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Cutting Strategies for High Speed Machining siemens NX

Many of the cut patterns can be used for High Speed Machining by making the following adjustments:

  • For contouring, make the Stepover and/or Depth of Cut small. Stepover is available in almost all cut patterns. Depth of cut applies zlevel, or multiple passes in planar mill, cavity mill, or surface contouring. In the Cut Levels dialog you can define the range and then the depth of cut for each cut level. Make shallow cuts (10% of dia). High speed spindle bearings trade stiffness for speed. This is one of the reasons why high speed machining generally employs light depths of cut.

  • Round the corners using the Corners page on the Cutting Parameters dialog box. Accept the Radius default value or specify a new value.



    Tool path with sharp corners

    Tool path after the corners have been rounded
    • Smooth all Engages, Retracts, Stepovers, and Non-Cutting moves.

    Smooth the engages and retracts using Non-Cutting Moves.

    Stepovers are smoothed by filleting All Passes in corner control. Add this to round the corners above.

    In Non-Cutting Moves, set the traversal mode to smooth, and use one of the tangent arc options for engage.

    Smooth Stepover


  • Increase Feeds and Speeds in the Feeds and Speeds dialog.

  • Program feed rate slowdown when entering sharp corners in the Corner options.

  • Program very tight tolerances (as small as .00004 in/.001 mm). In the Cutting dialog, intol and Outtol control the tolerance. These can be set in a method, and inherited by operations. For example, if you use a mold_sequence setup, a method MOLD_FINISH_HSM is created for you to use for this.

  • Avoid plunging by using helical and ramp engages.

  • Use Zlevel Cutting for the machining of walls. The Zlevel module helps you control scallop height in steep areas.

  • For contouring, Nurbs Output may provide a smoother surface finish at higher feed rates, if your post processor and CNC controller support this feature. In the Machine Control dialog, set the Motion Output to Nurbs. For more information on Nurbs and High Speed Machining, see the following: Manufacturing General Help → Common Operation options → Machine Control → Motion Output.

  • For finishing, you can use Area Milling with a Follow Periphery cut pattern and Stepover On Part. This provides a near constant scallop height with minimal engages.

  • Use Ball cutters. Tool definitions can be set in the Tool dialog. Here you can set the lower radius of the tool. Several ball cutters are included in the default tool libraries. If you choose the mold_sequence setup, several of these are automatically retrieved in to your part.

  • Make sure there is a near constant chip cutting volume.

  • Eliminate re-cutting of the chips.

  • Make sure there is a low heat generation.


Note, there are High Speed Machining templates for the Mill Contour configuration with a Mold sequence setup. This template will automate many of these adjustments.

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