A toolpath is a collection of strategies or operations that direct the movement of the CNC across and through your material to reveal or cut out your shape. It is how we define our approach to cutting your project and there are many considerations.
We make our Toolapaths using Fusion 360 but we support files made in most popular 3D and 2D Cad software.
To make a Toolpath, we need a 3D model, or a 2D drawing or a combination of both.
Ideally, you can import or draw your design in fusion, create a basic setup in the manufacturing environment, and bring an exported copy (.f3d or .f3z) of the file to you consultation.
If not read this page, get your files ready and bring them to your consultation.
Please check your file, regardless of what software it comes from for the following:
If your working with Contour Meshes, sets of Buildings exported from and curves pulled from a variety software and sources, we suggest compiling it all into one place in Rhino before importing into fusion 360 or bringing for your toolpath consultation. If you follow the conventions of provided in this example, and carefully review general tips above, you can bring a file like this to your tool path consultation and you will be ready to go
If you have a more complex project a 3D model is required, Here are some Considerations:
Nurbs based and solid models are much better than mesh based models , If you can choose, design your model in Fusion 360, Solid works, or Rhino.
Whilst Solid models are better, meshes can work. but will require the exporting of additional 2d machining boundaries (see below).
Curves can be used to provide 2D shapes which the CNC can Profile/Pocket/Drill Down to specific depths, creating 2D shapes similar to what can be realized with a lazer cutter.
When used in conjunction with a 3D model, Curves are used to describe the different areas for which a different machining approach would be necessary. Whilst the 3D model is the ultimate shape we are cutting, the curves allow us to use tool path strategies to move the tool across the surfaces to best realize the shape. Here are some considerations: