What is "Toolpath"

A toolpath is a series of instructions that define the movement of a cutting tool on a CNC machine. It describes the path the cutting tool will follow as it removes material from a workpiece, as well as the location, speed, direction, and cutting depth for each point along the path.

Toolpaths are typically generated using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software and held in a G-code file. The CAM software takes into account the geometry of the part, the type and size of the cutting tool, and the material properties of the workpiece to generate a toolpath that minimizes machining time, reduces tool wear, and produces a high-quality result.

There are many different types of toolpaths, including:

  • Contour
  • Pocket
  • Drilling
  • Engraving
  • 3D Roughing
  • 3D Finishing

Each type of toolpath has a specific purpose and set of features to meet the requirements of different machining operations. The choice of toolpath will depend on the geometry of the part, the desired finish, and the constraints of the cutting process, such as machine capabilities and available cutting tools.