Tech Tips

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15 05, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Create Curves Enhancements

By | 2017-05-15T08:44:57+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

In Mastercam 2018, toggling the CPlane 2D/3D construction mode enables different construction modes for Curve One Edge and Curve All Edges. Setting the construction mode to 2D creates geometry parallel to the current CPlane at a designated Z depth. This eliminates the extra steps that were required to project the 3D geometry to the defined CPlane. Mastercam has added a feature to automatically select tangent solid edges. Holding down the [Shift] key and clicking an edge selects all tangent edges at once. This makes it fast and easy to select small features in complicated parts, without having to repeatedly zoom in and out. Wireframe / Curve All Edges also includes several new features to simplify your workflow. With Face Selection automatically enabled, the [Shift] + [Click] option makes it easy to select all tangent faces with just one click. Curve On All Edges has two new options, which make it easier for you to create tool containment boundaries using curves. Selecting Ignore Shared Edges removes the inside geometry created from the tangent faces, leaving a clean perimeter. In addition, you can remove any geometry inside the outer curves. Choosing Only Outside Loops removes all inner geometry. These powerful features speed your [...]

1 05, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Analyze Toolpath

By | 2017-05-01T08:51:14+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There’s a new utility in Mastercam 2017 called Analyze Toolpath that helps you investigate what is happening at any point in your tool path. This feature is available in both Mastercam and Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS. In the standalone version of Mastercam you’ll want to make sure you're on the Home tab and then you can head to the Analyze section to take a look at Analyze Toolpaths. This works very similarly in Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS. You’ll want to make sure that you’re on the Mastercam2017 tab . . . And then you can expand your toolpath from which you can launch Analyze Toolpath. Now, with a toolpath displayed on the screen, the moment we touch it we get some features on the screen. The important things to note here are the blue arrow which shows us what we're looking at exactly where we are. We get a red and green full arrow showing us the start and end of the toolpath, and as we move along we will see some little red and green arrowheads. These show the start of the motion and end of the motion and if you move your mouse over them it gives you the exact [...]

10 04, 2017

Improving Aesthetics of a Scanned Mesh

By | 2017-04-10T09:10:21+00:00 April 10th, 2017|Categories: 3D Scanning, Tech Tips|0 Comments

In this blog post we will discuss how to improve the quality of your STL to produce better 3D Printed parts. The STL, or Stereo Lithography file format, is widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D Printing, and CAM. An STL file describes the surface geometry of a 3D object by triangulating the vertices on each face of the object. At times though, the STL file may contain errors, small holes, imperfections, and blemishes as shown below. These imperfections may happen if the file was produced by scanning a used or worn part. So how do you go about modifying the STL file, and optimizing it, to produce a better quality 3D Printed part? One solution is to use Geomagic Wrap. It has many powerful easy-to-use tools that enable you to improve the cosmetics of the model by modifying the mesh structure underneath. Let me show you a few of these tools. First, you can easily remove the spikes, or pyramid shaped polygons from the mesh and smooth them out by using the Spike Removal tool. Next, for the sections of the model that are really sloppy, you can simply delete the polygons by using the Manifold Open tool to quickly [...]

7 04, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Convert Features to Bodies and Surfaces

By | 2017-04-07T08:55:36+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is new functionality in SOLIDWORKS 2017called Convert to Bodies, that allows you to remove the feature history in a part, while retaining geometric references in the assembly. This new feature comes in handy if you have a simple assembly and you want it to one of your manufacturers, but don’t want to share the feature history of the part you designed. One option is to save out the part file as a neutral format file, such as a step or an iges file. However, you would then have to take additional steps to swap out the file with feature history, with the recently created step file. Instead, you can avoid these additional steps by using the new functionality Convert to Bodies. To do this, open up the part file, right-click on the file name that appears at the top of the Feature Manager Design Tree, and click on Convert to Bodies. Change the name of the new file so that the original file is not overwritten. When you click OK all of the features on the tree are converted to one body, and the feature history tree is removed. If you want to hold on to your sketches and reference [...]

