How to: Generate a Toolpath

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How to: Generate a Toolpath

Here are the basic steps to Create a Toolpath operation.  

1.First make sure to Create a Tool to use in the operation.  You can do this before or during the creation of your toolpath operation.

2.Then make sure the Machine, Post and Stock are all defined.  They will be listed in the Machining Job tree.  
Note that when you first load a part, the Machine Coordinate System (MCS) is aligned with the World Coordinate System (WCS) in your Onshape part.

3.If you have defined a Work Zero, select it from the Machining Job tree BEFORE creating a toolpath.  The new operations will follow BELOW the Work Zero.

Work Zero Selected

4.Select Mill from the VisualCAMc Toolbar.


5.From the Mill Toolbar, select the toolpath operation to create.  The available toolpath types are listed under the 2 Axis, 3 Axis and Holes menus.  We will use the 2 Axis Facing as an example.

2 Axis Facing Selected

The options dialog for the selected toolpath type will be displayed.  In this example, we are creating a Facing operation.

2 Axis Facing Dialog

6.Select the Control Geometry to use for the operation.  You can select the geometry at any time while the operation dialog is displayed but BEFORE you select the Generate Toolpath button.  See Selecting Machining Regions for more information.

Note!You will notice that right-clicking on an edge will automatically select the entire chain of edges.  That's what we want.  In the future, if you do not want to chain-select, just select using a left-click and only one edge will be selected at a time.  Pressing the Space bar will un-select all currently selected regions.

Control Geometry Selected

7.In the 2 Axis Facing options dialog, enter a Name for the operation in the field provided.

8.From the Tools section, select a Tool to use for machining.  If no tools are listed for the Current Document, select the Tools tab to create a tool or load tools from a Tool Library into the current document.

Select a Tool

9.From the Feeds and Speeds section, enter the values to use for this operation.

2 Axis Facing Feeds and Speeds options

10.From the Clearance Plane section, complete the Plane Definition and Cut Transfer Method tabs.

Clearance Plane Definition options

Cut Transfer Method options

11.The Clearance Plane is displayed in the Display Window.

Clearance Plane is Displayed

12.From the Parameters section, review and/or edit the parameters to use for the operation from the General tab.

2 Axis Facining General Parameters

13.If the operation type has additional Parameter tabs, review/edit these parameters also.  In the case of Facing, sub-tabs for General, Cut Levels, Entry/Exit and Advanced parameters are available.

2 Axis Facining Entry/Exit options

14.Most operations will have an Entry/Exit tab under Parameters to control how the tool will approach, engage, depart and retract.  Review and adjust these parameters to suit your needs.

2 Axis Facining Entry/Exit options

15.Many operation also have an Advanced Parameters tab with additional controls.


16.Now pick Generate Toolpath to calculate the toolpath and display it in the Display Window.  Alternately, you can pick Save to save the parameters without generating the toolpath.

Generate Toolpath button

The toolpath is displayed

17.The operation is also listed in the Machining Job.  You can now right-click on the operation and select a command such as Create Cut Model, Simulate or Post-Process.

The Simulate Command