Implement Proven 3-Axis Machining with ModuleWorks Technology

ModuleWorks 3-Axis product is a robust, industry-proven CAD/CAM software component for machining simple to complex parts in 3-axes. It integrates rapidly and seamlessly in third-party environments such as CAD/CAM solutions, CNC controllers, and the cloud. Easy to use, highly efficient, and extremely effective, it offers a comprehensive range of 3-axis strategies for high-performance gouge-free machining on triangle mesh-based models. Strategies include roughing, rest-roughing, and a range of powerful semi-finishing and finishing strategies.

ModuleWorks 3-Axis is ideal for fast, precise machining of complex contoured surfaces prevalent in industries such as mold and die, automotive, aerospace, and dentistry. It is also commonly used for machining a range of prismatic parts.

Solution Offered by ModuleWorks

ModuleWorks 3-Axis product delivers powerful, advanced strategies for 3-axis milling to meet the programming requirements of the most challenging machining jobs throughout the industry.

A full range of strategies for roughing and finishing create smooth and highly efficient toolpaths that save time and help manufacturers achieve the highest part quality. Beyond performance and precision, the advanced ModuleWorks algorithms generate safe, reliable toolpaths, enabling programmers to confidently focus on the task at hand without the extra, time-consuming burden of manually incorporating toolpath safety.

Strategies and Features in 3-Axis

Advanced Roughing Toolpaths

3-Axis roughing toolpaths include advanced options for roughing bulk stock. The passes are created in Z-levels and deliver optimal cutting conditions for all types of roughing.

This pattern offsets the machining surface profile and creates toolpaths with smooth motions for high-speed machining with the latest controllers.

This cut pattern generates passes parallel to the X/Y axis or any other user-defined angle in the XY plane. This is typically used on less dynamic machines.

The adaptive toolpath creates passes with a small and consistent stepover. Deep cuts ensure a high material removal rate (MRR) to reduce cutting forces and greatly increase tool life while simultaneously reducing the machining cycle time.

Roughing Toolpath Features
  • Rest roughing 
  • Dynamic Holder Collision (DHC) checking with part,
    in-process workpiece (
    IPW), and stock
  • Stock-aware linker 
  • Intermediate slices 
  • Flat detection
  • Various ramp options and pre-drill support for entry moves 
  • Smoothing 

Specialized Finishing Toolpaths

3-axis finishing, just like 3-axis roughing, also offers a full range of flexible strategies to ensure high-quality finishing for different machining applications, from machining simple flat faces to complex contours and regions. The generated toolpaths are smoothed and optimized with advanced algorithms to ensure consistent stepovers for an optimal surface finish.

This strategy is for finishing complete parts or selected surfaces with parallel passes. Passes are parallel to each other relative to the X and Y axis.

This approach has advantages for machining steep surfaces. Passes are created in the Z-axis at equal distances, resulting in an optimal finish for vertical and steep surfaces.

Constant cusp helps to machine shallow surfaces in the model. Passes are created by offsetting the surface’s silhouette at a constant stepover for improved cusp removal and superior finish.

Combining finishing strategies delivers a superior finish when machining both shallow and steep surfaces in the model. The following combined strategies are available:

  • Constant Z + Constant cusp
  • Constant Z + Parallel passes

This strategy is tailored for machining flat surfaces with an end mill or bull nose cutter. It is ideal for facing floors.

This strategy is for machining corners/fillets with a smaller ball nose tool. It supports single and multi-pencil cuts.

This strategy projects the pattern/curve on selected surfaces. It is ideal for machining conical and circular surfaces and includes different patterns:

  • Spiral
  • Radial
  • Offset
  • U-shape
  • Parallel
  • User-defined

Finishing Toolpath Features

  • Rest finishing 
  • Undercut finishing 
  • Dynamic Holder Collision (DHC) checking with part
  • Silhouette containment 
  • Angle range definition 
  • Optimized ordering 
  • Exclude flat areas 
  • Leads/links 
  • Start points 

Additional Product Capabilities


  • Full gouge check support
  • Filtering
  • Containment
  • Point distribution
  • Arc fitting
  • Surface offsets

Supported Model Data for Programming

  • Surfaces/solid/mesh data for workpiece 
  • Solid/mesh for stock
  • Fixture from curves, surfaces, or solids 
  • Various tool types along with tool components like arbor and holder. 
  • CL-style toolpath output 

Tool Types

3-Axis milling strategies support all the major tool types and the components for complete tool definition. 

Supported Tools:

  • End Mill
  • Bull Nose Mill
  • Sphere/Ball Mill
  • Tapered Mill
  • T-Slot Mill
  • Lollipop Mill
  • Barrel Mill

Tool components:

  • Flute
  • Shaft
  • Arbor
  • Holder

Key Highlights

Modern Architecture

ModuleWorks software boasts a state-of-the-art architecture resulting from 500 man-years of cumulative and dedicated 3-axis research and development by an experienced and highly skilled team. The high-performance kernel supports multi-threading, parallel calculations, and caching with native 64-bit system support for performance-optimized deployment on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, machine controllers, and even the cloud.

Various Options for Roughing and Finishing

Leverage the advanced ModuleWorks software architecture to generate high-performance, best-in-class toolpaths for even the most challenging roughing and finishing applications.

Advanced Features for Precise Calculation

Features such as DHC checking, stock aware linking, and filtering among others enable users to accurately calculate toolpaths for each job while ensuring smooth entry, machining, and exit. This delivers optimal precision, safety, and machine performance.

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