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Whats New in Mastercam X2

Significant new functionality has been added through Maintenance releases since the initial release of Mastercam X in July 2005. Maintenance customers gained access to two complete products (Wire in MR1 and Art in MR2), depending on their licenses. The AutoCursor and General Selection interaction continued to evolve to be much easier to use and more intuitive as we responded to input from Mastercam X customers. We introduced and then added to an entirely new suite of high speed toolpaths (HST). Advanced Multiaxis toolpaths greatly expanded Mastercams capabilities in that application. We made it simpler to manage and move machine and control definitions by implementing Setdirs functionality as the new Project Manager. We continued to deliver videos to help our customers understand how the new features could help them in their businesses. This Whats New document briefly describes the features added or changed in each of the Maintenance releases since the initial Mastercam X release. All of these features have been incorporated in Mastercam X2, along with important new features such as additional high speed, multisurface, and multiaxis toolpaths; new file open dialogs; new change recognition and tracking functions; Art enhancements; totally redesigned Automatic Toolpathing (ATP); and much more. Note: Bug fixes are listed only for the Mastercam X2 release.

Mastercam X2
.NET Upgrade Hardware Requirements Adobe Flash Player or Viewer Required Adobe Reader Required Monitor Resolution and Screen Area Installing Mastercam X2 Converting Files to Mastercam X2 New File Open, Open-External, and Save As Dialogs More Microsoft Windows Standard Mastercam-Specific Functionality Related Configuration Options Change Recognition and File Tracking Tracking File Changes Change Recognition Change Recognition example Support for XP-style Themes Support for CAD Applications FastPoint Mode Machine and Control Definition Managers Xform Stretch Offset Contour Break 2 Pieces Verify Stock Setup 2D Mill/ Router Lead in/Lead out Support for Tab Cutoff Operations 2D Offset and Keep Tool Down Improvements New Engrave Tool Type Router New Tool Types Totally Redesigned ATP Rotating Block Drill Operations in Toolpath Nesting 3D Mill High Speed Toolpaths (HST) Multisurface Toolpaths

Configuration Ribbon Bar Modality Mouse Focus for Vertical Dialog Boxes General Selection Left/Right Click Support for Selection Methods Double-Click to End Selection All and Only Availability Quick Masks AutoCursor Relative Along Solids Modeless Chain Manager

Multiaxis Toolpaths New Advanced Multiaxis Tutorial Check holder C-Hook Wire Change at Point Point Selection Art Celtic Weave/Knot Pattern on Contour Randomized Textures Custom Textures Art Presets Art Toolpaths CATIA Translators Zip2Go File Extract

New bug Fixes in X2 Design Mill Lathe Router Wire Art

.NET Upgrade
Prior to running Mastercam X2, you must upgrade your version of the .NET framework to 2.0. The Mastercam X2 installation program checks for the presence of the .NET 2.0 framework and lets you install it if it is not present. Mastercam Resellers can also download the required installation files from

Hardware Requirements
Dual Monitors are supported in that you can move any dialog box to any screen you want and they will continue to appear there. Multiprocessors are supported in that if your O/S supports it, you can run a copy of Mastercam on each one. We do not support multi-threading.

Monitor Resolution and Screen Area

Optimum resolution for Mastercam X2 is 96 dpi (Normal). Using the large font Windows 2000 display setting (larger than 96 dpi) can cause some Mastercam X2 dialogs and icons to display incorrectly. If you are using Windows XP, you should be able to set the fonts independently of the dpi. At 1280 x 1024 pixels with higher dpi, the ribbon bars might not fit. Do not use a screen resolution (area) 800 x 600 pixels.

Adobe Flash Player or other Flash viewer required

You must install a Flash player to view the new videos that accompany X2. The videos can be installed from the second System CD. To download the Adobe Flash Player, go to the Adobe Web site at

Adobe Reader required

You must install the Adobe Reader (version 4.0 or higher) to view the PDF format documentation that accompanies Mastercam X. To download the Reader, go to the Adobe Web site,, and choose the Get Adobe Reader button on the left side of the page.

Installing Mastercam X2
CNC Software recommends that you install Mastercam X2 in the /mcamx directory, replacing your current Mastercam X installation. However, Mastercam X2 can be installed in a separate folder (McamX2) and can coexist with a previous Mastercam X version on a single computer. If you are upgrading from Mastercam X MR2 and you choose to do this, the installation program will give you the opportunity to preserve settings you have customized by running a migration utility that copies customizable files (for example, configuration files, machine and control definitions, post processors, etc.) to the new installation folder. It does not copy part files. This applies only to upgrading from Mastercam X MR2. If you are upgrading from a previous release of Mastercam X or earlier Mastercam releases, this utility will not be available. You must copy and convert your files as described in the Mastercam X2 Transition Guide, which is installed in your /Documentation folder. The Mastercam X2 migration utility copies all user-created customizable files as well as CNC Software-provided files that have changed (that is, files that have a modify date different from the creation date). It also backs up newly installed customizable files. To do this, the utility creates a filename.bak in the same folder before replacing the installed file with the customized file of the same name. This assures that you will have access to both customized files and the newly installed versions. See the Mastercam X2 Transition Guide for complete information on the Mastercam X2 migration utility.

Converting Files to Mastercam X2

Refer to the Mastercam X2 Transition Guide for information and procedures about converting files to Mastercam X2.

New File Open, Open-External, and Save As Dialogs

The new File dialogs provide both more Windows-standard features and Mastercam-specific features.

Note: To use these new style dialogs, the following Registry Key setting must be set. (This setting is the default Mastercam X2setting.) HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\CNC Software, Inc.\Mastercam X2\File Get\State Style = 1

Microsoft Windows-Standard Features

The dialogs are resizable.

The File name drop-down list displays recently accessed files. It also provides auto-complete options while typing.

The new dialogs support standard Windows drag and drop in and out of the dialog file list.

Mastercam-Specific Features
The Recent Folders drop-down list displays recently accessed folders.

The Options button performs the same function as in previous versions.

When you save a file as an MCX file, you can output the MCX (geometry only) in either X2 format (2) or pre-X2 format (1).

Note: All toolpath data is stripped from the file when saving files to older Mastercam versions.

The Preview and Descriptor panes provide additional functionality. The Descriptor identifies the Mastercam version that originated the file (10 = Mastercam X, 11=Mastercam X2), as well as provides additional information. Check boxes allow you to suppress display of this information to speed display.

Related Configuration Options

You can set default behavior for the new File dialogs in System Configuration Files properties page: Include bitmap in file when saving Prompt for file descriptor when saving

Change Recognition and File Tracking

Mastercam X2 adds new functions for tracking and comparing changes in files. The new functionsChange Recognition and Trackingare accessible from the File menu, as shown in the following picture. Note the Tracking submenu, which includes the commands Check Current File, Check All Tracked Files, and Tracking Options.

Tracking File Changes

Mastercam X2 can track the changes to files and notify you if a new version of your current file is available. You can look for changes in a single file, or you can create a list of files to track.

Tracking, Check Current File tells Mastercam to search for a newer version of the currently loaded file. When you select this function, the File Tracking Options dialog box displays, where you set the search options:

Search subfolders tells Mastercam to search the current folder and any folders inside the current folder. File name must be exact match tells Mastercam to search only for files that have the same file name (not including the file extension). If this option is off, Mastercam searches for any files that begin with the same file name. For example, if the currently tracked file is named Part.mcx, Mastercam finds files with names like Part_new.mcx and Part_revised.sld. File extension must be exact match tells Mastercam to search only for files with the same file extension. Don't ask again prevents the File Tracking Options dialog box from appearing again during the current session. If Mastercam finds no newer files, it reports with this message:

If Mastercam does find a newer file, you get a message like this:

If you click Yes, Mastercam launches the Change Recognition function for the two files. (See the Change Recognition section later in this document.) Tracking multiple files

The File, Tracking, Tracking Options command leads to the File Tracking dialog box, where you can create a list of files to track, as well as set various tracking options. When you have a tracking list set up, you can check every file in the list via the File, Tracking, Check All Tracked Files command.

