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671 Old Post Road

Tolland, Connecticut 06084


Phone (860) 875-5006
Fax (860) 872-1565

3/5/02

Dear Version 9 Engraving and Rast2Vec User,


The Mastercam Version 8 Engraving Tutorial (inch and metric) that is included on your CD was originally written
for Version 8 users. We have tested the tutorial, however, with Version 9 and found that most of the functions and
results are identical in Version 9. Please note the following differences:
1. Overall all directory and file names now have the number "9" at the end instead of the number "8." For
example, Mcam9, MC9, TL9, etc.
2. Page 9 - the Create Letters dialog box has changed. You can use the values shown on pages 9 and 10 in
the new dialog box.
3. Pages 11 and 14 the Bounding box function is now in a dialog box instead of a menu. Please use the
values shown on the menu screen shots in the new dialog box.
4. Page 12 the Create Ellipse function is now in a dialog box instead of a menu. Please use the values
mentioned in the new dialog box.
5. Page 22 the Tool List Filter dialog box has changed. Please use the values shown on the old dialog box.
6. Page 54 the Backplot dialog box has changed dramatically. Select the Appearance tab to access the tool
appearance information.
7. Page 77 the Filter dialog box has changed. You can use the filter values shown in the tutorial.
For Rast2Vec users, please use Chapter 5 of the Engraving Tutorial to learn how to use the functions within the
Rast2Vec converter.
Thank you for purchasing Mastercam. Please contact your local Mastercam reseller If you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Technical Publications Department
CNC Software, Inc.

Version 8.1
Engraving Tutorial
(Inch version)

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving


2001 CNC Software, Inc.

Mastercam
Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial (Inch version)
Date: August 31, 2001
Copyright 2001 CNC Software, Inc. - All rights reserved.
First Printing: August 31, 2001
Software: Mastercam Engraving Version 8.1
ISBN: 1-883310-26-1
Notice
CNC Software, Inc. ("CNC") reserves the right to make improvements to the CAD/CAM system described in this manual at any time and without notice.
Mastercam Software (the "Software"), Manuals and training materials (collectively, the "Documentation") shall be used pursuant to the Mastercam License
Agreement. The following shall not be interpreted as a change or amendment to the Mastercam Software License Agreement, which will remain in full force
and effect.
Software License Usage and Restrictions
You have the non-exclusive right to use the Software and the Documentation in accordance with the Mastercam Software License Agreement. For example,
the Software shall only be used: (a) on a single computer to which the Single Computer Security mechanism is attached by a single user at a time, and only
in executable code form or (b) with a Network Security Mechanism on computers attached to the same network as the Network Security Mechanism is
attached and on as many computers as were licensed to run on the Network Security Mechanism at a time and only in executable code form.
You may physically transfer the Software from a first computer equipped with the Security Mechanism to another only if the Security Mechanism is
included in the transfer and is installed on the new computer. Upon completion of the transfer, the Software shall be removed from the first computer.
You may not distribute copies of the Software or the Documentation to others. You may not modify or translate the Software or Documentation without the
prior written consent of CNC.
Disclaimer Of All Warranties And Liability
CNC makes no warranties, either express or implied, with respect to the Documentation or with respect to the Software described in the
Documentation, its quality, performance, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The Software is sold or licensed "as is." The
entire risk as to its quality and performance is with the buyer. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY IN NO EVENT WILL CNC, OR ITS
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Commercial Computer Software-Restricted Rights clause at 48 CFR 52.227-19, as amended, or any successor regulations thereto.
Intellectual Property
The Software and the Documentation are, and include, the intellectual property of CNC. All associated intellectual property rights, including worldwide
patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret rights, are reserved. The Documentation shall not, in whole or part, be copied, photocopied, reproduced,
translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine readable form without prior consent, in writing, from CNC.
Trademarks
Mastercam is a registered trademark of CNC.
Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, MS, and MS-DOS are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation; Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, and
Windows NT are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mastercam Verify is created in conjunction with LightWork Design Ltd.
Printed in the United States of America.

This book was printed on recycled paper.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction to Mastercam Engraving........................................ 1
Licensing .......................................................................................... 1
Using the sample parts ..................................................................... 2
If you need more help ....................................................................... 3
Additional resources ......................................................................... 5

Engraving Carved Letters............................................................ 7


Exercise 1 Starting Mastercam ...................................................... 7
Exercise 2 Creating part geometry................................................. 8
Exercise 3 Defining the stock boundary ....................................... 16
Exercise 4 Saving the file............................................................. 18
Exercise 5 Creating an engraving toolpath................................... 19
Exercise 6 Simulating machining (Verify) ..................................... 28
Exercise 7 Editing toolpath parameters........................................ 31
Exercise 8 Saving the file............................................................. 34

Engraving Embossed Letters.................................................... 35


Exercise 1 Opening the part file ................................................... 35
Exercise 2 Creating an engrave roughing toolpath ...................... 36
Exercise 3 Backplotting the roughing toolpath ............................. 46
Exercise 4 Creating an engrave remachining toolpath ................. 47
Exercise 5 Backplotting the remachining toolpath........................ 53
Exercise 6 Simulating machining (Verify) ..................................... 57
Exercise 7 Saving the file............................................................. 59

Using Pocket Roughing With Engrave Remachining ............. 61


Exercise 1 Opening the part file ................................................... 61
Exercise 2 Defining the stock boundary ....................................... 62
Exercise 3 Creating a pocket toolpath.......................................... 64
Exercise 4 Backplotting the pocket toolpath................................. 72
Exercise 5 Creating an engrave remachining toolpath ................. 73
Exercise 6 Backplotting the remachining toolpath........................ 80
Exercise 7 Simulating machining (Verify) ..................................... 81
Exercise 8 Saving the file............................................................. 84

Reading Artwork Into Mastercam ............................................. 85


Exercise 1 Selecting a raster image to convert ............................ 85
Exercise 2 Converting the image to black and white .................... 86
Exercise 3 Generating Mastercam entities................................... 88
Exercise 4 Fine-tuning the results ................................................ 90
Exercise 5 Manually creating and editing entities......................... 95
Exercise 6 Exiting the Rast2Vec converter and saving the file... 100
Exercise 7 Using the EPS file converter..................................... 101
Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Table of Contents

ii





Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Introduction to Mastercam Engraving

Introduction to Mastercam
Engraving

Welcome to Mastercam Engraving Version 8.1. Engraving gives you the


effect of classic hand-carved art using your CNC machine. On parts with
sharp inside corners, the tool climbs to produce sharp corners that are
unattainable with conventional machining. Engraving lets you achieve
many different carved and embossed effects.
This tutorial and extensive online help accompany the product to help you
learn Mastercam Engraving.
Use this tutorial as a self-training aid to orient yourself to the
Engraving program and interface. After completing the tutorial, you
will have a good introduction to accomplishing common engraving
operations in Mastercam. The tutorial does not try to cover every
Engraving feature.
Use the online help as a reference for specific How to or Whats
this questions, like How are chains sorted for an engraving
toolpath, or Whats a remachining toolpath? This tutorial shows
you how to use online help.

Licensing
Engraving
Mastercam Engraving is an add-on to Mastercam Router, Router Pro, and
Mill Levels 1 through 3. It is not included with any product.
If you have a single-user license (HASP), you must have an access code to
run Engraving. You received this access code when you purchased the
Engraving product. Mastercam will prompt you to enter your code the first
time you access Engraving.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Chapter 1

If you have a network license (NetHASP), you must have at least one
Engraving license programmed on the NetHASP. If you see any of the
following messages, you may need to update your NetHASP. See your
Mastercam dealer for more information.
Error checking out an Engraving license. No licenses have
been purchased for this product.
All available licenses are in use.

Rast2Vec and EPS


The Rast2Vec and EPS file converters (shown in Chapter 5) are included
with Mastercam Router, Router Pro, and Engraving.

Using the sample parts


The sample parts for all of the exercises in this tutorial are located in the
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch directory. Before
you begin working with the sample parts, create a separate folder to save
them in. Using the saved part ensures that the original sample part does not
get modified and that you can go back to the original part if you need to
start over.
Note: The parts for the exercises in this tutorial were created using inch
units. To make sure you are working in the correct Mastercam
environment, start Mastercam and choose Main Menu, Screen,
Configure. Verify the current configuration file at the bottom of the dialog
box: Router8.cfg for Router users; Mill8.cfg for Mill users.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Introduction to Mastercam Engraving

If you need more help


Online help
Online help contains the latest and most up-to-date information about
Mastercam. The following pictures show how to use the online help.
Choose the Help
toolbar button to
get information on
the current menu.

