JB7280

Toolpath Manager Frustrations

Recommended Posts

Am I alone in thinking that Mastercam's Toolpath Manager is the worst part of Mastercam by a long shot?  I'm constantly moving operations on accident, and when I do have to intentionally re-order some operations, it's painfully clunky.  For something that may be used more than any other part of Mastercam, why hasn't it been improved?

 

Not sure if that sentiment is shared here.  I know i've saw similar opinions on PracticalMachinist.  But sometimes those guys are grumpy just for the sake of being grumpy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JB7280 said:

Not sure if that sentiment is shared here.  I know i've saw similar opinions on PracticalMachinist.  But sometimes those guys are grumpy just for the sake of being grumpy.

Sounds like you like it there🤣🤣🤣

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, So not a Guru said:

Sounds like you like it there🤣🤣🤣

Lol, overall I like Mastercam.  When I do get frustrated with it, it ALWAYS seems to be stupid stuff in the Toolpath Manager

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind the Toolpath manager, it works!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, JB7280 said:

For something that may be used more than any other part of Mastercam, why hasn't it been improved?

It was improved. The icons were renewed in 2022.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SlaveCam said:

It was improved. The icons were renewed in 2022.

And now they blend in nicely with my grey background so I can hardly see them at all. Definite downgrade for me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SlaveCam said:

It was improved. The icons were renewed in 2022.

 

1 hour ago, gms1 said:

And now they blend in nicely with my grey background so I can hardly see them at all. Definite downgrade for me.

Ha, I was fine with the visual change but you're right.  The color change was not the best choice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is the hover distance for your mouse. There was a topic about a windows default setting for this that is set in pixels.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

A couple of topics I found on the subject. I changed mine very high and that was not good so have adjusted it down, but not back to the default settings in Windows and this issue got much better, but yes has been one of those beat your head on the desk things for many versions. That and the red arrow of death.

image.png.9085d1e27115d2248f511d501f9cce41.png

Here is what I have settled into, but thinking about messing with it again.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ron, I'll try that.  However, I feel like the whole layout just leaves a lot to be desired.  Hopefully this at least helps some.

I remember the layout of Esprits operations/toolpaths being quite nice.  Very easy to re-order/ organize toolpaths.  If only we could take all the good, and get rid of the bad from each CAM package!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JB7280 said:

Thank you Ron, I'll try that.  However, I feel like the whole layout just leaves a lot to be desired.  Hopefully this at least helps some.

I remember the layout of Esprits operations/toolpaths being quite nice.  Very easy to re-order/ organize toolpaths.  If only we could take all the good, and get rid of the bad from each CAM package!!

The big question is how are you reorganizing the paths?

> I recommend always, always, using 'click to select, (CTRL or SHIFT, to select a range), then 'Right-click, Hold-and-drag, then release on the Destination Operation. You will get a Right-click Menu, with:

> Move Before

> Move After

> Copy Before

> Copy After

> Cancel

I think the 'cancel' command is critical, because if you accidentally pick the wrong Op, or your finger slips, you can avoid disaster. But the ability to choose Move or Copy is also a huge help.

I also like to use Toolpath Groups, and make 'Subgroups', so I don't have a single list with dozens or hundreds of Ops in a row. I tend to use some type of 'main top-level Group' (OP10, OP20, OP30, etc.), and then usually a few main subgroups underneath that. (Initial Stock, Rough, Semi-Fin, Finish, End-of-Op)

I always put an 'empty group' (end-of-op), at the bottom of each Main Group. This is so I can put my Insert Arrow there, and 'left-click', to deselect the Ops in all groups. Basically I do this so I can have "no Toolpath" to click on. This is because I use the 'Display only selected Toolpaths' switch. So 'all Toolpaths are set to be 'visible', and they display when clicked. But I want to be able to quickly 'not display any Toolpath', also. Having an 'empty group' gives me that ability.

Also, are you aware of the 'Toolpath selection' function in the Right-click Menu in the Toolpaths Manager? This gives you the ability to set "filters" for selecting Toolpaths, according to Tool #, Operation Type, and so much more.

One final trick I use is the 'Display Options'. With this, you can turn off things like the Operation Name, and Toolpath Name, even the T/C Plane Name, or WCS. For example, I can turn off everything but the WCS Name, and Operation Comment, and then can quickly scan 100's of Ops to make sure WCS is all set the same. Then I restore the display as needed.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2021 at 10:16 PM, Colin Gilchrist said:

The big question is how are you reorganizing the paths?

> I recommend always, always, using 'click to select, (CTRL or SHIFT, to select a range), then 'Right-click, Hold-and-drag, then release on the Destination Operation. You will get a Right-click Menu, with:

> Move Before

> Move After

> Copy Before

> Copy After

> Cancel

I think the 'cancel' command is critical, because if you accidentally pick the wrong Op, or your finger slips, you can avoid disaster. But the ability to choose Move or Copy is also a huge help.

