Edit - Points… from the individual pattern's context menu in Explorer. The resulting dialog works in the same way as in Boundary Editor Dialog (on page 1005). Clear - deletes the pattern geometry but not the entity itself, which means that the graphical information is deleted, but that the entity name still exists in Explorer. Delete - deletes the active pattern from both the screen and Explorer.

1024 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern Maker dialog
The Automatic Pattern Generation button available from the Pattern Toolbar, creates a pattern between curves.

You can create the following types of pattern: Across Pattern one-way Creates a pattern which is perpendicular to the selected curves. For example, if you start with these two curves:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1025

you will get something like:

Increasing the Stepover value will increase the distance between the lines in the pattern. A Left Distance of 10 and a Right Distance of 5 creates the following Across pattern for a single curve:

Across Pattern two-way (zigzag) Creates a pattern which is perpendicular to the selected curves.

1026 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

For example, if you start with these two curves:

you will get something like:

Increasing the Stepover value will increase the distance between the lines in the pattern.

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Pattern toolbar • 1027

A Left Distance of 10 and a Right Distance of 5 creates the following Across pattern for a single curve:

Along Pattern one way Creates a pattern which is parallel to the selected curves. For example, if you start with these two curves:

1028 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

you will get the following pattern if you use a Stepover of 5:

of the following if you use a Stepover of 15:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1029

A Left Distance of 10 and a Right Distance of 5 creates the following Along pattern for a single curve:

Along Pattern two-way (zigzag) Creates a pattern which is parallel to the selected curves. For example, if you start with these two curves:

1030 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

you will get the following pattern if you use a Stepover of 5:

of the following if you use a Stepover of 15:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1031

A Left Distance of 10 and a Right Distance of 5 creates the following Along pattern for a single curve:

Offset Pattern Creates a pattern which is offset from the selected curves. For example, if you start with this one curve:

1032 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

you will get something like the following pattern, although the density of lines in the pattern is dependent on the Stepover value specified:

Trochoidal Pattern Creates a pattern which can be used to prevent full width cuts. This is particularly useful for cutting slots and high speed machining. For example, if you start with this one curve:

you will get the following pattern, although the density of lines in the pattern is dependent on the Stepover value specified:

You can specify the following in addition to the Stepover: Width - width of the trochoid. As with all patterns, no account of the tool size is incorporated into the pattern. So, if you convert this into a toolpath you must either apply cutter compensation when you output the toolpath or when you calculate the width. If you don't apply cutter compensation when outputting the toolpath, the actual width of the slot will be (Width + 2 x Radius of tool). Radius - the radius of the arcs for each trochoid. This doesn't have to be the same as the tool radius. Direction - The direction of cut (Climb or Conventional).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1033

For all patterns, regardless of type, you can define the Stepover value, which defines the distance between one offset (or trochoid) and the next. For Across and Along Patterns, you can also define the Left Distance (when selecting a single curve, the Left Distance field specifies the distance of the pattern to the left of the curve), and the Right Distance (when selecting a single curve, the Right Distance field specifies the distance of the pattern to the right of the curve). For Trochoidal Patterns, you can define the following, in addition to the Stepover value: the Width of the trochoid. As with all patterns, no account of the tool size is incorporated into the pattern. So, if you convert this into a toolpath you must either apply cutter compensation when you output the toolpath or when you calculate the width. If you don't apply cutter compensation when outputting the toolpath, the actual width of the slot will be (Width + 2 x Radius of tool). the Radius of the arcs for each trochoid. This doesn't have to be the same as the tool radius. the Direction of cut (Climb or Conventional). The pattern that you create remains selected. This means that, if it isn't the pattern you want, you can easily delete it by going to Explorer and then selecting Edit - Delete Selected Components from either the Patterns context menu or the context menu for the individual pattern. These options only delete the newly created pattern, not the curves used to generate them. If you select the Delete option from the Pattern toolbar or the context menu for the individual pattern, then both the curves and pattern will be removed.

Insert into Pattern
- The following Insert into Pattern options are available from the Pattern toolbar: (see "Pattern toolbar" on page 1021) Boundary - inserts the active boundary into the pattern. Toolpath - converts the active toolpath to a pattern and adds it to the active pattern.

1034 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Model - defines a pattern from the selected surface edges and adds them to the active pattern. If no specific surfaces are selected, then the inserted pattern is defined using the whole model. From this model geometry with one surface selected (using the left mouse button):

the following pattern is created:

Sketch - enables you to sketch a pattern, displaying the Pattern Sketcher dialog:

This works in a similar way to the Boundary Sketcher dialog (on page 1002).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1035

Curve Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Composite Curve Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

Click

to end the Curve Modelling session.

1036 • Pattern toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Wireframe Modelling - if you have the Modeller installed, this option prepares and then opens a Wireframe Modelling session in the PowerMILL graphics window:

to save your changes and return to PowerMILL, or Click abandon your changes and return to PowerMILL.

to

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Pattern toolbar • 1037

Simulation
There are three modes of toolpath simulation: Simulation, which animates the selected toolpath or NC Program and "play" the simulation using either the original, or an alternative, cutting tool. Accessed from the Simulation toolbar (on page 1040) . ViewMill simulation, which enables you to choose the graphical representation of the stock during simulation. Accessed from the ViewMill toolbar (see "ViewMill" on page Error! Bookmark not defined.). Machine simulation, which allows you to load entire machine tools and visualise machine and cutting tool simulation. Accessed from the Machine toolbar (on page 1065). Both ViewMill and Machine Tool simulation use the Simulation toolbar (on page 1040) to select the relevant toolpath or NC Program and "play" the simulation using either the original, or an alternative, cutting tool. Once you have raised the Simulation toolbar, select a toolpath (or NC Program) and a tool then press Play to animate the toolpath (see "Toolpath Animation" on page 1077).

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Simulation • 1039

Use the Toggle button to move between the ViewMill (see "ViewMill Simulation" on page 1078) and standard graphical representation of the model. Animating the toolpath in one window automatically updates the simulation in the other window. You can therefore move the tool to the correct location in PowerMILL and then visualise it in the simulation window:

1040 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

The tool is always the same colour as the toolpath. So in the case above, the toolpath and the tool both appear purple. If you change the shading , the tool is still drawn in the original colour:

You can load a machine tool (see "Machine Simulation" on page 1082) by clicking the Import Machine Tool Machine Tool toolbar. button on the

You can drive the workpiece simulation manually by use of the Jog button (and arrow keys) on the Position (on page 1049) tab on the Simulation Information (on page 1049) dialog:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1041

Simulation Toolbar
The Simulation toolbar enables you to visualise cutting the part, using any of the cutting tools and toolpaths you have generated, or using a complete NC Program. If the toolbar is not displayed, select the View - Toolbar - Simulation menu option.

Switch on Display - displays the tool location and collision positions, allowing you to 'jog' the machine tool. It also allows you to control the shading of the simulation and when the cutting tool is drawn. Refer to Simulation Information (on page 1049). Toolpath and NC Program Toggle - toggles between the selection of a toolpath or an NC program . Toolpath/NC Program - allows you to select which toolpath (or NC program) you want to simulate. The drop-down list displays all the toolpaths (or NC programs) in your project, and allows you to reselect one quickly. Tool - allows you to select which tool you want to use in the simulation. The tool used by the selected toolpath is chosen by default, but you can use any other tool in the project. The drop-down list displays all the available tools in your project, and allows you to select one quickly. Play - starts the simulation and plays it in continuous mode. Pause - pauses the simulation. Step Forward - steps the simulation by tool moves. The faster the Speed Control) the bigger the step. Click speed (defined using the Step Forward Play button again to see the next move or click the button to resume continuous mode.

Step Back - steps the simulation back by tool moves. The faster the Speed Control) the bigger the step. Click speed (defined using the Step back button again to see the next move or click the Play button to resume continuous mode.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Search Forward - steps the simulation to the next toolpath component. Click the Search Forward button again to see the next component or click the Play button to resume continuous mode. Search Backward - steps the simulation back to the previous toolpath component. Click the Search Backward see the next move or click the Play mode. button again to button to resume continuous

Go to End - moves to the end of the toolpath. Go to Beginning - moves to the start of the toolpath. Speed Control - controls the speed of the animation. The fastest setting is by having the slider at the right, the slowest at the left. Unload - stops the simulation and dims all the 'play' buttons.

Simulation Keyboard Shortcuts
You can also access the controls on the Simulation toolbar (on page 1040) using keyboard shortcuts:

The keyboard focus has to be in the graphics window for these shortcuts to work, so first click in the graphics window. Key → → + CTRL → + Shift → + CTRL + Shift ← ← + CTRL ← + Shift ← + CTRL + Shift Page Down Description moves the tool to the next toolpath point increases the step rate to 4 points increases the step rate to 8 points increases the step rate to 16 points moves the tool to the previous toolpath point increases the step rate to 4 points increases the step rate to 8 points increases the step rate to 16 points moves the tool to the start of the next toolpath segment

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1043

Key Page Up

Description moves the tool to the start of the current toolpath segment, or to the beginning of the previous one if the tool is already at the start moves the tool to the end of the toolpath moves the tool to the start of the toolpath

End Home

Table notes:

→ = right arrow key ← = left arrow key
Other keys are given in bold text.

1044 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Workplane Construction from Current Machine Tool Position
You can construct a workplane from the current machine tool position, to be aligned with the tool axis and head position (this alignment option is available in the Edit - Workplane dialog on the right click menu for the particular workplane object in Explorer). This can be particularly useful if you need to insert a workplane between two multi-axis toolpaths in an NC Program for access purposes (a 5-axis link move). If you pause the machine tool simulation after the first toolpath and then jog the machine to the correct orientation to enable access for the tool, you can then create the workplane. 1. Create an NC Program with a couple of toolpaths in it. You know that between the first and second toolpath you will need a 5-axis link move. However, you currently don’t know the exact orientation of this workplane, so create a new workplane by selecting Create Workplane from the Workplanes right click menu:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1045

2. Call it something like Placeholder and click the Accept button to create it:

3. Now that it exists in Explorer, drag it between the two toolpaths in the NC Program:

on the Machine Tool 4. Click Import Machine Tool Simulation toolbar to load the required machine tool. 5. Ensure that the required cutting tool and toolpath are active in Explorer. 6. From the individual Toolpath context menu, select Attach Active Tool To Start. 7. Move the machine tool to the end of the first toolpath, using either the Simulation toolbar simulation keyboard shortcuts). (or using the

1046 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

8. Click to display the Position tab in the Simulation Information dialog:

9. Then Jog the machine, using the arrow keys as described in Position, until you move to the desired position for the link move:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1047

10.Select Edit - Workplane from the individual Workplanes context menu.

11.Select the Align to Tool

button and click Accept.

The Placeholder workplane is now in the required orientation:

1048 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

12.Now you can move the machine tool to the end of the second toolpath, again using either the Simulation Play toolbar or the simulation keyboard shortcuts. This technique allows you to construct a toolpath corresponding to a given machine orientation rather than trying to work out the machine orientation for a given toolpath. This technique can also be used to: Define the orientation of the machine tool for 3+2-axis machining.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1049

Define the limits for a multi-axis machine tool, by moving the machine tool to its travel limits, creating a workplane, and selecting Align to Tool. Then, from the Properties available on the right click menu for the workplane, you can display the Elevation and Azimuth angles

These angles are the same as those needed in the Tool Axis Direction dialog, under the Limits tab:

This also works for standard animation without loading a machine tool.

1050 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation Information
The Switch on Display button displays the Simulation Information dialog, which shows the tool location and collision positions:

Position (on page 1049) - displays the machine tool position. Collisions (on page 1053) - displays any collisions encountered when playing the simulation Position The position tab displays the machine tool position. The values on the left hand side of the dialog are the Axis Address Letters and their associated values. The actual values displayed here depends on the machine tool. In the example shown below, the machine tool has 5 axes - A and C are rotary axes whilst X, Y and Z are the linear axes. The values on the right hand side show the range of travel for each axis and these depend on the toolpaths which have been simulated. The values displayed here are absolute positions from a specific datum (usually the home position when the machine is read in). The Zero button can be used to reset the datum.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1051

If you move the machine to a specific location (using either the Simulation Play toolbar , or the Jog button on the following dialog) and then click Zero, all the fields are reset to 0.

Jog - selects the jogging mode. This allows you to rotate, move or jog around the machine tool tip in the PowerMILL window (in the simulation window, you will see the cutter moving round the part). Typically, this allows you to rotate the A, B or C axis to a better position. You can then create a workplane at this position. For more information see Construct Workplane from Current Machine Tool Position. (see "Workplane Construction from Current Machine Tool Position" on page 1043)

1052 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

You will see an arrow

appear next to the X.

The up and down arrow keys ↑and ↓ allow you to select the axis you want to jog. You may have to click in the graphics window before the arrow keys work. The left and right arrow keys ← and → jog the value associated with the selected axis either up or down. The jogging distance can be increased using a variety of different key strokes: Key → → + CTRL → + Shift → + CTRL + Shift ← Description moves the tool forwards by 0.001mm (0.0001 inch) increases the step rate by 1000 to 1mm (0.1 inch) increases the step rate by 10000 to 10mm (1 inch) increases the step rate by 100000 to 100mm (10 inches) moves the tool back by 0.001mm (0.0001 inch)

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1053

Key ← + CTRL ← + Shift ← + CTRL + Shift

Description increases the step rate by 1000 to 1mm (0.1 inch) increases the step rate by 10000 to 10mm (1 inch) increases the step rate by 100000 to 100mm (10 inches)

Table notes:

→ = right arrow key ← = left arrow key
Other keys are given in bold text. You can twiddle the view to get a better view then continue jogging. Jog requires the POWERMILL-ADVSIM and DELCAMADVNC licences. If you don’t have these licences then the Jog button will be disabled. Min and Max - shows the range of axis movements on the machine from the zero datum position. Reset - resets the Min and Max values to the current position. You can then see the range of axis movement on the machine whilst playing the simulation on a particular toolpath.

1054 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Collisions The Collisions tab displays any collisions encountered when playing the simulation.

