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About billb

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  1. billb

    flow line

    Looks like the raw flowlines are painted in the hard-coded color "DK_GRAY". I entered S-87089 to see if we can improve this (allow the color to be user-determined). Thank you for reporting this.
  2. billb

    Check Holder - absolute minimum stickout

    It is the Tolerance! Your Resolution is ignored if it is less than your Tolerance. (I didn't know this until I looked with the debugger...) The processing code reverts back to 1.25mm resolution. I have submitted this as D-45483. As a work-around, set your Tolerance to just less than your 0.01 Resolution (I used 0.009). You will notice that the processing takes longer. The answer I got was 87.01775. Thank you for reporting this.
  3. billb

    Smoothing Tolerance

    Hi, I looked at the dialog code - it looks like the minimum segment length is set to 3X the total tolerance on the way into the dialog. So, you may have found the work-around - set the total tolerance really small, set your segment length, exit the dialog, reenter the dialog and set your total tolerance back to the larger value (this time, don't touch the segment length). As you exit, you may get some warnings but it seems like the smaller segment length will stick (and get applied to the toolpath). I logged this as D-45365 so that we may take a closer look. The tolerances and settings all do work together - you may have a valid use case for a segment length smaller than the total tolerance - so, I think, the dialog should allow that. But maybe a warning would still be helpful(?). Thanks for reporting this.
  4. billb

    Error reading from surface temp file

    You may have asked before - search for D-41194 no ... D-41195 (sorry)
  5. billb

    Pencil toolpath

    Back to 3D HST Pencil - set your maximum number of offsets to zero. That will give you the pencil crease and no side offsets.
  6. billb

    Avoidance geometry

    In X7 thru MC2017, it is possible to select check/avoidance geometry in HST-Scallop but a warning message is issued indicating it would be treated as drive/machining geometry (with the drive stock to leave applied). In later releases in the 3D HST VS2L (Variable Stock To Leave) dialogs, it is a bit harder to select avoidance geometry in HST-Scallop. By twists and turns (such as changing style to Raster, making avoidance selection and changing back to Scallop) you can get avoidance geometry selected but the processing rule still applies - for Scallop, it will be treated as machining geometry. So Equal Scallop is the way to go - it allows avoidance geometry. Classic surface finish/scallop was the first Mastercam toolpath with a 3D stepover over an arbitrary set of geometry. It worked pretty well but small features could introduce noise in the resulting path (not as smooth as one might desire). HST-Scallop was the second 3D stepover. It also worked pretty well (offering the 3D HST lead and linking features) but could chamfer sharp corners in the offset passes. HST Equal Scallop is the third 3D stepover (you could say third generation). It works carefully to produce crisp equidistant offset passes over arbitrary geometry. It also offers a spiral option. Please try HST-Equal Scallop - it should meet your needs. If not or if you notice that HST-Scallop or finish/scallop yields a better path, please send us a sample. Thank you!
  7. billb

    Avoidance geometry

    Yes, not all HST path styles support avoidance geometry. In this case, try "Equal scallop" rather than "Scallop". Equal scallop supports avoidance geometry and offers several other benefits beyond Scallop.
  8. billb

    master cam 2020

    32Gb this one, 16Gb the other one. You are right, I'll retest with smaller amounts. Memory buffering did play a significant role in one algorithm early on but it was re-engineered for better memory management (somewhere between V9 and X9). The Memory buffering setting does still come into play in finish/contour, rough/pocket, rough/restmill and even some Multiaxis situations.
  9. billb

    master cam 2020

    I happened to be looking at Memory Buffering recently. It is used in a few processing situations but it doesn't have as much of an impact as it once did (many releases ago). I changed it to 1% and 100% and got nearly the same toolpath calculation times. I'm considering removing it unless I find a situation in which it really helps.
  10. billb

    Area Rough - Stay away from the inside

    Can you use 3D HST Dynamic OptiRough? In MC2021, there is a new OptiRough parameter to allow you to skip pockets - when cutting from the outside, you can skip all pockets. In OptiRough, this parameter is found on the Toolpath Control page. This parameter isn't available in 3D HST Area Roughing.
  11. billb

    Error reading surface temp file

    If possible, please send a file to [email protected] We can take a closer look at your 3D HST issue. Thank you.
  12. billb

    Error reading surface temp file

    This is likely a case of R-22934 / D-41195. The issue is the handling of the custom WCS. The issue can happen in legacy surface toolpaths (finish/blend, finish/project, rough/project ...) but not in 3D HST. The issue has been corrected for Mc2021. For Mc2020, the best work-around is to rotate incrementally the WCS plane. Rotate it 5 degrees about Z, regenerate the path, rotate it -5 degrees about Z and regenerate the path a 2nd time. If this works, great. It doesn't always work. (I was unable to learn why it does / doesn't work.) The second best work-around is to rotate incrementally the WCS plane 0.000001 degree about Z and leave it rotated. To do this, you must rotate incrementally, twice, but you don't need to regenerate the path in between steps. Just apply these two incremental rotations: This does alter the WCS. The resulting path motion will be slightly different than what the original WCS would yield. I see differences of about 0.0003 in the tool positions. 61% of original size (was 824x285) - Click to enlarge
  13. billb

    Set Stock Model "Initial Shape Tolerance" to Zero!

    Oh boy... finish/contour/undercut works in MC2020 (i just cut an ice cream cone with a slot mill)- maybe we should figure out why it isn't working in your particular case? You are right - finish/contour with its entry/exit arc/line is the way to control the transition between cuts. (We may also be able to use rough/pocket, disable rough cuts and use a plunge/retract point - the path moves from/to this point before each cutter pass.) You are also right - the "broken" transitions may not work in undercut areas. Would the "direct" option work better? Or, you could set your gap size to zero and use the "Direction" control (on the 2nd tab page). Set your plunge and retract angles to zero and set a nonzero plunge and retract length (one might be +1.0 and the other might be -1.0). That will add a linear move into and away from the undercut.
  14. billb

    Set Stock Model "Initial Shape Tolerance" to Zero!

    I suspect that you will not be able to enter zero in MC2021. If that is the case, I won't chase your odd MC2020 behavior (unless you want me to). If you can enter zero in MC2021 - well, then we should investigate that. I meant to type "in debug" - when I use the debugger I can fill in a zero and watch what happens (sorry for not explaining that better). I'll dig into the minimum system tolerance and get back to you; today was the first time that I ever looked at setting it as small as possible). Intriguing... We can chase this all when you have time.
  15. billb

    Set Stock Model "Initial Shape Tolerance" to Zero!

    Back to the "Initial stock shape tol." - Try as I might, I cannot get a zero into that field - MC2020 original, Update 1, Update 1.1, or Update 2. That dialog control has a minimum value of the system tolerance. You must have found a sequence of key strokes / clicks that avoids the "kill focus" validation step. Interesting... You are right - if you get a zero into that field then it does not do the small offset. In MC2020 and earlier releases, the small offset / additional offset is applied in the main Mastercam thread so you have to wait for this offset to complete before the background processing begins. In MC2021 and later releases, the small / additional offset is applied in the background thread. So you won't have to wait for the offset to complete - you'll get control back sooner. But the offset will still be applied.

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