Tech Tips

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7 08, 2017

Mastercam for SolidWorks Router Now Available

By | 2017-12-22T08:26:47+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is an entirely new machining option in Mastercam for Solidworks. Now the functionality of Mastercam Router is available to be licensed in Mastercam for Solidworks. This gives you access to new toolpaths and design features. To see how this works we will open Solidworks and enable the Mastercam for Solidworks add-on. The Mastercam info center will appear to the right once the startup is complete. In the Tools menu, there is a Mastercam 2018 flyout and in there you will see the new machine type for Router. After you select the default machine the new machine group appears in the Toolpaths Manager. Now that the new product is active, you can browse the Mastercam Command Manager tab to explore the new functions. In addition to all the traditional and dynamic 2D, 3D, and multiaxis toolpath options, you now have dedicated paths like Block Drill and Saw toolpaths to support specialty tooling, as well as new design functions in the CAD tools menu for creating stair stringer and door panel geometry. As you can see, this new family of features brings even more familiar native Mastercam technology into Mastercam for Solidworks, helping increase its power and flexibility. Please be sure [...]

24 07, 2017

Mastercam Spline Editing

By | 2017-12-22T08:28:02+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There are some great tools in Mastercam for repairing geometry. Spline Re-fit cleans up spline data resulting in smoother surfaces, Un-trim Spline returns a spline back to its untrimmed state, and a new Blend option adds more control to corner smoothing. If you analyze the properties of some splines you will notice the large number of controls points shown in the analysis box. These will translate directly into the topography of a lofted surface. However, if you select Wireframe/Modify/Re-fit Spline, then select those previous analyzed splines to re-fit, there will be a drastic reduction in the number of control points and the significant improvement in the lofted surface. If you have both the untrimmed original splines and trimmed versions it is now very easy to use the un-trim spline command to restore the original geometry. Also, if you create a spline from several separate curves, it is very easy to apply the new smoothing settings. Simply check the box indicated below to enable, then set your detection angle and blend distance. These new tools will help you achieve more accurate geometry, which will result in better toolpath. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series [...]

21 07, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Mate Controller

By | 2017-12-22T08:28:45+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is a great new enhancement in SOLIDWORKS 2017 that improves the Mate Controller tool. One of the benefits in creating assembly designs in CAD is the ability to simulate component motion. In CAD, you are able to define 3D motion constraints called Mates so that the part interaction resembles real-world motion – whether you want to simulate a robot, a lift mechanism, or even a bionic arm. However, creating animations when a series of specific positions are involved is no easy task. Usually, you would have to create a configuration for each specific position, and then toggle them to create the animation. The new Mate Controller tool in SOLIDWORKS 2017can can you achieve this in an efficient manner. The original Mate Controller tool was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2016 and allowed you to show and save the positions of assembly components at various mate values and degrees of freedom without using configurations for each position. The Mate Controller then allows you to create simple animations between those positions, and save them out as .avi files. Various mate types are supported when utilizing this tool, such as angle, distance, limit, slot and width mates. SOLIDWORKS 2017 took it a step further. [...]

14 07, 2017

What is Chip Load?

By | 2017-12-22T08:32:16+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

As part of our Foundations of Cutting Metal series, we are going to discuss Chip Load and Feed Per Tooth or Inch Per Tooth in relation to milling. Chip Load or Feed Per Tooth is the theoretical length of material that is fed into each cutting edge as it moves through the work material.Chip Load given by tool manufacturers is the distance the material is moved into the cutter at the centerline of the tool as each cutting edge rotates through to cut. It is a theoretical distance because other cutting factors like width of cut and cutting edge geometry affect the physical thickness of the chip so measuring the thickness of a chip with a caliper or micrometer will not give you the calculated chip load. It must be calculated from the actual cutting parameters. Why Should You Care About Chip Load? Chip Load affects 5 major areas of the machining process: As Chip Load increases or decreases it requires more or less force to shear the material being cut so it controls the amount of HP and torque that is being used. Too much Chip Load increases wear, leads to premature tool failure, rough finishes and draws more HP, torque and amperage thru [...]