Use this dialog box to manage the files that Mastercam tracks, as well as to customize how Mastercam searches for newer versions of tracked files. Tracking turns on the tracking function. When this option is off, Mastercam ignores all tracking options. Check now checks for new versions of the files displayed in the file list. Search subfolders tells Mastercam to search the current folder and any folders inside the current folder. File name must be exact match tells Mastercam to search only for files that have the same file name (not including the file extension). If this option is off, Mastercam searches for any files that begin with the same file name. For example, if the currently tracked file is named Part.mcx, Mastercam finds files with names like Part_new.mcx and Part_revised.sld. File extension must be exact match tells Mastercam to search only for files with the same file extension. Automatic tracking tells Mastercam to add automatically files to the tracking list when the files are opened. Check current file at File-Open tells Mastercam to check for a newer version of the current file as soon as the file is opened. Check all files at Startup tells Mastercam to check for new versions of any files in the list when Mastercam starts. Check all files at File-New tells Mastercam to check files when you choose File, New.

Change Recognition
The new Change Recognition function examines two files and reports on their differences in various ways. You can get to this function through the Tracking function (when Mastercam finds a newer file) or by selecting File, Change Recognition. In either case, Mastercam compares the currently loaded file (called the original file) with another file (called the incoming file), and displays the Change Recognition dialog box. From this dialog box, you can view and edit geometry. You can view geometry in these ways: The features of the original file The features of the incoming file Features the two files have in common Features unique to the original file Features unique to the incoming file Both files combined Toolpath geometry

Use this dialog box to view and manipulate changes between the currently open file and a specified incoming file. The operation drop-down menu contains a list of operations for the part. Select the operation to analyze or update. The icon to the left of the drop-down menu shows the status of the current operation. The status can be affected, dirty, or clean. The text box below the operation drop-down menu displays the tool used in the operation. The slider control provides an alternative way to select operations. The colors in the slider's channel reflect the status of each operation. The First, Previous, Next, and Last buttons manipulate the slider's location. The Draw selected operation option displays the toolpath for the current operation. The Ignore up-to-date operations option filters out operations that are unaffected by changes in the incoming file. That is, only affected operations will be available for selection. The Geometry display drop-down list controls the geometry that appears in Mastercam's graphics window. The Edit geometry button opens the appropriate dialog box for modifying the geometry associated with the selected operation. The Regenerate button regenerates the toolpaths for the selected operation. The View summary report button displays an operation-by-operation text summary of geometric entities in the original and incoming files.

The Select geometry to move from Original to Incoming button lets you select geometry to keep in the file. The Select toolpath display colors button displays the Change Recognition colors dialog box. Use this dialog box to choose colors for the selected operation, as well as for the original and incoming geometry.

Change Recognition example

In this example, the original part is a rectangle containing a circle. A contour toolpath is associated with the rectangle, and a pocketing toolpath is associated with the circle:

The incoming part is the same, except it adds four points with a drill toolpath:

Setting Change Recognition to use the contour toolpath operation and to display features unique to the original yields the following part display. No geometry displays because the original part contains nothing that is not in the incoming file:

Setting Change Recognition to display features unique to the incoming file yields the following. The point entities are only in to the incoming file:

Setting Change Recognition to display geometry common to both files yields the following. The rectangle and circle appear in both files:

Setting Change Recognition to display geometry associated with the toolpath (still set to the contour operation) yields the following:

Keeping Change Recognition set to display geometry associated with the toolpath, but switching to the pocketing toolpath, gives the following:

Support for XP-style Themes

We are in the process of standardizing and converting all user interface elements to support Windows XP themes. This will work ONLY on Windows XP because Windows 2000 does not support these themes. If you enable Themes, you may notice several changes in the overall look of the Mastercam interface, including the background, colors, button display, windows, mouse pointers, and sounds.

Support for CAD Applications

We now support: Solid Edge V19 AutoCAD 2007 SolidWorks 2007* *With the release of SolidWorks 2007, SolidWorks no longer supports Windows 2000. Mastercam uses a .DLL (SWDocumentMgr.DLL) that SolidWorks provides to open their SLDPRT files. We will maintain two versions of this fileone to be installed on Windows 2000 computers and one to be installed on Windows XP computers. The version we install on the Windows 2000 computers will be an older version that only supports up to SolidWorks 2006. The version we install on the Windows XP computers will support SolidWorks 2007.

FastPoint Mode
Unit conversions are now supported with the FastPoint mode dialog, so if you are working in inches, you can type in 27mm as a value and it will be calculated to the correct length in inches. This is also supported in every dialog box input field.

Machine and Control Definition Managers

These options have been moved from the Machine Type drop-down menu to the Settings drop-down menu.

The configuration dialog boxes have been updated and reorganized to accommodate new options and controls. Colors You can control the background colors of the AutoCursor and General Selection ribbon bars. The default setting is the same used for the Ribbon Bar background color. Communications This now has its own page. The option to override the Control Definition settings and use the Config settings is included. Default Machines This page is where you specify what the default machine definition for each product. Dimensions and Notes This heading now contains all sub-pages associated with dimensioning and notes and can be minimized. Files AutoSave and Backup settings are now a separate page under Files. Screen Grid settings have been moved off to their own sub-page. The number of entities for dynamic rotation has been changed so that if you enter 0 (zero), all entities will be rotated. All of the MRU options have been organized into a group. The MRU toolbar is now controlled by the number. If you do not want it on the screen, enter 0 (zero) as the number of functions. A reverse mouse wheel option has been added to the Middle Button/Wheel Use group. This allows you to make Mastercams Mouse Wheel Zoom direction match your preference. Levels options have been gathered into a single group. A new option has been added to have Mastercam only highlight faces of solids rather than the entire solid during selection and pre-selection. This option is on by default. Enable Dialog Modality see Ribbon Bar Modality. You can now set the delay for the display of tool tips on the ribbon bars. This allows no delay to be set to help make it easier to know what a button is without having to wait for a tool tip to appear. Start/Exit This page no longer has a default machine option. It has been replaced by a Startup product. You can choose Design, Mill, Lathe, Wire, or Router. Then the Default Machine is used as defined on the previous new page. Toolpaths An option to Enable Change at Point during creation has been added. Verify More options are now available.

Ribbon Bar Modality

This new option can significantly reduce the number of keystrokes in a Mastercam session. When the option is enabled, Mastercam remembers the button states of each ribbon bar so the next time that function is called, the buttons will be in the same settings as the last time it was accessed. Think of how many times you have used Trim/Break to divide entities and have had to reset it each time you enter the function. The option also remembers cases where you have hard-locked specific values in a ribbon bar and will restore the state along with the values. How many times have you created a specific size circle and had to reset those values several times because you had to use other functions during the process? If you prefer to have ribbon bars work like previous Mastercam X versions, you can turn the option off on the Screen properties page in System Configuration.

Mouse Focus for Vertical Dialog Boxes

You no longer have to click in the graphics window after working inside a vertical dialog box to be able to use the mouse wheel to change the zoom. The focus automatically tracks with the mouse for this capability.

General Selection
Several modifications to General Selection make use easier, faster, and more intuitive.

Left/Right Click Support for Selection Methods

You will notice that if you use the drop-down list to set a specific selection type, it will work using the same rules as the AutoCursor. If you choose a selection type with the left mouse button, that type will be used for a single selection and then revert back to the standard selection mode. If you right-click on an option, it will stay locked in that mode until you reset it by selecting the standard selection button.

Double-Click to End Selection

This enhancement allows you to keep your hand on the mouse more often and reduce the number of times you have to press [Enter]. Start a function like Xform Translate without doing pre-selection, window the entities you want and double-click when you define the second window. Your selection is completed and the Xform dialog is displayed. Or use a function like Join Entities where you can select multiple entities and have to press [Enter] to end the function. Now you can just double-click on the last entity and the join is completed. If you forgot to double-click on the last entity you selected, you can just double-click in an empty area of the screen and the system treats it like an end selection.

All and Only Availability

We have made the All and Only masking options available in more functions. You will notice this especially in functions that prompt for single entities like the creation of curves on a surface edge. Now you can use masking to restrict the surface types.

Quick Masks

This new set of functions is a real timesaver. Basically, they are shortcuts that allow you to select entities by type with a single pick without having to open the All or Only dialog boxes. The Quick Mask options are found in the General Selection category in Customize and Key mapping, and can be added to toolbars, the right-click menu, or mapped to specific keys. A Quick Mask toolbar is loaded by default under the MRU toolbar. Click on Quick Mask Points and all of the points are immediately selected. You can continue to select entity types one at a time with the Quick Mask buttons. If you click on a button, select entities, and then click on the button again, all of the previously selected entities of that type are unselected. Left-click on one of the options and the entities are immediately selected as if you used the All option. Right-click on one of the options and it sets an Only mask that will be used for future General Selection. The All and Only dialogs are still necessary because they allow you to create specific multiple attribute masks like All, Green, Lines, longer than 1. There is a Quick Mask function for the following: Points, Lines, Arcs, Splines, Surfaces, Solids, Drafting, All Wireframe, Surface Curves, Color, Level, Xform Group, and Xform Results.

