Manual impeller manufacturing in NX CAM, 5 axis (semi)finish

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series "Impeller manufacturing" NX CAM training 3-5 axis

This instruction shows the process for 5 axis operations, which can work as replacement for the automatic NX turbomachinery operations (as a part of impeller manufacturing series). This can work as a training material for 5 axis milling in NX CAM.

Reasons for manual 5 axis.

Generally, I use manual impeller manufacturing in 5 axis in some of the following cases:

    • There is a small amount of material left after bigger tool and it is easier to remove it manually, than limiting NX Turbomachinery for certain area.
    • In some cases, manual operation can be faster to create, than with NX turbomachinery.
    • In case I want to use a non-ball end mill for semi-finish operation (NX turbomachinery uses only ball-end for finishing operations)
    • In case I use a connecting element between blades to avoid vibration

      manual impeller manufacturing 20

      Connecting feature between blades. Helps to avoid vibration.

This video shows the finishing operation, connecting feature is left between the blades to avoid vibration.

5-axis operation for blade surface.

Defining the surface area parameters.

  • Create a new surface area operation and go to its settings
  • Specify the surface for the Drive Geometry
  • Set the direction
  • Set the Cut Pattern to Zig
  • Optional: Define the Cut Step (It is recommended to test the toolpath first with a default Cut Step value)
  • Click display, the preview should look like this:

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Preview of surface area operation

  • Optional: if you want to reduce (or expand) the drive surface select Surface% or Diagonal Points. Example with Surface% is shown bellow:

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Controlling the cutting area by Surface% parameters

  • Press OK

Creating the operation.

  •  In most cases, Swarf Drive Axis position is suitable. If not, use Interpolate vector (Explained in detail in the next operation)
    manual impeller manufacturing 24
  • Define the Cut Area as blade surface (similar to one you selected for drive geometry)
  • Generate the operation

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Testing a 5-axis operation along the blade surface

Creating a 5-axis operation for bottom surface.

Creating a surface for drive geometry

In case the bottom side is a single surface, it needs to be adjusted using modeling application.

  • Switch to modeling application
  • Use WAVE geometry linker to link the surface to your active (manufacturing) part
  • Open Curve on Surface operation
  • Create two splines as shown on the screenshot (pay attention to Infer G1, this will create a smooth surface)

    manual impeller manufacturing

    creating splines for cutting the surface

  • Select Divide Face operation
  • As Faces to Divide select the surface
  • As Dividing objects select the splines
  • Press OK (this should create a smooth surface to run the 5-axis operation)

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Surface, manually created for operation

Defining the surface area parameters.

NOTE: This instruction is for Surface Area operation, but Streamline is also possible in this case.

  • Create a new surface area operation (You will get to Surface Area dialog)
  • Specify the surface for the Drive Geometry
  • Set the Direction
  • Set the Cut Pattern to Zig
  • Optional: Define the Cut Step (It is recommended to test the toolpath first with a default Cut Step value)
  • Click display, the preview should look like this:

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Preview of the surface area operation

  • Press OK

Define the tool axis.

  • For tool axis select Interpolate Vector
  • The easiest way to define collision free vector is to look onto impeller from the possible tool axis direction. If you see that the tool would fit correctly define the vector to be View direction:

    manual impeller manufacturing

    Defining vectors as View Direction

  • When vectors are defined Set the Interpolation Method to Smooth
  • Press OK

Creating the operation.

  • Generate the operation
manual impeller manufacturing

Operation for the bottom surface (1)

manual impeller manufacturing

Operation for the bottom surface (1)

 

Video instructions for impeller manufacturing.

Conclusions.

By using manual 5 axis you get more control over an the operations, which allows making more complex geometries. But the use of such operations requires extra time and skill.

Let me know what you think. Have you used any methods for optimizing 5 axis operations for complex geometries?

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