Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf NX2312

New to NX2312: Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf



In the constantly evolving landscape of the NX CAM manufacturing world the use of barrel and cone cutters continue to become more and more prevalent in the industry. Their unique designs allow for smoother surface finishes, a better ability to reach into tight spaces, and ultimately can optimize machining time and overall efficiency, leading to increased productivity in manufacturing operations. Now with the introduction of NX2312’s new “Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf” operation, you can achieve all of that with a lot less effort.


Understanding Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf:

This new operation type introduces a novel approach that optimizes the machining of complex geometries, particularly in components with intricate 5-axis surfaces and tall walled features. It utilizes tangent, taper, and standard barrel-type cutters to achieve smooth surface finishes in areas where cutting with the side or the end of an endmill are not possible.

Using these types of cutters to machine in areas like this is exponentially more efficient than using the smaller radius of a more traditionally used ball nose tool.

Ballnose Stepovers: approx. 95 to 125 passes

Ballnose Stepovers: approx. 95 to 125 passes

Taper Barrel Stepovers: approx. 15 to 20 passes

Taper Barrel Stepovers: approx. 15 to 20 passes









Why Not Just Use Previous Operation Types:

While you can still use operations like Variable Streamline and Variable Contour to create tool path for Barrel type cutters, Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf was created specifically for these types of cutters and creates a more consistent toolpath with less errors and takes about half the time.

In the example below both Variable Streamline and Variable Contour operations had toolpath issues around the same area of the part that would require further operational changes to correct the toolpath. The Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf operation was able to create a clean, usable tool path the first time.


Variable Streamline

Variable Streamline

Variable Contour

Variable Contour

Wall Finish - Barrel Swarf

Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf









How to Create a Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf Operation:

  • Using Create Operations:
    • Create a Wall Finish – Barrel Swarf operation with appropriate tool, geometry, etc.
      • Note: This operation subtype can only be used with tangent, taper, and standard barrel tools.


  • Under “Main“, select the wall or walls that you want to drive.
  • Next, specify the upper and or lower curves (in this case both upper and lower curves were selected).
  • Then, select your cut pattern, followed by inputting your desired stepover distance.


  • Under “Geometry“, specify the part geometry if it is not already included in your current workpiece.


  • Under “Axis & Avoidance”, set the Avoidance to None.
    • Note: Lead Angel and Contact Height did not require adjustment and were left at default values.


*New Preview Available:

    • This operation allows you to see exactly where the preferred contact point and range will be on the tool based on your current inputs.


• The last step is to simply generate.


NX2312’s Wall Finish – Barrel swarf operation not only produces a clean reliable toolpath but does so all while simplifying user input which will in turn, increase overall efficiency.



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