Beautiful machining or not so beautiful? That is the question.

Expected outputIt can be surprisingly disappointing seeing your first few parts come off a CNC machine.  When you’re learning, or don’t have years of machining experience, getting the strategy right is just educated guesswork.  With Inventor HSM and Fusion 360, there’s a neat trick to seeing the finished article before you start cutting “real” material.

Machining strategy

Just because it looks this good on the screen doesn’t always mean it’s going to be this good when you remove it from the machine. Looking at the machining strategy you may think you’re onto a winner, but your choice of tool, step-over, ramp angle, speeds and feeds all conspire against you to produce a finished part that may look a long way short of your earlier expectations.

To test your process, run the machining simulation until you can see the finished component.  Once you’re happy with the result, right-click the stock model and save the stock:

Finished stock model

Open the stock model and have a good look.  Try rendering the model – you might be surprised by the results!  Every ridge and pimple left by the machining process is clearly visible.

Actual output

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