5 04, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Patterns and Features UI

By | 2017-04-05T08:45:09+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

In today’s blog post we are going to introduce three new enhancements to Parts and Features in SolidWorks 2017. The first one has to do with using Instances to Skip in patterns. When creating a pattern, SolidWorks would already give you the flexibility to remove a pattern instance by clicking on the pink spheres; this way you weren’t bound to the array produced. Although at times, depending on how many instances you wanted to skip, this could become a tedious process. Now in SolidWorks 2017, you are able to add or remove instances to skip by simply using a box or lasso, greatly speeding up the selection process. Another useful enhancement has to do with extruding from Any Size Planar Face. Previously, SolidWorks allowed you to extrude from a Surface/Plane/Face. The limitation was that the Surface/Plane/Face must encapsulate the sketch. If it didn’t, you would have to create additional reference geometry so that you can achieve the desired extrude. Now in SolidWorks 2017, that limitation has been removed. You can now extrude from Any Size Planar Face, whether it fully encapsulates the sketch or not. The last enhancement involves Circular Patterns. Now in SolidWorks 2017, you are able to create [...]

6 03, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Function Manager Tabs

By | 2017-03-06T10:21:47+00:00 March 6th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

In Mastercam 2017 you can modify the Function Manager Tabs to personalize your Mastercam interface. For instance, you can quickly shift it from bottom to top and turn on the large icon display option for the managers. In previous versions, the Function Manager Tabs were on the top edge by default but this was changed in the later X versions. Also, while there was an option for large icons on the toolbars that option did not affect the Function Managers. Now in Mastercam 2017, you can move the Manager Tabs to top or bottom and turn on large icon display in the function managers. In the following example, notice that all the managers are docked together in their default location. If you move your cursor towards the top left corner of the screen and click the File tab you will enter the Backstage area. From there click Options at the bottom of the column to the left and when the customize options window opens, click on the fourth topic labeled Options. Now move the cursor into the Manager Panels area and click the box labeled Top. Note the text in parentheses stating that a restart is required for these changes to [...]

20 02, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Convert to Bodies

By | 2017-02-20T08:26:55+00:00 February 20th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

A new in SOLIDWORKS 2017 called Convert to Bodies will allow you to remove the feature history in a part, while retaining geometric references in the assembly.  This new feature comes in handy if you have a simple assembly and you want it to one of your manufacturers, but don’t want to share the feature history of the part you designed. One option is to save out the part file as a neutral format file, such as a step or an IGES file. However, you would then have to take additional steps to swap out the file with feature history, with the recently created step file. Instead, you can avoid these additional steps by using the new functionality Convert to Bodies. To do this, open up the part file, right-click on the file name that appears at the top of the Feature Manager Design Tree, and click on Convert to Bodies. Change the name of the new file so that the original file is not overwritten. When you click OK all of the features on the tree are converted to one body, and the feature history tree is removed. If you want to hold on to your sketches and reference geometry, [...]

13 02, 2017

Mastercam 2017 Optimize Solid Function

By | 2017-02-13T08:54:49+00:00 February 13th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is a new utility in Mastercam 2017 that can significantly improve the quality of imported model data. The Optimize Solid function automatically repairs whole bodies or individual faces, improving the accuracy of edges and face blends. If you import a model that was created in a different CAD system Mastercam’s file converters can make it easy to simply drag and drop the file into the Mastercam graphics window. To help you determine what size tools you need you can analyze some part features, but when you activate the Analyze command and move the cursor along the model you will notice that the edge is broken into many small facets. Go to the Model Prep ribbon tab and look in the Modify area. Click the drop down arrow next to Simplify Solid and select the Optimize command. Next, select the whole body, click OK, and in a moment Mastercam displays a message informing you how many optimizations have been made and highlights the affected areas of the model. Now those small facets have been merged into one smooth continuous edge. It’s that easy. This new optimize command can help improve the accuracy of your models which will result in better [...]

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