Comparing Options for Mold Core Roughing and Finishing

Cycle time isn’t always the best way to assess to the overall profitability of your workflow. The choices you make in tooling and programming can make follow-up operations easier, help eliminate costly recutting and reap the benefits of more usable insert edges. In this video, we examine why a button cutter might actually be a great choice for high-feed mold core ramping and compare options for finishing the part, comparing bull nose to ball nose cutters and waterline profiling to plunge finishing.

High-feed ramping with a button cutter

High-Feed Ramping with a Button Cutter

As you can see, mold core roughing can be very effectively done using high-feed ramping – even with a button cutter! Our EDGE² DTB series double-sided button cutters are robust, 12-index tools that allow for aggressive metal removal.

Though the cycle time with your button tool may be a bit slower than it would be with high-feed tooling, economically speaking you can make a strong argument for it being a great choice for this type of application:

  • Your button cutter is not restricted to a specific depth of cut like a high-feed tool.
  • The scallops left on the sloped surface are smaller with a button tool, giving you a bit of a smoother surface to work with for your semi-finishing and finishing operations.
  • A double-sided button insert could offer up to 12 indexes, versus 4 or 6 usable edges with a typical high-feed insert.

Plunge finishing with a bull nose cutter

Plunge Finishing with a Bull Nose/Back Draft-Style Tool

Mold core finishing can be done with any number of different cutter styles. As this video shows, one of the most efficient methods is to use a smaller-radius bull nose-style tool – but using a plunge finishing approach vs. traditional waterline profiling. Our EDGE² SBN system with SBD back draft-style inserts is a great choice for this type of application.

Ball nose and barrel-style cutters can take a large step down, but they also create more tool pressure due the increase in surface-area contact. This can cost you in terms of both finished part size and time due to the a need for subsequent additional finish passes. Though it may be a few minutes slower than the ball nose tool, in this instance plunge finishing with a bull nose-style tool:

  • Minimizes tool pressure and deflection.
  • Allows you to get into tight corners and intersections between a floor and surface wall, eliminating the need for follow-up finishing with another tool.
  • Causes the CAM software to calculate stepover by cutter diameter, minimizing cycle time – cuts your time by 75% compared to profile milling with the same tool.

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