MillTracer - Thread milling of large or custom threads using standard milling tools.
By 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 free plugin for GibbsCAM and uses exported pointdata from ThreadTracer to generate milling toolpaths for threads.
MillTracer allows you to generate toolpaths for milling any thread form created with ThreadTracer.
It uses an point cloud with all information to build helical toolpaths for thread milling with a standard disc milling tool. These point clouds are created and exported from 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 threads 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 CoromantSeco ToolsPaul Horn , and others.
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. Righthand and Lefthand threads.
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.
Preview helix for quick visual geometry while setting up and setting thread depth.
Supports multistart threads with any number of starts.
Autodetects GibbsCAM environment (Inch/Metric)
Online documentation accessible directly from the plugin.
With the free version of ThreadTracerLITE, you can create any Acme and Stub Acme threads and threadmill these with MillTracer using standard groove and disc milling cutters.
Create any threadform for threadmilling with MillTracer when using ThreadTracer with a license.
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.
29.03.2022 - MillTracer V1.50 - New tabbed interface. Redone internals for better toolpath creation. Unreleased.
24.09.2023 - MillTracer V2.00 - Rewritten for generating direct milling toolpaths. Improved tabbed interface.
( MillTracer for GibbsCAM • 15 MB ) - Requires GibbsCAM v14.0.4 or later.
There are different pointclouds examples included when you install MillTracer, you can import these from the PointCloud Examples folder to first see how it works.
MillTracer toolpath represents the identical toolpath strategy for roughing and finishing as set in ThreadTracer.