BY JOE THOMPSON
Editor’s Note: This article is based on Seco
Tools Product Manager Jay Ball’s presentation “Optimized Roughing,” given April 12,
2017, Reynoldsville, Pa.
Creating metal parts quickly, efficiently, and on spec is the requirement of every
During the roughing phase, the vast majority of material is removed from the part,
typically leaving only what is required for
the finishing phase.
“Today’s CAM software can be programmed to create an optimized roughing
stage that uses a large DOC and light radial
OPTIMIZED ROUGHING TIPS
1. Use the right machine. Machines used for optimized
roughing need two things: fast spindles and rigidity.
The spindles must generate the necessary revolutions
per minute for optimized roughing’s feed rates. The
rigidity of the machine minimizes vibration and contributes to part quality.
2. Understand the power of CAM. It is impossible
to program an optimized roughing strategy manually.
You need to use a programming software package that
will control the cutting strategy. But not just any programming software will work; it needs to be the right
software for this application. A program designed only
for high-speed side milling will not perform optimized
3. Don’t cut too deep. A cutting depth of 2xD that
takes the full length of the cut in one pass is recommended. The shallow radial stepover enables the depth
of the cut. A larger stepover would require a shallower
depth of cut to achieve the same metal removal rates.
However, a cut that is too deep, more than 3xD for
example, creates cutting pressures greater than the tool
can bear and causes deflection.
4. Use the tooling manufacturer’s recommended
cutting parameters. Do not rely on the default cutting
speed and feed rate data from programming software
suppliers. Cutting tool suppliers develop the recom-
mended cutting parameters after research and through
years of experience. Toolmakers optimize cutting data
for the tool’s design and specifications and for the mate-
rial group you are working with.
The best use of the optimized roughing technique is in situations
that can use the full flute length of the tool, such as roughing long,
straight walls. Photo courtesy of Seco Tools.
Optimized roughing increases
Q rate, decreases cycle time