CNCSimulator Pro

user guide

12.2.21. Create pockets

To create pockets and islands, you need to define contours. See Draw Contours for more info.
The first contour you draw on a pocket layer will always be the outside border of the pocket, following contours (on the same layer) will be treated as islands.
Example of a basic square pocket:
Before setting the parameters (note that we have made the contour with the toolside arrows pointing inwards so that the mill will go on the inside of the contour).
Same contour with parameters set (layer type set to pocket milling).
Now, if we want to create an island in the pocket, we need to draw it on the same layer.
If you would just start to draw a new contour now with the guide layer as the selected layer, SimCam would automatically create a new layer for you with the island contour alone. That will not work as it needs to be on the same layer as the mother pocket.
As you can see in the picture, the guide layer is the selected layer (the info panel is yellow).
To continue to draw new contours on a contour layer, we need to select it first. Click on the info panel of the contour layer to select it.
Now it is selected (note the yellow background).
We can now add a new contour to the pocket layer.
It will automatically be treated as an island.
Two contours on the same layer.
If SimCam cannot understand how to make a pocket of your contours, the layer will get a red/pink color to indicate that it has an error. For example, if a contour is not closed.
The second contour is not closed.
A red/pink background means error. Click the small blue information button in the info panel to read about the error.
The pocket milling function can also be used for face milling.
To face mill an entire workpiece, create a contour along its borders.
Note that there are no toolside arrows on the contour. This is because the toolside is set on the center of the contour by default. If you should need to change the toolside, left-click the contour and click "Flip toolside".
Then set the layer type to pocket (and other parameters you want for the operation) and we are done!
Besides the basic parameters (see Setting Parameters for Operations), there is a tab called Pocketing in the Cutting Operation Parameters dialog.
Angle: here you can type the angle in degrees for the cuts in the pocket.
Overlap: by default the cuts overlap by 10% of the cutting diameter. You can change that here.
Contour Cut: by default a contour cut is added around all borders in the pocket. You can turn that on or off here. If you choose to turn the contour cut function off, you will have to add fine cut contour layers to finish your pocket operation.
All other parameters, like cutting depth and feedrates etc. are set under the Basic tab.
There is also an additional way to create pockets. It is a shortcut in the context menu that shows up when the line or arc is part of a closed contour.
It is a quicker way to create a pocket operation.
You will first see a dialog asking for some basic parameters like the diameter of the tool and cutting depths.
Next, you will see a small dialog that lets you select the tool side and direction. When you click on these buttons, you will see a preview of the final result.
When you are done, you can go into the parameters for the layer to fine-tune the result.
You can also add islands to pockets using the same menu.