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Do I need to do ROUGHING passes with each tool?
Last Updated: 01/29/2019

When I use Roughing it does not cut out the small holes and then when I finish the small tool goes into the hole and then breaks why?

3 different scenarios to consider with this question

  1. Soft Material, Wax, Modeling Foam, You do not need to do roughing passes with each tool, roughing passes are mainly used to remove the majority of the material then the smaller tools are able to handle the cutting of the rest of the material in the finish passes. Since the step over is so small on finish passes normally .003 for ball mill tools and smaller .0015 for conical tools then the tools are only cutting very little material each pass.
  2. Hard Material, Aluminum, Plastic, and a model that has holes smaller than the roughing tool, for example, roughing tool is 1/4" and there are 1/8" holes and the finish tools are smaller than 1/4". When roughing, the tool will not go all the way to the bottom of the small hole because it does not fit, 1/4" tool and a 1/8" hole. So material will be left behind in the 1/8" hole, no material will be removed. Then when you finish with a smaller tool 1/16" it will try to enter the hole which has not had any material removed and it can break the tool, will it break the tool it really depends on how deep the hole is and also how hard the material is. A nice workaround is to rough a part with the larger tool then just rough the smaller hole individually for example with a 1/8" hole I would rough with a 1/16" tool because a 1/8" tool will not enter a 1/8" hole because it needs to leave the extra material that the finish tool removes. Another option is to create a toolpath that is the smaller finish tool size and choose - contour only and it will cut down the contours and into the holes to remove the material before finishing. This will cut out all the small holes, if you have a lot of small holes in a pattern then using the drilling command is faster if it is the same size as your endmill.
  3. Jewelry wax and conical tools this does not apply because the wax is so soft and the conical tool is stepping over .0015" then you do not have to worry about it breaking the tool when entering holes like these that were not cut out during the roughing pass.

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