Like our basic Fusion 360 CAM templates, our automated Fusion 360 CAM templates allow you to quickly generate CAM toolpaths for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine. Automated CAM templates are perfect for those who are still getting comfortable using Fusion 360 or who want to streamline their prototyping process. If you haven’t yet used Fusion 360 to generate CAM for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine, we recommend that you first read our Fusion 360 Workflows: Programming CAM guide.
Automated CAM templates have a number of useful qualities:
- Preconfigured toolpaths are built out according to specific material types and stock sizes that we sell in our store. You don’t have to create a new Setup in Fusion 360 before generating your toolpaths.
- The templates do look at the part geometries of the model you’ve designed.
- Templates come with a preview of the Desktop CNC Milling Machine’s pre-installed T-slot bed, which enables collision warnings and a much more accurate preview of your parts.
To generate your CAM toolpaths using these templates:
- Download the automated CAM template.
- Insert your model in the design workspace.
- Drag your model into the “Main Model” folder.
- Align your model within the stock and along the top of the T-slot bed.
- Select and generate the toolpaths that best suit your design and tooling you have on hand.
- It should be noted that some feeds and speeds in these templates are somewhat aggressive- intended to remove the max amount of material given the specific tool and material.
- Dialing back the basic feeds and speeds might be advisable for some.
- Post-process your G-code files.
Here’s a closer look.
Step 1: Download the automated CAM template.
Download one of the following automated Fusion 360 CAM templates for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine, based on the type of material you want to use.
- Delrin 3" x 6" x 0.5" Stock
- Delrin 4" x 5" x 0.25" Stock
- Aluminum automated CAM template (coming soon)
Step 2: Load your model into the automated CAM template.
Launch Fusion 360 on your computer. Then, in Fusion 360, go to File > Open > Open From My Computer, and select the automated CAM template you downloaded. Once the automated CAM template has downloaded, navigate to the Design workspace in Fusion 360 and pull up the model you wish to load into the template.
Note: If you haven’t already, you can download a free trial of Fusion 360 for professional use or the free version for personal use.
Right-click on your model and select “Insert Into Current Design.” Your model will populate in the Design workspace. Most designs will be aligned or flush with the top of the T-slot bed and within the boundaries of the preconfigured stock size.
Depending on the work coordinate system you set up while designing your CAD model, you may need to adjust the position of your model within this preconfigured stock slightly. Use the Modify/Move tools to do so.
Once aligned, drag the model into the main model folder. This is an important step!
When you’ve loaded your model, save the template as your own so you can refer back to it as often as you need.
Note: Templates are arranged according to the material type and size. Choose the template that best suits the stock you’re working with.
Step 3: Generate your toolpaths.
Switch over to the Manufacture workspace and type Command + G, Control + G, or right-click on the automated CAM template and select Generate. That’s it! You now have a number of CAM toolpaths to choose from.
These toolpaths are organized based on the type of operation/toolpath (e.g., 3D adaptive, 2D contour, 3D contour, etc.) and the specific end mill. Keep in mind that the preconfigured speeds and feeds recipes are based on the material, which means that each automated CAM template will have a different set of recipes.
With the automated CAM templates, there’s no further configuration needed for any of your toolpaths. For example, if you’ve previously worked with our basic CAM templates, you’ll remember that for certain toolpaths, like the 2D contour, you have to edit the toolpath and select the machining boundaries. With automated templates, you don’t have to!
Step 4: Select and post-process your toolpaths as G-code files.
Note: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to download and save the Bantam Tools CAM post processor locally onto your computer before you can post-process your G-code files. For details, see our dedicated support guide.
Now that you’ve generated your toolpaths, select the ones that you want to use for your machining job. Be sure to simulate them to make sure that they’re cutting the way you want and that there won’t be any collisions while machining.
After you’ve selected, generated, and simulated your toolpaths, it’s time to post-process your G-code files. Select a toolpath and go to Actions > Post Process, or right-click on the toolpath and click Post Process.
In the Post Process window that pops up, select Personal Posts for your Source. If you have more than one post processor saved locally, click the Post Processor dropdown menu, select “Bantam Tools / bantam tools,” enter the rest of the information as needed.
Repeat this process for each toolpath or collection of toolpaths you wish to post-process.
Now that you’ve post-processed your G-code files, you can import them into the Bantam Tools Milling Machine Software, set up your job, and start machining with the Desktop CNC Milling Machine. For more insight on moving from Fusion 360 to the Bantam Tools software, see our support guide.