Top 4 Things You Should Know About Mastercam 2018 Router
Andrew Wheeler posted on July 17, 2017 |

No one would argue with the observation that computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) has come a long way since the days of paper punched tape in the 1950s. Today, a single computer can control an array of milling machines, lathes, welding machines and routers, and advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and cloud computing are poised to send CNC machines further down the never-ending rabbit hole of computerized automation.

Speculative narratives about the future of machining and manufacturing abound, but real change happens in small increments, with the rare leapfrog innovation occurring randomly and seemingly out of nowhere.

As CAD design software continues to become more sophisticated, it affords designers more choices to create highly complicated geometries for various parts and objects. The challenge of digital fabrication technology like 3D printers (additive manufacturing) and CNC machines (subtractive manufacturing) is to machine and manufacture these digital designs in the physical world. This of course requires great software.

A company named CNC Software produces Mastercam, a popular standalone software for CNC machining. It just announced the release of Mastercam 2018 Router. If you aren’t familiar with CNC routers, they are used to machine sign boards, wooden frames, indoor and outdoor decorations, moldings, musical instruments and furniture, for example.

There are four aspects of this new release that are important to remember. Before the top four, it is important to note that Mastercam 2018 Router is a standalone CAM software, but CNC Software also produces Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS, which previously did not have support for routing operations.

CNC routers are used to machine everything from moldings and exterior/interior decorations to musical instruments and wooden frames. (Image courtesy of CNC Software.)

CNC routers are used to machine everything from moldings and exterior/interior decorations to musical instruments and wooden frames. (Image courtesy of CNC Software.)

1.)    Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS Router

Designers who use Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS can now generate stair and drawing door geometry, as well as Block Drilling toolpaths and Saw toolpaths. Automatic Toolpathing (ATP) automates the process of assigning toolpaths to geometry for recurrent parts using a machining strategy.

2.)    2D Machining

Mastercam2018 Router allows users to do typical 2D machining like drilling, contouring and pocketing, among other things. Probably the coolest addition to 2D machining on the software is the new ability to utilize Feature-Based Machining (FBM). If you aren’t familiar with FBM, it allows you to mill and drill solid models automatically by examining a part’s features, then turning this analysis into an efficient strategy for machining the parts.


3.)    3D Machining

CNC Software realized that giving machinists a diverse array of rough machining techniques is a smart idea. In Mastercam Router 2018, users can rough cut pretty much any combination of solid models, STL files and multiple surfaces. Another interesting thing to note is that Mastercam Router 2018 helps create a more refined finish by automatically identifying leftover material. (Remember 3D print enthusiasts, this is subtractive manufacturing from blocks of raw materials).

4.)    Multi-Axis

In addition to control over the tool axis, tool motion and toolpath type in multi-axis machining, there are two add-ons worth noting: The first is Mastercam Blade Expert, which is for use with multi-bladed parts. The second is Mastercam Port Expert, for multi-axis machining with cylinder head ports.

To learn more about Mastercam 2018 Router, visit the company website.

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