There is a new utility in Mastercam 2017 that can significantly improve the quality of imported model data. The Optimize Solid function automatically repairs whole bodies or individual faces, improving the accuracy of edges and face blends. If you import a model that was created in a different CAD system Mastercam’s file converters can make it easy to simply drag and drop the file into the Mastercam graphics window. To help you determine what size tools you need you can analyze some part features, but when you activate the Analyze command and move the cursor along the model you will notice that the edge is broken into many small facets. Go to the Model Prep ribbon tab and look in the Modify area. Click the drop down arrow next to Simplify Solid and select the Optimize command. Next, select the whole body, click OK, and in a moment Mastercam displays a message informing you how many optimizations have been made and highlights the affected areas of the model. Now those small facets have been merged into one smooth continuous edge. It’s that easy. This new optimize command can help improve the accuracy of your models which will result in better [...]
The graphics viewing options in Mastercam for Solidworks have been expanded to include the Gview system used by standalone Mastercam. In previous versions, only the native Solidworks graphic views system could be used. Now, in Mastercam for Solidworks 2017, the Mastercam Command Manager tab features a pull-down to command graphics views that are directly driven by the Mastercam WCS. Get a part ready this is ready to be programmed with features to cut on multiple sides. While the Solidworks View Orientation Manager is extremely powerful and flexible, it’s even more helpful to command views relative to your machining orientations quickly and simply. Go to the Mastercam Toolpath Manager and at the top of the screen go to the Mastercam Command Manager Tab and click the Plane Manager button. In this example, you should create Mastercam planes for machining both the Top and Front. Highlight the row labeled Part Top and click this Equals sign icon. That shifts the column indicators for WCS and T plane into this row to show that this plane is now driving the Mastercam WCS. Next, go to the pull-down labeled Graphics Views and compare the results when you select Top and Isometric. The Graphics views [...]
We are so very proud and excited to have been awarded “Top US Reseller” award from CNC Software, the makers of Mastercam for the second consecutive year. With all the great Mastercam resellers around the country this really is a big achievement for us. Congratulations to the entire team at Cimquest for all their hard work and thank you to all of our customers for your continued support. We couldn’t have achieved this award without you and for that we would like to extend our most sincere thank you. It is a pleasure to have your business and we are looking forward to another great year of successes, both ours and yours!
In today’s blog post we will review the settings in the converters section of the Mastercam 2017 configuration file. Mastercam can read and write files in several different native formats, as well as some neutral and kernel specific ones. The converter settings let you set your initial preferences for these functions. First, click on the File tab at the upper left corner of the screen to access the backstage area. From there, click on Configuration in the left-hand column. Once the System Configuration window opens, click on Converters in the left panel topic tree. Here we can access all the default settings that Mastercam will use when importing or exporting CAD files. Some settings will affect all file types, like the option to add ‘edge curves’ or wireframe entities to files containing only surface or solid data. Other settings will be specific to other Native types, like the settings for AutoCAD data, for Pro-E and Creo, and for native Solidworks. Once you make your selections, click OK and then click Yes to save the changes. Next, open some files to test if your settings are working the way they should. If you use the File-Open dialog and select a specific [...]
The new Mastercam 2017 Transform Gnomons include new dynamic enhancements to the Translate and Rotate Transforms. In previous versions, only the full dynamic tool offered onscreen handles and grips that allowed users graphic interaction. Now, in Mastercam 2017, both Rotate and Translate offer onscreen controls in addition to the traditional dialog box controls. The dynamic transform interactive gnomon is capable of translating, rotating, snap aligning, and trace following geometry in many ways and while it is a very powerful tool, some users may prefer a simpler tool when just working in 2D. If you activate the Transform Rotate command you will see that, in addition to the traditional dialog box controls, there is a new rotation gnomon in the graphics area. You can easily click the center ball to change rotation center or click and drag the pointer arrow and rotate. With the Transform Translate command, you can see the simplified translate-only version of the dynamic gnomon. The drag arrows make it very easy to click and snap positions. It also features a switch, like the full dynamic gnomon, which toggles it between this orthographic translation and polar vector translation. With this, you can rotate the dial to set a [...]
The Mastercam 2017 Radial Chip Thinning Factor can be applied with high-speed machining techniques in selected Mastercam milling operations. In previous versions, you would have to calculate this adjustment manually when using a machining stepover of less than 50%. Now in Mastercam 2017, a simple checkbox labeled RCTF found on the Tool page calculates and updates the operation automatically. To use this function, pick a machining operation from a toolpath gallery. Once the geometry and machining region are selected, move on to set the machining parameters and define the tool. You can edit the tool and define composition, number of flutes, dimensions, and feed & speed data, as expressed in surface feet per minute and chip load per tooth based on the manufacturers' recommendations. Next, go to the cut parameters area of the toolpath where the radial step-over is set. The original feedrate was based on a radial step-over of 50% and a small step-down in Z. Here we will use the full depth of flute length of the tool in Z, so reduce the radial step-over back to just 10% of its diameter. This means the actual feedrate will need to be adjusted to maintain the recommended feed per [...]
There is a new option in Mastercam 2017 for adjusting milling tools and holders. In previous versions, you had to edit tool projection on the holder branch of an operation by typing in a value. Now, in Mastercam 2017, you can dynamically edit tool projection in the graphics window by snapping the tool to part geometry and dragging the holder along the tool to align it. The file below requires varying ‘stick out’ lengths for the tools used to machine it. You can see that the part’s features vary from shallow to deep, including one cross hole that spans across the full width of the part. We can use those part features to precisely adjust the tool projection lengths. After clicking on and opening an operation, you can see the current distance of tool projection from the holder by looking at the area indicated below. Back up to the tool branch, right-click on the tool and select Edit Projection. Instantly, a 3D representation of the tool and holder appears in the main graphics window. The tip of the tool is fixed on the cursor and the tool’s axis is aligned with the tool plane of the operation. Simply click on a [...]
There’s a powerful new solids function in Mastercam 2017 that gives you quick results with far less effort. In previous versions, if you wanted to make derivative models of your part for things like nested fixturing or electrode geometry you had to use Boolean commands. Keep reading to find out how this process has been improved. Two example files are shown below. We will make an electrode to finish the fins and slots on the first part and on the second part we will make a set of jaws to nest the part for another operation. Using the Boolean family of commands would take many more steps and contribute more complexity to the file than the more streamlined workflow of solid impression. Sketch a closed outer boundary in each file for the tool you want to make. The new impression body will be extruded normal, or perpendicular to the chain. Note that the boundary is positioned a small distance away from the target part body. Next, go to the Solids tab on the ribbon and select Impression. Chain the sketch, click OK, and select the target body when prompted. Click OK one more time. Mastercam instantly extrudes a new solid [...]