Get up and running with Mastercam, the popular computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) application. Learn how to convert a 3D model to a toolpath—a set of instructions for a CNC mill to follow.
- [Taylor] Welcome. My name is Taylor Hokanson, and I'm an artist, educator, and do-it-yourself engineer based in Chicago. Though I wear many hats, all of my professional activities intersect on the topic of computer-aided design and manufacturing, or CAD/CAM. Put simply, CAD involves making digital designs on the computer, while CAM tools and processes are used to realize those virtual forms as physical objects. You may have heard of 3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing. It's one of the most talked about CAM processes used in recent years.
In this series, we'll focus on CNC milling, which is a subtractive approach that creates forms by carving away at blocks of material. There are many different CAD/CAM programs available to address a variety of needs, but today, we'll be talking about Mastercam. One of the most, if not the most, popular pieces of CAD/CAM software available. Although you only see CAM in the name, rest assure that Mastercam is equally capable of both 3D modeling generation, and tool pathing. Or the process of converting digital models into paths for a CNC machine to follow. As you've likely guessed, Mastercam is a complex piece of software.
This is an introduction to the application, so we'll only touch upon the basics to get you up and running with the program. I'm glad to have the opportunity to introduce you to Mastercam, and the exciting world of computer-aided design and manufacturing. So let's get tool pathing.
- Reviewing the user interface
- Creating 2D and 3D geometry
- Creating 2.5 and 3-axis toolpaths
- Toolpath simulation and export