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Mastercam expands CAD/CAM capabilities

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CNC Software, represented by Technology Sales and Support , has released Mastercam Version 9.1 which includes features designed to simplify complex processes, improve speed, and expand shop capabilities.

Among the improvements are increased tool control, faster verification, enhanced solid contour programming, and the ability to customise functions using VBScript.

CNC Software director Gary Hargreaves said increasing shop capabilities was a major goal of the improvements made in Mastercam Version 9.1.

“Many shops are reinventing themselves as their traditional business is disappearing. The types of work they are now quoting on often challenges them beyond their current abilities.

“If we can provide these shops with tools that help them stay alive and become competitive in new arenas, we feel have made a major improvement in our offerings. Thin Wall Machining is a great example of this," he said.

With Thin Wall Machining, all levels of Mastercam Mill can achieve finer control over these delicate cutting procedures while ensuring the best possible finish. An operator can now specify multiple finish cuts in Z for every rough-cut.

Because this technique puts less stress on thin-walled parts, greater overall cutting depth and thinner walls can be achieved. It also minimises the possibility that the cutter will break or deform the part.

Hargreaves said Mastercam was designed to meet the everyday demands of the shop floor.

“This doesn't always mean adding increasingly complex functions. sometimes it means improving, refining-even customizing-existing capabilities.

“Mastercam Version 9.1 doesn't include a laundry list of new functions; it includes features that can make even basic jobs simpler, faster, and more profitable."

With Version 9.1, Mastercam users can create toolpaths that rival the quality of a flowline without the classic flowline restriction of having to make sure all surfaces are aligned.

Project Blend Toolpath Controls (PBTC) for Mastercam Mill Level 3 builds on Version 9's multi-surface project toolpath feature. The user can create free-form toolpaths that closely match the cut motion and the direction to the shape of the part, now with much finer control.

Version 9.1 can set a tighter toolpath "resolution" for parts with a drastic change in curvature, and use a spiral motion that eliminates stepover by keeping the tool down. The program can even use "quick" projection if the part contains no vertical walls.

Another new feature of Mastercam Version 9.1 is Lightworks Toolpath Verification, which is available for Mastercam Mill, Lathe, Wire, and Router.

Users will immediately notice process improvement and can experience up to 300% speed improvement in the TrueSolids verification. Mastercam's True Solid 5-Axis Verification is an add-on for Version 9.1 that provides high-quality solid-based verification for multi-axis machining.

This speed and quality improvement helps reinforce the confidence of machinists and results in shorter turn around.

Mastercam Solids Version 9.1 includes a feature that enables users to perform solid Boolean remove operations while keeping the original solid bodies.

This saves time and effort by eliminating the need to make copies of the solid tool, so that core and cavity solids for a mold can be created with a single solid. This is adding significant logic that will facilitate positive efficiencies.

Other new solids programming features give the user complete control over the tool's lead-in and lead-out motion.

Users can extend or shorten the toolpath before making entry/exit moves without creating additional geometry, which is especially helpful when working with control compensation and makes it possible to program solid contours in much less time.

Mastercam Version 9.1 is also customisable. Users can add their own specialied functions written in Visual Basic. This new ability to run VBScripts opens the possibility for an even wider variety of specialised utilities in the future.

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