Expert | ~16 hr.

CNC Toolpaths for Multi-Axis Milling

Course | Skill builder
Take your tool paths to the next level by controlling simultaneous motion in 5 axes at once.

Computer numerical controlled machines, or CNC for short, can have a nearly endless number of options. Most machines today control tool motion in 3-axes, X, Y and Z, but can be upgraded to include a 4th or 5th axis as well, A and B.

Additionally, there are many machines on the market that are already 5-axis capable. The good news is that Fusion 360 has you covered if you need to control multi-axis positioning or simultaneous motion in all 5 axes at once.

After this course, you'll be able to: 

  • Recognize multi-axis geometry.
  • Identify 3+2 vs. Simultaneous machining.
  • Practice the application of multi-axis toolpaths.
Image courtesy of Conturo Prototyping.

Course modules

~20 min.
Getting started

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

~2 hr.
Project setup and 3-axis machining

Learn to set up a multi-axis part by using 2.5 and 3- axis operations to rough away material.

~1 hr. 20 min.
Multi-axis positioning for drilling and tapping holes

Learn how to position a part and use canned drill cycles and toolpath patterns to cut geometry.

~2 hr. 30 min.
Multi-axis positioning for milling operations

Learn to use traditional 2 and 3 axis pocketing in a 3+2 positioning operation.

~2 hr.
Using multi-axis contour

Learn how to use multi-axis contour.

~1 hr.
Creating and understanding multi-axis swarf

Learn how to use and understand what a swarf toolpath can do.

~1 hr. 20 min.
Using multi-axis Flow

Learn to apply the flow toolpath in both 3 and 5 axis settings to understand what the options change and how it can be utilized on complex parts.

~40 min.
Roughing and finishing a basic part

Start exploring multiple setups by first creating a single setup and program to machine a contour and pocket on a simple part.

~2 hr. 30 min.
Create a second setup

Learn how to create a second setup for the same machine to cut the back side of a part. 

~45 min.
Machining a part to be held in a fixture

Prepare a part to be machined on a multi-axis mill by machining and finish geometry specifically to be bolted down to a 5-axis machine.

~45 min.
Preparing a multi-axis setup

Learn to setup and machine a set of soft jaws to hold a multi-axis part for final machining on a 3-axis machine using a probe to locate its WCS.

~1 hr.
Finish multi-axis positioning toolpaths

Learn to use folders to help organize a browser, understand the benefits of using NC programs over post processing, and create documentation for the setups.

~35 min.
Surfacing tools for machining

Learn about some common tools that might be used when preparing to machine a part. 

~1 hr.
Course challenge

Course challenge exercise

~1 hr.
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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