VisualMILL 6.

0 Getting Started Guide

Tutorial 2: Machining a Slotted Gear

Copyright 1998-2007, MecSoft Corporation, www.mecsoft.com

VisualMILL 6.0 Getting Started Guide

Introduction
This tutorial will introduce the usage of 2 ½ axis profiling and Engraving Machining Operations of VisualMill. We will be using the Gear.vcp part file. It should be noted that, even though the part file contains a 3-D geometry representing the part, we could machine this entirely by using just 2-D curves due to the prismatic nature of this model. The stepped instructions are accompanied by explanatory and introductory text. Reading this text will help you understand the tutorial methodology and provide information about additional options available. However, if you prefer to work straight through the steps without any additional reading, look for the following symbol:

Don’t forget to save your work periodically! You may want to save the file under a different name so that the original file will be preserved.

Strategy to Machine the Slotted Gear
• • We will machine the gear completely using 2 ½ axis-machining operations. We will use the Profiling operation to cut the outer shape of the gear and the Engraving operation to cut the slots. The engraving option is preferred in situations where the cutter can be driven to create a slot that conforms to the shape of the tool trajectory. This is because of the computational efficiency as well as the accuracy of this method. The part itself will be machined out of a 3 inch x 3 inch x ½ inch poplar wood sheet. The wooden sheet will be held to the machine table or the spoil sheet on the table using double-sided tape. The part will be machined using a single ¼ inch flat end mill.

• • •

Main Programming Steps
• • • • • • • • •

In creating programs for each setup, the following steps will be followed: Create the Stock geometry Set the Machine zero point or Locate geometry with respect to the machine coordinates Create / Select the tool used for machining Set the feeds and speeds Set the clearance plane for the non-cutting transfer moves of the cutter Select the machining regions for containing the cutter to specific areas to cut Select the machining operations and set the parameters Generate the toolpath Simulate the toolpath.

You may have to repeat either all or part of these steps for subsequent operations.

Copyright 1998-2007, MecSoft Corporation, www.mecsoft.com

VisualMILL 6.0 Getting Started Guide

Preparing the part for Machining Loading the Part Model

“Part” refers to the geometry that represents the final manufactured product. You can create parts within VisualMILL, but it is more typical to import geometry created in another CAD system. To load a part: 1. Select File / Open from the Menu, or click the Open icon from the Standard bar. 2. From the Open dialog box, select the Gear.vcp file from the Tutorials folder in the VisualMILL 6.0 installation folder. (C:\Program Files\MecSoft Corporation\VisualCAM 1.0\Plug-ins\VisualMILL 6.0\Tutorials) The imported part appears as shown below.

Copyright 1998-2007, MecSoft Corporation, www.mecsoft.com

VisualMILL 6. MecSoft Corporation. Go to the VisualMILL. www. Set the Machine type to 3 axis. Select Machine Setup from the setup tab.mecsoft.com .MOps browser and click on the Setup tab. Copyright 1998-2007.0 Getting Started Guide Setup Tab 1. 2. 3.

0\Posts Copyright 1998-2007.com . www. MecSoft Corporation. 5.0 Getting Started Guide 4.mecsoft. Select Post from the setup tab to specify the post processor options. We will select Haas as the post processor for this exercise.0\Plug-ins\VisualMill 6.VisualMILL 6. Note: By default post processor files are located under C:\Program Files\MecSoft Corporation\VisualCAM 1. Set the current post processor that is on your controller.

Leave the other parameters as default.0 Getting Started Guide The program to send the posted output is set to notepad. Width W = 3. Create Stock Geometry 1.VisualMILL 6. 2.25.00. Select Create/Load stock from the setup tab and create a Box Stock.mecsoft. and Height (H) = 0. Set the Length (L) = 3. This brings up the Box Stock parameters.com . This would output the G code to a notepad.00. Copyright 1998-2007. MecSoft Corporation. and click OK. www.

and a semi-transparent stock box is displayed on top of the part geometry. Copyright 1998-2007. www. 4.VisualMILL 6. MecSoft Corporation.mecsoft.0 Getting Started Guide 3. The stock geometry is now created. Post Processor. and Stock type as show below.com . The setup tab now displays the following information: Machine Type.

Under Set WCS Origin.mecsoft. www.VisualMILL 6. 1. Select Locate WCS from the Setup tab. the Zero Face to Highest Z. This sets the machine home to the top of the stock material and the southwest corner of the part geometry.com . choose Set to Stock Box. MecSoft Corporation. and Zero Position to South West corner. Copyright 1998-2007. 2.0 Getting Started Guide Locate Machine Zero The steps below help you determine the machine home (also know as machine zero or tool touch off point) for the part/stock geometry.

Copyright 1998-2007. www.VisualMILL 6.mecsoft.0 Getting Started Guide Note: You can change the stock model transparency under standard mode by selecting Simulation Preferences that is located at the bottom of the MOps browser.com . MecSoft Corporation.

mecsoft. MecSoft Corporation. Set the tool name as FlatMill-0. www. 2. Go to the VisualMILL-Tools browser that is located below the VisualMILL-MOps browser and select Create/Edit Tools. 1.25.25”) Flat End Mill. Tool Diameter = 0.0 Getting Started Guide Create Tools To machine the above part we will now create a ¼ inch (0. Copyright 1998-2007. set Tool Number = 1.25. Select the Tool Type to Flat End Mill. Under the Properties tab.VisualMILL 6.com .

