Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) with Autodesk Inventor

October 15, 2019

Inventor Professional has the option for simulating the fabrication of a part using various standard manufacturing processes such as milling, cutting, drilling, and turning. By simply entering parameters and selecting geometry, you can generate the entire sequence of machining your modeled component out of a piece of stock. These options can be found under the CAM tab in the Ribbon Panel.

The first step in defining a CAM operation involves selecting the stock. In a typical milling operation, the stock is rectangular. When you select the Setup option, the stock is automatically generated around the bounds of your model. All you need to do now is adjust the stock offset and define the machine datum, or coordinate system. Once that’s complete, you are given a wide range of machining operations to perform so that your stock will begin to look more like your model. The operations include drilling, facing, pocketing, and adaptive milling. Each selected machining strategy will require you to pick an appropriate tool and the geometry to be machined. In addition, you can adjust tool heights, width of passes, lead in methods, speeds and feeds, and many more machining parameters.


Once you have added all the machining steps required, you can simulate the path of the tool through the material. When simulating, you have the option of showing the stock, with material being removed in real time, as well as the final model. The simulation also uses color coding to signify areas where the machined stock matches the model’s features, as well as when the stock has been cut down too much, or not enough. In addition, the program generates any possible conflicts between the machine and the workpiece, such as the tool holder coming in contact with the stock, or the tool possibly getting stuck and breaking.

Inventor’s machining tool library has a wide arrangement of tools to choose from. In addition to this, when selecting a tool, you are also given the option to create your own. Using this visual dialog box, you can enter the dimensions of your custom tool and see them change the tool model, shown on the right. These visual representations of tools exist for all machining methods available in the simulation, as well as proper descriptions of the respective tools, making the creation of custom tools simple and straightforward.


Want to learn how to use the Inventor CAM tools, or any other Inventor processes in more detail? Why not reach out to ZenTek Consultants today and see how we can help improve your design processes?


ZenTek Consultants provides training and services for Autodesk Inventor. Check our website for our latest class offerings.


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