Tool Changes / Not Machining Entire Part at Once in Meshcam?

So I just want to machine the outside of the coin with a larger cutting tool, then the inside with a very tiny one. However I am not sure how to specify this in meshcam. The “set machining” region makes little sense to me…

Can anyone provide help?

It’s tricky at first.

If you need to do a specific region, I would suggest drawing it up along with the balance of the project, then exporting that region definition as a DXF — once you draw up and import a file it should “click”, then you can adjust and repeat.

Do you mean exporting from CAD to a DXF then import the DXF to meshcam? Or the DXF to carbide create?

In MeshCAM, one of the options for CAM | Set Machine Region is to load a DXF — in v6 I think — looks as if v7 doesn’t have that yet.

Could you perhaps explain this more / guide me to a tutorial?

I try to do the set machine region and load the dxf and it doesnt seem to work / cant be rotated it goes to the side and just is not able to be moved.

All i need to do is that curved text, however carbide create lacks that ability.

I also tried to export the curved text from inventor to AutoCAD so I could save it as a DXF file type, and that just didnt show up in carbide create.

Still learning MeshCAM myself — hopefully someone at can help you beyond the bare fact.

To get the curved text into AutoCAD, make certain that it’s converted to paths — the “OVERKILL” method in AutoCAD is supposed to help as well.

Or, set the text in Inkscape, convert it to paths, then import that into Carbide Create.

Hmm, Meshcam is pretty frustrating, my first CAM program. I may start to use Autodesk for my CAM needs, I just need more features i guess, or some that I more readily understand.

It’s supposed to be simple.

Did you try importing a DXF for an exclusion region? (I’m afraid I don’t work with DXFs much, just STLs from OpenSCAD and SVGs from Inkscape) It should be binary, what’s w/in the region is processed/not-processed depending on settings.

If you’d post a set of files we’d be glad to look at them.

Let me try to tackle this from a different angle. MeshCAM basically only likes to do one operation per toolpath run. So you will need to run through the “Generate Toolpath” window twice and generate two output files - one for the outside of the coin, one for the inside of the coin.

Here is how I would do it - though I am sure there may be other ways.

(1) Go through and set up all your parameter setup as normal (define stock, supports, geometry, etc.)

(2) when you reach “Set Machining region”, open it up and use the top row of icons (probably the circle in your case) to outline the inside of the coin. Inside the circle is the area that this file will machine, but nowhere else on the stock.

(3) Run Generate Toolpath, selecting the tiny bit (and proper feeds and speeds for it).

(4) visually check the generated toolpath in the MeshCam display once done, making sure just the areas you want machined with the tiny bit are being done.

(5) Save this toolpath to a file.

(6) without changing anything else, go back to “Set Machining region”. Click on “Delete All” to remove the previous specified machining region.

(7) Now use the bottom set of icons in “Set Machining Region”. (The red hashed exclusion area ones). Select the red hashed circle one and redraw the same area that you did previously. This means machine everything outside that circle region.

(8) Go back to “Generate Toolpath” and select the larger cutting tool. Create the toolpath and visually confirm the toolpath machines out the area around the outside of the coin, but not the inside. Save this toolpath in a separate file.

Now you have two .nc files, which you run one after the other in Carbide Motion or whatever you are using, without rezeroing between running the two files.

On a semi-related note, not sure what sort of workholding you will be using but I would probably run the tiny tool on the inside first and the larger tool around the outside second - less chance of the coin moving or getting loose while machining the inside.

Hope that helps!

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I use the “set machining region” feature shamelessly on my projects. It just seems easier, and very often, when I try to do more than one thing, meshcam has a stroke and goes crazy.

I have canned programs for several of my operations now, such as bolt patterns.