CAMWorks adds continuous B axis turning functionality

Improve Productivity with CAMWorks Probing
August 4, 2020
Probing for Mill-Turn Machines
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The new CAMWorks 2021 has been enhanced to support the continuous B axis turning capabilities available on mill/turn machine tools equipped with a live B axis head.

When using tools at a fixed orientation, it is normal to have areas on a part that cannot be machined due to the tool topology. To alleviate this, the programmer usually uses additional tools and operations in order to machine those previously inaccessible areas.

Continuous B axis turning optimizes the methodology used to machine a feature by dynamically adjusting the B axis position, thus changing the tool orientation as it follows the feature. By adjusting the tool’s orientation, the tool can machine areas which could not be reached using a conventional turning process and the resulting toolpath generates a smooth, step free toolpath along the feature.

This enhanced CAMWorks functionality can also be used in conjunction with the CAMWorks Technology Database (TechDB) to automate the lklCNC programming process.

Continuous B Axis Functionality for Turn Finish Operations                               

Enabling the additional checkbox in the Turn Finish operation gives access to the settings used to control this new functionality. These parameters allow control of the B axis as either;

Constant angle – the tool remains at a specified Effective Lead Angle, and will tilt only while cutting any undercut areas. This will result in lesser number of tool rotations.

At an Angle to the Feature Curve –  the tool will always maintain the same Effective Lead Angle or Normal Angle while machining each segment of the feature. This will result in higher number of tool rotations.

Other parameters allow for the setting of angular limits for the B axis rotation, holder clearances and how to transition around sharp corners.

Any toolpaths generated are automatically checked for any interference between the tool and the part.

Activating continuous B axis

 Simulation of Continuous B axis toolpath


Continuous B axis settings

In Conclusion

If you have a mill/turn machine equipped with a live B axis head you can now leverage CAMWorks to program the most complex parts while fully utilizing the available machine functionality. Using Continuous B axis turning in CAMWorks can reduce both the cycle and programming time since less tool changes, machining operations and even setups can be required to machine the component. This new B axis feature can also be used in the CAMWorks TechDB to automate continuous B axis turning operations, along with the rest of the CNC programming process.

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