Clear - clears any collisions listed in the top pane. If you carry on with the simulation and have any subsequent collisions these collisions will be displayed. Detection Type None - no collision checking is carried out. Static - collision checking is carried out at fixed points on the toolpath. Although these points are closely spaced, it may be possible that small collisions could be missed (between two points). The tool and holder are not checked for collisions, but full dynamic collision is available for a toolpath using Collision Checking on the Main toolbar. If the top pane is blank, then no collisions have been detected. If collisions are detected you will get a warning message:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1055

This message is only displayed for the first collision. All the remaining collisions are simply listed in the top pane:

Clicking on one of the collisions moves the simulation to this point. You can then view the collision:

1056 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Since you have a clear view of the collision, you have a better idea of what needs to be done to avoid this situation. In this case, lengthening the tool holder will have the desired effect:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1057

ViewMill toolbar
The ViewMill toolbar enables you to select the graphical representation of the stock during simulation:

ViewMILL On/Suspend - switches between PowerMILL and ViewMill. Clicking the The button changes to enabled. Clicking button starts the simulator, loading the block. to show that the tool simulation window is

suspends ViewMill.

- ViewMIll suspended. - ViewMill on. ViewMill Views (on page 1059) - defines the resolution and shading used for the simulation. By default the Dynamic Image is displayed.

button has a small black arrow in the bottom right hand corner The that relates to Tool Simulation Technique. If you hover over this button, a pull-out toolbar is displayed that determines how the toolpath is represented. Its effects are best visualised with a Shading Option of Shiny:

1058 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Normal (Swept Volume) - represents the tool as a swept volume.

Advanced (Rotating Flute) - represents the tool more accurately and simulates the tool flutes as well as taking into account the feed rates and spindle speeds.

Save Current State of ViewMill Model - saves the current state of the simulation as a 'restore point' (you can later rewind the simulation to the saved state by clicking ). Restore ViewMill Model to Previously Saved State - rewinds the simulation to the state previously stored using . Save ViewMill Model - saves the current state of the simulation as a triangle file, displaying a standard windows Save dialog. You can read in a saved ViewMill model as, for example, an arbitrary block for rest roughing (using File - Import Model from the menu). Exit ViewMill - exits the ViewMill model, without saving it, and returns to PowerMILL.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1059

1060 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

ViewMill Views
- by default the Dynamic Image No Image - undraws the ViewMill image. view is used.

Dynamic Image - simulates the object using a low resolution image, which can be manipulated using the mouse or the standard View buttons (on the View toolbar).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1061

If you try to manipulate the view of a high resolution option, PowerMILL automatically changes the mode to Dynamic to allow graphic manipulation. When you have selected the view orientation, you can revert to a high resolution view. Click Refresh on the View toolbar to update the high resolution view with the new orientation. Plain Shade - simulation using a high resolution plain-rendered image. It shades the part in a matt finish.

Shiny - simulates the object using a high resolution shiny-rendered image. It shades the part in a shiny finish.

1062 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Rainbow - simulates the object using a high resolution rainbowrendered image. It shades each successive toolpath in a different colour so that you can see the effect of each toolpath on the part.

Cut Direction - simulates the object using a high resolution rainbow-rendered image. It shades the climb and conventional cuts in different colours.

Kinematic Shaded Image (on page 1062) - shows when a machine tool axis is reversed during a cutting move. It shades the part in one colour when cutting in a positive direction, and in another colour when moving in a negative direction. This is useful when multi-axis machining as axis reversal often leads to surface marks. The axis reversal depends on the machine tool that is loaded.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1063

Kinematic shaded image
- Kinematic Shaded Image is used in conjunction with a machine tool, and shows when an axis is reversed during a cutting move. It shades the part in one colour when cutting in a positive direction, and in another colour when moving in a negative direction. This is useful when multiaxis machining as axis reversal often leads to surface marks. The axis reversal depends on the machine tool that is loaded. The Kinematic Shading dialog is displayed.

This shows the machine tool axes. Click an axis button to display the positive and negative movements: X - shades positive and negative movements of the X linear axis in different colours.

1064 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Y - shades positive and negative movements of the Y linear axis in different colours.

Z - shades positive and negative movements of the Z linear axis in different colours. This can be used to show where the tool is plunging into material.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1065

A - shades positive and negative movements of the A rotary axis in different colours.

E - shades positive and negative movements of the E rotary axis in different colours.

If a 6-Axis machine is simulated, then an additional axis button with the appropriate address letter is displayed.

1066 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Machine toolbar
The Machine toolbar enables you to visualise the machine tool cutting the part.

If the toolbar is not already displayed, select View - Toolbar Machine from the menu. Switch on Display - displays the tool location and collision positions, allowing you to 'jog' the machine tool. It also allows you to control the shading of the simulation, and when the cutting tool is drawn. For more information, see Simulation Information (on page 1049). Import Machine - specifies a new machine tool. It displays the Import Machine dialog. All available machine tools are stored in the Examples\MachineData folder and have the *.mtd extension. Once selected, a machine tool is displayed in the graphics window. You you can undraw it using the button. Active Machine - specifies which machine tool (if any) you want to include in your simulation. If no machine tool is displayed, a simple 5-Axis head - head machine is used. The drop-down list displays the machine tools already been used in the current project, and allows you to reselect one quickly. Draw Undraw Machine - controls whether or not the active machine tool is displayed on the graphics screen. Simulation Viewpoint (on page 1066) - defines the simulation viewpoint. The Floor View is selected by default. Output Workplane - defines which workplane in the PowerMILL project aligns with the machine tool coordinate system. The drop-down list displays the workplanes already defined in this project. Selecting one of these specifies the orientation of the part relative to the machine tool.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1067

An example of Gauge Distance Offset (on page 1069) shows how to use the Overhang field on the Tool - Holder dialog as a Gauge Distance Offset value in machine tool simulation.

Simulation viewpoint
There is a pull-out toolbar to define the simulation viewpoint. By default, the Floor View is displayed. It has a small black arrow in the bottom-right corner. If you hover on this button a pull-out toolbar is displayed:

There are three viewpoints available: Floor View - defines the simulation from the floor viewpoint, as if you are standing looking at the machine tool. Model View - defines the simulation from the model viewpoint. The model remains stationary while the cutting tool and machine tool move relative to it. Tool View - defines the simulation from the viewpoint of the cutting tool. The tool remains stationary while the model and machine tool move relative to it.

1068 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Create the rest roughing toolpath
The rest roughing toolpath uses a smaller tool to eliminate the large terraces and to rough areas of the model that the large roughing tool couldn't reach, such as pockets and corners. To create a rest roughing toolpath: 1. Display the Settings for the previous toolpath.

2. Click

at the top of the dialog to copy the toolpath.

3. A copy of the toolpath is created with a suffix of _1. To rename it, enter RestRoughing in the Name field.

4. Define the rest roughing tool geometry (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.). 5. Change the Stepover and Stepdown values (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.). 6. Complete the Area Clearance dialog, and generate the rest roughing toolpath (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.). 7. Display the rest roughing toolpath (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.).

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1069

8. Simulate the rest roughing toolpath (on page Error! Bookmark not defined.).

1070 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Example of Gauge Distance Offset
When you perform a machine tool simulation, the machine tool mounts the tool (and holder) at the tool attachment point. If there is no holder defined, then the tool may not be visible. You may not want to define the holder at this stage, but simply simulate the effect of having a holder defined. You can overcome these problems by introducing an offset distance. 1. Click Import Machine required machine tool. Program ) and the Tool on the Machine toolbar to load the (or NC

2. On the Simulation toolbar, select the Toolpath

you want to simulate.

If the Simulation toolbar is not displayed, select View Toolbar - Simulation from the menu. If there is no holder defined you will see something similar to this:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1071

3. To simulate the effect of having a Holder defined you must edit the tool definition. From the individual Tool context menu, select the Settings option and then select the Holder tab:

4. Enter an Overhang value that is equivalent to the holder length (say 20). This defines the length of tool protruding from the gauge face of the machine (see "Tool length overview" on page 862). 5. Click the Tab key to implement this change, and then click the Close button. You will see something similar to this:

1072 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

In this way, the Overhang field on the Tool - Holder dialog is used as a Gauge Distance Offset value in machine tool simulation.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1073

MTD-based Kinematics
Each machine tool can be described by its mathematical model, which is referred to as the Kinematic Model of the Machine. This model contains information used by the post-processor (PM-Post) to transform coordinates received from the CLDATA file (Model Coordinates) into coordinates of a machine tool (Machine Coordinates). This transformation is called the Inverse Kinematic Problem. Solving this problem is one of the main tasks of the post-processor and is more complex when handling multi-axis trajectories. To represent machine kinematics, PM-Post uses the Machine Tool Data Format, also called MTD-Format. Machine kinematics represented in this format are called MTD-Model. MTD-based machine kinematics representation is much more effective than the representation of kinematics by 3-axis, 4axis and 5-axis classes, and also allows you to create programs for any configuration including 6-axis machines with 3 rotary axes. The geometry of the machine can be defined either by a *.dmt triangle file defined in a CAD system or by parametric primitives (box and cone). When creating your own MTD model, it is preferable to start from an existing MTD model and edit it. Clicking Import Machine existing MTD files: on the Machine toolbar displays all the

The sample MTD files supplied with PowerMILL model the basic characteristics of a range of machine tools, and can be used to understand how these machine tools will move during the cutting of a part. However, these files do not accurately model the dimensions of the machine and exclude optional equipment that may be installed within the working volume.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Consequently, collision checking with these files may fail to detect some collisions that can occur in practice. If you intend to rely on the collision checking functionality it is essential that you adjust the MTD file to match the exact dimensions and configuration of the machine you will be using. Example of an MTD Model This example looks at how to create an MTD Model for a 5-axis Head Head machine. However, the MTD-format allows you to create models for any type of machines with any number of axes (linear or rotary) placed in any order, using similar principles.

Different colours are used to represent different parts of the machine. The machine bed, which never moves, is shown in dark grey. The machine bed forms the root of the machine and branches of joints are created from this. In this case there are two branches, Table (see "Table Branch" on page 1073) and Head (see "Head Branch" on page 1074). Table Branch Axis 1 Machine Y Linear

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Simulation • 1075

The table branch consists of just one element shown in white, the table itself. There is a joint between the table and the base. When this joint is actuated, the table moves relative to the base along the direction shown by the white arrow in the pictures. This joint is called Y. You must read the machine's manual to find out what name to use and not use some arbitrary name (it is not simply the Y axis of a workplane). This axis is the closest to the part when it is fixed on the table. That's why it is Axis 1. Head Branch Axis 2 Machine X Linear

Start with the first joint (between the base and the yellow part) as it is closest to the base. It is Axis 2. You can create just one list of joints (axes) despite having two branches, because splitting the kinematics into the branches used in MTD format is only for presentation purposes. PowerMILL Editor displays both the axis location (head or table) and the axis when the MTD-model is loaded. So, there is a linear joint here representing the Machine X Axis. When this joint is actuated, the whole head moves in the direction of the yellow arrows.

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PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Axis 3 Machine Z Linear

The next joint is between the yellow part and the green one. This is the last linear joint. It represents the Machine Z Axis. Axis 4 Machine A Rotary

This joint connects the green part with the red part and produces horizontal rotations on the rest of the head (the red and the blue parts). PowerMILL uses the Primary Rotary Angle parameter to store the coordinate of this axis as this is first rotary axis. The axis is called A, and so the prefix A for the Primary Rotary Angle parameter must be added to the option file for this machine. It represents the Machine A Axis.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1077

The last joint rotates the blue part relative to the red one. The head rotation is ignored as it doesn't produce any effect when PowerMILL calculates machine coordinates. In this model the last joint is a second rotary axis. PowerMILL uses the Secondary Rotary Angle parameter to store the coordinate of this axis. The axis is called B so, the prefix B for the Secondary Rotary Angle parameter must be added to the option file for this machine. It represents the Machine B Axis. This kinematic example has two rotary axes. But PowerMILL also supports 6-axis models which contain three rotary and three linear axes. For 6-axis kinematics a Third Rotary Axis parameter is used to store coordinate of the third rotary axis in the list (the rotary axis which is closest to the head).

1078 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation Examples
The three modes of simulation use a combination of the three simulation toolbars to produce the simulated results. Toolpath Animation (on page 1077) which uses the Simulation toolbar. ViewMill Simulation (on page 1078) which uses the ViewMill and Simulation toolbars. Machine Tool Simulation (see "Machine Simulation" on page 1082) which uses the Machine Tool and Simulation toolbars.

Toolpath Animation
The steps given below do not need to be carried out in the exact order given, but the order is the most logical and efficient if simulating multiple toolpaths. 1. If the Simulation toolbar is not displayed, select View - Toolbar - Simulation from the menu.

If the Simulation Play toolbar (see "Simulation Toolbar" on page 1040) buttons on the right are not currently active, this will be rectified later on. 2. If you want to simulate an individual toolpath select it from the drop-down list . to change it to .

3. If you want to simulate an NC Program click and then select it from the drop-down list

4. By default, when you select the toolpath that you want to simulate, the tool used to create the toolpath is selected in the tool field. However, you can change this tool to any other. This option allows you to create a simulation with the tool other than the tool originally used to create the toolpath. For example, the tool used could be exactly the same as the tool used to create the original toolpath, but now with a tool shank and holder defined.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1079

5. Click Play

to display the animated toolpath.

To replay a simulation, click

followed by

.

If you want to see the simulation of the toolpath in the stock see ViewMill Simulation (on page 1078). If you want to see the simulation of the machine tool as well as the toolpath see Machine Tool Simulation (see "Machine Simulation" on page 1082).

ViewMill Simulation
The following steps do not need to be carried out in the order given, but the order is the most logical and efficient for simulating multiple toolpaths. 1. If the ViewMill and Simulation toolbars are not displayed, select them from the menu using View - Toolbar - ViewMill and View - Toolbar - Simulation.

2. On the Simulation toolbar, select the Toolpath Program ) and the Tool

(or NC

you want to simulate.

1080 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

3. Click the Switch ViewMill On display the shaded block.

button to turn it green

, and

4. To see a different representation of the simulation, select a different option from the View buttons on the ViewMill toolbar . Dynamic Image is selected by default.

If you simulate a toolpath or NC program using one view, once the simulation is complete you can change the view to another one. Typically, for speed you would simulate using the Dynamic Image Rainbow 5. Click Play view. view and, on completion, change to

on the Simulation toolbar to start the simulation. to pause the simulation.

Click Pause

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1081

If you want to simulate more than one toolpath, try selecting Rainbow .

6. Repeat steps 2-5 to simulate additional toolpaths. 7. To replay a simulation, you can: Rewind to the beginning by clicking again . , and then click Play

Select Simulate from Start from the individual NC Program or Toolpath context menu.

to unload the simulation 8. When the simulation is complete, click model and dim the buttons on the Simulation toolbar.

Speeding up ViewMILL simulations
This procedure describes a method of speeding up a ViewMill simulation: 1. On the Simulation toolbar, select the Toolpath Program ) and the Tool (or NC

you want to simulate.

