I am trying to use auto cutline in Creo 2 to mill a few hemispherical pockets with a ball end mill. I've used the auto cutline before on similar recessed pockets and it usually goes well.
The problem I see in this feature is that there is no way to specify the CW or CCW direction of the cutter as it helicals into the pocket. If it defaults to the way I want to go (climb milling) things go fine. If it produces an upcutting tool path, there seems to be no way to change it.
For today's project, an internal hemispherical pocket, it wants to helical CW from the top with the spindle specd at CW (upcut). If I edit the path the cutter plunges to the bottom of the feature and helicals upward.
Anyone else have luck with this one?
So this is how to make the helical plunge spiraling clockwise or counter clockwise?
And without changing the direction the cutter spins or reversing the actual machining path, right?
Creo 3 (well, Creo 3 M030, at least) includes a button in the "Cut lines" subtab for the start point that will let you change the location and direction the toolpath starts in.
This button does not appear in Creo 2 M070, the only version of 2 I currently have on my computer. It's possible it exists in a later version of 2, or it may have been added in 3; whenever it was added, I was also not able to find the functionality in Creo 2.
I am using Creo 2 M090. The start point and change direction functionality works every time as long as I select two cutlines to follow. However, one is suppose to be able to select the surfaces of say a recessed or raised cone with the surface selector and simply click Auto Cutline without picking cutlines and Creo will create a toolpath that starts at the OD and ends at the very tip of the cone or vice versa if you move the point before the OD cutline. I've found it to work great in some situations. However, there are enough times when for seemingly no reason the path created is an upcutting path and there is no way to change the direction that it spirals from Cutline 1 to the Point created in Auto Cutline. I can change from starting at the point, to starting at the OD - but it will still be upcutting.
I know. I'm not saying it works in Creo 2, I'm saying they realized that and added this button either at some later point in 2 or in 3. We never used auto cutlines in Creo 2 for exactly the reason you are running into now. With this button in Creo 3, you can use auto cutlines, then select where on the outer edge you want to start at, and then pick a spiral direction as well. This allows you to pick between climb and conventional cutting at will. I've never had cause to spiral outwards from a point, so I can't say anything about how that portion works, though I would assume it would still let you pick a direction.
I work the weekends, so I can't provide screenshots until Friday at the earliest. And I do realize this doesn't actually help you at all as you have Creo 2. I just wanted to share the fact that we haven't been able to find the capability in Creo 2, but that they did add it (in a logical location, even) in Creo 3. This is the kind of thing that makes me wish they would provide a detailed, manufacturing-specific list of changes including such minor details as changes to how toolpaths work, interface changes, actual added features/interfaces/buttons, etc.
Thank You for the help. I guess I will wait until my company wants to commit to the change to 3. That may be a while. I do like using the feature, when it works. Right now its a 50/50 chance that it will produce a cut that I want, so I don't go to it often.
Put these hidden options in your config.pro and you will be able to use the old style of cutline for surfacing.