What should I consider when making a part?

Questions to consider:

  • Can I fit a spinning tool into this space?

  • Can I start with a piece of material and carve material away with a tool connected to the Pocket NC spindle to end up with the part that I want?

  • How do I hold this part in the Pocket NC mill to machine it?

    • The Pocket NC can use a vice or a round collet to grip a part. A fixture may have to be made to hold on to your part depending on its geometry.

  • How do I machine this part in subsequent operations and make it accurately?

    • Typically, 5 of 6 sides of a part can be machined in the first holding with the 5-axis Pocket NC. In order to machine the last side accurately relative to the rest of the part a fixture must be used.

Geometry that can’t be machined

The below are some common issues we see when asked to evaluate if a part can be machined or not. Generally making small changes to address the below points will make a part much more feasible to cut on the Pocket NC.

Sharp inside corners cannot be machined.

features to be machined

Blind features – do I have a “line of sight” for the tool?

blind holes

Keep internal radii as big as possible. Aim for depth of at least three times the diameter of tool, machining is exponentially more difficult as this ratio gets larger.

keep internal radii large enough