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Since many people have asked me to share how this works, I thought I would make a post about setting the Control Definition Default settings. Are you tired of your NC code changing whenever you update Mastercam? Why do your NC settings seem to get screwed up? You ran the "Migration Wizard", and things are still broken... Ok, so what's going on? ---> You didn't set the Control Definition Default Settings. It doesn't have to be this way. You can setup Mastercam to handle upgrading without causing you frustration, or the loss of any hair/sleep. Here is a step-by-step process for setting the Control Definition Defaults. What is a Control Definition, and why should you care?: First, what is a Control Definition File? A Control Definition is a file that Mastercam uses to store settings for controlling your NC code output. The CD (Control Definition) contains common settings for things like "Arc Formatting", and the settings for Sequence Numbers (N numbers), among other things. The idea behind the CD is that it gives the programmer the ability to adjust settings by using a Graphic User Interface, instead of having to make edits directly to your post processor. When it was originally conceived, the CD was created with the ability to link and control multiple post processors, and have separate settings for each one. This would give "administrators" the ability to make edits for multiple machines from within a single file. In practice however, nobody ever does this. Every shop that I've worked with uses a single MD, CD, and PST file, all with the same name. So even though a machine might share all the same settings with another machine in your shop, the "best practice" is to use a single MD/CD/PST name for each unique machine on your shop floor. When you create a new job in Mastercam, and load a "Machine Definition" file into your Ops Manager, Mastercam places a copy of your MD and CD into the Ops Manager. These "file copies" are specific to your individual Mastercam file, and are not "linked" back to the originals (or "library copies") of the files. To a certain extent, this does make sense. This convention allows you to make "individual" file changes. So for example, say you had a program that used a Right Angle Head, with a few specific tools. You could setup the "stations" with a RAH component, and have all of those options saved inside your individual Mastercam file. You wouldn't want all those modifications to be made to the "library copy" of your files; they are project specific. Another situation might come up where you are running out of memory for a specific program. For this individual file, it might make sense to disable Sequence Numbers, remove all the "Space characters", and output all of your Arcs using "R" values instead of IJK, just to save space. The CD allows you to do that, without changing the settings in the Library Copy of your CD... Are you with me so far...??? So in a nutshell, the CD contains user-select-able parameters that control some of the formatting of NC code output. Control Definition Defaults OK, so the CD contains settings that format output from the post. Great. Now we get to the issues... The main problem that I see people run into comes when they update to the next release of Mastercam. This problem occurs because the settings in the CD refer to a static file path. Say what? Yes. The settings that are stored inside the CD are stored for a specific post in a specific file location. Those settings are only valid for that exact post processor file name, in the exact folder location you specify. When you setup a new post processor, most users typically create (rename, whatever) a new post, and put it in a specific folder, local or network folder location. Ok, great. But then they go and "link" their CD to that Post Processor, and take the time to configure their CD. This is all well and good, except, that they don't know about the static file path issue. Every Control Definition file has a set of "Default Settings" that are used (you might have guessed), by default. That means that whenever you move your post file to a new folder location (this happens "by default", every time you upgrade Mastercam), the settings for the CD that link your "new" (updated) post processor will revert back to these "default" settings... "Aghhhh!!!!" . . . "WHY!!!!" I can hear the screams from all the frustrated users dealing with these upgrade issues... So, what can be done to solve the problem??? Setting the "Default settings for control type" Ok, start by opening one of your CD files in the Control Definition Manager. Click on the "drop down" arrow for selecting a Post in the post file list. At a minimum, you should have the file path and name of your currently "linked" post processor, and there will be at least one other entry in the list; "Default settings for control type". <--- These are the "default settings" that will get picked up, whenever Mastercam is updated to a new "major" version. So, lets say that you have spent a bunch of time tweaking all of the parameters for "your post". To import those settings to the "defaults", do the following: Open your CD file in the Control Definition Manager. Select the "Default settings for control type" in the "Post Processors" drop-down list. Select the "Tool" page in the Tree. (any page will work, I just picked one for the example.) Move your cursor below the controls, into the "gray area" of the page. Right-Click in the gray area, and you'll get a Right Mouse Button Menu that pops up. Choose "Import > All pages". This launches a "Open" dialog box. Mastercam is asking "which CD" do you want to import the settings from. By default, it will have the currently open CD set to the current file name in the dialog box. Just press "open", no need to re-select the file in the list... This opens a "Control Import - select the type and post key" dialog box. There will be a list with "your" post, the "default settings for control type", and possibly some other file paths, depending on how the post was originally setup, and if it has been "updated" previously. Choose "your post" in the list. Press the "ok" button. All of the settings from "your post" have now been imported into the "default settings for control type" in your CD. Press the "save" button. Doing that process will import all of your current post settings to the "default" settings for your CD. Now, whenever you update Mastercam, the CD will use the "default settings", which just happen to match your current post settings. You will never again have an issue with a Mastercam update changing the NC code output of your post... A few caveats: If you start by just simply taking a new CD file, and setting the "Default settings for control type", you never have to worry about "importing" any settings, since any post that you then link will pick up the "defaults" automatically. If you change any of the parameters for your current "library copy" of the CD, you should also make those changes to the "default settings", or you risk getting your current CD settings, and the "defaults", out of sync. If you do make any changes to your current linked post, just remember that you can "import" those changes to the default settings with the procedure above. Make sure you set the Default Settings for you CD in your current version of Mastercam, before you run the Migration wizard. I thought you could import CD settings from older versions of Mastercam .control files, but it doesn't seem to be working in X9. Hope that helps, Colin
Howdy everyone. Recently just began converting our shop from X5 & X6 to 2018. We are mainly equipped with Haas including a Mori and Roku Verticals + Mitsubishi Wire & Sinker machines. There is 4x and some times 5x work done. When it comes to making changes in a Control Definition for the Generic Haas posts in 2018, do all of the options and settings that can be manipulated actually make changes or set flags and parameters in how the post should be outputting code? I have read through lots of Colin's info on how everything interrelates and best practices, but I seem to notice that certain changes made in either the MD or CD don't have any effect on how the code gets posted while others do. If I hand edit the post, it behaves the way I want it....most of the time. Some of the modifiable items in the MD & CD seem to work, and others don't. I end up manually making the changes in the post directly, but I noticed in the 2018 Haas 4x or 5x post that it specifically warned to not make changes directly in the post and to use the CD & MD. Has this been addressed elsewhere on the forum? If I am not imagining this, does this go back in previous versions? I started in school on X7, and have used professionally x5 through x9. For the MD and CD, if some options do work and others don't, does there exist any kind of list of options to ignore in the MD or CD (I understand that you should have the MD correct for your machine for verify, simulation, etc). Am I making sense?
Morning everyone, I've been having some serious issues with my wire machine/control definition in 2017, not sure if it's just me or if anyone else has had similar issues. It all started a few months ago - I went into 2017 to do some wire work (I had done previous wire work in '17 with no issues) and when I went to create a new contour it was giving me options for "Agie Contour", not the usual wire contour options I had before. It should be noted that the MD/CD, post, etc, are all for a Mitsubishi machine, not an Agie. For whatever reason, the machine think it's an Agie now and even after being on the phone for over an hour with our reseller trying to resolve the issue, it still will not work. This is just a brief summary of the issue, I know, and I can provide images of everything if anyone needs it. Just wondering if, based on my explanation, there is something silly I'm missing. Another thing to note is that I can go into a different mcam file that worked before, and everything still works as it should. I can go into X9 and everything still works as it should (I've been using X9 to get around this issue but it really needs to be fixed for 2017). I tried migrating my MD/CD from X9 to rule out any issues with corruption of the 2017 defs but that didn't work either. Hopefully someone has some insight. I really appreciate it, you guys have all been really great helping out.