1082 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

If the Simulation toolbar is not displayed, select View Toolbar - Simulation from the menu. 2. Click the Switch ViewMill On select Undraw Image 3. Click the Play button to turn it green . , , and select a tool of Normal

button to run the simulation.

4. When the simulation is complete, select an appropriate view, such as Shiny Shaded Image .

You can change between the ViewMill views (on page 1059) during a simulation, provided that the ViewMill simulation remains On .

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1083

Machine Simulation
This example uses a 5-axis profile toolpath, but the same principles apply to standard 3-axis machining.

1. On the Simulation toolbar, select the Toolpath Program ) and the Tool

(or NC

you want to simulate.

If the Simulation toolbar is not displayed, select View Toolbar - Simulation from the menu. 2. The "play"' buttons become active.

3. Click Import Machine following dialog:

on the Machine toolbar to display the

4. Move to the MachineData directory and select the required machine tool, in this case fidiaK211.mtd. The machine tool will always have a *.mtd extension.

1084 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

5. Click Open to close the dialog and load the machine tool:

6. Click the Play

button to run the simulation:

If you want to Pause the simulation at any time, click

.

to unload the simulation 7. When the simulation is complete, click model and dim the buttons on the Simulation toolbar.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Simulation • 1085

Combining simulations
It is possible to combine the different modes of simulation: 1. On the Simulation toolbar, select the Toolpath Program ) and the Tool (or NC

you want to simulate.

If the Simulation toolbar is not displayed, select View Toolbar - Simulation from the menu. 2. Click the Switch ViewMill On display the shaded block. button to turn it green . on the , and

3. Accept the default of Dynamic Image

4. Select the machine tool from Import Machine Machine toolbar. 5. Click the Play button to run the simulation.

1086 • Simulation

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Information toolbar
The Information toolbar area at the bottom of the PowerMILL window displays the Units, Tolerance and Thickness fields. The first field displays the current Units (mm or inches). The next field displays information about Tolerance of the active toolpath. The next two fields display information about Thickness, or material to be left on, whilst the toolpath calculation is taking place. This can display either a general thickness parameter, or, as in the example below, radial and axial thickness values. Thickness Radial Thickness Axial Thickness The thickness values displayed depend on the thickness options defined on the Area Clearance or Finishing dialog.

the final two fields give X, Y If you have a standard 2D View or Z Coordinates of the cursor. These only display a value when viewing down a principal axis (XY, YZ and XZ) to ensure that exact values are displayed.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Information toolbar • 1087

Command window
PowerMILL has been designed so that most commands can be performed by simple mouse operation. However, some users may prefer to type commands directly using the command window. This window is not visible by default when you start PowerMILL. To display the command window use the View - Toolbar - Command menu option. Ensure the cursor is positioned within the Graphics Window area before typing in the command window. The command window is detachable, resizeable and dockable. Splitter Bar - when the cursor is over the Splitter Bar it changes to and you can now resize the command window by clicking the left mouse button and dragging to the required size. Gripper Bar - when the cursor is over the Gripper Bar it changes to and you can now move the command window by clicking the left mouse button and dragging to the required place. This can be used to move the command window to the left hand side, right hand side, the top (below the menu bar but either above or below any toolbars), the bottom (either above or below the status bar) or detached. It cannot be placed between the explorer window and the graphics window. The button closes the command window. This can be redisplayed using the View - Toolbar - Command menu option. The cursor can also change to a by placing the cursor at any of the other three sides of the command window.

1088 • Command window

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Scroll Bar - the scroll bar is used in the standard windows way to see data currently hidden in the command window. Detaching the Command Window - the command window can be detached by either dragging the command window so that it doesn't dock at any side of the PowerMILL window or by double clicking in the gripper bar (or at any other edge of the command window provided that the cursor is a ). Double clicking on the title bar of the detached command window docks the command window to where it was prior to detaching. Problems Docking the Command Window- if you have a very deep (or wide if it is at the side) it can sometimes be difficult to move the command window to another side as it always jumps back to its current position. If you experience this problem simply decrease the size of the command window and then you will find it easier to relocate.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Command window • 1089

Status bar
A Status bar is visible at the bottom of the PowerMILL window. It displays help and a progress indicator.
Help

When you hover the cursor over a button, help is displayed in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen. So, when you place your cursor over the Rapid Move Heights button, you see the following help in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen as well as the tooltip:

Progress indicator

The progress indicator shows how near the calculation is to completion.

Pressing

halts the calculation.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Status bar • 1091

Web toolbar
This is a toolbar which offers some of the functionality normally available from Internet Explorer.

This toolbar is not displayed by default but can be accessed from the View - Toolbar menu.

The Web toolbar allows you to manipulate web pages accessed from the tab in the explorer. This toolbar is not available from within AutoCAM. Back - returns you to the previous web page. Forward - goes on to the next web page.

1092 • Web toolbar

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Home - returns you to the home page.

Stop - stops the updating of the current web page. Refresh - refreshes the current web page. Print - prints the current web page. The standard windows print dialog is displayed.

Close - closes the toolbar.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Web toolbar • 1093

AutoCAM Reference
AutoCAM is an automatic machining package within PowerMILL. It uses a wizard style interface within PowerMILL to guide you through the process

1094 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

On starting AutoCAM by either launching pmill.exe -autocam or by selecting from within PowerMILL you will see the first page of the AutoCAM wizard.

This page summarises the options selected. To see more information on a particular option or to select your required options click on a header with a . Once you have completed the fields on this page click on the Next> button.

Project Details

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1095

This area enables you to define where you want to store the toolpaths, output files and any other information that you create in AutoCAM. Initially this area is blank. Click on the Project Details header to display less information.

New Button Project As dialog.

opens a new project. It also displays the Save

This is the standard Save Project As dialog and an overview of the functionality is described here for more detailed information see Save Project As (see "File - Save Project As" on page 279). In Summary: In the bottom pane move to the directory where you want to save your work. Enter the name of the project in the top pane. Click on the OK button. The Project information is then updated.

1096 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Open Button opens an existing project. It also displays the Open Project (Edit) dialog.

This is the standard Open Project (see "File - Open Project" on page 277) dialog.

Model Details

This area enables you to define the model you want to machine in AutoCAM and defines various parameters associated with the model. Initially this area is states [none] which is updated once you chose a model. Once you have input the relevant information you can click on Model Details header to minimise the display.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1097

In the graphics window you will now be able to see your model.

Model

This area enables you to specify the model you want to machine. Initially this area is states [none] which is updated once you chose a model. Browse Button displays the Import Model dialog.

This is the standard Import Model dialog. For more detailed information see Import Model (see "File - Import Model" on page 282).

1098 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

In Summary: In the top pane move to the directory the model is stored. Select the model you require. Click on the Open button. The Model information is then updated. This includes the location of the model. Invert Model - rotates the model through 180 degrees around the Y axis. This can be particularly useful for electrode models which are frequently upside down. Finishing Allowance

This area enables you to specify the final finish thickness. The default value is 0, but if you want any other thickness just enter it in this field. Z Position of the Stock

This area controls the position of the model within the block. You can specify the position of the bottom of the model with respect to the block bottom.

Stock Details

This area enables you to define the stock size and material. Initially this area is blank, once a model has been loaded then it displays the dimensions of the stock. Click on Stock Details header to display more information.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1099

Once you have input the relevant information, click on the Stock Details header to minimise the display.

Dimensions

Enter the X, Y and Z coordinates of the billet that you will be using. By default this is the minimum cuboid that can just enclose the selected model. It is essential that you enter the actual size of the billet that you will be using. Material

Select the material of the billet from the drop-down list. It is essential that you enter the actual material of the billet that you will be using.

Preferences

This area enables you to define the tool catalogue and machine tool that you will use. You also specify where the NC Program files will be saved and the datum point.

1100 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Click on Preferences header to display more information.

Once you have input the relevant information, click on the blue area of the Preferences header to minimise the display.

Tool Catalogue

In this area you can select the tool catalogue and which tools are available from that catalogue.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1101

Currently there are two catalogues to choose from: Jabro Kobelco Select one of the two catalogues from the drop-down list. Select Tools - limits the choice of tools available. It displays the following list:

Tools with a Tools with a

can be selected by AutoCAM. cannot be selected by AutoCAM.

Reset List - resets the list to all tools being selected. Back - returns you to the AutoCAM set-up page. Machine

Defines the machine tool to which you want to output your NC program.

1102 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Machine Details - allows you to see the parameters of each machine tool in the drop-down list. You can add, delete or edit the machine tool parameters in this list.

Add Machine - allows you to add a new machine. This adds a new line to the bottom of the table: You can then edit these fields with the appropriate data. ID - a sequential number added automatically. Machine - the machine name defined by the user. Table L - workable length of the machine table. Table W - workable width of the machine table. Table H - workable height of the machine table (the range). Control - the machine tool controller. It is one of the filenames from C:\dcam\config\ductpost without the .opt extension. For example if you need to use a heid.opt then you type heid in this field. There must be an entry for this field and it must be valid otherwise you won't get any NC output. Rapid Speed - the desirable rapid speed. Max Revs - maximum number of revolutions per minute. Max φ - maximum tool diameter that the machine can hold. File Exit - the extension that will automatically be added to NC Programs. If no extension is given AutoCAM will assume the extension of .tap. Tool Changer - when checked, implies a tool changer is available on the machine tool. When unchecked no tool changer is available. Delete - deletes the machine from the list. Back - returns you to the AutoCAM set-up page.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1103

Survey Mode

This area enables you to specify how the model should be analysed. There are two main options: Automatic - the easy option as AutoCAM analyses the model for you and determines the tools that are required. Manual - allows you to define the key parameters that the Automatic option calculates. This may be quicker than the Automatic mode but extreme care should be taken when entering these values as errors here can cause unreliable results.

Maximum Depth - vertical range of the machineable area of the model. Smallest Horizontal Radius - smallest internal radius in the XY plane. Smallest Cavity - smallest width of any cavity in the model. Smallest Vertical Radius - smallest internal radius in any vertical plane. Largest Mill Diameter - largest mill diameter that can be used. Stock Datum

Select the Stock Datum as either Bottom Corner or Bottom Middle from the drop-down list.

1104 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Output Files Directory

Defines the location and the name of the output files. By default these files are place in the same directory as your original project directory (E:/PMill/WhatsNew5000Projects/Cowling in this case) and the files will be of the form Cowling_n.xxx (where n is a number depending on the number of NC Programs created and xxx is the file extension for the specific machine tool controller. Browse Button displays the Select Path dialog.

This is the similar to the Save Project As dialog for more detailed information see Save Project As (see "File - Save Project As" on page 279). In Summary: In the bottom pane move to the directory where you want to save your NC Programs. Click on the OK button. The Output Files Directory information is then updated. New Tool For Finishing Raster

Allows you to choose whether you use a new tool for the final raster finishing toolpath.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1105

Buttons
The buttons available at the bottom of the first page of the wizard are standard windows buttons. Exit - exits from AutoCAM. If you started AutoCAM from the command line (using the command pmill.exe -autocam) then it also exits from PowerMILL. If you started AutoCAM from within PowerMILL then you are returned to a normal PowerMILL session. Help - displays the help file. Activates a Windows Help screen showing the contents of the AutoCAM on-line help.

For more information on using the Help system see Getting Help (see "Help" on page 9) in the PowerMILL on-line reference manual or 'Using Windows Help' in the Microsoft Windows User's Guide.

1106 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

About - displays information about the version of PowerMILL you are using.

Click OK to close the dialog box. Next - takes you to the next page of the wizard.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1107

AutoCAM Tools and Toolpaths
Once you have completed the fields on AutoCAM set-up page click on the Next> button. AutoCAM now surveys the model and defines which tools it will use and which toolpaths it will calculate. These options are then displayed on the AutoCAM Proposed Tools and Toolpaths page.

Once you are happy with the tools and toolpaths suggested by AutoCAM then click on the Next> button.

1108 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tools Required
This area displays the tools that AutoCAM proposes.

If you are happy with the suggested tools then you don't need to do anything. If you are not happy with a tool, then deselect the tool (change to ) and then click on the button. If you are unhappy with a tool you must change it here. You must not create a tape file using one tool and then cut the part using a different tool. You must not even substitute the specified tool to one with the same dimensions, but from a different manufacturer, as the toolpaths are calculated using the manufacturers cutting data which will be different and could have unexpected results. To find out more information about a tool click on the tool name (say ) to display more information about the tool.

Click on the tool name (say information again.

) to display the summary

Cut Back Tools - if a tool needs cutting back, a red warning symbol will be displayed in the tool list. The cut back details are displayed in the tool details section and in the printable version of the page.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1109

Printable Version - displays the tools that are required in a printable format.

Print - prints the current page. Back - returns you to the AutoCAM Proposal page. Search Details - displays information as to why the whole job cannot be machined.

1110 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Toolpath Sequence
This area displays the toolpaths that AutoCAM proposes. It also shows the tool, tolerance and thickness that will be used to generate the toolpath. You cannot edit these fields.

To find out more information about a toolpath click on the toolpath name ) to display more information about the toolpath. (say

Click on the toolpath name (say information again.

) to display the summary

Recalculate - recalculates the tool and toolpath selection. This button is only available if you deselect one of the selected tools.

Final Finishing Raster Stepover
This area displays allows you to specify the stepover for the final raster toolpath

Override final finishing raster stepover - when selected enables you to define the stepover.

Stepover - when selected allows you to define the required stepover.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1111

Max Cusp Height - when selected allows you to specify the maximum cusp height. This automatically updates the stepover field.

What do you want to do next?
This area asks what you want to do. The options available depend on how you started AutoCAM. If you start it from the command line (using the command pmill.exe -autocam) you are offered the following options:

If you start AutoCAM from within PowerMILL (using the you are offered the following options:

button)

Generate toolpaths now - calculates the toolpaths that are specified above. Batch and continue working in PowerMILL - calculates the batch toolpaths that are specified above and then returns you to PowerMILL. Exit - exits from AutoCAM. If you started AutoCAM from the command line (using the command pmill.exe -autocam) then it also exits from PowerMILL If you started AutoCAM from within PowerMILL then you are returned to a normal PowerMILL session. Help - displays the help file. Activates a Windows Help screen showing the contents of the AutoCAM on-line help. < Back - displays the previous page. You can use this if you want to change any of the options from the first page. Next > - calculates either the toolpaths or batch toolpaths (depending on the option selected) and displays the next page. The calculation may take a few minutes.

1112 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

More Information - clicking on the header displays help on this page. Clicking on the header again minimises this help.

View of Batch Toolpaths
If you select Batch and continue working in PowerMILL on the second page followed by Next > AutoCAM will then create the batch toolpaths and will also ask you if you want to save the AutoCAM Project.

