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Whats New in Mastercam X2 MR2

The Whats New videos are an excellent source of information on new features introduced with Mastercam X2 MR2. You have the option to install them when you install Mastercam. They are typically installed in the /Videos folder in your Mastercam installation. You can also download them from the main Mastercam Web site (

General System Enhancements

Backplot Enhancements Floating and Dockable Operations Manager New Start-Up Options Utility Level Manager Is Now Modeless Printing Screen Information Machine Type Menu Revision and Machine Definition List Management Interrupt Mode Customizable Places on the File Open and Save Dialogs Inline Calculator/Evaluator Data Translator Enhancements

Design Enhancements
Swept Surfaces Improvements Delete Referenced Entity Warning Message and Option Expanded Ellipse Creation New Xform Cancel, Xform 3D, and Xform Drag Interaction Snap to Point Standardized to AutoCursor Functionality Creating Surfaces from Solids Usability Improvements in Break Many Create Lines with Create Point Dynamic Invert Selection Larger Visual Cues Shortcut Key Conflicts Resolved Analyze Distance Units and Precision

CAM Products

Transform Mirror Toolpath

2D Mill and Router

New 2D Toolpath Peel Milling Facing Toolpath Start Point

3D Mill and Router

HST Boundary Tools Miscellaneous HST Improvements (Mill) Output 3D Arc Moves

4-Axis and 5-Axis Mill and Router

Advanced Multiaxis Toolpath Conversion to 5-Axis Swarf5ax Solid Face Support

Another New 2D Toolpath Saw Toolpath Plane Support for Block Drill at Station Level Common Edge Optimization added to Nesting Onion Skin and Common Edge Support Added to ATP

Wire Stock to Leave Now a Global Parameter

New, Improved Art Surface Display TechnologyRoam Triangulation New Display Controls Reflection and Cropping - Art Shading Settings Dialog Art Base Surface Changes Art Surfaces Use Mastercam Lights Custom Texture, Base Pattern Variation Smoothing Inside/Outside of Selected Boundary Art Interface Changes One-Way Toolpath Filtering

Engraving (Mill, Router, and Art)

Improved Engraving Warning Message

C-Hook/NET-Hook Enhancements Bugs Fixed in X2 MR2

Design Mill Lathe Router Wire

General System Enhancements

Backplot Enhancements
The Backplot dialog box now offers a right mouse button menu, similar to the Operations Manager, which provides the Expand All and Collapse All commands. These commands expand or collapse the operation tree. You can also now save tool geometry from Backplot to a specific level or use the Attributes Manager to control its format, similar to the way you save geometry.

Floating and Dockable Operations Manager

The Operations Manager (including Solids Manager and Art Manager) can now float to a separate screen when you are working with dual monitors. In its remote location, Operations Manager remains dockable (locked in place as it is now): You can place it on either the right or left side of the graphics window. The layout and position of Operations Manager remain in effect (modal) between sessions. When you start Mastercam, the Operations Manager returns to its last position. If you use the Operations Manager on a second monitor in one session, and then later start Mastercam without a second monitor, Operations Manager will automatically re-dock to the default position and layout on the left side. When Operations Manager is docked, the graphics window will update to the size of the Operations Manager as it does now. The graphics window can be behind the Operations Manager when it is floating. You can control the font (style, size, and color) and background color. An arrow in the upper right corner gives you access to these options:

New Start-Up Options Utility

A new dialog box will make it easier for NetHASP users to control how Mastercam starts up. The start-up options utility is a separate executable program (MastercamLauncher.exe) that runs outside of Mastercam. It allows you to create shortcuts or even start Mastercam. When you run the utility, settings saved in the registry populate the Start-up options dialog box, unless you started it from a shortcut. If it is running on a NetHASP, it will first check the NetHASP for available licenses and report only those available to the user at that moment. To run this utility, choose Start, Programs, Mastercam X2 MR2, Mastercam Launcher. You will see:

The SIM type and emulation are displayed on the title bar of the dialog box: HASP Dealer or NetHASP Educational / Industrial / Dealer SIM Number displays the HASP or NetHASP number in use. The SIM expiration date displays the date a timed SIM expires. If it is a permanent SIM, then it displays the Permanent instead of a date. Maintenance expiration date shows the date maintenance on the SIM expires. For temporary codes, the SIM expiration date and the Maintenance expiration date would be the same. The dialog box lists all of the available Add-on products and shows how many licenses are currently available. To check out a license for the session, just check it. Dealer SIMs can Allow the Add-on to run or not. This column is not available for NetHASP users. Items that are not available on the SIM are not available. The dialog box also indicates when an Add-on is on the SIM but all of the licenses are in use.