Tip: You can also


press [Alt + H]
anywhere within
Mastercam to get
additional help.

Click on the
question
mark then
click on any
field for more
information.

Press the
Help button
to get
information
about the
dialog box.

Dealers
If you have a question about Mastercam and have not been able to locate
the answer in this tutorial or the online help, contact your local Mastercam
dealer.

Technical support
If your dealer is unavailable, you can call CNC Software Support Services
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., USA Eastern Standard
Time.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Chapter 1

When calling CNC Software, Inc. for technical support, please follow
these guidelines:
Be sure you have already tried to contact your Mastercam dealer.
Be ready to describe the problem in detail. Write down what happened,
particularly if you cannot call immediately after the problem occurs.
Be in front of your computer when you call.
If possible, try to duplicate the problem before calling. Our Support
Services technician may require you to duplicate the problem while
you are on the phone.
When you call, have ready a complete description of your hardware,
including your operating system (OS), central processing unit (CPU),
mouse, and memory.
You can also leave a message for CNC Support Services twenty-four
hours a day, seven days a week via our e-mail or web site addresses or the
BBS. A member of our technical support staff will return your e-mail or
call you on the next business day.
Keep the following information on hand in case you need to reach us:
Important Information
Address

CNC Software, Inc.


671 Old Post Road
Tolland, Connecticut, 06084-9970
USA

Phone

(860) 875-5006

Fax

(860) 872-1565

BBS

(860) 871-8050

TELNET and
ftp://

206.231.172.100

Internet Address http://www.mastercam.com


E-mail

support@mastercam.com

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Introduction to Mastercam Engraving

Additional resources
For information on training, contact your Mastercam dealer.
For an ongoing discussion of Mastercam-related topics, visit the
Mastercam online forum at http://www.emastercam.com.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Chapter 1

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

Engraving Carved Letters

In this chapter, you will create part geometry that consists of text
surrounded by an ellipse-shaped border. This geometry will be used to
define engraving toolpaths in this chapter and in the following chapter.
The engraving toolpath that you create in this chapter will machine the
letters as cavities, thus producing a carved effect. This toolpath will utilize
one tool, thereby avoiding a tool change. Programming a toolpath with
one tool is useful for machines that do not have an automatic tool changer
because manual tool changes increase production time significantly.
You will perform the following tasks in this chapter:
Starting Mastercam
Creating part geometry
Defining the stock boundary
Saving the file
Creating an engraving toolpath
Simulating machining (Verify)
Editing toolpath parameters
Saving the file

Exercise 1 Starting Mastercam


1. Choose the Start button from the Windows Taskbar.
2. Choose Programs, Mastercam 8 then select the program that you
added Engraving onto (Router or Mill). The main Mastercam
screen displays.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Chapter 2

The following picture shows you some of the main features of the
Mastercam workspace.
Toolbar

Main Menu
Graphics
window
Main Menu
Navigation
Buttons
Secondary
Menu

Prompt
Area

Exercise 2 Creating part geometry


In this exercise, you will create simple letter and shape geometry. You will
use the geometry in this chapter and in Chapter 3 to create engraving
toolpaths.
Note: In Chapter 5, you will learn how to use the Raster to Vector and
EPS file converters to read artwork into Mastercam.
Turning on the AutoCursor and AutoHighlight features
The AutoCursor feature aids the process of entering points in
Mastercam by automatically detecting entity positions, such as
midpoints and endpoints. AutoHighlight makes it easier to identify
entities by automatically highlighting an entity when the cursor is over
it.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

1. Right-click in the graphics window. Mastercam displays the


following menu.

2. If the AutoCursor and AutoHighlight options do not have check


marks next to them, choose each option to enable it. Mastercam
closes the menu after each choice, so right-click again if you need
to. If the option already has a check mark next to it, the feature is
already turned on, so click in the graphics window to close the
menu.
Creating TrueType letters
In Mastercam, you can create geometric text based on Mastercams
drafting parameters, TrueType fonts, and pre-defined letter files. In
this exercise, you will create text based on Times New Roman, a
TrueType font.
1. From the Main Menu, choose Create, Next menu, Letters,
TrueType.
Tip: A quick way to navigate the menus in Mastercam is to type the underlined
character of each menu option. (In this case, type C, N, L, T.)

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Chapter 2

2. Set the font to Times New Roman.

Tip: Instead of
scrolling
through the
list of fonts,
type ti in the
Font field to
advance
quickly to the
entries that
start with
these letters.
If Times New
Roman is not
the first entry,
use the scroll
bar to move
down through
the list.

3. Choose OK.
4. In the prompt area, type the word Engraving, and press [Enter].
5. Type 1.5 for the letter height, and press [Enter].
6. Choose Horizontal from the menu containing directions to write
the letters.
7. Press [Enter] to accept the default letter spacing shown in the
prompt area.
8. Choose Origin from the Point Entry menu for the starting location
of the letters. Mastercam positions the lower-left corner of the letter
geometry at the origin of the coordinate axes.
9. Press [F9] to display the coordinate axes.
10. Choose the Screen-Fit toolbar button.
like the following picture.

10

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Your part should look

Engraving Carved Letters

Creating a reference point at the center of the letters


In this exercise, you will use the Create-Bounding Box function to
create a point entity at the center of the letter geometry. This point will
serve as a reference point when positioning another entity in a later
exercise. The Create-Bounding Box function calculates a box around
the letters, then calculates a point based on the center of the box.
1. Choose Main Menu, Create, Next menu, Bound box.
2. Choose All.
3. Choose Entities from the All menu. Mastercam highlights all of the
entities in the word Engraving.
4. Choose Done.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

11

Chapter 2

5. On the Bounding Box menu, specify the type of geometry to create


by toggling Points and Lines to N and Center pt to Y, as shown in
the following picture.

Note: Be sure the Points option is set to N. This option creates


points at the corners of the bounding box. For this exercise, you
need a point only at the center of the bounding box.
6. Choose Do it. Mastercam creates a point at the center of the letters.
The point is located near the letter a, as indicated by the white
circle in the following picture.

Creating an ellipse
In this exercise, you will create an ellipse around the letter geometry.
You will use the reference point that you just created to center the
ellipse on the letters. The ellipse will serve as a machinable boundary
in a later exercise.
1. Choose Main Menu, Create, Next menu, Ellipse.
2. On the Ellipse menu, choose A radius to set the size of the ellipse
in the X direction.
3. In the prompt area, type 6, then press [Enter].

12

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

4. Choose B radius to set the size of the ellipse in the Y direction.


5. In the prompt area, type 3, then press [Enter].
6. Choose Do it. Mastercam prompts you to enter the center point of
the ellipse.
7. Position the cursor over the point that you created in the previous
exercise. When the cursor changes to an open square and
Mastercam highlights the Point option on the Point Entry menu,
click to set the ellipses position.

8. Press [Esc] to return to the Ellipse menu.


Deleting the reference point
You no longer need the reference point, so you will delete it.
1. Choose the Delete toolbar button.
2. Choose All, Points. Mastercam deletes the reference point.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

13

Chapter 2

3. Press [Alt+F1] to fit the geometry to the screen. Your part should
look like the following picture.

Creating a bounding box


In this exercise, you will again use the Create-Bounding Box function.
This time, you will create lines around the ellipse. You will use these
lines in a later exercise to define the XY values of the stock boundary.
1. Choose Main Menu, Create, Next menu, Bound box.
2. Select the ellipse and choose Done.
3. To specify the type of geometry to create, toggle Points and Center
pt to N and Lines to Y, as shown in the following picture.

14

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

4. To prevent the part from being cut directly at the edges of the stock
you will expand the bounding box by a two-inch margin in the X
and Y directions. Choose Expand X.
5. In the prompt area, type 2, then press [Enter].
6. Choose Expand Y.
7. In the prompt area, type 2, then press [Enter].
8. Choose Do it.
9. Fit the geometry to the screen.
following picture.

Your part should look like the

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

15

Chapter 2

Exercise 3 Defining the stock boundary


In this exercise, you will define the boundary of the stock from which the
part will be cut. Mastercam will use this information in a later exercise
when you simulate machining of the engraving toolpath.
1. Choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Job setup.
Tip: You can also open the Job Setup dialog box by pressing [Alt+J] on your
keyboard.

2. Choose the Select corners button. Mastercam returns you to the


graphics window and prompts you to enter a point for one corner of
the stock.
3. Position the cursor over the upper left corner of the bounding box
rectangle. When the cursor changes to an open square and
Mastercam highlights the Endpoint option on the Point Entry menu,
click to select this position.

