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Editor’s Pick: CNC Software Unveils Mastercam X5

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

CNC Software is one of the oldest companies in the PC-based CAD/CAM industry, having begun earning its chops in the early ’80s. Its flagship CAM system, Mastercam, has an installed based of more than 150,000 worldwide. Designers and NC programmers use it for doing milling, turning, 2- and 4-axis wire EDM, router programming, plasma cutting, laser work, and 3D design and drafting at places ranging from one-person shops to heavyweights like Boeing and Sikorsky, according to the company. Just the other day, the company released it newest version, Mastercam X5, as well as the newest version of the complementary programming system Mastercam Router X5.

Mastercam X5 introduces new dynamic milling techniques, new multiaxis machining capabilities, and something called Smart Hybrid Finishing. The latter is said to blend two cutting techniques in a single toolpath intelligently. What this means for you is that your toolpath will evaluate your model’s shape then switch between cutting and machining, letting you achieve a better finish with less work.

Mastercam Router X5 offers enhancements in automatic toolpathing and block drill support that are intended to improve your shop floor productivity. Automatic toolpathing now has an option that can read in a project and then automatically program toolpaths with presets of your choice. In the area of block drill support, the software’s FBM (feature-based machining) drill has a number of enhancements that should minimize the need to change tools all the time.

You can learn more about many of the new features in Mastercam X5 and Mastercam Router X5 in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. But to really get the idea, hit the link at the end of the write-up to go to the CNC Software website, then watch some of the many short videos posted there. (Hint: There are also videos directly associated with products.)

The underlying philosophy of Mastercam software has always been to provide a flexible, practical set of tools for the shop, whether you’re a machinist or an engineer or whether your job means complex or simple parts. The new X5 versions of Mastercam and Mastercam Router sound like they are right in line with that vision.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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