Level Manager Is Now Modeless

The Level Manager is now a modeless dialog box, which means that it can be moved to a second monitor and left open. In addition: Changes to the level selections appear immediately in the graphics window. New Range options are available in the List Levels group. You can hide all geometry except what is on the main level.

You can display a range of levels in the Level Manager Grid. The default level dialog display option is set in System Configuration, Screen. Unless changed, level display defaults to Used and Named. The Level Manager will automatically refresh when changes are made in the part file.

Printing Screen Information

MR2 gives you additional control when printing part information that appears in the graphics window.

In the File, Print dialog box, you can now control the following options: Visible screen information (such as view names, coordinate axes, scaling information, and so on). This option works in conjunction with those on the Printing page of the System Configuration dialog box. Use the Screen page of the System Configuration dialog box to specify the types of information to display on the screen.

The proportion of the dashed lines on the screen relative to the final printed results.

Machine Type Menu Revision and Machine Definition List Management

You can now control which and how many machine definitions are listed in the Machine Type drop-down menu. You can: Add machine definitions from the directory to the list. Remove machine definitions from the list. Arrange the order of machine definitions in the list. The content of this list is saved in the Current User registry section.

Interrupt Mode
The new Interrupt mode allows you to interrupt a function such as chaining, execute a single function, and then continue the original function at the point where it was interrupted. An ideal use of this mode is the chaining function. For example, you can interrupt chaining, use the Modify Break function to break a line, and then resume chaining. A single button click activates Interrupt mode. You will find the Interrupt mode toolbar button in the Customize dialog box (choose Settings, Customize) in the Settings category. Drag it to a toolbar or create a new toolbar by dragging it to the Mastercam interface.

Customizable Places on the File Open and Save Dialogs

File Open and Save dialogs now give you convenient access to file folders for the numerous file types that Mastercam uses through icons in the dialog. You can customize the target folders to by right-clicking on the icon, which displays a menu of options to add, remove, rename, and reorder folders.

By default, the MCX icon accesses the mcamx2\mcx folder. The CAD Data icon accesses the mcamx2\data folder.

Inline Calculator/Evaluator
MR2 allows you to enter values in any appropriate unit or calculate a value easily and simply within Mastercam. The affected fields can be easily distinguished by setting the Calculable Field Color in Settings, Configuration.

This new function supports the following:

Use of unit specifiers for centimeters (cm), meters (m), kilometers (km), microns (um), inches (in), feet (ft or f) and yards (yd), degrees (d), minutes ('), seconds ("), radians, (r), and gradians (g). All arithmetic operators provided by the VB scripting engine. All math functions provided by the VB scripting engine. The unit specifier follows a value, optionally separated by one or more spaces. When typing in an expression, if no unit specifier is used for a value with a unit context, the current default units are assumed. When using unit specifiers, the expression is parsed and all unit specifiers are replaced with conversion factors (to the current default units) before the expression is evaluated. Example: 1 Enter 4mm + 3.5cm. (Current default units are mm. Internally, the string becomes: 4*1.0 + 3.5*10.0) 2 Press [Tab]. 3. Displayed after evaluation: 39 For many cases, the operator precedence will yield the expected result. For example (still assuming mm), 3/4cm results in 7.5. However, if the intention was 3mm/4cm, it can be entered that way or as 3/(4cm), which results in .075. If you wish to convert an entire expression or sub expression to a unit type, it can be done as in this example: ((22/7) * 2.5 ^ 2) * 1cm. Arithmetic Operators ^ Exponent * Multiply / Divide \ Integer Divide Mod Modulus + Add [Spacebar] Add Subtract Constant values The calculator defines the following constants. Note that constants are case insensitive. #Pi #e #RadToDeg #DegToRad e Radians to degrees Degrees to radians 3.1415926536 2.7182818285 57.295779513 0.01745329252 (a^b) (a*b) (a/b) (a\b) (a Mod b) (a+b) (a [Spacebar] b) (a-b)

For example, the circumference of a circle with a radius of 5: 2 * #pi * 5 Math Functions Note: All trigonometric functions assume angle values are in degrees. Length units default to the current system Length unit, but may be overridden by explicitly entering a unit specifier after length values. Abs() Acos() Asin() Atan() Absolute value (Abs(-2)) Arccosine (Acos(0.707106781) which evaluates as 45.0 degrees) Arcsine (Asin(.5) which evaluates to 30.0 degrees) Arctangent (Atan(2in/1.5in) which evaluates as 53.130102 degrees)

