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Mastercam 2023 Stock Problems on Custom WCS


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Has anyone else watched this video from Caminstructor? The part at 11:54 is concerning.


In Summary, If you are trying to define stock on a part not aligned with the Top Plane, it now forces you to create duplicate versions of your Custom Plane, one where you would normally put it and the other at the correct angle but sharing its origin point with the top plane.

This seems like a step backwards for Mastercam 2023 or a huge oversight before releasing. I know it takes time to get used to new things but I am not seeing how these added steps of creating duplicate planes out in space has any potential upside. All this achieves is an extra 10 button clicks on every new setup and a more messy planes tab. If anyone from Mastercam or any users on this forum can explain the potential benefits of this new method that I am overlooking it would be greatly appreciated.

Maybe its not the end of the world, but it is at least an extra few steps and headache during setup of every new project not using the Top plane. It is hard to justify the maintenance costs this year if basic things like this are a step in the wrong direction.

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9 hours ago, Colin Gilchrist said:

I really don't understand why CNC Software would release Machine Group Setup, in its current form.

- You can "setup your machine simulation", but not really. Because the MGS selections, don't actually "do anything". You still have to use the "Machine Simulation Setup", so I just see a bunch of "extra stuff for the future", with no practical application in 2023. But even worse, things that "used to work in Machine Group Properties", now no longer work in Machine Group Setup.

- You can select "material", but that doesn't actually select material for your Speed/Feed calculations. You must go to the "Material button" on the ribbon bar. You actually "set the material" under the Master Model menu, but it is only "displayed" under the Stock Setup. Why wouldn't they just use the same controls on each panel, so you could see & edit the material type and properties, in both places

- Stock Setup > they got rid of '2-points', and you now must go through the 'Bounding Box' button, to create rectangular or cylindrical stock. But the interface for Bounding Box doesn't really make it clear that you can just "type in stock values", as the first control you are presented with is "manual geometry selection" or "automatic".

How is this not completely worse than the old method User Interface for Machine Group Properties?

There is the "Machine Setup", which is the files you are programming with (MD/CD/PST), oh, and they stuck the Line (Sequence Numbering), Program Number, and Comment Output Checkboxes, with the MD, CD, PST Files?

If it were me, I would make the following changes to the layout of the Machine Group Setup:

  1. Page 1 would be Machine Setup > MD/CD/PST, and Machine Simulation drop-downs/selection, and configuration options (move other settings below)
  2. Page 2 would be Model Setup > which would include 'Master Model' (Part) section, 'Stock' section, and 'Workholding' section. Material could be assigned/viewed/edited with a 'common control' on both Part and Stock pages. (Keep the 'Master Model' term if you like it, but I think Siemens may have a legitimate grip with using that term, although I don't know if they have it copyrighted, they've been using that term for a long time in their training materials...)
  3. Page 3 would be Program & Tool Settings > (Basically, take the "Tools" page, and add some controls, and move some settings from other pages. For example, move Tool & Operation Library selection to this page, also Program Comment Control, Sequence Numbers, and Program Number settings, 

I would eventually love to see "Control Settings" available on the "Program & Tool Settings" panel, because then all "program output and formatting controls" would be accessible through the MGS panels, rather than having to use the Machine Definition Manager, and Control Definition Manager functions, in a separate part of the software.

It would also be cool if there was an option for "material", where we could have a "HUD" (Head's Up Display) checkbox, where that data would display overlayed on the screen, while manipulating the Bounding Box function. It would be cool if you could edit or push/pull the stock size, and based on the HUD being enabled, and material assigned, and see the results of those changes in the HUD data being overlaid on the screen. Vericut has the HUD function for displaying your NC Program, while running, and I love that feature.

I think honestly, the only change I really like, is the ability to set a different 'Stock Color' on the Stock Setup page.

I honestly think they're trying to emulate how setup is done in Fusion 360.  It feels similar yet broken.

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3 hours ago, #Rekd™ said:

IMHO they are heading towards a system with verification built in or the ability to have it included easily. Kinematic awareness is coming. 

Sure, and that's great. I get that completely. But it isn't here yet, and this new attempt at building the UI feels incomplete. More pages, but less functionality. That is going backwards to me. When CNC Software has rolled-out new functions like this in the past, there was typically a way to "disable it, and use the old way", so that the technology could mature before everyone was ready to migrate over to the new interface.

