How to use Both Ways Adaptive in Fusion 360!
Let’s cover this new feature in Fusion and make test cuts with aluminum and 4140 using two different tools: The ShearHog (of course) and the Lakeshore Carbide 1/4″ Stub Variable Flute End Mill for Steel. Is this is the be-all-end-all solution to reducing machining time? Join us to find out!
What does Both Ways Adaptive let us do?
First, we have to answer the question – what is the traditional “one way” adaptive?
One way adaptive (a.k.a. trochoidal milling or dynamic milling) clears material from an area keeping a constant tool engagement throughout the cutting process. This differs from CAM operations like 2D Contour and 2D Pocket that will move the tool into corners with increased tool engagement, putting more strain on the tool, increasing horsepower requirements, increasing deflection, and increasing the likelihood of tool failure.
Adaptive strategies avoid these engagement increases in corners but in exchange, Adaptive requires the tool to lift to a retract height where it is not cutting material and reposition itself for another pass. This leaves more linking moves than one might usually desire, but this isn’t all bad – because the tool engagement is constant, you can run it at higher speeds without having to fear plunging into a corner and breaking a tool.
Both Ways Adaptive allows the machine to cut in both directions, instead of using these linking moves. The caveat to this is that the machine is going to be both climb and conventional milling, simply because the tool has to move back across the part in the opposite direction.
When is this useful?
Both Ways Adaptive sounds like a great time saver, right? Well, we found that it only saves meaningful time in certain situations. Keep in mind that each machine is different, and the best way to find out is to test out your own results but we have found that (opposed to what the simulation time says) the only style of cut you are really saving time on is a large open contour along the edge of a part.
There are so many different variables in this process, including material, machine, tooling, and workholding; the only true test for your specific needs are your own tests. In addition, we found that tools less likely to chip weld perform better in two-way toolpaths.