Tech Tips

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18 12, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Hybrid Smoothing

By | 2017-12-18T08:42:05+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Mastercam 2018 includes a new enhancement to the 3D highspeed hybrid toolpath. In previous versions, sharp corner smoothing was only available in surface finish scallop, which did not take advantage of multithreading calculation. Now, in Mastercam 2018, one simple checkbox makes this option available in the 3D highspeed hybrid toolpath. Let 's take a look at how this works... To begin, let's compare two scallop toolpaths to show the effect this option has on the cut pattern. You can clearly see the effect on the sharp corners here in the highlighted area. From here, let's create a hybrid toolpath on the same model. Based on the initial parameter settings you can again clearly see where the tool motion makes abrupt sharp changes in direction. Now, if we re-open the tool path parameters and go to the cut parameters branch . . . we can simply check the box to enable smoothing. Then set a blend distance and click OK. Now the abrupt direction changes are replaced with smooth transitions. It’s that easy. As you can see, this new smoothing option will help to refine your machined finishes and create more fluid motion in your programs. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign up

11 12, 2017

Sandvik Prime Turning Install

By | 2018-01-03T08:35:33+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Let’s go over how to download and install the new Sandvik Prime Turning module for Mastercam Lathe and Millturn. This innovative new system integrates both specialized cutting tools and toolpath engineering to produce phenomenal efficiency gains in material removal rates. The first thing you need to do is log into the Mastercam website and then go to the 2018 Downloads landing page. From here, select the Prime Turning Installation zip file. Once the download is complete, extract the contents and then right-click and select Run as Administrator. Click through all the prompts and in a few moments the installation is complete. Next, start up Mastercam and add the Prime Turning icon on the Lathe ribbon as shown below. Prime Turning uses a specific toolpath operation and a dedicated tool library, both designed to work together to take maximum advantage of this technology. Finally, create a toolpath and select a tool. Since this technology is very specialized we strongly advise that you consult all the data resources available from both Sandvik and Mastercam. As you can see, Mastercam continues to push forward on the cutting edge of CNC technology, helping you maintain the competitive advantage. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign up  

27 11, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Associative Linking

By | 2017-12-29T08:43:11+00:00 November 27th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is an interesting new option in the linking parameters for Mill toolpaths in Mastercam 2018. In previous versions there were only two options available on this page – Absolute and Incremental. Now, in 2018, a new option called Associative Linking has been added which takes full advantage of the intelligence built right into the model. And, it will adapt automatically to changes in the model structure. In the example file above there are several operations using varying clearance heights. If you open an operation and go to the Linking Parameters page you will see the new option labeled Associative on each branch of the tree. For this example we have set clearance as an associative elevation relative to the top of the center boss. If that elevation changes on the model, the toolpaths will adapt accordingly. Next, go to the Model Prep tab and select the Push-Pull function. If you stretch the face of the center boss upward by an inch you will notice that the toolpaths have all been marked dirty when you click OK. When you regenerate the toolpaths all the clearance heights will automatically adjust to maintain the same relative distance from the feature. If you change the boss height again and regenerate the toolpaths, the clearance heights all adjust perfectly. It’s that easy. As you can see, this new option gives you new ways to use your solid model data to drive more intelligent toolpath strategies. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up  

20 11, 2017

Preventing Upcuts in Mastercam 2018 Dynamic Turning

By | 2017-12-29T08:44:16+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is a new enhancement to the dynamic turning toolpaths in Mastercam 2018. In previous versions of Mastercam, you had to be careful not to gouge the part with the tool holder. Now in Mastercam 2018, one simple checkbox and an adjustable clearance angle can help prevent upcut motions which fall outside the tools useable cutting angle. If we examine a toolpath in a previous version we can see that, based on the chained geometry, Mastercam will attempt to wrap the insert cutting edge around the entire machining area without regard to the exposed shank angle. This will cause a collision. Now, let’s examine the same toolpath in Mastercam 2018. Open the toolpath parameters and go to the second tab. Here you can see the new checkbox and button. If you click the Non-cutting Region button, you can clearly define the angle of engagement you want for the tool. If you simply check the Prevent Up-cutting box, the toolpath calculates clean with no collisions. It’s that easy. As you can see, this new enhancement makes an already useful tool even more flexible and dynamic. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up  

13 11, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Simulation Presentation Files

By | 2017-12-29T08:45:44+00:00 November 13th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There’s a new option in the Mastercam 2018 Simulator to save full 3D executable presentation files. In previous versions we could capture and save MP4 movies, but viewers could not change the capture perspective or zoom level. Now in Mastercam 2018, the presentation exe files are standalone files that can be run on any computer and they allow full flexibility of the 3D viewing environment. The file below is all set up and ready to go with part geometry, stock, and fixtures. There is also a toolpath ready to go in all three fixture locations. Set the Verify options for how to define the part, stock, and fixture geometry, then go to the Machine Simulation tab and select the machine that you want to see in full simulation mode. You can also edit the position options to bring everything in line with the machine table and then make just the part geometry level visible. Next, click the button to launch Mastercam Simulation. Here you can see the two new buttons on the home ribbon; the first labeled Simulation in the mode section to the right of Backplot and Verify. And the second labeled Save Presentation in the demonstration tools section next to Record and Recording Options. Click the Simulation button and the full machine now becomes visible along with the part, stock, and fixture models. From here you can click the Save Presentation button and save the exe file to your desktop. If you close all the Mastercam windows, then click the exe file to launch simulation the full simulation is now available to run and view in any mode you choose. As you can see, this new option gives you a powerful tool to share job setup information in a new and dynamic format. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign up  

