Piercing only the center of small holes in Fusion 360

Hey there,

I’m writing as a someone who’s just gotten into plasma cutting with CNC. I’ve been using Fusion 360 for CAM and I came across a project where I need to make several .107" diameter (7/64") holes. It would be great to just magically find the center of each hole and do a tiny pierce where I can follow up with a drill later, but each time I make the toolpath it makes me outline the circle instead of doing a point. So then when I simulate or do a dry run I can see the plasma cutter doing a small circular motion which I know will be too big of a cut even the circular motion is very small.

I have the Hypertherm 45xp with machine torch, also bought the fine cut consumables (but haven’t installed because the Hypertherm cut chart doesn’t show fine cut settings for aluminum). The work material is aluminum .080".

Reading a bunch of threads, I’ve tried setting my kerf width to .106", but it does not change the circular motion. I have it set to in computer, no lead in or lead out. Pierce clearance .15" and all loops to start outside.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Update: I realized my toolpath is on the outisde of the circles. I clicked the red arrow again and now when I finish the toolpath editor no tool path is genereated. I imediately thought my kerf width was just simply too big, so I tried .005" to start off and critque, but I still can’t get a path going.

By setting the parameter of the kerf width does not change how wide your torch cuts but sets the parameters of how wide your torch is actually cutting. You can do some straight line cuts and use a caliper to measure the width of the cut to Input the correct measurement.

I’ve read on this forum where some people are creating different cutting layers and for the holes on 1st layer would turn the amperage down to around 25 amps on there machine would create a mark for drilling. Then create a pause in there G-code would give them time to turn the amperage back up to their cutting amperage and resume cutting by pressing start.

As I am new to this CNC stuff myself I can’t help you on layers and G-code. Hopefully someone with the knowledge of doing this will chirp in and give us all a lesson. Good Luck!

Yeah, that was helpful. I do need to measure the actual kerf. I found a fix to my issue after all. It was the pierce clearance. I set it to 0 and the toolpath could be generated again. I then changed the kerf to .106" again to get it to pierce in the middle of the hole (based on dimension and not actual kerf) and the simulation ran as should. I’ll probably have to look into the pauses. Need to do some tests runs. Thanks again.

SheetCam makes this easy. You don’t do anything special to your design and, in SheetCam you isolate the small holes to a new layer and use a ‘drill’ operation on that layer. SheetCam will just ‘peck’ the dead center.

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Yeah that’s true. Unfortunately I do everything off my Mac so I believe SheetCam isnt an option for me at this moment.