AutoCursor Relative Along

This option is already part of the standard AutoCursor Relative functionality, but because it requires extra keystrokes to activate it this way, it has been broken out as a standalone functionAutoCursor Along.

Undo and Redo of Solids Creation
Any solid created through a solids creation method or using Xform can now be undone. Modifications to solids made in the Solids Manager cannot be undone. Like toolpaths, you will still have to edit the solid operation directly.

Modeless Chain Manager

You can now manipulate the screen to get a better view of the geometry associated with the solids in question.

Surface Creation
Split Surface
This option has been modified to create untrimmed surfaces rather than trimmed.

Extend Trimmed Surface Edges

The current surface extension capability is limited to extending surfaces along untrimmed edges. That means the edge to be extended must be the original base surface edge (or a portion of it), and when a surface is extended, it grows the original surface. This new function provides a capability to extend trimmed and untrimmed surface edges that differs considerably from the current functionality. The function now: Has its own ribbon bar, icon, and menu item in the interface. Creates a new trimmed surface as opposed to modifying the original surface. Offsets the edges along the base surface to the extent possible, and then proceeds onto the linear tangential extension of the base surface if the offset value is large enough. Allows for an entire loop of edge curves to be extended at once, or just a portion of a loop or edge curve. Properly handles the offsets of edges with concave and convex corners, and produces appropriate offset curves, eliminating self intersections and fishtails due to the offset value being larger than the minimum radius of curvature. If an inner loop (hole) is extended, it produces a new trimmed surface whose outer loop is the original surface inner loop. If the offset value exceeds the largest dimension of the inner loop, a surface which covers the entire hole is created. Two icons indicate how convex (outer corners) are handled: Miter (the default) keeps the outside corners sharp in the offset. Round rounds off any sharp outside corners in the offset. The radius used is the offset value. Flip is used when the cursor indicates two positions on the edge to be extended. The Flip icon is grayed out by default until you click a second time on an edge. The portion of the edge between the two positions in a counterclockwise direction is offset by default. Clicking on the Flip icon causes the complement of the edge to be offset. When you select the function, you are prompted to select a surface. It is usually trimmed, but it can also be an untrimmed surface.

You are then prompted for a dynamic surface edge selection (normal vector) cursor to select the edge to be extended.

You are then prompted to select another edge point or press [Esc].

If you press [Esc], then the new extended surface is created using the offset value specified in the combo box. However, if you click a second edge position, the function verifies that the two selections are on the same loop of edges, and then creates the extension surface on the portion of the edge between the two selection points. If the surface created is not the one desired, you can click the Flip button and obtain the complement surface. The surface entity is live so the offset value may by modified, creating a new surface. After the extension surface has been created, you may select another surface (or the same surface) and are prompted again to select the edge to extend. Once you click the Apply icon, you are then prompted to select another surface. Note: If the base surface being extended is not a NURBS, it will be converted to a NURBS prior to extending. The result of this operation is always a trimmed NURB surface or a trimmed offset of a NURBS (in case it was an offset surface). Important Note: The actual distance that the edge is offset is not exactly the distance specified in the combo box. The extension surface will be at least that wide, but most likely will be wider than the amount specified in some areas. It is not an exact constant offset. It is an approximation. Surfaces which are long and narrow will exhibit this behavior more than those which have a lower aspect ratio.

A new function called Stretch has been created to address usability issues with using the stretch option in Xform, Translate. The Stretch function works very similarly to Translate with the exception that it automatically assumes the use of In+Intersect for General Selection.

Offset Contour
We added the options for Infinite look ahead, Tolerance, and Max depth back into the dialog box.

Break 2 Pieces
This commonly used option in Trim/Break has been separated into its own function.

With the increasing use of STL models as stock for Verify, we have modified the part file to store the last STL file and its path. Now when MCX files that contain different stock models for verify are loaded, the wrong stock wont be loaded.

Stock Setup
Four new options have been added to the Stock Setup page in the Machine Definition. In many ways they are similar to the Quick Masks.

Options for All Surfaces, All Solids, All Entities, and Unselect All have been added to speed and simplify the process of defining stock for 3D models.

2D Mill/ Router
Lead in/Lead out Support for Tab Cutoff Operations
We will now apply the lead in and lead out specified in the parent operation for each individual tab cutoff. With this new feature, we also retained the ability to adjust the lead in/lead out parameters in the tab cutoff to something other than what was specified in the original operation through the Separate operation option.

If you select the Separate operation option, you can adjust the lead in/lead out through the cutoff parameters dialog as shown below.

2D Offset and Keep Tool Down Improvements

Extensive rework of the keep tool down algorithms provides marked improvement in several areas. We have also improved the Pocket multi-boundary calculations of our 2D offsetter.

New Engrave Tool Type

We have added a new engrave tool to make tool selection more intuitive. Previously, you would select a Chamfer mill or V-Bit for engraving toolpaths.

New Tool Types
In addition to the new engraving bit added to Mill and Router, a Brad-point drill has also been added to Router.

The brad-point bit can be added to a drill block. If a brad-point drill is identified in your block drill definition, additional checks are performed to differentiate between blind and through holes. Brad-point bits are used in place of standard drills by our tool sorting algorithm where a blind hole matching the diameter of the brad-point tool is detected. In order to make full use of this feature, it is necessary to define your stock model prior to creating the block drilling toolpath.

Totally Redesigned ATP

If you install the new Automatic Toolpathing (ATP), you will find two new toolbar icons available under the NETHook category.

The first button highlighted above will launch the new streamlined ATP dialog (shown below). Clicking on the first button will bring up the Configuration dialog the first time you run ATP.

Once you select a configuration, the main dialog displays with the active configuration set as shown below. The active configuration can be changed at any time simply by clicking on a new selection in the drop down list in the lower section of the main ATP dialog.

Once a valid cutlist is selected, a grid displays showing all of the parts specified in the cutlist sorted by material.

In addition to the improved layout of the nested grid, the new ATP supports setting a different cut direction for each material. Another major advancement is the new Strategy Explorer. The embedded buttons in the strategy grid allow you to easily update an existing operation.

Rotating Block Drill Operations in Toolpath Nesting

When parts containing block drilling operations are brought into Nesting and allowed to rotate to a new orientation on the sheet, the software will spawn a single block drilling operation for the entire sheet so that the rotated operations can be regenerated. If a nest containing two sheets of material has block drilling operations on both sheets, the spawned operations will look like this in the Operation Manager. Note that the block drill operations will always be placed before the nesting result.

3D Mill
High Speed Toolpaths (HST)
Two new finishing toolpath styles Radial and Spiral - have been added to the HST toolpath suite.

Check Surfaces added to Raster and Waterline Check surface capability has been added to Waterline and Raster toolpaths. On the Toolpath Type page of the HST dialog, you will be able to select check surfaces. For toolpath types that do not support check surfaces, the selected surfaces will be treated as drive surfaces. Note: Support for stock to leave on check surfaces will be implemented in a future Beta release

Trochoidal Motion (Core Roughing) Based on user requests, we have implemented the ability to calculate trochoidal motion when the tool engages the material by 2% more than the maximum value defined on the Cut Parameters page.

To enable this feature, a checkbox has been added to the Cut Parameters page of the Core Roughing toolpath called Minimize burial. When selected, the toolpath is calculated and analyzed to find any locations where the tool exceeds the maximum stepover value by 2%. When a violating condition is found, the trochoidal loop motion is added to the toolpath.

Unlike the 2D Pocket trochoidal motion, the motion in this toolpath is automatically controlled by the software for trochoidal loop radius and spacing. When a condition is encountered, like a pinched location between features, the trochoidal looping automatically gets smaller to fit in the tighter location.

Rest Material (added to all HST Toolpaths except Horizontal Area) Since the addition of the Rest Roughing toolpath to HST in X MR2, we have received several positive comments about the functionality. Because of this, we have added the Rest Material page to all the finishing toolpaths (except Horizontal Area). A check box located at the top of the Rest Material page enables the use of the Rest Material option. Computing the remaining stock can be derived from a roughing tool, another operation, all operations, or from an STL file. This allows the rest material functionality to be calculated with many different toolpath strategies, not just Core Roughing type motion.

