iModela with Mastercam

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betamatiz
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:17 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

iModela with Mastercam

Post by betamatiz » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:43 am

Hello there guys and greetings from Spain!

I just got my iModela this month and im very excited to make some molds (its my first machine :D ); but after trying out the included software and the modela player 4 i think i need some software with more capabilities. I design my parts in Autodesk Inventor and both Mastercam - FeatureCam can import the .ipt file format.

Been trying Mastercam for a while but im getting stuck trying to make a machine definition suitable for the iModela as well as the creation of mill bits for this model.
Is there a machine definition for Roland products anywhere on the net? (been looking like crazy but none found).

Could any of you guys who use Mastercam give a light on this? :oops:

chevy6600
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Location: uk. midlands

Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by chevy6600 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:35 pm

Hi betamatiz glad to see there is another that has joined the imodela clan. What you are looking for is a `post processor ` so if you want to do some googling that`s what to search for. I am not familiar with mastercam so cannot give you a direct answer, but what you need to do is see if there is another roland version and then adjust one or two of the settings. Let me know what roland versions you can find and i`ll try to do a comparison on other software then i may be able to see what differences you need to make in master cam. Investigate how difficult you can make changes in mastercam, some programs are harder to change than others.
Can you explain further what you want to do with milling bits/cutters, i grind and sharpen various kinds myself so i may be able to help.

chevy6600
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Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by chevy6600 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:38 pm

hi again, i have done a bit of browsing and it appeares that there is a special addon program called mplmaster here is the link http://www.emastercam.com/board/index.p ... showcat=35 i have not got the authority to download and try out but i guess you can. You still need to know what to change mind you, so still let us know any info as per my previous post.

betamatiz
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:17 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by betamatiz » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:12 am

Hi Chevy and thanks for pointing me in that direction.

Well i have been reading about the subject, googling a lot and reading the forums. Looks like there is a lot to learn :P (im eating right now the pdf about RML/NC coding)

I could not find any post processor for Mastercam X -> imodela (or roland product). But i found an interesting document at the CNC Zone forums regarding Mastercam Machine definitions, Machine control and Post Processing http://www.cnczone.com/forums/mastercam ... posts.html, im going to check it in the morning and see if some light shines.

Im very familiar with 3D/Parametric software but its my first time playing with the CAM branch, so im not very familiar with Mastercam.

Im trying to make some molds to cast small mechanical parts in polyurethane, so i started exploring with Foam (so my tool wont break); so far i manage to import my IPT (Autodesk inventor part) into Mastercam, setup correctly the stock and origin, generate toolpaths from part features, create new holder and tools (had to measure it myself as no info was found over the net), test and simulate the code.

Everything seems to be going just right, but when i take the generated NC code and load it onto Machine Controller, the tool get over the right X/Y coords but the tool's z movement seems to be way out of order (initial movement on z axis went almost to the top of protective cover bed, pinching thru the foam; it should move just 1mm -Z).

I have checked Holder and exposed tool lengths, origin of stock/part, Z direction. With no luck.

I will continue reading :lol:

By the way, what software do you use and what kind of parts are you working on?

Saludos!! :!:

chevy6600
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:29 pm
Location: uk. midlands

Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by chevy6600 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:05 am

Hi betamatiz it will be interesting following your project as i use to have a casting company before i retired so anything to do with casting and die/mold making i find interesting.
i know you say
I have checked Holder and exposed tool lengths, origin of stock/part, Z direction. With no luck.
but it does look like the imodela thinks the `Z` axis is a lot higher than it actualy is. I have found that sometimes different programs (including rolands) behave differently, that sometimes the `Z` axis figure is input as a negative to travel down, and other times you need to input a positive figure, i now this sounds confusing and it is.
Maybe somewhere in your software setup the x,y,z, 0,0,0, is not the same as the imodela controller x,y,z, 0,0,0. Are you aware that there is more than one coordinate system?, maybe you need to look at both the `user coordinate system` and the `machine coordinate system` in the setup of the imodela control program.

I did try various cam software demo`s a while ago, and the various free versions, but every thing i tried had something wrong or lacking even if it was possible to sort out the post processor headache. I found that the rhinocam had various roland post processors and all you do is tick a few box`s and input a couple of settings...very easy, some cam software you needed to be a software programer or you have to get the developers to make you a post processor. Rhino also has a very large input/output format list which can be handy for transferring software between one another.

betamatiz
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Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:17 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by betamatiz » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:35 pm

Well, Chevy you hit the problem :D
I was reading the Gcode manual and i found the G54 instruction, so i tried setting the Zero machine coords. on the imodela controller with the G54 instruction and Voila! :lol:
It was in fact as you said a UCS/WCS problem.

Regarding the post processors i was trying to understand the Post processor pst file (to see if i could make my own), but i found out i cannot select or change the file, might be restrictions from the software (Its a Home learning Edition). But its working with the default one :D So its time to keep exploring.

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Andrew Dudley
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Re: iModela with Mastercam

Post by Andrew Dudley » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:47 pm

Hi Guys,

This may help with mastercam, but I don't know for sure so please test it first without a tool so you don't damage your machine.

The post processor basically just creates the RML-1 or G-CODE. As the Roland MDX-40A uses the same motor steps as the iModela (0.01mm), I have in the past, before the post processor was developed for Modella Player 4, used the MDX-40A post and output a file correctly.

Note though that you have to take care of size etc as the MDX-40A is considerably larger than the iModela. Also you only have spindle controll on/off for iModela where as you have a controlable spindle for the MDX-40A.

Might be worth a try...
Andrew Dudley
Business Manager - 3D & Dental
Roland DG (UK) Ltd
Web: www.rolanddg.co.uk

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