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Contouring around a badly constructed model - is it possible?

Message 1 of 5
158 Views, 4 Replies

Contouring around a badly constructed model - is it possible?

Hi Everyone,


I'm making an architectural site model from solid wood. they provided the step file, which was made in a billion small bodies and surfaces. I was able to combine SOME of the layers together to get a single solid but not all of them.


This hasn't been a big issue in machining this thing, the tools don't generally seem to care about how many bodies are there.


However, I'm at a step where I want to make a simple contour cut (this is a release cut prior to a glue-up step) and I just can't get the 2d contour tool to behave for me.

What I'd like it to make a cut along the front edge of this model, leaving .3" extra stock. I don't want to cut the sides of the piece (these are done already).


Can anyone provide a clue to this or perhaps an alternate strategy. CAD side solutions are ok, but not preferred, since I'd like to be able to skip that for future parts of this project if possible. I thought about creating a sketch of what I want to cut, but these seems a little silly since Fusions can see every atom of this model already.


Thanks for the help!!




PS Some extra context for the curious: I'm milling these in a bunch of different steps, facing both sides of these slabs, and milling cavities and dowel holes and tabs into them, after which I'm going to glue up 3 slabs at a time and then do the detail work.


I'd like to do a simple contour off the front. To remove a large portion of the material so I can glue sections 5, 6 and 7 together in the rough. Its preferable to have this follow the model so I can keep a close eye on the area where this sensitive joint is going to be.


Attached are the master file and a screenshot of the profile in question.


This question references setup "6a"






Message 2 of 5
in reply to: bspiegelman

There's nothing inherently challenging about this, but the quality of the model is your problem.


See below, it is not possible to select a continuous contour that doesn't gouge the model because of the edges in the 2 highlighted areas.




You need to either clean up the model so that there aren't edges that run under the model, or you need to take the sketch where you've projected those edges, break the projection link, and trim them appropriately.


I work for an architecture school and this sort of thing is very common unfortunately... garbage in, garbage out.


Message 3 of 5
in reply to: matty.fuller

Hi Matty,


Thanks for taking the time to reply (with that bad news). 


I ended up just drawing myself a nice line to do this release cut on.


If I were to put something into the likely copious pile of feature requests for autodesk: 


Lets "smarten up" the contouring toolpath, so it has some model awareness features.


  • Ideally it could handle crappy models like the adaptive tool paths
  • the ability to avoid hold downs like you find in the 3d adaptive, so I don't have to manually program to avoid my clamps.
  • Some kind of "Stock to leave" function

I realize these features may be most useful to folks doing 3d woodworking, so may not have broad application






Message 4 of 5
in reply to: bspiegelman

You can actually achieve everything you just described using the 3D Contour toolpath.


  • Reference in a clearance box around the clamps and avoid them as required, Machining Boundary also helpful.
  • Use Top Height to restrict the trimming cut to just the bottom skin.
  • Stock to Leave is right there.
Message 5 of 5
in reply to: matty.fuller

Amazing! thanks for the followup with GOOD news! I'll try that on the next run here.

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