Scallop Height Calculator added to Raster, Pencil, Radial, and Spiral The scallop height calculator has been added as an additional method for entering stepover values.

Multisurface Toolpaths
Rib Cuts - Surface Finish Flowline, Surface Rough Flowline, and 5 Axis Flowline A feature has been added to these three toolpaths that outputs a single pass along the surfaces midline. A field for resolution as a percentage of tool has been added on the Finish flowline parameters page. This field controls how closely the tool will travel along the midline of the flowline direction.

The rib cuts are determined by a number of slice cuts perpendicular to the flowline curves of the surface. When you choose the cut direction, the software will slice the flowline curves and create a toolpath at the midpoints of each slice.

Warning Message (optional) A warning message that displayed in a surface toolpath when the stock to leave on check surfaces was identical to the stock to leave on drive surfaces has been enhanced to allow you to suppress the warning message in the future.

Multiaxis Toolpaths
5 Axis Swarf The 5 Axis Swarf toolpath has been enhanced to support compensation surfaces when using a tapered cutter.

Also, 4-axis Angle Limits have been added to the Swarf5ax Parameters page that allow you to control the 4 axis output. Currently, swarf 4-axis output is accomplished by moving the top of the tool at any given tool vector along the upper rail until the value of the selected fourth axis is equivalent to the value at the tip of the tool. This produces satisfactory results in most cases, but when the two rails are off in the fourth axis, the top of the tool may have to run along the upper rail a long way until it reaches the desired value. This can cause the tool to tilt way over relative to the previous vectors, causing unwanted tool motion and poor cutting results. The new 4-axis Angle Limits allow you to select angle limits to control those areas of the toolpath where you would like the system to comply with the fourth axis selection and provides you with feedback as to whether this new toolpath is satisfactory or not.

Max Angle from 5-axis limits how far the tool will lean from the original 5-axis position to find an acceptable 4-axis orientation. Max Angle Difference controls how much of a difference in tool angle will be acceptable from one position to the next.

A dialog is displayed to show the results of the additional controls. If any vectors deviate too much, you will be able to see them.

Check Holder C-Hook

This C-Hook allows you to check an operation's tool holder for interference with the part. It calculates areas where there is interference between the holder and the part, and tells you the minimum tool length required to avoid it. Mastercam gives you several options for configuring the test: Set the holder dimensions. Click Holder to read the holder dimensions from the source operation, or to manually enter the holder dimensions. Choose an option for minimum tool length. You can either have Mastercam calculate the minimum required tool length, or enter a minimum value yourself to test. The minimum value that you enter here will be the lower bound for multiple tests. Set the tolerance and resolution to balance calculation speed against test precision and accuracy. Enter larger values for a faster and coarser test. Enter a Holder clearance to define a minimum distance the holder is to maintain from the part.

New Advanced Multiaxis Tutorial

This new tutorial introduces the new advanced multiaxis toolpath strategies. Two detailed tutorial examples provide a step-by-step introduction to key features and concepts. A series of application examples illustrate how to apply the strategies to specific parts and machining situations and includes sample parts. The tutorial is published in PDF format only and is installed in the Mastercam X2 \Documentation folder.

Change at Point Point Selection
Multi-point selection has been added and the interface interaction has been enhanced in Wire X2. The ability to step through multiple chains and/or select multiple points for applying Change at Point items is available at two times: During wirepath creation. You can enable or disable this function using a Configuration option. After an operation has been created by clicking on the Geometry icon in the Toolpath Manager. This opens the Chain Manager. Interface Interaction During wirepath creation, when you exit the Wirepath Contour parameters, the Chain Manager dialog displays. You can then use the standard Chain Manager dialog functionality to select which chain you wish to manipulate and then use the Change at Point right-click menu item to select the specific point(s) desired on that chain. After an operation has been created, the interaction is similar to the pre-X2 interaction, except for the Multi-Select and Reset Chain options on the revised right-click menu in the Chain Manager.

If the Multi-Select option is not selected, the interaction will be similar to the pre-X2 interaction. When you select a point, the Change at Point dialog immediately displays. An entity selection prompt displays:

You have the option of aborting the Change at Point operation before the Change at Point dialog is displayed by pressing [Esc] before selecting a point on the chain or after the Change at Point dialog is displayed clicking the Cancel button on that dialog. Either way, you return to the Chain Manager dialog. If the Multi-Select mode is selected and you select the Change at Point menu item, you can select as many points on the currently active chain as you want. An entity selection prompt displays:

Press [Esc] to designate the end of point selection, and proceed onto the Change at Point dialog. The Multi-Select mode option setting is stored in the Registry so that its state is recalled between sessions. The default setting upon installation will be unselected. Reset Chain The Reset Chain option removes all the Change at Point data on the selected chain.

Configuration Option

A configuration option so allows you to set the Chain Manager dialog to appear immediately after creating a path. The default for this option is on.

Celtic Weave/Knot
This function produces over and under blending of selected contours that intersect. You may select open or closed chains. Each chain can have multiple intersections and multiple chains intersecting at the same point.

There are many options available to adjust the intersections. There are also four weave styles: Over/Under alternates the threads with one rail going under first time then over at the next intersection. Under/Over reverses Over/Under. Over keeps the first thread on top of each intersection. Under reverses Over by keeping the first thread under at each intersection.

Pattern on Contour
This function allows you to select a pattern from the Art Surface Library and have it applied to a contour with equal spacing between patterns. It can also fit the elements to the end of the contour, or round up or down.

Options include: No rotation the top example shows elements without relative rotation. Relative rotation illustrated in the center graphic with each placement conforming to the curve. Pearling - scales the each consecutive element by a factor. You can scale to the center and back like a pearl necklace or scale from one end to the other. This is illustrated in the bottom graphic.

Randomized Textures
This function uses an ellipse as a base element and automatically arrays it to make many new and interesting textures. The ellipses can be stretched, overlapped, randomized, and offset to achieve these new textures. And once you get what you like, you can save it to presets to use over and over. These textures can be applied inside and outside of a chain as well as between nested chains. Variables include XYZ control of the base ellipse element, spacing between elements, randomization of ellipse size XY, and a random seed generator.

The first graphic looks like stones. This is the default and includes randomization of an ellipse on the X and Y axes. The second graphic is a regular pattern of square, which is caused by turning off randomization. The third graphic shows a rough carving pattern, which was achieved by setting the application style to Sub.

The first graphic in this row looks like dots. It uses an ellipse with equal XY parameters, creating a dome with the spacing set so there is no overlap of the elements. The second graphic elongates an ellipse in the Y axis and extends the Y axis spacing. The third pattern is made through further manipulation of the variables.

Custom Textures
The Custom Textures function is different from Randomized Textures in that it allows you to select any base pattern from the Art Surface Library and have it automatically tiled to make unique textures. This is a very powerful and flexible function that includes many variables, allowing you to make unlimited new textures. And once you get what you like, you can save it to the Preset list so it can be recreated with one click. These textures can be applied inside and outside of a chain as well as between nested chains. They may also be applied on top of each other and blended together.

The first texture in the row (bubbles) was created from one base element of random domes, and then tiled. The second texture was created by bringing in a geometry element from the Classic Design Library, puffing it up, and then copying it to the Art Surface library. It was then selected as the base element, spacing was adjusted so there was a slight overlap, and the elements were rotated 45 degrees. The last texture was created like the previous one, but a leaf was selected along with the Randomize parameter set to 1, which placed the base patterns in a random pattern. Entering a different Randomize value would lay down a different pattern of leaves.

The first texture in this row was created with the base element Fan from the Paste Surface Library and rotated 45 degrees. The second texture is the same as the first except the XY spacing between elements was reduced, which created more overlap of the base element. The third texture was created using the previous parameters plus the XY spacing was reduced and the rotation changed. One base pattern was used and by simply adjusting the spacing, two additional textures were created.

Art Presets
Presets can now be retrieved and shared. In most Art dialogs, you can save your dialog settings to Presets to be used later. With the introduction of Randomized and Custom Textures, you may want to share Presets. Previously, Presets were saved to the registry. Presets are now saved as files in C:\McamX2\Art\Presets\. Your Preset will automatically be stored in a subdirectory under the name of the dialog you created it in. If you created a preset in the Organic dialog, then you will find it in the Organic subdirectory.

Art Toolpaths
The Cylinder Milling toolpath has been improved to add a True Spiral option. This option will cut a continuous spiral path on a wrapped toolpath.