16

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

4. Select the lower right corner of the bounding box rectangle. The
Job Setup dialog box reopens. The Stock Origin and the X and Y
fields contain values based on the selected rectangle.
5. Enter 1.0 for the stocks Z value, or stock thickness.
6. Select Display stock and Fit screen to stock. These options
display the stock boundary in the graphics window and include the
stock boundary lines when you fit the part to the screen.
7. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

8. Choose OK to close the Job Setup dialog box.


9. Right-click in the graphics window and choose Isometric.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

17

Chapter 2

10. Right-click again and choose Fit screen. Your part should look like
the following picture.
Note: The red dashed lines mark the stock boundary.

11. Right-click in the graphics window and choose Top.

Exercise 4 Saving the file


The file now contains geometry and job setup information. In this
exercise, youll save the file for use in this chapter and in Chapter 3.
1. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Type engraving geometry.mc8 for File name and choose Save.

18

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

Exercise 5 Creating an engraving toolpath


The work that you have done to this point has defined your part geometry
and the stock boundary. In this exercise, you will create an engraving
toolpath to cut the part from the stock.
Chaining the geometry
In order to define an engraving toolpath, the chains of curves that you
select must form closed boundaries. For this exercise, you will select
the letter geometry.
1. Access the Engrave function by taking one of the following actions,
according to the product that you are running.
In Router, choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Engraving.
In Mill, choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Next menu,
Engraving*.
Note: If you have a single-user license and you are accessing the
Engraving function for the first time, Mastercam will prompt you to
enter the access code that you were provided when you purchased
the product.
2. Choose Window from the Chaining Methods menu.
3. Toggle the Rectangle and Inside options to +, as shown in the
following picture.

4. Draw a rectangle around the word Engraving by clicking in


opposite corners (for example, upper left and lower right).

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

19

Chapter 2

5. The prompt area instructs you to enter a search point. Mastercam


uses the search point to set the toolpath start point and the sort order
of the chains. Click on the upper left corner of the letter E, as
shown in the following picture. Mastercam highlights all of the
entities in the word Engraving.

Note: The sort order affects the order in which chains are cut for
contour and finish passes.
Tip: If you accidentally left some of the letters out of the rectangle, choose
BACKUP and repeat the selection (steps 1 through 5) before you go on.

6. Choose Done. The Engraving dialog box opens.

20

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

Selecting a tool library


The exercises in this tutorial use the Rtools.tl8 tool library. This library
was installed on your system when you installed the Engraving
product. The Rtools.tl8 library is the default tool library for Router
users. It is a secondary library for Mill users, whose default tool library
is Tools.tl8. In this exercise, you will set Rtools.tl8 as your working
library.
Note: The Rtools.tl8 tool library contains tools with wood-oriented
names and several V-groove cutters not available in Tools.tl8.
1. Right-click in the white area at the top of the Tool parameters
dialog box tab and select Get tool from library. The Tools
Manager dialog box opens.
2. The title bar of the Tools Manager dialog box reflects your working
library. If it is set to Rtools.tl8, you are using the correct tool
library; skip to the next section, Selecting a tool. If it is set to
Tools.tl8, continue with the remaining steps in this section.
3. Right-click in the white area containing the list of tools and select
Change library. The Select tool library dialog box opens.
4. Select Rtools.tl8 and choose Save. The title of the Tools Manager
should now reflect the correct library.
Selecting a tool
Engraving toolpaths require the use of V-groove cutters (known as
chamfer mills in the Mill product). These cutters produce sharp inside
corners by climbing in the corners to create a 3D hand-carved effect.
For this exercise, you will select a small-tipped V-groove cutter.
1. To narrow the selection of tools to V-groove cutters, choose the
Filter button. The Tool List Filter dialog box opens.
2. Set Unit masking to No unit masking.
3. Choose None to clear the selection of tool types then choose the VGroove (Chamfer mill) button, as shown in the following picture.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

21

Chapter 2
Click here
second.

Click here
first.

4. Choose OK. The Tool List Filter dialog box closes. The tool list
now shows only the V-groove cutters contained in the tool library.
5. Select the -inch cutter with .005-inch tip, as shown in the
following picture.

22

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

Note: This picture shows the Tools Manager in the Router product. In
Mill, the Tool Type will be set to Chamfer mill.
6. Choose OK to close the Tools Manager dialog box. The selected
tool displays on the Tool parameters dialog box tab.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

23

Chapter 2

Note: This picture shows the Tool parameters dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, this dialog box tab will have a very different
appearance. As long as you have selected the correct tool (the tool is
described as a chamfer mill in Mill), the exercise will work correctly.
Setting engraving parameters
You will now set engraving parameters, such as tool depth. When you
set a tool depth, you are setting the maximum depth that you want the
tool to reach. The tool depth cannot exceed the tools point length, as
shown in the following picture.

Point
Length

24

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

1. Select the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.


2. Clear the check box for Retract plane.
3. Set Feed plane to 0.25 and select Absolute.
Note: When the retract plane is turned off, the feed plane sets the
height that the tool moves to between contours.
4. Set Depth to -0.06 and select Absolute.
Note: The tool depth must be a lower value than the top of stock.
5. Select the Filter check box to turn on filtering, and choose the
Filter button. The Filter settings dialog box opens.
Note: Filtering the toolpath reduces the size of the resulting NCI
file.
6. Check your settings against the default values shown in the
following picture. Make any necessary adjustments.

7. Choose OK to return to the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.


8. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

25

Chapter 2

Setting roughing/finishing parameters


For this exercise, you want to produce v-shaped cavities that come to a
point. Therefore, you will not set a roughing pass for this toolpath,
which would pocket the inner boundaries of the letters in an attempt to
leave a flat floor. With no roughing pass set, the tool will complete a
finish pass by following the contours defined by the letter geometry.
1. Select the Roughing/Finishing dialog box tab.
2. Set Sorting to Left to right. This option sets the order in which
Mastercam cuts the selected closed boundaries. It overrides the sort
order that was set during chaining.
3. Set Tolerance to 0.001.
4. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

26

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

Engraving Carved Letters

5. Choose OK. Your part should look like the following picture.
Note: If the toolpath does not display on your system, press
[Alt+T] (or just [T] when in the Operations Manager).

The blue lines represent the tool feed moves. The yellow lines mark
the rapid moves between points in the toolpath.

Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial

27

Chapter 2

Exercise 6 Simulating machining (Verify)


Now that you have created the engraving toolpath, you will check it in the
stock that you defined in a previous exercise (Job Setup). To do this, you
will use the Verify function in the Operations Manager. This utility
simulates the machining operation in a three-dimensional shaded display.
Configuring the simulation
Before you run the simulation, you will set parameters that will
enhance the toolpath display.
1. Press [Alt+O] to open the Operations Manager.
Tip: You can also access the Operations Manager by choosing Operations from
the first page of the Toolpaths menu.

2. Choose Verify. The Verify toolbar opens.


3. Choose the Configure button.
4. Choose Use Job Setup values to use the stock boundary
information from the Job Setup dialog box.
5. Select Use TrueSolid to create a solid model for toolpath
simulation.
6. Select Display coordinates to display the tools XYZ coordinates
in the prompt area during the simulation.
7. Set the Speed/Quality scale to the midpoint to balance the
verification speed and image quality.
8. Select Wireframe tool. In TrueSolid mode, this option displays a
solid tool without a holder.
9. Select Auto (Profile) to use the default tool shape for the simulation
display.
10. Select Stop on gouge. This option causes the verification to pause
if there is a gouge in the toolpath.
11. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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12. Choose OK to close the dialog box.


Running the simulation
1. Choose the Machine (play) button
on the Verify toolbar. The
tool begins cutting the letter E. The prompt area reports the
toolpath progress and tool position. You can see the tool climb by
watching it in the graphics window and looking at the Z coordinate
in the prompt area.

2. When the simulation is 100% complete, choose the Screen-Zoom


toolbar button
to get a closer look at the results.
3. Click at opposite corners of a rectangle around the letter E, as
shown in the following picture.

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Your screen should now look like the following picture.

Ridge of material

Notice that in narrow sections of the letter the tool climbed to avoid
violating the letter boundary. Also notice that the tool left ridges of
material, rather than producing a V-shaped cavity. To solve this problem,
you will edit the toolpath parameters to increase the tool depth.
4. Close the Verify toolbar.

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Exercise 7 Editing toolpath parameters


In this exercise, you will change the depth to be more than double its
current value. To avoid possible problems with tool load at the new depth,
you will also program two constant volume depth cuts. The tool will
remove the material in two passes and will bear the same load with each
cut.
1. Select the Parameters icon to open the Engraving dialog box.

2. Select the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.


3. Set Depth to -0.150 (Absolute). Then select the Depth cuts check
box, as shown in the following picture.

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4. Choose the Depth cuts button.


