Easy CAM Guidelines

Easy CAM Guidlines

In order to efficiently and safely run your CAM operations on our CNC machines, your CAD/CAM files need to conform to the principles listed below.

SendItCNC provides libraries of cutting tools, workholding setups and CAM operations templates. These resources enable you to create CAM programs, and enable us to validate and machine them efficiently.

Our systems check that the SendItCNC resources have been used in a manner that conforms to the CAM guidelines specified below. Often, if there are issues, we can adjust your CAM program to bring it into conformance prior to running it. In that case, we provide a diagnostic report to you summarizing any such corrections.

Generally, your CAD/CAM files will have the best chance of breezing through validation with flying colors if you use the SendItCNC libraries (Tools, Stock, Setups, Workholding, CAM Templates) without modification.

Here are the SendItCNC CAM guidelines:

CAM setups must include a fixture from the SendItCNC workholding or setups library.

Please note that the fixture must not be modified with the exception that joints provided in the fixture should be used to adjust it to conform to stock size (e.g. vise jaws should be “closed” on the workpiece).

CAM operations must simulate without collision.

The exception to this is probing, where protected probe moves need not necessarily simulate collision free in the Fusion CAM simulator.

CAM setups must include stock of a size which is shown in the SendItCNC online job submission tool.

CAM setups may use tools only from the SendItCNC tool libraries.

Modifications to speeds, feeds, coolant types, etc. may be ignored since these parameters may be adjusted when the Virtual CNC machine is mapped to a real CNC machine when the part is run. Each Virtual CNC machine has a standard set of tools which are provided with no additional fees. You may also choose a limited number of optional tools from the tool libraries, such as drills, taps and other milling cutters.

Where possible, CAM Operations should use the parameters established in the SendItCNC CAM defaults file, or used in the SendItCNC Templates library.

Of course, we understand there will be exceptions to this guideline, and our system is set up to allow reasonable variances from our defaults.

Roughing operations should generally use adaptive toolpaths (a.k.a. HSM toolpaths) where possible.

Generally, adaptive operations can run at a depth (axial engagement) of 0.8 x cutter diameter, with a radial engagement of 0.2 x the cutter diameter. These conservative parameters provide a forgiving environment. When making larger numbers of the same part, we’ll happily work with you to optimize things.

Adaptive pocketing should be used in preference to slotting, however where slotting is necessary, the axial engagement must be limited to 0.1 x cutter diameter. Adaptive operations will generally plunge outside the stock, but where that is not possible, they will helix into the stock. Pre-drilling is generally not necessary.

Finish operations should remove no more than .020 inches of material.

Otherwise, please use a roughing operation first.

Templates are provided in the SendItCNC CNC template library for operations including drilling and tapping.

Use of the templates will help you create CAM operations that easily pass the SendItCNC validation process.

CAM setups should include a WCS probing operation to locate the workpiece in the X-axis.

The SendItCNC setup files (such as “Vise Stock & CAM Setups.f3d”) include the recommended probing operations. Although the WCS Z-axis and Y-axis origins are established by the surfaces of the fixed vise jaw, it can be helpful to do WCS probing in the Y-axis to account for the small difference between nominal and actual stock dimensions.