Machining a wrapped slot/swept cut - CAMWorks Wrapped feature or Multi-axis Operation

There are several ways of modeling a wrapped slot feature in Solidworks. The wrap tool (Insert, Features, Wrap) allows you to take a sketch & emboss or deboss a 2D sketch onto a cylindrical surface. A swept cut could also be used to create the geometry. As in the case for the attached file, A cylindircal block was modeled as a separate body and then swept around a helical path. 

As far as programming those features in CAMWorks goes there are also several options here also. CAMWorks has a wrapped feature tool which operates in much the same manner as the SolidWorks tool. There is even the possibility to unwrap 3d geometry to a sketch for models which may have been imported. Other options for machining the slot include using a multiaxis operation. Both methods are shown in the attached file as separate SolidWorks & CAMWorks configurations and the methods to achieve them are outlined below.


Wrapped Feature

The Wrap feature in SolidWorks uses a 2D sketch and a cylindrical surface with the depth being controlled inside of the feature. In CAMWorks, to be able to access the wrapped feature the following procedure should be used.

  1. Add a coordinate system to the SolidWorks geometry using Insert > Reference Geometry > Coordinate System.
  2. In the CW (CAMWorks Feature) tab, double click Machine and go to the Setup tab. Set the Indexing to 4 Axis and select the coordinate system from the Fixture Coordinate Systems section
  3. Switch to the Rotary tab and set the rotary axis to the appropriate axis of the coordinate system.
  4. Insert an appropriate Mill Part Setup by right clicking on the Stock Manager
  5. Right click on the setup and use the Insert Wrapped Feature option
  6. The feature type (i.e. pocket, slot, open profile, etc.) can be selected from the top and the geometry defined from the lower section along with the End Condition. Click the green checkmark (OK) to add the feature.
  7. Use Generate Operation Plan and Generate Toolpath to get toolpath on the model.

Note that the operation here is a 2.5 axis operation despite this being 4 axis geometry. This feature operates by using axis substitution to simplify this 4 axis geometry to 2.5 axis. The geometry is essentially treated as if it were a regular 2.5 axis slot but in the case of the attached part, any Y axis move gets translated to an A axis (rotary around X axis) so that it wraps the geometry around.


Multi-Axis Method

In the attached part the multi-axis method was performed on a swept cut but could be equally made on the wrapped feature. The following steps will allow you to create the multi-axis operation:

  1. Insert an appropriate Mill Part Setup by right clicking on the Stock Manager.
  2. Insert a Multi-Surface Feature that has just the side (thickness) faces of the slot added.
  3. Right click on the Multi-Surface Feature & Insert a Multi-Axis Operation.
  4. On the Pattern tab, set the pattern to be Flowline Between Curves. Click the Upper button to select the outer diameter edges of the slot and click OK (green check).  Then, click the Lower button to add the inner diameter edges of the slot and click OK.
  5. Switch to the Axis Control tab. Set the Number of Axes option to 4 Axis and set the correct coordinate system axis to rotate about. (Note that the setup and indexing tabs in the machine are not needed for this operation type as the rotation axis is defined here).
  6. Check the box to point the tool to the rotary axis.
  7. Set the Tool Axis will be to Tilted relative to the cutting direction and set the Side tilt angle to 90 degrees. (This allows the tool to cut with the side not the end of the tool.)

Notice that if you select Preview and Simulate, you can then use the Show Difference option, it shows the part being gouged. This is because of the cut sweep feature not producing side walls which are perfectly perpendicular to the rotary axis. In order to reduce this gouging, you could deselect the check box for Point tool to rotary axis and re-simulate.  Since the swept cut doesn't have its walls perpendicular to the axis, this makes the geometry more suited to a 5 axis operation. With the Point tool to rotary axis deselected, set the number of axes to 5 axis and simulate again. You'll notice that the gouging has virtually disappeared. To remove the small amount of gouging at the start and end of the slot, you could enable some of the gouge checking options from the Gouge Checking tab.



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