Editors Pick of the Week News
July 27, 2016
Makers have a lot of choices, some of which have been around quite awhile. But relatively few of the offerings are practical and affordable for the small shop as well as robust enough for giant manufacturers that make things like airplanes. Today’s Pick of the Week looks into the latest release of a well-established CAD/CAM system that fits the bill no matter the size of your outfit.CNC Software recently released the 2017 edition of its Mastercam set of CAD/CAM applications. The product line-up has packages for 2- through 5-axis routing, milling and turning, 2- and 4-axis wire EDM (electrical discharge machining), 2D/3D design, surface and solid modeling as well as Swiss machining. There’s a version for programming parts directly in SOLIDWORKS, and there’s a range of CAD translators so that you can open and work with most any file.
Mastercam 2017 sees new and improved functionality across its line-up. For existing users, perhaps the biggest change is a new Microsoft Office-like ribbon user interface that should make easier to find the tools to get jobs done more efficiently.
CNC Software reports that it has improved its Dynamic Motion technology, which is designed to maximize material removal rates, extend tool life, reduce cycle time and save on machine wear and tear. In Mastercam 2017, micro lifts—retracts that avoid excess heat buildup—now use a line-of-sight approach to move the tool through unobstructed areas. This means that re-position moves are more efficient, less complex and travel a shorter distance. All of which means shorter cycle times.
Another interesting new functionality available in select 3D high-speed finishing toolpaths is Maximum Stock Engagement. This lets you limit how deeply the cutter engages uncut material as well as protect smaller tools from taking too heavy of a cut.
Mastercam’s Multiaxis Drill capabilities have a new 4-axis toolpath that provides more control over the tool motion through the selection of walls, hubs and shroud surfaces. Mastercam’s Mill-Turn package now supports multi-station tool locators for turrets as well as half index positions. And the list of new and improved features goes on—130 pages worth of highly detailed release notes.
You can learn more about Mastercam 2017 starting with today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Make sure to check out the video links at the end of the main text. Hit today’s link to get started.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE