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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Play-Good Part2, Modify the part


So we got the part into Mastercam and now need to figure out how we want to go about machining this block. As I am sure you noticed I flipped the block upside down from how it was in Solidworks, not just because I am not sure you would have recognized that it was a Lego block, but also because it is going to be easier staging the block for second operation using parallels in a vise to rest the block on, and the thin wall attached to the center silo is going to prevent the block from collapsing from the pressure of the vise. I can almost hear the people at CNC Software chanting FBM (feature based machining) but sorry, we are going to do this “old school”. Lets turn this solid model into good old geometry, oh and by the way, Mastercam is layer oriented big time, use them.

To turn our solid model into lines and arcs we are going to use Create=>Curve=>Curve on All Edges. Then choose Solid Selection.

And make sure only Select Body is shaded


Then turn the 1st layer of our solid off, and we got workable geometry.

Lets just take one moment and talk about colors, shall we? If you work all by yourself I can totally see why you would choose colors in regards to what mood you are in that day, but if other people are touching your work on a regular basis, a little color coordination should not only be a word of women magazines. We use 3 rule colors, blue = is stock or somewhat irrelevant color, green = is the color we work with for chaining purposes and red = is the color of special attention like added corner rads, also dimensions and notes are red. Actually Mastercam has a pretty cool function in X3 where you can set up special colors for special attributes. Settings=>Configurations=>CAD Settings=>

But back to our block, this solid was thought of as a molded object, not machined and let us just make one thing clear……… sharp internal corners, ok? big $$$ to make. Analyzing our male island 1/4 internal corner rads should work

You might notice that I made the outer boundary green at the top of the part, but the pocket section green at the bottom, reason for this is that I can easily make corner rads for the 2 center fins, and when it comes to selecting depth for our cutter, Mastercam don’t care where our chain is in “Z”.

I also added 0.01 corner break on the 4 outside corners, just so we do not get a knife edge we would need to hand work later, that kind of stuff is what is going to make the operator like or hate you.

Last thing to do for operation 1 would be to make the inside of the silos green, we are just going to drill those out 1/2 size. Part 3 will be choosing machine and setting up stock……

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