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MecSoft's RhinoCAM Software Review, Pt 2

By Daniel Dobrzynski, March 18, 2013

continued from Pt 1

  • Flats Roughing removes material only in flat areas of the part (applicable for quickly programming of this specific kind of geometry).

Figure 18: Flats roughing

  • Parallel Finishing efficiently finishes or pre-finishes due to the quality and simplicity of the paths, in which the tool moves along parallel cut patterns referenced by part contours. I found this very productive and easy to generate in RhinoCAM.

Figure 19: Parallel finishing

  • Horizontal Finishing does pre-finishing or finishing in constant Z levels, and is typically applied when parts have large vertical features.

Figure 20: Horizontal and parallel finishing

  • Projection Pocketing for pre-finishing and finishing of pockets formed bottoms and/or sides.

Figure 21: Projection pocketing

  • Offset Pocketing moves the tool along the part with a constant 3D step that leaves a constant scallop on the part.

Figure 22: Offset pocketing

  • Offset Profiling follows the selected curves and contours of the part simultaneously in constant 3D, mainly used for pre-finish and finishing operations.
  • Pencil Tracing drives the tool along the valleys and corners of the part, and is used for roughing, re-machining, or cleanup.
  • Valley Re-Machining machines corners and valleys that were inaccessible in previous finishing operations. I emphasize that RhinoCAM has this function while some other CAM packages do not, even expensive ones, demonstrating the seriousness of this product from MecSoft.

Figure 23: Valley re-machining

  • Plateau Machining machines the tops of flat areas which have an specified angle from the horizontal.
  • Parallel Hill Machining machines areas that are within specified angle from the vertical. This too is an extra valuable feature.

Figure 24: Parallel hill machining

  • Horizontal Hill Machining is similar to the previous operation, but machines at constant Z levels with the areas restricted to ones that are steeper than a user-defined angle. Again, this is an extra good feature.

Figure 25: Horizontal hill machining

  • Radial Machining finishes areas that have annular pockets through a radial tool path.

Figure 26: Radial milling

  • Spiral Machining finishes circular or near-circular areas through spiral tool paths.

Figure 27: Spiral milling

  • Curve Machining machine along curves in isolated areas or shapes; also very useful.

Figure 28: Curve machining

  • Between 2 Curves Machining mills complex areas using two open or closed curves input.

Figure 29: 2 Curves machining

  • 3-Axis Reverse Post Machining is a very interesting functionality especially for when we have a program file created earlier in either a neutral APT CL format or in G-code (machine code), and we do not possess the process in RhinoCAM or the model. We can use this operation to project the tool onto part surfaces or directly simulate it in RhinoCAM.
  1. 4-axis machines parts in multiple orientations on a 4-axis rotary table, using both indexed and continuous machining methods. It can be used for curves-based as well as surface/solids/mesh-based machining.
  • Rotary Table accesses areas normally are not accessible with 3-axis operations. The table allows machining to be performed by indexing a rotary table at any angle, thereby orienting the part.
  • Facing clears out areas on cylindrical faces using curves.

Figure 30: 4-axis facing

  • Pocketing is similar to 2-axis pocketing, except that the machining is performed on the face of a user-defined cylinder.
  • Profiling is similar to 2-axis profiling, except that the machining is performed on the face of a user-defined cylinder.
  • Engraving machines in continuous 4-axis mode, and is used for text and logos lying on surfaces.

Figure 31: 4-axis engraving

  • Parallel Roughing roughs surfaces/solids/meshes in continuous 4-axis mode. As a special case, I can say that this operation also can be used for mill-turn machines with a logical postprocessor adaptation.

Figure 32: 4-axis parallel roughing

  • Parallel Finishing finishes surfaces/solids/meshes in continuous 4-axis mode.

Figure 33: 4-axis parallel finishing

  • Radial Finishing finishes surfaces/solids/meshes in continuous 4-axis mode.

Figure 34: 4-axis radial finishing

  •  4-axis Hole Making makes holes using drill, tap, bore, and reverse bore in 4-axis mode.

Figure 35: 4-axis hole making


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About the Author

Daniel Dobrzynski is a expert in the CAD/CAM industry with over 27 years' experience as enterprise consultant. He has worked as a designer (mainly in automotive & aerospace areas of big companies), CAM programmer, post processor generator, advance machine builder for CAM simulation, PLM administrator, methodology and procedures creator. He has more than 20 years as a CAD/CAM/CAE certified trainer. More...

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