High praise for Fusion 360 adaptive toolpaths

I heard many times that F360 adaptive toolpaths were da bomb. But what I just saw blew my mind.

I had a piece that needed a facing operation (2mm off the top) and several deep pockets (26mm). Normally I’d run a facing op first, and then an adaptive toolpath to carve out the pockets. But this time I just created a single adaptive toolpath to see what will happen.

I was puzzled, because what Fusion created seemed weird: instead of facing first, it started with the pockets, going 4mm deep. After doing that, it then moved on to remove the top material (2mm), and then proceeded to descend deeper into the pockets. It seemed like a mistake at first, but then I realized…

The edges of my pockets were perfect. No tearout (this was in wood). I didn’t have to use a downcut endmill, I had perfect edges all over the place, because they were machined “depth first”.

I don’t know what triggers this logic, but it’s pure gold.


Was this with the default 3D adaptive toolpath options, or did you tweak any of them (there are options to order cuts by depth, by area, …)

Regardless of why Fusion360 does this, this is a great tip to cut pockets first and surface off the top of the stock next, to be left with clean top edges even with upcut endmills.

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No, I didn’t do any fancy tweaking, that’s why I am so impressed. In fact, I never even thought of this technique, but now that I’ve seen it it makes perfect sense.

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But does Fusion even know you were working in wood? I believe the default settings are for aluminum. I would guess the toolpath tries to achieve max tool engagement. Cutting material at 4 mm leaves less material to cut at 2 mm depth, so that saves time and achieves the max tool engagement criteria.

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