Bridges (tabs) are helpful for when you are routing out smaller objects that a vac table or adhesive just can’t hold in place and are ruined when the last part of the last pass of the end mill cuts thru the material (this is where the object moves a little-which damages the piece and can break your end mill). The Vision software allows you to put in bridges on a toolpath and can cut the bridges after the tool path is run.
First, you will need to go to Options on the top ribbon, Vision setup, and left click on Tool Path Preferences.
Then make sure the Cut 3D Bridges is checked.
***If you do not want the machine to automatically cut the bridges after cutting the tool path, then leave the Cut 3D bridges unchecked***
Now we can put a toolpath on an object and add Bridges. For this, there is a male tool path using 1/8” end mill with a depth of .51 and 4 passes.
Double left click on the tool path (in the center of the color). Now you can node edit the tool path and this is where we can add bridges. Left click on the Bridges icon at the top, use the cursor and slide around the toolpath then left click where you want to apply the bridge. It’s a good idea to put 2 bridges around the shape.
After you left click for the first bridge placement, this window comes up. Pick the depth and length that you want the bridge, keep in mind the depth works from the bottom up of the toolpath and it’s a good idea to add .010 to whatever the actual thickness of the material is for the toolpath to actually cut thru. So for this, use at least .050 for thickness of the bridge, and 3/8” (.375) for the width.
Then after clicking on OK, go to opposite side and apply another bridge.
Just run the red toolpath and the bridges will automatically be left as the toolpath is cutting. After the toolpath is finished cutting, the machine will then cut thru the bridges. Because there is much less side pressure and material to take out for the bridges, your piece should stay in place (of course it does help to have the right feeds and speeds when routing).
Hope this helps, check out quick tips next month.