Workflow Fusion360->xcarve

I apologize in advance for what may be a noob question, but I’ve been banging my head against the wall for a few days and could use a pointer.

I have a newly assembled 1000x1000 Xcarve 2.0, and can easily generate projects in easel which cut fine. The easel software is a little limiting though in dimensioning so I’ve also been climbing the learning curve in fusion360.

I’ve found a large number of fusion360 tutorials on the web which has been a huge help in designing parts.

What I haven’t found though is a good step-by-step for the workflow from a fusion360 part to cutting on the X-carve.

I have followed the instructions for adding the appropriate post-processor to fusion, but completely screw things up when I get into CAM mode.

There is probably a good tutorial out there that I’m overlooking but I haven’t found it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I just started trying to learn Fusion 360 myself and have a very long way to go. If you haven’t already discovered this it may help:


It seems to be a very concise course with a number of tutorials. As I said I’ve just started using it so I can’t say for sure if it will help you. Nothing ventured, nothing gained so take a look at it. And it’s FREE!!

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Look up NYC CNC on Youtube, he has a lot of cam/cad tutorials.
I learned a lot from him.
Also try starting with simple stuff, so you can figure out how model orientation, toolpaths, speeds, etc work.

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Awesome find GordRock.
I am going to learn it too.
I know some of Solid works but I do not want to spend the $$ on it.
I did spend some on Max and Maya. :slight_smile:

do you have a screen shot of what you are trying to make/ whats hanging you up? it is frustrating and it seems like once you think you have it figured out, you cant replicate it

Here are a couple of blog posts I’ve written about this sort of thing:


have not done a step by step in setting up cam in Fusion 360 and generating tool path,
then using easel as a g-code sender, but could easily walk you through it
ping me if that is interesting to you…

Wow, that is a generous offer.

Let me look at your posts, and I’m spending some time with the videos in the link above. If I can figure it out myself I will, but will definitely reach out if I stay stuck.

I’ve been busy with life the last few days, but will have time to readress it this week

yeah, we all get like that.

The key, as I have discovered it, in a nutshell,
is simply that you need to create a view in Fusion of the model in the stock
which you can recreate on the table in real life,
including the setting of the bit on the starting point in both places,
with the stock identically oriented in both places.

define the model in fusion
define the orientation of the model in fusion (look at the grid and the faces and line things up the right way)
define the stock in CAM
define the orientation of the stock in the machine (Set your X/Y/Z axis to the orientation of the stock in the machine)
define the starting point of the bit in the CAM
make the table replicate it IRL

some people do it the other way around, I’m sure.
either way, it sounds easy,
sometimes not so much,
but if you can figure out what that all means,
you’ll have it cold:

then you just define bits, generate tool paths, and export G-code so you can cut with it…

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That’s an excellent idea

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If you can share an example of what you want to create as a sample project, I think that’s a good place to start in terms of a potential step-by-step. I use Fusion a lot. I don’t yet have an xCarve but use a Sherline mill with CNC for my work. But glad to help if you want to share an example of what you want to create.

neil

Hi guys,

Has anyone got a workflow for what they tend to do when doing the CAM for the second side of a Fusion 360 part. I need to do 2 sided milling, plan to drill reference holes as the first operation of the first side of my project and then flip the part about the centreline and remount using dowels holes (reference holes will be on the centreline).
Do you load a copy of the same part into the same model and then do a new setup on those surfaces, if so the thickness of the stock material would be very important as you flip it over the “part” within the stock material would be in a different place if not set correctly.
Or: is there some way to use the same part and flip it without messing up the first setup/cut?

I have just very recently starting using F360, my initial learning curve have been a little steep but is now growing on me :slight_smile: Still have a long way to go.

But - my understanding regarding two-sided milling of a 3D model can be achieved as follows:
Define stock you intend to mill from, set center of stock at 0,0,0 meaning a 2x2" stock would have half above X/Y (Z-positive) and the other half below X/Y (Z-Negative)
Model your shape within this solid
Model your reference points for the solid
Split solid in half, carve one side and then flip model to perform the opposite side.
Optionally - since the 3D center = stock center changing the X/Y/Z axis around may achieve the same.

