ThreadTracer for GibbsCAM
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ThreadTracer for Milling - Generate toolpaths for thread milling of custom threads.

Using the same approach as in a lathe, with calculating and offsetting a series of helical toolpaths, its possible to machine any thread created with ThreadTracer
as a milling application in GibbsCAM.


MillTracer is a plugin for GibbsCAM and uses data from ThreadTracer to generate milling toolpaths for threads.

MillTracer allows you to generate toolpaths for milling any thread shape or form created with ThreadTracer.
It uses an point cloud with all information to build helixes and form a thread for milling with a standard disc milling tool. These point clouds are created and exported in ThreadTracer.

If you have ever tried using a boring bar for a lathe like a regular threadmil, you might have noticed the walls of the thread tends to get a parabolic shape rather than straight. (example)

The smaller the diameter of the boring bar relative to the bore diameter the less this parabolic deformation will occur.
The cutting cross sectional shape is only true to form at the point that it is perpendicular to the cut and on centre line of the helix, as happends when machining with a boring bar in a lathe.

Milling threads with a smaller tool like a groove or disc cutter can be an alternative solution as it avoids the problems with a boring bar as a threadmill.
For custom threads it can also be an alternative to often expensive, custom ordered milling inserts.

Any internal or external thread type or form can be milled with a smaller groove or disc cutter.
Groove and disc milling cutters comes in a variety of sizes and holders from leading tool manufacturers like Sandvik Coromant   Seco Tools   Paul Horn , and others.

  • Autodetects GibbsCAM environment (Inch/Metric)
  • Apply any thread milling toolpath to any cylindrical solid feature, geometry point or manually entered coordinates.
  • Fast process setup, on solids its mostly point and click.
  • Milling strategies for Top Down or Bottom Up.
  • Features quick AutoCS, creates coordinate systems with two mouse clicks.
  • Generate roughing passes and finishing passes seperately, to allow multiple tools (tool #ID's).
  • Orient thread helixes around its centerpoint, for placing thread entry/exit movement around obstacles or fixtures.
  • Generate toolpaths as segmented lines, forcing G1 movements enables thread milling on some older machine controllers.
  • Rightland or Lefthand threads with switching a button.
  • Two draft modes for quick visual geometry while setting up.
  • Supports multistart threads with any number of starts.
  • Online documentation accessible directly from the plugin.

  • MillTracer geometry represents the identical toolpath strategy as created in ThreadTracer.


    02.08.2020 - MillTracer v1.00 - Initial release.

    25.01.2021 - MillTracer V1.10 - Small fixes reported by users, improved mill contour creation, improved file I/O.

    Download MillTracer v1.10 (macro plugin) - Click here -> MillTracer v1.10 [ZIP]

    There are several example pointclouds included in the archive (inch and metric). MillTracer installs as a normal macro plugin in GibbsCAM.

    Read the MillTracer Documentation - Click here -> MillTracer Guide [PDF]

    Download the MillTracer demopart INCH - Click here -> MillTracer-INCH-Example.vnc

    Download the MillTracer demopart MM - Click here -> MillTracer-MM-Example.vnc

    Video of using MillTracer in GibbsCAM and applying threading operations for milling.

    The MillTracer demopart is the same part as shown in the video below, with the milling operations.