You are currently browsing the posts tagged: MastercamX4

Mastercam Feature Based Machining for real people.

With Mastercam Feature Based Machining the toolpaths are created using features from the solid, and the operations are automatically generated. This should result less programing time and also give less skilled programmers an advantage.

But does it work? the answer is yes, as long as you are gentle with the selection of parts. When it was first added to the Mastercam toolpath selection it was quickly judged as a incomplete enhancement that further more became a advertising joke when posted on youtube “So easy a 6 year old can do it“.

Now anyone with a little CAM knowledge and common sense, will realize that there is a lot more to programing CAM than throwing toolpaths around. But Mastercam Feature Based Machining menus are geared for easier understanding, and could give you the opportunity to have less skilled people programming rough operations for mold cavities, and prepping baseplates.

A example of a simple part could be a plate with some counterbored holes, tap holes etc.
This plate is modeled up in Solidworks2010, shot thin with holes right out of Solidworks Hole Wizard, and would be a candidate for Feature Based Drilling.

The new tree-style menus in Mastercam is defiantly preferable over the old “tap” style. There have been some discussion on the forums about the order of the tree, and I also believe they need a remodeling. But from a standpoint of ease, well I wish the direction for putting Walmart furniture together was this easy.

The menus for Selecting how to treat the different holes analyzed in the solid are pretty straight forward.

You have plenty control over how you want to entry/exit, material leftover and rough and finish your counterbores.

With settings and parameters set, it is time to let Mastercam grap some of that CPU you got there on your desk. You will see that Mastercam creates operations like if you had done it the “old fashion” way. Folders for the different drilling and circle milling operations, each containing the different tool sizes etc. (17 in this case).

In case of a change it is nice you now have the option to decide if you want to dick into the standard toolpaths parameters or conveniently select the FBM folder at the top of the Operation Tree and get back to the Feature Based Machining menu.

Feature Based Machining should not be forgotten as an option to quickly create less complex toolpaths in our everyday lifes. With these toolpaths options being promoted right along “Mastercam for Solidworks” you must believe that Mastercam is going to do there best in continuous improving them.

How to import Solidworks into Mastercam-New for X4!

As I wrote back in early June when MastercamX4 hit the street (link= MastercamX4 is Downloadablde )that the new Dynamic 3D gnomon is going to be one of the new function that is going to carry the ship heavily loaded with expectations and maintenance fees. Yes I do actually like this function. Eliminating half a dozen of steps importing Solidworks files into Mastercam is worth a pad on the back to CNC Software.

Old School
If you have not had the pleasure of upgrading to MastercamX4 and you would like to know how to import Solidworks into Mastercam without your model ending looking at you upside down, check out this previus blog post where importing into Mastercam was what we did Play-Good Part1, Solidworks into Mastercam

Punk Rock 2009 School….way…
Our 4axis tombstone drawn just as we like to view things in Isometric view in Solidworks 2009.

There is going to be enough of screen shots in this post, so I hope you forgive me for not include one of the “Open File => *.sldprt”.
You can quickly see that the imported Solidworks file is screwed in regards to viewing it in Isometric. Having you tombstone located correctly in regards to the planes you are going to knit toolpaths to is more than “Best Practice”. You will see that “Dynamic plans” is already cozy located on my ever growing “Right Click” menu.
Want to customize your “Right Click” menu? Work Flow is THAT imporent!

As described in MastercamX4 is Downloadablde depending on where you pan you cursor over on the Dynamic 3D gnomon will activate different direction for the rotating axis and origin of rotation. We are 1st. going to snap the gnomon to origin, what was not lost doing import. Notice how our solid turns transparent for ease of working with the gnomon. 2nd. we are going to click the letter “Z” what will let us rotate that axis around the “X” axis and end up with the “Z” axis going through our tombstone and be center of rotation.
Next we are going to grab the “X”axis and spin it -90 degrees around the “Z”axis. This is going to give us our correct Work Coordinates, so now hit the “Green” check mark, and the “New View” dialog box greets us.
Name your newly created view and check “Set as WCS” (Work Coordinate System). Then click “Green” check mark and that opens up your View Manager.
Your new view is created and good to go, but just because we have a busy 4 sided tombstone we are going to snap our fingers and create the remaining planes needed for programing by clicking “Realetive…” and selecting the planes we want associated to our new view.
Our model is now sitting just as it should for ease of programing. CNC Software made things better. Creating reference coordinate system in Solidworks is not the biggest hazel, however this was something Mastercam needed to handle, and X4 does :-).

MastercamX4 is Downloadable


I am not sure you actually can say Downloadable, but what….

CNC Software made there latest release in the Mastercam series available for download today on……….Yep MastercamX4 is official.
6 month since MastercamX3 Maintenance Release 1, so what have CNC Software been up to these months?

Dynamic Gnomon
Starting out with the “What’s New” pdf, it is pretty clear what CNC Software is selling this release on, and from 1st look of things this is a enhancement. A 3D gnomon, triad or “What’s up, down, left and right” thing that you can use for translate and rotate geometry, but more encouraging it is the new way of setting Tool Planes, Construction Planes and as a Solidworks user, setting WCS (“Work Coordinate System”) looks like this could be the end of “Save As” Parasolid in Solidworks.

Wireframe Feature Recognition in Chaining
This is the intelligent running in your software, you chain one shape and the software within user setup parameters such as Identical, smaller perimeter or bigger perimeter it will include those chains for you. I can see this being powerful on a big cavity mold where the WEDM programmer is sitting crossed eyed starring on the screen at similar shapes tossed in every direction.

The clean new windows came
As suspected the menus there was introduced in FBM and FBD back in August 2008 with MastercamX3 (called tree-style dialogs) is now standard for 2D Mill toolpaths. I am looking forward to explore these further, I’m not sure if you can call it an improvement but it defiantly have a more clean and wizard like feel to it.

The lathe department got……
The news is……..the capability to create a simple 2D turn profile from a complex Solid model. Control feedrate on the 1st plunge, Corner dwell on finish passes, and Multiple Chains Grooving Option plus more….

You can swing your router around……..
More control with Bump Nesting (a feature that also should be available in WEDM) it will let you copy, rotate, move and delete the part geometry within you nesting area, and also the cutoff nesting has gotten a Horizontal and Vertical control function.

Thread you WEDM and burn……….
Here I hope you got an Agie and are using Agievision because it has received its own customizable interface. Mastercam Wire will show familiar Agievision parameter pages, With this no Agie child will be left behind.

1st Impression
From a install standpoint everything went pretty smooth thanks to a sharp John Paris on who quickly got the steps for the post update documented.
I am looking forward to play a little more with the “triad gnomon” and go through some of the tutorials, and there will for sure come more from this side of the camp fire in regards to opinions about MastercamX4.