5. Set # of cuts to 2 and select constant volume depth cuts.

6. Choose OK to return to the Engraving dialog box.


7. Choose OK to return to the Operations Manager. The operation is
marked with a red X, which indicates that changes have been made
to it.
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8. Choose Regen Path to incorporate the changes into the toolpath.


Drag the Operations Manager to the side of the screen so that you
can see your part. It will now look like the following picture.

9. Choose Verify and run the machine simulation again. The Vgroove cutter now makes two passes through the material.
10. Zoom in on the letter E again. Your part should look like the
following picture.

The ridges of material left by the tool at the previous depth are now
removed.
11. Close the Verify toolbar and the Operations Manager.

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Exercise 8 Saving the file


In addition to the geometry and job setup information, this file now
contains your engraving toolpath. To avoid overwriting the file that
contains only the geometry and job setup information, which you will use
in the next chapter, you will save this file with a new name.
1. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Type carved letters.mc8 for File name and choose Save.

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Engraving Embossed Letters

In the previous chapter, you created an engraving toolpath using one tool,
a small-tipped V-groove cutter. This approach worked well because you
were removing small amounts of material. However, there are times when
you may want to use more than one tool, such as when your part requires
engraved edges and a flat floor.
In this chapter, you will create two engraving toolpaths, one for roughing
and one for remachining the areas that the roughing tool cant reach.
These toolpaths will be based on the same letter geometry that you used in
the previous chapter. This time, however, you will machine the letters in a
raised position, thus creating an embossed effect.
You will perform the following tasks in this chapter:
Opening the part file
Creating an engrave roughing toolpath
Backplotting the roughing toolpath
Creating an engrave remachining toolpath
Backplotting the remachining toolpath
Simulating machining (Verify)
Saving the file

Exercise 1 Opening the part file


In this chapter, you will use the part file that you created in Exercises 1
through 4 of Chapter 2. This file contains geometry and job setup
information.
1. Choose Main Menu, File, Get.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Select engraving geometry.mc8 and choose Open.

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Exercise 2 Creating an engrave roughing toolpath


In this exercise, you will create a roughing toolpath. This toolpath will use
a large V-groove cutter to remove material within a closed boundary, or
pocket, in order to produce a flat floor.
Chaining the geometry
In the previous chapter, you created a toolpath on the letter geometry
in the word Engraving. The tool followed the boundaries defined by
the letters, and the letters were cut as cavities. In this exercise, you will
select the ellipse in addition to the letters. Since the letters will now be
nested within a closed boundary (the ellipse), Mastercam will handle
them as islands, which will be embossed (raised).
1. Access the Engrave function by taking one of the following actions,
according to the product that you are running.
In Router, choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Engraving.
In Mill, choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Next menu,
Engraving*.
2. Choose Window from the Chaining Methods menu.
3. Toggle the Rectangle and Inside options to +.
4. Draw a rectangle around the ellipse by clicking in opposite corners
(for example, upper left and lower right).

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5. The prompt area instructs you to enter a search point. Mastercam


uses the search point to set the toolpath start point and the sort order
of the chains. Click on the upper left corner of the letter E, as
shown in the following picture.

Note: The sort order affects the cutting order for contour and
finish passes.
6. Mastercam highlights all of the entities in the word Engraving and
the ellipse. Choose Done. The Engraving dialog box opens.

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Selecting a tool
For the roughing toolpath, you will use a 45-degree V-groove cutter
that has an outside, or major, diameter of 1.5 inches and an inside, or
minor, diameter of 0.5 inches. The tool library does not currently
contain a tool of this size, so you will define a new tool and add it to
the library.
1. Right-click in the large white area at the top of the Tool
parameters dialog box tab and select Create new tool. The Define
Tool dialog box opens.
2. On the Tool Type dialog box tab, select the V-groove tool button.

Note: This picture shows the Tool Type dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, the name of the button will be Chfr Mill.

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3. On the Tool-V-groove dialog box tab, set the following parameters:


Tool # = 20
Overall = 2.0
Shoulder = 1.2
Flute = 1.0
Outside diameter = 1.5
Diameter (tip)= 0.5

Note: This picture shows the Tool - V-Groove dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, the name of this tab will be Tool - Chfr
Mill.
4. Select the Parameters dialog box tab.

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5. Set the following parameters.


Feed rate = 125.0
Plunge rate = 50.0
Retract rate = 50.0
Spindle speed = 25000
Number of flutes = 2
Tool name = 1 " 45 DEGREE .5 TIP
Note: When setting these parameters for your own parts, you will
draw on your expertise with the machines and tools you are
working with.

6. Choose the Save to library button on the right side of the dialog
box.
7. Select Rtools.tl8 for File name and choose Save.

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8. Mastercam displays a message regarding the successful updating of


the library. Choose OK.
9. Choose OK to close the Define Tool dialog box. The new tool
appears on the Tool parameters dialog box tab.

Note: This picture shows the Tool parameters dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, this dialog box tab will have a very different
appearance. As long as you have selected the correct tool (the tool is
described as a chamfer mill in Mill), the exercise will work correctly.
Setting engraving parameters
In this exercise, you will set many parameters that you learned about
in the previous chapter. In addition, you will also set an amount of
stock to be left by the cutter around the chained boundaries in the X
and Y directions. This stock prevents the tool from violating the
boundaries due to the cutting tolerance. It also protects the boundaries
from chipping that may occur when you are cutting wood.

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Note: You will set the cutting tolerance on the Roughing/Finishing


dialog box tab in the next exercise.
1. Select the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.
2. Clear the Retract plane check box.
3. Set Feed plane to 0.1 and select Absolute.
4. Set Depth to -0.25 and select Absolute.
5. Set XY Stock to leave to 0.02.
6. Select the Filter check box to turn on filtering, and choose the
Filter button. The Filter Settings dialog box opens.
Note: Filtering the toolpath reduces the size of the resulting NCI
file.
7. Check your filter settings against the default values shown in the
following picture. Make any necessary adjustments.

8. Choose OK to close the Filter settings dialog box.


9. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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Setting roughing/finishing parameters


In order to remove material quickly, you will program the toolpath
with a loose tolerance, which produces less NCI code and a faster
cutting time. The tolerance sets the distance that the tool can violate
the chained boundaries. By setting a stock to leave amount greater than
the tolerance, as you did in the previous exercise, you move the tool
away from the boundaries and eliminate the risk of boundary violation.
1. Select the Roughing/Finishing dialog box tab.
2. Select the Rough check box.
3. Select the Parallel Spiral cutting method. This option cuts the
pocket in a spiral motion that offsets the outer boundary by the
stepover amount each time.
4. Set Sorting to Left to right. This option overrides the sort order
that was set by the search point you entered during chaining.
Note: The sort order of the chains does not affect the roughing
pass. However, it does affect the finish pass.

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5. To give the tool a smoother entry into the part, you will set a plunge
angle. Select the Entry-ramp check box then choose the Entryramp button. The Ramp dialog box opens.
6. Set Plunge angle to 20 (degrees) and choose OK. The tool will
enter the part at an angle of 20 degrees rather than plunging directly
into the part.

7. Set Tolerance to 0.01.


8. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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9. Choose OK to generate the toolpath. Your part should look like the
following picture.
Note: If the toolpath does not display on your system, press
[Alt+T] (or just [T] when in the Operations Manager).

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Exercise 3 Backplotting the roughing toolpath


In this exercise, you will check the rouging toolpath using Mastercams
backplotting feature before creating the remachining toolpath.
1. Press [Alt+O] to open the Operations Manager.
2. Choose Backplot. The Operations Manager closes, and the
Backplot menu displays.
3. Toggle the Yes/No options on the Backplot menu to match the
settings shown on the following picture. Based on these settings,
the plotted image will show the toolpath and tool as wireframe (vs.
shaded) images.

4. Choose Run from the Backplot menu. Mastercam plots the


toolpath.
5. To examine the toolpath more slowly, choose Step from the menu
or press [S] on the keyboard repeatedly until the toolpath is
complete. The tool simulates the cutting motion by moving from
point to point in the toolpath.
Tip: To speed up the display, press both the left and right mouse buttons at the
same time or hold down the [S] key. You can also choose Run at any time to finish
the display quickly.

6. You will know that backplotting has finished stepping through the
toolpath when the following message displays. Choose OK.

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The tool removed large amounts of material but was not able to fit
around the letters. You will create another toolpath to remove material
in these areas.

