When we started building CNC cutting machines years ago, there were very few integrated CAD/CAM systems designed specifically around the needs of Oxyfuel or Plasma cutting machines. Most individuals and companies used a collection of tools from various venders to generate the code to actually produce the machine motion and integration necessary to cut a part. We tried several methods, even writing our own programs with post processors. Most of the software suppliers were stuck operating under an archaic DOS operating system, and a few innovators were already heading to the Windows OS and the rest is simply remarkable. Our machines have evolved from simple 2 and 3 axis motion control systems, to full 5 axis, and occasionally 8 axis machines.
As our machine capabilities evolved, our programming needs did as well. Fortunately Mastercam had a good product that met one of our most important requirements. The post processor had to be easy to change and customize for our specific needs. It was frustrating in the past to need to make a small change to the source code output from the post processor, only to find a vendor wanted several thousand dollars to make a simple change requiring at most a couple minutes. Both SigmaNEST and Mastercam make this an easy process for the end user to be able to reconfigure the post processor. I often chuckle now when I perform outside service calls and watch a customer have to manually make changes to a posted file because they use a competing process that always puts out code that needs to be slightly modified to function on their machine. Having an easy to configure product makes this a breeze.
Frankly, Mastercam has really many more features than the average Plasma or Oxyfuel operator needs to make simple 2 D parts. When it comes to contour beveling though, Mastercam makes it easy to generate the appropriate code. If your needs are 2 1/2 dimension (say simple pocketing in the Z axis) to full blown 3-5 axis contouring, Mastercam simply can't be beat. It generates code to allow your machines to move at the optimum feedrate, without wasting time cutting air, and it is a very user friendly system to operate. If you run a shop using conventional vertical or horizontal machining centers, lathes, or turn /milling machines, this is probably your best choice in software. The technology files built into the program give you an edge equivalent to having several experienced machinists on staff. If your cutting 3d parts on one of our routing systems, you really need to take a serious look at Mastercam Art. With this remarkable piece of software you can take simple lineart, and automatically loft it into a 3D surface, which Mastercam will then generate a very efficient toolpath to machine. If you've sworn off 3D work because anything other than simple revolved or extruded surfaces are to hard to program, this product will blow you away!
Ever have to cut a part when your not quite sure what feeds and speeds to use for the material and tooling being used? Ever simply guess? Typically you either break tools, and/or scrap parts, or perhaps run at a lower feedrate or spindle speed forcing your machine to be less productive than possible. With Mastercam, you worry about programming the geometry, and let the combined experience of many machinists make it easy for you. All you need to do is choose an appropriate tool from the tool library and enter the tool type (HSS, carbide, inserted carbide, etc.) and select the material type being machined and the program automatically calculates the most appropriate feedrates, spindle speeds, stepovers, and machining strategy for you. This gets your machine spindle turning quicker. With the newest releases of Mastercam X, you can see improvements in part quality and reduced machining times that make it far easier to compete in the marketplace. The improvements are so amazing, many customers are able to bring jobs back to the US that had previously been performed overseas because American manufacturers simply couldn't compete on price. Saving time on each part while producing higher quality parts is a win win situation. By using simple strategies to lower you minimum economical lot quantities, and bring your prices down, yet still retain your required profit margins; your business, customers, and employees will thank you.
To obtain a demonstration of Mastercam software, or receive further information, feel free to stop by our facility or respond via Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject enter Mastercam, and enter your specific needs and machine type in the body of your message. Our Technical support staff will contact you to schedule a one on one presentation and give you a demonstration copy of Mastercam to evaluate. You will get to see first-hand how Mastercam will increase your product quality and company profits.
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