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Cut Length Calculator - SketchPad




In this chapter we will illustrate the use of the CLC Sketchpad to determine length of cut for non-standard shapes for milling and turning. SketchPad gives the user the ability to import DXF files or sketches created in KipwareM® or KipwareT®. Once imported the user can create cutting tool configurations or use saved configurations along with the Machinist Mode to calculate the length of cut to machine the shape.


We can start by taking a look at how to create a tool in the tool library. Open the library and select create a tool to define a new tool geometry. We will create a .250 end mill which is basically just a round tool. As you can see users can create turning and grooving tools for turning operations and round tools for milling operations.

We will begin our calculation by importing a DXF shape for a sample arm configuration. It is our desire to calculate the length of cut to machine the perimeter of the arm. We will now select a pre-configured tool from the library. In this case we will select our .250 round tool. When we turn on the machinist mode for milling, the mouse becomes the tool. We can then move the mouse around the part. Every time we double click the mouse the location is recorded. We can record all the moves to machine the perimeter of the arm.

It is important to note that our aim here is to determine the length of cut. We are not intending to create an accurate G code program, so the rough mouse locations and moves are sufficient to obtain this length of cut calculation without being overly complex.

Once all the perimeter moves are completed, select the calculate button. Input the total depth of the workpiece and the increment in Z for each pass. The Cut Length calculator will then utilize the recorded mouse movements and number of passes to determine the length of cut.

The SketchPad can also be used for turning applications where the shape does not fit into a standard shape menu. Again, load a DXF file and select a tool configuration from the library. We can then start the machinist mode for turning. Use the R key to change to rapid mode and the tool will turn blue. Turn on the cycle mode and select a depth of cut. Change to vertical mode by selecting the V key on the keyboard. This now cause the tool to move in a vertical move no matter where the mouse is placed. And because the cycle mode is on the tool will only move the mount set into the depth of cut. We now have placed the tool at the start position at the front of the part. Change to feed mode, then change to horizontal mode by selecting the H key on the keyboard. Double click the mouse at the end of the cut. Again horizontal mode will ensure the path is straight on a horizontal move. Change to vertical mode and retract the tool, the amount will be the depth of cut since we are still in cycle mode. Turn off cycle mode, change to horizontal mode, change to rapid and reposition the tool at the start of the part. Repeat the previous steps changing from rapid to feed, from horizontal to vertical, in and out of cycle mode and keep repeating until the part contour has been roughed.

When completed, select the calculate button and see the length of cut.

For finishing, use the rapid and feed mode and free hand mode to move the cursor around the part. Free hand mode is enabled by selecting the O key on the keyboard. When completed, select calculate to see the length of cut.

Depending on how precise you wish to calculate the length of cut, horizontal and vertical and cycle mode can be optional and simple free hand mode can be used in the movement around the part.





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