Tech Tips

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24 01, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Converter Settings

By | 2017-01-24T08:37:23+00:00 January 24th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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 [...]

16 01, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Transform Gnomons

By | 2017-01-16T08:49:20+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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 [...]

9 01, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Radial Chip Thinning Factor

By | 2017-01-09T08:22:01+00:00 January 9th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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 [...]

6 01, 2017

SolidWorks 2017 Wrap onto Freeform Surfaces

By | 2017-01-06T08:00:25+00:00 January 6th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is a significant enhancement with the Wrap function in SolidWorks 2017. In the past, SolidWorks has been able to Wrap a 2D sketch onto a CAD model, but it had to be either a cylindrical or cone-shaped face. In addition, you could only Wrap to a single face; multiple faces were not supported, but now in SolidWorks 2017, these limitations have been removed. In the example below, the goal is to emboss the Cimquest logo on to the top face of the complex egg carton shaped CAD model. To achieve this, we can now use the newly enhanced Wrap function by initiating the Wrap command. The Wrap Type options did not change, but now you do have a Wrap Method option that has been added. The traditional Analytical Surface option wraps around cones and cylinders. In contrast, the newly added Spline Surface option can project to freeform faces. For this model, we will select Spline Surface and with the sketch already preselected, all we need to do is specify the thickness and select the face. SolidWorks will do the rest. As shown in the CAD model example below, the Wrap command even supports projecting to multiple faces in the same [...]

12 12, 2016

Mastercam 2017 Dynamic Tool Projection

By | 2016-12-15T14:30:52+00:00 December 12th, 2016|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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 [...]

5 12, 2016

Mastercam 2017 Solid Impression

By | 2016-12-15T14:30:52+00:00 December 5th, 2016|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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 [...]

30 11, 2016

Mastercam 2017 Verify Fixture Support Enhancements

By | 2016-12-15T14:30:52+00:00 November 30th, 2016|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Collision detection in Verify has been expanded to include fixtures along with stock and part geometry. Let’s say you have a file open with part geometry and toolpaths displayed. The models of the fixture for this job can be on another level like shown below. The fixtures should not be visible with the part geometry at this point because you don’t want them seen by the simulator as part of the “workpiece” collision checking set. First, click this button to access the Backplot/Verify options. Then go to the rear tab and check the box to enable Fixture Support. Note that there are options for selecting either specific models, specific levels, or one external file. Check the boxes for the levels you want to use and click OK. Next, select some toolpaths and launch the Simulator. You can enable collision checking is by clicking the following File/Options/General/Collision checking. In this dialogue, you can see that workpiece and fixture checking are enabled by default. Now, if you click the Play button and monitor the collision report tab, each event detected is flagged and tagged in such a way that you can click a tag and see the tool positioned exactly where the [...]

14 11, 2016

Mastercam 2017 Stock Model Operations in Lathe

By | 2016-12-15T14:30:52+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is an exciting new development in the Mastercam 2017 stock model operation. In previous versions, cuts made with C-axis lathe toolpaths or true milling toolpaths would not update the lathe stock. Now in Mastercam 2017, stock awareness has been fully integrated by allowing the stock model operation to update the lathe stock definition. If you have a lathe facing operation using a fixed tool followed by a contour and a drilling operation that both use live tools, the Mastercam simulator does show the material being cut. If you return to the main screen and move the red insert arrow down the operations tree starting from the top, you will see that only the lathe facing actually updates the stock definition. And, if you try to make an I.D. boring operation, Mastercam produces a crash warning. Select Stock Model from the Turning tab on the ribbon and look in the Utilities section. When the box opens, enter a name and click the Stock Setup button. Next, check the box labeled Lathe Option – Create Stock Boundary. Once that is done, go to the Source Operations Branch, and select the toolpaths that you want Mastercam to recognize. Click OK and in [...]

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