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MetLHead
02-19-2009, 08:00 PM
Hi all,

Sorry for the noob question, I don't have any experience with Surfcam but I've got this project I'm trying to finish.

The application is currently being done with an old DOS version of Surfcam and I'm trying to upgrade everything to Velocity 4. So I was handed all of the DOS files and turned loose on it. Basically what happens is this:
1. A domed surface is created from some imported data. The surface is up to 3 inches in diameter and is raised about 0.030" in the center.
2. A spiral toolpath in an external .INC file is then loaded and projected onto the domed surface.
3. The projected toolpath is then posted to G-Code.

The .INC files from the DOS version will load into Velocity 4 just fine and I can go through this whole process using these files, but for the life of me I can't figure out how these file were created. I also couldn't figure out how the spiral toolpath was created, it's just a flat spiral starting at a radius of about 0.2" and stepping over about 0.010" out to the 1.5" radius. Velocity 4 doesn't seem to have a way to create a toolpath this way.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Scott

Death Adder
02-20-2009, 10:47 AM
The .INC files from the DOS version will load into Velocity 4 just fine and I can go through this whole process using these files, but for the life of me I can't figure out how these file were created. I also couldn't figure out how the spiral toolpath was created, it's just a flat spiral starting at a radius of about 0.2" and stepping over about 0.010" out to the 1.5" radius. Velocity 4 doesn't seem to have a way to create a toolpath this way.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Scott

When you post a path in SurfCAM it is first output as a .INC file and then post processed into the real toolpath. If you look at the directory where posted paths are you should see both files for each path.

As for creating a path like what you had, you would use 3D offset. If it starts at the outside then you can select "Reverse Direction" from the Leads/Links tab. For the type of path you want you would put in .01 for the stepover. It should create a nice spiralling path like what you want. You shouldn't need to bother with this loading in an INC business anymore. Just directly use 3D offset.

MetLHead
02-20-2009, 12:20 PM
OK, I can see the .INC files from the toolpaths that I'm saving. And it sounds like the 3D offset toolpath is what I need, but I can't get it to work. I created a simple flat surface, but when I try to create a 3D offset toolpath on it, Surfcam gives me an error. :confused:

Thanks,
Scott

Death Adder
02-20-2009, 01:44 PM
OK, I can see the .INC files from the toolpaths that I'm saving. And it sounds like the 3D offset toolpath is what I need, but I can't get it to work. I created a simple flat surface, but when I try to create a 3D offset toolpath on it, Surfcam gives me an error. :confused:

Thanks,
Scott

Now you see that the answer to the question "what happens if you let 1,000,000 monkeys loose with a keyboard" is: "They write surfcam"

I used to get a lot of strange errors too but then I turned off "Fit arcs" in "3 Axis Options" and things improved. Now it still refuses to calculate some paths on some models but at least I don't actually get errors. I don't think you want to "Remove spikes" either. A lot of stuff isn't quite primetime ready with their new paths yet.

MetLHead
02-20-2009, 04:25 PM
I finally got the 3D offset toolpath to work, but it doesn't seem to give me the type of toolpath that I'm looking for. I'm trying to make a continuous spiral path instead of the circular/stepover path that I'm getting. Is this possible? Is it possible to import geometry from say a DXF file and turn it into a toolpath?

Thanks,
Scott

Charlie Gary
02-21-2009, 11:44 AM
I finally got the 3D offset toolpath to work, but it doesn't seem to give me the type of toolpath that I'm looking for. I'm trying to make a continuous spiral path instead of the circular/stepover path that I'm getting. Is this possible? Is it possible to import geometry from say a DXF file and turn it into a toolpath?

Thanks,
Scott

Something like this probably needs a few steps to create. For a continuous spiral, I would begin by drawing a spiral helix. Then I would create 2-d toolpath with the cutter I want. Then that gets projected onto the surface.

MetLHead
02-21-2009, 05:23 PM
Something like this probably needs a few steps to create. For a continuous spiral, I would begin by drawing a spiral helix. Then I would create 2-d toolpath with the cutter I want. Then that gets projected onto the surface.

Thanks Charlie, that worked great! My process ended up being:

Import the ASCII file with my data.
Create a surface through the imported data.
Create a flat spiral above the surface.
Create a 2D contour using the spiral.
3D project the contour onto the surface.

Done!

Thanks for the help guys.

Scott