One useful capability of the H-Series is printing up your own "stock" then milling it back to get a high-quality finished part. This allows you to print faster (since you don't care about finish quality) and stronger (high-temp overextrusion improves layer-to-layer adhesion). This is often referred to as "near net shape" manufacturing, as the initial printed part is not the exact final geometry, but only near it.
We will use a small puck as a demonstration project. In Fusion360 or other CAM software, you will need to model up both the printed object, which will be slightly larger than the final object, and the final object itself. They should have the same origin, and be coincident on the bottom.
How much larger the printed object is will depend on your print settings. It is important that the printed object be solid where it is milled. If it is not, then you will have voids on the surface of your final part. Here is the printed part:
In the model above, blue is an "adhesion layer" (one layer of TPU which sticks to the bed and the part, but which can be easily removed), grey is support material (helpful when you want your milling tool to reach the bottom of the final part, but not contact the bed), and green is the object to be machined.
All these files can now be imported into Simplify3D (or similar) for slicing:
Note: in this example, we have modelled each of the printed parts. You could also start with your final model and use Simplify3D to accomplish all of this:
- Raise the part off the print surface (this needs to be accounted for when you generate your milling toolpaths later) and generate support structures
- Use a raft to generate an adhesion layer (again, you'll need to account for the increase in Z-position)
- Scale the part up in X, Y, and Z to allow milling back to net
Once the part is printed, we can start a "Manufacture" setup in Fusion360. The Stock will be "From solid" - select the body that was used for printing. (If you used Simplify3D to move and scale the model, this is where you would ensure the Work Coordinate System matches your actual setup)
Now we can generate toolpaths as we would in any CNC operation. The great thing about near net shape processing is we don't have to find and orient our stock in the machine coordinates - we know exactly where we created it in the first place.
You can run the file directly on the H-Series Machine. There are no other steps to take on the machine to start milling.
You can find the Fusion360 file below which includes the models and milling toolpaths.