"The Good News in Manufacturing"

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Mastercam’s New Tool Manager

toolmanagerMastercam’s new Tool Manager provides a whole new way to organize and create your tooling. This application offers a lot of power and flexibility for all your mill and router tools. Tool Manager is launched separately from Mastercam by choosing Start / Programs / Mastercam X7 / Tool Manager.

The new Tool Manager has been designed from the ground up as a flexible and efficient way to manage tools and tool holding components and to create tool assemblies that can be used in Mastercam. 
In addition to the tooling component support, Tool Manager also integrates work material and cut parameter data so that you can take advantage of a manufacturer’s cutting recommendations.

The Tool Manager workspace is made of several key components:

Database Explorer – Provides a view of the active database, including tools, holders, and assemblies. Each instance of Tool Manager displays only one tool database at a time. You can have multiple instances of the application open at once and even drag and drop components between instances.

Assembly Tree – Displays a hierarchical representation of the active tool assembly. Items in the tree start from the spindle side of a tool assembly and move progressively closer to the cutting tool.

Document Workspace – Shows each document type as a collection of items. All documents offer a data grid view which supports sorting, grouping, and selection of one or more items. For tool assemblies, it also provides selection and adjustment of tool component positioning and orientation.

Properties Grid – Displays all properties available for a selected item. Use the data grid to select one or more items for editing. When multiple items are selected, only common properties display in the properties grid. These can edit the entire group of selected items.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact us today.

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Protect Your Mastercam Investment

XPsunsetDid you know that Microsoft is discontinuing support of Windows XP on April 8th? That means that their will be no more security update for Windows XP and you will need to upgrade to a new version of Windows. That also means that your older version of Mastercam Software may not run in your new Operating System. Please see this link to Microsoft’s Security Blog to see what the risks of running Windows XP After April 8th are to you and your company.


Protecting Your Mastercam Investment
By updating your Mastercam software to the current Version you are guaranteeing that Mastercam will run in the latest and most secure Windows environment. This greatly reduces potential and costly down time that can be caused by security breaches.


For more information or a quote please contact Susan Zahner at 860-749-5544 or at susanz2@macdac.com.


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Mastercam High Speed Toolpaths


In Mastercam X7, 3D HST Hybrid toolpaths include a new Optimize cut order checkbox which defines the cut order Mastercam applies to different cutting passes in the toolpath. When selected, Mastercam works in tiers, ordering the toolpath’s cutting passes based on proximity and safety. Mastercam machines features by area until it reaches a common Z-level, then repeats the process until it reaches the next common ground. The tool stays in a common ground, which reduces unnecessary motion and shortens the length of the toolpath.

Hybrid toolpaths now offer additional options for handling open and closed contours. Closed contours contain continuous motion without a need for a retract or reversal of direction. You can select climb or conventional machining for these contours. Open contours offer One Way or Zigzag cutting options. Open contours set to One Way will use the cutting method selected for closed contours.

The new Automatic Offset method controls how Mastercam handles the boundaries between steep and shallow areas. If the toolpath engages part surfaces that include core and cavity properties, Mastercam applies upper to lower offset methods to core features and lower to upper offset methods to cavity shapes.

The 3D HST toolpaths now calculate more efficient high speed motion at your part’s boundaries. To improve regeneration speed, they now only recalculate the necessary sections of the toolpath instead of processing the entire toolpath when changes are made.

The 3D HST Project toolpath projects either geometry or a toolpath from an earlier operation onto surfaces. Previously, the Project toolpath was only available as a surface roughing toolpath. In Mastercam X7, the full suite of high speed toolpath parameters are available to refine the tool motion.

You now have more control for motion in each 
individual toolpath.

You now have more control for motion in each 
individual toolpath.

For more information on Mastercam’s multiaxis features, please contact us today.

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Lathe Toolpaths in Mastercam® X7 for SolidWorks®

Mastercam X7 for SolidWorks introduces many of Mastercam’s Lathe toolpaths to Mastercam for SolidWorks  - including the application of our Dynamic Motion to rough turning.


Some of these toolpaths include:

Dynamic Motion Roughing – The Lathe Dynamic Rough toolpath is designed for hard materials cut with button inserts. The dynamic motion allows the toolpath to cut gradually, remain engaged in the material more effectively, and use more of the surface of your insert. This extends tool life and increases cutting speed.

Rough, Canned Rough, and Canned Pattern Repeat – Rough toolpaths quickly remove large amounts of stock in preparation for a finish pass. Mastercam for SolidWorks includes several types of roughing toolpaths, such as standard rough toolpaths (lets you access all of Mastercam for SolidWorks’ roughing options), canned rough toolpaths, and canned pattern repeat toolpaths.

