Tech Tips

/Tech Tips
16 04, 2018

Mastercam Tech Exchange

By | 2018-04-16T09:01:48+00:00 April 16th, 2018|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

The Tech Exchange page on the Mastercam website is a valuable resource available to all registered Mastercam customers. It has links to dozens of files you can download and use in your projects. Here are some examples of how it works. When you log in at and go to the Support button and select Tech Exchange from the drop-down menu. Near the top, there are several search filters you can apply if you want to narrow down the display list results. From there, browse the category tabs below the search filters and choose between Sample Files which show the latest innovations in toolpath, Tool Libraries featuring several cutter and tool holding component manufacturers. It also includes some Posts that you can try before buying a fully customized one. The Downloads are all clearly labeled with the Mastercam version, product type, and measurement units that they support. Once you have downloaded some files, you can explore ways to use the resources in the files. For instance, you can explore the use of stock models and multi-axis roughing techniques in the docking ring sample. Or, try a new type of tooling like the circle segment line, or test outfit a turret [...]

19 03, 2018

Mastercam 2018 Angle Sweep Commands

By | 2018-03-19T09:58:00+00:00 March 19th, 2018|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Mastercam 2018 includes a new enhancement to both the Solid and Surface Primitives tools called Angular Sweep Control. It allows you to dynamically edit round object geometry while you are creating it. Here’s a summary of how it works . . . Let’s start by executing the Primitive Surface Cylinder command. After you set the Basepoint, Radius, and Height, the new Dynamic Arrow Controls appear on the screen. You can click on an arrow to activate the drag handle, then simply click on anything to set the angle sweep, such as a point in space, an increment on the rotation dial, or any other snap location in the graphics screen. These same controls are available when you create a sphere, a cone, or a torus. Keep in mind that Solid Primitives have full history so you can go back and edit them extensively, changing not only their angular sweep, but also base positions, radii, heights and even the extrusion vectors very easily. As you can see, these new handles give you instant visual cues and very accurate control when you are modeling. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks [...]

16 03, 2018

SolidWorks 2018 Importing STL Files

By | 2018-03-16T09:35:05+00:00 March 16th, 2018|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Today we are going to give you some tips and tricks using SOLIDWORKS 2018 when importing STL format files. The STL format file, or “Stereolithography” format, was developed by 3D Systems, and has been around since 1987. In these past three decades, it has been widely used in rapid prototyping, as well as in the 3D Printing industry. As for SOLIDWORKS, it has the ability to import STL files. The default import setting is to import the body as a graphics body, therefore, what you can do with it is very limited. For example, you can’t get a cross-section, you can’t perform Boolean operations, nor can you create a sketch on the body’s faces. In short, it’s like having a 3D picture on your screen. However, did you know that there is a way to change that setting and import STL files either as a BREP solid or a surface body? The first step to do this is to set your system options for importing Mesh files. Go to System Options > Import, and set your File Format to STL. This is where we will change the import option to Solid Body. Now, the next time you open an STL, [...]

26 02, 2018

Mastercam 2018 Recent Commands Tab

By | 2018-02-26T09:44:45+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Now, in Mastercam 2018, the Recent Commands Manager can be docked and resized for easier access. When you go to the View ribbon, make sure the Recent Functions Manager is visible. Its default location will be in the stack with all the other Function Manager tabs like Toolpaths, Planes, and Levels. You can hold the left mouse button down on the title tab and move the mouse to tear it off and make it independent as shown below. Hold the left mouse button down on the tab title bar. Hold and drag your mouse to detach and move the dialog box. Then, you can use a docking hotspot to dock it beside the other managers as shown below. You can also hold the left mouse button down on the right-hand edge of the Recent Commands box and resize the manager so that only a single column of icons remains visible. From here you can recall functions quickly without having to browse through the ribbons. Click, hold, and drag the right side of the Recent Functions box to shrink its size. Now, only the icons appear in a single skinny column. As you can see, this will keep your cursor focused [...]

12 02, 2018

Mastercam 2018 Edge Curve Enhancements

By | 2018-02-19T12:58:35+00:00 February 12th, 2018|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips, Technology|0 Comments

There are some new enhancements to the Curves commands in Mastercam 2018. The 2D/3D construction switch will determine if the curves are created on edge or projected to the current construction plane, and there are several new Selection and Filtering options available for both Curve One Edge and Curve All Edges. When curves are created on the 3D face edges in 3D mode the curves stay on the face edges. However, if you switch from 3D to 2D construction mode the curves are projected to the current plane and construction elevation. You can also hold the Shift key and all the tangent edges will be picked with one click. In the Curve All Edges command you can use CTRL and/or Shift to have tangent or matching radii selected instantly. Finally, the option check boxes for Ignore Shared Edges and Only Outside Loops allow you to choose multiple faces and keep just the curves you need without redundant or extra geometry in the results. As you can see, these new options will help get the results you want quickly and reduce your preparation time for making toolpath. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to [...]

5 02, 2018

SolidWorks 2018 Tab and Slot

By | 2018-02-06T09:16:59+00:00 February 5th, 2018|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There’s a new feature in SolidWorks 2018 called Tab and Slot that helps you to create a design to interlock two parts, whether in the context of an assembly or multiple bodies. Rather than doing it the traditional way, with several sketches and features, you can now use this new feature in SolidWorks 2018 to get it done much easier. In the image above, we have a box and a lid which we want to interlock with intermittent tabs and slots. To access the new feature that will assist you with this, you go to Insert > Sheet Metal > Tab and Slot. Just as a note, although this new feature is found in the Sheet Metal menus, it can just as well be used in not sheet-metal applications. In the Property Manager, start by selecting an edge for the tabs and corresponding face for the slots. Then, under Spacing, you can set the spacing and number of instances. Under Tabs, set the length, thickness, height, and edge type. Last, you can set any clearances or offsets that you need for the design to be functional. The preview show above signifies that you parameters were input correctly. Click OK and [...]

18 12, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Hybrid Smoothing

By | 2017-12-18T08:42:05+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Categories: 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 [...]

11 12, 2017

Sandvik Prime Turning Install

By | 2018-01-03T08:35:33+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Categories: 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 [...]

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