A Quick Introduction to Editing Post Processors

Marti Deans Marti Deans June 10, 2020

3 min read

If you’re generating toolpaths with a CAM system, you need a way to turn them into code for your machine. Typically this is done by a post processor, another code file that turns toolpath data into machine code. Post processors are often expensive, difficult to create, and hard to find support for. Fusion 360 flipped this on its head. We offer an online library with hundreds of free post processors that you can edit yourself to help make post processors more accessible to machinists across the industry. 


Of course, that leaves a lot of people wondering where to get started with editing their own post processors. The videos below address some of our most commonly asked questions. The accompanying links lead to written articles that cover the same topics. Finally, the last section contains more resources to help you get started with post processors and Fusion 360.


Find, Install, Edit, and Request a Post


Start here to learn the basics of using post processors in Fusion 360. Find a post processor in the online library which includes the most up to date posts. There are even some machine-specific posts for more relevant post properties and functionality. Install posts to your personal library so you can make any edits. Install posts to your personal cloud library so you can access them across devices. Edit using the Fusion 360 Post Extension for Visual Studio Code that makes it easy to locate and identify parts of the configuration file (the actual code behind the post processor) and the NC code.


If you’ve made it this far and decided you don’t want to make your own edits, use the Post Services Marketplace to find paid customization from one of our partners. Finally, if you think our library is missing a key post processor, you can request its creation on the Post Processor IdeaStation.



There are also written guides to installing cloud posts, installing local posts, and finding, editing, or requesting post processors or customizations.


Enable 4th and 5th Axes in a Post


Many posts in our post library already support 4 and 5-axis code. However, these axes are disabled by default. In some cases, you can simply enable these additional axes through the Post Properties (more information on those in the section below this one). In other cases, there are some edits you’ll need to make to the configuration file itself. As always, if you make edits to a post processor please proceed with caution.


There is a written guide to enabling 4th and 5th axes that I recommend reading for more details on the properties of each axis.  


Using Post Properties


Post Properties are a quick and easy way to make “edits” to your post without ever opening the configuration file. Now you know how to find and install a post, but might feel hesitant about directly editing the configuration file. Post properties allow you to make small tweaks to the post right from the NC Program or Post dialog. Check the video for more information on NC Programs and how you might use post properties.



Learn More

If you’re looking for more information on post editing, take a look at this comprehensive guide written by our post experts. I would also recommend this comprehensive video by John Saunders of NYC CNC. He goes into detail about the Visual Studio Code extension. The Post Processor Forum is a great place to ask questions as you get up and running. I also recommend searching the forum for your post or question before posting. There are literal years of helpful information already there!


Finally, here is a direct link to the Online Post Library which contains links to many of the resources above in the upper right corner. 


Ready to start editing your own posts? Download a trial of Fusion 360 today.



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