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Machine Relief & 3D Rest artcampro


These provide finishing strategies, which project a toolpath over the surface Relief while adjusting for tool geometry and settings.

3D Machining Example

The following example takes the user through the creation of semi-finishing and finishing toolpaths as a continuation to the Z Level Roughing created in the previous chapter.

  • Open the model created earlier:-



The existing Relief appears in the 3D View window:

  • Press F3 to open the 3D View and select the Toolpaths tab.

There is already a Z Level Roughing toolpath that was saved earlier in the ArtCAM model.


The material definition and basic machining setup are already defined based on the Z Level Roughing toolpath already saved in the ArtCAM Model.

Semi Finishing (Raster) Toolpath

The Machine Relief option will be applied to create a semi-finishing toolpath using a Raster in X strategy with a material Allowance of 0.25mm. The idea is to take a heavy cut over the Relief mainly to remove the steps left by the previous roughing out operation.


  • Select Machine Relief from the 3D Toolpaths section.

This machining page includes several options enabling the user to control and ‘fine tune’ the required toolpaths.


Area to machine – this either applies to the Composite Relief or the area within the Selected Vector.

Strategy – there are six basic strategy options:-

Raster in X – Creates the strategy along one direction.

Raster in X and Y – Repeats the strategy at 90 degrees.

Spiral – Creates a spiral strategy limited by the model.

Spiral in a box – Creates a spiral strategy trimmed to the model.

3D Offset – Follows the outer contour offsetting the toolpath with a stepover relative to the 3D form.

3D Offset Spiral –  Same as 3D Offset but creates a spiral

instead of a stepped offset.

Raster Angle – A different Angle can be entered for the direction of the toolpath (default 0 degrees = along X).

Do Multiple Passes – if a hard material is to be machined, instead of applying one heavy cut to full depth, it can be slowly taken off in stages by repeating the strategy downwards from a defined height by applying Do Multiple Z Passes.

The Material and Machine Safe Z have already been set up for this model earlier while creating the roughing toolpaths.

  • Select Composite Relief and a Raster in X strategy with a Raster Angle of 45, Allowance of 0.25 and Tolerance of 0.1.
  • In the Tool area click the Select button to access the tool database.
  • Select the Ball Nose 3mm from Aluminium – 3D Finishing.

A Ball Nosed tool is normally used for finishing to track over the 3D model form more effectively.

  • Edit the Stepover to 0.5 and leave Do Multiple passes unticked.
  • Enter the toolpath name BN3-SemiFinish.
  • Click Calculate Now and then Close.


The Semi-Finishing toolpath is as shown with a relatively large stepover set at a 45 degree Angle for a more consistant finish over the whole of the relief. A finer Stepover will be applied in the Finishing operation that follows next.

  • Select Simulate Toolpath Fast.


The Dia 3 Ball Nose tool has created a Semi-Finished form with a 0.25 Thickness on the relief. The advantage of running a semi finishing toolpath is that it removes the steps left by the Z Level Roughing, leaving a more consistent material removal rate for the final finishing operations.

  • Select File è Save to update the ArtCAM Model.

Finshing (3D Offset) Toolpath

For the initial finishing, the same Dia 3 Ball Nose tool will be used, but this time using 3D Offset Spiral with a smaller Stepover and an Allowance of 0. A vector will be used to limit the extent of the toolpath to be over the 3D relief form and not the flat base area. It will still leave excess material on internal corners but these will be picked out locally, later on with a smaller Ball Nosed tool. Generally the bigger the tool the faster the machining process!

  • Press F2.
  • Select the Assistant tab.
  • Switch off the Preview Relief Layer icon on the 2D View top toolbar.
  • If a bitmap is displayed switch off the twin light bulbs in Bitmaps (Layers) to the right of the graphics area.


The vector for the outside of the Relief form will be offset to allow for the tool radius and a bit of overlap across the base area.

  • Select the vector enclosing the relief form and Offset a copy (with Offset CornersRadiused set), by 2mm outwards.


  • Select the new offset vector.
  • Select the Toolpaths tab.
  • Select and double click on the stored BN3-SemiFinish toolpath to open the Machine Relief form to enable editing of the settings and parameters.


  • Select the option Selected Vector with a 3D Offset Spiral strategy withan Allowance of 0.0, a Tolerance of 0.01.
  • In the Tool area click the downward chevron symbol and enter a Stepover of 0.05.
  • Name the toolpathBN3-Finish.
  • Click Calculate Now and then Close.


  • Select Simulate all.

The complete machining process is simulated. Note the finer finish over the relief form to where the last finishing toolpath has been confined.

Note: The final finishing toolpath creation using the Dia 3 Ball Nose tool has been limited to within the Selected Vector.

  • Select File è Save but do not close the model as work will continue to create further toolpaths in the next section.

3D Rest Machining

3D Rest Machining creates closed vectors around areas of the relief that are out of reach to the tooling geometry of previously created Toolpaths. A further Machine Relief toolpath using a smaller tool can then be applied within the vector area to locally pick out the remaining detail. The calculation of the Rest Machining vectors uses the simulation model of the previous toolpaths.

  • Select the offset, relief form Vector used to limit the final Finishing toolpath named BN3-Finish.
  • In the 3D Toolpaths area select 3d Rest Machining.

It is only necessary to create Rest boundary vectors over the relief form area (not the flat base area).



  • Select the option Area Under selected vectors.


  • Select the option Simulating the last toolpath.


  • Enter a Cusp Tolerance value of 0.05.
  • Keep the default Layer name, Rest Machining.
  • Click on the Create Boundaries tab.

New vectors will be created, as shown left and assigned to a new Layer with the name Rest Machining.



  • In the Vectorspart of the Layer options switch off the Layer named Default Layer by clicking the adjacent light bulb icon.

A Tapered Conical Tool of 10 Deg and 0.75 Rad will be used to perform the Rest machining. Due to the small tip radius it is necessary to offset the rest boundary vectors to enable the new toolpath to blend in with the previous finishing strategy.

  • With the Rest Machining vectors selected, in the Assistant Vector Tools area select the Offset Vector icon.
  • Enter an Offset Distance value of 0.2.
  • Select the Outwards/Right option.
  • Select the Radiused option.


  • TickDelete original vectors.
  • Click the Offset tab to perform the offset.

The Offset – Rest boundary will allow the new finishing toolpath to blend more smoothly over the form previously finished with the Dia 3 Ball Nose tool.

It will be easier to use a copy of the previous finishing toolpath as the basis for the new rest finishing strategy.

  • Select and double click on the stored BN3-Finish toolpath to open the Machine Relief form to enable editing of the settings and parameters.

All of the parameters and settings will remain the same for the new toolpath apart from the Tool selection and the toolpath Name.


  • In the Tool area Aluminium – Engraving,select the ‘Conical Rad .75 10 degree’ tool.
  • Name the toolpath Conical075-Finish.
  • Click Calculate Now and then Close.
  • Select Simulate Fast.

The last toolpath is Simulated which will produce sharper detail in the corners which were previously inaccessible to the Dia 3Ball Nose tool.













  • Select File and then Save (to update the model Train-machine-ted).

Select File and then Close the mole

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