Need some HAAS help

I’m trying to help a friend create a custom fishing lure mold and he’s looking to get one of these aluminum blank molds to work from:
I’ve a few questions first that would help answer some of his:

  1. What file format and program should I make the design with? Fusion? Inventor? Maya? Blender?
  2. Would a piece like this be okay to clamp down inside the HAAS together? Each blank side is 7"x3"x1" (it looks like it could be disassembled if the complete mold is problematic)
  3. Are there any costs associated with using the HAAS (I’m aware of the training, which leads me to…)
  4. Who would be best to talk to about this project that might also be able to help run the job? I’m not currently certified for the HAAS and don’t exactly have the time to run through the class just yet, though it’s in my plans for the future. Just looking to help a friend in the coming weeks or when he eventually send the mold over pending answers to these questions.

Thanks :slight_smile:

These are fairly small and the description states they are made for lead. So they would be really soft - good candidate fro Shapeoko.

Youmay want to test it using a piece on plastic first so you have a cheap sacrificial piece to experiment with.

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The haas speaks G-code. So while we generally use Fusion for the CAD, other programs can be used. You need to create the toolpaths (CAM) with a post-processor for the HAAS. Just remember the design needs to be the negative of what you are trying to make. Here’s the downside - you likely need a 3d model (organic model) of the lure. That’s a bit more complicated and fusion SUCKS at organic models or working with STL files.

Most likely yes, so long as it opens fully to 180 degrees else you’ll have to disassemble it.

no costs BUT that doesn’t mean we’re Santa Claus either. We provide normal end mills. Any specialty bits are your responsibility as well as the materials.

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Okay all of that makes perfect sense.

I’m well versed enough with Fusion to make the shape needed, so no worries there, just was concerned with what file type was needed. I’ve worked as a 3d artist for ~5 years, so it’s just another project for me.

What post-processor is recommended or the HAAS? I know with 3d printing you have a slicer, so I figure there’s probably a program on the share for this?

What kind of end mills does the HAAS use? Also, do you know what tool profiles it already has loaded?

We have the post processor and tool library files for fusion 360 on the committee drive. Feel free to look through the domino class materials for install instructions, they are simply files that plug into fusion, no separate program needed. Part of operating the haas includes having toolpath setup knowledge, so you or someone else will need to manually setup the CAM portion in fusion, it’s not plug and play like a 3d print/slicer.

The shapoko is also a good avenue for this project, as 3d contouring requires small endmills and low material removal rates to achieve a good final shape, something the shapoko is perfectly capable of.

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Whatever gets the job done works with me, regardless of the tool used. The lure/sinker is conical and about 4 inches long, and the mold would be used to cast lead. He’s been sand casting them but wants a faster cleaner way to make them.

Whatever tool can mill aluminum cleanly is the one I want :slightly_smiling_face:

Sounds like I’ll have to get a design worked up in Fusion, then put out a call for someone to assist with generating the path and running the job.

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For a smooth conical cut you’ll want to use a ball nose bit for the finish. Although you can do it all with a ball nose it is slow going, so you may want to hog it out with a small straight endmill then come back with the ball.


On the HAAS you might have to run DNC or “drip feed” because of lack of memory space, not sure about the memory capacity on the Shapoko.

So after some fiddling about getting the design how my friend wants it, I’ve got the two halves of the mold with the negative shape. I’ve also saved off the positive tool shape in case that’s somehow relevant to the CNC process. The Fusion file is also saved off for any more iteration I need to do, just in case.

Going off the the image below, what are my next steps?

Negative Mold Design

Positive Shape

Some fillets for reduced chance of snapping

Rough out the shape with an end mill in the 2D setup, reduce the size of the end mill and do it again. If you use different setups the file sizes will be small. When you have done as much roughing as possible depending on whats left use differing sizes of ball mills to finish in 3D.

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Considering the Fusion/CAM prep workflow before milling, have I done this right? What do I need to change to get this piece ready for CAM?

Select an origin, select the tools and generate toolpaths.


So no issues with me having modeled the whole blocks? I used calipers to measure each half just in case.

Not yet. File size issues may develop.

yep. you got about 73k to play with of direct load. 256k of DNC.
and of course you must be cleared on the haas first.

I’m no expert but you may have some trouble with those tiny corners. Small tooling isn’t cheap.

I would say I could program and run that job for you with some small negotiating but that geometry is going to be very tough without a 5-axis. I’d reconsider the design before machining it or approach the mold design in more parts to accommodate MFG.

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no I don’t think so. I don’t see anything that can’t be done in 3 axix. The corners I agree with. Depending on the initial endmill used, it’s going to get rounded a bit. A special triangular toolpath with a small (1/32th?) endmill can be made to get it squarer will be needed. Like with some/most things a little hand work would be needed to get it perfectly square. It’s all going to depend on your tolerance and material. The rest are just curves which is easy as a 3D toolpath.

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What is the smallest reasonable end mill you would suggest using for those interior corners? I can always increase the fillet on those spots to be more rounded. I just need to check with my friend to see if that’s okay for his design.

If you or anyone else is interested in helping to get this milled I would appreciate it. Feel free to pm me with any specifics for what you would need.