Atan2() Cos() Exp() Fix() Int() Log() Sgn() Sin() Sqr() Tan()

Arctangent (Atan2(-4,4) which evaluates as -45.0 degrees) Cosine (Cos(45) which evaluates as 0.707106781) Exponent (base e) (Exp(10)) Remove the fractional part of a number and return the resulting integer value. If a number is negative, Fix returns the first negative integer greater than or equal to that number (e.g. -7.0 for -7.6). Remove the fractional part of a number and return the resulting integer value. If a number is negative, Int returns the first negative integer less than or equal to that number (e.g. -8.0 for -7.6). Natural Logarithm (base e). Sign of. Sine (Sin(30) which evaluates as 0.5) Square root (Sqr(4)) Tangent (Tan(45)which evaluates as 1.0)

Data Translator Enhancements

Added functionality in MR2 includes: When you export files, Mastercam Groups can now be saved as AutoCAD Blocks, which improves file transfers between Mastercam and Nester. Nester Software is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) that provides AutoCAD users with smooth and easy integration to NESTERWood. You can now Save Some to the same extensive selection of file types as is supported by File Save. Rather than saving a subset of your part to .MCX, reopening it, and then saving it to another format, you save the subset directly. Import/export supports AutoCAD 2008. File Open supports Alibre Design files (*.AD_PRT and *.AD_SMP).

Design Enhancements
Swept Surfaces Improvements
The Swept Surfaces functionality has been improved to update Mastercams Swept Surfaces capabilities with new techniques and options for Swept Surface creation. A swept surface is defined by transforming a point on the across curve from its local coordinate system (associated with its starting point on the along curve) to a destination coordinate system (associated with some point along the along curve). The improved Swept Surfaces function provides more sweep orientation control options, greater flexibility in the use of multiple along and across curves, and much better accuracy for matching those curves while using less data to define the resulting NURB surface.

A Swept Surface is created from two elliptical across curves and an S shaped along curve.

The improved Swept Surfaces function supports four orientation control options: Translate This is the simplest method. The across curve is simply translated along the along curve. There is no twisting or turning. The curve is moved in a parallel fashion. Rotate (default). This method specifies that the across curve will move in a manner that rotates or twists through space. The method by which it will twist through space depends on the along curve. If the along curve is planar, the plane of the curve is used as one of the axes of the moving coordinate system. If the along curve twists through space (or is linear), then the Z vector of the current construction plane may be used as one of the axes of the moving coordinate system. Normal to surface This method specifies that the along curve lies on or over (close to) a surface and the across curve is constrained to maintain a consistent relationship with the normal vectors at every point. This is useful for generating sweeps across surfaces. Two rails This is the only method that allows for two along curves to be selected. The orientation of the across curve is controlled by the rulings between equal points on each along curve (like a ruled surface). Additionally, the across curve will be scaled up or down as it is swept along the along curves. As the along curves diverge from one another, the across curve is scaled up and as the along curves converge toward one another, the across curve is scaled down. This is the only option that provides for discreet scaling of the across curve. The last two methods are specialized versions of Rotate, and therefore are presented as separate options. Each of the four methods fully defines the moving coordinate system necessary to describe a swept surface, and therefore they are all mutually exclusive. For example, Normal to Surface is not allowed with two along curves, because this would be over-defining the system. The maximum number of along curves allowed is two, and that option is only available when using the Two rail method. However, there is no limitation on the number of across curves that may be selected. You can specify one, two, or any number of across curves for any of the Orientation control options. The simplest swept surface would be one across curve and one along curve. However, you are not limited to using only one across curve. A typical use of multiple across curves is one across curve at the beginning of the along curve and another at the end of the along curve. This results in a swept surface that is a linear blending of two sets of curves moving toward each other from opposite ends of the along curve. In addition, more than two across curves can be specified. By selecting multiple sets of across curves, a swept surface is generated that interpolates all the across curves (similar to a loft surface). This is accomplished by sweeping pairs of neighboring curves toward each other and blending them together using a cubic blending function so as to maintain slope continuity. In this scenario, a given across curve will only influence the shape of the surface between its two neighboring across curves. The along curves must not contain any sharp corners (tangent discontinuities). In order for a valid smooth surface to be produced, the along curves must also be smooth. A 10 degree angular tolerance will allow for a small deviation from this rule; however, the resulting surface will still be smooth and may deviate slightly from the along curve in order to avoid the sharp corner and thus maintain the surface smoothness. An error message will result if the along curves are found to have sharp corners exceeding 10 degrees. The across curves may exhibit sharp corners; however, if any end point in the chain is found that exhibits more than a 10 degree tangent discontinuity, the across curves will be broken up into separate curves, and multiple swept surfaces will be created. For example, if one across curve exhibits sharp corners and another is completely smooth, then all the across curves will be broken up in a synchronized manner and produce the appropriate multiple swept surfaces.

