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Mastercam X Transition Guide 1-883310-44-X

671 Old Post Road


Tolland, Connecticut 06084 USA
www.mastercam.com
Printed in the USA on recycled paper.
Transition Guide

Mastercam X
Transition Guide
July, 2005
rev. 1.01
UG_TransitionGuide.book Page i Wednesday, July 6, 2005 6:54 PM
Mastercam Transition Guide
Date: July 15, 2005 (revision 1.01)
Copyright 2005 CNC Software, Inc. All rights reserved.
First Printing: July 15, 2005
Software: Mastercam X
ISBN: 1-883310-44-X
IMPORTANT NOTICE!
PLEASE READ THIS STATEMENT AND THE SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
COMPLETELY BEFORE USING THIS SOFTWARE.
BY CONTINUING TO USE THIS SOFTWARE, YOU (EITHER AN INDIVIDUAL OR
A SINGLE ENTITY) INDICATE YOUR INTENTION TO BE BOUND BY AND
ACCEPT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS SOFTWARE LICENSE. IF
YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU MAY NOT
ACCESS OR OTHERWISE USE THIS SOFTWARE AND WILL IN FACT BE
PROHIBITED FROM DOING SO. THIS COMPUTER SOFTWARE MAY BE USED
ONLY PURSUANT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH BELOW,
AND SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ACCOMPANYING SECURITY
MECHANISM (UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED IN THE "EXCEPTIONS TO
SECURITY MECHANISM REQUIREMENTS" SECTION OF SUCH TERMS AND
CONDITIONS) WHICH MUST BE PRESENT ON YOUR COMPUTER (OR
NETWORK AS APPLICABLE) AT ALL TIMES DURING SUCH USE.
Read This If You Have Received This Software From A Third Party: If you
received this Software from someone other than an authorized CNC Software,
Inc. reseller, you do NOT have a legal software license. (For example, if you
acquired this Software simply by buying a machine or Software from the former
owner or from an auction, you do not have a valid license.) You should contact
CNC Software, Inc. (860-875-5006) in order to obtain a new and valid license.
Use of this Software without a valid software license is unlawful, a violation of
the Copyright Act and may expose you to criminal liability under 17 United
States Code Sec. 506, including fines and damages.
Software License If you have paid a license fee, CNC Software, Inc. ("CNC") a Connecticut
corporation with its principal place of business at 671 Old Post Road, Tolland,
Connecticut, 06084 hereby grants to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable
license (the "License") to use this software program (the "Software") and its
accompanying documentation (and, if applicable, to permit your authorized
employees to use them), solely in accordance with the terms and conditions of
this Software License Agreement . You may use the Software solely for your
internal business purposes and solely in conjunction with the accompanying
hardware or software device, method, scheme or other security measure
provided by CNC which allows a user to access the Software and prevents
unauthorized access to the Software (the "Security Mechanism"). The Software,
any updates to the Software (including any that you download through the
Internet), and the Documentation shall hereinafter collectively be referred to as
the "Software" and are all governed by this License.
Restrictions You may not use the Software without a Security Mechanism provided by CNC
or CNCs suppliers. When CNC or CNCs suppliers provide you with a single-user
Security Mechanism, the Software may only be used (in executable code form
only) on a single computer to which the Security Mechanism is physically
attached. In the event CNC or CNCs suppliers provide you with a multiple-user
Security Mechanism for use over an internal network (a "Network Security
Mechanism"), the Software may be used: (a) in executable code form only; (b)
only on end-user computers that are connected to the internal network to which
the Network Security Mechanism is attached; and (c) only by the number of
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users and accessed by the number of end-user computers for which licenses
were purchased and as further allowed by the Network Security Mechanism. You
may physically transfer the Software from one computer equipped with a single-
user Security Mechanism to another only if the Security Mechanism is included
in the transfer and is installed with the new computer.
You shall not: (a) copy (except as provided below), adapt, modify the Software;
(b) publish, display, disclose or create a derivative work from the Software or any
part thereof; (c) de-compile or translate, disassemble, create or attempt to
create, by reverse engineering or otherwise, the source code form of the Software
from the executable code of the Software; (d) remove any proprietary notices,
labels or marks from the Software; (e) sell, rent, lease, distribute or otherwise
transfer or provide all or any part of the Software to any person or entity without
the prior written consent of CNC; (f ) use the Software to provide outsourcing,
service bureau, time sharing or other services to any third party; or (g)
sublicense, assign, delegate or otherwise transfer your rights in the Software,
under the Software License Agreement or any of the related rights or obligations
for any reason without the prior written consent of CNC. You shall not
circumvent, bypass, modify, reverse engineer, disassemble, disable, alter,
enhance or replicate the function of the Security Mechanism in any manner
whatsoever. Any attempt to do so shall result in automatic termination of this
License without prejudice to all other legal rights and remedies of CNC.
Copying Restrictions You may make one (1) copy of the Software for backup or archival purposes,
provided that you reproduce all proprietary notices of CNC on any such copy.
Non Transferable You may not transfer or assign the Software or this Software License Agreement
or any rights or obligations hereunder. Any attempt to do so will automatically
terminate this License without the need for notice. This termination is without
prejudice to all other legal rights and remedies of CNC.
Intellectual Property Rights The Software is and includes intellectual property of CNC. All associated
intellectual property rights, including, without limitation, worldwide patent,
trademark, copyright and trade secret rights, are reserved. CNC retains all right,
title and interest in and copyrights to the Software, regardless of the form or
media in or on which the original or other copies may subsequently exist. This
Software License Agreement shall not constitute a sale of the Software and no
title or proprietary rights to the Software are transferred to you hereby. You
acknowledge that the Software is a unique, confidential and valuable asset of
CNC, and CNC shall have the right to seek all equitable and legal redress, which
may be available to it for the breach or threatened breach of this Software
License Agreement including, without limitation, injunctive relief.
Unauthorized copying of the Software or failure to comply with the above
restrictions shall result in automatic termination of this License and this
Software License Agreement without prejudice to all other legal rights and
remedies of CNC.
Confidentiality You acknowledge that the Software contains proprietary trade secrets of CNC
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least as great a degree of care as you use to maintain the confidentiality of your
own most confidential information. You agree to reasonably communicate the
terms and conditions of this Software License Agreement to those persons
employed by you who come into contact with the Software, and to use
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persons to use any portion of the Software for the purpose of deriving the source
code of the Software or defeating the Security Mechanism.
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Enforcement Obligations In the event you become aware that any person or entity in your employ or
under your control in a manner not authorized by this Software License
Agreement is using the Software, you shall immediately use reasonable best
efforts to have such unauthorized use of the Software immediately cease. You
shall promptly notify CNC in writing of any unauthorized use of the Software of
which you become aware.
Limited Warranties CNC WARRANTS THAT THE MEDIA ON WHICH THE SOFTWARE IS
DISTRIBUTED WILL BE FREE OF DEFECTS IN MATERIAL OR WORKMANSHIP
FOR A PERIOD OF THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER PURCHASE. THE FOREGOING
LIMITED WARRANTY EXCLUDES DEFECTS ARISING OUT OF ACCIDENT,
NEGLECT, MISUSE, FAILURE OF ELECTRIC POWER AND CAUSES OTHER
THAN ORDINARY AND AUTHORIZED USE. EXCEPT FOR THE FOREGOING
LIMITED WARRANTY, THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS, WITH ALL
FAULTS." YOUR SOLE REMEDY AND CNCS SOLE OBLIGATION HEREUNDER
SHALL BE, AT CNCS SOLE OPTION, REPLACEMENT OF THE DEFECTIVE
