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What is Accelerated Finishing?

What is Accelerated Finishing?

By Callie Morgan

Friday, October 28th, 2022, 5:00 PM PDT


What is Accelerated Finishing?

Accelerated Finishing is a Mastercam toolpathing technology that optimizes cutting strategies for specific tool types and shapes. Accelerated Finishing increases material removal and finishing quality without increasing machine cycle time. 

Finishing is the longest, but most important, step in machining. Accelerated Finishing targets specific regions of your Accelerated Finishing tools to get the most even wear and life out of them, while cutting your cycle time by up to 80%. 

The toolpath cut pattern options are for barrel, lens, lens-barrel, oval, and taper tool Accelerated Finishing tool shapes.

Three types of Accelerated Finishing tools and their general shapes.



How Accelerated Finishing Works

Each Accelerated Finishing tool has different cutting radii which impacts the cutting quality. The cusp height (scallop height) considers the cutting tool’s radius and the stepover rates of the toolpath set in Mastercam. Generally speaking, having a bigger tool radius will result in a larger stepover. 

The results of using a larger stepover on a part versus a smaller stepover. Image from Mastercam.com.



When looking at a part, the cusp height can be seen as the distance from the top of the ridge to the bottom of the valley within the stepover. The higher the cusp height, the rougher the cutting quality will be.

A diagram demonstrating cusp height (scallop height). Image from Mastercam.com.



To achieve smoother finishing quality, the goal is to make your cusp height as low as possible. There are two ways to accomplish a lower cusp height. Traditionally, you can decrease your stepover. However, shorter stepover means more lines in your code, which also means a bigger file and longer cycle time. 


These two toolpaths result in the same surface quality. The Barrel form cutter reduces the cut motion by 19 passes.


The second option is to increase the radius of your tool. This would give you a much smoother surface and lower cycle time—this is what Accelerated Finishing does.


How to Get the Most Out of Accelerated Finishing

Accelerated Finishing technology is found in 3D High Speed Toolpaths (HST) in Mill, so you do not need a Multiaxis license to use Accelerated Finishing in a 3-axis machine—as long as there is no undercutting needed. In order to do any cutting above the equator in 3D, you need a Multiaxis license. Multiaxis toolpaths do have the advantage of being able to tilt the tool, allowing for even greater flexibility.

Accelerated Finishing used in 3-axis without a Mastercam Multiaxis license (above).


Undercuts in 3-axis with Accelerated Finishing with a Mastercam Multiaxis license.


Accelerated Finishing targets specific regions of your tools to wear them down evenly. In Mastercam Multiaxis (for 4 and 5-axis machines) you have access to the Tool Axis Control setting. In the field for “Tilt Angle at Side” you can customize the angle a Barrel tool cuts down the walls to utilize the side of your tool as much as possible. 

The angle of the tool engagement depends both on the profile of the tool as well as the profile of the tool you’re cutting. What you need to do with the tool angle is get the maximum amount of flute contact per pass based on the angle of your tool. For example, If your walls are sitting at 70 degrees, you can only cut with a tool that has a 70 degree angle. 

Accelerated finishing tools can compensate for all the angles within a range and can even handle concave shaped walls.

The Tilt Angle at Side feature in action in Mastercam Multiaxis. GIF from Mastercam.com.


Interested in trying out accelerated finishing for yourself? Contact your local tool distributor to find a good tool fit for your application and start saving cycle time today! To learn more about programming Accelerated Finishing tools in Mastercam, check out the Accelerated Finishing videos in the 3D Mill Finishing Toolpaths lesson group on Streamingteacher!


For access to more in-depth Mastercam training content, sign up for a Streamingteacher account here!


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