I also like to use Toolpath Groups, and make 'Subgroups', so I don't have a single list with dozens or hundreds of Ops in a row. I tend to use some type of 'main top-level Group' (OP10, OP20, OP30, etc.), and then usually a few main subgroups underneath that. (Initial Stock, Rough, Semi-Fin, Finish, End-of-Op)

I always put an 'empty group' (end-of-op), at the bottom of each Main Group. This is so I can put my Insert Arrow there, and 'left-click', to deselect the Ops in all groups. Basically I do this so I can have "no Toolpath" to click on. This is because I use the 'Display only selected Toolpaths' switch. So 'all Toolpaths are set to be 'visible', and they display when clicked. But I want to be able to quickly 'not display any Toolpath', also. Having an 'empty group' gives me that ability.

Also, are you aware of the 'Toolpath selection' function in the Right-click Menu in the Toolpaths Manager? This gives you the ability to set "filters" for selecting Toolpaths, according to Tool #, Operation Type, and so much more.

One final trick I use is the 'Display Options'. With this, you can turn off things like the Operation Name, and Toolpath Name, even the T/C Plane Name, or WCS. For example, I can turn off everything but the WCS Name, and Operation Comment, and then can quickly scan 100's of Ops to make sure WCS is all set the same. Then I restore the display as needed.

 

Thanks, lots of good information Colin.  Somebody (I think it was you, Colin) showed me the toolpath selection menu.  Very useful.  I do use the right click menu to move toolpaths around.  The biggest issues I run into are, sometimes I'll move things, and the wrong thing gets moved because I clicked on it, and it didn't select it for whatever reason, and sometimes while mousing over the toolpath menu, My finger will bump one of the mouse buttons for a tiny second, and boom, everything that was selected gets moved.  Granted, those are my own misclicks, or whatever, but something about it just feels off. 

 

As far as the organization, I've been trying to do it like this. 

 

tpm.thumb.jpg.92688a076d18b4a9b6a2813b014d585e.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that I found out by making the mistake of accidentally moving operations around. Make sure that you have the operation(s) that you want to move highlighted and nothing else before dragging.  I've had an operation that I had no intention of moving highlighted, right clicked on the operation that I did want to move, drag and let go only to figure out that it never actually selected the operation that I right clicked on and ended up moving the operation that was originally highlighted. 

I thought that I was going nuts or that there was a bug until someone from MC pointed this out to me.  Now I'm super careful to make sure that everything I need to move is highlighted before dragging anything around. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, neurosis said:

Now I'm super careful to make sure that everything I need to move is highlighted before dragging anything around. 

I never drag /drop in the ops manager

I position the Red Arrow of Doom where I want the op to go, then cut/paste

I have my mouse sensitivity set high and it's too easy to screw things up dragging and dropping

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JB7280 said:

Thanks, lots of good information Colin.  Somebody (I think it was you, Colin) showed me the toolpath selection menu.  Very useful.  I do use the right click menu to move toolpaths around.  The biggest issues I run into are, sometimes I'll move things, and the wrong thing gets moved because I clicked on it, and it didn't select it for whatever reason, and sometimes while mousing over the toolpath menu, My finger will bump one of the mouse buttons for a tiny second, and boom, everything that was selected gets moved.  Granted, those are my own misclicks, or whatever, but something about it just feels off. 

 

As far as the organization, I've been trying to do it like this. 

 

tpm.thumb.jpg.92688a076d18b4a9b6a2813b014d585e.jpg

Your Ops Tree organization looks great.

Something critical to note > never use "right-click" to 'select operations'. You should always 'left-click, to select, then right-click to perform an action'. Take the extra half-second to make sure the 'correct Ops are selected, and nothing else is included'.

I always, always, do this when selecting something to move/copy:

  • Left-Click on a different Operation, from my "target operation". (make sure 'something else' is selected.)
  • Left-Click on my 'Target Operation'. (The first Op I want to select. Doesn't matter if I am selecting a single-operation, or a range.)
  • If needed, I will use CTRL or SHIFT, in combination with an additional Left-Click(s), to select whatever 'group of ops', I'm trying to select.
  • Finally, I will then Right-Click on my Target Operation, and continue holding the [RMB], until I've highlighted the 'Destination Operation'.
  • When I let go of the [RMB], I'll then have my Move/Copy/Cancel options, and choose the appropriate command.

(The important part of that sequence is "selecting something else" (puts the focus on a different Operation), then "[LMB] selecting the actual Target Operation". This ensures that I've "deselected any previously active selection" [clicking on a different op], and made sure that there aren't "other selected Ops" which I wasn't aware of. It is super easy to accidentally select a "range of ops", without being aware of that happening, if you attempt to use the [RMB] to select the Operation on which you are attempting to perform an action. I always "left-click, release, then right-click", in order to ensure proper selection...)

Are you, by chance, programming on a laptop? Or are you working on a desktop? The reason I ask > is because of the touchpad.

On my laptop, I have my computer set to "disable the touch pad, when a mouse is inserted". (Technically; I unchecked "leave touchpad on, when mouse is inserted".)

In addition, there is also a "track pointer" or "point stick". This is more difficult to disable. You may have to delve into the Device Manager, to disable the "HID Compliant" device, underneath "Mouse and pointing devices".