MEDIA OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE SOFTWARE. ANY USE
BY YOU OF THE SOFTWARE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIS LIMITED
WARRANTY IS THE ONLY WARRANTY PROVIDED BY CNC REGARDING THE
SOFTWARE. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, CNC
DISCLAIMS ALL OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR
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MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. CNC IS
NOT OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE ANY UPDATES TO THE SOFTWARE. SHOULD
THE SOFTWARE PROVE DEFECTIVE FOLLOWING ITS PURCHASE, YOU (AND
NOT CNC, ITS DISTRIBUTOR, OR RETAILER) ASSUME THE ENTIRE COST OF
ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION AND ANY
INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
Note on Documentation: While CNC makes every effort to ensure that its
Documentation for the Software is accurate and up-to-date, it cannot guarantee
the Documentation at all times represents the latest operation and functionality
of the Software. The content of the "Getting Started Guide," "User Manual" and
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only. The content of the Documentation may be changed without notice to you.
CNC expressly disclaims any warranty or representation that the
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operation and performance.
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IN NO EVENT WILL CNC, OR ITS EMPLOYEES, SHAREHOLDERS,
DISTRIBUTORS OR SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY INDIRECT,
INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT
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BUSINESS, LOSS OF PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF
BUSINESS INFORMATION) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS
SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT OR THE SUBJECT MATTER HEREOF EVEN
IF CNC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. CNCS
ENTIRE LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS
SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT OR OTHERWISE SHALL NOT EXCEED THE
AMOUNT OF THE LICENSE FEE PAID BY YOU FOR THE SOFTWARE. SOME
JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY
TO YOU.
Indemnification You shall indemnify and hold harmless CNC, its officers, directors, employees,
suppliers and agents from and against all losses, settlements, claims, actions,
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suits, proceedings, judgments, awards, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses
including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys fees (collectively "Losses")
which arise out of or as a result of any breach of this Software License Agreement
by you or your employees, agents, resellers, dealers or sub-dealers and shall
reimburse CNC for any and all legal, accounting and other fees, costs and
expenses reasonably incurred by any of them in connection with investigating,
mitigating or defending any such Losses.
Educational Pricing If this Software was obtained through or in accordance with a CNC "Educational
Pricing" plan, option, grant, schedule or program, it may not be used by anyone,
including you, to conduct any computer aided design, computer aided drafting,
computer aided machining, or training activities that, directly or indirectly,
generate or otherwise result in monetary revenues for the benefit of any
individual or any entity, other than the school that originally received this
Software.
Termination This Software License Agreement is effective until terminated. You may
terminate this Software License Agreement at any time by returning to CNC all
copies of the Software under your control and by returning the Security
Mechanism to CNC. CNC may terminate this Software License Agreement if
CNC determines, in its sole discretion, that you have violated the terms of this
Software License Agreement. Upon termination of this Software License
Agreement, you agree to immediately return to CNC all copies of the Software,
return the Security Mechanism to CNC, and certify to CNC in writing that all
known copies, including backup copies, have been returned. All provisions
relating to confidentiality, proprietary rights, indemnification and non-
disclosure shall survive the termination of this Software License Agreement. You
may not transfer this Software to the purchaser of any equipment on which the
Software may be resident. You may not transfer this Software via liquidation,
bankruptcy, auction, close of business, or any other method that does not
involve an authorized Mastercam reseller. This License is for you alone. In the
event you breach the provisions of this Section, CNC shall be entitled to
liquidated damages in the amount of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000), plus
its reasonable attorneys fees and court costs.
General This Software License Agreement shall be construed, interpreted and governed
by the laws of the state of Connecticut, without regard to conflicts of law
provisions. The sole jurisdiction and venue for any litigation arising from or
related to this Software License Agreement or the subject matter hereof shall be
in an appropriate state or federal court located in Hartford, Connecticut. You
hereby submit to the personal jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the
District of Connecticut and to the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut.
This Software License Agreement shall constitute the entire agreement between
you and CNC with respect to the subject matter hereof. Any waiver or
modification of this Software License Agreement shall be valid only if it is in
writing and signed by both parties hereto. If any part of this Agreement is found
invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of
this Agreement shall be interpreted so as to reasonably effect the intention of the
parties.
U.S. Government Restricted
Rights
The Software provided hereunder is a "commercial item," as that term is defined
in 48 C.F.R. 2.101, consisting of "commercial computer software" and
"commercial computer software documentation," as such terms are used in 48
C.F.R. 12.212. Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212 and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202-1 through
227.7202-4, the Software made available to the United States of America, its
agencies and/or instrumentalities, is provided with only those rights set forth in
this Agreement. Use, duplication or disclosure of the Software by the
government is subject to the restrictions as set forth in subparagraph (c)(1) and
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(2) of the Commercial Computer Software-Restricted Rights clause at 48 C.F.R.
52.227-19, as amended, or any successor regulations thereto.
Export Restrictions You represent and warrant that you will not, without obtaining prior written
authorization from CNC and, if required, of the Bureau of Export Administration
of the United States Department of Commerce or other relevant agency of the
United States Government, export or re-export, directly or indirectly, the
Software from the United States to (i) any country destination to which export is
restricted by the Export Administration Regulations of the United States
Department of Commerce; (ii) any country subject to sanctions administered by
the Office of Foreign Assets Control, United States Department of the Treasury;
or (iii) such other countries to which export is restricted by any other United
States government agency. You further agree that you are solely responsible for
compliance with any import laws and regulations of the country of destination
of a permitted export or re-export, and any other import requirement related to
a permitted export or re-export.
Exceptions to Security
Mechanism Requirements
CNC software programs Mastercam Design LT and Mastercam Demo do not
require the use of Security Mechanisms, and the provisions in this Software
License Agreement relating to Security Mechanisms do not apply to your use of
such programs, provided, however, that such provisions shall apply to your use
of all other Software provided hereunder.
Survival All provisions of this Software License Agreement relating to confidentiality,
non-disclosure, CNCs proprietary rights, disclaimers, and limits of liability, or
indemnification by Customer shall survive termination of this License for any
reason.
Reservation of Rights All rights not expressly granted are reserved by CNC.
Trademarks Mastercam is a registered trademark of CNC.
Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, and Windows XP are
registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mastercam Verify is created in
conjunction with MachineWorks Ltd.
Printed in the United States of America.
Printed on recycled paper.
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Contents vii

