Professional | ~10 hr.

CNC Toolpaths for 3 Axis Milling

Course | Skill builder
Rough and finish geometry using tool motion in X, Y, and Z axes.

Machine geometry is getting complicated. But with Fusion 360, we can rapidly remove material from the most complicated 3D parts using a host of standard and adaptive toolpaths. Learn to rough and finish geometry that requires tool motion in X, Y, and Z axes. Then, get real-world practice by creating a full CNC program for a part, simulating it, and exporting it to G-code.

After this course, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of adaptive toolpaths in Fusion 360.
  • Summarize rest machining applications.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the creation of detailed 3-axis toolpaths.

Course modules

~10 min.
Getting started

Discover what you will learn in this course and download the software and resources you will need.

~1 hr.
Setting up for a 3-axis machining job

Much like 2.5 axis machining, 3-axis machining requires some preparation before we begin creating toolpaths. The strategy for creating those toolpaths much first be broken down into workflows and the understanding of what steps to take. 

~45 min.
Identifying types of geometry

The term “open pocket” can be a bit misleading when trying to utilize a pocket clearing operation.

~1 hr.
Adaptive clearing and roughing toolpaths

Adaptive toolpaths allow you to remove large amounts of material quickly, utilizing more of the tool while reducing wear.

~1 hr. 20 min.
Rest machining adaptive toolpaths

Rest machining is a great option that lets us focus our machining energy only in areas where material is left behind from other operations.

~1 hr. 15 min.
Finish cutting walls and floors of parts

CNC parts don’t always have to be complex or unique. Sometimes we just have to cut a vertical wall with a flat base. Even when the geometry isn’t complex there are strategies we need to understand based on criterial such as wall thickness and tolerance.

~1 hr. 30 min.
General 3D finishing toolpaths

General toolpaths might seem a little vague, but there are a lot of finishing strategies to cover that work for very general geometry.

~1 hr.
Finishing toolpaths for complex geometry

When a general finishing strategy just won’t cut it, we need to identify the right tool and toolpath for the job.

~30 min.
Process planning a part

The first step in a CAM job is planning. In some cases, this might be as simple as just visually reviewing a part. In other cases, this might involve filling out a process planning form, identifying toolpath order, tools and key features based on any supplied documentation.

~30 min.
Setting up a CAM program

A CAM program must contain certain pieces of information. The type of machine, stock size and coordinate system location are all required to successfully program a CNC part.

~1 hr.
Finalize a CNC mill part

In nearly every case we start by roughing a part. This means removing as much unneeded material as we can with a large tool. This process allows us to use smaller tools to semi-finish and finish complex geometry.

~30 min.
Review and export a CNC program

Review the ways to export G-code and create supporting CAM documentation.

~1 hr.
Course challenge

Now that you've completed the learning material in this course, you can take the challenge exercise to measure your skills on the topics covered in this course. 

~30 min.
Final test

Ready to test your knowledge? Pass this required test with a score of 75% or more to complete the course and earn a certificate of completion.  

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