This document will present the process of developing text engraving toolpath for 2.5-axis, 3-axis and 4-axis(wrapped) feature and operation types. The SOLIDWORKS document text font used is the CAMWorks font.
This matrix shows the associated features and operations based on the axis quantity.
2.5 Axis Engraving:
This is the most basic toolpath type. The desired engrave feature (Text Sketch) is constructed on a flat/planar surface of the part. The 2.5x feature type is an engrave feature and will use a 2.5x Contour Mill operation to create the toolpath.
1. Insert a 2.5x Feature and select the Type 'Engrave Feature'.
2. Select the associated text sketch from the Available Sketches list and confirm that it becomes populated in the Selected entities list.
3. Set the feature End Condition to the desired engraving depth. This value can be overwritten in the operation definition if needed. Then select OK to accept the feature definition.
4. Generate the operation plan for the defined engrave feature to establish the Contour Mill operation.
5. Adjust the operation parameters to establish the desired output and generate the toolpath. The default Engrave strategy will set the most commonly applied parameter settings to the Contour Mill operation. If you interactively inserted a Contour Mill operation for the engrave feature, you will need to adjust the parameters from their default settings to establish the desired toolpath.
3 Axis Engraving:
The SOLIDWORKS text sketch is still created on a plane, but is then projected onto a non-planar surface by the CAM feature definition. This method requires two CAM feature types; Multi Surface feature and 2.5x Engrave feature. The operation type is a 3 axis Curve Project operation definition.
1. Create the multi-surface feature. Either select the discrete surfaces to engrave on, or select All Displayed surfaces.
2. Create a 2.5 axis engrave feature. The end condition is not important for this feature definition. The machining depth will be defined in the 3 axis Curve Project operation. Refer to the 2.5x engrave feature section for steps to create the feature.
3. From the CAM Operations Tree, insert a 3 axis mill operation [Curve Project].
4. Select the Multi-Surface feature definition from the available features list for this operation.
5. Navigate to the Curve Project tab of the operation dialogue when it appears. Use the Add... function to select the desired engrave sketch to be applied. Then select OK to accept the selection.
6. While in the operation dialogue tab, enter the desired machining depth in the z Allowance field. Enter as a negative value.
7. Adjust the clearance rapids and the lead-in/out parameters to achieve the desired toolpath. Generate the operation toolpath.
4 Axis Engraving [Wrapped]:
This is referred to as a milling wrapped feature. There are specific conditions to support the 4x wrapped feature definition. The Mill machine with a rotary table must have the rotary axis aligned with the machine's X Axis. The Mill machine with a tombstone table must have the rotary axis aligned with the machine's Y Axis. For a MillTurn machine definition, the rotary is considered the Spindle, which is about the Z Axis. These are the only two conditions allowed.
Similar to the 3 axis engraving routine, the 4 axis engraving construction starts by creating a text sketch on a plane (recommended through the rotary axis). Then projecting that sketch onto a desired cylindrical surface by using the wrapped feature definition. The feature definition is Wrapped Engrave and the operation type is Contour Mill.
1. Confirm the machine definition is setup with a coordinate system with the X Axis along the part center-line and the Rotary Axis is set along the X Axis. This configuration will allow the Wrapped Feature option to become available in the feature type list.
2. Create a mill part setup that is on the same plane as the text sketch was defined.
3. Insert a Wrapped Feature. Set the Type to Wrapped Engrave and the Strategy to Engrave.
4. Select the available sketch that represents the desired text to engrave.
5. Select the surface to identify the placement of the text.
6. Set the End Condition depth amount to ensure the desired text is projected into the part surface. Toggling the direction is done by clicking on the red/black arrow icon. Then select OK to accept the settings.
7. The default wrapped engrave strategy will select an appropriate tool definition as well as the correct operation parameters for engraving. Generate and review the toolpath for the Contour Mill operation. Make any necessary parameter changes to establish the desired toolpath.