Tool Vector Control Normal to Surface

Creating Tool Axis Control Geometry (Vectors) for Multi-Axis Curve Toolpaths

When creating a multi-axis curve toolpath, the tool axis control needs to be set within the toolpath. This can be controlled by a few ways:

  • Lines
  • Surface
  • Plane
  • From point
  • To point
  • Chain

This document will review two methods of creating lines (also called vectors) that can be used to control the axis of the tool.

Option 1

This option requires that the user select each location the vector will be created.




Create Dynamic Point


Activate line creation and deactivate point creation


Activate line creation


Select line, arc, spline surface or solid face that the vectors need to be normal to.

In the below, a solid face is used therefore face selection was activated.


Face Selection activated


Set the Offset value (offset value will be the length of the line) and lock it. When the field is locked it will be red.


Set Offset value and Lock it


Move the vector selector to the location required for the vector and left click. Several vectors may be required depending on the part.


Move Vector Selector


Option 2

This option will create vectors on set increments (spacing). This is a faster way to create vectors if multiple are needed or on larger parts. Option 1 can also be used to add additional ones if needed.


Note: This needs to be done per surface.




Create Segment Point


Set segment distance and lock it. When the field is locked, it will be red.


Set segment distance


In the case of a solid, the edge can be selected. If surfaces are used an edge curve will need to be created. Points will create along the edge or curve select on the segment distance entered.


Select edge for solids


Select all points.

Tip: Quick Point  Quick Pint  will allow fast selection



Select all points.

Tip: Quick Point  Quick Pint will allow fast selection


Project to surface


Project to surface


Select surface or solid face.

In the below, a solid face is used therefore face selection was activated. Do not select the entire body.


Face Selection


Set Surface Project to Normal


 Set surface project to normal


Activate and select Line/Point


Select Line/Point


Set to Line and set Length


Set to line and set length


Flip direction if needed


Flip direction


Accept  Accept  for both project point and project menu


Final image vector control normal to surface


See all How-To’s, Tips & Tricks and FAQ’s here!

Sandy McClintock

Presented by Sandy McClintock, Applications Support Specialist

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