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Mastercam X Training and Workflow review Recommendations

Mike RzMachine

Cast Iron
Feb 4, 2007
We have been using Mastercam X5 running inside solidworks productively for the past several years and are interested in improvements to our work flow and general day to day efficiency. I've looked into some of the training offered by our reseller and I think we need something different, though I am still discussing with them. In the past, our reseller solidworks training has been a sales pitch for the newest features of solidworks and less of an overall improvement of how to use the tool, and from discussions, the mastercam training looks similar.

As it stands, one of our programmers brought in his experience using mastercam and has mostly defined a way to handle most situations which come up. We are running into limitations on many items that are chewing up time. Listing a few examples below:

- We are a low rate production shop (lots of 10-50 pieces) and machine parts designed in house. Engineers export a step file from solidworks to serve as a snapshot in time of the part to be machined to accompany a fully dimensioned drawing for each revision. The step file also serves as a static model which we can add or remove features, but not change fundamental geometry. When new revisions are released and a new step file is imported, toolpaths are blow away so the old program just serves as a reference and work is repeated.

- We run a milltronics VM-16 with 10K spindle, machining about 75% aluminum and 25% steel (4140, 17-4) parts. All parts are heavily pocketed, lots of thin walls and weight reduction features. I'd like to find out if the dynamic tool path features would be an advantage for our shop and would require training to ramp up on that functionality.

Can anyone recommend a training service which can take into account our current work flow, make a plan to suggest improvements and then provide training on the improved work flow? Ideally in person training, on our site or at a trainer facility ideally close to Pittsburgh, Pa.

could you please give me some mastercam program and static model file.
I think I can help you.
You can both import new model file in an old mastercam program and compare between new model file and old model file and then modify the toolpath.

Time machining isc depend on your program and how to use your jig and fixture, tool and your cnc machine.
If yo give some example, I think I can help.
I am puzzled to how you machine parts yet why not just drop the new part model on top of the existing model you programmed and add the new features to the program.
I don't think it is typical for a reseller to do onsite training, but they will for the right price. :) When I was living in IN we had the guy that did the training classes come to our facility for two days training. The biggest issue you will have to overcome is you are using such an old version, it will be hard to find support. At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch (no, I am not affiliated with MCX), you should really really upgrade. Unfortunately, being off maintenance for 5 years it is going to be pricey, but worth it IMO if you have determined the programming end is slowing you down.

No experience with MC2017 (newest version), but I know from 7 to 8 there were lots of improvements, and 8 to 9 even more improvements. I have used MCX since X (10), but I probably could not help with X5 as it has been so long.
X5 isn't supported anymore as far as I know.
Maybe look into online training? Also there are a TON of YouTube videos on Mastercam, watch as many as you can, even if it's not for X5 because you might pick up on different ways to program stuff.

And yes the Dynamic toolpaths will help tremendously. I can't remember what X5 doesn't have as far as dynamic compared to X9 or even 2017, but I know it has some dynamic capability.
What toolpath do you currently use to do your pockets?