When two along curves are specified, they must not intersect or touch each other. An error message will result if this condition is found and cannot be handled. When two along curves are specified, they must both be open or closed, but not a mix. A mixture of open and closed across curves is not allowed. The across curves must all be open or closed. This is because a valid surface cannot be created if it is only partially open or closed.

Delete Referenced Entity Warning Message and Option

Whenever entities that are associated to a Toolpath, Solid, or Named View are selected for deletion, a new dialog box offers three deletion options:

Delete all selected entities deletes all selected entities and alters any toolpaths, solids, or named views associated with the deleted entities. It behaves like the current Yes option. Delete only non-associated entities removes only entities that are not associated to a toolpath, solid, or a named view and leaves any entity associated with one of those operation types. Cancel aborts the deletion command and does not delete or remove any entities. This is the default. Note: This is new behavior for Mastercam. The current method deletes entities until it encounters the first associative entity. If the user cancels at that point, the deleted entities are not restored.

Expanded Ellipse Creation

You can now create an ellipse using NURBS, line segments, and arc segments. NURBS is the default. You can set modality for this function in the System Configuration dialog box. The NURB will be created at the current system tolerance. When you use arc segments, you can edit the tolerance controlling how many arc segments will be created for the ellipse. The default value for the tolerance depends on the minimum arc length in set on the Tolerances page of the System Configuration dialog box. When you use line segments, you can also set a tolerance.

New Xform Cancel, Xform 3D, and Xform Drag Interaction

The behavior of the Xform functions has changed in response to usability comments.

Cancel in Xform
If you cancel out of the function using the red X in the upper right corner, nothing is completed. Everything done since the function started or since the last Apply will be discarded.

All live entities created during the time the Xform dialog was open and being manipulated will be removed from the database. The transaction will not be recorded as an event recognized by Undo because nothing happened. [Esc] exits the dialog box and saves the results as it does now.

Xform 3D
You can now select planes and remain in the function.

Xform Drag
You can still pre- and post-select geometry. The Stretch button still works only if pre-selection is not used and the Window or Polygon In+ option in General Selection is used. After you select a base position and indicate the position you are dragging the entities to, the entities are placed but they remain live entities for further editing. Selecting a position with the mouse does not fix the entity as it did previously. Before you place the entity, you can switch between Translate and Rotate, and Copy and Move. (See the general steps below.) As long as the entity is still live, you can change the Move or Copy state at any time. After the initial positioning, you can select a different position or click Apply to accept the current instance. This means that you can continue to select places on the screen and the entities will follow, making only one instance. After you click Apply to fix the instance, the original entities are still selected so you can select another point on the screen. You can continue to place instances by selecting new positions with the mouse and clicking Apply. Any time before you click Apply, you can change anything about the current live instance. At this point, you can also reselect different geometry or change the base position. If you exit the function before selecting a new position for an instance, no new instances will be created. The general steps to translate, rotate, and translate entities are: 1. Select geometry. 2. Set the base position. 3. Translate to a spot and select it with the mouse. 4. Set a base position. 5. Click R for rotate. 6. Move the mouse to rotate the geometry. 7. Click T for translate. 8. Move the mouse, select a position. 9. Click Apply to fix the current instance.

Align is new to the Drag function but it already exists in Mastercam as part of the Translate 3D function. This option both translates and rotates entities based on four mouse selections. Align does not support the stretch option. The general steps to use Align are: 1. Select the origin of the original geometry. 2. Select the vector direction you want to align. 3. Select the new base position. 4. Select the vector direction to align to.

A new field to the right of the Rotate button updates dynamically to show the relative angular rotation when using the mouse. You can enter relative rotation. Rotation with the mouse has been enhanced so that the entity being rotated doesnt start repositioning as soon as the base position is selected and the cursor begins to move.

