How to mill horizontally

I’m wondering if it’s possible to mill an outside profile that stays at a constant Z-depth and only reduces the profile in diameter / size. The amount of cut on each pass around the profile would of course be programmable.

In particular I have a square(ish) land on top of a cylinder. The height (depth) of the land is fixed but I can’t cut the profile in one pass so I need to go around and around the land until it is the correct size (diameter).

I see a slider in the cut path dialog screen showing a slider from H to V. Is that the key?. I couldn’t see what change it was making when I messes with it.


No you cannot within SC.

The work around would be to go back to the drawing and offset the geometry out to whatever step over you want to use, then you have to put each of those geometries in a different layer and mill in the order you want.

There isn’t an automated way of doing this but you can do it using finish allowance. Finish allowance effectively increases the size of your part. Say your stock is 0.5" over size and you want to take passes of 0.2". In your first operation you would use a finish allowance of 0.3". On your second operation you would use a finish allowance of 0.1" and the last would be 0 to get to the final size. It helps to use an arc leadin and leadout so you aren’t cutting on the plunge.

Thanks Les:
That’s the work around I applied. I haven’t done the work yet because I wanted to be sure there wasn’t something else in the program I was missing. But it’s nice to know that I have Sheetcam figured out enough to come to the same solution. I wanted to take light cuts so I ended up with about 8 passes each with a different finish cut setting.
I was also happy to see that you are allowed to do a profile with zero Z-depth change.
To elaborate on the job I need to cut a profile around a model engine cylinder between two existing cooling fins. I’m using an insert type boring bar as the tool. Sort of like a fly cutter.
So it goes to Z depth arcs into the fin space, does the profile, and arcs back clear again. While not changing Z-depth. Then repeats with the same profile but with a closer finish pass making the groove deeper. Looks like it will work.


On the Cut Path setup screen what is the “cut direction” option with the 3D arrows and slider used for?

This is for optimising the cut order if you have auto optimisation enabled. For instance if you move the slider to the right it will prefer to move left<>right between cuts rather than up<>down. This can be useful for instance if you have holes on a regular grid.