This blog showcases a quick example of going from concept to finished part using SOLIDWORKS CAM!
I had wanted to create a custom business card holder. You can see the concept I settled on below, created in SOLIDWORKS.
I happened to have the opportunity to borrow some time on a CNC machine, and needed a CAM solution to generate the complex toolpaths and NC code required to machine my part.
I programmed this part using CAMWorks, but the same exact result is achievable using SOLIDWORKS CAM that is integrated into every license of SOLIDWORKS on active subscription!
From a starting block of 6061 Aluminum the top of the stock was faced. 2.5 Axis Mill Features were used to rough and finish the inner pocket of the business card holder with a long 1/4” Flat Endmill.
For the bulk of the exterior a Multi-surface Feature was used and an Area Clearance roughing operation was used with a Flat Endmill to remove most of the material. You can see the results up to this stage represented in the stock removal simulation, and the corresponding photo below:
These material removal simulations also feature collision detection, to ensure there won’t be any nasty surprises when it’s time to make chips.
After this stage, a finishing Z-level operation was used with a Ball Endmill and a small depth of cut to create a smooth exterior surface.
Finally, the part was flipped over and gripped in the vice to face the remaining stock off the bottom.
From the beginning, I utilized target part deviation plots, which color code the model after a stock removal simulation: green for nominal, red representing any potential gouges, and blue representing regions still requiring machine work. This ensured that my finished part would come out exactly how I wanted it, as you can see below!
Another notable benefit of SOLIDWORKS CAM is that the toolpath and program setup is stored directly on my SOLIDWORKS part or assembly. So if I ever wanted to make any other variants of this design concept, I could simply modify the geometry and have my toolpath automatically update.