I have been meaning to figure out how to do 2.5D with MeshCAM. Perhaps that’s worth doing instead of worrying about the phlat tabs.
I was just doing some test cutting of a new model plane design on a CNC machine.
I was having some problems because the toolpath made by the Phlatboyz is pretty efficient but it was not optimal for permitting my tabs to hold the material. I knew a different cut order would be better and I could save material and have smaller tabs.
The manual says to just group the items. It didn’t say when to group them. I tried to make groups assuming that meant I could then add the cuts to the groups in order. That didn’t work. After making all those groups, I could not add a cut.
So I added all the cuts, then added the groups. The cuts where done to each group in the order that I made the groups.
I made my first attempt at machining an XL pulley this morning.
I decided that a 6 inch circumference would have 60 groves since an XL timing belt is 5 groves per inch.
I divided by pi and got 1.9099 inches for diameter.
I then drew a 1/16″ x 1/16″ square which was the right distance from the center of the pulley. This would be a grove. I then copied it to 6 degrees and then replicated it 59 times (since 360/60=6).
I drew a circle and then erased the extra lines so I was left with a circle and the groves cut in it. I changed the circle to 300 segments from the default 24 segments.
I added a circle to the middle for the bearing and then some circle to create spokes. I changed all the inner circles to 200 segments.
I set the material thickness to .125 and the mill size to 1/32 and generated the g-code using phlatboyz plugin.
The g-code came out to 7 Megs! It took about 5 minutes for it to load in Mach 3.
I used too many passes as it took about an hour to cut. I’ll know next time.
Also, I made the mistake of using the diameter as the radius so it came out twice as big.
I measured the bearing OD and got 1.255″. So that’s 1 1/4″. I made the center hole radius 5/8″ which is half that. The actual hole measures 1.245″ so it’s a little small.
The grooves are also a little small. I found a real sketchup of an XL timing pulley. I’ll open it up and steal the grove profile.
I was doing some research and lots of people are using a 4th axis for cutting gears and pulleys.