Mill as lathe programing?
I would like to try and turn some 1" 6061 in my mill spindle as a lathe I have 2 diameters I need to turn (a spool type shape) on the end of the shaft. I can't get my mind around how to make the toolpaths. Basically the shaft is 1" and there are 2 slip fit surfaces that are the same diameter I will use .750" as an example in between those 2 surfaces is a clearance area that is turned to .625". The clearance area is the part that stumps me the other surface I could make with a drilling path but I have been trying to figure out how to do the clearance diameter path. My cad does not have a simple solution and neither does my controller at least I have not been able to figure one out.
I would like to face off the end then turn to the .750" dimension and finish by doing the clearance path down to .625" between the two surfaces that will be .750".
My Cad will output to a Fanuc 6 code that I need for the mill but I am not sure how to generate this path.
I can post a picture if this is unclear.
Last edited by gundog; 12-01-2011 at 04:40 PM.
If you use cam to create lathe path g-code it should run fine.
My Cad/Cam program does not do lathe work it is a program designed for router tables Aspire by Vetric. It is a great program for my router table and will do most things I need for the mill but this is one thing it won't do. My controller will also not do this. So I either need to have someone else make the cut files or buy a new program do you know any reasonable ones?
Originally Posted by macona
I've done it before. I just programmed in the xz plane. I use edgecam at work, and it has a "slot" cycle, whereas it creates code base on the geometry you draw. Draw the geometry in the zx plane and run a slot cycle on it, and it will move the machine the exact way you want it. Takes a bit of figureing out what to draw to get the machine to cut what you want. But that's the basics of it.
worked great when I figured it out, and got it working. Just have to think a bit different about what you want to cut and how you need to move the machine to do it.
Is the part spinning or is the cutter spinning?
If the part is spinning then it will be a series of X and Z moves. This will take a bit of playing around with cutter shape and probably you will need 2 cutters to get the corners cut out.
If the cutter is spinning you could use something like a keyseat cutter. This would be a series of X and Z cuts as well as some I and J code.
It is all hand writeable.
I am going to spin the part in the quill and use a tool like this clamped in the vise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CezQkZwHMA
I just have to figure out the code.
It really should not be too hard to program by hand.
You might look at Lazyturn. It is being written by Art, the guy who wrote Mach3. I don't know if there has been any recent work on it but you might look into it. There is just not a lot of interest in cnc turning for the home guys.
I think you can make this work, but the program will need lots of tweaking to get chip control. Understand that the material in the video is 1045 steel, and the groove-turn inserts used are designed for steels. In aluminum the chips are going to get all wrapped up around the work and scratch it all up.
Aluminum is such a completely different beast. The 6061-T6 (wrought, not cold-finished T651 variant) is about the worst for breaking chips. Your machining life would take a turn for the better if you could find and use 2024-T4 or (better yet) 2011 "Microchip" aluminum.
I'm not too familiar with G-code, but here is my idea. 1" bar attached to the spindle and a DNMG bit attached to the vice with the cutting edge at X0 Y0 and cutter shank in X-axis direction with the cutting bit pointing right and Z+0 at the end of the workpiece.
I'm assuming 1" length for the whole spool, groovestarting 0.25" from the end and being 0.25" long. 6000 RPM (WAG) and a big feedrate.
; Outside diameter
G0 X0.4375 Y0 Z1
G1 Z-0.996 F100
G1 Z-1 F100
G1 X0.55 F100
G1 X0.3125 F100
G1 Z-0.5 F100
I'm too too fond of G-code and trying to think in inches makes my head hurt, not to speak of "turning" stuff with a radius and not diameter readings.
I am not sure this machine takes true G-code it has to be in the form of a Fanuc 6 language. Here is a sample of some that was written using my Cad/Cam program Aspire and saved using the Fanuc 6 post processor that I was told to use.
This is not the whole code it is just part it was too long to post it all. I am also not sure this code works I am going to try it today. This is a series of bored holes to accept the other end of the shaft we are talking about.
Here are a couple pictures of what I am trying to accomplish and the shaft is cold finished 6061 T-6.
These are the mounting shafts for the fillet/rigging tables I make for sport fishing boats the shafts mount in fishing rod holder mounts. There is a hex and a hole that need to be drilled but I understand that part. For the hex I will hold the parts in my indexer chuck mounted vertically. I have made these shafts on my lathe but they are pretty slow going and I want the accuracy of the CNC and speed. By the way my spindle max RPM is 4200. Here are a couple pictures of the tables these shafts hold.
I am a hobby machinist and self taught so I only learn enough to make the parts I need. When I retire I will take classes to learn this stuff better but working rotating shifts nights and days I can't take classes now. Thanks for any and all help if someone is interested in seeing this through with me I would be willing to pay for your time. I am just trying to figure this out one way or another. The tables are made on my CNC router table and are my own designs. My router table is a 8'x4' Shopbot PRS standard the mill is a new to me Trak DPM 3 with an AGE 3 controller. I am not an expert with the router table but I have learned my way around it pretty good I hope to do the same with this mill.
Last edited by gundog; 12-03-2011 at 12:52 PM.