CATIA Translators
The CATIA translators are not distributed on the Mastercam X2 system CD. Please contact your Mastercam Reseller to obtain these files.

Zip2Go File Extract

Extract functionality with an Extract dialog (like WinZip) has been added to Zip2Go.

Mastercam X MR2
The following links list the new functionality in the MR2 Maintenance release of Mastercam X. AutoCursor FastPoint Mode Power Keys AutoCursor Locking Limitations Zoom Previous Masking Undo/Redo MCX Backup Files Setdirs Functionality for X Display Level Descriptor Screen Endpoints Modify Spline STL Export 3 Surface Blend Improved Selection of Multiple Solids for 3D Machining Improvements to the Solid to 2D Profile function 2D Offset Improvements System Configuration Chaining Screen Backplot Wire Backplot Toolpath Manager Display Options Only display selected toolpaths Only display associative geometry Both options together User Defined Feeds and Speeds Verify Scan toolpath file for stock STL Compare Reset Tolerance and Stock to Leave Browse for External Communications NC File Naming Change 2D Mill Compensation in Control Compensation Activated Above the Part 3D Mill High Speed Toolpaths Rest Roughing Stock to Leave on Floors and Walls HST Scallop Inside to Outside Changes to Transitions Page Axis Combinations 4 and 5 Axis Mill CAD File for Compensation Surfaces Advanced Multiaxis Toolpaths Router Speed improvements in Nesting Nesting Reports Block Drill Drilling Depth Sorting and Tool Selection Multi-head Validation Wire Changes to Wire Parameters Lead in/out dialog Wirepath Editor Mastercam X Art Art Toolbar Art Manager Help and Documentation New Dialogs and Functions Toolpaths Core Improvements New Platforms for Art

In an effort to improve efficiency, we have made some AutoCursor modifications that emulate more of what users were used to in previous versions of Mastercam.

FastPoint Mode
Some users have requested that FastPoint Mode be the default. This change will allow you to set it and use it exactly the way you want. Since both modes have their advantages, you must have easy access to both. One of the common complaints with releases before Mastercam X was that you had to press the space bar to put the system into FastPoint mode. AutoCursor now has two distinct modes for input XYZ mode and FastPoint mode. Rather than forcing you to manually switch from the XYZ mode with the spacebar or FastPoint button, you can now force the system into FastPoint mode as the default. The Default to FastPoint mode option in the AutoCursor Settings dialog box controls this state. Each mode will have a different effect on the interface in the AutoCursor and in ribbon bars that use hot keys 1, 2, or 3 to manipulate AutoCursor positions of some entities.

XYZ mode This is how the standard X interface works. This includes the AutoCursor and ribbon bar actions. This is the active mode when the Default to FastPoint mode option is unselected. FastPoint mode FastPoint mode will be activated any time you type X, Y, Z, D, or any number on the keyboard. When set as the default mode, the XYZ keys normally reserved to put focus in the X, Y, Z, or D fields of the AutoCursor ribbon bar or activate the 1, 2, 3 options on the ribbon bar will open the FastPoint mode, just like in Version 9. While FastPoint mode is the default, you will still be able to use the mouse to access the X, Y, Z, or D fields of the AutoCursor ribbon bar and type anything in those fields without activating the FastPoint mode. While in FastPoint mode, you will only be able to access the 1, 2, 3, buttons in the ribbon bar by using the mouse. These buttons are used in some functions to redefine the geometry by prompting to select a new position.

Power Keys
This adjustment changes the way AutoCursor positions are accessed, making them available via single keystrokes. You will be able to turn this on or off. Basically, this option allows you to use E for endpoints, O for origin, C for Center, and so on, just like the override modes in prior versions of Mastercam, without forcing you to use an [Alt] or [Ctrl] key combination. The AutoCursor Settings dialog box now has a switch to use this option. The AutoCursor dialog box and the drop-down list will show the hot keys with an underlined character. Windows 2000 or XP will not show the underlined character in a dialog box unless you first hit the [Alt] key, or turn off your computers Hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key option (can be accessed by going to the Windows Control Panel and selecting Display, Appearance tab, Effects button). The hot keys will not be user-customizable, but they are translatable.

When the AutoCursor Power Keys are active, Mastercam X will interpret user input differently when the system is prompting for an AutoCursor position. The keystroke will be first run through the AutoCursor power keys to see if it matches one of those settings. If a power key match is found, the AutoCursor will then be in Override mode, just as if you clicked it with the mouse. If no match is found, the keystroke will be passed down to the ribbon bar to see if it activates any of the controls. If no match is found in either place, the keystroke will be treated as it is now.

There may be cases where ribbon bar controls will not work when Power Keys are enabled. In those cases, you will be forced to use the mouse to access those options. The options on the right side of the Settings dialog box will not have hot keys. Angular, Tangent, Perpendicular, Nearest, and Horizontal/Vertical are all new to X and are all relative positions, not discrete snap positions. The Relative option, which is not in the Settings dialog box but is in the drop-down override list, will not have a hot key even though it had one in Version 9.

When in an override mode, the rubber band cursor does not appear on the screen or is removed from the screen. This is consistent with Version 9 override behavior. To address this will require more design work for the AutoCursor in a future version.

AutoCursor Locking
Users have been requesting the ability to lock an AutoCursor mode without having to open the Settings dialog box. This change will allow you to choose between setting a single event override or setting a locked mode for multiple events without having to open the AutoCursor Settings dialog. This change will be subtle, utilizing the same right-click cursor indication we are currently using for the Status Bar. As you bring the mouse to the override drop-down box, you will see a visual cue that there is an alternate option when the cursor changes.

When you activate the drop-down box to select an override, you will see the new cursor that indicates there is an alternate right-click behavior.

Left-click on an option and the system will work in the single-event override mode. Right-click on an option and the system will lock that mode so it can be used continually without having to be reset. The override button will be depressed as an indicator that a specific mode is active. Locking the AutoCursor mode will not have any effect on the AutoCursor Settings dialog box. You are also able to assign and lock the AutoCursor overrides in the right-mouse menu with the same interaction that is found with the AutoCursor ribbon bar.

Locking the AutoCursor options from a toolbar is also supported, but it will not be indicated to you with the special mouse cursor that it is available in the AutoCursor ribbon bar or in the right-mouse menu. The locked AutoCursor mode will stay active for the session or until you do one of the following which will reset the mode back to its default behavior: Exiting Mastercam File, New Opening the AutoCursor Settings dialog box. Clicking on the selected button in the AutoCursor ribbon bar with either the right or the left mouse button. Using a Key map combination that interacts with the AutoCursor modes For MR2, there will not be a way to lock an AutoCursor mode using a keystroke sequence.

The following AutoCursor options cannot be locked and will only work in the current override mode even if selected with the right mouse button. Origin Nearest Relative Perpendicular Tangent While in a locked mode, none of the button options on the ribbon bar will be active. Live entities cannot be edited or even accepted with the [Enter] key. You must hit [Esc] to exit the locked override mode first before trying to edit the entity.

Zoom Previous
Zoom Previous was not implemented in the initial Mastercam X release, and many users have complained that its absence adds more work. As of MR2, it is back and assigned to [F2] as it was in previous versions of Mastercam. We have improved it to remember as many zooms as you make. The following actions clear the Un-Zoom Previous/.5 stack (these same things happened in Version 9): Changing the view (including rotation) Fit Zoom In/Out Zoom Selected The following actions will add the current zoom/pan position to the Un-Zoom Previous/.5 stack prior to the action: Zoom Target Zoom Window Mouse wheel zoom in Page Up key zoom in For multiple mouse wheel/Page Up key zoom in actions, only the first action is processed as described in 2. Multiple actions are considered terminated when either a function is run or the left mouse button is clicked in the graphics viewport.

We have changed the saving and loading of pre-defined masks to remember the state of the Maintain option.

Undo has been modified to purge the Redo stack when a new transaction is added to the Undo stack. This is standard operation for Windows products. This means that if you create five lines, undo two, and then create a new circle, the last two lines created cannot be restored with a Redo command because the arc creation started a new branch in the Undo/Redo thread.