Click on either the Yes or the No button (if in doubt click on Yes). Then AutoCAM returns you to PowerMILL.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1113

You can see the tools used, the batch toolpaths and the NC Programs created. When you are ready you can process the batch toolpaths and create the necessary output files. You can now work in PowerMILL in the normal way.

View of each Toolpath
If you select Generate toolpaths now on the second page followed by Next > AutoCAM will then create the toolpaths and the output files.

AutoCAM Output
Once you have completed the fields on AutoCAM proposal page and selected Generate toolpaths now followed by Next> AutoCAM calculates the toolpaths (this will take a few minutes) and the output files. The information window is displayed, showing the NC programs that have been written and postprocessed.

1114 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

You can scroll through the contents of this dialog to see more information about the postprocessing of the NC Programs. Click dialog. AutoCAM now displays the final page. to close this

To activate and view a toolpath click on the toolpath name (say to display it in the graphics window.

)

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Reference • 1115

Exit - exits from AutoCAM. If you started AutoCAM from the command line (using the command pmill.exe -autocam) then it also exits from PowerMILL. If you started AutoCAM from within PowerMILL then you are returned to a normal PowerMILL session where you can see the tools used, the toolpaths and the NC Programs created. You can now work in PowerMILL in the normal way.

Back - returns you to the previous page describing the tools and toolpaths. Help - displays the help file. Activates a Windows Help screen showing the contents of the AutoCAM on-line help. Restart - returns you to the AutoCAM Set-up page. For more information see AutoCAM (see "AutoCAM Reference" on page 1092). More Information - clicking on on minimises this help. displays help on this page. Clicking

1116 • AutoCAM Reference

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply
These Terms contain provisions placing obligations on the Licensee and excluding and limiting Delcam's liability. The Licensee's attention is drawn in particular (but not exclusively) to clause 4.3 (Trial Period), 4.4 (deemed acceptance), 5, 6 and 7 (restrictions and obligations on use), 8 (warranties), 9 (limitation of liability) 11 (risk), 12 (indemnity), 13 (termination), 21 (law and jurisdiction) and addendum (dongle insurance). 1 Definitions and interpretation 1.1 In these Terms, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the following meanings:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1117

1.1.1 "Delcam" means Delcam plc, Talbot Way, Small Heath Business Park, Birmingham B10 0HJ, UK. 1.1.2 "Delivery Date" means the date of delivery of the Licensed Program Materials to the Licensee. 1.1.3 "Designated Equipment" means computer equipment that provides the minimum operating environment for the Licenced Program as specified in the Program Documentation and which is connected to the Licence Control System. 1.1.4 "Hardware Lock" means an electronic hardware lock (sometimes referred to as a dongle) whose identity is encoded in the PAF and is required for the operation of the Licence Control System. 1.1.5 "Licence" means the licence granted by Delcam to the Licensee under clause 2.1 the type of which will be Full, Demonstration or Academic as designated by the PAF. Any Licensed Program designated as "Evaluation" in a PAF shall be treated as Demonstration for the purposes of these Terms. 1.1.6 "Licence Control System" means the electronic means of authorising the Use of the Licenced Program on the Designated Equipment pursuant to the Licence. The operation of the Licence Control System is controlled by the PAF. In the case of a fixed licence the Licence Control System will require a Hardware Lock to be fitted to the Designated Equipment. In the case of a floating licence the Licence Control System requires the Designated Equipment to be in constant network communication with a Licence Server. The Licence Control System will be configured by Delcam to enforce the conditions of the Licence purchased by the Licensee, which may include fixed or floating licence, limits on concurrent executions, absolute limit on the number of executions or transactions, time period limits. 1.1.7 "Licence Fee" means the fee for the Licence specified by or on behalf of Delcam. 1.1.8 "Licence Server" means a computer program supplied by Delcam as part of the Licence Control System for the purpose of allowing a floating licence to be allocated to any instance of Designated Equipment on the same computer network as the Licence Server. The Licence Server must be installed on a suitable computer processor fitted with a Hardware Lock.

1118 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

1.1.9 "Licensed Program" means the software program or programs in object code form specified in the PAF. 1.1.10 "Licensed Program Materials" means the Licensed Program, the Hardware Lock and the Program Documentation. 1.1.11 "Licensee" means the person, firm, company or other organisation to whom Delcam licences the Licensed Program Materials pursuant to these Terms. 1.1.12 "PAF" means a data file or files issued by Delcam to enable the Licensed Program and the Licence Control System supplied by Delcam to be executed on Designated Equipment in accordance with the purchased functionality. 1.1.13 "Program Documentation" means any Program Specification, instruction manuals, user guides and other information relating to the Licensed Program supplied by Delcam to the Licensee in paper or electronic form. Program Documentation is written in English which shall take precedence and any translation of the Program Documentation into another language which may be supplied for information shall not be regarded as definitive. 1.1.14 "Program Specification" means the technical specifications from time to time published by Delcam in respect of the Licensed Program. 1.1.15 "Registered Users" means the set or sets of specified user identities that are permitted to Use the Licensed Program. The number of members allowed in the set or sets may be limited by the PAF but the Licensee may change user identities at will. 1.1.16 "Restricted Mode" means a version of the Licensed Program which contains the restrictions on functionality set out in Schedule A. 1.1.17 "Site" means the address specified by the Licensee and identified in the PAF for delivery of the Licensed Program Materials. 1.1.18 "Terms" means the terms and conditions set out in this document and any document referred to herein.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1119

1.1.19 "Trial Period" means the period of 30 days commencing on the Delivery Date during which the Licensee can evaluate the Licensed Program free of charge in accordance with clause 4.2. 1.1.20 "Use" means the copying or transmission of the Licensed Program into the Designated Equipment and the processing of the instructions contained in the Licensed Program and "Used" shall be construed accordingly. 1.2 In the construction of these Terms, (except where the context otherwise requires): 1.2.1 Contents and headings: contents and headings appear for convenience and do not affect the construction of the whole or any part of these Terms; 1.2.2 Currency: a reference to any monetary amount is to the currency of the United Kingdom which at the date of these Terms is pounds sterling (GBP) but following any introduction of Economic Monetary Union in the United Kingdom shall mean the euro after converting amounts of pounds sterling into euros according to law; 1.2.3 English legal terms: a reference to an English legal term for any action, remedy, method of judicial proceeding, legal document, legal status, court, official or any other legal concept or thing shall, in respect of any jurisdiction other than England, be deemed to include a reference to what most nearly approximates in that jurisdiction to the English legal term; 1.2.4 Rights of third parties: except where expressly stated nothing in these Terms is intended to confer upon any third party any rights whether under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise; 1.2.5 Schedules: a reference to a schedule is to a schedule to these Terms and any such schedule shall form part of these Terms; 1.2.6 Statutes and regulations: a reference to a statute includes any regulation or order made under that statute. Reference to a statute or regulation or order is a reference to the statute or regulation or order as amended or substituted. 2 Grant of Licence

1120 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

2.1 Subject to clause 2.2 Delcam in consideration of the payment by the Licensee of the Licence Fee grants to the Licensee a non-exclusive licence to Use the Licensed Program upon the Designated Equipment with the number of concurrent executions and/or concurrent transactions and/or Registered Users controlled by the Licence Control System and to possess and refer to the Program Documentation subject to these Terms provided that: 2.1.1 in the case of a fixed licence the Licensed Program Materials shall remain at and shall be Used at the Site save that temporary Use for home-working or off-Site working by individuals normally based at the Site will be permitted; 2.1.2 in the case of a floating licence the Licence Server shall be located and remain at the Site. 2.2 The Licensed Program may be operated in Restricted Mode if no Licence Control System is found when the Licensed Program starts up. If in such circumstances the Licensee wishes to operate the Licensed Program in Restricted Mode only then: 2.2.1 the Licensee shall not be required to pay the Licence Fee in accordance with clause 3; 2.2.2 the Licensed Program will contain the restrictions on functionality listed in Schedule A ("the Restricted Functionality"); 2.2.3 if the Licensee wishes to access the Restricted Functionality it may either: (a) (if it requires access to the Restricted Functionality listed in Schedule A as available via pay-per-use only) purchase a pay-per-use voucher from Delcam's website which will permit the Licensee to access the Restricted Functionality listed in Schedule A as available via pay-per-use; or (b) notify Delcam that it wishes to upgrade the Licensed Program to include the Restricted Functionality which it may do upon payment of the Licence Fee to Delcam;

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1121

2.2.4 if the Licensee shall use any third party product in conjunction with the Licensed Program to replace the Restricted Functionality it shall be immediately liable to pay the Licence Fee to Delcam; 2.2.5 clauses 4 and 7 of these Terms shall not apply if the Licenced Program is operated in Restricted Mode; 2.2.6 if the Licensee elects to upgrade the Licensed Program to include the Restricted Functionality in accordance with clause 2.2.3 the Trial Period shall not apply to the upgraded Licensed Program. The Licensee acknowledges that where it operates the Licensed Program in Restricted Mode it is not required to pay the Licence Fee and that accordingly the restrictions on functionality listed in Schedule A are reasonable. The Licensee further acknowledges that it has the rights to access the Restricted Functionality set out in clause 2.2.3. 2.3 The number of concurrent executions and/or concurrent transactions and/or Registered Users will be limited by the PAF and may not be altered without the prior written consent of Delcam. As a condition of granting such consent Delcam will be entitled to make a reasonable charge. 2.4 The Licensed Program may be operated on behalf of the Licensee by a facilities manager of good standing and integrity the same to be approved by Delcam and these Terms shall be interpreted accordingly. 2.5 The Licensee shall be responsible for any defaults of its facilities manager in observing these Terms and shall at all times indemnify Delcam accordingly. 2.6 The Licensed Program may not be:

1122 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

2.6.1 Used for the operation of any timesharing bureau or similar activity for the benefit of third parties; nor 2.6.2 the subject of any patent or patent application or any other form of application or registration for intellectual property protection. 2.7 Where the Licence is designated by the PAF as an Academic Licence the Licensed Program and Licensed Program Materials may be used only for the purposes of teaching and research and shall not be used for any commercial purposes or for commercial gain. If any Licensed Program and/or Licensed Program Materials subject to an Academic Licence shall be used for commercial purposes or for commercial gain the Licensee shall immediately become liable to pay to Delcam the balance of the Licence Fee for a Full Licence. 2.8 For the avoidance of doubt any Licence Server and/or any Designated Equipment which requires a Hardware Lock for its Use may only be Used at the Site save for the limited exception referred to in subclause 2.1.1. 2.9 The Licensee shall supply Delcam with required registration information and agrees that Delcam may provide the Licensee's name and address to its licensors. 3 Licence Fee Unless the Licence has been terminated in accordance with clause 4.3 or the Licensee will operate the Licensed Program in Restricted Mode only, the Licensee will pay the Licence Fee to Delcam direct or via its authorised sales partner at the end of the Trial Period in the manner agreed between Delcam or Delcam's authorised sales partner on behalf of Delcam and the Licensee. Delcam may use the Licence Control System to restrict access and to prevent the Use of the Licensed Program until such time as the specified Licence Fee has been paid. 4 Delivery, Installation and Acceptance 4.1 Delcam or its authorised sales partner will deliver to the Site one copy of each of the Licensed Program (including the Licence Control System) and Program Documentation, the PAF and the number of Hardware Locks corresponding to the Licence. Any time stated for delivery is indicative only and time shall not be of the essence or capable of being made of the essence.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1123

4.2 The Licensee will install the Licensed Program on the Designated Equipment at the Site and will be entitled free of charge for a period of 30 days commencing with the Delivery Date to Use the Licensed Program not for the purpose of its trade or business but solely for the purpose of assessing whether the same meets its requirements. During this period the Licence will be a Demonstration Licence. 4.3 If during the Trial Period the Licensee decides that the Licensed Program Materials do not meet its requirements then the Licensee shall be entitled to terminate the Licence forthwith by written notice to Delcam such notice to be given not later than the end of the Trial Period. 4.4 If the Licensee does not terminate the Licence by notice pursuant to clause 4.3 above or if during the Trial Period it shall Use the Licensed Program for the purposes of its trade or business then (in either case) the Licensee will be deemed to have accepted the Licensed Program Materials upon these Terms and the Licence Fee shall become immediately due and payable. The Licence will on payment of the Licence Fee be converted to a Full Licence or Academic Licence as appropriate. 5 Confidentiality 5.1 The Licensed Program Materials contain confidential information of Delcam and its licensors. Delcam or its licensor is the owner or licensee of all intellectual property rights forming part of the Products and Program Documentation (including the Trade Marks). 5.2 The Licensee shall not:

1124 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

5.2.1 except as provided in clause 6 make back-up copies of the Licensed Program Materials; 5.2.2 reverse engineer, decompile, dissemble, copy or adapt the whole or any part of the Licensed Program Materials for the purposes of correcting errors in the Licensed Program Materials; 5.2.3 modify or make works derivative of the Licensed Program Materials; 5.2.4 except solely for the purposes expressly permitted by and in accordance with Section 296A(1) or Section 50C(2) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 copy, adapt, reverse compile, reverse engineer, decompile or dissemble the whole or any part of the Licensed Program Materials; 5.2.5 assign, (save in accordance with clause 7) transfer, sell, lease, rent, charge or otherwise deal in or encumber the Licensed Program Materials or use the Licensed Program Materials on behalf of any third party or make available the same to any third party; 5.2.6 remove or alter any copyright or other proprietary notice on any of the Licensed Program Materials. 5.3 The Licensee shall:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1125

5.3.1 keep confidential the Licensed Program Materials and limit access to the same to those of its employees, agents and subcontractors who either have a need to know or who are engaged in the Use of the Licensed Program in accordance with the Licence; 5.3.2 reproduce on any copy (whether machine readable or human readable form) of the Licensed Program Materials Delcam's copyright, trade mark and other proprietary notices; 5.3.3 maintain an up to date written record of the number of copies of the Licensed Program Materials and their location and upon request forthwith produce such record to Delcam; 5.3.4 notify Delcam immediately if the Licensee becomes aware of any loss of or unauthorised use of the whole or any part of the Licensed Program Materials by any third party; 5.3.5 without prejudice to the foregoing take all such other steps as shall from time to time be necessary to protect the confidential information and intellectual property rights of Delcam and its licensors in the Licensed Program Materials. 5.4 The Licensee shall inform all relevant employees, agents and subcontractors that the Licensed Program Materials constitute confidential information of Delcam and its licensors and that all intellectual property rights therein are the property of Delcam or its licensor and the Licensee shall take all such steps as shall be necessary to ensure compliance by its employees, agents and sub-contractors with the provisions of this clause 5 and the terms of the Licence. 6 Copying of the Licensed Program Materials 6.1 The Licensee shall be entitled to make back up copies of the Licensed Program for disaster recovery purposes. Any such copy shall in all respects be subject to these Terms and will be deemed to form part of the Licensed Program. 6.2 The Licensee shall not be entitled to copy in whole or in part the Program Documentation except for the Licensee's personal use only in accordance with the Licence. Further copies of the Program Documentation are available on request from Delcam at its then prevailing rates or by accessing the same in electronic format from such electronic media or website as may be notified by Delcam from time to time and where downloaded and/or printed any such copies shall be for the Licensee's personal use only in accordance with the Licence.