Finally, depending on your hardware and OS (Windows 10) > you may benefit from disabling the 'Service' for touchpad & handwriting:

  • Press [Windows Key] + [R] (Run)
  • In the 'Run' dialog (Open), Type 'services.msc', and press [Enter]
  • If prompted; enter an Admin Username + Password
  • Locate the 'Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service' name (in the Services List), and Right-Click
  • Choose 'Stop'.

Note that if stopping this Service is helpful > you'll need to remember to do this each time you boot up your computer.

There is a 'Free Tool' from Sys Internals (amazing site, and books!!!), called 'Autoruns', which can be used to permanently delete a Service, but be very careful if you choose to go this route. (And test, test, test, before you choose to Delete a Windows Service.) If you accidentally delete a Service that is essential, there is no easy way to restore it. You may be able to 'Repair' a desktop Application to restore the service, but it could also require you to completely reinstall Windows, so be careful!

By the way, 'Autoruns' is one of the most extensive tools available to give you control over 'auto-start' programs, allowing you to really clean-up your system. (Mark Russinovich is a God among men...)

 https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gcode said:

I never drag /drop in the ops manager

I position the Red Arrow of Doom where I want the op to go, then cut/paste

I have my mouse sensitivity set high and it's too easy to screw things up dragging and dropping

Correct me if I am wrong but was this always a feature? I seem to remember the right click/hold/drag/drop was the only way to move toolpaths until recently. Or maybe I am misremembering.

I do a combination of both in terms of copy/pasting and drag/dropping. I have had a few hiccups here and there and I can say that it is definitely annoying, but not that big of a deal.

 

I personally kinda like the toolpath manager and in fact, I am not even sure what they could do to make it more intuitive. I am sure there are many things but I am not a UX designer so I dunno. It packs a lot of functionality into that little strip of pixels!

Is there a way yet to dock the toolpath manager, and the other managers OUTSIDE of your main mastercam window? Say I want to have a huge graphics window and I want to "mount" my managers on my other monitor somewhere so I can expand it in size and open it up a bit more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Metallic said:

Is there a way yet to dock the toolpath manager, and the other managers OUTSIDE of your main mastercam window? Say I want to have a huge graphics window and I want to "mount" my managers on my other monitor somewhere so I can expand it in size and open it up a bit more?

It's not "docked", but it is persistent.Capture.thumb.PNG.509da0ab6ba83638851a5b346745a2d3.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Metallic said:

I seem to remember the right click/hold/drag/drop was the only way to move toolpaths until recently.

I've been right click/copy/paste  or right click/cut/paste since the first release of X

I am WAY too fast fingered for drag/drop

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Metallic said:

Is there a way yet to dock the toolpath manager, and the other managers OUTSIDE of your main mastercam window? Say I want to have a huge graphics window and I want to "mount" my managers on my other monitor somewhere so I can expand it in size and open it up a bit more?

"Is there a way yet to dock the toolpath manager, and the other managers OUTSIDE of your main mastercam window?"

No, the mfc framework docking support only applies inside the window.

 

This kind of behavior is possible inside the windows api, but you would need a custom programming solution to accomplish this..

This github project creates 3 child windows that follow a parent window around and act as buttons, the concept is different but the principle and functions used are the same.

https://github.com/xx4g/twlekezexe

I am translating the project to c#, so you will be able to emulate this in mastercam 2022 without mods, eventually

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
//in c++ something like this, offset would be how much the window sticks out to the left, or right..
//from winexe.cpp //copyright 2021(c) byte
/*Update a Button Windows Positions*/
void UpdateWindowPos(HWND hWndParent, HWND hWndChild, int offset)
{
	if (hWndParent)
	{
		if (hWndChild)
		{
			RECT lPRect;
			GetWindowRect(hWndParent, &lPRect);
			lPRect.left = lPRect.right - 25 - offset;
			lPRect.right = 25;
			lPRect.bottom = 25;
			MoveWindow(hWndChild, lPRect.left, lPRect.top, lPRect.right, lPRect.bottom, TRUE);
			UpdateWindow(hWndChild);
		}
	}
}

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Metallic said:

 

I personally kinda like the toolpath manager and in fact, I am not even sure what they could do to make it more intuitive. I am sure there are many things but I am not a UX designer so I dunno. It packs a lot of functionality into that little strip of pixels!

I think that explains one aspect of my issue with it.  Too much information in that window.  Too many things going on makes my brain chaotic, lol.  

 

I don't remember exactly, as it's been a long time since I've used it, but this is how it was in Esprit.  This was your "features manager" which showed chain and toolpath association.

feats.jpg.55e751d69306fc820c2df627593b6353.jpg

 

Then you had this window, for when you wanted to re-order your operations, or just view them by toolchange.

ops.jpg.9d4356abee80270507af552c9b42db00.jpg

 

I preferred it, but that doesn't mean it's better.  Most people here seem to be happy with the toolpath manager, so perhaps I just need to adjust my way of doing things!!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Join us!

eMastercam - your online source for all things Mastercam.

Together, we are the strongest Mastercam community on the web with over 56,000 members, and our online store offers a wide selection of training materials for all applications and skill levels.

Follow us