Snap to Point Standardized to AutoCursor Functionality

Several Mastercam X2 functions support functionality to snap to a point or entity: Create Curve Dynamic Extend Trimmed Surface Edges Create split surface Modify Spline (NURBS only) Create Arc Tangent

With X2 MR2, snapping will be completely controlled by the AutoCursor settings, which includes temporary suspension when the [Ctrl] key is pressed. The snapping position will always be determined by the cursor position, especially in cases where the vector displayed does not correspond with the cursor position. The vector display does affect where the snapped position is mapped to. Consider a cylinder created along the Z axis. If the Cplane is set to the right side, and points are being used to create a curve on this surface, the location of the vector arrow will determine which side of the surface the snap point is projected to.

Creating Surfaces from Solids

This existing function has been modified in X2 MR2 to let you continue selecting solids and also to provide additional options.

You can use the current system attributes for the new surface (default). Or you can use the parent solids attributes.

You can also keep the original solid (default) or delete it.

Usability Improvements in Break Many

X2 MR2 introduces the following changes: Replaces the dual state button for Arcs and Lines with two separate buttons. Adds an Apply button. Supports General Selection to improve selection. Modifies the interaction for the three break methodsnumber, length, or toleranceto accommodate new mode functions.

The new ribbon bar adds two buttons that control how the function handles the distance between breaks.

Exact distance mode the function uses the length value entered even if one of the resulting entities will be shorter than the specified length. In this mode, it is possible to have a remainder. For example, if you break a 78-inch line in exact distance mode into segments exactly 25 inches long, the system will create four segmentsthree 25-inch segments and one 3-inch segment. Rounded distance mode the function may change the segment length value you entered in order to make the resulting segments equal. For example, if you break a 78-inch line in rounded distance mode and enter 25 inches for the segment length, the function will create three 26-inch segments instead. The segment number will be rounded by using the length value. If the remainder would be less than the entered value, the function will create one fewer segment; if its greater than the length, it will create an additional segment. The segment number default is 5 in both inch and metric. Length defaults are 0.1 for inch and 0.5 for metric. Tolerance values are the same as the chordal deviation values set on the Tolerances page of the System Configuration dialog box. Zero values are not allowed.

Create Lines with Create Point Dynamic

You can now create lines as well as points using the Create Point Dynamic function. The lines will be perpendicular to the entity or normal to the surface on which they are created. You can choose to create a point, a line, or both in a single function.

Use the Flip button to flip the side the line is created on, or create a line on both sides, after it has been created and is still live. The function creates a line with a point on each of the endpoints that do not lie on the entity. If you change the Distance field while the entities are live, both the created point and line move to the new location.

Invert Selection
A new and powerful function added to the General Selection ribbon bar allows you to invert your selections.

If no entities are selected, it will select them all. If all entities are selected, it will unselect them all.

If some but not all entities are selected, it will unselect them and select everything else that was previously unselected. If you invert an inverted selection, the selected entities will revert back to their original state. If you invert the selection and then add or remove entities from the list of those selected, the next Invert will work according to the current state of selected entities, it will not revert back to the previous state.

Larger Visual Cues

Visual Cues are graphic symbols that appear to the right of the cursor, indicating the entity type the cursor is close to. X2 MR2 makes these symbols larger and easier to see.

Shortcut Key Conflicts Resolved

In previous versions, some AutoCursor power keys (also known as hot keys) conflicted with the shortcut keys used in the Smart Dimension ribbon bar. These conflicts have been resolved as follows: AutoCursor Power Keys O Origin C Arc Center E Endpoint I Intersection M Midpoint Q Quadrant P Point Smart Dimension Ribbon Bar Shortcut Keys W N A H V K Witness Centered Arrows Horizontal Vertical Lock Orientation F T U D R B Font Text Height Number Diameter Radius Box L Angle Align Quadrant Add Leaders Remove Leaders Options Update Exit

Analyze Distance Units and Precision

You can now control the units and precision (both decimal and fractional) in the Analyze Distance function:

There is also a new Analyze page in the Configuration dialog box that lets you set all your Analyze preferences.

CAM Products
Transform Mirror Toolpath
The Transform Toolpath/Mirror function has been enhanced in X2 MR2. In the Transform Operation Parameters dialog (choose Toolpaths, Transform toolpath), when you set to the Type to Mirror, the Method is set to Tool Plane, and you select Create new operations and geometry, Mastercam uses a new process to create the new operations and geometry.

