Mastercam's 'CAD for CAM' Design Tools

February 17, 2017
Mastercam's 'CAD for CAM' Design Tools

Mastercam is known for NC programming, but it also delivers a suite of shop-tested design tools aimed at getting parts on and off the machine as quickly as possible. Powerful modeling tools include not only 3D surfacing and solids, but hole-filling, direct editing without a solids history, geometry repair and more.

Mastercam Design streamlines and simplifies modeling and editing geometry. It also supports advanced geometry creation, including solid modeling, hybrid machining, NURBS curves and surfaces, 2D and 3D associative dimensioning, surface extension, blending, trimming, splitting, variable filleting, solid modeling, and hybrid modeling to complete your jobs quicker and more efficiently, according to the company.

A few new enhancements to Mastercam 2017 Design are:

Repairs imported solids (whole bodies or individual faces) by improving the accuracy of edges and be identifying and optimizing blends, allowing other Model Prep functions to work better. Toolpaths on the repaired solid maintain associativity to faces.

A Model Prep function that takes a solid assembly and lays each body out in a single plane. It works on models with and without history, imported from other systems, or created from within Mastercam. The user interface has been improved to better support your machining practices, allowing you to place each solid body on its own level at the toolpath origin, saving you time and extra steps.

The Surface From Solids function now includes a Preprocess solid option that can help clean up errors in imported solids by assisting in the conversion of solid faces into surfaces. Mastercam makes a copy of the body, prepares it, and then creates surfaces from this body. After the conversion, Mastercam deletes the preprocessed body, leaving the original intact.

Other Mastercam 2017 Design Improvements:

  • The X, Y, and Z options in the Plane Selection dialog box have been enhanced to increase functionality, accuracy, and efficiency by eliminating extra steps and guess work.
  • Repair Small Faces analyzes solid bodies (with no history) and reports if it finds small entities such as spikes, sliver faces, edge pinches, or gashes.
  • Solid Impression can speed up the creation of an electrode tool without having to create extra operations.
  • Transform Dynamic now supports AutoCursor snapping to horizontal, vertical, and tangent positions when rotating geometry.
  • You can now dynamically manipulate geometry with Mastercam’s new trio of single-axis arrow controls.

Related Glossary Terms

  • nonuniform rational B-splines ( NURBS)

    nonuniform rational B-splines ( NURBS)

    Type of curve or surface for which the difference between successive knots (parameter values) need not be expressed in uniform increments of 1. See B-spline.

  • numerical control ( NC)

    numerical control ( NC)

    Any controlled equipment that allows an operator to program its movement by entering a series of coded numbers and symbols. See CNC, computer numerical control; DNC, direct numerical control.

  • toolpath( cutter path)

    toolpath( cutter path)

    2-D or 3-D path generated by program code or a CAM system and followed by tool when machining a part.