Colin Gilchrist

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About Colin Gilchrist

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  1. Colin Gilchrist

    Re-learning from v9

    Welcome to the forum. The short answer is; levels are basically already "unlimited", but they also don't "exist" until you create them. Enter "1000000", and the system will create level 1,000,000 for you. To "exist" when you open a saved file, the level must either have a name, or must have geometry on the level. You can save level names in to a file (either space or comma delimited, I forget which) and then Right-click, "import level names", if you want to populate the levels list with commonly named levels.
  2. Colin Gilchrist

    mmd & control files

    It is odd behavior for sure. It did not happen in 2018, or 2019, that I can recall. I believe they have been doing some work to clean up "under the hood", for the Machine Definition, and Control Definition Files, but that is just based on the behavior I've seen. Something that is fairly interesting for those of us building Posts, is every "Machine Definition File", is basically a "Mastercam Part File", with a different file extension. This is done so you can include "geometry", especially Solids, but also Points, Lines, and Arcs. The Machine Definition is used with Mastercam Mill-Turn, to be able to define "kinematic branches" in the Machine Tree. A "branch" is simply a collection of "machine components", with a hierarchical relationship. This means that the "Machine Base" component is always "fixed" with no movement, in relation to the "System World View". From there, each branch begins with a Component being added to the Base. On regular Milling and Turning machines (non-Mill-Turn), there are always two branches in the tree. One is a "Stock or Work-Holding" branch. This branch must terminate with a Component that is defined as capable of holding "Stock". This is typically a "Chuck" or a "Table" component. The second branch of the Tree is a "Tool Holding Component". This can be a Turret, or a Mill Spindle, depending on your machine type. The beauty and power of the "Tree" comes into play when you start defining a machine with multiple Spindles and/or Turrets. This means you need the ability to tell Mastercam "which tool, spindle, and turret" is active in a particular path. For these machines, there are often 2, or 4 different "axis combinations", depending on which combination of Turret and Spindle, is active for a given Toolpath in Mastercam. I think part of what is occurring is somehow during the update process, the check-boxes that were enabled previously are somehow being unchecked, so the automated "check for valid axis combinations" function is failing, and many users (Mill especially), have had no exposure to what an Axis Combination even does. The place where I do use Axis Combinations in Milling, is on a 4-Axis Mill, where I want to be able to turn off the 4th Axis output, when I want to run "3-Axis Only". In that case, I will define the "default" Axis Combo as "4X", and have the 4th axis checked, along with a Mill Rotary Chuck. (Mill Table is Unchecked in this scenario). Then, I will create a 2nd Axis Combo for "3X", and have only XYZ, and the Mill Table, and Mill Spindle checked. (4th Axis and Mill Chuck are unchecked.)
  3. Colin Gilchrist

    mmd & control files

    This is a repost from a similar thread... When you get the warning, press "ok", then go click on the "Axis Combinations" button. (next to the "Edit the Control Definition" button). The Axis Combinations dialog will appear. Expand the "Tree" for each branch, and check X, Y, Z, and any Rotaries. (be careful, depending on how the tree is constructed, there may be a "mill table", then both rotaries, and then a "mill chuck". If you enable the "mill table", then the rotaries can be grayed out.) You need to select all three linear axes, one or two rotaries, and then a "Tool Holding Component" and a "Work holding component". This is typically a Mill Spindle, and a Table or Chuck. Once you enable all the components in the Axis Combination, just save the Machine Definition as normal.
  4. Colin Gilchrist

