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Profile turning

You would use the Profile option to turn the outside of a blank to a shape that is revolved around a centerline such a vase shape. It uses Part Wizard, ArtCAM, or PartWorks to toolpath the profile that you want to turn your blank to and then “virtually” stands that toolpath on edge so that the Y-axis in the drawing becomes the Z-axis on your turning. Toolpath it in Part Wizard, or PartWorks with an end mill bit and then cut with a ballnose bit with the same radius.

  • Our example is going to be a vase shape that was drawn in TurboCAD, but a similar shape could be done with arcs in Part Wizard or PartWorks. Here’s a sample profile…


and the shape of the finished turning. The black line is our profile and the gray lines represent the center line of the blank and the ends of the turning…you DON’T need (or want) to draw them but it helps to see how everything goes together.


  • When your profile drawing is finshed, open Part Wizard (or ArtCAM) and import the profile drawing using the “Import Vectors” option. Select the profile and make sure it starts cutting at the left end...that’s the end that you want the green dot to be at. In Part Wizard the screen should look like this…


  • Select the Toolpath tab and then the Profile button. You want the toolpath to be ABOVE the profile so select the “inside” option at the top and then choose a shallow final depth so that the file doesn’t try to cut in multiple passes. Now select an end mill with the same radius as the ballnose bit that you’ll be cutting with and create your tool path. If everything goes well your screen should look like the screenshot below, with the toolpath above the profile and cutting from left to right …


  • Save the toolpath using the inch or mm post, NOT the arc one. We suggest saving the profile in your “C:\program files\ShopBot\virtual tools\indexer\profiles” folder to make it easy to find, but you can put it anywhere you want..
  • Use the "Carve a blank to a PartWizard Profile" option in the Indexer Virtual Tool [VI] to create your Indexer file.
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