I would like feedback (from anyone who have tried this / more experience than myself) if this is a good way to do it or not :slight_smile:

So a bit of feedback, tinkering around a bit last night I managed to create a new setup, flip the Z-axis and bob was my uncle. The trick is with varying thickness stock for repeat parts the g-code may have to change every time. My lazy mans solution is to simply machine the stock down to a know thickness first, that way I know where I am vs the stock once its flipped.

All make sense? I know it doesnt sound hard, and it isnt, but there are a few complexities that I needed to solve due to the geometry of my part etc.

Cheers and thanks guys!

@Trail-goat

Great, I havent tried a full run yet myself so could you elaborate a little on your work-flow?

Say I have a 2x2" 8" long stock on hand and model a shape within this stock.
Center of stock is at 0,0,0 meaning half the stock is z-positive and the other half is z-negative.
Do I need to alter anything besides flipping the Z-axis around (and stock obviously) to carve the opposite side?

Where do you prefer to set home zero, on corner of stock or center of stock/0,0,0?

Likewise, my “run” is simulation only for now :relaxed:.I will try and get more specific with workflow once I actually have it working - time is tight at present, but I should manage to get some machine time tonight
To answer your question, I think that is all you need to do.

My current issues are:

  1. I need a longer series ball end cutter - some of the 3d surfaces of my part arent getting reached with a ball end cutter (isnt this clash detection great!)
  2. The big one as of last night - I cannot seem to get a second part to work nicely with 2d Contour - it refuses to work (some error message regarding linking and leads). Ive messed around with the linking tab and cant seem to succeed. I really would like to get the second part cut as part of the same gcode file/setup. Any ideas/solutions/similar frustrations guys?

I havent had the time to play with this yet but hope to gain some ground during this weekend. Mainly due to not be on par with f360 and modelling a specific test shape :stuck_out_tongue:
Searched for more information and both these two links have relevant data. Probably a F360 youtube specific video that covers this aswell but I havent found it yet.

I need longer ball end mills aswell! :wink:


http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/computer-aided-machining-cam/is-this-the-right-way-to-do-two-sided-cam/td-p/6341482

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Thanks, I will get reading. I have had to make a few tweaks and ended up sketching to get the 2d contour to work with the second part of my assembly. It is a pain, but its a workaround that should do the trick and I wont need to reprogram this often.

I will try some cutting tonight and see how 2 sided machining goes hopefully.

Regards from Durban, SA

I played with Fusion360 last nite (no actual milling done) but the preview/simulations look right atleast.

Made a 3D object with its center at 0,0,0, edited the shape and arranged X/Y/Zaxis and went to CAM -> setup and defined the milling operation there. I set bottom offset to half stock height (corresponding with the 0z-plane)
I copied this millling operation (setup) and edited the Z-axis (flipped it)

This gave me two milling operations, one for each side.
First run one side, flip stock and run second operation :slight_smile:

I was at that point somewhere through last week (had yet to try the gcode physically). i had given setup and flipping etc a lot of thought and the simulation went well.

We had been using the 1/4" collet with a 6mm end mill with some success before (it is ill advised). This cause some issues, I am now on the hunt for longer 1. a longer 6mm endmill and 2. a collet for the Makita that converts it to 6mm from 1/4". I see many links for websites aborad, but shipping kills it - I will look harder locally.

Question for you @HaldorLonningdal - how do you zero your tool if you have set zero in the centre of the stock? i suppose you could set zero and move the gantry and then mount the stock and then hit start.

personally I like to set zero somewhere outside of the stock, and then use that same point once the part has been flipped or a tool has been changed - that way you are sure you havent moved the part accidentally.

I set zero on the corner of the stock, or top center - not stock center. Both require a known (true) stock.
Having a reference point (0,0,0) outside stock sounds like a viable approach but I havent been able to wrap my head around this workflow yet.