Colin Gilchrist

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Colin Gilchrist last won the day on February 15

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About Colin Gilchrist

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  1. Colin Gilchrist

    Creating letters question

    I recommend just leaving the geometry as lines, and running a 2D Contour path as centerline. In the path, you can use the Toolpath Filter to create arcs, by analyzing the path. This is a much better way of generating arcs. Try using .002 for the total tolerance. Then, enable the Line/Arc Filter. Set your Cut Tolerance to 25% (.0005), and your Arc Tolerance will go to 75%. (.0015). Set your "min radius" to 0.01 and your "max radius" to 40 inches.
  2. Colin Gilchrist


    64 Gb is basically the minimum I'd go with these days for any heavy surfacing. 128 Gb is obviously better. I've seen some of the programs Ron has made with 300-500 operations. You need to have that much RAM when dealing with that kind of memory load.
  3. Hi Doug, Unfortunately, I believe that a Tool Assembly is a static object. Once built, it does not have any connection to the individual components that were used to build the assembly. For the H1/D1 output, don't worry about it at the Operation level. Just fix it in the Post Processor. Open your Post in a Text Editor. (Make sure you have made a backup copy first!) Near the top of the Post, find the section where the variables are first defined. Add the following code, and make sure it starts in the 1st column of the Text Editor. tlngno$ = 1 tloffno$ = 1 Those Global Formulas will force all D and H values to be output as D1 H1.
  4. Colin Gilchrist


    Program in Metric Mode?
  5. Colin Gilchrist

    Flatten a surface with holes

    If the surface is a true Cylinder, then Unroll will work fine. If not, then it gets more complex. Mastercam ships with a series of C-Hooks that can be used to "flatten" the surface. You must do this in several steps. It gets more complex if your surface is also "trimmed". (I mean the outside boundary. All "holes" are always a trimmed portion of the surface.) First, create Wireframe geometry (in 3D) on all your surface edges. (both internal and external.) Now, "Untrim" the surface. (remove all boundaries) Use the "Flatten Surf" C-Hook to flatten the surface onto a flat plane. Pay attention to U Curves and V Curves direction. You may need to swap them, depending on how the surface flattens. Next, convert the Wireframe Curves (I make a separate copy on a new level first), to "Surface Curves". (Use the Curve Surface command. Wireframe > Curves section > Dropdown > Curve Surface. This may work without creating Splines first, it has been years since I had to do this...) Once you have Surface Curves (not splines), you use the "Map.DLL" C-hook to map the surface curves from the "curved surface" to the "flattened surface". Finally, use the "Spline from Curves" command to turn the mapped curves back into splines. Now you can trim the flattened surface, to your mapped edge curves and internal boundaries (holes). You should probably "project" the mapped splines back onto the flattened surface, in order to have the "Trim surface to curves" command actually work. Note that sometimes the results kick butt, other times not so much. You can also map points from the curved surface to the flattened surface. In times of trouble, I've mapped 100's of points down to the flattened surf, and just created new spline geometry from those mapped points.
  6. Please post up a sample Mastercam file, that is giving you that output. or Post the full NC Code output. The threading calls should all be after the 'lsof$ > ltlchg$' cycle, but it's hard for me to guess without seeing the full NC code output, or having a sample Mastercam file to Post out.
  7. Colin Gilchrist


    Do you have "Rapid Moves" actually "visible" in the Backplot options dialog box? It is a "toggle" which can be turned on/off.
  8. Colin Gilchrist

    Invar 36--gravy or nightmare?

    This is a calculation for a CCMT Insert, with .031 Corner Radius. I was trying to get the SFM below 680, but the calculator was giving me grief. I would think 200-400 SFM would be a good starting point. You might need to get it up to higher SFM values, in order to get the heat into the chip. You'll also want to be sure you are taking a big enough DOC that you're hitting the chip breaker.
  9. Colin Gilchrist

    Invar 36--gravy or nightmare?