2D Mill and Router

New 2D Toolpath Peel Milling
X2 MR2 introduces a new high speed 2D toolpath. Called peel milling, its functionality is derived from both the Tslot and Tslot2 C-Hooks introduced in the Version 8 and Version 9 timeframe. Its interface uses the popular tree controlstyle familiar to HST users. The peel milling toolpath allows for efficient constant climb milling using a trochoidal style of motion with accelerated back feed moves when the tool is not engaged in material. The toolpath also supports single chains, giving you the option to define the width of the cut.

Facing Toolpath Start Point

You can now change the start position of a facing toolpath to any corner, which enables you to keep the end cuts (first and last) to a climb cut when using the zigzag motion so the chip is pushed into the part and not out. When the chip is pushed out, it causes a much bigger burr in steel and can cause wood to chip.

You have total control over the start position (all four corners on a rectangular shape).

You can choose climb or conventional for first cut. The cut start position may change based on this selection, but this option will override the start position, if necessary. The default behavior for the toolpath changes so that the first cut is always climb. If a toolpath starts in an arbitrary location, direction will default to climb. An option lets you specify that the last pass will be either climb or conventional. An option has been added called Even number of passes to ensure that the very first and last passes are in the same direction. This allows you to control the burr on the edges of the part.

3D Mill and Router

HST Boundary Tools
A new C-Hook, CreateBoundary.dll, provides options for creating Trimming (Silhouette), Shallow Area, Rest Area, and Cutter Contact Area boundaries. When you run the C-Hook and select the surface, you will see:

The operations will create geometry but will not be associative. When in 2D geometry creation mode, the Z Offset field is disabled. When in 3D geometry creation mode, any value entered in the Z offset field is added to the current working depth. The geometry created is for use as containment geometry and may not be suitable solid modeling. A button is provided in Settings, Customize, Multi Surface Toolpaths so you can place this function on a toolbar.

Miscellaneous HST Improvements (Mill)

HST dialog boxes now provide fields for you to enter surface feet per minute (SFM) or surface meters per minute (CS) and feed per tooth (FPT), as well as spindle speed and feed rate. If you enter one, the other fields update. These values are calculated based on the number of flutes, feed rate, and spindle speed.

You can also now set the Clearance Plane to either absolute or incremental:

For both Spiral and Radial toolpaths, the field for Outer radius has been changed to a check box so that you have the option of entering a value.

Output 3D Arc Moves

In the Waterline and Horizontal Area HST toolpaths, you can choose whether or not to output 3D arc moves. Many machines have built-in tools for looking ahead and using small linear moves, which are more efficient than arc moves. When the Output 3D arc moves option is selected, G2 and G3 moves can be output. When the option is not selected, G1 moves are output for transitions between Z levels. The default setting is not selected. The Output 3D Arc moves option is common to both Helix and Profile Ramp, so it has been moved out of the Helix group box for Core Roughing, Area Clearance, Horizontal Area, and Rest Roughing toolpaths.

4-Axis and 5-Axis Mill and Router

Advanced Multiaxis Toolpath Conversion to 5-Axis
This Advanced Multiaxis machining strategy, which lets you convert a conventional 3-axis toolpath to a 5-axis toolpath, is fully implemented in Mastercam X2 MR2.

Use the Conversion Link Type option to tell Mastercam whether to use the linking moves from the original toolpath, or to apply the strategies that you define on the Link page.

Choose the Original toolpath button to view a list of all 3-axis mill-type toolpath operations in the current Mastercam file and select one to convert to 5-axis. Note: Your original toolpath will not be changed by this operation. Mastercam will create a new 5-axis operation and leave your original toolpath unchanged.

Swarf5ax Solid Face Support

You can now select solid faces to machine using the 5-Axis Swarf toolpath. Previously, only surfaces were supported.

Another New 2D Toolpath Saw Toolpath
A new saw toolpath introduced in X2 MR2 lets you create saw toolpaths more easily and with fewer operations than before. It is also the first tree control-style dialog used in 2D for Router. With this new toolpath, you can: Program multiple saw cuts using a single tool plane (for example, Top) in a single operation. Control the arbor side based on climb or conventional cutting direction and store this data with the operation. Allow for kerf direction differences on a per-chain basis within the same operation (and store this data with each chain). This new toolpath supports all the functionality of the current saw method (contour toolpath with an aggregate/slotting tool), but does not support the remachining and oscillate functions.

Plane Support for Block Drill at Station Level

With X2 MR2, you can define horizontal block drill stations in the Machine Definition rather than using an aggregate. In previous releases, the block view parameter applied to the entire block. You can now set up different views for each station. The block drill preview window can represent horizontal drilling stations. The default view is Top for new stations. The drill block creation Wizard defaults to the Top plane. You can only select arcs in a single plane. Block drill stations in standard drilling are not supported at this time.

