camInstructor Video Blog

The #1 Mistake Students Make on Mastercam Certification Tests

11/27/19 3:31 PM / by camInstructor Mike

With our CamInstructor Certification for Mastercam, I end up marking a lot of tests in Mastercam. This is by far the most common 'mistake' I see on these tests.

When marking Certification tests for Mastercam, I not only mark these tests based on the creation of geometry and toolpaths, but also in the efficiency of the application of those toolpaths. Efficient toolpaths encompass many different aspects of the toolpath from speeds and feeds to how the toolpath is getting into a cut, out of the cut, repositioning for a depth cut, or in the example the cutter enters into a pocket.

In the example video, we are looking at a part with a pocket and inside of that pocket is a hole. Typically, this hole will be drilled prior to the pocket machining. If this is the case, plunging the cutter into the existing hole would be much more efficient than entering into this pocket using a helical or ramping motion.

We are focusing on the Pocket Toolpath here so keep in mind if you were to tackle this feature with a different toolpath, different strategies would be used. 

With Pocket, simply turning the Entry Motion option off will result in a direct plunge at the center of the pocket. Which, given the sample part, will work. However, what if this pre-drilled hole is not in the middle of the part or if you want to control the location of the helical entry. A simple addition to the Chained Geometry is all that is needed.

For the Pocket toolpath in Mastercam, if we include a Point in the geometry for the toolpath, this will tell Mastercam this is where we want to plunge at. Again, another 'ya but'...depending on the Entry Motion type selected, Mastercam may interpret this point differently.

With Off, Mastercam will plunge at the selected points location.

With Helical Entry, you must enable 'Center on Entry Point' for the helix to center on the selected points location. You need to ensure your defined Helix still fits at this location or a plunge may be output.

With Ramp, using the 'Ramp From Entry Point' will literally ramp from the point you selected to the start of the cutting motion for the Pocket Operation. It is important that you pay attention to the Z level of the point for this selection type. 

If you are about to take your Mastercam Certification test with CamInstructor, these are the little things I look for, and if you are wanting to get close to that 100% mark, these are the types of things you should be ensuring you are looking at when making your toolpaths. 

You may also be interested in the Pocket Entry Motion blog posting which looks more into the settings found on the entry motion page.

Pocket Entry Motion Settings


More information on the Mastercam Certification process with CamInstructor can be found here...

Mastercam Certification




Want to learn more about Mastercam? Check out;

camInstructor for Teachers - Independent Learners - Students


Topics: Mastercam, CNC, Mastercam 2020, Pocket, Entry Motion, Certification

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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