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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins909 View Post
    Since I've got some people talking here, I've got a/some questions after talking to my boss. We have MasterCAM 2020 or 2021. I was being told that you could spend a hour on MC but program the part at the machine in 20minutes~. But MC is good for more complex parts from what I was understanding. Does this sound true? A lot of our parts are like a box with holes/taps.

    Said something about if you wanted to take .005" off a face or something, you had to do a bunch of extra as well or... Not quite sure. But he did say if you make a program, the g-code is like supper long and turns a simple part that would be done in 2-3 pages on a haas to 20~ pages. One thing I remember when messing with CAD on F360 is how would I lie to the machine? I hand coded a part on the lathe. Just turned it down into a cylinder and then c-drill, drill, tap. But I had to tell it the front of the part was .003"~ smaller than the back, so it would match up. It was about 1" by .75" dia, mild steel.

    He was also saying because I was learning to machine, MC would slow me down. It seems I really need to work on my speed. Not quite to this topic, but how long does it take to say, put a vice on, indicate, then put on jaws, stop, tools, offsets, cautiously run first part.

    Some parts you can program real quick and some parts you can do at the machine, Hell I modify a program in notepad faster than you can type it in a machine or create it in cam. As for making a program 20 pages long, I guessing he talking about a lathe and canned cycles because on milling most programs are about the same it you hand type it or use cam. There are plenty of options in cam that use canned cycles and subroutines that shorten programs. I am going to take a wild guess here that your boss is a guy that does not like cam software based on the remarks you made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins909 View Post
    Since I've got some people talking here, I've got a/some questions after talking to my boss. We have MasterCAM 2020 or 2021. I was being told that you could spend a hour on MC but program the part at the machine in 20minutes~. But MC is good for more complex parts from what I was understanding. Does this sound true? A lot of our parts are like a box with holes/taps.

    Said something about if you wanted to take .005" off a face or something, you had to do a bunch of extra as well or... Not quite sure. But he did say if you make a program, the g-code is like supper long and turns a simple part that would be done in 2-3 pages on a haas to 20~ pages. One thing I remember when messing with CAD on F360 is how would I lie to the machine? I hand coded a part on the lathe. Just turned it down into a cylinder and then c-drill, drill, tap. But I had to tell it the front of the part was .003"~ smaller than the back, so it would match up. It was about 1" by .75" dia, mild steel.

    He was also saying because I was learning to machine, MC would slow me down. It seems I really need to work on my speed. Not quite to this topic, but how long does it take to say, put a vice on, indicate, then put on jaws, stop, tools, offsets, cautiously run first part.
    Sounds like your company has never had a proficient CAM person. I have a lot of my guys hand code simple jobs. However the biggest reason I do this is to get guys experience, it doesn't take a very complex job for me to be able to CAM it faster, there is plenty of programs that can be done in a matter of minutes. Something that takes an hour to program would take hours to fingercam. Also I don't know why this is a sticking point with some of the older guys but the length of a program doesn't effect program run time until you get into HSM type toolpaths, and even then it's probably still more efficient that traditional machining strategies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post

    Anyhow, learn it however you can, youtube, online free training, HLE.... And some people are going to say how bad MCX is, but it is one of the most used CAM softwares out there. Have any questions about how to do stuff, you can post here, or on the Mastercam forum. Lots of help out there.

    Good luck!
    Those are just people who like to yell at clouds for being cloudy. They never bother to actually learn the damn software so they just complain, like @CORONAVIRUS. Mastercam is one of the most developed and robust CAM softwares out there for general machining. For straight 5 axis it may be better to go with Hypermill, millturn maybe Esprit. But people who say mastercam sucks or whatever, they just never learned properly so they hate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Those are just people who like to yell at clouds for being cloudy. They never bother to actually learn the damn software so they just complain, like @CORONAVIRUS. Mastercam is one of the most developed and robust CAM softwares out there for general machining. For straight 5 axis it may be better to go with Hypermill, millturn maybe Esprit. But people who say mastercam sucks or whatever, they just never learned properly so they hate it.
    I am one of those Mastercam haters. Mastercam was the first software I learned and loved it until my last shop switched over to Esprit for 5 axis. I talked a lot of shit on esprit until i actually learned how to program it and boy let me tell you. F*********K MASTERCAM! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedude31 View Post
    I am one of those Mastercam haters. Mastercam was the first software I learned and loved it until my last shop switched over to Esprit for 5 axis. I talked a lot of shit on esprit until i actually learned how to program it and boy let me tell you. F*********K MASTERCAM! lol
    Well you may be right on that one, Mastercam is the only CAM system I’ve devoted any real time to, I did play around with PowerMill some but it was too expensive for us. I effing hated mastercam X series and we were on X7 for awhile and then 2017 came out and totally made it better.

