Rotary Machining and Wrapping
Aspire can 'wrap' flat toolpaths around a cylinder to provide output to CNC machines which are configured with a rotary axis / indexer. The image below shows a flat toolpath wrapped around part of a cylinder.
It is important to note that wrapping works in conjunction with specially configured post-processors which take the XYZ 'flat' toolpaths and wrap them around a rotary axis, replacing either the X or Y moves with angular moves.
The toolpaths can be visualized wrapped within the program when the Auto Wrapping mode is on.
Aspire can also visualize a wrapped model within the program by drawing the shaded composite model wrapped.
Aspire also has the ability to draw the toolpath simulation wrapped. Although this is very useful for getting a feel for how the finished product will look, it is important to realize that the wrapped simulation may not be a 100% accurate representation of how the finished product will look. An example of potential difference would be if you drilled holes in your rotary job. In the actual work piece these will obviously just be round holes, in the wrapped simulation these may appear as distorted ovals due to the 'stretching' process which takes place when we wrap the flat simulation model for display.
If your rotary axis is aligned along your Y axis you would choose the Orientation Along Y Axis option during job setup. All the examples in this document will assume that the rotary axis is aligned along X.
It is important to realize that there are a huge number of possible combinations of machine controller and axis orientations for rotary axis / indexers. This means it is impractical for Vectric to supply a pre-configured post-processor for every possible combination as standard. We include some wrapping post-processors in the software that can be configured when you setup your Machine Configuration.
If you need to select a new post, you can do so by accessing the Save Toolpaths menu. To do so, click the 'Manage machine configuration' button as seen in the image below:
This will now open a menu where you can press the button under 'Associated Post-Processors' to access all of the available post-processors within the software and choose the appropriate wrapped post-processor for your machine configuration.
You can also right click the post in this menu and select 'view' to view the contents of the post, should you need to edit it later.
Examining these posts may be helpful if you need to configure a post of your own. If Vectric have not supplied a standard a post for your machine configuration please refer to the Post Processor Editing Guide accessible from the Help menu of the program for information on how to configure a post-processor and also look at the standard rotary posts Vectric supply.
You should also look at the Vectric forum to see if anyone else has already configured a post for your configuration or one similar. If, after looking at these resources you are still unsure of what needs to be done for your machine, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help. However, please note that we cannot guarantee to write a custom rotary post-processor for every individual requirement.