1126 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

6.3 The Licensee shall be entitled to download patches for the Licensed Program from Delcam's website and is advised to check that website regularly for the latest patches and advice in relation to the Licensed Program. For the avoidance of doubt new versions of the Licensed Program are only available to a Licensee who also has a current maintenance agreement with Delcam or its authorised representative. 7 Transfer of the Licensed Program Materials 7.1 The Licensee may request the transfer of the Licensed Program to alternative Designated Equipment requiring the issue of a new PAF. Delcam shall be entitled to attach such conditions to the granting of such consent as it may in its absolute discretion reasonably consider appropriate including a condition that Delcam will be entitled to make a reasonable charge. 7.2 For the avoidance of doubt the warranty by Delcam in clause 8.3 and any support services supplied in respect of the Licensed Program which are the subject of any separate agreement with Delcam or its authorised sales partner will only be supplied to the Site to the holder of the Hardware Lock. This includes floating licences unless any separate arrangements are expressly agreed by Delcam. 8 Warranties 8.1 Subject to the exceptions set out in clause 8.4 and the limitations upon its liability in clause 9 Delcam warrants that: 8.1.1 its title to any property in the Licensed Program Materials is free and unencumbered and that it has the right, power and authority to license the same upon these Terms; 8.1.2 the media upon which the Licensed Program Materials are supplied will for a period of 90 days from the Delivery Date be free from defects in materials, design and workmanship; 8.1.3 the Licensed Program will for a period of 90 days from the Delivery Date conform to the Program Specification; 8.1.4 the Hardware Lock will for a period of 90 days from the Delivery Date be free of defects. In no event may the Licensee bring any claim, action or proceeding arising out of the warranty set out in this caluse 8.1 more than one year after the date on which the breach of warranty occurred. 8.2 The Licensee shall give notice to Delcam as soon as it is reasonably able upon becoming aware of a breach of warranty.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1127

8.3 Subject to clause 8.4 Delcam will use its reasonable endeavours to remedy any breach of the warranties set out in clauses 8.1.2, 8.1.3 and 8.1.4 free of charge by diagnosing the fault and using its reasonable endeavours to rectify the fault (remotely or by attendance on Site as determined by Delcam), by the issue of replacements in respect of defective media or Hardware Lock or of fixes in respect of the Licensed Program and the making of all necessary consequential amendments (if any) to the Program Documentation. Any such replacements will be warranted for the remainder of the original warranty period or 30 days from the date of receipt by Licensee, whichever is longer. 8.4 Delcam shall have no liability to remedy a breach of warranty where such breach arises during or as a result of:

1128 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

8.4.1 accident or the improper use, operation or neglect of either the Licensed Program Materials or the Designated Equipment; or 8.4.2 the modification of the Licensed Program or its merger (in whole or in part) with any other software not provided by Delcam or not intended for combination with the Licensed Program; or 8.4.3 the Use of the Licensed Program on equipment other than the Designated Equipment; or 8.4.4 the failure by the Licensee to implement recommendations in respect of or solutions to faults previously published by Delcam on its website; or 8.4.5 any repair, adjustment, alteration or modification of the Licensed Program or Hardware Key or acts or omissions by any person other than Delcam without Delcam's prior written consent; or 8.4.6 any breach by the Licensee of any of its obligations under any maintenance agreement in respect of the Designated Equipment; or 8.4.7 the use of the Licensed Program or Hardware Lock for a purpose for which they were not designed; or 8.4.8 the transfer or Use of the Licensed Program Materials in breach of clause 7.1; or 8.4.9 the operation of the Licensed program in Restricted Mode; or 8.4.10 Use of the Licensed Program during any Trial Period. 8.5 Without prejudice to the foregoing Delcam does not warrant that the Use of the Licensed Program will meet the Licensee's data processing requirements or any specific purpose or that the operation of the Licensed Programs will be uninterrupted or error free. 8.6 Subject to the foregoing all conditions, warranties, terms and undertakings express or implied statutory or otherwise in respect of the Licensed Program Materials are hereby excluded by Delcam and its licensors to the fullest extent permitted by law including (without limitation) the implied conditions, warranties or other terms as to satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose and the use of reasonable care and skill. 9 Limitation and exclusion of liability

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1129

THE LICENSEE'S ATTENTION IS EXPRESSLY DRAWN TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CLAUSE 9. 9.1 Liability for: 9.1.1 death or personal injury caused by negligence; or 9.1.2 liability under Part 1 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987; or 9.1.3 fraudulent misrepresentation; is not excluded or limited. 9.2 Subject to the following provisions of this clause 9 or to any other express provisions relating to liability contained in these Terms the liability of Delcam or that of any members of the same group of companies to which Delcam belongs or that of Delcam's licensors and for its or their employees, agents, distributors or sub-contractors for any act or default in relation to these Terms whether in contract, tort (including negligence), strict liability or otherwise shall be limited to: 9.2.1 the amount of single event cover in Delcam's public or product liability insurance (whichever may be applicable) in force at the time the loss or damage occurs for loss or damage to tangible property; or 9.2.2 in the case of all other liability the aggregate of the sum of 9.2.2.1 and 9.2.2.2 where: 9.2.2.1 is the whole or any part of the Licence Fee paid in respect of the subject matter giving rise to the liability and which is held to be subject to repayment by Delcam; and 9.2.2.2 is the amount 20% of the Licence Fee or GBP1,000 (whichever is the greater). 9.3 No liability shall attach for any loss (or associated expenses) in the nature of:

1130 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

9.3.1 loss of profits, loss of revenue, loss of production or loss of use; 9.3.2 loss of goodwill or reputation; 9.3.3 third party claims; 9.3.4 indirect, special or consequential losses as generally understood under English law; whether foreseeable or otherwise and whether or not Delcam had been made aware of the possibility of the same arising. Subject to the aforesaid and to the limitations in clause 9.2, Delcam accepts liability for direct losses as generally understood under English law. 9.4 Save in respect of: 9.4.1 liabilities described in clause 9.1; or 9.4.2 liability for loss or damage to tangible property; or 9.4.3 liability under clause 10 (intellectual property rights indemnity); no liability for damages shall arise until such time as the Licensee has given Delcam written notice to remedy the default in accordance with any particular clause of these Terms and failed to do so or, in any other case, having been given written notice to remedy the default (if remediable) and Delcam has failed to do so within a period of thirty (30) days. 9.5 Delcam will not be liable to the Licensee for loss arising from or in connection with any representation, agreement, statement or undertaking made before the parties entered into the contract on these Terms other than those representations, agreements, statements or undertakings confirmed by duly authorised representatives of Delcam in writing or expressly incorporated or referred to in these Terms. THE LICENSEE EXPRESSLY REPRESENTS THAT IT IS NOT RELYING UPON (AND THEREFORE SHALL HAVE NO REMEDY IN RESPECT OF) ANY SUCH REPRESENTATION, AGREEMENT, STATEMENT OR UNDERTAKING OTHER THAN AS EXPRESSLY SET OUT OR REFERRED TO IN THESE TERMS. These Terms constitute the whole agreement and understanding of the parties as to their subject matter and there are no terms, conditions, warranties or obligations whether oral or written, express or implied, whether by statute or common law, other than those contained in or referred to in these Terms. Nothing in these Terms shall limit Delcam's liability for fraudulent misrepresentation.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1131

9.6 The Licensee accepts that the Licensed Program Materials were not designed and produced to its individual requirements or for any specific purpose or purposes of the Licensee and that it was responsible for their selection and accordingly Delcam shall not be liable to the Licensee if the Licensed Program Materials are not fit for the Licensee's purposes. 9.7 Advice or assistance provided by Delcam or its group companies, agents or representatives relating to any aspect of the Licensed Program (whether provided before, during or after delivery) including (but not limited to) operational usage or potential applications is given for the Licensee's sole assessment and decision (if necessary after trial operations by the Licensee) having regard to the Licensee's own particular circumstances. Accordingly such advice or assistance is given without responsibility or liability. 9.8 The Licensee accepts that the Licensed Program is supplied as a tool which is constantly being developed and that the Licensee is solely responsible for the way in which the Licensed Program Materials are Used and for any product data design or other output resulting from the Licensee's Use of the Licensed Program Materials including their Use and the consequences of such Use in conjunction with any other software or equipment or product. Without prejudice to the foregoing obligation in accordance with best industry practice the Licensee shall at each stage verify data which is input into and produced from the Licensed Program Materials. 9.9 Without prejudice to its obligations under clause 11 of these Terms the Licensee recognises the Licensed Program will not function without the Hardware Lock and consequently the importance of ensuring its safekeeping at all times during the term of the Licence. 9.10 Delcam is concerned to ensure that the Licence Fee for the Licensed Program Materials remains competitive and taking into account:

1132 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

9.10.1 the fact that the Licensee is in a better position than Delcam to know or ascertain the amount of any loss which will arise out of any defect in the Licensed Program Materials; 9.10.2 the fact that the extent of the damage that might be caused or alleged to be caused to the Licensee is disproportionate to the amount that can reasonably be charged (and is charged) by Delcam to the Licensee; 9.10.3 the terms and conditions upon which Delcam's own suppliers are prepared to supply goods and services to Delcam; this must necessarily involve the incorporation of the provisions of this clause 9. 10 Intellectual Property Rights indemnity 10.1 Delcam will indemnify and hold harmless the Licensee against any damages (including costs) that may be awarded or agreed to be paid to any third party in respect of any claim or action that the normal operation, possession or use of the Licensed Program Materials by the Licensee infringes the patent, copyright, registered design or trade mark rights of the said third party (an "Intellectual Property Infringement"), provided that the Licensee: 10.1.1 gives notice to Delcam of any Intellectual Property Infringement immediately upon becoming aware of it; and 10.1.2 gives Delcam the sole conduct of the defence to any claim or action in respect of any Intellectual Property Infringement and does not at any time admit liability or otherwise settle or compromise or attempt to settle or compromise the claim or action except upon the express instructions of Delcam; and 10.1.3 acts in accordance with the reasonable instructions of Delcam and gives to Delcam such assistance as it reasonably requires in respect of the conduct of the defence. For the avoidance of doubt the indemnity in this clause 10.1 covers only infringements of the type referred to which are caused by or directly attributable to the Licensed Program Materials themselves and excludes infringements of the rights of a third party caused by the application of the Licensed Program Materials by the Licensee whether in any design or manufacturing process or otherwise. 10.2 Delcam will reimburse the Licensee its reasonable costs incurred in complying with the provisions of clause 10.1 above.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1133

10.3 Delcam will have no liability to the Licensee in respect of an Intellectual Property Infringement if it results from any breach of the Licensee's obligations under these Terms. 10.4 In the event of an Intellectual Property Infringement Delcam will be entitled at its own expense and option either to: 10.4.1 procure the right for the Licensee to continue using the Licensed Program Materials; or 10.4.2 make such alteration, modification or adjustment to the Licensed Program Materials so that they become non-infringing without incurring a material diminution in function; or 10.4.3 replace the Licensed Program Materials with non-infringing substitutes provided that the substitutes do not entail a material diminution in function. 10.5 The limitation of liability in clause 9.3 shall not apply to this indemnity. 11 Risk in the Licensed Program Materials 11.1 Risk in the Licensed Program Materials will pass to the Licensee following delivery. If subsequently the Licensed Program Materials are destroyed, damaged, lost or stolen, Delcam will upon request as soon as reasonably practicable replace them subject to the Licensee paying its then prevailing charges. 11.2 Without prejudice to the provisions of clause 11.1, the Licensee shall take such steps as may be necessary in respect of any matters arising out of or relating to its possession and Use of the Licensed Program to the extent at least to which Delcam excludes or limits its liability in respect of the same pursuant to these Terms including where appropriate obtaining insurance cover. The Licensee is also expressly referred to Delcam's policy statement with regard to Hardware Locks (dongles) which appears in the addendum at the end of (but which forms part of) these Terms. 12 Indemnity by Licensee The Licensee shall indemnify and keep Delcam indemnified from and against any liability of any kind to any third party howsoever arising (whether in contract, tort or otherwise and including, but not limited to, liability arising from the negligence of Licensee or from the negligence of any person for whom Licensee is vicariously liable) in respect of or in connection with: 12.1 any defect in the Licensed Program Materials; and/or

1134 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

12.2 any loss, injury or damage of any kind (whether direct, indirect or otherwise and including but not limited to any loss of profit and/or any incidental, consequential or special loss or damage of any description) arising out of in respect of or in connection with the installation or supply of the Licensed Program Materials or their Use; except to the extent that Delcam has expressly assumed liability under these Terms for the loss, injury or damage concerned. 13 Termination 13.1 The Licence will continue until terminated in accordance with the provisions of clause 13.2 below. 13.2 The Licence may be terminated:

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1135

13.2.1 without prejudice to the provisions of clause 4.3 by the Licensee upon giving not less than 30 days' notice in writing to Delcam; 13.2.2 forthwith by Delcam if the Licensee fails to pay any monies due under these Terms within 30 days of the due date; 13.2.3 forthwith by either party if the other commits any material breach of any of these Terms (other than one falling within clause 13.2.2 above) and which (in the case of a breach capable of being remedied) shall not have been remedied within 14 days of a written request to remedy it; 13.2.4 forthwith by either party if the other convenes a meeting of its creditors or if a proposal is made for a voluntary arrangement within Part 1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or a proposal for any other composition, scheme or arrangement with (or assignment for the benefit of) its creditors or if the other shall be unable to pay its debts within the meaning of Section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or if a trustee, receiver, administrative receiver or similar officer is appointed in respect of all or any part of the business or assets of the other or the making of any arrangement with its creditors by the other or the imposition of an administration order or if a notice of intention to appoint an administrator order or if a notice of intention to appoint an administrator is given by the other party or its directors or by a qualifying floating charge holder (as defined in paragraph 14 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 (as inserted by section 248 of the Enterprise Act 2002)) or if a petition is presented or a meeting is convened for the purpose of considering a resolution or other steps are taken for the winding up of the other or for the making of an administration order (otherwise than for the purposes of an amalgamation or reconstruction); 13.2.5 by Delcam if the Licensee loses its Hardware Lock or if the Licensee's Hardware Lock is stolen. 13.3 Any termination of the Licence will be without prejudice to any other rights or remedies to which a party may be entitled under these Terms or at law and will not affect any accrued rights or liabilities of either party nor the coming into or continuance in force of any provision which is expressly or by implication intended to come into or continue in force on or after such termination.

