Route Processes – Selection Options




vroute_details2Unlike WoodWOP, where contours and routing process are added in 2 separate steps, ONGAA CAM combines the process definition and the contour definition in the same panel.  This ensures that the information entered in the details is always directly related to this process only. In this section we will cover the route processes selection options (toolpath definition).

Contours generally start with the selection of a Vertex (start point).  After the start point is selected, it can be followed with one or more points or edges.

When edges are selected, the edge must be connected to the previous point (or edge).  ONGAA CAM will check for this connectivity when saving as a safety feature to ensure that contour elements are selected in the correct order.




selectloop1SOLIDWORKS makes it easy to select closed contours by using the ‘Select Loop’ option.

After selecting a start point, Right-Click on the edge to be used as the toolpath. From the menu choose Select Loop.

selectloop2Since a single edge is part of two loops SOLIDWORKS will ‘guess’ at the first loop it finds.  If the guess is wrong click the pointer symbol to have SOLIDWORKS select the other loop.









With the loop selected, we can go ahead and set all the desired options such as approach modes and tool compensation.


One important user value is Z value.  If the value starts with @ as this example shows, the machine will use the Z value of the start point.  For this reason always try to select the contour the end of the tool is to follow. @0 means – follow the contour exactly, and @-0.5 means mill 0.5 mm deeper than the contour.

Setting Z to a regular number overrides the contour and forces the tool depth to be set to entered value.

Since nesting part close together often requires that a contour start in the middle of a leg and a Tangential Approach and Withdrawal mode + On-the-Fly is used, ONGAA CAM has added a midline start option since will automatically start shift the start (and end) of a toolpath to the middle of a straight edge.  This eliminated the need to manually create extra lines using the SOLIDWORKS Split-Line option.

All WoodWOP options are available





In addition to ‘Start Point + Loop’, ONGAA CAM provides ways of selecting contours which do not represent loops.

As mentioned in the overview, contours can be created by simply selecting a series of points. ONGAA CAM will generate a contour that starts at the first point and travels to each subsequentvroute_points_closed point in straight lines. This option is often used to ‘skip’ an edge (cutout etc.) that will be machined later.

It should be noted that if a contour is created using only points, it cannot be closed because the start point cannot be selected twice.  In order to close a contour the last selection must be an edge (which ends at the start point).

In this example, the pointer show the start and the contour is defined in a clockwise series. The last leg of the contour is the green edge.


vroute_roundvrout_roundWWAnother selection challenge is a complete Circle, Ellipse or Closed Spline.  These type of edges have no start points to select.  In these cases, ONGAA CAM will select a start point automatically and divide the contour into a minimum of 2 arcs.




vroute_sketch_openThe final and most powerful selection option is a Sketch (either open or closed).

With open sketches, you simply ‘draw’ the contour as required. Because the geometry of a sketch is not limited to part geometry, sketches can include lead-in legs can be curved.

Since sketches are selected as a single entity, ONGAA CAM requires additional information to determine the desired start point. To do this, select any point on the part which is near (nearer) the desired start point.  ONGAA CAM will compare the distance of this point to both ends of the sketch and decide where to start.


This sketch technique can also be used to combine multiple routes where individual route processes would be required such as decorative grooves on a panel.




The additional options box allows the selection of 1 special ONGAA CAM option and 6 of the WoodWOP additional options (see WoodWOP Documentation).

Finalizing Process is a special flag used with nesting to indicate this process should be kept as late as possible in the processing when the optimization is enable (in Nesting).

This is particularly useful when there are numerous parts / perimeter routes on a sheet and the vacuum may become compromised as processing continues.  By setting Z of the initial perimeter routes to a slight + value,  0.5 mm for example, the ‘skin’ will hold the overall vacuum better.  The route can then be copied, Move to the end of the process list, Z set to -0.5 and the Finalizing process turned on.  Nesting would then perform all finalizing processes at the very end maximizing vacuum – even with tool change optimization turned on.




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