start with its pocket. I select the outer center box and click
the “Create Pocket Toolpath” button as shown in Figure 9.
The actual toolpath creation is where all the work is
done. Referring to Figure 10, I set the cut depth to . 15.
That’s how deep I want to make the pocket. I select the
tool I will use (which I will get into in a moment), then I
select offset milling which follows the shape of the pocket.
I select the direction of the cut and add a . 25” long plunge
ramp, as well. The plunge ramp — while optional — helps
flat bottom bits enter the cutting depth with far less force
than plunging straight down as you would do with a drill
When you select your tool, you are taken to the Tool
Selection form. It is important that you select a tool that
matches what you are going to mill with. All the Vectric
software packages come with a basic library of tools. They
include both metric and imperial versions of end mills, V-bits, and drills. You will quickly add sizes and shapes that
are not included. I have some very extensive tool libraries
on some of my machines. I have sets that even include
colored markers. The software makes it easy to copy or
create new tools.
In our case, I selected a 1/8” end mill. I set the
spindle speed, machine feed, and plunge rates to match
the tool and machine. The spindle speed has little
importance here as it is set manually. Some machines like
my KRMx02 and KRmc01 will automatically set the speed
based on this setting.
Figure 11 shows I have chosen a feed rate of 15,
which is as fast as the KRmf70 will move. It is important to
note when you are selecting a tool that any changes made
to the form will be there the next time you select this tool.
There are options, however, that allow you to edit feed and
speed parameters for just this session.
Once I am happy with the tool path, I give it a name
and click the calculate button. This will bring up the Preview
form shown in Figure 12. If you hit the Preview button,
you will see your tool go to work. The software will show
you your part with the new tool path.
Tool Path Creation
— Step C
The last step in the tool creation stage is to save the
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