Problem Cut a slot in Path Pilot - Zero radius arc

# Thread: Cut a slot in Path Pilot - Zero radius arc

1. ## Cut a slot in Path Pilot - Zero radius arc

A colleague was trying to cut a simple slot in path pilot. He programmed it as a pocket with the width equal to the diameter of the tool, and the corner radius equal to the radius of the tool. His thinking was it would just go back and forth while increasing depth. It gave an error, however, that there was a zero-radius arc. I'm not certain, but I think it was trying to do an arc for the corner, even though it didn't really need to. We got it to work by making the width and corner radius slightly larger than the tool.

So, two questions:

- why doesn't PP realize that no radius is needed and skip the arc command when generating gcode?

- is there a better way to cut a slot, just a straight line line a keyslot? Are we missing something very basic?

2. ## Re: Cut a slot in Path Pilot - Zero radius arc

In general cutting a slot whose width is equal to the cutter diameter provides poor surface finish. One side of the slot is being climb milled while the other side is using conventional milling.

3. ## Re: Cut a slot in Path Pilot - Zero radius arc

A pocket the width of the cutter does not allow the software enough tolerance (clearance) to make the corner moves for direction change as you've already noticed. One possible way around this is to "fool" the software by temporarily setting the cutter diameter to (say) 0.001 mm smaller (or the slot 0.001 mm wider). This value may also depend on the master tolerance settings in the software.

You could program the same cut just using a center line (contour) from point A to point B. As mentioned above, one side will be climb and the other side conventional.

Another option would be to actually use a smaller diameter cutter and set the path directions to give the best finish.

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