Finish and Canned Finish – Finish toolpaths have the tool follow the contour of chained geometry. Canned finish toolpaths create a finish pass, which is based on your machine tool control’s canned cycles, to finish a canned rough or pattern repeat toolpath.

Groove and Canned Groove –Mastercam for SolidWorks can machine many types of grooves based on the location of just a corner point or points; this lets you create groove toolpaths without having to create or chain geometry.

Thread – Gives you options to create spiral shapes on a part to make a screw, bolt, or nut. You can program straight or tapered threads on the outside, inside, or face of a part. You can automatically program multiple lead threads.

Facing – Prepares the face of your part for further machining. Once the face is clean, you can use it to set tools or determine tool offsets. You do not need to chain geometry; instead you use selected points or the stock model to specify how much stock
to leave.

Cutoff – Vertically cut off pieces of the part, such as sections of bar stock. You do not need to chain geometry; instead you select the point where the part is cut off.

Plunge/Turn – Designed for special plunge turn tools only—specifically, the ISCAR plunge and turn inserts. The toolpaths add lateral movement to groove-style toolpaths.

Drill/Tap – Drill into the face of the part along the centerline. You do not need to have any geometry or drill points in the graphics window to create a drill toolpath. Mastercam for SolidWorks creates the toolpath entirely from parameters which
you specify.

Point – For the times you need to position the tool at a specific point or have it follow a series of points to avoid a fixture or clamp, or to get the tool into or out of a tight area or awkward shape. They let you place points around the part geometry that define where you want the tool to move.

Contact us today for more information on the new features in Mastercam® X7 for SolidWorks®.

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Mastercam X7 Multiaxis Features

Multiaxis machining can dramatically increase a shop’s competitiveness, and Mastercam’s multiaxis Add-On offers a wide range of multiaxis machining strategies—both basic and advanced. With Mastercam, you have complete control over the three crucial elements of multiaxis machining: toolpath types, tool motion, and tool axis. And you get that control in a clear, easy to understand way.

Here is what’s new in Mastercam X7:

Oscillate Motion for Curve and Swarf 5-axis

Oscillating tool motion improves tool life and is useful for trimming work.

Oscillating tool motion improves tool life and is useful for trimming work.

Oscillating tool motion improves your tool life by not always machining with the same area of the tool. This motion is particularly useful for trimming work. The Curve 5-axis and Swarf 5-axis toolpaths now include an Oscillate option on the Collision Control page.
You can either select linear (sharp direction changes) or high speed (smooth direction changes) motion as your tool moves through the toolpath.

Independent Safety Zone
Setting a safety zone for Classic Multiaxis toolpaths has been moved from the Machine Group Properties to a new page in the toolpath dialogs. This change provides you with more control for motion in each individual toolpath instead of setting a safety zone that applies to all toolpaths in your part. Contact us today for more info.

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Using Stock Model with Simulator

As users of Mastercam rely more and more on Stock Model, the Simulator inside Mastercam can take advantage of them as well.  The Simulator, which includes the new verify and backplot tools, can read the Mastercam Stock Model as its source for the verification stock definition. The Backplot/Verify Options dialog contains a selection option for the different stock models in your file.

When selected, the stock model will be used as the stock your verify session.

This is very useful as you can only have one initial stock definition for each Machine Group. Pairing a stock model with targeted operations gives you fine tuned verification performance as you don’t need to re-cut the same material for each additional operation to analyze.

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Mastercam Simulator

simulatorThe Backplot and Verify utilities that you use to check all your Mastercam tool motion have been improved with X7 and combined to offer a more efficient workflow, better analysis tools, and more comprehensive toolpath support in one place—the Mastercam Simulator.

You still access Backplot and Verify from buttons at the top of the Operations Manager, but these utilities now open the Mastercam Simulator in a standalone window. This allows you to keep making adjustments to your toolpaths even as your tool motion display continues. This new Mastercam Simulator window also includes many more analysis tools, such as an improved move list and more color coding options. It also supports more toolpath types, including Transform and Rotary Axis.

Both Backplot and Verify in Mastercam Simulator are now using the same NCI data to verify your tool motion. This creates more consistent results between the two verification options.

The run-time settings that used to be displayed as a dialog box on the side of the screen have been replaced with a dialog box you can access from the Operations Manager toolbar. You can adjust these settings and reload your part file by clicking Backplot or Verify again. 

For more information on Mastercam X7 please contact us today.



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