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Implementation Of Cad/Cam/Cnc Curriculum Using Mastercam X Software In Technical Programs

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Two Year College Tech Session I

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.702.1 - 13.702.6



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Paper Authors

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Farzin Heidari Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Implementation of CAD/CAM/CNC Curriculum Using MastercamX Software in Technical Programs


One of the major contributions to the growing acceptance of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) has been the development of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). A Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) program uses a CAD drawing, and then adds the cutting parameters to generate the CNC program.

MastercamX is PC-based CAD/CAM software, which integrates the geometry, toolpath, and the G-code program together. The CAD section of the Mastercam software generates a dimensioned drawing using basic entities. The geometry file is saved as a CAD file and then turned into CNC code. The CNC code is used to machine parts on a milling machine. Mastercam software ties the CAD/CAM process together to generate a CNC program to make a part, using a machine tool.

CAD/CAM Process

Mastercam uses levels to identify different parts of the same geometry on different layers. Each layer or combination of layers can be selected to be visible or invisible. It is also possible to delete, move, or copy entities from level to level. This feature can be used to create part programs for complex 2D drawings, by breaking down the geometry into different sections and creating each section of a drawing on a specific level according to its toolpath requirements. Each level can be selected at a time for certain toolpath operation. Combination of all toolpaths created for each level will produce the complex toolpath for the drawing.

There are five different toolpath options provided by Mastercam for 2D geometry to create a part program. They are face toolpath, contour toolpath, drill toolpath, pocket toolpath, and engrave toolpath. The five basic 2D milling operations toolpath supported by the Mastercam software are used to create part programs for most parts. The face toolpath removes materials across the top surface of the work piece. Contour toolpath, removes material to a certain depth along a specified CAD drawing. Drill toolpath; identify selected points on a drawing to drill holes to a specified depth. Pocket toolpath, removes all materials within the outline of an enclosed geometry. Pocket has the useful feature of island, which allows any shape within the enclosed geometry stay intact, and remains, as an island. The island feature of the pocket toolpath is used in many complex 2D parts. Engrave toolpath, creates toolpath to engrave art and letters.

During this process three different steps are taken, first part geometry is created, the CAD file, then toolpaths are selected by assigning one of the above toolpaths to a section of the drawing. Each selected toolpath has it own parameters related to tool definitions and cutting parameters including feed, speed, plunge rate, depth of cut and size of the cutter. The result, which is a visible toolpath, can be verified and checked for accuracy and correctness. This is the CAM process, which the geometry is used to create a visible toolpath. Finally the CNC program can be created using the appropriate postprocessor for milling machine controller, which is then used to cut the part.

Heidari, F. (2008, June), Implementation Of Cad/Cam/Cnc Curriculum Using Mastercam X Software In Technical Programs Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3225

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