    1105 is their "generic grade". It is going to wear quickly more quickly. I much prefer their 1125 grade. It is superior for "harder materials", but the 1115 grade is also good. Entering Angle can be used to help control chip thickness. A 45 degree entering angle, or less, is good if you have the option to specify. If you use a typical CNMG style 80 degree insert with 5 degrees of side clearance, then your entering angle would be 85 degrees. But often based on part geometry, we don't have that luxury. If you opt to rough with a round insert, you can use the Dynamic Turning path to get better tool life, and faster metal removal. Plus, depending on your settings, you can use the Chip Break function to keep the chips from wrapping on your tool or part/spindle.
  10. Colin Gilchrist

    The dumbest thing I have ever seen in a mastercam post

    Note that when you create an "individual Operation Defaults File", you will need to open each file, and immediately do a "Replace" on the Machine Definition. Replace MPFAN with *your machine name*. This means that you will load the "Miscellaneous Integer and Real Number Text Strings", the "Drill Cycle Names and Parameters", "Coolant Settings" , and the "Canned Text Strings", into your Operation Defaults File. That way you can tweak each individual "default operation type" to have the settings you want to be "pre-set", each time you create a new Operation. Need more flexibility than that? If yes > Then just create several different "Operation Defaults Files". I like to do them sometimes by "material type". That way I get "Flood and/or Thru Spindle Coolant" default settings for cutting Aluminum, but for Hardened Steels, I can set the defaults to "External Air Blast, or Thru Spindle Air". I can have a mix of Coolant/Air output, depending on what kind of tool or operation I'm performing. These files are listed under "Machine Group Properties" when you bring in a new Machine into your Mastercam File. Once the machine (MD/CD/PST) has been loaded, you are free to select a "different Operation Defaults File", depending on your needs.
  11. Colin Gilchrist

    The dumbest thing I have ever seen in a mastercam post

    This comes from the Default Settings in the Mastercam Default Operations Files. By "default" this ".Mastercam-defaults" file (there is only 1 default), always "pulls" the coolant settings from "MPFAN.PST". Why? Because that is Machine Definition that is "tied to the Ops file". You have the ability to create a "separate default Operations File", for each machine that you have a MD/CD/PST Combo for. This gives you the ability to have "default settings" which are tweaked for each of your machine preferences. If you want all Operations to default to "Coolant After", then you need to edit each Operation in the "Operations Defaults" file. Pretty simple to have these all set to "After", but it also depends on what coolant options you have on the machine. The default for MPFAN is to use "V9 Style Coolant", not "X-Style Coolant". For that reason, I recommend making an individual copy of the Operations Defaults File, for each machine, and then going through and editing each Operation Type to use the correct default settings. Yeah, it is a lot of work. But it also gives you a ton of control over exactly what your output is. I have been in 100's of shops, and the only thing I can tell you that is common throughout them all is this: there is no "official standard" for how parts or machines are run. Everyone thinks their system is either "perfect" or it is "totally messed up". I happen to think customization is healthy, as it gives you the ability to control exactly what your code output looks like. Like a great majority of users who first start learning Mastercam; you are going to be frustrated that the system doesn't work "like you think it should". I can tell you that the more you embrace how the software is built, and learn how to control it instead of fighting with it, the more efficient you'll be at generating good clean code.
  12. Have you contacted your Reseller for help?
  13. Colin Gilchrist

    The dumbest thing I have ever seen in a mastercam post

    That's done by someone protecting their work. Why would that be arrogant or stupid? Does the Post make good code for your machine? Is it a Post you paid for, or was it free? Posts you paid for aren't necessarily made to make it easy for you to work on. That is buy design, and Are you aware that putting those output statements inside a Post Block allows you to easily manipulate the code prior to output. For example, if you need to assign different ASCII Characters to the EOL output? Maybe I've just seen a lot of Post Hacks, which are a lot worse than the Post Blocks you seem to have a problem with. What is it exactly that bothers you about this? I don't see it as being much different than the structure for 'pxout' or 'pfxout'?
  14. Colin Gilchrist

    "internal Operation ID" In Tool Path Manager

    Hi Bart, I'm guessing you want to renumber the internal id numbers, so you can just use 'op_id$' as a predefined variable, to output the Operation Number in Mastercam. If that is what you're after, there is a better way to get it. First, define your own output variable: fmt "(OP:" 4 op_num ")" Then, add a line to 'pparameter$' Post Block: if prmcode$ = 15240, op_num = rpar(sparameter$, 1) Now, put "*op_num" on an output line in your 'ptlchg$' and/or 'psof$' section, and voila, you get the Mastercam Operation Number output in the NC Code...
  15. Colin Gilchrist

    Wear comp with tools near hole size

    It might be possible to have a Post Edit do this for you. What does the NCI output look like?

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