4 MILLION Lines of G-Code with RhinoCAM at PBE!

Anthony Pelosi, CNC Lead at PBE (Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design & Consulting) located in Austin TX, recently discussed one of his RhinoCAM projects with us. It involved the topographic exhibit design and production of a geographical site recently designated a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO). The geospatial data was loaded into Rhino 5.0. The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation that RhinoCAM posted to PBE’s Laguna Shop Smart 2 CNC machine packed a total of 4,041,337 lines of G-code (23 hours of machine time). Refer to the figures below to learn more about this amazing project!

Figure A – This PBE project shows RhinoCAM being used to generate 3 Axis toolpaths on a high resolution 3-dimensional surface elevation terrain model of a geographic world heritage site. The scale model is 88” long by 34” with an overall height of 4”.

Refer to Figure A above:

  1. The high-resolution surface elevation terrain model is displayed in Rhino 5.0.
  2. The RhinoCAM Machining Browser is shown on the left with the Machining Job defined comprised of a 3 Axis Setup, a 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing and a 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation.
  3. A closeup area of the terrain model (inset upper-right) shows clear details including river basins, mountain ranges and estuary runoff!
  4. The same section (insert lower-right) is shown with the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing toolpath superimposed on the surface terrain model.

Figure B – RhinoCAM is shown simulating the 4.6 MILLION lines of g-code required for this exhibit!!

Refer to Figure B above:

  1. The RhinoCAM Machining Browser is shown on the left with the Simulation tab selected.
  2. The 88”x34”x4” stock model is shown with cut material being simulated.
  3. The 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing operation contains 650,000 lines of g-code and is shown previously simulated on the far side of the stock model using a ¼” ball mill, an offset cut pattern, a step over of 40% (of the tool diameter), a step down of 50% and a stock offset of 0.025” left on the part.
  4. On the front side, we see the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation in the process of being simulated.
  5. A close up of the toolpath cut material simulation shows the river basin and estuary runoff shown in Figure A(3) above being simulated.
  6. The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation contains 4 MILLION lines of g-code shown in the RhinoCAM Toolpath Editor. The operation uses the same ¼” ball mill with a stock allowance set to zero (finish cutting on the surface of the high-resolution terrain model) at a 12% step over.

RhinoCAM toolpaths
Figure C – Here we see the Machining Operations Information dialog for the RhinoCAM toolpaths shown in Figure B above. The 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing is estimated to take 23 hours of machine time cutting at 550 inches/minute while the 3 Axis Parallel Finishing is estimated to take about 3 hours at the same cut feed rate.

(Figure D) The completed surface elevation terrain model cut from RenShape High Density Modeling Board is displayed as it was taken off the CNC machine. The river basin and estuary runoff shown in Figures A and B are shown inset lower right. In this project, PBE clearly demonstrates the power of RhinoCAM!

More about PBE

PBE features a multifaceted group of designers, engineers, fabricators, programmers, and content specialists providing the following services: Project Management, Content Research & Development, Gallery Curation, Video & Audio Production, Scriptwriting, Exhibit Design, Feasibility & Flow Studies, Graphic Design, Interface & Interactive Design, Custom Programming, 3D Visualization & Animation, Lighting & Electronics, Fabrication & Sculpting, and Installation. You can see more of the work done by Paul Bernhard Exhibit, Design & Consulting by visiting their website.

Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse is an Application Engineer with MecSoft Corporation. Don brings over 20 years of experience in CAD/CAM operations in both automotive and mold design applications. Don also has extensive experience in documenting CAD/CAM products and is actively involved with writing the on-line help as well as creating training tutorials for MecSoft's products.
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