1136 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

13.4 Within 10 days of the termination of the Licence (irrespective of the reason for termination), the Licensee will at Delcam's sole option either return all copies of the Licensed Program Materials in its possession or control or destroy all copies of the Licensed Program Materials in its possession or control and a duly authorised officer of the Licensee shall certify in writing to Delcam that the Licensee has complied with its obligation under this clause 13.4. 14 Forrce majeure 14.1 Neither party will be liable for any breach of its obligations under these Terms resulting from causes beyond its reasonable control (an "Event of Force Majeure"). 14.2 Each of the parties agrees to give notice to the other upon becoming aware of an Event of Force Majeure, such notice to contain details of the circumstances giving rise to the Event of Force Majeure. 14.3 If a default due to an Event of Force Majeure continues for more than 4 weeks, then the party not in default will be entitled to terminate the Licence. Without prejudice to the provisions of clauses 13.3 and 13.4 neither party will have any liability to the other in respect of the termination of the Licence as a result of an Event of Force Majeure. 15 Waiver The waiver by either party of a breach or default of any of these Terms by the other party will not be construed as a waiver of any succeeding breach of the same or any other provision nor shall any delay or omission on the part of either party to exercise or avail itself of any right power or privilege that it has or may have under these Terms operate as a waiver of any breach or default by the other party. 16 Notices

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1137

Any notice, request, instruction or other document to be given under these Terms will be delivered in person or by first class registered post (airmail if overseas) or by facsimile transmission to the address or to the facsimile number of the other party and any such notice or other document will be deemed to have been served (if delivered personally) at the time of delivery, (if sent by post) upon the expiration of 2 business days after posting (5 business days if overseas) and (if sent by facsimile transmission) upon the expiration of 2 hours after receipt of a report of satisfactory transmission if before 3.00pm on a business day (local time to the addressee) otherwise at 10.00am on the next business day (local time to the addressee). For the purposes of this clause 16 a "business day" shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Service by facsimile shall only be valid if a confirmatory letter is despatched no later than the next available business day in the place of transmission. 17 Invalidity and severability If any provision of these Terms is found by any court or administrative body to be invalid or unenforceable, the invalidity or unenforceability of such provision will not affect the other provisions of these Terms and all provisions not affected by such invalidity or unenforceability will remain in full force and effect. The parties agree to attempt to substitute for any invalid or unenforceable provision a valid or enforceable provision which achieves to the greatest extent possible the economic, legal and commercial objectives of the invalid or unenforceable provision. 18 Assignment and sub-licensing The Licensee shall not be entitled to assign or otherwise transfer these Terms nor any of its rights and obligations under these Terms nor sublicense the use (in whole or in part) of the Licensed Program Materials without the prior written consent of Delcam. 19 Technology transfer restrictions The Licensed Program Materials and any relevant technical information or documentation in relation thereto may not be imported or transferred in any way which would breach any technology transfer restrictions imposed by the United States, the United Kingdom or any other national or supranational authority. 20 Language If these Terms or any part thereof are translated into any language other than the original English language version the English language text shall in any event prevail. 21 Law and jurisdiction

1138 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

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21.1 These Terms will be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and the parties agree subject to clause 21.2 to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. The Licensee hereby irrevocably waives any right to claim the application of any alternative law or jurisdiction. 21.2 The submission by Delcam and the Licensee to such jurisdiction shall not however limit the right of Delcam to commence any proceedings arising out of these Terms in any other jurisdiction it may consider appropriate. Addendum Delcam policy statement with regard to Hardware Locks (dongles) November 2004 Dongle insurance is advised by Delcam for all Licensees. Delcam's policy is that a Hardware Lock (dongle) will be replaced when stolen or lost subject to availability and at Delcam's then current list price for the Hardware Lock and Licensed Program attached. This will be subject to and without prejudice to Delcam's right of termination in accordance with clause 13.2.5. However if Delcam in its absolute discretion agrees to replace the Hardware Lock and Licensed Program on such terms a new PAF will be issued under the present Licence. It is therefore the responsibility of the Licensee at its sole discretion to insure the dongle and attached Licensed Program or Licensed Programs with the hardware. Major insurance companies, such as General Accident, Commercial Union or Royal Sun Alliance offer insurance for the dongle as part of the hardware system, but dongles cannot be insured on their own. If the hardware is stolen or lost with the dongle attached, the whole system (hardware and software) would be replaced by the insurance company in accordance with the terms of the policy. A typical premium is 1.55% of the total solution value. Such a policy is available in most countries certainly by these named British companies, but also by some local insurance companies in other territories. However, it is clear that the dongle cannot be insured on its own so if a Licensee loses his dongle or the dongle only is stolen, then it will not be covered by the insurance policy. For further information on this and available insurance schemes the Licensee should consult with Delcam's authorised sales partner for the territory in which the Site is located.

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply • 1139

This information is given in good faith by Delcam at the date stated above but the Licensee is responsible for seeking advice relevant to its own particular circumstances from its insurance advisors. Delcam shall not be accountable for any reliance placed by the Licensee on this statement nor any consequences of the Licensee so doing. Schedule A Product Functionality in full version Printing of drawings (File>Print) Restrictions in Restricted Mode Only available via PRINT SCREEN button in Windows - not via File>Print in PowerSHAPE. All ray-traced images are watermarked with the Delcam logo in the bottom right hand corner Functionality available via Pay-Per-Use? No

PowerSHAPE Restricted Mode/Pay-Per-Use Mode is called PowerSHAPE-e)

Creation of nonwatermarked raytraced images (View->Render)

No

Export of files (File->Export) PS-Exchange Export of files

Export of files is Yes only available via Pay-Per-Use Export of files is Yes only available via Pay-Per-Use

Note: Any software product not listed in the above table will not execute in Restricted Mode

Delcam Licence Agreement Rev. H

1140 • Delcam Plc Software Licence And Terms Of Supply

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index
2.5D Feature Toolpath Sorting • 536, 538, 541 2.5D Machining Cutter Compensation • 547 Hole Creation from a Model • 162 Wizard • 560 2.5D Machining Wizard • 560

2

3
3+2-Axis Machining • 1047 3-Axis Machining • 1076, 1086 3D Offset Toolpath • 585

5
5 Axis Tool Axis Direction • 411 5-Axis Machining • 1047, 1076, 1077, 1086

A
Add to Stock Model • 79 Allowance Finishing • 1101 Along Corner Toolpath • 591 Along Y Toolpath Sorting • 536, 538, 541 Along Y two Way Toolpath Sorting • 536, 538, 541

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1141

Anchor Rotation • 122 Angle Elevation • 663 Start Angle and End Angle • 673 Zag • 407, 510 Zig • 407, 510 Angular Limits • 646, 654, 663 Append All • 492 Append Bottom • 492 Append Top • 492 Appending Toolpaths within Explorer • 107 Arcs Arc Radius • 674, 681 Tolerance and keep arcs • 448 Tolerance and replace arcs • 448 Area clearance • 481 Area Filter • 508 Roughing Strategy • 508

Blisk area clearance • 755 Component Thickness • 72 Cutter Compensation • 547 Expert • 543, 544 Final Profile Pass • 503 Flat Machining Expert Settings • 552 High Speed Machining • 512 Lead In Moves • 509 Links • 514 Offset Flat Machining • 618 Offset Machining Advanced Settings • 556 Plunge Milling • 558, 720 Port Area Clearance • 734 Profiling • 503 Ramp Options • 510 Raster Flat Machining • 683 Rest Machining • 524 Roughing Strategy • 478 Stepdown • 489 Stepover • 488, 582, 646, 654, 658, 663 Tool Loading • 514, 520 Toolpath Sorting • 526, 528, 530, 532, 533, 535 Variable Thickness • 486 Z Heights • 492 Area Filter Roughing Strategy • 508 Area Mode • 528 Attaching Tools to Toolpaths • 82 Auto Angle Mode Area Mode • 528 Level Mode • 528 Model Mode • 528 Pocket Mode • 528 Auto Hole Selection • 799 AutoCAM • 842 AutoCAM Output • 1116 AutoCAM Proposal • 1110 AutoCAM Reference • 1096, 1116 AutoCAM Set-Up • 1096 AutoCAM Stock • 1106

1142 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

AutoCAM Tool • 1102 AutoCAM Tools and Toolpaths • 1110 Back • 1103, 1104, 1111 Batch and Continue Working in PowerMILL • 1114 Batch Toolpaths • 1114 Browse • 1100, 1107 Buttons • 1108 Cut Back • 1111 Dimensions • 1102 Finishing Allowance • 1101 Generate Toolpaths now • 1114, 1116 Help • 1108, 1114, 1116 Invert Model • 1100 Jabro Tool Catalogue • 1102 Kobelco Tool Catalogue • 1102 Largest Mill Diameter • 1106 Machine • 1104 Machine Details • 1104 Manual • 1106 Material • 1101, 1102 Maximum Depth • 1106 Model • 1100 Invert • 1100 Model Details • 1099 New • 1097 New Tool For Finishing Raster • 1107 Open • 1097 Open a Project • 1097 Options • 1102 Output Files Directory • 1107 Preferences • 1102 Project Open • 1097 Project Details • 1097 Select Name • 1097 Select New • 1097

Recalculate • 1114 Reset List • 1103 Select Project Name • 1097 Set-up AutoCAM • 1096 Smallest Cavity • 1106 Smallest Horizontal Radius • 1106 Smallest Vertical Radius • 1106 Starting AutoCAM • 1096 Stock Z Position • 1101 Stock Datum • 1106 Stock Details • 1101 Stock Dimensions • 1102 Stock Material • 1101, 1102 Survey Mode • 1106 Automatic • 1106 Manual • 1106 Thickness Finishing Allowance • 1101 Tool Cut Back • 1111 Tool Catalogue • 1102 Toolpath Batch • 1114 Generate • 1114, 1116

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1143

Toolpath Sequence • 1113 Toolpaths and Tools • 1110 Tools and Toolpaths • 1110 Tools Required • 1111 Z Position of the Stock • 1101 Automatic • 1106 Automatic Corner Toolpath • 594 Automatic Machining • 842 Automatic Pattern Generation • 1027 Loading of Feed Rates from Tools • 335 Machining - Auto • 842 Axis Address Letters • 1053 Axis Calculation Tolerance • 709 Draw Toolpath Axes • 913 Linear Axes • 1053 Rotary Axes • 1053, 1076, 1078 Tool • 509 Workplanes • 200

B
Back • 1103, 1104, 1111 Ball nosed tool • 944 Bar Gripper • 1090 Scroll • 1090 Splitter • 1090 Batch and Continue Working in PowerMILL • 1114 Batch Toolpaths • 1114 Blade • 755 Blade finishing • 763 Blend distance for smooth tool axis transition • 961 Blisk area clearance • 755 Blisk machining • 745 Blade • 755 Blade finishing • 763 Hub • 755 Hub finishing • 766 Impellor • 755

Shroud • 755 Splitter blade • 755 Block • 354, 583, 845 Block Boundary • 974 Draw • 315 Edit a Block Graphically • 360 Instrumented Block • 360 Paint Block • 1041 Bore • 782 Counter Bore • 782 Boundary • 128, 498, 583 Block • 974 Boundaries from Delcam Sketcher • 1000 Boundary Controls • 972 Boundary Editor • 1009 Boundary Entity • 128 Boundary Object Menu • 134 Boundary Sketcher • 1006 Boundary Thickness • 1010 Boundary Toolbar • 146, 969 Boundary Type Menu • 129, 130 Boundary Types • 971 Collision Safe • 981 Contact Conversion • 992 Contact Point • 986, 988 Containment Curve • 986 Creating Boundaries within Other Boundaries • 1016 Limit Toolpath • 79, 913, 925 Limited by Tool Length • 981 Rest Boundary • 975, 983 Selected Surface • 976 Shallow • 978 Silhouette • 979 Stock Model Rest • 983, 984 User Defined • 997 Variable Thickness • 486 Buttons Boundary Toolbar • 969 Buttons • 1108 Drilling Strategy • 782 Pattern toolbar • 159

1144 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Roughing Strategy • 478 Simulation Play Toolbar • 1044, 1081, 1082, 1086 Simulation toolbar • 1073 Strategies • 467 Toolpath • 484, 580, 779 Toolpath strategy buttons • 944 ViewMill toolbar • 1063, 1066

C
Calculator • 831 Calculator Line • 831, 833 Cap Holes • 168 Catalogue AutoCAM Tool • 1102 Tool • 114 Centre Point • 689 Chamfer • 790 Check for Collisions • 826 Circle Measure • 835 Circular Pattern • 646, 654, 663 Clearance • 432 Clearance - General • 486, 782, 826 Head • 432 Holder • 432 Shank • 432 Tool Shaft • 432 Climb • 497, 503, 587, 619, 686, 1041 Close Project • 278 Closed Offsets • 619 Closure Tolerance • 334 Collision avoidance • 435, 438 Tool Axis • 430 Collision Checker • 826 Collision Safe Boundary • 981 Collisions Information • 1057 Colour Colour of Inactive Toolpaths • 79 General - Customising • 331 Tools - Customising • 328 User Defined • 328

Command Window • 1090 Detaching • 1090 Docking • 1090 Commands Echo • 318 Component Thickness • 72, 454, 466 Compound Holes • 176 Constant Stepover • 512 Constant Z Toolpath • 587 optimised • 619 Construct Workplane from Current Machine Tool Position • 1047 Contact Conversion Boundary • 992 Contact Normals cutter compensation • 38 draw toolpath contact normals • 913 Contact Point embedded curve finishing • 611 Contact Point Boundary • 986 Contact Point Boundary Example • 988 Contents help • 345 context menu • 234 Continuously Changing Tool Axis • 418 Conventional • 497, 503, 587, 619, 686, 1041 Coordinate System workplane • 200 Copy Toolpath • 919 Core Radius • 558 Corner Correction • 590 Corner Finishing along corner • 591 automatic toolpath • 594 Counter Bore • 782 Create Toolpath • 825 Create Toolpath Template • 324 Creating Customised Colour • 328 Creating Toolpaths in an NC Program • 35 Cursor