MCX Backup Files

The Active option controls whether it is on or off, active or inactive. When the Active option is selected, the Start, Increment, Delimiter, and Max Limit fields are enabled. The Delimiter field uses standard Microsoft controls to disallow the following characters as delimiters: \/:*?<>|. The delimiter is placed between the end of the file name and just before the MCX suffix followed by a number. This field will only accept a single character. The default values for these fields are Start 100, Increment 1, Delimiter @, and Max Limit 10. The Start field allows you to set what the first number will be in the backup sequence. The Increment field determines the increment between numbers. The Start and Increment fields accept multiple characters. Every time you save a file while this is active, a backup copy of the part will be made based on the settings. Using the example of Test.MCX with the values set to 100, 1, -, and a max limit of 3, the following will occur: a. Test.MCX is saved and Test-100.MCX is created at the same time. b. At the next user save, the original Test-100.MCX is renamed to Test-101.MCX and Test-100.MCX created based on the current state of Test.MCX. c. The next save of Test.MCX triggers Test-101 to be renamed to Test-102, Test-100 gets renamed to Test101, and a new Test-100 is created. d. The next save will rename Test-101 to Test-102, Test-100 to Test-101, and Test-100 is created based on the current information. The Test-102 that existed before the save is gone because the Max Limit was set to 3.

Based on user input, we added options to save the backup files in a user-specified backup directory. Select the Use backup directory option and setting a specific path for the backup files. If the backup directory is not specified, the backup files will be saved in the same location as the MCX files. By default, they will reside in the MCX directory.

Setdirs Functionality for X

This version of Mastercam X contains a new option under the File menu called Project Manager. Selecting this option opens a dialog that will allow you to easily assign the data paths of various files related to the current MCX project into the same folder as the active MCX file.

We have provided the flexibility to specify which machine groups use these settings. You can select one or more groups in the Group settings list box and/or select the check box called Apply these settings when adding new machine groups to this part file. By selecting this option, you can run the Project Manager once and retain all settings for future operations and machine groups. The Project Manager works on the group properties of the current MCX file and overrides the data paths stored within it. This allows you to override data paths for the selected groups without overwriting any Machine or Control Definition files.

Note: The data paths for translators are still controlled via the Options dialog in the File Open function as shown below.

There are some additional features in MR2 that will make life easier for people who work on Machine Definitions and related files for others (Mastercam Resellers, support personnel, etc.). The new search algorithms will also make it easier to move MD/CD/Post files around on a network. Here's how it works when you load an MCX file: 1. Machine group properties - machine definition file If the MD file contains a token for the path, it is replaced with the default path to MD files for the product type. A check for the MD file stored with the machine group is carried out. If the file cannot be found, the following folders are checked in order, and the first one to contain the file wins.

Current MCX folder Default MD file folder Current MD file folder

2. Machine group properties MD - Control definition file The following paths are searched for the control definition regardless of the path in the local copy of the MD, and the first one to contain the file wins. Current MCX folder CD path that was actually stored in the local copy of the MD Current MD file folder Default CD file folder Mastercam install folder 3. Machine group properties MD post processor file The following paths are searched for the post processor file regardless of the path in the local copy of the MD, and the first one to contain the file wins. Current MCX folder Post processor path that was actually stored in the local copy of the MD Current MD file folder Default post processor file folder Mastercam install folder 4. Tool/Material libraries The following paths are searched for library files, and the 1st one to contain the file 'wins'. Library path that was actually stored in the local copy of the MD Default library file folder Current MCX folder Mastercam install folder Operation defaults files and operation libraries are not part of this new logic at this time. The only significant difference with tool and material libraries is the inclusion of the current MCX file folder. Note: When you load the disk copy of a machine definition, the search path rules in #2 and #3 also apply. Support personnel will now be able to unzip all of the files into a single project folder and work with them directly, without editing paths in the Machine/Control Definitions.

Display Level Descriptor

We have received many requests to display the Level Descriptor on the screen. In MR2, there is an option on the Screen page of the Settings, Configuration dialog that allows you to display the level descriptor.

Screen Endpoints
Even though this functionality exists in the Create, Point, Endpoints function, enough users struggled with it so that we re-created this as Screen, Display Entity Endpoints. This function differs from previous versions of Mastercam in that it does not have options to save the endpoints. It displays them until the screen is refreshed. It does require you to be able to run with Hardware acceleration enabled.

Modify Spline
In the process of creating Mastercam X, we lost the ability to move the nodes of parametric splines. In Version 9, this was done with Analyze. MR2 adds this functionality back into the software as a part of the renamed Modify NURBS function.

The ribbon bar appears only when a parametric spline is selected. To maintain tangency conditions, select the Tangency buttons.

STL Export
Writing out STL models with regard to the active WCS is now done automatically when the file is written. This will help when using STL models for stock in Verify.

3 Surface Blend
We reworked the interaction of this function to make it easier to modify the results.

Improved Selection of Multiple Solids for 3D Machining

You can now use all of the following selection methods to select solids for machining: All, Surfaces and Solids Window or Polygon selection Select only Surface or Solids Select specific solid faces using the Solids selection activation option

Improvements to the Solid to 2D Profile function

Several improvements have been made to this function. These improvements have addressed multiple defects that had been logged in our database. Most importantly, improvements have been made to recognizing ID features. Please try this function out and let us know what you think.

2D Offset Improvements
We have incorporated a new 2D offset algorithm to improve reliability in several areas of the software. The new algorithm is used in virtually all 2D toolpaths (Mill, Lathe, Router and Wire). Other areas that will be affected by this change include: Stock boundaries in Lathe Analyze Contour Cross Hatching Offset Contour Solids Nesting

System Configuration
New settings include: Default chaining mode options have been added. The Color and Level mask options are to allow for quick masking on those items. If Color is selected when you chain geometry, the Color mask setting on the Chaining Options dialog will be enabled. This means that the system will read the color of the first entity selected and will only see items of the same color. Prompt for window search point.

The BackPlot Config C-Hook had a No Front Buffer option that informed Backplot to expect the setting of the Unified back/depth buffer option that some nVIDIA graphics cards need to be active. This setting can sometimes adversely affect the graphics display during Backplot. The switch has been added to the System Configuration dialog on the Screen page so you can have Backplot deal with this setting instead of altering your graphics card setup.

Some settings that where previously only available via the BackPlot Config C-Hook have been integrated into the system. The Opacity settings affect both the tool and holder (if displayed). The Inactive setting is for inactive tools, such as Block Drill tools in the up position. Settings range from .01 (tool will be invisible) to 1.0 (tool completely solid).

Opacity settings have been added to the Backplot settings dialog boxes as well.

Wire Backplot
There are new settings for Wire Backplot: New Opacity settings Wire Guides display controls UV axis motion display controls

These same settings are available for adjustment at any time while in Wire Backplot.

Toolpath Manager Display Options

Users with many operations find it takes too many keystrokes to match which operation goes to what toolpath. They have to turn off the display of all operations, highlight one, press [T] to see it, and then press [T] again to turn it off.

They often have to repeat this process dozens of times before they find the operation they want. They also have been asking for a similar mechanism to identify what geometry belongs to each operation. There are two new buttons on the Toolpath Manager for these functions: Only display selected toolpaths Only display associated geometry

Each button has an up and down state. When they are in the default up state, the functions are not active. The state will remain modal for the current session of Mastercam. The states can interact with each other and both be down at the same time. We changed the way the arrow keys work because of these new options. Currently they control the position of the insert arrow. The up and down arrow keys now move from operation to operation. The control of the insert arrow is now tied to a [Shift-Arrow] key sequence.

Only display selected toolpaths

This function operates on selected operations rather than just the one with focus. This will allow more than one operation to be displayed at a time. By default, selecting with the mouse automatically selects and puts the focus on the operation. When this button is down, the function is active and only the operations that are selected will display the toolpath. This option will turn off the display of all toolpaths and force the selected toolpaths to be displayed, even if the display property is turned off. Because of changes to the arrow key functionality, you will be able to move from operation to operation with the keys.

Only display associative geometry

This function will operate on selected operations rather than just the one with focus. This will allow more than one operations geometry to be displayed at a time. By default, selecting with the mouse automatically selects and puts the focus on the operation. When this button is active, only the operations that are selected will display the geometry. Because of changes to the arrow key functionality, you will be able to move from operation to operation with the keys. This option will turn off the display of all other toolpath geometry and force the selected toolpaths geometry to be displayed, even if the geometry is: Blanked Not visible because of the Hide function On a level that is turned off

Both options together

If both options are active, then you will see only the toolpath and its associated geometry on the screen.

You will be able to work in Mastercam using all of the functions while you are in this mode.

User-Defined Feeds and Speeds

Users have been asking for an option that will allow them to manually set feeds and speeds and never have them automatically reset because they changed tools, material, or default files. The dialog box below shows a new option added to the Machine Group Properties, Tool Settings page.

