Pro CAD-CAM Tip: Minimize Retracts


Did you know you can minimize your retracts, keeping your tool down between passes instead of going to clearance every pass? Here is how it works:

Let’s open our CAD-CAM software and look at our profile feature. We’ll go to ‘feature 2 Axis’, right click and choose edit.
Choose edits in CAD-CAM
From here, we are going to go to the parameters area. You will notice where our depth options are, there is a new checkbox that users can employ for ‘minimizing retracts’ (on right).
Parameters in CAD-CAM
Let’s now look at the Toolpath with minimize retracts turned off. We’ll go over to ‘profile rough’, we’ll go down to ‘backplot’, and as we take each pass, you’ll notice the tool goes to clearance. I’ll go about halfway through.
No retract in CAM software
As we click through, you will see the tool goes all the way up to clearance and then down to the next cut, working its way around.
End clearance in CAD-CAM
What minimize retracts will do for you is, when the tool is going to take another pass, instead of going all the way to clearance, it will just stay down.
Keep tool down in CAM software
This is a really simple option to turn on. Edit your feature, go to the parameters area and then check ‘On’ for ‘minimize retracts’. After you hit recompute, minimize retracts will be functional!
Turn on retracts in CAD-CAM

Want to try minimizing retracts in your own CAD-CAM software? Download a free demo by clicking HERE.

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