    With recent updates my workflow has increased dramatically. And they’ve added many useful features ( that probably already existed for years with other CAM providers). That may also just be me being so well adjusted to the software that it feels easy but I would like to try HyperMill or esprit they are just out of our price point at our current level of need.

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    I’ve been doing this for about 25 years. It takes me about two months to become competent on a new platform. I like to program or design along with a YouTube video to start. Dual monitors... my cad on one side theirs on the other. Hit pause or go back if you need to. Then I switch over to my own parts, and refer to similar videos to learn the ins and outs of each cam routine. After a couple dozen parts, I’m up to speed. It usually takes a bit longer to fully figure out the more intricate features (different surfacing routines, multi-axis, mill-turn).

    Programs like Mastercam have a ton of legacy features, hidden tricks, and an incredible amount of control... this makes it great for advanced programming, but a bit more difficult to learn. I still consult with the VAR on some issues; it doesn’t hurt my ego too bad because about 50% of the time I stump them and it gets bumped to corporate.

    Other programs have less control (variables) and are easier to figure out. On simple stuff, I’m faster art to part than “better” programs.

    Some CAM systems are so esoteric and specialized they require going to the companies school. These are so niche that (in my opinion) they can rest on their laurels on ease of use, online training, and user interface. I hate these programs... once I have them figured out, they can do amazing things, but the curve is steep and I am perpetually a slave to tech help, partly because they suck, and partly because I’m prone to forgetting stupid little tricks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I’ve been doing this for about 25 years. It takes me about two months to become competent on a new platform. I like to program or design along with a YouTube video to start. Dual monitors... my cad on one side theirs on the other. Hit pause or go back if you need to. Then I switch over to my own parts, and refer to similar videos to learn the ins and outs of each cam routine. After a couple dozen parts, I’m up to speed. It usually takes a bit longer to fully figure out the more intricate features (different surfacing routines, multi-axis, mill-turn).

    Programs like Mastercam have a ton of legacy features, hidden tricks, and an incredible amount of control... this makes it great for advanced programming, but a bit more difficult to learn. I still consult with the VAR on some issues; it doesn’t hurt my ego too bad because about 50% of the time I stump them and it gets bumped to corporate.

    Other programs have less control (variables) and are easier to figure out. On simple stuff, I’m faster art to part than “better” programs.

    Some CAM systems are so esoteric and specialized they require going to the companies school. These are so niche that (in my opinion) they can rest on their laurels on ease of use, online training, and user interface. I hate these programs... once I have them figured out, they can do amazing things, but the curve is steep and I am perpetually a slave to tech help, partly because they suck, and partly because I’m prone to forgetting stupid little tricks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    What are these other arcane and esoteric programs of which you speak?

    For the OP, dual monitors is a must. Get a space mouse if youre going to be doing it long term. Also g502 proteus by logitech for a mouse mouse..

    I recently created a youtube video series for total NOOBS on mastercam...check it out on youtube #1: Introduction to Mastercam 2021 Software - Mastercam 2021 for Beginners - YouTube

    It is mastercam specific though

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    What are these other arcane and esoteric programs of which you speak?

    For the OP, dual monitors is a must. Get a space mouse if youre going to be doing it long term. Also g502 proteus by logitech for a mouse mouse..

    I recently created a youtube video series for total NOOBS on mastercam...check it out on youtube #1: Introduction to Mastercam 2021 Software - Mastercam 2021 for Beginners - YouTube

    It is mastercam specific though
    I hate to even mention names, because someone will jump in and say it's the simplest thing since slice bread... buuuut, I find most of the Catia programs difficult to jump into, my limited exposure made me think the juice wasn't worth the squeeze. I also loath all of the Swiss platforms, granted there is a lot going on, but I'll be damned if they don't think they could make it much more user unfriendly. I'm intrigued by some of the 5 axis stuff in Powermill, but after being violated by Partmaker, I'm not sure if I'm going to buy it or not.

    I suppose Mastercam isn't the most user freindly (but the newer stuff is apparently easier for newcomers). I've been running Mastercam since I was worried about losing data to the Y2K bug Didn't happen by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedude31 View Post
    I am one of those Mastercam haters. Mastercam was the first software I learned and loved it until my last shop switched over to Esprit for 5 axis. I talked a lot of shit on esprit until i actually learned how to program it and boy let me tell you. F*********K MASTERCAM! lol
    Well he did say "not the best at 5 axis) so....??

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Get a space mouse if youre going to be doing it long term.
    +1 on this ...
    Also g502 proteus by logitech for a mouse mouse.
    Mickeysoft Exploder trackball works for me ...