This option includes entry fields for Feed rate, Spindle speed, Plunge rate, and Retract rate. The value in the entry fields will be the default Feeds and Speeds used for every operation created when this option is selected. Once the operation has been created, there is no longer any associativity between this setting and the operation. You could change these values and they would not affect existing operations. If you start with one option and switch to User Defined, the feeds and speeds of existing operations will not be changed and it will allow for you to make future manual changes in each operation. If you change tools, materials, or defaults, the feeds and speeds values will not change.

Scan toolpath file for stock
In previous versions when stock was generated from the toolpath data, we set the top of the stock at the feed height. Then when Verify runs, it often shows it as a gouge because the tool is making contact with the stock at a rapid feed rate. Instead of using the feed height value, we are now using the top of stock.

STL Compare Reset Tolerance and Stock to Leave

We have added a simple way to reset the interface to adjust the values based on the machining tolerance and the stock to leave from the selected operations.

Browse for External Communications

Starting with MR2, Mastercam will allow you to browse for an external communications package the same way you can browse for a third-party editor in previous versions. This allows you to seamlessly integrate virtually any thirdparty communications package with Mastercam. The new Mastercam External communications product is still available without browsing. If you want to select a different package, you can select Other in the drop-down list and this will launch the standard file open dialog so you can make your selection.

NC File Naming Change

In Mastercam Version 9.1, the user could name the individual .NC files using several different methods. With Mastercam X, the current MD group name is applied to all operations and the user can not rename individual .NC files. We added a page to the System Configuration dialog box called Toolpath Manager. This page will provide you with the ability to name the Machine Group, Toolpath Group and the .NC file.

The Machine Group section will control the name output as the Machine Group name in the Toolpath Manager. o If the Prompt check box is selected, you will be prompted to name the Machine Group when each Machine Group is created. o If the User defined option is selected, the edit field below will be enabled and at least one character must be specified in that field. o If Machine name is selected, the Machine Definition file name will be used. o The default values for these fields will be as shown so that the result will be similar to X. o The Append Values fields will always be active and the three settings shown above are the default settings, so the result in a default state would be Machine Group 1 and increment by one for each subsequent group. o If you specify an illegal value as a delimiter, an error message (like what is used in Windows Explorer, as shown) will be displayed and the entry will not be accepted.

o The last values entered will be maintained even when the Apply button is selected, but they will not be maintained between Mastercam sessions. This will be the same interaction for all three group boxes. The Toolpath Group section will control the name output as the Toolpath Group name in the Toolpath Manager. o If the Prompt check box is selected, you will be prompted to name the Toolpath Group when each group is created. o If the User defined option is selected, the edit field below will be enabled and at least one character must be specified in that field. o If Machine name is selected, the Machine Definition file name will be used. o The default values for these fields will be as shown so that the result will be similar to X. o The Append Values fields will always be active and the three settings shown above are the default settings, so the result in a default state would be Machine Group 1 and increment by one for each subsequent group. (note that subgroups are not supported). The NC File section will control the name output as the NC file name. o If the Prompt check box is selected, you have to choose between the 2 radio buttons.

o If 1st operation only is selected, you will only be prompted for the first toolpath and the remaining toolpaths will use the same name. o If Always is selected, you will be prompted to name the NC file for each existing toolpath when it is created (same as Version 9.1, prompt the user before entering the toolpath dialog). o If Machine name is selected, the Machine Definition file name will be used. o The Append Values group in the NC File section are user-controlled (different than the Machine Group and Toolpath Group sections).

o When Append is selected, the default values shown are used or the user can specify values. When deselected, the fields will be disabled.

2D Mill
Compensation in Control
Compensation in Control has been modified to remove the error message that used to warn you that this is just a simulation. Optimize will automatically default to On for all toolpaths. Problems displaying the compensated toolpath have been resolved so that after a toolpath is generated, the simulated toolpath along with the un-compensated toolpath will be displayed.

Compensation Activated Above the Part

An option has been added to the Control Definition section of the Machine Group properties to allow the post to activate compensation above the part when the toolpath is set to Compensation in Control. Please note that this setting is only read by the post processor.

3D Mill (High Speed Toolpaths)

Changes have been made that should increase the performance of the High Speed toolpaths running in a NetHASP environment.

Rest Roughing

A new Rest Roughing toolpath has been added to the HST toolpaths. With Rest Roughing, you can select a previous operation, all previous operations, a CAD file (including STL), or a roughing tool. This toolpath provides the tools Mastercam users were familiar with in Version 9 but applied to the highly desirable HST model.

The Rest Passes option has been removed from the Core Roughing and Area Clearance passes because of the inclusion of Rest Roughing.

Stock to Leave on Floors and Walls

Based on user feedback, we have expanded the use of separate stock to leave controls for floors and walls to all the HST toolpaths. Now you can set different values for stock to leave on vertical and horizontal areas. When does a floor become a wall with separate values for stock to leave? If you machine a part with an HST/Raster path with a small tool and zero stock to leave, there will be no stock on the part (save for small cusps between passes). If you change the path to have 1mm stock to leave on the floors and 2mm stock to leave on the walls, then the result will have 1mm to leave on the flat floors, 2mm stock to leave on the vertical wall, and interpolated amounts of stock to leave on the large fillet surfaces.

HST Scallop Inside to Outside

When using the HST Scallop toolpath with a cutting method set to One Way or Other Way, an option is provided to control whether the scallop is calculated from inside out or from outside in.

Changes to Transitions Page

These changes address the lack of control over when a toolpath gets trimmed out during the linking phase of processing. There are times when a user knows that the tool will fit into the area, but because of the default settings for linking, the area is skipped. A user should have control over this and the methodology to do this is to add an additional control. While we were in this area of the product, the page was also re-worked to make things more logical.

Affects the Transitions page of Core Roughing, Area Clearance, Rest Roughing, and Horizontal Area toolpaths. Moved the entire Entry helix group box from the right side of the dialog and switched it with the Profile ramp group box on the left. The group boxes are switching position because Entry helix is the default and the items being added relate more to the profile ramp. So having them outside the profile ramp group box but below loosely ties them together. Moved the Minimum profile edit control below the Plunge angle edit control because it is used when helix entry fails, so the value for the length is necessary even if helix is selected. Renamed the Minimum profile control to Preferred profile length to allow the user to know that the value entered doesnt ensure that the entered value and that value only will be used. It is a preference, but the software will do what is necessary to make it fit. Added an edit control under the Plunge angle option and the new Preferred profile length called Skip pockets smaller than (default value will be 2.2 x Radius for all cutter shapes). This field gives users the ability to include and exclude regions that they wish to cut. Added a text note Note: If helix fails, profile ramp will be used to the Entry helix group box above the graphic to let users know that profile ramp is the backup default mode.

Axis Combinations
A new branch to the tree control has been added for Axis combinations.

4 and 5 Axis Mill

CAD File for Compensation Surfaces
When programming a 5 axis toolpath and selecting Compensate to Surfaces, you now have the option of selecting a surface or set of surfaces in the file or selecting an external CAD file (including STL).

Advanced Multiaxis Toolpaths

A whole new suite of Advanced Multiaxis toolpaths are being introduced in Mastercam X MR2.

Sample files can be found in MCX\Mill\Samples\Metric\Advanced Multiaxis directory. Help can be accessed from any of the pages other than Toolpath Parameters.

Speed improvements in Nesting
During development of MR2, we noticed that a significant speed increase can be obtained in certain cases by breaking out the Automatically attach geometry option into two separate options. The first option (Automatically attach geometry chains for each part) will automatically attach the chains used in the toolpath cluster and the second option will search for any additional geometry contained within the outer boundary of the nested part. We have also improved the way we handle attaching surfaces and solid geometry.

Nesting Reports
We have improved our nesting report to move from a text based file to a PDF report with graphics. The new report tool will provide a nested sheet report and individual part information. Use the Details button from the Nesting Results dialog to access the new reports.

Block Drill
We now have the ability to filter out entities that would create duplicate drilling operations for the same physical hole location in block drilling. We have also adjusted our sorting algorithm to properly handle geometry at different Z depths. The general selection (filtering) portion applies to all drilling toolpaths. The software will essentially filter out duplicate drill hits for the same point. Even though the actual entities are not technically duplicate entities, the resulting drill operations might be. One arc that lies directly on top of another in a given plane may have a different Z depth, but if the XY locations are the same, we typically only intend to hit one or the other. Using the new drop-down list in the Sorting dialog, we can determine which entities to keep and which ones to discard.

