How can I improve the edge quality of my 3D model when machining it?

It can sometimes be very challenging to obtain good vertical edges with 3D toolpaths.

If a vertical edge is part of the 3D design, there may not be much that you can do unless the model can modified and the design allows a vertical edge to be replaced with a slightly angled edge.

However, if the vertical edge is the outer edge of a design and will later be cut with a Profile type cutout toolpath, a good approach is to use some technique to limit the 3D toolpaths from cutting this vertical edge.

There are many ways to do this and the best approach many times depends on the shape of the 3D components. Some suggests are:

  • Use a boundary vector and set the Boundary Vector Offset to keep the 3D toolpaths on the top surface of the 3D model.

  • Create a 3D component the same height (or close to it) as the edge you are trying to protect but larger in size and merge it with your project. Then use a boundary vector and Boundary Vector Offset that allows the 3D toolpaths to flow off the model and onto this new model a short distance. Finally, use a Profile toolpath (with normal tabs if required) to cut the vertical edges.

  • Aspire Only: If the design was created with a Two Rail Sweep such as a molding, modify the Two Rail Sweep  to add either a flat surface or angled edge (typically called a draft angle). Calculate the 3D toolpaths using the new wider vectors but cut it out using the original vectors with a Profile toolpath (with normal tabs if required).