Lesson 5: 3D Finishing

In this lesson, learn how to use common 3D finishing strategies to create 3D toolpaths in Fusion 360.


Tutorial: Create a 3D Finishing Toolpath

Create, copy, and derive 3D parallel and scallop toolpaths.

Create a 3D Parallel Toolpath

You are now ready to finish the saw body. Autodesk Fusion 360 offers many choices for 3D finishing operations. In this step, you create a 3D parallel toolpath.

  1.  If the Data Panel is not open, click Show Data Panel
  2. In the Data Panel, open CAM 5_3D Finishing from Projects Samples Workshops & Events Adoption Path ➤ Toolpath Programming ➤ 5_3D Finishing.
  3. In the CAM workspace, expand the 3D drop-down

    imageNotice that if you hover over a menu command such as Ramp, you see a tool tip that illustrates the toolpath.
  4. Choose 3D Parallel.
  5. In the 3D Parallel dialog, click the Select button.
  6. In the Select Tool dialog, select Ø1/2" Ball (1/2" Ball EM Long). Click OK.
  7. To detect potential collisions with the shaft or holder, do the following:
    • Select Shaft & Holder.
    • Set Shaft And Holder Mode to Trimmed.
    • Set Shaft Clearance to 0.05 in.
    • Set Holder Clearance to 0.125 in.
  8. On the Geometry tab, set Matching Boundary to Selection.
  9. Select the two contours where the saw body meets the flat face of the mold.


  10. Select Avoid/Touch Surfaces. Select the flat horizontal surface and the vertical surfaces at the front and bottom of the saw.
    If the vertical surfaces are not avoided, the toolpath will include undesired passes over those steep surfaces.


  11. To allow the tool to reach the edge, set Tool Containment to Tool Outside Boundary.

Iterate a 3D Parallel Toolpath

In this step, you continue setting up the parallel toolpath. You then copy the toolpath and modify it to improve the first result.

  1. On the Passes tab, do the following:
    • Set Stepover to 0.05 in.
    • Set Pass Direction to 90.
    • Select Machine Steep Areas.
  2. On the Linking tab, set Retraction Policy to Minimum Retraction. This setting decreases the length of the retraction moves.
  3. Click OK to generate the toolpath.
    Notice the added passes in steeper areas, which you don't want. To solve this problem, copy the toolpath and change a few pass settings.


  4. In the browser, right-click Parallel1 and choose Duplicate to create a copy of the parallel toolpath.
  5. Right-click the copy and choose Edit.
  6. On the Passes tab, do the following:
    • Clear Machine Steep Areas.
    • Set Pass Direction to 45.


  7. Click OK to generate the modified toolpath.

Create a 3D Scallop Derived Toolpath

Derived toolpaths allow you to change the operation type. In this step, you derive a scallop toolpath from the parallel toolpath you just created.

  1. In the browser, right-click Parallel1; then choose Create Derived Operation 3D Milling Scallop.
    Fusion copies the relevant properties from the parallel toolpath to the scallop toolpath.
  2. In the Scallop dialog, click the Passes tab. Notice that there is no longer a Pass Direction setting.
    Always validate settings after deriving a toolpath, because not all operation types have matching properties.
  3. Click OK to generate the toolpath.

    Because the scallop toolpath uses the same geometry selections as the parallel toolpath, it easy to add.
  4. In the browser, click each of the 3D finishing toolpaths to compare them; then choose the best one.

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