Contents
Section 1:
Before You Begin .......................................................................... 1
Section 2:
Converting Settings and Libraries....................................... 11
2.1 / File types and locations ........................................... 11
2.1.1 / Libraries that can be migrated ................................. 11
2.1.2 / Configuration files ..................................................... 12
2.2 / Migration Procedures ............................................... 13
2.2.1 / Toolpath and operation defaults.............................. 14
2.2.1.1 / Converting Version 9 defaults (.DF9) files ........... 14
2.2.1.2 / Converting defaults files from earlier than V9 .... 16
2.2.2 / Tool libraries............................................................... 17
2.2.2.1 / Coolant options in Mastercam X ......................... 17
2.2.2.2 / Custom tool types and tool definitions
with custom tool profiles .................................................... 18
2.2.2.3 / Converting Version 9 tool libraries (.TL9) ............ 18
2.2.2.4 / Converting tool libraries from earlier than V9 ..... 20
2.2.2.5 / Importing tool information from text files ........... 21
2.2.3 / Material libraries ........................................................ 22
2.2.3.1 / Converting Version 9 material libraries (.MT9) .... 22
2.2.3.2 / Converting material libraries from
earlier than V9 ....................................................................... 23
2.2.4 / Operation libraries..................................................... 24
2.2.4.1 / Converting Version 9 operation libraries (.OP9) . 24
2.2.4.2 / Manually converting operation libraries
from earlier than V9 ............................................................. 26
2.2.5 / Updating configuration files to use
the new libraries.................................................................... 27
2.3 / C-Hooks........................................................................... 28
Contents
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viii MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

