Mastercam's CAD/CAM software stands as a self-sufficient, robust NC-coding tool for a variety of manufacturing tasks. While its primary solutions like Mill and Lathe cater to a wide range of programming needs, there are instances where additional functionality can enhance efficiency and precision. This is where Mastercam Add-Ons come into play, offering software extensions that bring new capabilities to Mastercam. Each Add-On serves a unique purpose, focusing on a specific machining application. This article is the first part of a series detailing the various Add-Ons available in Mastercam.
A standout Add-On in the Mastercam suite is the Multiaxis solution. It elevates the potential of 3-axis machines beyond traditional machining methods and facilitates 4- and 5-axis simultaneous machining on multiaxis machines. The Multiaxis Add-On features pre-set strategies that automate programming, applying advanced cutting patterns for precision. Its Dynamic and Accelerated Finishing technologies are notable for removing substantial material volumes rapidly, yet achieving excellent surface quality. Moreover, Multiaxis calculates ideal tool tilt angles to prevent gauging and adhere to machine tool constraints. This Add-On is highly adaptable, allowing for user modifications as needed.
The Multiaxis Add-On shines in scenarios involving complex shapes, tight tolerances, or urgent deadlines, which are increasingly common in sectors like aerospace, automotive, and consumer goods. It reduces the need for multiple setups, enhancing surface transition smoothness, accelerating production, and minimising flaws due to repeated re-fixturing. With minimal human intervention needed, many parts programmed with Multiaxis are suitable for unattended, lights-out operation.
Productivity+ focuses on enhancing precision and accuracy. It utilises a Renishaw measuring probe on the machine tool to gather data on fixture offsets, tooling offsets, and program orientation. This data then informs advanced in-process control tasks, including component set-up, feature verification, process development, and analysis of dimensions and tolerances. Productivity+ is particularly beneficial for facilities aiming to optimise unattended machining, providing the added assurance and control needed for lights-out operation.
Specifically designed for cylinder head porting, the Port Expert Add-On simplifies programming by employing specialised cutting techniques derived from selected geometry data. The toolpath can begin at either end of the port or converge in the middle, based on user preference, with integrated linking motion for seamless transitions. Special attention is given to the finishing process, with options for parallel or perpendicular motions, both yielding superior surface finishes. Port Expert is aware of stock, autonomously avoids collisions, and automatically adjusts tool tipping.
This Add-On is primarily used for programming cylinder head ports in high-performance engines, but its utility extends to intricate tube work, deep pockets, and cylindrical surface patching, making it a valuable asset in
aerospace applications. To utilise Port Expert, users simply define their geometries, set their tool and machining parameters, and allow the Add-On to determine the most effective machining strategy.
Transform two-dimensional digital images into three-dimensional creations with Mastercam Art. This Add-On accepts various forms of 2D input, including sketches, clip art, photographs, and CAD data, typically in formats such as JPG, TIFF, and raster-based files. It converts these visuals into toolpaths that are compatible with most CNC machining units, using specialized toolpaths unique to Mastercam Art. This Add-On is ideal for adding decorative elements like logos or intricate designs to any part.
Mastercam Art is particularly adept at handling parts that require relief designs, such as those with engraved serial numbers, nameplates, or coasters adorned with intricate patterns. It streamlines much of the programming process, applying cutting techniques within predefined user constraints. For those seeking more hands-on control, Mastercam Art allows for the addition, removal, intersection, and blending of organic forms with simple mouse actions.
In summary, Mastercam's range of Add-Ons greatly expands the capabilities of its primary CAD/CAM software, catering to a diverse array of manufacturing needs. Whether it's enhancing precision, simplifying complex tasks, or adding artistic touches, these Add-Ons offer valuable solutions to streamline and elevate the machining process.