7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 4, 2012 12:41 PM by Lenny Bucholz

    Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines

    Dale Elde

      Hello,

       

      I want to transfer some files from SW 2011 to Mastercam 6, but I continually run into problems with tool pathing. I have tried .sldprt and .iges. The only format that started to work was the .iges wireframe (option - parametric spline, entity type 112). However, it turned out that many of the lines weren't connected.

       

      I can just import a 2d drawing and work from there, but it would be more efficient for us to be able to export the file directly from SW without modification. How can I do this?

        • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
          Anna Wood

          What problems with tool pathing are you running into?

           

          What do the Mastercam folks suggest?

           

          Cheers,

           

          Anna

            • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
              Dale Elde

              The problem was that many entities were not joined. Mastercam suggested that we download their maintenance update for a different problem we were having, but we haven't contacted them for this problem, yet. One of our problems if simply learning each other's jargon (see my next post below). Since I am allowed internet access, and my Mastercam co-worker isn't, it falls on me to iron out "software issues."

            • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
              Matt Wallace

              I, and many other users, use the parasolid format, which is the underlying format in Solidworks.  There is a parasolid and a parasolid binary in the save as... options, and I haven't seen or heard of a difference in what shows up in MC.  There is an option in MC to apply edge curves (wireframe) to all the edges, I usually just import the solid and create edge curves when needed.

               

              A very cool feature of using this format is the ability to assign a coordinate system in SW so that the file lands in MC with the orientation you want.  When you select Parasolid as your save as type, an options box appears.  Click on that, and in the next window, at the bottom is an output coordinate system drop down, and select the coordinate system you want.

               

              I must say, working like this is OK if your parts don't change, but feels very archaic working in a development environment when changes frequently occur and knowing there are CAM packages that work inside SW, including MC for SW.  I am supposed to start moving on from this method, it just hasn't happened yet.

                • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
                  Dale Elde

                  Thanks. My co-oworker and I are part of a fledgeling CAD/CAM department for a small business, and we are learning all the software from the ground up...Our supervisor is having me specialize in SW, while my co-worker specializes in Mastercam (he is a machinist, I am not). We are always open to opinions/advice on how we could make things more efficient, so I appreciate any input.

                   

                  At any rate, he found a work-around by using "xform" - "translate" - "highlitght all entities" - Enter - "join" - Check Mark. What difference is there between the parasolid and parasolid binary formats?

                    • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
                      Matt Wallace

                      Joe Bufford wrote:

                       

                      What difference is there between the parasolid and parasolid binary formats?

                       

                      If you open them with notepad, the parasolid will be a bunch of numbers, and the binary will be a bunch of hieroglyphs.  I think the binary ends up being a little smaller file size.  If there is a difference in what shows up in MC, I don't know what it is.

                       

                      From what I have seen, IGES does not seem to be a well liked format among programmers, frequently refered to as I Guess.  Your problems may be related to this.  Also, there is a plane mask for selecting chains in MC, if this is selected, and elements are not on the same plane as your toolplane, they will not chain.

                       

                      Expecting someone to learn Mastercam without classes and net access is insane in this day and age.

                  • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
                    Shaun Mc Donald

                    If solidworks and mastercam are on the same computer (sounds like they are not in your case) you can open a solidworks files directly into mastercam. If not use parasolid for 3d files and dwg for 2d files.

                    I use both programs and this is by far the best and most convenient way to open the files.

                    • Re: Exporting SW to Mastercam: Parametric Splines
                      Lenny Bucholz

                      this is always the biggest complant I here about Mastercam WIREFRAME doesn't come in by default.

                       

                      Surfcam hase done this since day one, no extraction needed.

                       

                      Why aren't you using Mastercam for SW may be faster and less headaches. Maybe they'll give you a 30day trial???