While drilling a hole is something every CNC machine user can do easily, programming the locations of several holes takes a bit more time and effort. Instead of going through the arduous process of setting the locations of numerous holes, Autodesk recently shared how to use their new hole recognition software in Fusion 360 to streamline the entire process using a mold core block as an example.:
Holes in material don’t always have the same size, shape, or make—so the trick is to create an operation for each section of a hole. Hole recognition allows you to create hole templates in your design, which you can then use to segregate your individual holes.
Once each hole is fitted with its own template, you can now choose what operation each requires. Actions can be set to holes such as “Simple Drill”, “Countersink Drill”, and the easy-to-understand “Ignore”. All the actions you set to the holes are saved in an action library that gets filled the more you use it—effectively making assigning future actions easier for similar job types.
With the holes set to their specific actions, you can now choose which cutting tools to use. Selecting “Tool Libraries” brings up a list of recommended tools based on what it thinks is the best tool for the job. Just like the Actions list, you can set also these tools based on your preferences and Fusion 360 will remember them for future projects.
There are a couple more advanced options, such as the ability to ignore specific holes and use only a few select drilling tools, but for the most part once you’ve tuned in your specifics, pressing “OK” starts the drilling process. Fusion 360 programs the CNC machine to drill the holes automatically according to the actions and tools set for each hole as it goes along. This saves you from having to manually adjust the tools for all the holes every single time.
For a more in-depth guide to Fusion 360’s hole recognition capabilities, read the entire tutorial over at Autodesk.