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ThreadTracer is a GibbsCAM plug-in that can be used to create custom form threads using a standard turning insert. ThreadTracer calculates a series of rough-ing and finishing positions based on the insert form and the desired thread. Each position is run as a threading cycle with the appropriate pitch. As each thread-ing cycle is performed, the material is gradually removed one position at a time. ThreadTracer

ThreadTracer uses a series of tabs to present its parameters to you. Whatever thread is selected will have the appropriate thread data displayed on the first tab. You can find the available thread types in the Control tab. Only the ACME and STUBACME threads can be used with the free version. A license has to be purchased to unlock the remaining ThreadTracer functionality.
The second tab is used to apply chamfers and fillets to the corners of the currently selected thread type. The diagram will change to display the associated thread form when you switch them. Chamfers of differ-ent angles can also be defined if a standard 45° is not what you need.
The tooling tab shows the different inserts that can be defined to cut the thread. This is where a program like ThreadTracer makes a big difference. Since the threads can be created one position at a time with standard turning inserts, it decreases the need for expensive form tools. If a thread form changes slightly, the program can usually be edited and reposted quickly using the same tool as before.

Thread form roughing and profile finishing can be posted individually, or both can be done in the same program. Roughing will remove most of the material, and usually leaves a defined amount behind for a finishing pass. The finishing pass then follows the final profile, often using a finer stepover to get the required surface accuracy. The positions the roughing cycle uses depend on the selected engine and style, as well as a given stepover and stepdown.

Other miscellaneous functionality can be found in the thread options tab. The thread can be blunted to remove the partial thread at the start. Run in/out amounts can be added to extend the start/end point, as well as create tapered exits. The entire thread can also be done at a given taper.


Several useful settings can be found in the last two tabs. These include everything from basic options like interface preferences, to standard operating variables like thread type and post processor language.

A row at the bottom is shown on every page, with the cycle time and what you want it to perform. When the time is right the Do It button can be used to exe-cute the current selections. As long as the proper settings are selected, this is when the GibbsCAM threading operations will be created. From there things will work as usual, with everything viewable in the simulation.

Once everything has been defined it can create the G-code for you using language that applies to the selected machine control. The ThreadTracer post processor is fully customizable in case there are any tweaks you need to make. You can also create the code using a standard GibbsCAM post processor.