Kinematic Awareness would be awesome, but that requires a whole system to be able to build kinematic models for both Programming Purposes (machine awareness at the toolpath level), and models for Simulation Purposes > showing what happens during when executing NC Code. This isn't just "tool removing material from stock". It requires being able to simulate the moves to/from a Tool Change, and all the other "motions" of the machine. At the higher levels (VERICUT, CAMplete, NC Simul), this includes things like simulating the motion of the tool changer arm when exchanging tools, or being able to model a tool carousel, where all of your loaded tools are available to interact with the stock/part/fixture models.

It also requires the ability to simulate both "dynamic codes", and the correct interpretation of "how the rotary behaves on the machine".

When you configure a Rotary Axis in VERICUT, guess how many "rotary behavior options" are available in the drop-down selection menu?

You have the following Absolute Rotary Direction settings, which control how the rotary motion is interpreted:

  • Positive  -> CCW
  • Positive -> CW
  • Always CCW
  • Always CW
  • Shortest Distance
  • Linear
  • Shortest Distance - 180 CW
  • Shortest Distance - 180 CCW
  • Positive -> CW Absolute
  • Positive -> CCW Absolute
  • Shortest Distance 2
  • Shortest Distance 3
  • Shortest Distance - 180 Linear
  • Shortest Distance 4

Question: why on earth would they have so many different configuration options, just for a Rotary Axis? 

Answer: because they have identified different machine behaviors during testing (all generally based on controller and parameter settings on the machine), where they had a need to create different internal routines for handling how the rotary moves, based on 1.) current position, and 2.) next commanded position.

Since Sandvik owns VERICUT, ICAM, and Mastercam now (oh, and Gibbs for good measure), there would really need to be some type of integration inside Mastercam with the combination of ICAM & VERICUT.

I'd be curious to see what the overall plan is for the next 2-years, 5-years, and 10-years. There CAD/CAM industry is going through quite a bit of upheaval, and I'm curious to see how that all plays out in the next decade...


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But between here and a possible there, what kind of mess will be made in the mean time?

The new stock setup is....well, let's just say, not good.

Can you imagine trying to tie in all of that new code into what appears to be remaining "old" code.....I've said it before, I'll say it again....

Mastercam should cease at a selected version, to stop all further development on the product and begin from the ground up with a new version.

JM2C....I said it years ago, my thinking hasn't really changed.

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3 hours ago, Colin Gilchrist said:

When CNC Software has rolled-out new functions like this in the past, there was typically a way to "disable it, and use the old way", so that the technology could mature before everyone was ready to migrate over to the new interface.


I have to disagree here. A lot of these new functions lately have no way to turn them off with answers like "its the 3rd party software doing it not us. Here is a request #" when it is questioned. I have had the feeling of incomplete UI for a long time and wish the phrase "quality of life" would enter the chat for this stuff.

I rely heavily on stock and machine setups for my parts and it is making me nervous seeing all these posts about this 2023 setup. I haven't started using 2023 yet as it just continuously crashes without an error message when I hit the x in the upper corner, then it restarts, in a loop forcing me to use task manager to kill it.

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6 hours ago, Matthew Hajicek - Singularity said:

Far too many third party solutions duct taped together.  It severely hampers control over the product, and customization capabilities.

It's time for a clean sheet ground up build.  But that would take money and effort, so we'll never see it.

Money > Sandvik has it in spades

Effort > Let's see if the Swedes kick things into high-gear.

I would imagine it would be to their benefit to do some technology sharing between all of their code-bases, and just build "Sandvik CAM", with everything under the sun: UI, kinematics, machines, posts, simulators, etc.

But that does come back to the Money & Effort argument, so hopefully something does change...

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1 hour ago, gcode said:

I'm doing a lot of work in 2023 now

I've never used stock in the Group Manager and still don't

I have found that you need to get the Stock Plane in the Group Manager correct or models won't come in correctly

To many ongoing projects to move to 2023, but yes I only use stock in Lathe anymore. Never in Mill and with all that is going on with the new machine group process better reason not to even start.

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