    2020 post update issue

    When you get the warning, press "ok", then go click on the "Axis Combinations" button. (next to the "Edit the Control Definition" button). The Axis Combinations dialog will appear. Expand the "Tree" for each branch, and check X, Y, Z, and any Rotaries. (be careful, depending on how the tree is constructed, there may be a "mill table", then both rotaries, and then a "mill chuck". If you enable the "mill table", then the rotaries can be grayed out.) You need to select all three linear axes, one or two rotaries, and then a "Tool Holding Component" and a "Work holding component". This is typically a Mill Spindle, and a Table or Chuck. Once you enable all the components in the Axis Combination, just save the Machine Definition as normal.
  5. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    Since you got a laptop with 64 Gb of RAM, Windows by default will designate 64 Gb of your Harddrive for the Page File (virtual memory). Since you have a 2 Terabyte SSD, this is probably just fine, since you have so much storage space. If you only had a 256 Gb drive, I would recommend reducing the Page File manually, and setting it to 32 Gb or less. With 64 Gb on tap, Mastercam should really not need to swap address space very often, and if it does, the fact you are running an SSD will make the I/O processing very quickly.
  6. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    Money very well spent, that will pay immediate dividends in terms of fast calculations. You mentioned "solely for CAD" in one of your posts. If you are driving Mastercam, make sure you edit the Configuration File. Under the 'Toolpaths' page, make sure you change 'ram utilization' to 90%. I like to leave at least 8 Gb for Windows to run, but if you aren't running anything besides Mastercam, then I'd bump it to 94%.
  7. Colin Gilchrist

    move to next entry field, with enter

    I believe that Tab and Shift + Tab will let you jump forward or backward through the Data Entry Fields in whichever panel has the "mouse focus".
  8. What I typically do for this is edit the Post Processor so the Cut Feed is output as a Fanuc Variable, so you only have to change it at the start of the tool. Also, this gives you the ability to use a different variable number for each operation. I usually do something like set the cut feed to "140.", (IPM), and that way I get F[#140] as the output in the NC File, and at the Tool Call, I output #140=0.02 (or whatever you want the value to be). I will typically enter the actual Feed value as a Miscellaneous Real Number, so I can control the output. I will also add a Miscellaneous Integer switch to control IPM vs. IPR output, since we are essentially hijacking the Feed Mode by forcing IPM (so we can get the variable number, as a "per operation" output. Basically, all Feed outputs just call the same variable number, which gives you a single place to make the edit.)
  9. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    I have bought 3 separate 'refurbished' models, and all appeared brand new when they arrived from Dell. I did buy one "scratch and dent" model, which was probably a showroom model, and it was essentially perfect, except for about a 1" scratch/dent in the laptop lid. The screen worked perfectly, so I had no complaints. The refurbished models should look like they came from the factory. You might see a key or two on the keyboard with a little wear, but I have been very pleased, and enjoy the 30-40% discount off the retail prices. The last PC I posted was $3,737 new, and $2,242 through the outlet store. ($3,737 x .6 = $2,242.)
  10. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    Here is one that is a bit out of your price range, but it is a 17" model, and it has an amazing graphics card: Original Price$3,737.00 Total Savings$1,495.00 Precision M7730 $3,737.00$2,242.00 Tech Specs: Intel Core 8th Generation i7-8750H Processor (6 Core,2.20GHz,9MB Cache,45W) Windows 10 Pro 512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive 64GB (4x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 SDRAM Non-ECC 17.3Inch HD+ (1600x900) TN Anti-Glare Non-Touch 42% color gamut LCD NVIDIA Quadro P4200 8GB GDDR5 Dell Outlet Precision M7730 1 in stock Certified Refurbished Windows 64 Bit Bezel with No Camera No Microphone 97Whr, 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery with ExpressCharge Intel Wireless-AC 9260, Dual-band 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 5 Internal Dual Pointing Backlit Keyboard Palmrest with SmartCard Reader Only 125V Power Cord 240W AC Adapter Thermal Heatsink with Fan for NVDIA N18E-Q1 and Q3 graphic card WLAN/WWAN Back Cover Standard ShippingFREE Outlet Price$2,242.00
  11. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    And another: Original Price$2,793.00 Total Savings$1,117.00 Precision M7530 $2,793.00$1,676.00 7 in stock Tech Specs Intel Core 8th Generation i7-8750H Processor (6 Core,2.20GHz,9MB Cache,45W) Windows 10 Pro 512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive 64GB (4x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 SDRAM Non-ECC 15.6inch UltraSharp FHD (1920x1080) IPS Touch 72% color gamut with Camera and Mic NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB GDDR5 Dell Outlet Precision M7530 Certified Refurbished Windows 64 Bit 97Whr, 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery with ExpressCharge Intel Wireless-AC 9260, Dual-band 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 5 Internal Dual Pointing Non-Backlit Keyboard Palmrest with SmartCard Reader Only 125V Power Cord 180W AC Adapter Thermal Pad with Fan for Nvdia Graphic cards Standard ShippingFREE Outlet Price$1,676.00
  12. Colin Gilchrist