12 07, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Advanced Holes

By | 2017-12-22T08:33:00+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Since as early as SolidWorks 2000, SolidWorks has had the Hole Wizard tool to quickly help you create a hole on your part with a predefined cross-section, based on the standard and sizes that you chose, but now there is a new tool in SolidWorks 2017 called Advanced Holes. This is useful when the hole gets a little more involved, containing multi-sized cross-sections, like trying to create the holes for the shoulder bolts in the motor mount assembly shown above. This tool allows you to define the near side and far side faces of the hole, with differing specifications. To use this tool, go to Insert > Feature > Advanced Hole. The property manager opens with the Near Side flyout displayed. Select a face to start creating the advanced hole and you will notice that a temporary preview of the hole appears, based on your initial selections. To add the next portion of the whole, click Insert Element Below Active Element. Here, you can use the pull-down arrow to define this element as a hole, then set your specifications for that as well. The last element will be a clearance hole for the threaded portion of the shoulder bolt. Just [...]

28 06, 2017

Simultaneous Synchronized Scanning

By | 2017-12-22T08:35:53+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Categories: 3D Scanning, Tech Tips|0 Comments

This blog post is going to show you how to scan a mid-size part with tiny features. When scanning a model, you're usually faced with the decision of using a scanner that either has a large scan envelope and good resolution, or a scanner that has a small scan envelope with high resolution. But what if you needed the best of both worlds, that is, to capture both a larger part with small fine details? One way to achieve this is to run two scanners simultaneously, and synchronize them to the same turntable. The Geomagic's Capture scanner has an accuracy of about .0035" and is good for scanning mid-size objects. When scanning a model, it's able to pick up the majority of the geometry, but the small fine features get washed out. This is where simultaneous synchronized scanning comes in. You can synchronize Geomagic's Mini-Capture scanner to the same turntable that is aligned to the Capture scanner. The Mini-Capture has a smaller scan envelope, but an impressive accuracy of about .0015." This is what is needed for capturing the fine details on a small part. To run the scans simultaneously, press the Scan button and the turntable moves. Each scanner [...]

26 06, 2017

Mastercam Dynamic Point & Line Normal Functions

By | 2017-12-22T08:36:35+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Mastercam 2017 includes a great enhancement to the dynamic point and line normal functions. In previous versions, both tools were part of the same command and switching between them could be confusing. In Mastercam 2017 these functions have been separated into separate functions, which makes both Point Dynamic and Line Normal much easier to use. The dynamic point tool in Mastercam X9 is straightforward, but adjusting the controls for line normal involves several clicks and inputs. Opening the same file in Mastercam 2017 you will notice how the two commands are clearly separated. There are two separate areas where you will access Dynamic Point and Line Normal. Simply create points when you need or switch to the Line Normal command with a single click. This enhancement to the user interface for these commands makes both of these functions much more user-friendly. 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

24 05, 2017

SolidWorks 2017 Multiple Start Threads

By | 2017-05-24T09:02:39+00:00 May 24th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Today we are going to talk about the enhanced functionality to the Thread feature in SolidWorks 2017, mainly using multiple start threads. There are various reasons why someone might use threads with multiple starts. The main one is that it allows the lead distance of a thread to be increased, without changing its pitch. This proves useful when fine threads are required, but at the same time you want a quick advance, for example like that on camera lenses. In our examples, we have a single thread with a pitch of 1/8”. One full turn gives us a Lead of 1/8”. And in the other, we have a 4-start thread. One full turn here, gives us a Lead of 1/2", allowing for a quick connect and disconnect. In both examples, however, 1/8” pitch is maintained.      Another design advantage of a multi-start thread is that more contact surface is engaged in a single thread rotation. A common example is a cap on a plastic water bottle. The cap will screw on in one quick turn but because a multi-start thread was used, there are multiple threads fully engaged to securely hold the cap in place. In addition, because the [...]

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