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Using 4th axis (pivoting spindle) with Fusion Machining extension?

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Message 1 of 11
martiKQT98
312 Views, 10 Replies

Using 4th axis (pivoting spindle) with Fusion Machining extension?

Hello,

I have a 4 axis CNC router (XYZ + pivoting spindle).
Spindle pivots +/- 90 degrees from vertical around Y axis (called "A" axis in this specific controller).

Controller has no RTCP capabilities (i.e in G-code you control the spindle pivot point, not the tool tip). It means - tool tip calculations must be done in CAM. We can measure the length from pivot axis to tool tip  (it is somewhere around 300mm, depending on the actual tool length).

How can I generate 4-axis G-code for this spindle?
- Do I need Machining extension?
- Which strategy should I use (for example, to keep A-axis perpendicular to surface at all time)?

If you can point me towards a tutorial video or forum post on this topic, it would be most appreciated 🙂

10 REPLIES 10
Message 2 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: martiKQT98

Still hoping somebody can point me towards a solution...

Message 3 of 11
seth.madore
in reply to: martiKQT98

Hello, and thanks for bringing your question to the forums, sorry about the delay in responding.

Couple of questions before we can accurately address your questions:

1) What post processor are you using?

2) What's the machine control?

3) Can you share an image of your machine, so we have a more clear picture of what you're working with?

 

On the CAM side: If you're doing surfacing (for example, machining a sphere) and you want the tool to be perpendicular to the surface at all times, then yes, you're going to need to use the Extension.

However, if your goal is to index to a position, lock the "A" axis and then do machining, then no, you don't need the Extension, as this can all be handled by "Tool Orientation".

 

Aside from that, it's likely that a post processor needs to be edited for your machine. That's outside of my scope to assist with, but I know some folks who should be able to help out 🙂


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 4 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: seth.madore

The machine has Weihong NK280 4-axis controller.
Weihong is perhaps better known for their "NcStudio" trademark. I'd like to use NcStudio postprocessor for this machine also, but don't know yet if it will support 4th axis out of the box (or if it can be easily modified to enable 4th axis). But it should be very similar to Fanuc, for example.

I'm attaching a couple of photos. On one of them, the spindle is vertical; on the other, it is tilted at around 45 degrees.

spindle_tilted.jpgspindle_vertical.jpg

Message 5 of 11
seth.madore
in reply to: martiKQT98

And do you know if the machine/control support simultaneous multi-axis motion? (can the A axis move continuously, or is it an "index and lock" mechanism)


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 6 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: seth.madore

The A axis can move continuously with other axes.

However - you can only enter position for A axis in degrees (for example A45. or A-90.). So - it does not support I, J, K parameters.

Message 7 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: martiKQT98

Bump.... Just trying to push the question higher up again, in hopes of finding a solution to the problem. 🙂

Message 8 of 11
engineguy
in reply to: martiKQT98

@martiKQT98 

 

So far I have not been able to get the NC Studio PP (Wellhong) to work correctly but the attached modified Fanuc PP may be closer to what you need, try it out very carefully and if there are any specific issues I am sure someone can help you with it, worth a try anyway 🙂 🙂 🙂

Message 9 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: martiKQT98

Last week, Autodesk support contacted me, asking if I'm having any questions regarding the Machining extension (I had activated the 2-week trial). So, I asked them the same question. They organised a Zoom tutorial session with me and explained how it can be done.

Basically - you need to activate an add-on called "Rotary pocket and Rotary Contour Strategies" from Your Account (in the top right corner of the screen) --> Preferences --> Preview Features.

 

Additionally, you could also activate "Additional multi-axis options for the Contour, Ramp, Flow, and Blend strategies" from the same menu.

 

I was told that both add-ons will come out of Preview status soon (possibly with next version update). Please note however that you must have an active Machining extension subscription to be able to use these strategies.

Once these additional strategies were active, creating 4-axis code was not too difficult. 

 

Message 10 of 11
engineguy
in reply to: martiKQT98

@martiKQT98 

 

No, you do NOT need to buy the Machining extension in order to operate your Machine, it is a simple 4th axis that rotates around the Y axis.

You will be able to use the "Wrapped" facility to create wrapped pockets and contours around a piece of stock just using the standard level of Fusion.

 

The Post Processor that I uploaded for you will work fine without any of the "Rotary" extensions.

Message 11 of 11
martiKQT98
in reply to: engineguy

Thank you, I need to look into it. I was hesitant to the idea of the Machining extension subscription, as the jobs for the 4th axis are really quite simple - and not too frequent either.

Thank you once again.

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