CNC Simulator Pro

user guide

12.2.20. Create pockets

To create pockets and islands, you must define contours. Refer to the Draw Contours section for more information.
The first contour you draw on a pocket layer will always be the outer border of the pocket, while subsequent contours (on the same layer) will be treated as islands.
Here's an example of a simple square pocket:
Before setting the parameters, note that the contour has the toolside arrows pointing inwards, indicating that the mill will go on the inside of the contour.
The same contour with parameters set (layer type set to pocket milling).
To create an island in the pocket, it needs to be drawn on the same layer as the main pocket contour. If you start drawing a new contour with the guide layer selected, SimCam will automatically create a new layer containing only the island contour, which won't work because it needs to be on the same layer as the primary pocket.
In the image, you can see that the guide layer is the selected layer (the frame around the layer is thicker and dark gray).
To continue drawing new contours on an existing contour layer, it must first be selected. Click on the info panel of the contour layer to select it.
Once selected, the frame around the layer will appear thicker and dark gray.
Now, with the contour layer selected, you can proceed to add a new contour to the pocket layer.
It will automatically be treated as an island.
If two contours are on the same layer, SimCam will attempt to create a pocket from them. However, if SimCam cannot understand how to form a pocket with the given contours, the layer's frame will turn red, indicating an error. This may occur, for example, if a contour is not closed.
The second contour is not closed.
A red frame signifies an error. To learn more about the error, click the small white information button in the info panel.
The pocket milling function can also be utilized for face milling. To face mill an entire workpiece, create a contour along its edges.
Keep in mind that there are no toolside arrows on the contour. This is because, by default, the toolside is set to the center of the contour. If you need to change the toolside, left-click the contour and click "Flip toolside."
After setting the layer type to pocket (and adjusting any other parameters you want for the operation), your setup is complete!
In addition to the basic parameters (see Setting Parameters for Operations), there is a tab called "Pocketing" in the Cutting Operation Parameters dialog.
Angle: In this field, you can enter the angle in degrees for the cuts in the pocket.
Overlap: By default, the cuts overlap by 10% of the cutting diameter. You can modify this value here.
Contour Cut: By default, a contour cut is added around all borders in the pocket. You can enable or disable this feature here. If you choose to turn off the contour cut function, you will need to add fine cut contour layers to complete your pocket operation.
All other parameters, such as cutting depth and feed rates, can be set under the Basic tab.
Additionally, there is an alternative method to create pockets. This shortcut is available in the context menu when a line or arc is part of a closed contour.
This method offers a faster way to create a pocket operation.
First, you will encounter a dialog requesting basic parameters, such as tool diameter and cutting depths.
Afterward, a small dialog appears, allowing you to select the tool side and direction. As you click on these buttons, a preview of the final result will be displayed.
Once finished, you can access the layer parameters to fine-tune the result.
Additionally, you can use the same menu to add islands to pockets.