It’s that time of year when Mastercam releases it’s latest version. This year, we are pleased to announce that Mastercam 2024 is filled with some great enhancements! Let’s take a moment and go over my personal top ten reasons you need Mastercam, in no particular order.
- Mastercam Mill – Cutting Holes Based on Previously Defined Processes.
This new Mastercam feature allows you to use previously defined processes in your hole making operations. For example, you can apply a process to cut 10mm holes that will automatically create a spot drilling, pilot hole, and reamer in one step rather than creating three separate operations. You can always override any part of the parameters once the toolpaths are created and work directly with those operations.
- All Products – Controlling Your Graphics View with the Gview Cube
The traditional on-screen gnomon has been augmented with the Gview cube, a more graphical way to show plane orientation. The Gview cube, which is relative to the WCS by default, also features many options that let you control the cube, thus the on-screen representation of your part.
The cube itself also has many interactive features. For example, double-clicking the cube fits the part to the screen (same as the Fit command). You can click a side, corner, or edge of the cube to switch to that view. Drag any part of the cube to change to a view, unconstrained by the preset views represented by the sides and edges.
The buttons next to the cube allow you to pan or rotate the view in various ways. The actual effect of dragging depends on whether you are holding the button down and whether you are pressing.
Right-click the cube to display a context menu, which includes the follow commands:
- Show Cube: Click this option to toggle the Gview cube on and off. When the Gview cube is on, a checkmark displays in the context menu next to Show Cube.
- Relative to WCS: Sets the world view relative to the active WCS. When enabled, a checkmark displays in the context menu next to Relative to WCS.
- Create dynamic plane: Lets you create a new plane using the Dynamic Gnomon. You can also select this function by clicking the cube’s axis.
- Settings: Opens the Screen dialog box, where you can adjust the cube size, text size, opacity, arrow button pan/rotate, and arrow button rotation (degrees).
- Mastercam Mill-Turn – Using Turret-Mounted Angled Milling Heads
You can now use turret-mounted angled milling heads in Mill-Turn operations. This lets you create toolpaths on angled planes using turret-mounted tools.
Prior to Mastercam 2024, tool locators for turrets supported both turning tools and milling tools in live tooling stations. While turning tools could be mounted in an angular orientation, live tools could not.
Mastercam 2024 divides turret tool locators into two separate component types: one for turning tools, and a second for milling tools. You can create milling tool locators for face milling, cross milling, or at an angular orientation. You can specify a fixed angle in the component properties, or read the orientation from the operation. This lets you create tilted plane, G68-style toolpaths with turret-only machines.
- Mastercam Mill – Maximizing Your Tool Engagement
The Dynamic Mill, Face, and Dynamic OptiRough toolpaths now include a new Maximum engagement option on the Cut Parameters page. When selected, it produces more nominal chips and minimizes the number of small chips. Additionally, Mastercam moves the tool towards the entered Stepover as quickly as possible.
- Mastercam Mill – Graphical Planes
When you create a hole-making toolpath, Mastercam can now display on-screen indicators of plane types and values. Use the Display graphical elements button to turn on graphical elements. Then, in the Linking Parameters page, select the planes indicators you want to display in the graphics window, as shown in the following image.
When you change values in the dialog box, Mastercam updates the graphical planes in the graphics window. You can also change the position and value of a plane by dragging its graphical representation in the graphics window, as shown in the following image. During this dragging, you can type a value into the box that appears with the gnomon. Additionally, you can drag the plane indicator to an Auto Cursor point.
- Mastercam Mill – Smoother Milling Toolpath Motion
Milling toolpaths no longer use the Curve chord deviation tolerance found in the Tolerances page of the System Configuration dialog box. Instead, the toolpaths use a new internal tolerance resulting in smoother, more accurate and more consistent motion at times.
- Mastercam Lathe – Creating Separate Lead In/Out Moves for Semi-Finishing Passes
Dynamic Roughing toolpaths now let you create separate lead in/out moves for semi-finishing passes. Since most of the stock will have been removed by the roughing passes, this lets you create more compact and efficient moves for the semi-finishing passes. The only difference is that lead in/out moves for semi-finish passes cannot include any modifications to the chained contour; these options will not be present for the semi-finish passes.
- Mastercam Design – Modifying Your Drafting Dimensions Directly
Mastercam 2023 introduced in-panel methods to the Drafting function panel to modify font format and drafting entity placement. This enhancement removed the extra steps necessary to make modifications. Mastercam 2024 expands those changes.
The new Drafting panel incorporates dimension attributes, text, and witness and leader settings into three new pages. This eliminates the need to exit the panel and edit these settings in the System Configuration dialog box.
In addition to the Basic and Advanced pages available in previous versions, there are three new panel pages.
- Dimension Attributes: Sets properties for coordinates and symbols.
- Dimension Text: Sets properties for text size, point dimensions, text direction, and text orientation.
- Leaders/Witness: Sets properties for leaders, witness lines, and arrows.
The changes you make in the function panel do not change Mastercam’s default settings. If you need to make changes to the defaults, use the pages in the System Configuration dialog box.
- Mastercam Toolpath Simulation – Exporting Collision Reports
Mastercam Simulator now includes an option to export collision reports. Use the Save Report button to export the results to a CSV file. The generated report includes the moves, the event, the objects involved in the event, and the range of the event. This may be helpful when you need to share information with another user or technical support.
- Mastercam Mill – Controlling Tool Motion in Shallow Part Areas
The 3D high speed Waterline toolpath now includes the Allow partial cuts option. Allow partial cuts adds or removes tool motion only from the shallow areas of the part. This option also does not create closed cuts at a constant Z level around the part. This option is on the Cut Parameters page.
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