Cutting a slotted disk.

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Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:43 pm

I can't figure out how to tell Alibre CAM to cut these slots. I am licensed for 4 axis and I could put the rotary table so the disk is horizontal but apparently 4 axis can't do rotation around the Z axis.

So instead I'll have to do this in 3 axis machining. I can cut one slot. Short of selecting all the edges I can't see an automatic method of doing this. If I select the Feature Pattern which duplicates the tooth slot around the disk it doesn't work. The attached file shows how I've managed to cut one slot.

Is there an automatic way to do all of these slots?
Thanks
John
Attachments
SpindleEncoder.zip
Encoder disk with sample AlibreCAM cut.
(308.42 KiB) Downloaded 50 times
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby MecSoft Support » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:46 pm

As the tool remains normal to axis of rotation, rotary axis can only be set along X or Y on a 4 axis setup.
Open & closed slots can be programmed using slotting operation.
Polar instance can be used to automate programming of the slots by programming one of the slots and specifying the instance count. This feature is part of 3+2 module which is included in PRO configuration. You can contact our sales department at sales@mecsoft.com for details.
Attachments
Polar_Instance.jpg
Polar_Instance.jpg (187.31 KiB) Viewed 866 times
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:20 pm

Thank you for your reply. It appears I have a couple of options.

One hobbyist friend has created G-Code using Fusion-360. He has the educational license. I could modify the code he wrote.

Given that I'm the developer of the ELS product which involved some extensive software for tool motion I can easily whip up some G-Code to do what I need with a table the rotates around the Z axis. I've already done a fair amount of that before I had CNC on the mill.
http://www.autoartisans.com/ELS/

I was hoping that the $400 I spend per year for AlibreCAM would pay off but it appears it won't. Not even for the outstanding issue for 4th axis speed which has now been almost a year. And with COVID-19 sales of the ELS have pretty well dried up so there's no income to pay for a 3+2 option.

It's also disconcerting to be one of the only people posting for AlibreCAM over a 1 year period so that also suggests I'm one of the few AlibreCAM and possibly even AlibreCAD users. Another reason to look at Fusion360 or just keep writing my own wizards in Delphi to generate the common operations.

Best regards
John
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby MecSoft Support » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:24 am

Not sure if I can comment on AlibreCAD or AlibreCAM sales. As you mention, we have the option 3+2 to solve your issue. Please contact our sales department to see if they can help you with this. I will forward your this information to them as well.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:56 am

Really I was just disappointed that a 4th axis wasn't exactly that. A 4th axis capable of turning around X,Y or Z but only at one time. The 5th axis addition would then add the capability of X or Y and Z. I'm not interested in paying yet another $100 or whatever just to do something once.

My original question was that I somehow couldn't make it do what the photo below shows and how do I go about that.

http://www.autoartisans.com/mill/EncoderTeethCut.jpg

Not "buy another product" support.

So after a number of tries, restarting AlibreCAM a few times when it froze or gave me the standard, "there is something wrong with your drawing message", (which happens a lot lately), I managed to generate the G-Code.

What was doubly disappointing is how quickly a friend generated similar G-Code using Fusion-360.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby nick952 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:14 pm

Hi John,

Only just seen your post and a bit late, but this is my method for you to have a look at:-

SpindleEncoder-1.zip
(300.78 KiB) Downloaded 15 times


To make it easier, I altered the first sketch, so that there was no centre bore in the blank extrusion and suppressed the other hole features.

Another point worth mentioning, is make sure that Ambient Occlusion, Ground Shadow etc are all OFF before starting AlibreCAM, as I've found they can cause problems when generating the toolpaths.