Exercise 4 Creating an engrave remachining


toolpath
In order to remove the material around the letters, you will create a
remachining toolpath using a smaller V-groove cutter. A remachining
toolpath calculates the remaining material and cuts only these areas, which
is more efficient than passing the tool over the entire part.
Copying an operation
You will create the remachining toolpath on the same geometry that
you cut with the roughing toolpath. Instead of re-chaining the
geometry, you will copy the roughing operation and edit the
parameters.
1. Choose BACKUP or press the [Esc] key to return to the Operations
Manager.
2. Right-click on 1-Engraving Operation. With the right mouse
button still depressed, drag the cursor down to a blank area of the
operation list and release the mouse button. Mastercam displays the
following menu.

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3. Choose Copy after. Mastercam creates a copy of the first


operation.
Editing the tool selection
In order to cut the areas where the roughing tool could not fit, you will
select a smaller V-groove cutter for the remachining toolpath.
1. Select the Parameters icon for the second engraving operation.
The Engraving dialog box opens.

2. Right-click in the tool list area of the Tool parameters dialog box
tab and select Get tool from library. The Tools Manager dialog
box opens.
3. Choose the Filter button. The Tool List Filter dialog box opens.
4. Set Unit masking to No unit masking.
5. Choose None to clear the selection of tool types then choose the Vgroove (Chamfer mill) button.
6. Choose OK to close the Tool List Filter dialog box.

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7. From the Rtools.tl8 tool library, select the -inch cutter with 0.06inch tip, as shown in the following picture.
Tip: For information on switching to a different tool library, see Selecting a tool
library in Exercise 5 of Chapter 2.

Note: This picture shows the Tools Manager in the Router product.
In Mill, the Tool Type will be set to Chamfer mill.
8. Choose OK. The Tool parameters dialog box tab now shows both
of the tools associated with this part, the roughing tool and the
remachining tool. Check to be sure the 0.7500 inch tool is selected
for this operation, as shown in the following picture.

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Note: This picture shows the Tool parameters dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, this dialog box tab will have a very different
appearance. As long as you have selected the correct tool (the tool is
described as a chamfer mill in Mill), the exercise will work correctly.
Editing engraving parameters
A remachining toolpath calculates the remaining stock based on the
previous operation or the dimensions of the roughing tool. For this
operation, you will program the remachining toolpath based on the
dimensions of the roughing tool. Also, you will clear the stock to leave
option since the purpose of the remachining toolpath is to remove the
remaining material and you no longer need to leave stock around the
boundaries.
1. Select the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.
2. Set XY Stock to leave to 0.
3. Select the Remachining check box then choose the Remachining
button. The Engrave remachining dialog box opens.

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4. Select Roughing tool and set the following values, which match
the dimensions of the roughing tool.
Major diameter = 1.5
Angle = 45
Tip diameter = 0.5

5. Choose OK to close the Engrave remachining dialog box.


6. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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Editing roughing/finishing parameters


Remachining toolpaths use the Zigzag cutting method; therefore, the
other roughing methods are disabled. You will turn off the entry ramp
because you are using a smaller-tipped V-groove cutter and there is
less material to plunge into. Also, you are no longer leaving any stock
around the boundaries, so you will tighten the cutting tolerance, which
results in more machining code and a more accurate toolpath.
1. Select the Roughing/Finishing dialog box tab.
2. Set Sorting to Left to right. This option overrides the sort order
that was set by the search point that you entered during chaining.
Note: The sort order of the chains does not affect the remachining
pass. However, it does affect the finish pass.
3. Clear the Entry-ramp check box.
4. Set Tolerance to 0.001.
5. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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6. Choose OK to return to the Operations Manager.


7. Choose Regen Path to incorporate the changes to the second
operation. Mastercam recalculates the toolpaths.

Exercise 5 Backplotting the remachining toolpath


You will use Mastercams backplotting feature to check the remachining
toolpath first, then both toolpaths together.
Setting Backplot parameters
Before you plot the toolpath, you will set parameters that will enhance
the toolpath display.
1. Choose Backplot from the Operations Manager.
2. Choose Display from the Backplot menu. The Backplot Display
Parameters dialog box opens.
3. Choose the Tool Appearance button.

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4. Set the following options on the Tool Appearance Parameters


dialog box, as shown in the following picture.
Select Auto to use the default tool shape in the plotted display.
Select Color Loop to plot each toolpath in a different color.
Select Show coordinates to display each tools coordinates in
the prompt area when you plot the toolpath. The Z coordinate
reflects the tools depth.

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5. Choose OK twice to return to the Backplot menu.


Plotting the toolpaths
1. Choose Run. Mastercam plots the remachining toolpath. Your part
should look like the following picture.

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Chapter 3

2. Choose BACKUP or press [Esc] to return to the Operations


Manager.
3. In order to plot both toolpaths, choose the Select All button. Both
operations are now selected, as indicated by the check marks,
shown circled in the following picture.

4. Choose Backplot.
5. Step through the toolpaths. The display changes color when the
plotted image moves from the roughing toolpath to the remachining
toolpath.
6. When you have finished stepping through the toolpaths, choose OK
at the prompt.
7. Choose BACKUP or press [Esc] to return to the Operations
Manager.

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Exercise 6 Simulating machining (Verify)


You will now simulate machining of this part using Mastercams Verify
feature. First, you will verify the remachining toolpath. Second, you will
verify both toolpaths, as you did for backplotting.
1. Select 2-Engraving Operation. Mastercam deselects the first
operation.

2. Choose Verify.
on the Verify toolbar. The
3. Choose the Machine (play) button
tool zigzags across the remaining material then completes a finish
pass on each chained boundary. Your part should look like the
following picture.

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4. Close the Verify toolbar.


5. Select both engraving operations in the Operations Manager then
run the verification again. Your part should now look like the
following picture.
Tip: Choose the Select All button or hold the [Ctrl] key and click both operations in
the list.

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6. Close the Verify toolbar and the Operations Manager.

Exercise 7 Saving the file


1. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Type embossed letters.mc8 for File name and choose Save.

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Using Pocket Roughing With


Engrave Remachining

In the previous chapter, you created an engraving toolpath using two


engraving tools: a large V-groove cutter for roughing and a smaller one for
remachining the areas that the roughing tool could not reach. In this
chapter, you will also use two tools. However, instead of roughing the part
with an engraving toolpath and a V-groove cutter, you will use a pocket
toolpath and a straight bit (known as a flat endmill in Mill). You will
finish cutting the part with an engrave remachining toolpath and a small
V-groove cutter.
You would program a part this way if you did not have a V-groove cutter
large enough to rough the part efficiently. Straight bits are more common
and less expensive than V-groove cutters. Also, your part may require
non-engraving pocket work in addition to engraving work. In this case,
using the straight bit for all of the pocket work saves you from having an
additional tool change, which also saves machining time.
You will perform the following tasks in this chapter:
Opening the part file
Defining the stock boundary
Creating a pocket toolpath
Backplotting the pocket toolpath
Creating an engrave remachining toolpath
Backplotting the remachining toolpath
Simulating machining (Verify)
Saving the file

Exercise 1 Opening the part file


The part that you will use in this chapter is Mastercams Version 8 logo.
You will open an existing file that contains the part geometry.
1. Choose Main Menu, File, Get.

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2. Navigate to your working folder:


Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Select V8logo geometry.mc8 and choose Open. The part displays
in the graphics window.

Exercise 2 Defining the stock boundary


In a previous exercise, you defined a parts stock boundary by defining
opposite corners of a rectangle. In this exercise, you will define the stock
boundary using the Bounding Box feature, which calculates a rectangle
based on the extents of the part geometry. Mastercam will use this
information in a later exercise when you simulate machining of the
engraving toolpath.
1. Press [Alt+J] to open the Job Setup dialog box.
2. Choose the Bounding box button.

3. From the selection menu, choose All, Entities. Mastercam


highlights all of the entities in the V8 logo.
4. Choose Done. The Job Setup dialog box reopens. The X and Y
fields now contain values that reflect the size of the part.
5. Enter 1.0 for the Z value, or stock thickness.

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6. Select Display stock and Fit screen to stock.


7. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

8. Choose OK to close the Job Setup dialog box.


9. Right-click in the graphics window and choose Isometric. Your
part should look like the following picture.

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Tip: Press
[F9] to
display the
coordinate
axes.

10. Right-click in the graphics window and choose Top.

Exercise 3 Creating a pocket toolpath


In this exercise, you will create a pocket toolpath to rough out material and
produce a flat floor.
Chaining the geometry
The V8 logo contains nested boundaries, or islands, which Mastercam
will machine in a raised position.
1. Choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Pocket.
2. Choose Window from the Chaining Methods menu.
3. Toggle the Rectangle and Inside options to +.
4. Draw a rectangle around the V8 logo by clicking in opposite
corners (for example, upper left and lower right).
5. The prompt area instructs you to enter a search point. Mastercam
uses the search point to set the toolpath start point and the sort order
of the chains. Click in the approximate location shown by the X in
the following picture.

