3D Printing fans are looking everywhere for cheap CAD software to model their prints, is Mastercam HLE an option?
Mastercam HLE, Home Learning Edition, is a FREE version of Mastercam offered by CNC Software. It has all the capabilities of the full licensed version of Mastercam....well almost. You cannot post gcode. You cannot convert files. This has been a deal breaker for those thinking of using this free software for their 3D printers. It doesn't have to be though!
Mastercam HLE cannot export your solid model designs as the needed STL file through the conventional methods. With licensed versions you can use the 'Save As' option and select STL. You can also use the 'Save Some' option which allows selecting certain items within a file for export, and then selecting STL. Neither of these are available in the HLE version.
We can work around this limitation 2 ways.
First, the easiest option, create a stock model using the desired solid as is basis. Then, with that stock model selected, choose Export Stock Model as STL.
Second, set the solid as the stock definition in the Machine Properties. Then, launch into Verify (you may need to create a dummy toolpath to allows Verify to launch). Once in Verify, select Export Stock as STL.
With the created STL, you can import that into your preferred slicer and create your 3D printing code.
If you are looking to download Mastercam HLE, you can get FREE access through out camInstructor Resouce Hub. Here is a link to a blog post that will guide you to the download page...
camInstructor Resource Hub
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