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Cutting 3D Forms With 2D Toolpaths

12/17/19 10:20 PM / by camInstructor Mike

The often forgotten toolpaths in Mastercam, Wireframe Toolpaths. These paths are able to cut 3D forms very quickly with extremely clean gcode. Another 'tool' you need to have in your programming pocket.

The Wireframe Toolpaths in Mastercam are often overlooked. They can be extremely useful toolpaths once you have an understanding of how they work. 

Mastercam's wireframe toolpaths let you create toolpaths similar to 3D toolpaths, but with the use of wireframe geometry. This wireframe geometry can be extracted from solid models or surfaces, or you can create the needed wireframe without any solid or surface.

There are 6 toolpaths to choose from...




Coons Patch

2D Swept

3D Swept

This video focuses on the 2D Swept toolpath. 

Swept 2D toolpaths are 2.5-D toolpaths that are created by sweeping one contour (the across contour) along a second contour (the along contour).

There are a few rules for this toolpath to be aware of. A Swept 2D toolpath can have only one along contour. The contours cannot contain splines. The along boundary must lie parallel or perpendicular to the current toolplane.

2D Swept toolpaths are typically very efficient with amount of gcode/nci created for a given profile compared to an equivalent 3D toolpath. There is limited flexibility in the 2D Swept toolpath but if the feature being machined fits the requirements for this toolpath, it's pretty hard to beat.


For those interested in trying this programming technique yourself, here is a link to download the solid model...

3D Form with 2D Toolpaths Part



Want to learn more about Mastercam? Check out;

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Topics: Mastercam, Mastercam 2020, Wireframe

camInstructor Mike

Written by camInstructor Mike

camInstructor Mike is Mike Wearne, an avid machinist, cnc programmer and overall connoisseur of all things machining. Mike is one of camInstructor's resident cad/cam/cnc experts and works part time at his local college teaching aspiring machinists how to program CNC Machines of all types.

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