Friday, August 5, 2011

Why Use Dynamic Contour Toolpaths?

New in Mastercam X5, Dynamic Contour uses an intelligent, efficient high speed contouring strategy to remove material along walls. The Dynamic Contour toolpath supports multiple passes and can optionally include finishing passes. This quick tutorial introduces you to this new toolpath and its benefits.
  1. From the Mastercam menu, choose File, Open.
  2. Go to  ..\Documentation\ExampleParts  and select DYNAMIC_CONTOUR.MCX-5.
  3. From the Mastercam menu, choose Toolpaths, 2D High Speed.
  4. Select the top orange curve as the toolpath chain. Make sure that your chain points in a clockwise direction.
  5. Click OK on the Chaining dialog box to complete the chain.
  6. Select the Dynamic Contour toolpath type.
  7. On the Tool page, click the Select library tool button and select the 6mm flat endmill from the tool library.
  8. Click OK on the Tool Selection dialog box to return to the toolpath parameters.
  9. On the Cut Parameters page, make the following adjustments:
    • Set the Stepover to 1.0mm to control the distance between cutting passes in the X and Y axes.
    • Set the Toolpath radius to 10% reduce sharp corner motion between the cut passes. This parameter controls the size of the arc on and off each pass.
    • For the Gap size parameter, select Distance and enter 200.0mm. If the distance from the end of one pass to the start of the next pass is less than this distance, Mastercam does not create a retract move as defined on the Linking parameters page.
    • Set the Micro lift distance to 0.5mm. This is the distance the tool lifts off the part on back moves to help clear chips and minimize excessive tool heating.
    • For the Motion>Gap size, retract parameter, select When exceeding a distance from the drop-down list. This option adds retracts when the next cut pass begins at a distance that is greater than the gap size.
    • Set the Stock to leave on floors to 0.5mm to leave material for a future finish toolpath.
  10. On the Contour Wall page, make the following adjustments:
    • For Radius of tool that shaped the stock, enter 15.0mm. This parameter uses the tool radius from a previous operation to better define the shape of the stock removed by the dynamic contour toolpath.
    • For Stock thickness, enter 3.0mm. This sets the amount of stock in XY that the toolpath removes.
  11. On the Depth Cuts page, deselect the Depth cuts check box to turn this option off.
  12. On the Linking Parameters page, enter -9.525 for the depth.
  13. Click OK to complete the toolpath.
  14. Press [F1] and draw a zoom window around the toolpath on the right side of the part to see it in closer detail. The consistent tool motion ensures you do not overload your tool when machining just the walls of the part.
For more information on this and other great features in Mastercam X5, please contact your local Mastercam reseller.