Using Mastercam’s 3D Toolpaths for 2-1/2D Work

By Dave Matsuzek on

Many Mastercam users separate Mastercam’s Mill 2D Toolpaths and 3D Toolpaths for two different sets of tasks. They use the 2D Toolpaths for any prismatic parts and never venture into the 3D Tab in Mastercam. Many do not even realize that toolpaths such as Dynamic Optirough are available to all Mastercam Mill Customers.

Let’s start off with a case where I want to rough this electronics enclosure. It is not a very complex part but all of the faces are at different heights. I want to cut down to the green face. I’ll machine the details on the back side in another set up.

electronics case

Normally using 2D Toolpaths you’d either need to use multiple toolpaths or complicated chaining techniques. Instead, I am going to use Mastercam’s 3D Optirough Toolpath.

Mastercam 3D Optirough Toolpath

I’ll simply select the model, pick my tool, and set up a machining strategy and let Mastercam do the rest. In this case I am using a 1” Inserted Feed Mill to rough out most of the material.

1 inch inserted feed mill

And below is my result. As you can see Mastercam machined to all my depths and I can use a second Dynamic Optirough Toolpath to remove the remaining material with a long ½ Endmill.

second dynamic optirough toolpath

If I just had a Mastercam Mill license, it would simply be a matter of making a set of contour toolpaths to bring those walls to final size. I have a Mill 3D license so let’s take that a step further and use Mastercam 3D Finishing toolpaths to finish my 2D Part. In this case I am going to use Surface Finish Waterline to finish the walls. To do that I just need to remember to change a few settings in the toolpath. I am going to turn on “Add Cuts” and “Critical Depths” and just leave it set to “Include Flats.”

Now as you can see, we have finished the walls and we can use another toolpath to finish the floors. In this application I am going to use Surface Finish Horizontal Area.

horizontal area finishing tool

Once I run the Horizontal Area Toolpath the floors will be completed.

floors complete in Mastercam

Now I will run a Stock Compare inside our Verify to be sure everything is cut correctly.

Green means machined geometry matches the model in Mastercam Mill 3D

And as you can see everything is green so that means my machined geometry matches the model.

This was an easy way to machine this enclosure using just 3D Toolpaths on a 2D Part. I didn’t have to worry about accidently chaining an area incorrectly, and I machined the part to completion with just four toolpaths.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Mastercam, please contact us to speak with one of our experts.