Is there a way to create a swept cut through an existing body along a
helical path using a solid (rather than a profile sketch) as the cutting
tool? This general sort of operation is central to the function of CAM
programs (removing material with a tool body), so I believe the geometry
kernel should be able to solve the feature.
Your CNC programer probably only needs the centerline displacement
diagram. Pattern a cylindrical extrude cut along a path is also an
interesting technique but tends to really slow things down with a high
pattern increment. I've also tried sweep with guide surface but not
too sure about the resulting geometry and get errors especially for
To create a realistic tool path you have to do it in incremental steps.
I had started to do this using the API once and got it working on a 2d
path and it worked pretty well. I would have to check where I left off
with it. I have quite a bit more experience now I might be able to get
further with it. The key is you have to sweep it and revolve at each
corner. Sweep the profile along a path and whenever there is a sharp
corner or a corner with a radius smaller than the tool radius you have
to create a cut revolve. You end up with alot of features but a pretty
accurate tool path. CAM systems use a lower accuracy level than a CAD
system. Normally to get a quick toolpath cut through a part you have
to use around +-.004" accuracy. If you go down to .0005 you are
conciderably slower. So for speed you sacrifice accuracy. SolidWorks
on the otherhand is working with much higher accuracy.
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