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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Post Debugging in MastercamX4

Time for the 3rd and last intro before the actual code hits the screen. The topic is post processor modification in Mastercam. If you need to back track here is the link to the two previous insect intros. Mastercam Post Processor Intro and Pick your Editor and Post for Mastercam if you are new to post modification and want to follow upcoming tutorials I recommend you give them a glance. Now let us talk Mastercams Post Debugging. A post debugger with its own interface is fairly new in Mastercam, it can look a little overwhelming at 1st, but this tool as some great potential to be developed into something really useful (The debugger has a beta feel to it). The debugger can be turned on or off, if you look at the above screen shot and do not see the ladybug you have to activate the debugger first.

Activate Debugger… 1,Start => 2,All Programs => 3,MastercamX4 => 4,MCAMX Control Panel

Post support => Enabled.

What to debug?… Keep it simple, the more code you throw at the debugger the longer it will take it to process, and trust me it is not rocket to start with. You are just about to realize what kind of calculations that actually take place when you hit that post processor button. Secondly remember that it is not really the difficulty of the part that is a problem with a post processor, the biggest issue is functions. Your goal is to have you post processor deliver NC code that has no need of human hand editing, and in most cases it is possible. A simple square contour and drill point will give plenty for the debugger to start with. Header of Post~ Lead in/out~ line compensation~ retract~ toolchange~ canned cycle.

Start debugging… Under normal debugging mode there is no need to have “Edit” checked, this will prevent the editor to open up, what we need the debugger will provide.

Post debugger setup… When the debugger opens up you are being greeted by a large amount of different windows, and just the thought of trying to orginazing these can be a task. The following order is how you should rank there importance. 1″NC Window”, 2″Post Window”, 3″NCI Window” and 4″Watches Window”. In the next coming blog posts we only are going to use 1″NC Window” and 2″Post Window” so for now just make sure those are visible.

Turn off, Expanded view… I recommend that you make sure to turn of this feature to begin with. The feature can come in handy, but for beginners I believe it just add confusion.

Run… So pressing the ladybug just opened the debugger up, to actually get the debugger cranking you need to either go “debug” drop down or memorize some F-keys. No matter what your next decision is important. “Run Turbo” is tempting, but will not do more that process your code without any debug feature. “Run” is considered normal speed (you might think you system just froze, patience it can take minutes). “Run Step” is almost as slow as if you had to write the code by hand, this feature is normally used when you really need to dig down and see each line being executed.

For the up coming blog posts you will not need to read to much, but there is a very handy 78 page Debugger guide in your MastercamX4 document you might want to consider looking through. 1st assignment is going to be safe but very useful. We are going to add comments in brackets for easier NC reading….that blog post will be here in 24 hours or so.

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