5 Axis Variable Surface Area Toolpath tips and tricks videoIn this video we demonstrate the variable surface area toolpath to swarf cut cavity walls as an alternate toolpath for contour profile. Contour profile is a great toolpath for swarf cutting walls using your 5-axis machine to cut normal to the wall and be able to decrease your machining times by 10x or greater.

But there are situations where contour profile just doesn't work. In our example you can see where it just won't cut the wall. Ninety-five percent of the time I use it without issue, but I'd like to show an alternate for when you can't get it to work.

Multi axis tool vectors for hard to reach machine features in NX CAMDiscover methods for milling hard-to-reach locations.

We held this live online seminar on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017


  • Tool vector – Will fixed axis work?
    • How to limit tool axis to avoid collision

  • Projection Vector
    • What is the best projection vector to use based on the type of toolpath?

  • Smoothing
    • How to insure that your toolpath is smooth for the best surface finish

  • Type of toolpath
    • There are many types of 5-axis toolpaths to choose from. Which one should I use for specific geometry and how can I identify the best type?

This video is in response to a support question where a customer was having issues with NX allowing off-axis drilling. There is a setting in the MCS which will allow this. Without this setting Feature-Based Machining (FBM) will not work for anything other than normal to Z+ axis. We cover if you're doing 5-axis or any multi-axis, non-normal to Z vector drilling. We use a sample file that is available for download and also a PDF introduction to FBM.

Part file available for download in the full article