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Note: The sort order affects the cutting order for contour and
finish passes.
6. Mastercam highlights the geometry in the V8 logo. Choose Done.
For Router users, the Router Pocket dialog box opens. For Mill
users, the Pocket dialog box opens.
Note: There are slight differences between these dialog boxes,
which will not affect the results of this chapter.
Selecting a tool
For the pocket toolpath, you will use a 1/8-inch straight bit (known as
a flat endmill in Mill).
1. Right-click in the large white area at the top of the Tool
parameters dialog box tab and select Get tool from library. The
Tools Manager opens. Make sure you are using the Rtools.tl8 tool
library.
Tip: For information on checking and changing a tool library, see Selecting a tool
library in Exercise 5 of Chapter 2.

2. Choose the Filter button. The Tool List Filter dialog box opens.
3. Set Unit masking to No unit masking.

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4. Choose None to clear the selection of tool types then choose the 1Straight (Endmill1 Flat) button. This button is located in the top
left corner of the dialog box.
5. Choose OK to close the Tool List Filter dialog box.
6. Select the 1/8-inch straight bit, as shown in the following picture.

Note: This picture shows the Tools Manager in the Router product.
In Mill, the Tool Type will be set to Endmill1 Flat.
7. Choose OK. The selected tool appears on the Tool parameters
dialog box tab.

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Note: This picture shows the Tool parameters dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, this dialog box tab will have a very different
appearance. As long as you have selected the correct tool (the tool is
described as endmill1 flat in Mill), the exercise will work correctly. The
tool list area may contain additional tools used in previous operations.
Check to be sure the 0.1250 tool is selected.
Setting pocketing parameters
You will program the pocketing toolpath with a 45-degree tapered wall
along the outer boundary and islands. The angle of this wall matches
that of the V-groove cutter that you will use for the engrave
remachining toolpath. By programming a tapered wall for the
pocketing toolpath, you offset the tip of the straight bit to the same
position as the tip of the V-groove cutter, which prevents it from
violating the engraved edge.
1. Select the Pocketing parameters dialog box tab.
2. Clear the Retract check box.

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3. Set Feed plane to 0.1 (Absolute).


4. Set Depth to 0.175 (Absolute).
5. Set Linearization tolerance to 0.005. By loosening the cutting
tolerance, you reduce the accuracy of the toolpath but speed the
toolpath results.
Note: A higher value results in a looser tolerance; a lower value
results in a tighter tolerance.
6. Set XY stock to leave to 0.01. The remaining stock protects the
boundaries since the linearization tolerance has been increased.
7. Select the Depth cuts check box then select the Depth cuts button.
The Depth cuts dialog box opens.
8. Set Max rough step and Finish step to 0.0.
9. Select the Tapered walls check box.
10. Set Outer wall taper angle and Island taper angle to 45.0
degrees.
11. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

Note: Based on these settings, the pocketing toolpath will not


actually cut a tapered wall. These settings serve only to calculate
the necessary tool offset position.
12. Choose OK to close the Depth cuts dialog box.

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13. Check your settings against the picture that matches the product
you are using (Router or Mill). Make any necessary adjustments.
The following picture shows the Pocketing parameters in Router.

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The following picture shows the Pocketing parameters in Mill.

Setting roughing/finishing parameters


1. Select the Roughing/Finishing parameters dialog box tab.
2. Select the Rough check box.
3. Select the Parallel Spiral, Clean Corners cutting method. This
option cuts the pocket in a spiral motion that offsets the outer
boundary by the stepover amount each time. With each direction
change, the tool also does a small move to remove any slivers of
material that result from a large stepover (relative to the tool
diameter).
4. Set the Stepover percentage to 50.0. This option sets the distance
between roughing passes in the X and Y axes as a percentage of the
tool diameter.
5. Select Spiral inside to outside.
6. Clear the Finish check box to turn off the finish pass.

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7. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any


necessary adjustments.

8. Choose OK to generate the toolpath. Your part should look like the
following picture.

Tip: Your
toolpath
display may
show
circles,
which
represent
the tool.

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Exercise 4 Backplotting the pocket toolpath


In this exercise, you will use Mastercams backplotting feature to check
the roughing toolpath before creating the remachining toolpath.
1. Press [Alt+O] to open the Operations Manager.
2. Choose Backplot. The Operations Manager closes, and the
Backplot menu displays.
3. Toggle the Yes/No options on the Backplot menu to match the
settings shown on the following picture. Based on these settings,
the plotted image will show the toolpath and tool as wireframe (vs.
shaded) images.

4. Choose Run from the Backplot menu. Mastercam plots the


toolpath.
5. To examine the toolpath more slowly, choose Step from the menu
or press [S] on the keyboard repeatedly until the toolpath is
complete. The tool simulates the cutting motion by moving from
point to point in the toolpath.
Tip: To speed up the display, press both the left and right mouse buttons at the
same time or hold down the [S] key. You can also choose Run at any time to
quickly finish the display.

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6. When prompted, choose OK to acknowledge the completion of


backplotting.
The tool removed material in sections of the letter V but, because of
its size and the tapered wall, it was not able to fit in other sections of
the part. You will create another toolpath to remove material in these
areas.

Exercise 5 Creating an engrave remachining


toolpath
In order to remove the remaining material and produce the engraved
edges, you will create an engrave remachining toolpath using a smalltipped V-groove cutter.
Chaining the geometry
You will create the remachining toolpath on the same geometry that
you cut with the pocket roughing toolpath.
1. Choose BACKUP or press the [Esc] key to return to the Operations
Manager.
2. Take the following steps, according to the product that you are
running:
Router
Right-click in the white operation list area. Mastercam displays a
right-click menu.
Select Toolpaths, Engraving, as shown in the following picture.

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Mill
Close the Operations Manager.
Choose Main Menu, Toolpaths, Next menu, Engraving*.
3. Choose Last from the Chaining Methods menu. Mastercam selects
the previously chained entities in the V8 logo.
4. Choose Done. The Engraving dialog box opens.
Selecting a tool
In order to cut the material in areas where the roughing tool could not
fit, you will select a small-tipped V-groove cutter for the remachining
toolpath.
1. Right-click in the tool list area of the Tool parameters dialog box
tab and select Get tool from library. The Tools Manager dialog
box opens.

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2. Use the Filter option to narrow the tool list to V-groove cutters
(Chamfer mills).
Tip: For information on filtering the tool list, see Selecting a tool in Exercise 5 of
Chapter 2.

3. From the Rtools.tl8 tool library, select the -inch cutter with 0.005inch tip, as shown in the following picture.

Note: This picture shows the Tools Manager in the Router product.
In Mill, the Tool Type will be set to Chamfer mill.
4. Choose OK. The selected tool appears on the Tool parameters
dialog box tab.

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Note: This picture shows the Tool parameters dialog box tab in the
Router product. In Mill, this dialog box tab will have a very different
appearance. As long as you have selected the correct tool (the tool is
described as chamfer mill in Mill), the exercise will work correctly. The
tool list area may contain additional tools used in previous operations.
Check to be sure the 0.7500 tool is selected.
Setting engraving parameters
In the previous chapter, you programmed the engrave remachining
toolpath to calculate the remaining stock based on the dimensions of
the engrave roughing tool, a V-groove cutter. In this chapter, you used
a straight bit as the roughing tool. This tool type does not contain the
necessary information (major diameter; tip, or minor, diameter; and
angle) to be used to calculate the remaining stock. Therefore, you will
program this engrave remachining toolpath to calculate the remaining
stock based on the previous operation.
1. Select the Engraving parameters dialog box tab.
2. Clear the check box for Retract plane.

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3. Set Feed plane to 0.1 (Absolute).


4. Set Depth to -0.175 (Absolute).
Note: This setting should match the depth used in the pocket
roughing toolpath.
5. Set XY Stock to leave to 0.
6. Select the Filter check box to turn on filtering, and choose the
Filter button. The Filter Settings dialog box opens.
Note: Filtering the toolpath reduces the size of the resulting NCI
file.
7. Check your filter settings against the default values shown in the
following picture. Make any necessary adjustments.

8. Choose OK to close the Filter settings dialog box.


9. Select the Remachining check box then choose the Remachining
button.

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10. Select Previous operation.

11. Choose OK to close the Engrave remachining dialog box.


12. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

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Setting roughing/finishing parameters


1. Select the Roughing/Finishing dialog box tab.
2. Set Sorting to Top to bottom. This option overrides the sort order
that was set by the search point you entered during chaining.
Note: The sort order of the chains does not affect the remachining
pass. However, it does affect the finish pass.
3. Set Stepover % to 80.
4. Set Tolerance to 0.001.
5. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

6. Choose OK to generate the toolpath.


7. (Mill users) Press [Alt+O] to open the Operations Manager. There
are now two operations reflected in the list.

