10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2008 3:58 PM by Charles Davis

    Mastercam Direct

    Ken McAllister
      hi everyone!

      Does anyone have any thing positive to say about the mastercam direct add-in.
      I have not been successful in trying to use this at all.
      I need to bring the history into mastercam not just the solid.
      Any ideas?

        • Mastercam Direct
          Designer Designer
          I think we cant bring the history to mastercam, thats what i know...
          • Mastercam Direct
            Ken McAllister
            I use mastercam on a daily basis and there is an add in called mastercam direct for solidworks that brings over the history and once installed shows up in the add ins in SW .
            I saw a tutorial video from mastercam on how to use it but it wont work for some reason and I am not sure why.
            I know it should work but not to sure if it works very well or only in textbook type models where everything is set up correctly in SW Solid itself.
            I am fairly proficient in SW but not familiar with this feature so I was hoping someone else had some advice on it.
            • Mastercam Direct
              Ken McAllister
              thanks Anna,
              I am a very active member on that forum and have asked and do not get anything really positive in return about this add in so I decided to give this forum a try. I thought maybe some of the advanced SW users would have some insight as to how to make it work or tell me that its junk.
              I think if it really did work well more people would be using it.
                • Mastercam Direct
                  Anna Wood

                  Bummer.... You would think that some of the folks over there would be able to help.

                  Well hopefully some of the denzians here will be able to help you out. :-)

                  One question for you, what version/SP of SW are you using and has the Mastercam Direct add-in been released to work with that version of SW. I am thinking in terms that you may be in SW2008 and a bit ahead of Mastercam.

                  That is a concern for me when I upgrade our version of SW to make sure that our cam packages (Esprit and CamWorks) can work with the newer versions of SW.

                • Mastercam Direct
                  Ken McAllister

                  It is a bummer because it would make things much easier to make rev changes to my solid toolpaths. I am using SW 2007 and that is the version that the mastercam tutorial is using also. Thanks.


                  The "Feature-less Brick" is unchecked but it doesnt make a difference. I dont think that this is a good add in to try to use. Thanks.

                  The complexity of the components I'm working with makes me a little hesitant to trust this add in when I cant even get it to work with simple features. Some of the comments on the Mastercam forum have not been very positive and I have been told that when it does work it doesnt work 100%. It will leave things out when it comes over.

                  Thanks for the help.
                    • Mastercam Direct
                      Charles Davis
                      I am a very experienced Mastercam user (over 12 years).

                      The problem with any non-integrated CAM package is that it requires data translation from the CAD database to the CAM database. Data translation means data translation errors.

                      One of the major problems I had with the MC Direct translator was the result of MC not supporting certain SW features. MC Direct will bring over the features and history tree from SW if all the features making up your part are supported by MC Solids. That usually means that if your part is relatively simple, then the transation will be good. If not, MC will bring over the SW model as a featureless "brick" solid without the history tree and you lose the ability to do things like suppress features for manufacturing purposes. [Of course, you can try to use Feature Recognition technology to create a history tree, but I've never found this approach very effective.]

                      Even in cases where the history tree does come over, you still don't have all the model knowledge that is important for manufacturing; such as thread callouts, tolerances, and surface finish. Having full knowledge of the design intent not only saves labor and reduces confusion and errors, Integrated CAM systems can use this knowledge to automate many routine tasks. For example, holes can be processed automatically because the CAM system knows if a hole is drilled or tapped.

                      There are many other advantages of Integrated systems. If you are interested in this topic and have about 10 minutes, I put together a PPT presentation that explains the advantages of Integrated CAM over Stand-Alone CAD/CAM systems. This is a generic presentation that does not discuss any system in particular, just the advantages of Integrated CAM as I see it.


                      The advantages of integration are broad, significant and real. I'm evangelizing about Integrated CAM because I think it can greatly improve manufacturing efficiency.

                      IMHO, if you are looking at CAM, you should consider Gold Level Solidworks partners first. Only go with a stand-alone CAD/CAM system if your research proves there is no viable Gold Partner solutions for your CNC programming requirements.
                        • Mastercam Direct
                          Ryan Bennett
                          I read in mastercam notes that X3 is going to allow you to do toolpaths directly in SW. http://www.mastercam.com/CamZo...ewsZone/Article13.aspx Hopefully it won't be too long before this is released!
                            • Mastercam Direct
                              Charles Davis
                              MC had a SW integrated product several years ago, but abandoned the product after a short time.

                              In any case, I'm glad to see more products going Integrated. I think this is an acknowledgement that Integrated CAM is the way to go.

                              There is a new product that I think is very interesting. It is designed from the beginning to run inside of Solidworks. I downloaded the free eval, and had my first tool paths in 10 minutes without any training or even referring to the training documentation.


                              The move to Integrated CAM is a chance to think anew about what product you are using, and make a change to a different system if it better serves your needs.