A toolpath is the path a cutting tool (also referred to as a "milling bit" or "endmill") follows. It allows the cutting tool to cut material at a specified depth and speed, in a specified geometric pattern. There are different types of toolpaths that vary depending on the task. Two examples include "pocketing" and "profile cutting."
Before you can CNC mill on BoXZY, you need to understand Feed Rate and Speed. Speed and feed rate are settings that depend on the material you're working with, the bit you're using, and the amount of material you want to remove per pass.
Feed Rate is the rate at which the cutting tool travels on the X and Y axes. This is written as distance/time such as mm/second or inches/minute. Plunge rate is the feed rate at which the cutting tool moves as it enters the material on the Z axis.
Speed is the rate at which the cutting tool spins. It's measured in units of RPM, or Revolutions Per Minute.
A pass is a single layer of the milling operation at a given depth. Typically, you use multiple passes to cut out your part, cutting deeper with each pass. As you gain experience you will learn how to optimize your toolpath speeds, feeds, and passes.
Stepover (seen in image) is the distance the endmill moves laterally over uncut material as it mills a shape. Stepover is usually entered as a percentage of bit diameter. Ex: 20% stepover means that 80% of the bit's diameter is over previously cut material and 20% cuts into new material with each path.
Depth per pass is the vertical movement into the material for each pass required to cut the desired shape.
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