How do you guys deal with mediocre cad files… got some files that would actually be really good except they are full of splines and have some illegal boundaries.
They machine Ok and make a pretty good part but leave blemishes that can’t be eliminated without redoing the cad model. Things that should be easy like adjusting a radius are impossible and certain cutter paths don’t work or have lots of “spikes” on the CAM. Things that should be done with basic 3 axis cutter paths are 5 axis style cutter paths.
Stoney, my "guess" is that the blemishes in the part simply come down to how your CAM program is creating code for your machine.
I learned this the hard way, and spent a lot of time beating my head against the wall when I got into the wire edm business. Most of my work came in as either making a complete part from a solid model, or handed part(s) that had been machined, and still required wire edm work (once again: defined by a solid model). As such, I found myself almost always "extracting" geometry from solid model, and mostly SolidWorks. Even projecting what appeared to be a perfectly radiused edge often created "some" garbage in the projection (often because the intern who produced the model would go "fillet crazy"), and those intersection of fillets is something that SW did not handle well (at least back 15 years ago).
A wire machine is brutally honest when it comes to profiles -- if an arc/spline gets broken into a few hundred straight-line moves in the machine code, the wire machine is more than happy to precisely duplicated those moves and it will all be apparent on close inspection. Typically, cutting a profile in a CNC mill using a half-inch or larger end mill will hide all these imperfections -- so they may exist, but simply are not visible because of the diameter of the cutting tool.
Have you looked at the block of code defining the tool path where are you having blemishes? I "suspect" you may find an indication there.
Very long (too long) story short: It's quite often faster to simply remodel the part, or drive the tool path from precise sketches you have created *from* their geometry.
Keep us posted!