Afternoon fellow FC enthusiasts and late night millers...
First, let me send many thanks to
for their assistance within and without the FC forums. It is much appreciated. And, these discussions are so much more worthwhile to me than that Harry Potter series... Which I have not read. Lol.
Anyhow, I have not had a chance to complete this forum thread, word for word. I began, but have not time today to finish. I am liking the discussion very much and finding it quite useful.
JoshM's original, lengthy, post includes many necessary topics. I think perhaps, as for work flow in the PathWB, from a novice user of both FC and CNC machines is to include the option to rotate the work around the A (4th) axis at 90 degree intervals to allow access to each surface plane in the XY and XZ orientations. I think this would be a simple tool feature addition for 4th axis users to allow access to their work piece with existing PathWB tools. Just my two cents based on JoshM's commentary and my interaction with FC.
Back to the main idea for this thread, I see that JoshM and Sliptonic have shared a 4th axis script and related test models here on the forum. I too have had some collaboration with Sliptonic and would like to offer my scripting progress in this area to the FC community for input and collaboration. I used the 3D Surface tool in PathWB as the basis for my 4th axis adaptations. The new 3D Surface script has major modifications to Sliptonic's original work. I do think the new 4th axis operations should be separated from the original planear 3D Surface tool, and converted to a separate, stand-alone tool.
I have more commentary, but due to time constraints today, I'll have to continue later. I just would like to make the script available to you all. I have a FC fork on GitHub at https://github.com/Russ4262/FreeCAD
. To use the modified PathSurface.py script, go to your FreeCAD/Mod/Path/Path Scripts folder. Rename your current PathSurface.py script to save it. Paste the attached script, or updated versions on my GitHub fork. Rename the pasted script to PathSurface.py. Restart FreeCAD and test away.
I have multi-pass(layering or StepDown) support included for most of the new operations, but not all.
Enjoy. Thanks in advance for the feedback. I am attaching the script and some screenshots of results.