camInstructor Video Blog

Mastercam - 3D Toolpath Control

8/8/19 3:22 PM / by camInstructor Mike

This video is taken from an Ask the Instructor email submission and looks at the Tooplath Control options in some of the 3D toolpaths.  Ask the Instructor is available to all Premium bundle subscribers.

I received a question about 3D toolpath cotainment. On the containment page in some of the 3D toolpaths there is a section called 'Compensate to'. This can lead to some confusion when coming from the 2D toolpath world where 'Compensation type' is an option on some toolpaths. These are two very different things.

When in 2D, Compensation Type is setting whether or not to output cutter compensation (typically G41/G42), and if so what value should be used for the radius/diameter compensation in the control. For more information on this, have a look at that blog posting here...2D Cutter Compensation

For the most part, this type of compensation is not done in 3D toolpaths. It can be done ...some 3D toolpaths in Mastercam support this...your post will also need to be setup to create the correct code for you control...that control also needs to be able to run 3D there is a long list of 'ya buts' here to get 3D compensation to work. If this is something you want to be able to do I suggest starting with your control and work backwards from there.

Anyways, this post is not about cutter compensation in that back to the point.

Compensate To in 3D toolpaths is a way for you to limit where the toolpath can cut and is found on the Toolpath Control page. You will select a boundary, pick between containing the tool tip or the tool contact point and then finally, select to Compensate to either Inside, Center, or Outside. 

Tool Tip - limits the toolpath to keep the tip of the tool on the selected boundary

Tool Contact Point - limits the toolpath to keep the contact point of the tool on the selected boundary. The center of the tool may exceed the boundary but the contact point of the tool will not.

Given the above tool settings, how these interact with the boundary will depend on the next settings.

Inside - toolpath remains inside the boundary

Center - center of tool travel to the boundary

Outside - toolpath exceeds the boundary

With the Inside/Outside, you can specify a distance as well as whether to include the radius of the selected tool to add too your specified distance...which results in the Total Offset Distance.

Tool Containment is one of the many tools needed in 3D machining to limit where a tooplath is able to cut. Sometimes we can do this with surface selection, sometimes with Z limits, sometimes with angle limits, but when nothing else limits your toolpath to the needed area, Tool Containment is the answer.


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Topics: Mastercam Tips, Mastercam, Mill, 3D

camInstructor Mike

Written by camInstructor Mike

camInstructor Mike is Mike Wearne, an avid machinist, cnc programmer and overall connoisseur of all things machining. Mike is one of camInstructor's resident cad/cam/cnc experts and works part time at his local college teaching aspiring machinists how to program CNC Machines of all types.

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