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Trace compensation offset not following path properly

Message 1 of 6
159 Views, 5 Replies

Trace compensation offset not following path properly

Hi all,


I am working on a toolpath that I use frequently but would like to alter it so that my machinist may use proper compensation offsets as the current method does not allow for any compensation. 


Currently I am using a trace path to create a desired look with the tool location set to center. I accomplish the design by creating a predetermined offset where the tool should be when using a left or right offset. Normally for the surface I am trying to create I could use other strategies however from what I have tried some parts of desired design would be removed by other strategies.


It seems to be that when using a trace offset the tool is simply offset in only the x-y direction causing curves with various z-heights to result in pathing which does not follow the rest of the path. Its difficult to explain so I have attached photos and the file below.


Here is the toolpath when using a center offset, as you can see it follows the projected path as expected. It does look like the path is missing in some locations however that is a separate path solely for a roughing pass since I cannot  use STL in this case. 



This is the alternate toolpath using the outer original profile with a left compensation. As you can see the inner curves create a lift or dive which is not uniform to the desired path. 


I have tried projecting to different surfaces but haven't found what factors play into a working surface so creating a surface has been near impossible for me. I am wondering if there are alternate ways to create this toolpath or a solution to this issue. The file is attached if anyone wishes to take a further look.


Thanks in advance 


Labels (1)
Message 2 of 6

Trace does funny things with curves and contact points. I'm inclined to suggest using the Project toolpath, as that will follow the surface quite well.

I'm not seeing any real models in your file (aside from the two surface bodies). What exactly are you trying to machine? (context of a job does help a lot to better answer your questions) 

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 3 of 6

Hi Seth, I am producing automotive wheels and traditionally yes we would use a full model however we have found it is more efficient to produce the desired look through contours and profiles with a bottom floor surface rather than a solid model. I looked at the project toolpath however that didn't seem to have a compensation offset that I would need in order to use stock to leave, in-control compensation, or creating finishing passes.



here is a rough image of the wheel to be made. part of the design itself is the leftover cusps from machining so using most of the other toolpaths will end up removing them.

Message 4 of 6

Hi @PROGRAMMING7K5CY and @seth.madore,


Compensation in Trace forces coresponding Flat tool (with same cutter radius) to touch along specified input cuve.




Oleg Tikhomirov
Software Engineer
Message 5 of 6

Hi @oleg.tikhomirov,


Thanks I didn't realize this is how compensation is calculated with trace. 


Correct me if I am wrong but this leads me to believe that even when using a ball endmill the trace compensations will work the same as if it were a flat tool. Always attempting to keep the edge of flat tool tangent to the curve.


Do you have any suggestions to avoid this issue or create the intended path with compensation or is this unavailable at the moment?

Message 6 of 6



Yes. Toolpath is the same for ball and flat tools. It's possible to use "Axial offset" (with negative value equal to corner radius) to make ball tool touching selected input curve.


The question is what is "intended toolpath" in this case? If you mean the pictures in the first post than I think it should be Multi-axis contour with compensation on the surface filling the space inside the curve (something like that). 

Oleg Tikhomirov
Software Engineer

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