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Master the Art of Waterline Toolpaths: Tips & Techniques for CNC Machining Success

Welcome to our latest blog post! Today, we will delve into the world of waterline toolpaths, a powerful strategy for 3D surface machining in Mastercam. This technique is highly effective for creating precise and accurate contours on complex parts, such as moulds and dies. We've also prepared a concise, informative video that demonstrates the ease and effectiveness of using waterline toolpaths in Mastercam. But first, let's explore the fundamentals of this technique.

Selecting Entities for Waterline Toolpath:

As shown in the video, you can select solid faces, surfaces, or STL files for generating waterline toolpaths in Mastercam. Here are some useful tips for selecting entities:

  • Shift-click to select tangent solid faces

  • Ctrl-click to select matching solid fillets/holes

  • Ctrl-shift-click to select similar solid faces

  • Double-click to select a solid feature

  • Triple-click to select the solid body

The Waterline Toolpath Strategy:

The waterline toolpath slices the 3D model into multiple horizontal layers and generates a toolpath that traces each layer. The distance between these layers is known as the stepdown, similar to the stepover used in parallel finishing.

Benefits of Waterline Toolpaths:

  1. Enhanced surface finish quality

  2. Effective material removal for roughing and finishing

  3. Precise contour-following for complex geometries

  4. Customisable step-down control for optimal results

Waterline toolpaths are an essential strategy for CNC machining with Mastercam, especially when working with contoured parts. By understanding the process and mastering the techniques, you can optimise your machining process and achieve better results in your projects.

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