There will be three options available as shown below:

The extra sorting of varying Z depths only applies to block drilling toolpaths. Block drilling presents a different problem than regular drilling because we are attacking multiple holes at the same time. It is physically impossible for the machine to block drill two different depth holes at the same time with drill bits of equal length; therefore, in block drilling toolpaths, we would need to insure that we dont attempt to process multiple depths in the same hit.

Drilling Depth Sorting and Tool Selection

In block drilling operations, we also need to treat through holes differently than blind holes. The preferred method for drilling blind holes is to use a brad point drill. Brad point drills are not designed to go all the way through material. They are mainly used for dowels and shelf pins. A 60 degree V-style drill or similar is typically used to bore holes that

go all the way through the material. The brad point drills create a high degree of tear-out in the back side of the panel when used to bore thru holes where as V-style drills are much better suited for through holes. In order to determine whether a hole is considered to be a through hole, we require you to define stock in Mastercam. The selected geometry must lie in 3D space. Flat 2D geometry files will not be considered for this optimization. If the software detects arcs on Z depths other than 0 (zero), then depth sorting will be activated. Arcs higher than bottom of stock and lower than top are considered blind holes and arcs at bottom of stock or lower would be considered through holes. All holes regardless of depth will be considered at the same time in order to satisfy the sort method and avoid making multiple passes to get all holes. We cannot add a new tool type to Mastercam until a major release, so we have decided to use a surrogate tool type in place of the brad point bit. A Ctr Drill tool type is the closest thing to a brad point bit in our database so we will be using that until a dedicated tool type can be added to our library. If a block drill component contains one or more brad point drills (or its surrogate Ctr Drill tool type), these tools will be given preference for drilling the blind holes even if another tool type is of the same diameter. However, if no brad point drills are available that match the diameter of a blind hole, a standard drill may be used. Keep in mind that in MR2, brad point drills with the same diameter as a through hole will not be used to drill through holes even if no matching standard drill is found.

Multi-head Validation
We will now issue a warning if the selected heads dont lie in a collinear array along either along the X or Y axis. If this condition exists, we will present the following dialog and give the option to continue OR take you back into the head selection dialog. An example that might present this message would be if a machine definition contains multiple heads with piggy-backs. If you select one or more of the main heads with a piggy-back, the software will warn you that the selected heads dont line up.

Changes to Wire Parameters
We added new dialogs for WCS/Tool plane and Start Position. The Origins/WCS button has been replaced with two new buttons. This brings Wire in line with the other products for a more consistent interface. MR1 MR2

Start Pos =

Planes =

Lead in/out dialog

New options were added for controlling the type of motion on the lead-in/out moves.

Rapid from Thread point - if selected, the initial motion of the lead-in will be done in a Rapid (G0) mode. Rapid to Cut point - if selected, the final motion of the lead-out will be done in a Rapid (G0) mode. Rapid to Start position at end of program - if selected, a park the machine here Rapid (G0) mode move will occur at the very end of the program back to the initial starting point position in the program. (Note: This move is does not appear in the backplot of the wirepath yet). Also note the wording of Auto start position has been changed to Start position is automatically set to thread position to make the function of this option clearer.

Wirepath Editor
The Wirepath Editor is now available as a right-click option in the Toolpath Manager.

Manual entry options for As Code and As Comment are not working correctly for this release. We have had some random crashes with this function that we have not yet tracked down. Be careful to save your part before using this function. Changing the Taper Angle is not working consistently.

Mastercam X Art
Just about everything in Art Version 9 has been upgraded to have a full Mastercam X interface, including text menus, with hot keys, toolbars, Help and a live Art Manager. The following information includes major highlights.

Art Toolbar

Art Manager
The Art Manager is a new tab in the Operations Manager to the right of the Solids Manager. It will also have two rows of icons. These quick controls will make Art even easier to use. An important improvement for all Art users is the graphic display controls. You now have the ability to toggle geometry and the Art Surface off and on. Previously, the art surface and geometry would often overlap. Now, just click a button to hide/show geometry or the art surface. You may also instantly change your resolution here with the click of a button.

First row of buttons: Regenerate - Regenerates the Art tree. Hide Geometry - Hides all geometry. Hide Art Model - Hides the Art model. Art Model Single Viewport - Activates when multiple viewports are chosen and allows geometry and art model to be in different viewports. Change Art Model Viewport - Moves the art model to the next viewport. Analyze - Displays a dynamic coordinate readout as the cursor moves over the surface. Statistics - Art Base Surface extents. Help - Art Help Second row of buttons: Undo/Redo - for Art operations; this includes lists. Change Resolution - Change the Art Model resolution with readout. This also can take floating point values, such as 100.5 and or .5. The ability to go less than 1 allows faster processing when working with vary large Art Base Surfaces. Art Surface Grid Density - Add or subtract display lines in the surface display grid. Unload Art Model - Unload the Art Model from RAM, can reload as well. At the bottom of the Art Manager is a display that tells you how high your model is currently. If you set a Z limit for your model, it will tell you how much space is remaining.

Help and Documentation

Mastercam X Art includes the following documentation materials: Full context-sensitive online help Extensive Art Tutorial in PDF format Art introductory video

New Dialogs and Functions

Create Art Base Surface from Image (previously Import BMP) - works like all other Art surfaces in that it will show up in the Art Manager with adjustable parameters and dynamic resolution. It will now also take graphic files other than BMP. Import STL will have the same live functionality as Create Art Base Surface from Image.

Flattening - you now can pick a chain and flatten all elements inside or outside the chain down to the base surface floor.

Smoothing - this dialog has adjusted defaults to make your first try successful, as well as new icons to help clearly explain the options.

Translate - This dialog translates the Art base surface.

New Art Base Surface (previously New Relief) - This has much the same functionality as the previous version and reorganized for ease of use. New capabilities include automatic creation of geometry boundaries and creation of Art Base Surface with origin at lower left or center.

New Art Base Surface Unwrapped Cylinder - This function allows you to specify a cylinder or ring size. Art will automatically calculate and display the unwrapped flat surface geometry as well as creating the surface. You may then create a surface and know that when you wrap it up for 4th axis machining, it will fit exactly on the specified cylinder. This function also supplies the radius to the graphic wrap functions so the surface wraps perfectly. The Ring Size option allows you to select a standard ring size for your cylinder. Coordinates will default to metric values since this is a standard in the jewelry industry - deselect the Metric option to see coordinates in inches.

Blend Edge (previously Add-Cut-Trim-Blend) - This Application Style has been renamed, and now will blend a sharp outer edge back towards the center of the chained element.

In the first example graphic below, a pattern weave was created in a chained circle with the height set to .0625. Notice the sharp vertical wall on the edge. We would like to smoothly blend the edge down to the Art Base surface, as in the second graphic below. To accomplish this, we would select Organic, and re-chain the same circle, select Parabola Convex, and set the width to .25 and the height to .0625. This will cause the blending to start .25 inches from the edge of the circle at a height of .0625 and end with the surface being blended down to the surface floor. This function works in any Art Surface Operation type where it shows up in the Application Style list.

Cylinder Milling Spiral - Creates a rotary toolpath at an angle so there is no seam where the toolpath meets. There is also an option to overlap the seam. For this toolpath to function correctly, the Rotary Axis option must be selected. Roughing and Finishing - Includes a roughing and finishing option for appropriate toolpaths. The roughing option allows stock to leave and finishing does not. Some toolpath are just for roughing or just for finishing. In these cases, the roughing and finishing options are disabled.

Core Improvements
Art surface generation speed improvement - the creation and regeneration of Art surfaces is faster. Art Surface quality improvement - on some complex organic surfaces, small lines would develop that were correctable by smoothing. This has now been fixed so they are not generated at all. Large file processing - Art would sometimes have problems with large file processing. Art can now manage much larger files. There are still limits. Art surface display improvement just by being in the X environment. Moved Art Base Surface off Origin - For an Art Base Surface created from a BMP file. Previously, when you moved the lower left corner off of the origin, it would not be saved to the file. When you reopened the file in a new session, the surface lower left corner would be back at the origin. Art Chaining can accept more chains in a single operation. Using WCS - surfaces can now be generated in a rotated WCS. Art Resource DLL has been developed for easier translation into other languages.

New Platforms for Art

Art LT Art design functionality can be added on top of Mastercam Design, no toolpaths are included. Art + Entry Full Art added to Entry level products. This includes Art design and toolpath functionality.