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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Solidworks or Mastercam, It dosn’t matter, Do it right

It is strange how many people who work with computers on a daily basis seems to be leaning torch becoming more and more lazy, instead of using the new and better technology to make them self better. I have seen people lose there job because of poor data recording, sometimes other people need to look at you file, Jack! I came across a Solidworks file this week that looked a lot like this.

The part name was pretty useless to help identifying the part, there was no information in the design binder, and the feature names like “body” is totally unacceptable, and yeah lets not name patterns or holewizards either. There is a feature to turn on to be prompted for naming new features in the configurations you know, right?

Now this stuff also goes for Mastercam, actually here it becomes critical that these features gets recorded, and it is you responsibility. So before we go any further, make sure you check your configurations against the following.

1)Toolpath Manager, anything with the word “Manager” in it is worth paying attention to.

2)Have Machine group be the name of you machine, that way it is easy to always know what you are working with.

3)Toolpath group should be a defined name, a good one! like “Backside Flange, Operation 1”. Having the Machine group being the machining center you are working on, and a good defined Toolpath group, most people should have an idea on where about in the shop and where about on the part they are working.

4)NC File, come up with the file name now, before you make 1st. toolpath, gotta stay focused and think ahead.

Now with that straighten out, every time you start programing a part you will have 1) Clearly that we are working on the Matsuura HP300 and that it is Lars who is programing, and 2)you can type in a toolpath group name. You have become better at data recording already with really having to work for it.

Now with a toolpath group name it is time to take the time to set things up for our part, so we can be promoted some day, and our follower can be amazed with our data information. And trust me we do want to do this, if you do not do this on every single file from now one, you should be fired…… go into “File”

1)Write in the program number, if you don’t do it know, you will forget about it, and you will not remember until after you have posted out your NC code, what mean you will have to go back and redo it, that’s being lazy and wasting time, right? 2) Pick a material, even if you are not going to use Mastercams build in feeds and speeds calculator, the file will now have the info what material to use, and if creating a setupsheet from the file data you can draw the info from here.

Last thing before making toolpath would be “stock setup” and there is no reason not to take the time to also set this up correct.

1) Just want to point out that I also gave my WCS a user defined name when I created that. New view(8) doesn’t count.

2) by clicking “all solids” I don’t even have to worry about what the actually dimension are of my block.

3)Looking at the Solidworks file from earlier, you will see the dimensions are coming from “Upper Left Corner” so I want to program from this datum, and of course also have my stock origin there. Clicking on any of the the corners in the little graphics field, will move the black arrow.

4)Lastly I will click on my actually part to define where the stock origin is compared to the WCS.

These steps are critical to be considered skilled at what you do, some information should by law always be handy.

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