Milling Checklist

Here is a basic check-list to go through before you send a file to the workshop for milling.
Note that it is not a specific check-list since every model is unique in some way.


1. No Undercuts
Milling _undercut


2. Correct Scale and Units

Do you have the right scale and units? Always use mm in the exported file.
Measure known distances in your model with locators - just to be sure.

3. Size

Very small parts can be hard to mill. If you are doing for example small buttons they should not be high because that could possible mean that they loose while milling. Small is ok if not high at the same time.

Less important

4. No Collapsed CVs

Milling _collapsed CVs

If this is unavoidable, trim away a very small portion which is covering the collapsed point. You could instead just put a small skin where you have trimmed that hole.

5. Surface Normals

Set all surface normals to point outwards from the object. Examine each surface with ObjectEdit->SurfaceNormal and reverse the normal if necessary.

6. No Periodic Geometry

Detach periodic surfaces and curves. Can cause problems on NC machines. Make it a good habit to detach periodic geometry.

7. Positive Quadrant

Place the model aligned to Z=0 in the positive X,Y quadrant. The milling will be done with the milling head pointing in the negative Z direction. From the top view, all the surfaces should be visable and placed correctly in height, often that means at Z=0

8. Export only necessary geometry

Even though the milling machine does not need side and bottom surface to mill you should export them so it is easy to see and understand your complete model.

Pick only the surfaces that will be milled and then choose File > Export and the Option box.
By doing so you are not saving for example the lights that is just "trash" in an IGES file.
Choose IGES (or STEP) and Save.
Give the file a name without any extension. Not xxx.wire. Instead just xxx.
Alias will automatically add the extension ".iges" (or stp) after your name.
It will be saved in your Current Project in the wire folder.

Copy the file xxx.iges (or xxx.stp) to the folder "Iges files for milling" on S5.

Note: Do not send the file with extension .alias2iges because it is just a log file. Delete it instead. It just occupies disk space.

9. Leave space between parts

About 1mm wider than the mill tool. If you do not know the mill size then about 17mm is usally a safe gap distance. The gap size i depending on the choosen mill tool size. Example for a 6mm mill a gap of 7mm is enough.

Happy milling