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How can I improve the toolpath for this flat surfaced tower?

13 REPLIES 13
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Message 1 of 14
timon_grosskopfJHJ99
337 Views, 13 Replies

How can I improve the toolpath for this flat surfaced tower?

I have been trying to optimize the given path and remove the excess retractions for this flat operation.
This is a very small millturn part and I cannot for the life of me just get the tool to stay down and move to the next plane/indentation. It always does a full retract and since I make a few hundred thousand of these, every second counts. The only method I can think of is to split the 2D contour into multiple individual 2D contours and adjust the retract height, but this results in repositioning the spindle to a value <360° and therefore wasting time between levels.
What I have also tried is using the Flat operation (second picture) - this leads to problems with the second "story" where the towers have an identical/continuous edge and move away from the part to reposition there, leaving marks on the finished part.
The horizontal toolpath is the only other one I can think of, but it does not seem to work either.

13 REPLIES 13
Message 2 of 14

Would you be able to share your Fusion file here?
File > Export > Save to local folder, return to thread and attach the .f3d/.f3z file in your reply.


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 3 of 14

Of course, I just added it! Sorry for not having included it from the get go.

Message 4 of 14

Hi, I attached the file and was wondering if you could please take a look? I am really lost trying to optimize it...

Message 5 of 14

I didn't realize this was a Horizontal toolpath, thought it was Flat. 

So, what you're getting in Horizontal is pretty much the best you're going to get. You can sometimes get better linking by creating separate strategies for each Z level of the part, but that is a bit more laborious. We're not likely to make improvements to the Horizontal strategy, as it's being slowly replaced by the new Flat strategy.

That said, the Flat toolpath also "suffers" from similar excess linking and retract moves. We are working towards continuous improvement for that toolpath, so, over time, we should be able to provide a proper toolpath with just the right amount of necessary link/retract moves.


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 6 of 14

you'll have to split it up into separate paths and make the retract height to the next level it's going to do after. 

Please click "Accept Solution" if what I wrote solved your issue!
Message 7 of 14

I dont know why it automatically accepted this as the solution...

Thanks for your answer but by doing what you said I still have a repositioning of the C-Axis between every path / "level" which wastes a ton of time.

Message 8 of 14

Then you could simply use a corner or point as Preferred Lead In Position. 

Please click "Accept Solution" if what I wrote solved your issue!
Message 9 of 14

No, in this case it doesnt matter where my lead in is. If C is > 360°, it will always reposition the spindle between moves and waste time. Maybe this is a postprocessor issue, but as soon as I split it into multiple 2Dcontours it does this...

Message 10 of 14

You mentioned "C" axis. There was nothing in your file that indicated you were also referring to 5 axis or a turn/mill component. Could you provide some more detail as to what you are actually trying to accomplish?


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 11 of 14

Hi, I just checked - I wrote in the desciption at the top that its a very small millturn part. Im doing this on a Lathe with a Y-Axis, but the Y-Axis isn't utilized for this part.

So what Im doing is Im milling the rectangular contour by utlilzing the C and X axis at the same time. Then I would like to move onto the next level (Z-Axis) to mill the next "step" of the tower. between each level the C-Axis resets itself back to either C0 or a value <C360.

Message 12 of 14

Ah, so you did, my apologies, I did miss that.

Do you want to use the Y axis, because that can be arranged. What is your machine and control (or what post are you using?)


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 13 of 14

Hi, using the Y-Axis in combination with the X-Axis would be worth a try, so it would only be "milling" (X and Y), not "mill-turning" (X and C or Y and C). Im using multiple Haas STs, one of them being the ST15Y. AFAIK the post has the exact same name... Can I choose which Axis (if more than one combination is possible) I would like the program to work with? You're getting my hopes up, thank you for the distant ray of light!

Message 14 of 14

So, I don't know if this is still an issue with the Haas machines, but there was a point in time when the Haas would get confused if the X axis dipped below centerline. I know I can do that all day long on my Doosan Lynx, so I would hope that Haas sorted this out.

When you go to post process, you will see one field of "X minimum". It's currently set to zero. Set it to a negative value  that you know your machine can safely reach (My Lynx can go approximately -.8" or so before there's clearance issues)

If all goes correctly, you should now be posting out in XY moves instead


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing

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