Easy to Track Solidworks files with Mastercam

Next after your computer actually blowing up, trying to find a lost file on the server or hard drive has to be one of the worst thing ever!
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Last month Jeff Mirisola who runs Jeff’s Tool Shed posted a review for a program called CADFind. It is a Solidworks add-on that somewhat magically using your sketch as a search tool.
Reading Jeff Mirisolas post reminded me of Mastercams tracking function. You can’t really compare the 2 function and CADFind is a paid add-on, but with the amount of time people are spending searching and confirming changes to CAD files, you should know about these programs existence if you are a Solidworks and Mastercam user.
So learn about CADFind by reading Jeff Mirisolas post here CADFind…ing what you can’t , and then I will explain Mastercams tracking and show how easy it is to set up.

Track Solidworks files with Mastercam
You get handed a file with a email attached saying that the hole location in you model has been changed by 1.5mm, costumer don’t want to hear any prize increase because this is of course considered a minor change, and with all this modern CAD and CAM how difficult is it really. But as the email was typed the engineer dropped jelly filling on his shirt, and in the panic of his wife’s anger and his damaged diet, he forget to tell you about the corner radii change he also made.
Well the shirt is a lose but your part might not be if you are using Mastercams Tracking function.

Open your Solidworks file in Mastercam, Then File => Tracking => Tracking Options.
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With the Tracking dialog open, right click anywhere in the white empty field and you will be prompted to add, now pick your Solidworks file.
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After you choose you Solidworks file to track, you will have the change to setup some tracking options.
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So next time the your favorite engineer sends you a file, go into tracking options, highlight your file and press “Check Now” and Mastercam will notify you if any changes.
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2 pretty neat functions, one for Solidworks that will help you do things once, and one for Mastercam to keep issues from sneaking up on you.

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  • Very nice if you have Mastercam and a machine shop. Sadly I only have Solidworks and no machine shop except for the one that is a 9 hr drive away in Phillips, WI. Neat and informative post Lars.

  • Very nice if you have Mastercam and a machine shop. Sadly I only have Solidworks and no machine shop except for the one that is a 9 hr drive away in Phillips, WI. Neat and informative post Lars.

  • Thanks, Do you think that a similar tracking feature for Solidworks would be usefull? I have seen issues with 2 different parts named the same, where Solidworks actually have flipped parts in Assembly mode.

  • Thanks, Do you think that a similar tracking feature for Solidworks would be usefull? I have seen issues with 2 different parts named the same, where Solidworks actually have flipped parts in Assembly mode.

  • It may have possibilities if you do not have any kind of PDM system in place such as my company. My current issue is how stuff is getting scattered everywhere on our shared network drive. One user only works locally and exports to the network drive due to the large file sizes. The problem with that is when I add references or define a new mate reference on a standard part, that user does not get an updated copy from the network. So when that user dumps a pack and go, and I add that assembly to mine then the next time I open my assembly I get bad mates because the other model has out of date references :(.

  • It may have possibilities if you do not have any kind of PDM system in place such as my company. My current issue is how stuff is getting scattered everywhere on our shared network drive. One user only works locally and exports to the network drive due to the large file sizes. The problem with that is when I add references or define a new mate reference on a standard part, that user does not get an updated copy from the network. So when that user dumps a pack and go, and I add that assembly to mine then the next time I open my assembly I get bad mates because the other model has out of date references :(.

  • That sounds like a Solidworks users worst nightmare, there got be days where tears of frustrations are just around the corner?
    A tracking feature like the one in Mastercam would be hard to get to work on a assembly level in Solidworks when it comes to mates and stuff. But it does have a nice function to key in on what is different from previous loaded parts. I could possible see it could be helpful on a part level in Solidworks. Seems like a blog post about Mastercams change recognition should be in the near future :-)
    Thank you Rod

  • That sounds like a Solidworks users worst nightmare, there got be days where tears of frustrations are just around the corner?
    A tracking feature like the one in Mastercam would be hard to get to work on a assembly level in Solidworks when it comes to mates and stuff. But it does have a nice function to key in on what is different from previous loaded parts. I could possible see it could be helpful on a part level in Solidworks. Seems like a blog post about Mastercams change recognition should be in the near future :-)
    Thank you Rod

  • That sounds like a Solidworks users worst nightmare, there got be days where tears of frustrations are just around the corner?
    A tracking feature like the one in Mastercam would be hard to get to work on a assembly level in Solidworks when it comes to mates and stuff. But it does have a nice function to key in on what is different from previous loaded parts. I could possible see it could be helpful on a part level in Solidworks. Seems like a blog post about Mastercams change recognition should be in the near future :-)
    Thank you Rod