Pocket Processes – Many Options for Selections


Of all the machining processes in ONGAA CAM, Pockets have the largest number of ways to select geometry. This is primarily due to the way WoodWOP requires pockets to be defined.  WW requires a length, a width, an angle of rotation, a depth, an X & Y coordinate to locate the centre of the pocket and a radius for corner rounding.

ONGAA CAM can acquire this information by one of the following selection:

  • selecting just the bottom of a pocket
  • selecting edges for length, width, depth and the top face
  • selecting edges for corner radius, length, width, depth and the top face
  • selecting upper and lower edges of a round pocket and the top face
  • selecting a sketch, an edge for depth and a top face
  • selecting a top face an edge for depth and the ‘all pockets on face option’

In this section we will examine all these selection options with examples of where they might be used.

In addition, we will examine the most often used WW pocketing options available in ONGAA CAM.



pocket_simple_selSimple pockets, meaning 4 complete sides exist and no other holes are in the floor of the pockets are the easiest to select.

Select the bottom surface (face) of the pockets and ONGAA CAM will do the rest.

ONGAA CAM will determine the length, width, depth, X&Y location as well as the radius of the rounded corners.


pocketdetails1 pocketdetails2 pocketdetails3


In most cases only the tool and direction of travel needs to be entered.

From the face selection, all the fields in yellow will be automatically filled in.






WoodWOP will receive all the processing options as found by ONGAA CAM.





ONGAA CAM will always set the RUN to Z option in WoodWOP to the top of the part when simple pocket selection is used





When mortising for hinges would create a three sided pockets (with round corners) the simple bottom face selection can still be used.  Because of a unique feature in ONGAA CAM there is no need to clean out the outer corners with an additional process because ONGAA CAM will extend the pocket by one corner radius past the open edge.








When nesting ensure that part separation is increased to ensure the neighboring part is not damaged.





For three side pockets without rounded corners the bottom face can also be selected however ONGAA CAM will not increase the size of the pocket to eliminate the corner material.



WoodWOP will receive the definition of the pocket exactly as defined however when this part is machined, a small amount of material will be left in all 4 corners corresponding to the radius of the tool.




pocket_sketch1An alternate way to closely control a three sided pocket is with a sketch. In most cases a suitable sketch already exists because a sketch was used to create the pocket.  By ensuring the sketch extends beyond the edge of the material, ONGAA CAM will define a pocket which also extends beyond the material edge ensuring that the unwanted material in the corners is also cleaned out.





To use sketches for defining pockets three selections must be made. The Sketch – for length width and position, a Depth Edge – to indicate the depth of the pocket. (See pointer in the image) and the Top Face – to indicate the starting Z.




The selection will appear in the Pocket Details as seen here.




WoodWOP will show the pocket as seen here.  The amount the pocket has been extended has been exaggerated  to ensure it clearly visible.  The actual amount of extension need only be 1 tool radius.






If sketches are used always ensure the sketch is on top of the part.  ONGAA CAM uses the lower Z value from both the sketch and the face to determine the Run-to-Z value.




Another way to define a pocket is to select the the edges that matter and the top face. In this example two edges are selected that will define the length and width. A third edge will define the depth. Finally the top face will define the Run-to-Z or top of the pocket.

Once all four selection are made ONGAA CAM will color the selection indicating what information it found useful. Red – length, Blue – depth, Purple – width.





The selections can be made in any order as ONGAA CAM will inspect each selection to determine what information each provides.





In order to define a round pocket two edges will be required and a top face. The upper edge will define the length, width and radius while the bottom edge will define the depth.  As with other pockets the top face will define the Run-to_Z dimension.





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