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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Play-Good Part3, Stock and Chain it


Part 1, Created work origin and got the Solidworks file imported into Mastercam.

Part 2, Created solid into workable geometry and adding things like corner radiuses.

Part 3, At this point we are ready to pick our machine, and setup stock information for verify and throw toolpaths on our Lego block.

We are choosing a Vertical Machining center manufactured by Haas Automation in California, VF-3 is model size. Note, each Machine definition should be customized for the specific machines available on the shop floor.

With the machine picked the operation manager becomes functional, and in the Machine Group Properties we have access to Tool Settings and stock setup.

I typed in the actually stock size in the X-Y-Z boxes placed at dimension locations, and picked same work origin corner as we sat in Solidworks, also added 0.05″ to X and Y origin so there would be some stock to clean up in that corner.

Yellow solid represent our stock.

Just going to stop for a second and touch of a couple of technical questions that could arise. Why Vertical Machining Center and not 4 axis Horizontal? What kinda Material are we cutting? Highspeed cutters or solid carbide? 2, 3, 4 flutes? Surface Feed, Chip per tooth. If you want to dick deeper into those questions please do not hesitate and leave a comment, but at this point I’m sure if anyone made it this far, and to much text might just scare them away, so until then I will wing it with out much explanation (Now the ball is in your court, kinda like a dare).

Picking a standard “Contour” toolpath to mill the outside of the block to size, Note that the arrow that indicates the start-point of the path is on the 0.01″ chamfer, the endmill will leave a small mark on entry so we are placing this the least critical place.

Setting things like cutting depth can be be plugged in on the keyboard or geometry can be picked with a mouse click, here we also set parameters for lead in/lead out and what side of our geometry the cutter should be on.

For the “Pocket” toolpath we are picking our 2 modified inside contours and the 2 round posts, this will let Mastercam know that those are islands.

Running the 2 toolpath in verify gives a good picture on what is going to happen in the machine. Next step will be stepping down the center wall by 0.2″ and run a chamfer tool to break the top edge on the outside and inside of the part.

Part 4, we will do the opposite side of our Lego block, stay tuned……

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