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Understanding The Autodesk Inventor HSM Heights Tab

In Autodesk Inventor HSM you can control the machining area by depth for most machining strategies on the Heights tab. The machining area is defined by the Top Height and Bottom Height. On the Heights tab, you can also control the retracts by setting the Clearance Height, Retract Height, and Feed Height. Each height is defined by an offset amount and a mode that tells from which other height the offset applies. The absolute heights are always in relation to the operation origin which defaults to the WCS defined in the setup the stock.

Below we will explain the different options on the heights tab.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk 2d 3d pocket

Clearance Height

The Clearance height is the first height the tool rapids to on its way to the start of the tool path.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk clearance height

Clearance height offset

The Clearance height offset is applied and is relative to the Clearance height selection in the drop-down list below.

  • Retract height: incremental offset from the Retract Height.
  • Feed height: incremental offset from the Feed Height.
  • Top height: incremental offset from the Top Height.
  • Bottom height: incremental offset from the Bottom Height.
  • Model top: incremental offset from the Model Top.
  • Model bottom: incremental offset from the Model Bottom.
  • Stock top: incremental offset from the Stock Top.
  • Stock bottom: incremental offset from the Stock Bottom.
  • Selected contour(s): incremental offset from a Contour selected on the model.
  • Selection: incremental offset from a Point (vertex), Edge or Face selected on the model.
  • Origin (absolute): absolute offset from the Origin that is defined in either the Setup or in Tool Orientation within the specific operation.

Retract Height

Retract height sets the height that the tool moves up to before the next cutting pass. Retract height should be set above the Feed height and Top. Retract height is used together with the subsequent offset to establish the height.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk retract height

Retract height offset

Retract height offset is applied and is relative to the Retract height selection in the drop-down list below.

  • Clearance height: incremental offset from the Clearance Height.
  • Feed height: incremental offset from the Feed Height.
  • Top height: incremental offset from the Top Height.
  • Bottom height: incremental offset from the Bottom Height.
  • Model top: incremental offset from the Model Top.
  • Model bottom: incremental offset from the Model Bottom.
  • Stock top: incremental offset from the Stock Top.
  • Stock bottom: incremental offset from the Stock Bottom.
  • Selected contour(s): incremental offset from a Contour selected on the model.
  • Selection: incremental offset from a Point (vertex), Edge or Face selected on the model.
  • Origin (absolute): absolute offset from the Origin that is defined in either the Setup or in Tool Orientation within the specific operation.

Feed Height

Feed height sets the height that the tool rapids to before changing to the feed/plunge rate to enter the part. Feed height should be set above the Top. A drilling operation uses this height as the initial feed height and the retract peck height. Feed height is used together with the subsequent offset to establish the height.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk feed height

Feed height offset

Feed height offset is applied and is relative to the Feed height selection in the drop-down list below.

  • Clearance height: incremental offset from the Clearance Height.
  • Retract height: incremental offset from the Retract Height.
  • Disabled: Disabling the Feed Height causes the tool to rapid down to the lead-in.
  • Top height: incremental offset from the Top Height.
  • Bottom height: incremental offset from the Bottom Height.
  • Model top: incremental offset from the Model Top.
  • Model bottom: incremental offset from the Model Bottom.
  • Stock top: incremental offset from the Stock Top.
  • Stock bottom: incremental offset from the Stock Bottom.
  • Selected contour(s): incremental offset from a Contour selected on the model.
  • Selection: incremental offset from a Point (vertex), Edge or Face selected on the model.
  • Origin (absolute): absolute offset from the Origin that is defined in either the Setup or in Tool Orientation within the specific operation.

Top Height

Top height sets the height that describes the top of the cut. Top height should be set above the Bottom. Top height is used together with the subsequent offset to establish the height.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk top height

Top offset

Top offset is applied and is relative to the Top height selection in the drop-down list below.

  • Clearance height: incremental offset from the Clearance Height.
  • Retract height: incremental offset from the Retract Height.
  • Feed height: incremental offset from the Feed Height.
  • Bottom height: incremental offset from the Bottom Height.
  • Model top: incremental offset from the Model Top.
  • Model bottom: incremental offset from the Model Bottom.
  • Stock top: incremental offset from the Stock Top.
  • Stock bottom: incremental offset from the Stock Bottom.
  • Selected contour(s): incremental offset from a Contour selected on the model.
  • Selection: incremental offset from a Point (vertex), Edge or Face selected on the model.
  • Origin (absolute): absolute offset from the Origin that is defined in either the Setup or in Tool Orientation within the specific operation.

Bottom Height

Bottom height determines the final machining height/depth and the lowest depth that the tool descends into the stock. Bottom height needs to be set below the Top. Bottom height is used together with the subsequent offset to establish the height.

heights tab inventor hsm autodesk bottom height

Bottom offset

Bottom offset is applied and is relative to the Bottom height selection in the above drop-down list.

  • Clearance height: incremental offset from the Clearance Height.
  • Retract height: incremental offset from the Retract Height.
  • Feed height: incremental offset from the Feed Height.
  • Top height: incremental offset from the Top Height.
  • Model top: incremental offset from the Model Top.
  • Model bottom: incremental offset from the Model Bottom.
  • Stock top: incremental offset from the Stock Top.
  • Stock bottom: incremental offset from the Stock Bottom.
  • Selected contour(s): incremental offset from a Contour selected on the model.
  • Selection: incremental offset from a Point (vertex), Edge or Face selected on the model.
  • Origin (absolute): absolute offset from the Origin that is defined in either the Setup or in Tool Orientation within the specific operation.

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