Extend Tool Life with High-Speed Roughing in SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional with VoluMill

Article by Shawn McEachern updated May 12, 2021


SOLIDWORKS CAM VoluMill is ideal for complex 3D shapes as its algorithms result in more intelligent toolpaths to machine pockets, slots, and arbitrary shapes.

VoluMill toolpaths, unlike a trochoidal toolpath, are designed so that the tool will never be buried, thus eliminating the need for the toolpath-lengthening circular motion; a VoluMill toolpath is therefore significantly shorter than a trochoidal toolpath for the same geometry, resulting in shorter cycle times. In addition, since the load on the tool is precisely controlled with a VoluMill toolpath, more aggressive machining parameters can be safely used than with a trochoidal toolpath. The net result is that a VoluMill toolpath is significantly more productive than a trochoidal toolpath, while at the same time putting less stress on the cutting tool, thereby extending tool life as well as reducing cycle times.

VoluMill is well suited for machining soft as well as hard materials that are hard to chip, such as titanium, nickel-based alloys, or stainless steel. The result is increased efficiency and utilization of machines, tools, and materials.

Below, we have created our pocket feature with VoluMill Roughing as the strategy and Generated the Option Plan

  1. Right mouse button on the VoluMill Operation and select Edit Definition.
  2. In the F/S Tab (Speed and Feed) select Operation under Defined by as we want to custom our VoluMill instead of using the default TechDB entry.
  3. Click on the VoluMill Technology Expert button
Operation Parameters

Operation Parameters

VoluMill Technology Expert

In the VoluMill Technology Expert, we may add more information about our set-up such as, Material, Hardness, Tool Holders and Clamping. The slider at the bottom controls how aggressive our tool will cut. As the Slider moves you will see the recommendations update in the table.

Once we click OK, we can see that the Speed and Feed from the Selected column is automatically populated in the F/S Tab.

VoluMill Technology Expert

VoluMill Technology Expert

Now, we may Generate Toolpaths and Simulate.

VoluMill Optimize

VoluMill Optimize

Check the operation time in the Optimize Tab by right mouse button on the VoluMill Operation and select Edit Definition.

Program Smarter, Machine Faster!

The high-performance roughing module, which is fully integrated in SOLIDWORKS CAM, combines optimal milling paths and maximum material removal with minimized machining times. VoluMill’s unique approach to high speed material removal allows the programmer to determine the optimum material removal rate for any combination of part geometry, material, machine, and cutting tool. Material is removed in the most effective way possible. Consequently, machines run smooth and tools run cooler.

  • Reduce your Cycle Times up to 80%
  • Reduce your programming times up to 50%
  • Increase your Cutting Tool Life up to 500%

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS CAM

Learn more tips and tricks in our SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard and Professional online training classes.

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Shawn McEachern

Shawn McEachern is a SOLIDWORKS Application Expert based in our Oakville, ON., Canada Head Office