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ArtCAM

User Group 2004

Advanced 2D Machining
Introduction
This document details the demonstration from the 2004 User Group to show multiple 2D
machining strategies and how to get the most out of ArtCAM and ArtCAM Insignia using 2D
machining strategies.

Matrix Multiplate demonstration 1


In this demonstration the following 2D 2.5D machining strategies will be covered:

Smart Engraving
V-Carving
Machine Along a Vector
Profile cut out using Bridges
Matrix Multiplate with Toolpath information
This demonstration shows the Matrix Multiplate tool creating multiple address plates using
multiple toolpaths. The toolpaths will be applied to the default number plate vectors which
have been already created. The Matrix Multiplate tool will program and calculate any
selected toolpath you are using for the Matrix Multiplate and batch calculate the toolpaths for
each created plate.
For this example the ArtCAM file is set up for us. We need to apply toolpaths to the artwork
in order for the toolpath files to cut the parts. These parts will be cut out of a 1.0 sheet of
Oak.

Open the file Multiplate.art


The vector information was designed using ArtCAM and Vector Art. You will be applying
toolpaths to the vectors and saving the applied toolpaths as toolpath templates in this
example.

Zoom into the Vector data on the bottom left corner of the white model area
(CTRL-Right Mouse).
First select the text, {{No.}} and {{Name}} vectors by holding the Shift Key
and clicking on the vector text.
Navigate over to the bottom left corner of the ArtCAM window click on the
Toolpath tab to activate the toolpath window.

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The first toolpath we are going to machine is going to be the Engraving


feature.
The Engraving toolpath strategy allows you create a toolpath that engraves the vector text or
object that you have selected. Multiple tools can be used for the Engraving tool clearance
strategy. You also have the option to select a separate cutting strategy for each tool listed in
the Engraving toolpath.

Click on the Engraving toolpath Icon


to open the Engraving toolpath
window.
The Start Depth will be 0, the Finish Depth will be 0.1, and the Tolerance
is going to set at 0.0005.
Set the Machine Safe Z to 0.02.
Click on the Select button to bring up the Tool Database and choose a
0.13 Flat Conical Engraving Bit from the Wax (Jewellery) group of tools.
Extend the 0.13 Flat Conical tool window in order to edit the tool
parameters, click the (pull down) button.
o
Feed Rate = 45 inch/min
o
Plunge Rate = 20 inch/min
o
Spindle Speed = 19000 rpm
o
Tool Number = 1
Make sure you have the Do Corner Sharpening option checked.
A roughing tool will be used with the Engraving toolpath, this will clear away most of the
material to allow for the Engraving tool to only cut the areas the roughing tool couldnt get
into.

Click on the Select button located in the Roughing Tool section of the
Engraving toolpath window.
Choose a 1/32 End Mill for the Roughing Tool.
Extend the End Mill 1/32 Inch window to show the tool parameters.
Insert the following values:
o
Stepdown = 0.05 inch/min
o
Feed Rate = 125 inch/min
o
Spindle Speed = 19000 rpm
o
Tool Number = 2
Change the, the Inches/minute.
Check the Offset Toolpath Clearance Strategy check box, with a
Conventional Cut Direction.
This toolpath will be Offset for the Engraving tool, in this case check the
Offset for Engraving tool check box.
In the Material Setup window you will find the options for setting the X, Y, and Z zero
positions and the option to change the thickness of the material is available in this window.

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Click on the Setup button to open the Material Setup Window.


Make sure the Material thickness is set to 1, the XY zero is set to the
bottom left corner, and the Z zero is set to the top of the block.
Click OK to accept.
Click Now to calculate the Engraving toolpath.
Close the Engraving toolpath window.
To simulate and see what this toolpath will look like finished, ArtCAM has the option to view
the toolpath simulation. This will automatically change the ArtCAM view from 2D to 3D.
ArtCAM will show a representation of what the finished part will look like if we were to
machine it on a CNC router.

Navigate to the bottom of the Toolpath window to find the Toolpath


Simulation area.
Click on the second Icon listed
Simulate Toolpath Fast option to
simulate the Engraving toolpath.
Toggle back to the 2D View by clicking the 2D button located at the top
left corner of the 3D View window.
The next toolpath for this number plate will be a V-Carved toolpath for the Vectors on the left
side of the design. The V-Bit Carving toolpaths allow designs to be quickly machined using a
V-Shaped or Ball Nose tool. The centre of the tool follows the centre of the selected vectors
and the depth of the cut is determined by the width of the selected vectors.