8 11, 2017

SolidWorks 2018 UI Enhancements

By | 2017-12-29T08:46:41+00:00 November 8th, 2017|SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

SolidWorks 2018 is now out to the public so let’s take a look at five new enhancements that will allow you to get better acquainted with the User Interface of this release. Right off the bat, when you start up SolidWorks, you’ll notice that there is a new Welcome Dialog Box. It’s a one-stop shop for functionality that used to be found in the Task Pane. For example, the Home tab allows you to open new or existing documents, browse recent documents or folders, and even access SolidWorks resources. The additional tabs provide links to Tutorials, Sample Files and MySolidWorks Training, Certification, and even technical alerts to help you stay current. The second enhancement has to do with Mouse Gestures. Not only do you have many more options as to the number of commands available in the mouse gestures wheel, but it’s also easier to customize with the new Mouse Gestures Guide. Third, let’s talk about the Measure Tool. Some of the enhancements here include the Input Box now supporting 6 items, instead of just 3. There is also a new function called Quick Copy, which allows you to copy a value from the dialog box, and paste it at a required location. In addition, you are now able to increase the font size for better visibility. Moving on to the forth enhancement, the option Auto-rotate View Normal to Sketch Plane on Sketch Creation is very handy when starting new sketches. In SolidWorks 2018, it has been renamed, and enhanced to function in the same way when editing existing sketches. Last enhancement that we’ll talk about today is called Select Over Geometry. Previously, you had to start the drag-selection from an empty space in the graphics area otherwise the selection tool would not function. Now you can press the letter T on your keyboard, and activate the drag-selection tool even if no empty space is available; for example when you are zoomed all the way in and hovering over geometry. These are just a few of the many enhancements in SolidWorks 2018 that we’ll be covering in the next few months. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up

11 10, 2017

Using SolidWorks PMI for Final Inspection

By | 2017-12-21T08:58:41+00:00 October 11th, 2017|SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Let’s discuss two pieces of software that work really well together in the 3D part inspection world: SolidWorks, and Control X. SolidWorks is one of the leading CAD tools in today’s design and manufacturing world. One of its advantages is that it offers you the opportunity to create a 3D annotated model. This can include things such as explicitly-specified dimensions, tolerances, 3D GD&T, surface texture symbols, finish requirements, and so on. This 3D annotated model is then used to manufacture the part, as well as provides the needed criteria to inspect the part. A part can contain anywhere from several dozen annotations, to several hundred! Wouldn’t it be great to repurpose these annotations, and import them directly into the inspection software, as opposed to recreating all of them one by one? Well, one of the inspection software packages that have this ability is Geomagic Control X. The first step is to add all of the 3D annotations directly to your 3D model. This is a pretty simple process in CAD. Once this is complete, you can open up Geomagic Control X, and use the PMI Wizard to import the 3D annotated model. All of the explicit dimensions and GD&T information come through just fine, with no errors. The last step would be to import the scan, align it with the CAD model using the same Datum features that came over from CAD, and your results update in a few seconds. At this point, you can Generate a Report, and with a few clicks, your inspection is complete! As you can see, technology is continuing to take giant leaps and bounds in the design, manufacturing, and inspection world. A combination of SolidWorks along with Geomagic Control X has streamlined the process from Design to Inspection, by being able to import PMI directly and generate a report within minutes. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up  

25 09, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Viewsheet Improvements

By | 2017-12-21T09:05:55+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There are several improvements to Viewsheets in Mastercam 2018. In previous versions, the Viewsheet tools could at times be hard to set up, but now in Mastercam 2018 the new Quick Add button makes them easy to create and the bookmark tools on the view ribbon help save changes quickly. Look in the configuration file to see all the settings that Viewsheets can capture. Viewsheets can be extremely helpful if you do multi-plane milling or multi-spindle turning, since they will capture the current states of all the parameters below for instant recall. If you want to setup some Viewsheets, simply click this Add button to create a new Viewsheet. For each instance, you can set the Graphics View, C and T planes, Visible Levels, and Entity Attributes that you want to be active when you recall the Viewsheets. Then, click the bookmark button show below on the view ribbon in the Viewsheets section to save the attributes. Note the new bookmark symbol that appears on the bottom of the screen. Finally, if you step through the Viewsheets in each file, you will see how they instantly make all the necessary changes. If you want to alter one, simply make the changes and re-bookmark the sheet. It’s that easy. As you can see, Viewsheets can save a lot of time redundantly switching between settings while you program. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up

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