    People say youtube but I dunno .... it has to be something you do to make it useful. With pro/e my best success was trying to do something, then pestering the hell out of a friend who was super-good. Then what you learned was applicable to what you needed to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ H View Post
    Sounds like your company has never had a proficient CAM person. I have a lot of my guys hand code simple jobs. However the biggest reason I do this is to get guys experience, it doesn't take a very complex job for me to be able to CAM it faster, there is plenty of programs that can be done in a matter of minutes. Something that takes an hour to program would take hours to fingercam. Also I don't know why this is a sticking point with some of the older guys but the length of a program doesn't effect program run time until you get into HSM type toolpaths, and even then it's probably still more efficient that traditional machining strategies.
    A friend of mine ran a cnc shop for a couple of decades and was reluctant to buy mastercam. I told him about the things that I had read here about tool life and productivity being so much better. He told me "but it's $18K for one seat" or something like that on the price. I got to talking with his head mill guy and he wanted MC too and my friend finally broke down and spent the cash on it. I talked to him a few months later and he told me that you can hear the difference right away in how the machine came into corners and other cuts that usually run the load meter up. One job was a stainless job where they were removing a lot of stainless. Three day job went to two days and instead of using up three high end 1/2" carbide end mills they were still cutting pretty good on the original one after two days.

    They had been doing all of their programming at the machine on Hurco controls. Very up to date machines. The head mill guy became kind of a whiz on MC from what I could see and programmed for all of the machines in the shop. My guess is that the change to MC paid for itself in short order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins909 View Post
    Since I've got some people talking here, I've got a/some questions after talking to my boss. We have MasterCAM 2020 or 2021. I was being told that you could spend a hour on MC but program the part at the machine in 20minutes~. But MC is good for more complex parts from what I was understanding. Does this sound true? A lot of our parts are like a box with holes/taps.
    Nonsense. For a proficient CAD/CAM programmer, the amount of time spent should be the same at worst, and likely much faster with CAM.

    Consistency is important. Jumping back and forth between fingerbanging and CAM is likely to lead to more mistakes, more inefficiencies, and less comfort using CAM. Also, if every program starts in CAM, it's far easier to modify/repurpose an existing program later, than to try to track down and decipher G-code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins909 View Post
    Said something about if you wanted to take .005" off a face or something, you had to do a bunch of extra as well or... Not quite sure. But he did say if you make a program, the g-code is like supper long and turns a simple part that would be done in 2-3 pages on a haas to 20~ pages.
    I don't know of anyone who talks about G-code in "pages", since the vast majority of G-Code/text editors don't use page breaks. If you're working on memory limited machines, the only thing that matters is file size in KB. As others have already pointed out, sounds like your boss simply isn't very comfortable with CAM, and possibly computers in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins909 View Post
    He was also saying because I was learning to machine, MC would slow me down. It seems I really need to work on my speed. Not quite to this topic, but how long does it take to say, put a vice on, indicate, then put on jaws, stop, tools, offsets, cautiously run first part.
    Again, if he's not a competent CAD/CAM programmer, take his advice with a grain of salt. Your setup proficiency is another matter entirely. As for CAD/CAM, I think you need to raise the bar much higher for yourself. In terms of time frames, proficient programmers learned CAD/CAM in a matter of weeks, and then spent years fine tuning their abilities.

    You don't need to be an expert 3 months in, but you should have the basics nailed down very quickly. The hazard of learning too slowly is that you lose momentum and forget things you learned previously.

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    In general CADCAM is going to be an expensive outlay for anyone or any company. But, at the end of the day it is a tool that is used for the job. First time i learned mastercam was 20k+ a seat depending what you get, i was blown away. Then again, there are software suites out there that can cost $500,000 (not CAM) each. It is a tool to get the job done.

    I used to fingerbang programs on a Hurco too. I would spend hours on stuff. Now I realize that I could have written the programs in Mastercam in an hour. It takes awhile to get to the level where I am at programming, but once you are there, you will never go back. I don't care how fast some fingerCAMer is, he isn't as fast as I am in Mastercam. No one can write anything even remotely past simple parts without CAM as fast as a seasoned CAM programmer can do it. Also fewer mistakes - you aren't going to fat finger a neg Z when you want pos Z (and if you do youll soon realize it during backplot/verify).

    CAM is expensive because it is a powerful tool to help people make money. It absolutely will pay for itself if some conditions are met - you have a need for it (most machine shops DO have this need), you have someone who can harness the tool for its potential, and you can get a tailored post that doesn't suck.

    Cheap shit CAM is cheap for a reason. Mastercam is expensive for a reason, and it ain't cuz it sucks. Anyone telling you otherwise hasn't learned it enough to show its potential.

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    Local tech school. Dont worry about the degree program, just take the CAD/CAM program. Not all schools will let you, but theyre out there


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