    need to buy a new laptop, which one is best for mastercam

    I just searched the Dell Outlet Store, and there are a ton of laptops that are in your price range, that will also be great options for getting real performance out of Mastercam. Here is an example of the Price/Specs I found: Original Price$2,696.00 Total Savings$1,078.00 Precision M7530 $2,696.00$1,618.00 Tech Specs Intel Core 8th Generation i7-8750H Processor (6 Core,2.20GHz,9MB Cache,45W) Windows 10 Pro 512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive 64GB (4x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 SDRAM Non-ECC 15.6inch UltraSharp FHD (1920x1080) IPS Anti-Glare Non-Touch 72% color gamut LCD NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB GDDR5 Dell Outlet Precision M7530 1 in stock Certified Refurbished Windows 64 Bit LCD Bezel Non-Touch with Camera and Microphone 97Whr, 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery with ExpressCharge Intel Wireless-AC 9260, Dual-band 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 5 Internal Dual Pointing Non-Backlit Keyboard Palmrest with SmartCard Reader Only 125V Power Cord 180W AC Adapter Thermal Pad with Fan for Nvdia Graphic cards WLAN/WWAN Back Cover Standard ShippingFREE Outlet Price$1,618.00 PR M7530 : 3 Years Hardware Service with Onsite Service After Remote DiagnosisINCLUDED
  13. Colin Gilchrist

    Forcing 2019 to startup in mill 2D, not 3D

    Make sure there is no "/N" parameter on the Start-in command line.
  14. Colin Gilchrist

    High level training

    Just hire a guy like Ron (he has multiple Mill-Turn consultants) or Mick (Mike Neville), to come in for a week (or 2, spread out), and have him setup and train a turn-key project. Have him teach 2-3 guys at once to get the best value for dollar, and to make sure the knowledge isn't siloed (several people should all know how to run the machine). I'd recommend talking about the type of parts you want to make, and the quantities per job. This will influence tooling and processes. The biggest hurdle with these machines is understanding the processes you want to use, and how to setup and control the output of those processes using the "input" of your CAM software. Have you talked with Mick at all? I believe he programs this exact machine, using TopSolid and Vericut, so he would probably be a great resource. I'd suggest bringing him stateside for a week, or arranging some online training with him... For roughing, most lathe guys will also tend to not utilize the max depth of cut for a given insert, nor make proper use of the available horsepower of the turning spindle. For these reasons, using a solid carbide endmill to rough is an easier process to optimize. Moreover, the chips generated when milling are of a much more consistent size and shape. This can help prevent chip wrap, and issues with rats nests of stringy chips blocking your chip conveyor. That said, you will have trouble matching the finish and cylindricity of a turning operation. Most of the difficulty in learning these machines lies in understanding how to string together multiple types of tools and operations, using the available machine modes and knowing which modes are cross-compatible, and which are mutually exclusive.
  15. Colin Gilchrist

    Post Processing: Office Hours Sessions

    I've taught a Post Processing Class "online" about 4 different times. At one time, I had 3 different Post Processor classes that I taught, being "Basic Mill Post Processing (Covers the Generic Fanuc 4X Mill Post)", "4-Axis Lathe Post Processing (Covers the Generic Fanuc 4X MT_Lathe Post)", and "5-Axis Post Processing (Covers the Generic Fanuc 5X Mill Post and PSB)". It has been a few years since I ran the online classes, mostly due to me having other work that also kept me really busy, but also due to not a ton of "sustained" interest. With training, it is kind of like the saying in the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner hears "If you build it, they will come". Basically, if I put in a ton of up-front work, then the payoff is hopefully we get a bunch of subscribers. The issue is having the up-front time to create all the content. All of my classes were essentially "instructor led", where I would lecture for about 2/3 of the teaching time, and we would spend 1/3 of the time covering "real world examples", where I would write post logic, and make edits to the Post, so students could work through their real-world Post issues. My classes are still available "online" but not as a "live course". They are only available as recorded videos, in our video library. (see the link in my signature)

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