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1145

draw • 315 Curve Projection Finishing • 646 example • 650 Curves embedded • 603 Cusp • 587, 591, 594, 595, 597 height • 587 Customise Paths • 321 Customised Colour for Tool • 328 Customising Colours • 331 Cut Back • 1111 Cut Direction • 497 Cut direction simulation • 1063 Cutter Compensation • 38, 547 Cutting data tool • 880 Cycle Type • 782

D
Data Exchange PS-Exchange • 843 Data Translation Services help • 347 Datum • 378 AutoCAM Stock • 1106 Deep Drilling • 782 Degouge Tolerance • 644, 709 Delcam Electrode • 838 Delcam Exchange • 843 Delcam on the Web help • 348 Delcam sketcher • 233 boundaries • 1000 Delcam surfacer • 233 Delete permanently • 271 Delete All • 492 Delete Bottom • 492 Delete Top • 492 Depth • 782 peck • 782 Detaching Command Window • 1090

Dialog raise toolpath • 335 reset • 319 Dialog Buttons Drilling Strategy • 782 Toolpath strategy buttons • 944 Dimensions • 1102 Direction • 585, 591, 594, 595, 596, 597, 619, 686 Direction of Cut • 497 Display • 585 NC Programs • 64 tools • 119 Display toolbar • 295 Display Tools • 119 Divide Toolpath • 931 Divide Toolpath by an Angle • 79, 913, 932 Divide Toolpath by Direction • 79, 913, 933 Divide Toolpath by Length • 79, 913, 935 Divide Toolpath by Retract • 79, 937 Divide Toolpath by Time • 79, 913, 936 Docking Command Window • 1090 Draft Angle • 187 Draft Angle Shade • 845 Drag and Drop • 21 Draw • 781 all • 317 block • 315 cursor • 315 Draw Toolpath Axes • 913 Draw Toolpath Contact Normals • 913 Draw Toolpath Feeds • 913 Draw Toolpath Leads • 913 Draw Toolpath Links • 913 Draw Toolpath Points • 913 Draw/Undraw Machine Tool • 1081 drilling holes • 315 holes • 315

1146 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

model drawing options • 309 transform • 315 undraw all • 317 wireframe • 317 Draw Menu • 309 Draw/Undraw Machine Tool • 1081 Drawing Tolerance • 338 Drill auto hole selection • 799 cycle • 782 Drill Order • 795 Drill Paths • 509 Drill Sorting • 795 Drilling • 509, 775 bore • 782 break chip • 782 Chamfer • 790 counter bore • 782 deep • 782 Drilling Strategy • 782 expert • 788 helical • 782, 801 multiple peck • 782 ream • 782 reverse helical • 782 rigid tapping • 782 single peck • 782 tapping • 782 user defined • 782 Drilling Holes draw • 315 Drilling Method • 814 defining • 816 editing • 816 tools • 816 Drilling Strategy • 782 Dwell Time • 782 Dynamic image simulation • 1063 Dynamic Rotation spin view • 338

Echo Commands tools • 318 Edit toolpath lift • 95 Edit a Block Graphically • 360 Edit Features Graphically • 190 Edit tool axis • 944 Editing Boundaries • 1009 Electrode • 838 Elevation Angle • 663 Embedded Curve Strategy contact point • 611 engraving • 605 Embedded Pattern • 601, 603 End • 673, 689 End Angle • 673 End Point • 378 Engraving embedded curve finishing • 605 Entity boundary • 128 pattern • 148 Example of Machine Tool Simulation • 1086 Example Using Curve Projection Finishing • 650 Example Using Plunge Milling • 721 Example Using Tool Number and Tool Change • 53 Exit Simulation Tool • 1082 Workpiece • 1041, 1044, 1081, 1086 Expert Area Clearance • 543, 544 Expert Drilling • 788 Expert Settings area clearance flat machining • 552 offset machining • 556 Explorer • 13 Export Model • 284

E

F
Favourites

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1147

toolpath strategies • 477 Feature draft angle • 187 edit graphically • 190 reverse holes • 191 smart creation • 185 toolpath sorting • 541 Feature Dialog • 173 Feature Selection • 160 Feature Set Cutter Compensation • 547 Feature set machining • 160 Component • 808 Hole Creation • 176 Feature Set Menu • 160 Feature Set Object Menu • 166 Features select • 160 Feeds draw toolpath feeds • 913 Feeds and speeds • 362, 368 draw toolpath feeds • 913 load from Tools • 335 Variable Feed Rates • 100 File Close Project • 278 File Export Model • 284 File Import Model • 282 File Menu • 276 File Open • 350 File Open Project • 277 File Open Project Read-Only • 277 File Save Project • 279 File Save Project As • 279 File Save Template Objects • 281 Filter snap • 320 Filter Style • 321 Final Profiling Pass • 503 Find Common • 492 Finishing • 572 3D offset • 585 along corner • 591, 594 Blade finishing • 763

constant Z • 587 constant Z optimised • 619 curve projection • 646 embedded curve strategy • 605, 611 embedded pattern finishing • 601 Hub finishing • 766 line projection • 654 multi-pencil • 595 offset flat machining • 618 pattern • 627 pencil • 596 plane projection • 658 point projection • 663 profile • 635 radial pattern • 673 raster • 675 raster flat machining • 683 rotary • 686 spiral pattern • 689 stitch corner • 597 Surface finishing • 692, 944 surface projection • 668 Surface projection finishing • 668, 692 Swarf machining • 696, 715 variable thickness • 486 Finishing Allowance • 1101 Finishing Strategy • 574 Finishing Strategy Specification • 585 Fixed Angle • 415 Fixed Direction • 422 Fixed Direction Tool Axis • 412 Flat Machining • 552 offset • 618 raster • 683 Floor view • 1070 Folders • 260 Follow • 400, 407, 510 Form Tool • 869 creating • 898, 900, 903 restrictions • 902 Forms

1148 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

reset • 319 Frame Rate • 338 From Line • 418 From Line Tool Axis • 412 From Point • 418 From Point Tool Axis • 412

G
Gauge Distance Offset • 1073 Gauge Length • 38 Generate Toolpaths now • 1114, 1116 Gouge degouge tolerance • 644, 709 Graphics saving snap shots • 296 Graphics Window • 6 Gripper Bar • 1090 Group • 248 Group Menu • 248

H
Heights rapid move heights • 374 Helical Drilling • 782 Helical Milling • 782, 801 Help • 9, 1108, 1114, 1116 check for PowerMILL updates • 346 contents • 345 data translation services • 347 Delcam on the web • 348 subscribe to the PowerMILL newsletter • 346 tooltips • 9 visit the user forum • 347 what's New • 345 Help About • 348 Help Menu • 345 High Speed Machining roughing strategy • 512, 514, 524 Highlight Climb Cutting • 1041

Highlight Conventional Cutting • 1041 Holder form • 903 tool holder creation • 893 user defined • 903 Hole Creation From a Model • 162 Hole Selection • 160 Holes • 646, 654 cap • 168 Component • 808 Compound Holes • 176 draw • 315 Editing automatically identified holes • 195 From contact normals • 179 From toolpath plunge points • 177 Hole Creation • 176 Partial Holes • 176 reverse • 191 Hot Keys • 274 Hot Spot size • 338 Hub finishing • 766

I
Impellor • 755 Import Import Machine Tool • 1041, 1081, 1086 Import Model • 282 Import Tolerance • 334 options • 342 split solids • 342 Inactive Toolpaths colour • 79 Information on Simulation • 1053 Collisions • 1057 Position • 1053 Information Toolbar • 1089 Insert Menu • 306 Insert Project • 306

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1149

Insert Session • 308 Insert Template • 307 Insert Toolpaths • 307 Instrumented Block • 360 Invalidate Toolpaths • 75 Invert Model • 1100 ISO • 292, 845 Isometric View • 292, 845

J
Jabro Tool Catalogue • 1102 Jog Simulation Position • 1041, 1053 Join Up • 646, 654, 658, 663 Joining surface joining tolerance • 644, 709

K
Keyboard Shortcuts • 1045 Kinematic shaded image • 1066 Kinematics Example • 1077 Kobelco Tool Catalogue • 1102

L
Largest Mill Diameter • 1106 Last View • 845 Lead In and Lead Out Moves locking • 101, 410 pocket centre • 388 roughing strategy • 509 selective editing • 101, 410 Lead in Moves roughing strategy • 509 Lead In Ramp Options • 407 Lead/Lean Angle • 415 Lead/Lean Tool Axis • 412 Leads draw toolpath leads • 913 Leads and links • 382, 584 locking • 101, 410 pocket centre • 388 selective editing • 101

Lean Angle • 415 Length triangle • 334 Level • 211 Sets • 767 Level Menu • 211 Level Mode • 528 Level Object Menu • 212 Licence releases • 326 request • 327 Lift toolpath editing • 95 Limit Maximum Triangle Length • 334 Limit Toolpath boundary • 79, 913, 925 limit to boundary • 929 limit to plane • 927 limit to polygon • 928 plane • 79, 913, 925 polygon • 79, 913, 925 Limited Toolpath Recalculation • 961 Limits angular • 646, 654, 663 machine tool • 422 machine tool example • 441, 442, 445, 447 tool Axis • 422, 441, 442, 445, 447 tool axis example • 424 Line Calculator • 831, 833 measure • 831, 833 Line Projection Toolpath • 654 Line Tool Axis • 412 Linear Axes • 1053 Links • 400, 514, 584, 686, 781 draw toolpath links • 913 List customise paths • 321 Load tool load • 514, 520

1150 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Loading of Feed Rates from Tools • 335 Locking Lead and Link Moves • 101

M
Machine • 1104 Machine All Raster Spans • 512 Machine Details • 1104 Machine Preferences • 49 Machine Tool Construct Workplane from its Current Position • 1047 Draw/Undraw Machine Tool • 1081 Import Machine Tool • 1041, 1081, 1086 Model Example • 1077 Position of Machine Tool • 1053 Machine Tool Limits • 422 example • 441, 442, 445, 447 head - head • 445 head - table • 447 table - table • 442 Machining area clearance • 478 area clearance tool load • 514, 520 automatic • 842 cutter compensation • 547 Drilling • 509, 775 expert drilling • 788 offset flat machining • 618 plunge milling • 558, 720 raster flat machining • 683 Surface finishing • 692, 944 Surface projection finishing • 668, 692 swarf • 696, 715 toolpath sorting • 526, 528, 530, 532, 533, 535 toolpath strategies • 467 Machining Wizard 2.5D • 560 Manipulation

view • 846 Manual • 1106 Manual Angle • 528 Material • 1101, 1102 Maximum Depth • 1106 Maximum Triangle Length • 334 Measure • 838 Measure Circle • 835 Measure Line • 831, 833 Menu • 273 boundary object menu • 134 boundary type menu • 130 draw • 309 feature set menu • 160 feature set object menu • 166 file • 276 group menu • 248 help • 345 insert • 306 level menu • 211 level object menu • 212 model menu • 215 model object menu • 219 NC program • 24 NC program object • 26 NC program toolpath • 34 pattern object menu • 150 pattern type menu • 148 stock model menu • 234 tool • 110 tool object • 122 toolpath • 68 toolpath object • 79 tools • 318 view • 289 workplane menu • 200 workplane object menu • 206 Mesh maximum triangle length • 334 Mesh Factor • 451 triangle length • 334 Milling climb • 497, 503, 587, 619, 686

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1151

conventional • 497, 503, 587, 619, 686 direction • 619 Minimise Full Width Cuts • 512 Minimum Radius Shading • 845 Mirror Toolpath • 79, 913, 919 Model • 215, 1100 Invert • 1100 Model Drawing Options • 309 Model Export • 284 Model Import • 282 Model Import Tolerance • 334 Model Properties • 219 updating toolpaths • 75 Model Details • 1099 Model Example • 1077 Model Menu • 215 Model Object Menu • 219 Model Thickness • 454, 466 Model view • 1070, 1081 Modelling surface • 233 Move Toolpath • 79, 913, 919 Move Toolpath Start Points • 79, 913, 938 MTD-based Kinematics • 1076 Example • 1077 Multi Colour Shade • 845 Multi-Axis Machining 4-Axis Machining • 1076 5-Axis Machining • 1047, 1076, 1077, 1086 6-Axis Machining • 1076, 1078 tool axis direction • 411 Multi-Pencil Toolpath • 595 Multiple Peck Drilling • 782 Multiple selection of toolpath regions • 958

NC Preferences - Output • 49 NC Preferences Dialog • 48 NC program cutter compensation • 38 display • 64 drag and drop toolpaths • 21 gauge length • 38 options • 343 output file • 38 placing multiple toolpaths • 21 root name • 38 Text block • 29 toolpaths • 35 NC Program Dialog • 38, 273 NC Program Menu • 24 NC Program Object Menu • 26 NC Program Toolpath Menu • 34 New • 1097 New Tool For Finishing Raster • 1107 New Toolpath • 467, 776 New Toolpath Template create • 324 Newsletter subscribe • 346 Notes NC Program • See Notes

O
Offset • 686 closed • 619 high speed machining • 514 Y • 686 Offset Machining Advanced Settings • 556 One Way Toolpaths • 963 On-Line Help • 9 Open • 1097 Open File • 350 Open Model • 282 Open Project • 277, 1097 Open Project Read-Only • 277 Optimised Constant Z

N
Name toolpath • 485

1152 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

closed offsets • 619 Options • 333, 1102 automatic loading of feed rates • 335 head clearance • 335 import • 342 NC programs • 343 tolerance • 334 toolpath • 335 view • 338 Order drilling • 795 Output AutoCAM • 1116 cutter compensation • 38 gauge length • 38 NC Preferences • 49 Output File • 38 Output Files Directory • 1107 specifying the name and location • 58 Output point distribution • 448

P
Partial Holes • 176 Path List • 321 Paths customise • 321 Pattern • 148 circular • 646, 654, 663 embedded • 603 spiral • 646, 654, 663 swarf • 715 Pattern Generation automatic • 1027 Pattern Limits surface projection finishing • 668 Pattern Maker • 1027 Pattern Object Menu • 150 Pattern toolbar • 159 Pattern Toolpath • 627, 689 Pattern Type Menu • 148 Peck Depth • 782