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8. Make sure only the second operation is selected, as shown in the


following picture.

Exercise 6 Backplotting the remachining toolpath


You will use Mastercams backplotting feature to check the remachining
toolpath.
1. Choose the Backplot button.
2. Choose Run. Mastercam plots the remachining toolpath. Your part
should look like the following picture.

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3. Choose BACKUP or press [Esc] to return to the Operations


Manager.
4. Select both operations.
Tip: Choose the Select All button or hold the [Ctrl] key and click both operations in
the list.

5. Choose Backplot.
6. Step through the toolpaths. The display changes color when the
plotted image moves from the pocket roughing toolpath to the
engrave remachining toolpath.
Tip: For information on the Color Loop feature, see Exercise 5 in Chapter 3.

7. When the system has finished backplotting the toolpaths, choose


OK.
8. Choose BACKUP or press [Esc] to return to the Operations
Manager.

Exercise 7 Simulating machining (Verify)


You will now simulate machining of the part using Mastercams
Verify feature. You will pause the verification between the pocket
roughing and the engrave remachining toolpaths.

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Configuring the simulation


Based on the stock boundary that you defined in a previous exercise,
the edges of the stock are located at the extents of the part. To obtain a
better simulation, you will set a half-inch margin of stock around the
part. You will also program the simulation to stop between tool
changes so that you can examine the roughing toolpath before running
the remachining toolpath.
1. Choose Verify. The Verify toolbar opens.
2. Choose the Configure button.
3. Choose the Use Job Setup values button.
4. In the Margins column, set X and Y values of 0.5.
5. Select Stop on tool change.
6. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

7. Choose OK to close the Verify configuration dialog box.

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Running the simulation


1. Choose the Machine (play) button
on the Verify toolbar. The
roughing toolpath removes some of the material, as shown in the
following picture.

2. Choose the Machine (play) button again. The remachining toolpath


removes the remaining material, as shown in the following picture.

3. Close the Verify toolbar and the Operations Manager.

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Exercise 8 Saving the file


1. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Type V8logo toolpaths.mc8 for File name and choose Save.
In Chapters 2 through 4, you learned how to program engraving toolpaths
on geometry that you created in Mastercam and on a pre-existing part file.
In Chapter 5, you will learn how to convert data from raster graphics and
EPS and AI files into Mastercam geometry. The artwork contained in
these files is often used in engraving toolpaths.

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Reading Artwork Into Mastercam

This chapter teaches you how to use the Raster to Vector (Rast2Vec) and
EPS file converters to read artwork into Mastercam. The Rast2Vec file
converter translates raster graphics, which treat an image as a collection of
dots, into vector graphics, which treat an image as a collection of lines and
arcs. The EPS file converter translates the vector data contained in
encapsulated PostScript (EPS) graphics and Adobe Illustrator (AI)
files into Mastercam lines and arcs or splines. With both converters, the
resulting Mastercam geometry can be used in toolpaths for machining
purposes.
Note: EPS and AI are vector file formats developed by Adobe Systems
Incorporated.
You will perform the following tasks in this chapter:
Selecting a raster image to convert
Converting the image to black and white
Generating Mastercam entities
Fine-tuning the results
Manually creating and editing entities
Exiting the Rast2Vec converter and saving the file
Using the EPS file converter

Exercise 1 Selecting a raster image to convert


The Rast2Vec converter reads all bitmap formats (BMP, GIF, JPG or
JPEG, PCD, PCX, TIF or TIFF), as well as images that have been
digitized with a scanner or digital camera. You can convert one file at a
time. To obtain good results, use an image that has clearly recognizable
outline contours. Black and white images produce the best results.
However, photocopied images may have blurred outlines.

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1. Choose Main Menu, File, New to clear the graphics window, then
choose Yes at the prompt to initialize geometry and operations.
2. From the File menu, choose Converters, Next menu, Rast2Vec.
3. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
Tip: The Mcam8\Data folder contains sample bitmap files for your use.

4. Select butterfly.bmp. The preview window contains the butterfly


image.

5. Choose Open. Mastercam opens the butterfly image in the


Black/White conversion dialog box.

Exercise 2 Converting the image to black and


white
The Rast2Vec converter requires that an image be black and white in order
to convert it from bitmap to vector format. When the file that you select to
convert contains colors or gray tones, the converter provides a utility for
changing the image to monochrome.
Note: You can also use graphics software or the Paint program included
with Microsoft Windows to convert color or grayscale pictures to
monochrome prior to converting them in Mastercam.

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The butterfly image contains gray tones. The squares at the bottom of the
dialog box represent the different shades of gray in the image. The picture
on the left represents the original image. (Only a small percentage of the
image has gray tones, which may be difficult to detect by looking at the
image on the left). The picture on the right changes depending on how the
threshold scale is set. This scale adjusts the amount of black and white that
is used to replace the gray tones.

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1. Select Linear Black/White conversion.


2. Click and drag the Threshold slider to the midpoint of the scale.

3. Release the slider and watch the butterfly image on the right. Some
of the gray tones change from white to black.
Note: The change is very subtle.
4. Drag the slider all the way to the right then release it. The gray
tones in the original image are now all black.
5. Return the slider to the left, then release it and choose OK. The
butterfly image appears in the Rast2Vec dialog box.

Exercise 3 Generating Mastercam entities


The options on the Rast2Vec dialog box determine the size of the
converted image, the type of geometry that will be created, and how fine
the results will be. The converter can generate geometry along the outline
of the image or at the center lines of the shaded regions. In addition, you
can manually trace the image by creating and editing geometry. For this
exercise, you will create outline geometry and will manually edit the
results in a later exercise.
1. Choose Create outlines.
2. Set Resolution DPI to 300. At this resolution, the size of the
butterfly geometry will measure approximately 3.40 by 2.12 inches.
3. Clear the Background bitmap check box.
Note: You will learn about this option in a later exercise.
4. Set Source bitmap contains to Mostly arcs. This option
determines the type of geometry that best represents the image,
which affects the geometry that the converter outputs.
5. Set Accuracy to Fine. This option determines how closely the
converter looks at each pixel in the image.

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6. Check your settings against the following picture. Make any


necessary adjustments.

7. Choose OK. Mastercam converts the bitmap image to lines and arcs
in the graphics window. The prompt area at the bottom of the
screen reports the number of resulting entities.

Note: The lower left corner of the image is positioned at the origin
of the coordinate axes. Press [F9] to display the axes.

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Exercise 4 Fine-tuning the results


At this point, the file is in an intermediate state where you can check the
results and return to the Rast2Vec dialog box to adjust parameters, if
necessary.
Editing Rast2Vec parameters
1. Press [F1] to access the Zoom function.
2. Click at opposite corners of a rectangle in the section of the
butterflys wing shown highlighted in the following picture.

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The enlarged area shows a scalloped effect due to the creation of arcs
between many pixels in the drawing.

This geometry does not best represent the original image, however,
and you will now change it.
3. Press [Esc] to return to the Rast2Vec dialog box.
4. Set Source bitmap contains to Lines, corners and arcs and
choose OK.
5. Choose the Screen-Zoom toolbar button.
6. Draw a rectangle around the same region as in step 2. The
combination of lines, arcs, and sharp corners better represents the
original image.

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The prompt area reports the new total of lines and arcs.

Smoothing the geometry


Another intermediate editing step that you can take is to smooth the
geometry. This step reduces the number of lines and arcs and results in
a smoother outline of the image.
Note: Too much smoothing reduces the accuracy of the original
image.
1. Choose Smooth more from the R2V Smooth Geometry menu. The
Smooth dialog box opens.

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2. Choose OK to accept the recommended amount of smoothing. The


drawing now shows two sets of geometry, the original in green and
the smoothed in red. Also, the prompt area compares the number of
lines and arcs in the original image to the smoothed image.

You can accept the smoothed geometry, continue to smooth the


geometry, or undo the results of the smoothing. For this exercise, you
will revert to the original geometry.
3. Choose Undo smooth.
Note: If you have smoothed the geometry multiple times, you can
only undo the results of the last smoothing.
Generating the outline geometry
Before finalizing the creation of the outline geometry, you will turn on
the background bitmap feature. This feature shades the bitmap image,
which is useful for checking the resulting geometry against the original
image.
Note: This feature was previously deselected in order to better
illustrate the resulting geometry and the smoothing effects.

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1. Press [Esc] to return to the Rast2Vec dialog box.


