How To Create Toolpaths Using ArtCAM On A MetalWise CNC Plasma Cutter

Advanced Machinery and Delcam have collaborated to produce a post-processor for use with the MetalWise Plasma Cutter range. This allows for easy creation of MetalWise Plasma Cutter toolpaths using any version of ArtCAM

Toolpath Creation

First step is to design your work piece in ArtCAM as you would with any design, once the design work is completed the creation of the toolpath can begin, as with any Plasma Cutting job, the processes must start from the inside outward

In this example, (a flange), all the inner circles must be selected first, as we are cutting profiles for this article, a Profiling Toolpath is selected:

1. Make sure the Profile strategy is selected to Inside all Selected Vectors

    

2. The Finish Depth can be set to 1, (a zero value will not be allowed), the depth of cut is controlled on the Plasma Cutter Control Unit by the use of Power and Speed based on the material being cut

     

3. Select a small tool like a 1.5mm End Mill, this will be more than sufficient for the toolpath creation to Plasma, set the Cutting Direction to Conventional

     

4. A Lead In and Lead Out setting Distance of at least 10mm in a Circular Arc of Radius 10 is recommended, cutting a square shape can use a Linear Lead In/Lead Out

     

5. (a) Make sure there are No Ramping Moves and No Bridges selected

5. (b) Set the Material Thickness to 1, depth of cut and the material thickness is calculated and set on the Plasma Control Unit by means of the Speed and Power settings on the Metalwise Plasma cutter

5. (c) Click the Calculate Now button to calculate the Inner Profiles toolpath

     

This process must be repeated for the Outside Profile, select the very Outside Profile Line of the designed object and again select a Profile Toolpath strategy

6. The only setting that will change for the Outside Profile is the Profile strategy,  it must be for Outside and not Inside this time

     

7. Repeat the Settings from Point 2 to 5 and then Click on the Calculate Now button to complete the calculation of the Outside Profile Toolpath

     

8. In the Project Window of ArtCAM, right-mouse click Simulation and select Simulate All Toolpaths

     

9. Once the Simulation is completed the simulated toolpath results can be seen including the Lead In and Lead Outs (indicated below), any changes needed can then be done on the individual toolpaths and re-simulated if necessary

     

10. Once a satisfactory result has been achieved via the Simulation in ArtCAM, the Toolpath must be saved, in the Project Window, right-mouse click on Toolpaths, then select Save Toolpaths As

11. On the Save Toolpaths window, select the Machine File Format drop box and select the MetalWise Plasma(mm)(*.tap) Post Processor

12. Click on the Browse button to select the location where the toolpath must be saved and give the toolpath a name (user defined name), then click the Save button. This will save the Toolpath to the location that was selected with the User Defined Name set for the file (e.g. abc123.tap)

13. Browse to the location that the file was saved to, it can be copied directly to a USB Flash Drive for delivery to the MetalWise Plasma Cutter control and copied to the device. The file can also be opened via Notepad, the Post Processor generates generic G-Code that has been formulated for use with the MetalWise Plasma Cutter range specifically

Once the toolpath file has been copied via USB to the MetalWise Plasma Cutter the cutting process can be run with confidence

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For more information about your MetalWise Plasma Cutter please use the following links:

http://am.co.za/plasma

Or

http://amused.co.za/#CNC-Plasma-Cutter

[amcoza product=Plasma_Portable]

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