Pencil Finishing • 596 multi-pencil • 595 Permanently Deleting Items • 271 Pick Radius • 338 Picking radius • 338 Pitch • 663 Placing Multiple Toolpaths into an NC Program • 21 Plain shade simulation • 1063 Plane limit toolpath • 79, 913, 925 Plane Projection Toolpath • 658 Play Simulation Tool • 1082 Workpiece • 1041, 1044, 1081, 1086 Plunge Milling • 558, 720 core radius • 558 example • 721 Plunging • 509 Pocket Centre Leads • 388 Point draw toolpath points • 913 Point Separation • 448, 450 Point distribution • 949 Mesh • 451 Tool axis editing example • 949 Toolpath Point Distribution • 448 Point Projection Toolpath • 663 Point Tool Axis • 412 Polygon limit • 79, 913, 925 Polygonisation Tolerance • 334 Port Machining Port Area Clearance • 734 Port Plunge Finishing • 741 Port Spiral Finishing • 744 Position of Machine Tool • 1053 PowerMILL Machining - Auto • 842 Preferences • 1102 machine • 49 NC • 48

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1153

Previous View • 845 Print • 353 Profile high speed machining • 524 Profile Smoothing • 512, 514, 524 Profile Toolpath • 635 Profiling final pass • 503 roughing strategy • 503 Project close • 278 insert • 306 open • 277, 350, 1097 open read-only • 277 save • 279, 351 save as • 279 Select Name • 1097 Select New • 1097 Project Details • 1097 Projection Finishing curve projection • 646 surface projection • 668 Properties model • 219

R
Radial toolpath sorting • 540 Radial Pattern Toolpath • 673 Radius start and end • 673, 689 Rainbow simulation • 1063 Raise Dialog toolapth • 335 Raise Simulation Play Toolbar • 1041, 1081, 1086 Ramp Options lead in moves • 407 roughing strategy • 510 Ramping • 509 Rapid Move Heights • 374 Raster

high speed machining • 512 Raster Toolpath • 675 Ream • 782 Recalculation • 1114 toolpath • 961 Redistribute • 448 Refresh • 294, 845 Release Licences • 326 Reorder • 963 Reorder Toolpaths • 963 Reordering • 21 Request Licences • 327 Reset • 319 Reset Block • 1041 Reset List • 1103 Resize to Fit • 289, 845 Rest Boundary • 975 stock model • 983 Rest Machining • 524 roughing strategy • 524 Rest Roughing • 524 Reverse Helical Milling • 782 Reverse Holes • 191 Rigid Tapping • 782 Root Name • 38 Rotary Axes • 1053, 1076, 1078 Rotary Toolpath • 686 Rotate spin view • 338 Rotate Toolpath • 79, 913, 919 Rotation Anchor • 122 Roughing • 478 offset flat machining • 618 raster flat machining • 683 Routing Tools • 872

S
Save Model • 284 Save Project • 279, 351 Save Project As • 279 Save Template Objects • 281 Saving Screen Shots • 296

1154 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Saving Snap Shots • 296 Screen Shots saving screen shots • 296 Scroll Bar • 1090 Select • 781 Select Features • 160 Select Project Name • 1097 Select regions • 939 Select Toolpath • 335 Selected Surface Boundary • 976 Selective Editing of Lead and Link Moves • 101, 410 Session insert • 308 Sets • 767 Set-up AutoCAM • 1096 Shade • 312, 317 draft angle • 845 minimum radius • 845 thickness • 845 Shaded Tool • 122 Shading Toolpath • 1041 Rainbow • 1041, 1081 translucency • 219 Shallow • 591, 594, 595, 596, 597 Shallow Boundary • 978 Shank form • 903 tool shank creation • 889 user defined • 903 Shiny simulation • 1063 Shroud • 755 Silhouette Boundary • 979 Simulation • 864 Combination of toolpath and machine • 1088 Simulation Play Toolbar • 1044, 1081, 1082, 1086 Keyboard Shortcuts • 1045 Raise Simulation Play Toolbar • 1041, 1081, 1086

Simulation toolbar • 1073 Speed up • 1084 ViewMill • 2, 830 ViewMill views • 1063, 1066 Viewpoint • 1070 Floor view • 1070 Model view • 1070, 1081

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1155

Single Peck Drilling • 782 Sketch Boundary • 997, 1006 Smart Creation • 185 Smoothing • 709 profile • 512, 514, 524 Smoothing Up/Down Axis (TDU) • 709 Snap Filter • 320 Snapping • 320 Snapshots saving • 296 Solids split into surfaces • 342 split on import • 342 Sorting drill Order • 795 toolpath • 526, 528, 530, 532, 533, 535, 536, 538, 540, 541 Spin View • 338 Spiral pattern • 646, 654, 663 pattern toolpath • 689 Split Solids on Import • 342 Splitter Bar • 1090 Splitter blade • 755 Start and End Point • 378 Start and End Radius • 673, 689 Start Angle and End Angle • 673 Status Bar • 1093 Steep • 591, 594, 595, 596, 597 Step Simulation • 1044 Stepdown • 492 area clearance • 492 area clearance strategy • 489 maintain constant • 492 Stepover • 488, 582, 646, 654, 658, 663 maintain constant • 512 Stitch Corner Toolpath • 597 Stock Z Position • 1101 Stock Datum • 1106 Stock Details • 1101

Stock Dimensions • 1102 Stock Material • 1101, 1102 Stock Model • 234 add • 79 context menu • 234 Rest Boundary • 975, 983 Stock Model Rest Boundary Example • 984 Strategy area clearance • 481 finishing • 574 Subscribe to the PowerMILL Newsletter • 346 Surface Surface finishing • 692, 944 Surface modelling • 233 Surface projection finishing • 668, 692 Smoothing • 692

1156 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Surface Defaults Thickness • 466 Surface finishing • 692, 944 Surface Joining Tolerance • 644, 709 Surface modelling • 233 Surface projection finishing • 668, 692 pattern limits • 668 Smoothing • 692 Surface Thickness • 454 Survey Mode • 1106 Automatic • 1106 Manual • 1106 Swarf machining • 696, 715 patterns • 715 preview • 715 wireframe • 715

T
Tapping • 782 rigid • 782 TDU • 407 Template create toolpath • 324 insert • 307 save template objects • 281 Text block • 29 NC Programs • 29 Thickness boundary • 1010 Finishing Allowance • 1101 surface • 454, 466 variable • 1010 Thickness Shade • 845 Tilt tool axis • 430 Toggle to and from Simulation • 1041, 1081, 1082 Tolerance and keep arcs • 448 Tolerance and replace arcs • 448 Tolerances • 485, 780 axis calculation • 709 closure • 334 degouge • 644, 709

drawing • 338 model import • 334 options • 334 polygonisation • 334 spiral pattern • 689 surface joining • 644, 709 Tool • 485 automatic loading of feed rates • 335 Ball nosed tool • 944 core radius • 558 create form tool • 898, 900 create form tool, shank and holder • 903 customise paths • 321 Cut Back • 1111 Database • 910 display • 119 drilling methods • 816 fixed angle • 415 form • 869, 898, 900, 903 from line • 418 from point • 418 lead angle • 415 lead/lean angle • 415 lean angle • 415 Length definitions • 864 options • 333 release licences • 326 request licences • 327 restrictions in creating form tools • 902 Routing Tools • 872 shaded • 122 Tool clearance • 430, 432 Tool Menu • 110 Tool Object Menu • 122 towards line • 418 towards point • 418 user defined • 869, 898, 900, 903 view • 122 Tool axis • 411, 412, 485, 509 axis calculation tolerance • 709 Continuously Changing • 418

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1157

definition • 411 Editing • 939, 942, 944, 949, 958, 961 Select regions • 939

fixed direction • 412, 422 from line • 412 from point • 412 Lead/lean • 412 Tool Axis Collision Avoidance • 430 Tool Axis Tilt • 430 toward line • 412 toward point • 412 vertical • 412 Tool Catalogues • 1102 display tools • 119 Tool Cutting Data • 880 Tool database • 336, 906 Tool Echo Commands • 318 Tool Filter Style • 321 Tool from Catalogue • 114 Tool Holder creation • 893 Tool Limits example • 424 Tool Load • 514, 520 Tool Menu • 110, 318 Tool Object Menu • 122 Tool Reset Forms • 319 Tool Shank creation • 889 Tool Snap Filter • 320 Tool Snapping • 320 Tool Start and End Point • 378 Tool Tip • 866 Tool Toolbar • 859 Tool view • 122, 1081 down axis • 122 from side • 122, 292 set rotation anchor • 122 Toolbars • See Toolbar Boundary Toolbar • 969 Pattern toolbar • 159 Simulation Play Toolbar • 1044, 1081, 1082, 1086 Simulation toolbar • 1073 Tool toolbar Database • 910

1158 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

ViewMill toolbar • 1063, 1066 web • 1094 Web Toolbar • 1094 Toolpath 2.5D machining • 560 3D offset • 585 along corner • 591, 594 appending • 107 area clearance • 481 attaching tools • 82 Batch • 1114 Blade finishing • 763 Blisk area clearance • 755 Blisk machining • 745 buttons • 484, 580, 779 constant Z • 587 constant Z optimised • 619 convert one way to zig zag • 963 copy • 919 create • 825 curve projection • 646 divide by an angle • 79, 913, 932 divide by direction • 79, 913, 933 divide by length • 79, 913, 935 divide by retract • 937 divide by time • 79, 913, 936 drag and drop • 21 Drilling • 509, 775 embedded curve finishing • 605, 611 embedded pattern finishing • 601 expert drilling • 788 finishing • 572 flat machining • 552 Generate • 1114, 1116 Hub finishing • 766 insert • 307 limited recalculation • 961 line projection • 654 mirror • 79, 913, 919 move • 79, 913, 919 move start points • 79, 913, 938 name • 485 new • 467, 776

offset flat machining • 618 one way • 963 options • 335 pattern • 627 pencil • 596 placing multiple toolpaths into an NC Program • 21 plane projection • 658 plunge milling • 558, 720 Point Distribution • 448 point projection • 663 profile • 635 radial pattern • 673 raise dialog • 335 raster • 675 raster flat machining • 683 reorder • 963 rotary • 686 rotate • 79, 913, 919 select • 335 Simulation • 864 spiral pattern • 689 stitch corner • 597 Surface finishing • 692, 944 surface projection • 668, 692 swarf • 696, 715 Toolpath Divide • 931 Toolpath Leads and Links • 382 Toolpath Lift • 95 Toolpath Limit boundary • 79 plane • 79 polygon • 79 Toolpath Order 2.5D feature • 541 along Y • 536 along Y two way • 538 radial • 540 sorting • 526, 528, 530, 532, 533, 535 Toolpath Sorting • 526, 528, 530, 532, 533, 535, 536, 538, 541 2.5D feature • 541

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1159

along Y • 536 along Y two way • 538 radial • 540 Toolpath Specification • 585 Toolpath Strategies • 467 favourites • 477 Toolpath strategy buttons • 944 Toolpath Template create • 324 transform to Global Coordinates • 919 transform to workplane • 919 Transform Toolpath • 79 mirror • 79 move • 79 rotate • 79

update region • 961 updating a toolpath when a model changes • 75 zig zag • 963 Toolpath Axes draw • 913 Toolpath Contact Normals draw • 913 Toolpath Editing Enhancements lift • 95 Toolpath Feeds draw • 913 Toolpath Leads draw • 913 Toolpath Leads and Links • 382 Toolpath Lift • 95 Toolpath Limit boundary • 79, 913, 925 plane • 79, 913, 925 polygon • 79, 913, 925 Toolpath Limit To Boundary • 929 Toolpath Limit To Plane • 927 Toolpath Limit To Polygon • 928 Toolpath Links draw • 913 Toolpath Menu • 68 add to stock model • 79 colour • 79 NC program toolpath • 34 Toolpath Object Menu • 79 Toolpath Options automatic loading of feed rates • 335 head clearance • 335 Toolpath points draw • 913 Toolpath Recalculation • 961 Toolpath Sequence • 1113 Toolpath Template create • 324 Toolpath Verification • 826 Toolpaths and Tools • 1110 Tools and Toolpaths • 1110 Tools Required • 1111

1160 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Tooltips • 9 Toward Line Tool Axis • 412 Toward Point Tool Axis • 412 Towards Line • 418 Towards Point • 418 Transform • 6 draw • 315 Transform Toolpath • 79, 913, 919 copy • 79, 919 mirror • 79, 913, 919 move • 79, 913, 919 rotate • 79, 913, 919 Transform Toolpath to Global Coordinates • 919 Transform Toolpath to Workplane • 919 Translation data translation services • 347 Translucency • 219 Tree Browser • 13 Triangle Length • 334

U
Undo last transform • 204 Undraw All • 317 Up/Down Axis (TDU) smoothing • 709 Updates • 346 Updating Toolpaths when a Model Changes • 75 User Defined Boundary • 997 User Defined Colour • 328 User Defined Drill • 782 User Defined Tools • 869, 898, 900 User Defined Tools Shanks and Holders • 903 User Forum • 347

V
Variable Feed Rates • 100 Variable Thickness • 486, 1010

Variables • 66 Verification toolpath • 826 Vertical • 658 Vertical Tool Axis • 412 View • 845 from • 291 isometric • 292, 845 options • 338 spin • 338 View Along • 291, 845 View Manipulation • 846 View Menu • 289 View Manipulation • 846 View of Simulation • 1086 Floor view • 1070 Model view • 1070, 1081 Tool View • 1081 Viewing Models block • 845 draft angle shade • 845 isometric • 292, 845 last view • 845 minimum radius shade • 845 multi colour shade • 845 previous • 845 refresh • 294 resize to fit • 289, 845 shade • 317, 845 thickness shade • 845 view along • 291, 845 wireframe • 317, 845 zoom • 845 zoom in • 845 zoom out • 845 zoom to box • 290, 845 Viewing Toolbars • 295 ViewMill • 2, 830 ViewMill toolbar • 1063, 1066 Visit the User Forum • 347

W

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference

Index • 1161

Web Toolbar • 1094 What's New help • 345 Winding Up • 686 Window command • 1090 graphics • 6 Wireframe • 310, 317, 845 draw • 317 swarf • 715 swarf preview • 715 Wireframe Modelling Routing Tools • 872 Workplane • 200, 204 Undo last transform • 204 Workplane Construction from Current Machine Tool Position • 1047 Workplane Menu • 200 Workplane Object Menu • 206

Zoom to Box • 290, 845

Y
Y Offset • 686

Z
Z Height append all • 492 append bottom • 492 append top • 492 area clearance • 492 delete all • 492 delete bottom • 492 delete top • 492 find common • 492 Z Position of the Stock • 1101 Zag Angle • 407, 510 Zig Angle • 407, 510 Zig Zag Toolpath • 963 Zoom • 845 Zoom In • 845 Zoom Out • 845

1162 • Index

PowerMILL 8.0 Reference