Recent releases of Mastercam have implemented some big improvements to the Sweep function within the Solid Modeling function. Prior to these releases, Sweep operations required a fillet between entities on the Along curve when there was a change in direction of more than 5 degrees. Sweep is ideal for cylindrical-shaped parts. Fixtures, propeller blades, door handles, wheel spokes, exhaust pipes, and engine ports are some examples.
We want to make sure you are taking advantage of the newfound flexibility, efficiency, and control when creating models with curves and rounded profiles. Here is a list of 6 top improvements:
1. The profile geometry easily runs along sharp corners. As the swept body travels around the sharp angle, Sweep automatically miters the sharp corners and handles the profile’s fillet, allowing the creation of radii on the swept model. You can control the shape simply by adding a solid fillet to the corner.
2. Additionally, solid sweeps can now be created from 3D Along curves. 3D curves with sharp corners and fillets are fully supported in Mastercam.
Solid Sweep also includes new options to control the alignment between a profile and the Along chains.
- The Normal option maintains the original angle relationship between the profile and the Along chain.
- Parallel keeps the cross-sections parallel to the original profile. The ability to control this relationship makes the exact placement of the profile in relation to the Along curve less critical.
4. Sweep Twist is a powerful new Solid Sweep option and found on the Advanced tab. Use it to twist the profile as it travels on the Along chain. You can control the angle of the twist and its placement along the sweep. There is no limitation on the angle you can enter!
5. The new End Profile Chains option allows transitioning from one profile to another while traveling down the Along curve. Simply add the end profile while in the sweep function panel. This is really useful.
Note: Using multiple profiles does not limit the Sweep functionality. You still have access to all of the sweep options. Know that each profile must have an equal number of entities, but the profiles do not need to be chained in sync. Experimenting with the start of your chain allows controlling the rotation of the sweep. As long as the profiles contain the same number of entities, they can have different shapes. Your swept solid will transition from one shape to another like magic! This robust function even supports nested profiles.
6. Guide chains can dramatically influence a sweep operation by introducing a chain that alters the shape of the results. You can create complex shapes simply by adding a guide chain to the sweep parameters.
Note: Guide chains that are offset 180 degrees from the Along chain yield the most predictable results. Guide chains are not limited to the same plane as the Along chain and can be used to create models that used to be time-consuming.
We hope you have fun with all the time you’ll save with Solid Sweep. To get tips like these delivered straight to your mailbox in video form, please sign up for our 2-Minute Tuesdays by clicking the button below.