2. Select Background bitmap. The default bitmap color, shown in
the field to the right of the option, is gray.

3. Choose OK to close the dialog box. The background of the


butterfly image is now shaded gray, as shown in the following
picture.

4. Choose Create geo to finalize the creation of the outline geometry.


The R2V Create/Modify Geometry menu displays.
At this point, you will be able to modify the existing geometry and
create new geometry. However, you will no longer be able to alter the
Rast2Vec parameters or smoothness settings.

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Exercise 5 Manually creating and editing entities


In this exercise, you will learn how to use a couple of Mastercams CAD
functions to modify the resulting geometry. You can access these
functions from the R2V Create/Modify Geometry menu while still in the
R2V converter. You can also access these functions from the Main Menu
in Mastercam. However, when you access these functions after exiting the
R2V converter, the background bitmap no longer displays on your image.
For more information on Mastercams design capabilities, use the online
help.
Note: Refer to Chapter 1 for instructions on how to access Mastercams
help system.
Creating a parametric spline
In this exercise, you will create a parametric spline based on some of
the lines and arcs that were output by the Rast2Vec converter. The
shape of a parametric spline is defined by a set of node points, which
lie on the spline. You can easily move mode points, thereby changing
the shape of the curve and still maintaining its smoothness.

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1. Press [F1] and zoom in on the teardrop shape shown highlighted in


white in the following picture.

2. From the R2V Create/Modify Geometry menu, choose Create,


Spline.
3. On the Spline menu, toggle Type to P for parametric.
4. Toggle Ends to N (No). This option affects the condition of the
splines endpoints. Since this spline is a closed shape, you do not
need to change its endpoints.
5. Choose Curves from the Spline menu
6. Select anywhere on the green line that marks the outer boundary of
the teardrop shape. Mastercam selects the chain of entities indicated
by the thick white line in the following picture.

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Note: The direction of the selection arrow does not matter.


7. Choose Done. The From Curves menu displays. The D next to the
Dispose option tells Mastercam to delete the selected lines and arcs
after the spline is created.

8. Choose Do it to create the parametric spline.


Editing a parametric spline
Now that you have created a parametric spline in place of a selection
of lines and arcs, you can edit the shape of the spline by moving its
node points. The spline is a single entity. Therefore, when you move
one of its node points, it maintains its continuous shape.

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1. Choose Main Menu to return to the R2V Create/Modify Geometry


menu, then choose Analyze.
2. Select the spline that you just created. In the prompt area,
Mastercam displays information about the spline. For example, 28
node points define this spline.

3. On the Analyze Entity menu, toggle Edit to Y (Yes). The spline


information now displays in a dialog box where some of the
information is editable.
4. Choose the Move node button.

Mastercam closes the dialog box and returns you to the graphics
window where the selected spline and its node points are highlighted.
5. Select the node point highlighted by the white circle in the
following picture. Once selected, the node point turns red.
Note: If you select the wrong node point, press [Esc] to deselect it.

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6. Move the cursor slightly to the left of the node point then click. The
node position changes to the point you just entered.
7. Click a few more times in different places to practice repositioning
the node point, then press [Esc] to set the node position. Your part
will look something like the following picture, depending on where
you set the node position.

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Note: If you clicked in the shaded region of the background


bitmap, your image may show lines marking these positions, as
shown in this picture. These lines will disappear once you set the
spline's position in the next step.
8. Press [Esc] again to return to the Analyze dialog box then choose
OK to change the shape of the spline.

Exercise 6 Exiting the Rast2Vec converter and


saving the file
1. Choose Main Menu to return to the R2V Create/Modify Geometry
menu.
2. Choose Done.

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3. At the prompt, choose Yes to exit the Rast2Vec converter.


Note: At this point, you can continue to create and edit geometry
using Mastercams Design functions (accessed from the Main
Menu). However, the shaded bitmap image is no longer present on
the screen.
4. Unzoom by choosing the Screen-Unzoom button.
5. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
6. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
7. Type butterfly.mc8 for the File name, then choose Save.

Exercise 7 Using the EPS file converter


With the EPS file converter, you can convert one EPS or AI file at a time
or an entire directory of EPS or AI files. For this exercise, you will convert
a single EPS file.
Note: For more information on the EPS file converter, see the
introduction to this chapter.
Clearing the screen and accessing the EPS converter
1. Choose New from the File menu.
2. At the prompt, choose Yes to initialize geometry and operations.
3. From the File menu, choose Converters, Next menu, EPS.
Setting EPS parameters
Before you convert an EPS file, you can set parameters that determine
the scale, composition, and position of the resulting geometry. For this
exercise, you will enter coordinates for opposite corners of a 3 by 5inch rectangle. Mastercam will scale the incoming part to the size of
this rectangle as best it can while maintaining the aspect ratio of the
incoming part. The coordinates that you enter will also set the position
of the part in the graphics window.

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1. Choose Settings from the EPS menu. The EPS reader settings
dialog box opens.
2. Select Scale art into rectangle.
3. Set Start to X0 and Y0. The lower-left corner of the converted
geometry will be positioned at the system origin (0,0).
4. Set End to X3 and Y5. These coordinates mark the upper-right
corner of the geometry.
5. Check your setting against the following picture. Make any
necessary adjustments.

6. Choose OK to close the EPS reader settings dialog box.

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Converting an EPS file


1. Choose Read file from the EPS menu.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
Tip: The Mcam8\Data folder contains sample AI files for your use. The EPS folder
(located within the Data folder) contains sample EPS files for your use.

3. Select palmtree.eps. The preview window contains the palm tree


image.

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4. Choose Open. Mastercam converts the file. Your part should look
like the following picture.

System
origin

Tip: Press [F9] to display the coordinate axes.

Saving the file


1. Choose Main Menu, File, Save.
2. Navigate to your working folder:
Mcam8\Common\Tutorials\Engraving Tutorial\Inch.
3. Type palmtree.mc8 for the File name then choose Save.
Congratulations! You have completed all of the exercises in the
Mastercam Version 8.1 Engraving Tutorial. For further Mastercam
developments, please contact your local Mastercam dealer and check the
CNC Software Web site at http://www.mastercam.com.

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Mastercam Shortcut Keys

$ Mastercam Shortcut Keys




Alt + V

Mastercam version number


and SIM serial number

Alt + W

Viewport configuration

Alt + X

Set main color, level, line


style and width from
selected entity

Set Cplane (menu)

Alt + Z

Set visible levels

Alt + 6

Set Gview (menu)

Alt +

Create two-point circle

Alt + A

AutoSave

Alt + Tab

Alt + B

Toolbar on/off

Switch between
applications

Alt + C

Run C-Hooks

Alt + -

Unhide selected entities

Alt + D

Drafting global parameters

Alt + =

Alt + E

Hide/unhide geometry

With hidden entities, select


additional entities to hide

Alt + F

Menu font

Alt + F1

Fit geometry to screen

Alt + G

Selection grid parameters

Alt + F2

Unzoom by 0.8

Alt + H

Online help

Alt + F3

Cursor tracking on/off

Alt + I

List open files

Alt + F4

Exit Mastercam

Alt + J

Job setup

Alt + F5

Delete using window


selection

Alt + L

Set line style and width

Alt + F7

Blank geometry

Alt + M

Memory allocations

Alt + F8

System configuration

Alt + N

Edit named views

Alt + F9

Display all axes

Alt + O

Operations Manager

F1

Zoom

Alt + P

Prompt area on/off

F2

Unzoom

Alt + Q

Undo last operation

F3

Repaint

Alt + R

Edit last operation

F4

Analyze menu

Alt + S

Full-time shading on/off

F5

Delete menu

Alt + T

In Toolpath menu, turn


toolpath display on/off

F6

File menu

Alt + U

Undo last creation

F7

Modify menu

Alt + 0

Set Z depth for Cplane

Alt + 1

Set main color

Alt + 2

Set main level

Alt + 3

Set mask level

Alt + 4

Set Tplane (menu)

Alt + 5

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F8

Create menu

F9

Part information on/off

F10

List all functions and


execute selected

Tab /

Navigate between controls


in dialog boxes

Shift + Tab
Esc

System interrupt or menu


backup

Page up

Zoom in by 5%

Page down

Zoom out by 5%

Arrow keys

Pan

Alt + Arrow
keys

Rotate

In the Operations Manager:


Ctrl + A

Select all operations

Ctrl + C

Copy selected operations

Ctrl + V

Paste selected operations

Ctrl + X

Cut selected operations

Expand or collapse all


operations

Set parent group of


selected operation as the
active group

Toggle NCI locking on


selected operations

Toggle posting on selected


operations

Toggle toolpath display for


selected operations

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