Switch to the Feeds & Speeds tab inside the create/select tool dialog. The created tools are now listed under the VisualMILL-Tools browser. The tool is now created and listed under Tools in Library.VisualMILL 6. MecSoft Corporation. Use the following settings for feeds and speeds. You can create additional tools by assigning a different name and specify the tool parameters.0 Getting Started Guide Setting Feeds and Speeds You can assign Feeds & Speeds to a tool or you can load from a table. 3.com . 5. 4. Copyright 1998-2007. Note: You can edit the tool properties and click Save Edits to Tool to save the changes. Click OK to close the dialog. In this exercise we will assign feeds and speeds to the tool. www. Click Save as New Tool.mecsoft.

3. 4. The flat area curves are created and displayed on top of the part geometry. 7. Select the top face (surface) of the part geometry. The layer manager is now open. A selection list will display the geometries that can be selected.0 Getting Started Guide Create Regions for Machining In the steps below we will extract regions from the 3D model and create curves for engraving. From the Curves tab on the Geometry Bar to your right. MecSoft Corporation. Turn off stock model visibility from the VisualMILL-MOps browser.mecsoft. Select the Layer Manager from the Standard bar. www. 6. The command bar will now prompt the user to select a flat area to extract the curves. select Single Flat Area Regions.VisualMILL 6.com . 1. 2. Close the Layer Manager. Set Layer 01 as the active layer. 5. Browsing through the selection tree will highlight the surface that corresponds to the selection. Copyright 1998-2007.

11.99 as the radius of the circle and hit the enter key We will now create lines. 9. 12.com . Specify 0.1. Switch to the Top view and create a circle using Center and Radius. Specify 1. MecSoft Corporation.mecsoft.5.VisualMILL 6. Turn on the Mid Point and Quad Point snap from the status bar and turn off the other snaps. Select Circles & Arcs from the Geometry Bar and pick Circle Center & Radius. Copyright 1998-2007.0 Getting Started Guide 8. www. 10.5 as the center coordinates and hit the enter key. which can be selected for engraving the slots on the gear.

0 Getting Started Guide 13. Switch to the Top view and select Lines from the Geometry Bar and pick Create Line. www.com . snap to the center of the arc as shown below.VisualMILL 6. For the first coordinate. A line is now created at the center of the slot. We will now array the line across other slots on the gear.mecsoft. 14. For the second coordinate. snap to the quad point on the circle as show below. 15. Copyright 1998-2007. MecSoft Corporation.

17.mecsoft.com . Copyright 1998-2007.5.5. go to the menu at the top. The lines created and shown below. Y = 1. 18. Z = 0. Angle to Fill = 360. MecSoft Corporation. Rotate about X = 1. and select Transform -> Polar Array.VisualMILL 6.0 Getting Started Guide 16. and Number of Copies = 6. www. Select the Line. Use the following settings.

MecSoft Corporation. Turn on the Stock Model Visibility and save the file.VisualMILL 6.com . www.0 Getting Started Guide We have now created the regions for machining.mecsoft. Copyright 1998-2007.

Switch to the Create Operations tab in VisualMILL-Mops browser. Copyright 1998-2007. 2 ½ Axis Profiling 2.com .5 axis profiling operation. 1. www.5 Axis Mill and choose Profiling. This brings up the 2 ½ Axis Profiling Operations dialog. We will go over the steps for creating the profile operations. Select 2.mecsoft. MecSoft Corporation.0 Getting Started Guide Create Machining Operations In this process we will create a 2.VisualMILL 6.

0 Getting Started Guide Select Machining Features/Regions 3. Copyright 1998-2007. Now select the inner circle first by using the left mouse click and then the outer circle.com . www. MecSoft Corporation. Go to the Machining Features/ Regions tab and click Select Curves as Regions 4.VisualMILL 6.mecsoft.

www. Right mouse click or select enter from the keypad to complete the selection.com .mecsoft. MecSoft Corporation. 6. Copyright 1998-2007.0 Getting Started Guide 5. The selected regions are now displayed under Machining Regions.VisualMILL 6.

Switch to the Tools tab inside the 2 ½ Axis Profiling operation.0 Getting Started Guide Selecting the Tool 7. www. and the Tool parameters are displayed to the right of the Tools window.mecsoft. The 0.com . Copyright 1998-2007.VisualMILL 6. Select the FlatMill-0. 8. MecSoft Corporation.25” Flat End mill is now selected as the active tool.25.

0 Getting Started Guide Set Feeds and Speeds 9. 10. Select Load From Tool. Click on the Feeds and Speeds tab.mecsoft.VisualMILL 6. VisualMILL will now get the feeds and speeds information that was set when the tool was defined.com . Copyright 1998-2007. MecSoft Corporation. www.