Nick.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:17 pm

Thanks Nick. I'll look into that. Not even sure what Ambient Occlusion and Ground Shadow are.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:53 pm

Now I know what Ambient Occlusion and Ground shadow are since the Alibre Help has a section on that. What appears to be missing in the help part is where that's enabled or disabled. I realize this isn't a CAM question but since Nick brought it up I thought I'd ask. Where is that set?
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby nick952 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:31 am

Either on the ribbon under the "View" tab:-

Ambient Occlusion Ribbon.jpg
Ambient Occlusion Ribbon.jpg (66.37 KiB) Viewed 291 times


If you use the Menu rather than the Ribbon, then again it's under "View":-

Ambient Occlusion Menu.jpg
Ambient Occlusion Menu.jpg (68.88 KiB) Viewed 289 times


Or in "Properties":-

Ambient Occlusion Properties.jpg
Ambient Occlusion Properties.jpg (61.41 KiB) Viewed 291 times


Also forgot to mention before, that I had to use a cutter smaller than the finished 4mm cut out width, otherwise with a 4mm cutter the generated tool paths would not cut some of them to full depth (that's depth of the cut out, it cut through the thickness of the blank correctly).

This looks as if it's either a bug, or possibly due to Alibre modelling maths rounding and should be reported to MecSoft, for investigation.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:36 am

Ah that explains it. For the big workstation with dual 1080 monitors under Properties I don't have that option. Under 'view' the four choices are greyed out. I'm running a Nividia GeForce GTX-670 dual slot graphics card. Shouldn't have problems. I wonder why?

Can't try it on my old laptop as it no longer has the license installed. For some strange reason my new HP laptop with Nvidia Quadro T1000 does show the choices. And Ambient occlusion was enabled on it. So I've disabled that.

I made the mistake of not changing to a 3mm cutter as specified in the Tool selection when I milled the slots. I also found it wouldn't properly cut the slot with a 4mm cutter.
Image
So the tooth slots were a little wider than expected. I haven't had time to make the sensor mount yet so I don't know how non-symmetrical the waveform will be or if LinuxCNC can handle this.

I'll post a help request on the Alibre Forum with respect to why the shading features don't show up on my main workstation.

Thanks for your help.
John
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:13 am

Here's what the profile looks like with the 3mm cutter.
Image
Looks like it goes full depth of the slot.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby nick952 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:22 pm

I think you might have Alibre running in Legacy Mode on your main workstation (the Restart required is needed every time the box is checked or unchecked and only applies to Alibre, not the whole system):-

Legacy display.jpg
Legacy display.jpg (85.06 KiB) Viewed 268 times



Nick
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:14 pm

I don't remember why I have legacy mode enabled. There was something that I didn't like when they decided to "enhance my user experience".
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby nick952 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:43 am

Just tried this again, but with the tool at 3.999mm dia and the tool path now generated, cuts all of the cut outs to the correct full depth.

AlibreCAM obviously considers some of the models slots slightly under 4mm and so will not program a 4mm cutter to go fully into those.
Have you considered reporting this to MecSoft for investigation?

The new Hoops Graphics Pipeline and its enhanced visual effects available, caused me some problems for a while and I too ran in Legacy mode on my laptop (GTX 980m card), but used the new Hoops graphics on my desktop (RTX 2080Ti card). Now also run the laptop on standard Hoops graphics, after resolving a driver issue and understanding the problems I was having with AlibreCAM, due to the Ambient Occlusion etc effects.

Anyhow, glad I could help.

nick.
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Re: Cutting a slotted disk.

Postby 1350519287 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:01 am

Thanks Nick. Looking in the archives one of the issues with needing legacy mode was also printing pdfs. Something about drawing files making very thick lines. That was last year October and that appears fixed.

I think I ran into the same issue with a 4mm cutter but ultimately for the diameter of the disk I wanted the peaks and valleys to be equal and for the disk diameter I therefore needed. Really should add units to the dimensions in the drawing. At least for the mm.

Since the milling cutter matches what you found in that it's a bit smaller than the slot the path generated was perfect. I think originally I did run into the same issue you discovered that the 4mm didn't do a 4mm slot.

Image

Thanks again for your help.
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