I recently got to work on a job that was too big for my HAAS VF4, but I soon got around this with a 4th axis that i put flat on the table so that it rotates on the Z axis. Because the job is a big round ring I could program it by hand using only the A, X and Z axis, leaving the Y axis out because the job would crash into the machine.
This went well for a while until I opened up a new drawing the engineer gave me. It wasn't round any more...well, almost round except for a few places along the circle where there were simple profiles.
Now I know it is still possible to cut it using only the AXZ axis, the problem is I can't program it by hand, it's gonna be way too complicated for the limited amount of time I have.
After trying long and hard on CAMworks, I couldn't get anything done, using 4 axis machining turns the cutter to cut perpendicular to the surface I'm cutting. All I want is to cut a contour without using Y axis. I tried MasterCam too, no go there also. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who ever wanted to cut in this way, so that means I must be missing something...Could anyone help?