Common Edge Optimization added to Nesting

Nesting toolpaths so that they have common edges saves time and money. X2 MR2 supports common edge optimization in toolpath nesting. The common edge option is applied to outside profiles only. Dados are ignored. The tool diameter determines part-to-part distance.

Onion Skin and Common Edge Support Added to ATP

Small parts can present a problem on a CNC router if the area of the final piece is not big enough to maintain adequate vacuum (and keep the part from moving) during a cut. A strategy commonly referred to as onion skinning offers a solution. Automatic Toolpathing now supports onion skin toolpaths. When running ATP, you can choose to launch the nesting options dialog box at runtime by selecting this checkbox:

When you do, you have the opportunity to activate onion skin or common edge nesting:

Wire Stock to Leave Now a Global Parameter
Wire Stock to Leave is now a single value that is applied to the entire operation, not on a per-pass basis in the power library. Stock to Leave offsets the wire in the direction specified by the compensation direction.

The Program coordinates and Machine offset register options determine how the Stock to Leave value is applied to a wirepath. The defaults for these options are set in the Stock to leave application section of the Cutter compensation page in the Control Definition.

Please refer to Mastercam Help for additional information on how these options interact. The topic entitled How Stock to Leave is applied in Wire provides details.

New, Improved Art Surface Display TechnologyRoam Triangulation
We have changed the Art surface display technology from one that uses rectangles to a higher order surfacing engine that uses triangles. The new display technology - roam triangulation - offers Mastercam X2 Art users several significant advantages: Surfaces are based on optimized triangles. Large triangles are used in flat areas and small triangles in areas with high curvature, so Art can display higher resolution models that take up less memory. The surfaces are watertight, so there is no pixilation or specks, producing pure, clean surfaces. Watertight surfaces mean better exported surfaces. It supports translucency, so you can set the transparency of the surface and look through it to see any geometry you would like to select. This technology allows you to apply new shading and lighting effects to the art base surface.

Surface is now based on optimized triangles

Resulting watertight surface and shading

New Display Controls

The buttons used to control the new display features are located in the Art Manager toolbar. In the first row, the Opacity and Reflectivity buttons toggle these features on and off globally. In the second row, the Transparency (Opacity) and Reflectivity buttons provide input fields next to them to allow you to enter parameters.


Opacity global on/off toggle (first row).

Art Model Transparency parameter field (second row): enter percentage. Reflectivity

Reflectivity global on/off toggle (first row).

Art Model Reflectivity parameter field (second row): enter percentage. Shading

The Art Shading Settings dialog box has parameters to control the color, opacity, and reflectivity of the Art base surface. You can also trim the Art base plane relative to a specified Z value using this dialog box. Miscellaneous display controls

The Sort Now function sorts the surface triangle normals to prevent display of the back side of surfaces. While sorting will normally be done automatically, it can be turned off. With extremely large files, it may be more practical to sort manually by using this icon.

Surface Display Options Dialog is opened with this icon. This dialog sets the maximum number of triangles the Art model can have before Auto Sorting is disabled. When this limit is surpassed, you can manually realign the surface triangles at any time by selecting the Sort Now icon explained above.

Reflection and Cropping - Art Shading Settings Dialog

Cropping: If you look at the first graphic in the upper left, you may notice that the Art Base Surface has been cropped out. This is also a new function users have requested to help visualize the finished part. You can crop out the Art Base Surface at Z zero, or set up two cropping planes to crop the bottom or the top or in between. This also works from different work coordinates, and if the part is boss or a cavity. If you move your Art Base Surface off of the Zero plane, you must use Crop Above or Crop Below to crop.

Reflection: Art users can now show their customers better proofs to get quicker signoffs. This functionality helps with marketing, ad development, and test marketing different material concepts. If you use reflection with opacity, you can even get the effect of glass or precious stones. Below is the original art surface dome on the left. Next, a gold texture is applied, which is likely the standard application to make the Art surface look like a material. The last example uses a photo texture this looks more like the bitmap is mapping onto the surface.

Art Base Surface Changes

Shading Quality - this parameter controls the sharpness\preciseness of shading. To increase the quality and see more detail, make the value smaller (change 0.01 to 0.005). Art Shading Settings - this button opens the Art Shading Settings dialog box. This dialog box can also be accessed from the Art Manager.

See Mastercam Help for more information on these options.