VisualMILL will determine a safe Z height for the Entry & Exit when set to automatic. Set the Clearance Plane Definition to Automatic and Cut Transfer Method to Clearance Plane. www. Setting Cut Transfer to Clearance Plane would apply the automatic Z clearance between transfers when the tool moves from a machining region to another.VisualMILL 6.mecsoft. Copyright 1998-2007. MecSoft Corporation.com . 12. Switch to Clearance Tab.0 Getting Started Guide Clearance Control 11.

Set the Stock = 0. 14. Copyright 1998-2007.mecsoft.VisualMILL 6. cut start Side as Right.com . www.0 Getting Started Guide Specifying Cut Parameters 13. Switch to Cut Parameters tab. MecSoft Corporation.

Make sure the cut level ordering is set to Depth First.0 Getting Started Guide 15. Rough Depth/Cut = 0. www. This would profile the inner circle and then the outer profile. MecSoft Corporation.125. Copyright 1998-2007. Select the Cut Levels Tab and specify the Total Cut Depth = 0.mecsoft.25.VisualMILL 6.125”. This would cut the profile in 2 cuts of each 0.com .

www. Switch to Entry/Exit Tab. and Set the Entry and Exit Type to None.com .mecsoft.VisualMILL 6. MecSoft Corporation. Copyright 1998-2007.0 Getting Started Guide Entry/Exit 16.

The 2½ Axis Profile toolpath is now generated. Copyright 1998-2007. Toolpath display can be turned on/off by selecting Toolpath Visibility under the MOps browser. MecSoft Corporation.VisualMILL 6. Click Generate.0 Getting Started Guide 17. and the Operation is listed under the VisualMILL-MOps browser.mecsoft.com . www.

com . www.mecsoft.VisualMILL 6. Select the 2 ½ Axis Profiling Operation and click to Simulate. Copyright 1998-2007. 2. MecSoft Corporation. Switch to the Simulate tab in the VisualMILL-MOps browser. 1.0 Getting Started Guide Simulate Toolpath The generated toolpath can now be simulated.

com .0 Getting Started Guide 3. MecSoft Corporation. Copyright 1998-2007. www. Note: You can adjust the simulation speed by selecting Simulation Preferences that is located to the bottom right corner of the VisualMILL-MOps browser.mecsoft. The simulated part is as shown below.VisualMILL 6.

MecSoft Corporation. Creating an Engraving Operation Now we will use engraving operation to cut the slots of the gear by driving the 0. Copyright 1998-2007. pause the Simulation. This switches back to the Create Operations tab.mecsoft. As already mentioned.com . Switch to the Create Operation tab. the most efficient way of machining slots is to use the Engraving option and drive the cutter along the center of the slot.0 Getting Started Guide To exit the Simulation mode. and click Exit Simulation. Select Engraving from the 2 ½ Axis operations menu. 2. 1. www.25 inch tool in the slot.VisualMILL 6.

Copyright 1998-2007. MecSoft Corporation.0 Getting Started Guide Select Machining Regions 3. 4. Now click on Select Curves as Regions and select the 6 lines on the slotted gear as shown below. Under Machining Features/ Regions click on Remove All to deselect any regions that could have been selected from the previous machining operation. www.com .VisualMILL 6.mecsoft.

and Rough Depth/Cut = 0. set the Total Cut Depth = 0.25. Under Cut Depth Control.125.mecsoft. Specify Engraving Cut Parameters 10.25. Copyright 1998-2007. Switch to Cut Parameters tab.com . MecSoft Corporation. 8. select Load from Tool. Rough Depth = 0. 6. Set the Clearance control to Automatic.0 Getting Started Guide 5.VisualMILL 6. 9.25 as the active tool. Under Feeds/Speeds. Right mouse click to complete the selection. The 6 selected regions are listed under the Machining Features/Regions Select Tool 7. Switch to Tools tab and select FlatMill-0. www.

VisualMILL 6. The Engraving Operation is now created and is listed in the MOps Browser. Copyright 1998-2007.mecsoft. www. MecSoft Corporation.0 Getting Started Guide 11.com . Click Generate to Create the Engraving Toolpath. 12.

mecsoft.com .0 Getting Started Guide Copyright 1998-2007. www.VisualMILL 6. MecSoft Corporation.

Switch to Simulate Tab.com .VisualMILL 6. www. MecSoft Corporation. select Engraving.mecsoft.0 Getting Started Guide Simulate Toolpath 13. Copyright 1998-2007. and click to simulate toolpath.

nc and click Save. www.com . Copyright 1998-2007.VisualMILL 6. and select post process.0 Getting Started Guide Post Processing 5. Specify the File Name as Gear. 6.mecsoft. right click. Select Machining Operations from the Create Operations tab. MecSoft Corporation.

mecsoft. You can change the post processor by selecting a different one from the drop down menu in the list. The posted g code by default will be saved to the folder where the part file is located. End of Tutorial 2! Copyright 1998-2007.com . MecSoft Corporation.0 Getting Started Guide The post by default is set to Haas as specified under the Post processor setup.VisualMILL 6. www.

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