TECH TALK – Inventor CAM – 4th axis Programming

In this weeks’ TechTalk Stephen Hall talks Inventor CAM and 4th Axis Programming


When programming for 4th Axis it’s worth noting that when applying a simple drilling feature such as a drilling cycle, the software will not always perform as expected, due to the nature of the component.

In this case we have 12 holes located around a 120 degree increments. Selecting one of the holes for the drill fixture works successfully as does checking the box under the geometry tag, select same diameter.

But you will notice, the remaining 8 holes in different orientations have not been selected.

This could be rectified by creating another 2 drilling fixtures using a different tool orientation. However, a simpler way to rectify this is to use the pattern command discussed in previous videos.

Once selected the circular pattern option can then be chosen. You can then use a diameter or an axis for your rotation.

4th Axis Programming

You can then nominate the number of instances and the if a 360 degree angle or a partial angle is required, as well as other options to fine tune your feature.

For the pockets located on the smaller diameter, component geometry dictates that a different process is required, rather than the straightforward 2D adaptive or pocket features.

Using either of these commands will give us something similar to the desired result. But as you can see the base of the pocket is still in a flat orientation.

To overcome this, we can use a wrap toolpath feature. By selecting the base of the pocket as a cylinder the cutter will now follow the geometry accordingly, therefore wrapping itself around the base of the pocket.

For the remaining pockets, we can again use the pattern command therefore completing the process in easy steps.


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