The main idea is to trace the tool-path back and forth between
levels. And Catia has already similar algorithms implemented for
the surface machining tool-paths. For example "Reverse tool path"
in Sweeping and Contour-Driven MOs.
And this algorithm can be utilized between levels for
Facing/Pocketing MOs. So the user doesn't have to create multiple
MOs or an extra NCGeometry cl-curves for the desired toolpath.
I use formulas only for HSM radius and for controlling the
App/Ret macros (initial and final using this workaround because of
one level with one MO). I used 6 levels in this video-clip because
customer had left too much extra material. All you need is maximum
3 levels for almost any job. But mostly 2 levels are sufficient. So
I don't mind creating multiple MOs for facemilling.
I always use this type of motion using HSM. But this time I was
facemilling on a 3spindle 5 axis machine and there I had to go back
to safety plane each time for the next level or I had to use the
local feedrate and stay close above the part surface. These
gantries take more time in either method so I came up with this
idea of using multiple MOs for each level and reversing the
tool-path between levels.
All DS has to do is provide this capability in Facing/Pocketing
MOs and the Facing MO needs a few more settings/options
1. Prismatic Machining Area to be used with MP (By using
"Prismatic Slab" feature for facemilling)
2. An option to go around the check/trimming boundaries(
fixtures, clamps, bolts, etc..) using "Limit machining area with
3. Some settings similar to "Soft and Hard boundaries" or
"Islands" to control the tool-motion around large cut-outs in the
part surface. This will more trickier because it will generate
linking macros and tool-motion will be broken. User has to spend
more time with adjusting offsets on such Islands for
4. HSM option to create smooth motion at the ends. It is only
required when machining softer metals or when machining with much
As of now you have to analyze the geometry/shape and make
cl-curves and drive them in a old-fashioned way. Or just ignore
everything and use the MO as it is. It all depends on the customer.
Personally I prefer using a cleaner, smoother tool-motion.