How to use Clearances, Approach and Retract

October 13, 2011


Clearances, Approach and Retract


Inside ZW3D are many functions that allow you to control the path of the tool. A very important one is the clearances.







The clearance planes are used to control the height of the tool as it moves from the current operation to the next operation.


The Clear Z or rapid plane (this is the height of the tool above the part as it might move from one drilled hole or cut to the next as it rapids to the next position).


The ApproachZ controls how near the top of the work plane or frame the cutting tool comes before it changes from the rapid feed rate to the cutting feed rate.


The RetractZ controls how far above the part the tool retracts before it transitions from the cutting feed rate to the rapid feed rate.


All the movements from the fields listed above are based on measurements from the top of the part or frame. The tool paths modify to allow for the height of the ramp or the helix that will make the initial engagement of the cutting tool to the part in the Z-Axis.

Use Auto Clear when there is stock above the part. When this box is checked, the measurements in the Auto Clear field will be based on the top of the stock and not the part as the other fields listed above.


Clearances, Approach and Retract

The values entered in the Clearances field only applies to movements at the beginning and the end of the program and also how the transitions are made between each operation. From inside the operation the approach and retract are controlled by the Safe Distance field inside the operation’s parameters.


So the height above the part that the Z movement would transition from rapid to feed rate would be the height of the entry move (the ramp or the helical move) plus the value in the safe distance field as shown below.


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