I have an 8"x1.45"x1.25" aluminum cylinder that I would like to cut a pattern into and I believe a CNC mill would be optimal for my purposes. That said, I have little to no machining experience and am in desperate need of help with how to operate the HAAS and generate the proper toolpaths for my desired result. If anyone could help me with this project I would very much appreciate the assistance. I cannot attach the relevant files via talk but can easily send them by email to anyone interested. Thank you.
What kind of tolerance do you need?
The big issue here is this looks like it might require a 4th axis our machine does not have.
Can this be milled purely from vertical without rotating the part? If the walls are all 90 degrees from the tangent to the surface on the edges it will require rotation or some very clever fudging of tool choices rather than flat end mills.
If someone were to desire an exercise in beauty and patience, we have the rotary head for the Bridgeport that can do milling with a circular axis.
It can be done purely vertically, I’m reasonably sure. The pattern was created by extruding a 2d sketch through the cylinder so I believe only 3 axis of motion are necessary. 2 even could be enough, perhaps. I assume that as long as the work piece can be clamped in place one could do one side of it, rotate the piece 180 by hand, then run the program again.
For the sake of ease all the grooves are 1/8" and the circular holes on the ends of them are 3/16". As for the hexagonal cut I’m not sure how to do that but I would think a mill would be capable of it.
As for tolerance, the cuts are largely aesthetic rather than functional so there is no particular need to be highly exacting.
I think I just got cleared on the HAAS. Do you still need help with this? Depending on a few things, this could be done. Sharp corners on the points of the odd larger hole like through feature would need to be a radius if possible. Shouldn’t be too hard to relocated and hit the back side to match. Seeems like a fun few hours
Jim has hit on it. without a 4th axis or rotary fixture, you’re cutting at an angle as it moves around and along the cylinder rather than perpendicular to the surface. If you just need to relief the surface it’s ok. If an independently cut part has to fit into this, it will run into tapered walls.
If it’s ONLY for an aesthetic, and you don’t have any real need for an exacting pattern, I’d say that I’d do the layout on the piece itself and just manually do this on the Bridgeport. It would be a LOT faster overall.