Select the tree vectors by zooming into the vector data in the White Model
Area by window selecting the vectors with the mouse or by holding down
the Shift Key and clicking on each vector.
Choose the
V-Bit Carving toolpath strategy from the 2D Toolpath
area.
Click on the Select button to open the Tool Database.
Select a V-Bit 1.25 Inch 90 degree tool from the V-Carving tool list.
Extend the 90 degree V-Bit tool parameter window to edit the
parameters.
Insert the following values:
o
Feed Rate = 200
o
Plunge Rate = 40
o
Spindle Speed = 18000 rpm
o
Tool Number = 3.
Next click on the Centreline button to calculate the Maximum depth and
width of the toolpath.
ArtCAM will calculate the Max depth of the toolpath as well as the Max Width of the
toolpath once the vectors are selected to machine and the centreline button is checked.

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The Material Setup will keep the values once set.


Click Now to calculate the V-Bit Carving toolpath.
Close the V-Bit Carving toolpath.
To see a simulation of what the finished V-Bit toolpath with look like, a toolpath simulation
will must be calculated.

Manoeuvre over to the Toolpath Simulation area and click the


Simulate Toolpath Fast option to view how the V-Bit Carving toolpath will
look.
To see a more detailed toolpath simulation ArtCAM now has the option to simulate the
toolpath within a selected vector. ArtCAM will use all the pixels from the 3D view and
simulate the toolpath within the selected vector.

Click on the 2D View button to return to the 2D View.


Select the Assistant tab on the bottom left corner of the ArtCAM screen.
In the Vector Creation area located in the left assistant window, choose
the
Create Rectangle tool.
Move your cursor over to the vector data and draw a rectangle overtop of the artwork as
shown below.

Click and hold the right mouse button when the cursor is in the desired
location and drag the mouse to the opposite side of the artwork to create
the Rectangle Vector.
Select the Create button on the Rectangle Creation window and Close
the window.
Click on the Toolpath tab on the bottom left corner of the ArtCAM window.
Make sure the Vector in the 2D view is selected.
Check the Inside Vector box located in the Vector Simulation area.

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Delete the previously simulated toolpath by selecting


To simulate all toolpaths choose the

Delete Toolpath.

Simulate All Toolpaths option.

When the toolpath simulation is finished calculating, all the detail from the whole 3D view
has been applied to the simulation within the selected vector.
The next step in creating the number plates is to machine along a vector around the inside
oval vector with a V-Bit tool to create a V-Carved border around the sign. The Machine
Along a Vector toolpath simply places the centre of the tool directly on top of the selected
vector to the specified depth without any tool compensation.

Click on the 2D View button to head back to the 2D view.


Select the inner Oval Vector of the artwork.
On the Toolpath window in the 2D Toolpath area choose
Machine
Along Vector toolpath strategy.
The Finish Depth will be 0.075.
The Profiling Tool for this toolpath will be a V-Bit 1.25 Inch 110 degree
bit. Click on Select to choose this tool.
Extend the 110 degree V-Bit tool parameter window to edit the tool
parameters.
o
Feed Rate = 200 inch/min
o
Plunge Rate = 45 inch/min
o
Spindle Speed = 18000 inch/min
o
Tool Number = 4
Select Now to calculate this toolpath.
Close the Machine Along Vector toolpath strategy.
Simulate the Machine Along Vector toolpath at this point to view the simulated toolpath.

Click

Simulate Toolpath Fast.

To finish the toolpaths for the number plates we can apply a Profile toolpath to the outside
oval vector to cut out the parts. Profile toolpath strategies will create a toolpath either on the
inside or outside of the selected vectors.

Click on the 2D View button to head back to the 2D view.


Select the outer Oval Vector of the artwork.

In the Toolpath window choose the


Profiling toolpath strategy.
Select Outside for the Profile Side.
The Finish Depth will be 1.0.
Click in the Select button to open the Tool Database and choose a
End Mill from the tool list.
Extend the End Mill tool parameters window to edit the parameters.

