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CAM programming without complete model

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  • CAM programming without complete model

    Hey guys, I am very new to CNC programming and CAM software so if my question is dumb please don't shoot me...

    I am working on a lot of different parts currently on the manual mill, mostly shotgun receivers and pistol slides. I rework some of the areas (ie: the loading port on 870 receivers) and I would like to eventually switch these operations to my CNC once completely converted.

    What would be the easiest way to draw without having to draw the whole part?

    Here's what I am thinking for Rem 870, tell me if I am way off. I could design a block of the same dimensions (Height, width) of the loading port area and omit the rest of the receiver. I could then assign a reference point, either on the part or on my holding fixture, then set up the tool path.

    Does that make sense...


  • #2
    It makes sense. You only need to design what you are going to cut, and if its not a 3D operation you may only need to draw 2D geometry depending on your CAM software. I like to create note files or if the machine controller allows it embed comments in the CODE file. Obviously you need a relative reference point on your stock (or fixture) and on your model. Something you can index to or touch off of on your mill. If your part mounting is consistent you may be able to run multiples just by unloading one part and loading the next, but if you shut down or have a crash its always good to re-index your machine to your part or mounting fixture
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


    • #3
      Thanks Bob,

      My fixture is very repeatable. I normally set the first one then all the other parts are done the same way. I design the fixture very similar to a index plate with toe clamp to fix in place. I untighten the toe clamp, remove the part, put a new on in and tighten the toe clamp, everything indexed with shoulder bolts.

      I will try a few things on my small CNC router and proof the concept before actually doing the real thing.


      • #4
        You don’t say what Cam software you use. In CamBam I very seldom draw a part and if I bring one in from SolidWorks I mostly use a 2d dxf file unless something truly needs to be done in 3d. A lot of the time I just place points and tell CamBam what size hole goes there. A lot of times a simple line, rectangle or shape is all that is needed.


        • #5
          Hey Gary, I use Fusion 360. I can definately do simple task with minimal inputs.