Adaptive Clearing in HSMXpress - The Free CAM Solution for SolidWorks

Key Facts About Adaptive Clearing

  1. Remove material up to 3 times faster
  2. Reduce tool wear by using the full flute length of the cutter
  3. Eliminate tool breaking.
  4. HSMWorks pioneeried modern high-speed machining.
  5. While others have tried to copy us we continue to innovate and remain the leader in high speed machining.

Adaptive Clearing - What is it and why should I care?

Adaptive Clearing is our high performance roughing strategy, and it will save you lots of time, money and broken tools. To understand why, first take a look at how older Legacy Clearing toolpaths work.

Legacy clearing creates paths based on a fixed offset value. That means constantly changing tool engagement (blue) which is not good for your tool, part finish or CNC machine. See what happens when the tool enters the slot? Tool engagement goes from 50% to 100% and that is just asking for a broken tool. And the only way to prevent it is to reduce cutting speed, reduce cut depth, or both.

Compare this to Adaptive Clearing. We calculate paths based on a sophisticated algorithm that constantly considers the remaining material and maintains optimal tool engagement throughout the cut. Since we keep cut load constant, you can push the tool a lot faster and deeper through the material. This not only saves roughing time, it reduces tool wear because you are using more of the flutes, not just wearing the bottom portion of the cutter. Faster feeds, deeper cuts, no tool breaking, and a better surface finish to boot.

How much faster? How does 2-3X faster roughing sound? While cutting tool wear also by 2-3X. You can even hear the difference; just watch the video with the sound turned up. That is the sound of what the Germans call a “happy tool”.

It’s a difference that goes straight to your bottom-line. What would it mean to your business if you could get parts off a machine twice as fast and make your tools last twice as long?
Everyone claims now to have some “high speed” machining strategy, so what makes Adaptive Clearing special? HSMWorks is different.

We’ve benchmarked against our competitors and achieve results up to 20% better. Our Adaptive Clearing supports 3D roughing and works in more cases than others. Why? Because HSMWork’s programmers pioneered modern high performance roughing. We did it first and we’ve not been sitting still.

See (and hear) for yourself. Get an HSMWorks evaluation and do some comparative testing yourself. Then think about what reducing part roughing by 2-3X while increasing tool life by the same would mean to your bottom line.

You claim Adaptive clearing is 3x faster than legacy clearing methods, how is that possible?

Depth passes

As shown above, legacy clearing paths often engage the full width of the tool. Cutting feeds, speeds and cut depths have to be reduced to accommodate these worst-case conditions. While reducing feed and cut depth reduces breaking it means the cutter is not being used efficiently most of the time. There is excessive heat and shallow cuts wear out the end of the tool faster.

Adaptive Clearing maintains optimal load on the tool at all times so you don’t have to program for worst-case conditions. You can safely use the higher feeds and deeper cuts like those recommended for peripheral (side) milling than pocketing. Look at the chart below. In 4140 steel with a Swiftcarb .500, 4-flute end mill, legacy toolpaths require 84-100% stepover values (yellow). Adaptive Clearing uses 50-25% step over values (blue). That means Adaptive cuts 2.5X deeper and speeds nearly 2X faster than Legacy paths for this tool and material.

swiftcarb speeds and feeds chart

What's the difference between Tool Engagement Angle and Optimal load?


Tool Engagement Angle (TEA) and Optimal load, subject to some trigonometry, are equivalent for a straight end mill.  However, with tools like ball nose and tapered end mills, the tool radius varies from the tip to the shaft. Thus engagement angle is different for different heights along the cutter.  Therefore optimal load, which Adaptive Clearing uses, is more accurate than TEA and allows us to use heavy profile cutting step-over values.

Adaptive Clearing is free with HSMXpress. 3D Adaptive Clearing is included with HSMWorks.

  • Tags: 2D Toolpaths, HSMWorks Basics, HSMXpress, Roughing

Categories: HSM Tips and Tricks

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