Art Surfaces Use Mastercam Lights

To change the lighting on the Art surface, use the Mastercam shading settings (choose Screen, Shade Settings; be sure to select Shading active first) and make selections for lighting. Your settings will now affect the Art surface. Note: Only the lighting parameters in this dialog work on the Art surface; materials and other choices in this dialog will not work on Art surfaces.

Custom Texture, Base Pattern Variation

This new function allows you to create a custom texture from a base pattern (such as a leaf) by placing multiple copies of the base pattern and scaling each copy randomly but within a controlled range in X, Y, and Z. The scaling range is expressed as a percentage of the original pattern dimensions. Using this new function, you can, for example, make a fallen leaf pattern where the leaves look like they just fell off the tree. See the next picture:

Fallen leaf custom texture created using Base Pattern Variation The following pictures illustrate the results of assorted base pattern variations.

No variation The pattern copies are a consistent size.

The pattern copies vary randomly by a maximum of 25% in X and Y.

The pattern copies vary randomly in X and Y and are also rotated randomly.

The pattern copies vary randomly in X and Y, are rotated randomly, and are also spaced randomly. The randomization created blank areas (circled in red in the preceding picture). While these are normal and artistically sound, they can be filled manually by pasting the pattern into the texture. Just select the same file from the library used for the pattern. Then scale, rotate and place it to fill open areas.

Same texture with gaps filled manually. MR2 adds the following Base Pattern Variation parameter fields to the Custom Texture dialog box to allow you to create the textures illustrated in the preceding pictures.

Several Scaling Types are available from the drop down:

You control the results produced by the scaling types by setting the following scaling variation parameters: Off The X, Y, and Z parameter fields are grayed out. The base pattern will not vary in scale. Scale XYZ The scale variation is the same in X, Y and Z, maintaining the aspect ratio of the base pattern. The Z field is grayed out and is not available. Scale XY, Z locked Both X and Y can be different. Z is not available. Scale XYZ independent All parameters can be different.

Note: Parameters are expressed as a percentage of the original values. The Rotation Variation parameter allows you to vary the limit of rotation for each placement of a new base pattern. If you enter a value of 25 (degrees of rotation), then the base pattern could be rotated up to 25 degrees with each placement. This field available for all Base Pattern Variation Scaling Types, including Off.

Smoothing Inside/Outside of Selected Boundary

Previously the Smoothing smoothed all the way up to the selected boundary. You can now control how far smoothing will reach. The Offset Width parameter allows you to offset the smoothing boundary by a percentage to the inside of the selected boundary. If you enter 25%, smoothing would start at the center of the surface and stop 25% short of the selected boundary.

Circle with sand texture, no smoothing

Smoothing boundary offset 25% to inside

A future enhancement will also allow you to extend a smoothing to pass beyond the selected chain onto the Art Base Surface, resulting in an edge that blends into the base surface without having to offset the boundary manually reselect and smooth it. You define the distance to offset smoothing on the Smoothing dialog box:

Art Interface Changes

You will find many changes throughout the Art text menus and dialog box titles. These changes are designed to make the Art interface more intuitive. Excess words have been eliminated and a few titles have been refined. Also some extra fly-out menus have been added in order to group functionality and shorten the displayed list of functions.

One-Way Toolpath Filtering

Art now supports one-way filtering for Parallel Horizontal, Parallel Vertical or Parallel at a given Angle cutting methods, which support one-way cutting:

When you select Zigzag and Finishing, and then select the Filter checkbox and click the Filter button for these cutting methods, you have the option to select one way filtering:

One way filtering will produce a smoother finished part. For example, if you filter a zigzag toolpath to 0.001, the machine ramps the toolpath in the Z axis to 0.001, and then reverses the ramp when the toolpath switches directions. This produces small scratches in the surface as the ramps are reversed. With one way filtering, the toolpath always ramps in the same direction.

Engraving (Mill, Router, and Art)

Improved Engraving Warning Message
X2 MR2 improves the warning message displayed when you enter an Engrave toolpath depth parameter that is deeper than the conical section of the selected tool.

The message is designed to provide additional information about how to respond to the situation.

C-Hook/NET-Hook Enhancements
C-Hook/NET-Hook functionality now supports dynamic tip string text. Currently, only the static text string in the CHook/NET-Hook resource is used by Mastercam. This new functionality allows the add-on to dynamically generate tip string text that Mastercam displays when the mouse hovers over the add-ons icon. C-Hooks and NET-Hooks can now detect when the mouse click on their icon is a right-mouse click. The C-Hook API now provides more access to Solids.