VIDEO: How to Machine a Football

We are in the heat of football season, so what better time to showcase how a football is machined.This video shows a model American Football being created out of 6061 Aluminium with a Toyoda UX-570 5 axis machine with a 3D offset toolpath: 0.032 dia cutter mounted in a Typhoon HSM Jet Spindle using thru spindle coolant at 36,000 RPM and 400 IPM.


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While presenting the latest developments of its CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining and its feature-based programming software, Delcam machined a metal replica football, one programmed with PowerMILL and one with FeatureCAM. Check it out here.

This demo happened during a meeting held at Ingersoll Cutting Tools in Rockford, Illinois, and included live cutting demonstrations on Ingersoll’s Mori Seiki MV-65 and Toyoda UX570 CAT 40 machines. Recognizing the divided loyalties of the region’s Delcam customers, one was produced with a Chicago Bears theme while the other featured the Green Bay Packers.

The new release of PowerMILL includes improvements to the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy, expanded collision checking to also cover near misses, and more efficient raster finishing. Vortex produces safe toolpaths with a much deeper cut by using a controlled engagement angle that maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the whole toolpath.  

Companies using four- or five-axis machines with trunnions or similar tilting tables will benefit from new options that distribute PowerMILL’s toolpath points, so that the machine’s gimbal-lock position is avoided and a smoother motion results.


As well as including the latest developments in the Vortex strategy, the 2015 version of FeatureCAM incorporates a range of enhancements in three-axis milling, two-axis and five-axis drilling, turning and turn-mill, and wire EDM to make the software even more powerful and easier to use.