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o
Feed Rate = 300 inch/min
o
Plunge Rate = 45 inch/min
o
Spindle Speed = 18000 rpm
o
Tool Number = 5
Click Now to calculate the Profile toolpath.
Close the Profile toolpath window.
Navigate to the Toolpath window and simulate the Profile toolpath using
the

Simulate Toolpath Fast tool.

The toolpaths have now been created and ready to send through the Matrix Multiplate tool.
All toolpath information will be applied to each of the created number plates.

Click on the 2D View button to head back to the 2D view.


Delete the Rectangle Vector from the 2D View.
Select the Assistant tab on the bottom left corner of the ArtCAM screen.
Box select the all the vectors and toolpaths in the design.
From under the File section of the Assistant Window select the Matrix

Multiplate icon
.
Click Load Data
Select Addresses.csv and hit Open
Check Comma
Start import at row 1
Check First row is column headers
Click OK

These parameters are dependant on the format of the file, use the preview window to see how
this will divide and import the data. Note the headings for the columns are House for the
house number and Name for the family name. The Width of the Sheet is defined as
2400mm (approx 96 inches) by 1200mm (approx 48 inches). You should see that the Number
of Plates is defined as 25, this shows how many sets of records there were in the file.

Enter First Plate Position 1 (this is the order of the first plate, not an
absolute position).
Plate Gap in X = 0.75
Plate Gap in Y = 0.75
X Sheet Boundary = 1.0
Y Sheet Boundary = 1.0
Click the Green arrow button at the bottom of the menu.
The sheet will be previewed, if there are too many parts to fit onto one sheet then you can
preview each sheet to see the positions of the parts. The text surrounded by curly brackets in
the selection has been used to fill the menu under the Variables Section. You will see No.
and NAME displayed in the menu. These need to be associated with variables from the csv
file.
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Click on the arrow next to No.


Select House from the drop down list
Click on the arrow next to NAME
Select Name from the drop down list
Click on the 1 in the bottom left corner of the Preview for Sheet
In the Plate Values area the values for record 1 will be shown, change the
No. value to 125 (this was a typo in the original records)
Hit Update, this will alter the information held by ArtCAM and will be used
when the part is built
Hit Create Plates

The design will be duplicated 25 times filling each one with a different record from the
spreadsheet file. Each individual piece of the design is grouped throughout all 25. If you
select the name Aberdeen from the lower left, you will see all the names are grouped together.
Next the toolpaths need to be calculated. Under the Create Plates area in the Multiplate
window Create Toolpaths is now available to select to calculate all of the toolpaths which
have been applies to the template. Simply clicking the Create Toolpaths will apply a toolpath
over the all of the 25 number plates created remembering how the toolpaths have been set up
on the template.

Click Create Toolpaths to calculate the toolpaths for the 25 number plates.
ArtCAM will run a series of batch toolpath calculations at this point. Depending on the PC
this may take a couple of minutes.
Once finished, the calculated toolpaths will be listed at the top of the Toolpath window.

Select the Engraving 1 toolpath by clicking once on Engraving 1 (the


toolpath should highlight blue when selected).
Move down to the Toolpath Simulation area and uncheck Inside Vector.

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Delete the previously simulated toolpath by selecting


Click on

Delete Toolpath.

Simulate Toolpath Fast.

The toolpath simulation should show the Engraving toolpaths applied to all of the number
plates.

Go back to the Toolpath list and select V-Bit Carving 1 by clicking once on
the toolpath.
Simulate Toolpath Fast.
Next select the Machine Vector 1 toolpath.
Simulate Toolpath Fast.
Click on the Profile 1 toolpath.
Simulate Toolpath Fast.
All toolpaths should be shown simulated at this point in the 3D view. If more detail is
desired to see one of the 25 number plates a vector can be drawn on the white model area and
a simulation Inside a Vector can be applied.
At this point the toolpaths are ready to be sent to the CNC machine to begin carving.

In the Toolpath Operations area of the Toolpath window, click on the first
icon
Save Toolpaths.
Using the arrows, move the toolpaths from the Calculated toolpath list
over to the Toolpaths to save to a single file.
If the machine being used does not have a tool changer you will need to save each of the
toolpaths out as a single toolpath file. Select the CNC machine from the Machine output file
list to save the machine code for a specific machine.

Select a CNC Router from the Machine Output File list and click Save.
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