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Automated Low Poly 3+2 5-axis Machining

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Automated Low Poly 3+2 5-axis Machining


Greetings Fusion Forums,


My team and I are machining a low polygon owl for a public art piece. Attached is the sample piece (the owl face) that we have been doing tests on.Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 11.18.45 AM.png



Because it’s a low poly design we can use a flat end mill and 3D pockets to perfectly mill 90% of the faces. There are a few inverted pyramids where some finishing ball nose work needs to happen. (image 2,3,4,5)



Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.46.16 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.46.30 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.46.43 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.47.10 AM.png


We could ball nose the whole thing, but wanted to investigate the possibility of doing the majority of the work with a flat end mill as the finish will be much better, and the machine time is cut in half.

However, even though this is a low poly design, there are still hundreds of faces (in the final design +5k). The 3D pockets have been working great in CAM but we have to manually set each one up. 
Each 3D pocket is fairly similar, which is why I think this could be done with a script or add-in.


In a world where we could write scripts and add-ins...this is what the script would need to do :


  1. Identify all the faces on the model (or in a user selection)
  2. Make a separate cam operation for each face
    1. In the cam operation set tool containment as 'tool outside boundary'
    2. In heights, the bottom hight bottom reference is the current face
    3. In geometry, set Z-axis as the current face plane
    4. In geometry, set the borders of the current face as the 'machine boundary selection chain'
  3. Chain it all together for one big path


Can anyone write this script?

Does anyone have suggestions for next steps pursuing this goal?


From what I've looked at with the API this may not be possible yet, but I thought I'd start the ball rolling none the less. 

I think this would be a useful addition for anyone trying to do 5 axis stuff.




Dan Sternof Beyer

New American Public Art


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