Cutting Rough and Finish Profiles using Alphacam

Figuring out the Alphacam settings to cut smooth curves in multiple passes. October 14, 2010

I work in a cabinet and millwork shop and we recently bought a 3-axis Routech 220 with Alphacam. We are trying to route profiles into solid wood. Is there some way to use the rough/finish profiled setting to route a profile? Any information about routing profiles with Alphacam would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor M:
The link is pretty good. It was a bit harder to figure out before the tech tricks. There are all sorts of good uses for this. You can apply any profile to open or closed geometry. You can also blend flat bottom tools for cut inside corners on your profile where the ball end can't get to. We use it for crown moulding and irregular shaped raised panels. If you need further help, you can email me.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for the help, but just a few questions I have come up with after looking at the site: Is the profile side view drawn on the regular 2-D spreadsheet? How do I know which side (left/right/center) I need to choose in Tool Direction.

From contributor M:
Let me see if I can explain it well enough for you to get started. Draw the part. Draw the profile section somewhere on the drawing in 2d. The profile has to be joined, but the direction does not matter. Now draw the line/arc, or whatever the profile will be applied to. This is typically not the edge of the part, just the reference point from the top of the profile. Too direction has to be right or left on this piece of geometry. You want the direction to be on the side that the profile falls on. Set up your profile tool, and check the bidirectional box for the profiled rough/finish. Now select the geometry that you are applying the profile to, and then click the profile and the reference point in that order. You're done. Now you can put a lead in/out on the tool path if you want.

From contributor O:
I have to put profiles on oval and round windows a lot and Contributor M has it down. His instructions are good. Being your tool will always start at the top of the profile and cut down it will start pushing a large amount of wood in front of it if you don't first rough this wood out and away. You control the number of passes by using the error control box. A finer setting produces a smoother finish and more passes. You will have to add flat tools to produce square corners where the ball tool cannot.