Up and Running with RhinoCAM
Illustration by Richard Downs

Toolpath simulation


From:

Up and Running with RhinoCAM

with Taylor Hokanson

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Video: Toolpath simulation

Okay, now even though our tool paths are complete we still have to run simulations before we can post process them and send them out to the CNC mill. It's much better that a mistake happen here where there's no damage to be caused as opposed to, of course, throwing this thing up on a big expensive machine. So step one, I will go to interior. Right-click and hit simulate. And usually these happen pretty quick. You'll also see that the simulations aren't necessarily perfect. So these ridges aren't, it's not guaranteed that the ridges will show up in the final product which make the simulation good but not a perfect example of what you can hope to see.
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54m 16s Appropriate for all May 28, 2014

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CNC milling, or computer numerical control milling, allows you to carve digital 3D models out of blocks of solid material like foam, wood, plastic, and metal. Using RhinoCAM, an add-on to Rhinoceros 3D, you can create your own models for desktop CNC milling machines, and build objects that are stronger than those created by additive means, including 3D printers.

In this short course, author Taylor Hokanson explores RhinoCAM, focusing on converting a 3D model from another graphics program to a "toolpath", or a set of instructions for a CNC mill to follow. From there, you can import the toolpath into the mill of your choice. Note, however, you should already be familiar with model generation in Rhino (a Windows-only program) before attempting this material. We recommend viewing Rhino 5 Essential Training to learn more.

This course was created by Taylor Hokanson. We're honored to host this training in our library.

Subject:
CAD
Software:
Rhino RhinoCAM
Author:
Taylor Hokanson

Toolpath simulation

Okay, now even though our tool paths are complete we still have to run simulations before we can post process them and send them out to the CNC mill. It's much better that a mistake happen here where there's no damage to be caused as opposed to, of course, throwing this thing up on a big expensive machine. So step one, I will go to interior. Right-click and hit simulate. And usually these happen pretty quick. You'll also see that the simulations aren't necessarily perfect. So these ridges aren't, it's not guaranteed that the ridges will show up in the final product which make the simulation good but not a perfect example of what you can hope to see.

If I want to improve that result I can head up on the simulate tab to preferences. I can switch to, for example, polygonal which is a better sort of simulation. And then I can also turn up simulation mode and accuracy to fine and maximum. So let's hit OK. And that's going to invalidate the simulation I just did,so I will need to simulate again. That's looking a lot better. So here we can see, all sorts of details that are cut. Here's our entry motion and our exit motion. Again, it won't cause any problems because it's just cutting into, something we're going to throw away anyway.

But I can also see that my, my bridges aren't really showing yet. And that's definitely going to be a problem. >> Those bridges need to be big enough to hold this material in place. So for example, I can expand my interior parameters. Double click on parameters, head to advanced and then under bridges, let's make that bridge height, say, 0.25 and the length 1 inch. So I'm going to make these really big just so that we can see the difference, I'll regenerate the tool path. And we can tell that something's changed because these bridges look a lot bigger, but we've invalidated our simulation,so we need to run that again.

So we run that simulation, and so that's what I was hoping to see last time. Those bridges are definitely going to stay in place and they should be wide enough to keep the material from flying out, but they should also be thin enough so that it's easy to sand this thing down, while we're post processing this by hand. You may also notice that even though three of my tabs are looking good the fourth tab is still accidentally deleted by my approach motion. That can be solved be either going back into parameters and removing the approach motion entirely or by changing around the location of those bridge points in the regions menu.

Let's go ahead and simulate the exterior see how that looks. Okay ,so if we search for our tabs. Again we can see that we have the same problem as we did on the interior. So expand the parameters. Double click here. Head to advanced. And we can add those same characteristics 0.25 and 1 inch. Regenerate exterior or resimulate it rather. And now we can see those tabs represented. So, the location and the number and the size of the tabs is really up to you. As long as the material is held down to the bed, it's really just an issue of how much work sanding you'll have to do once the piece is done.

So that's it for two and a half access tool pathing. Now we are ready to post process, or change the tool path into g code, the language that the machine controller knows how to understand. But fist I'm going to show you you how to do three access tool pathing because two and a half access and three access posting are exactly the same.

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