Section 3:
Posts and Machine Definitions ............................................ 29
3.1 / Updating posts............................................................. 29
3.1.1 / Automatically creating machine and
control definitions from posts.............................................. 32
3.1.1.1 / Machine definitions created by UpdatePost ...... 32
3.1.2 / Finding and fixing conversion errors........................ 33
3.1.2.1 / Uncertain variable type errors .............................. 35
3.1.3 / Converting a V9 post: Example................................ 35
3.1.3.1 / New header line ..................................................... 36
3.1.3.2 / Pre-defined variables and post blocks
end with $ ............................................................................. 36
3.1.3.3 / e$ (EOB) required at end of output lines ............. 36
3.1.3.4 / New parameters for fstrsel tables ....................... 37
3.1.3.5 / Characters "+", "-", and "." no longer allowed
in variable or post block names .......................................... 37
3.1.3.6 / Numbered questions no longer used .................. 38
3.1.3.7 / New headers and organization for post text ....... 38
3.1.4 / Configuring machine and control definitions.......... 40
3.1.4.1 / Using Mastercams default machine
and control definitions with your converted post ............. 40
3.1.4.2 / Editing a machine definition to use tool
and material libraries ............................................................ 42
3.1.4.3 / Editing a machine definition to use
Mastercam X coolant options ............................................. 43
3.1.4.4 / Editing a control definition to use
operation defaults and libraries .......................................... 45
3.1.4.5 / Selecting your default machines .......................... 46
3.1.4.6 / Migrating aggregate tooling components
for router ............................................................................... 49
3.1.5 / Converting setup sheets........................................... 53
3.1.6 / Inch and metric machine definitions ....................... 54
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Contents ix

Section 4:
Updating parts and machining jobs.................................... 56
4.1 / Converting parts.......................................................... 56
4.1.1 / What happens when you convert a file?................. 56
4.1.2 / Converting files in batch mode ................................ 57
4.1.3 / Machine compatibility............................................... 58
4.1.3.1 / Severe incompatibility ........................................... 59
4.1.3.2 / Minor incompatibilities ......................................... 60
4.1.3.3 / Axis combinations ................................................. 61
4.1.3.4 / Vertical turret lathes (VTLs) .................................. 63
4.1.3.5 / Home positions in Mill/Router parts .................... 65
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x MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

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Before You Begin 1

Section 1:
Before You Begin
This guide is designed to help current Mastercam users recreate their
current work environmentand their current jobs and partsas
quickly as possible. Some of the topics this covers include:
Migrating your current libraries, tools, and defaults to your
new Mastercam X installation.
Converting and updating your post processors.
Creating your first machine definitions so that they work with
your current libraries and parts.
Updating your .config files.
Converting your parts.
Since every Mastercam user has different needs and migration
requirements, weve prepared a series of checklists that walk you
through the migration process. These are designed so that you only
need to complete (and read about) tasks that are relevant to you.
Complete the tasks on the checklists in the order in which they are
presented and simply skip over those tasks which do not apply to you.
The checklists are organized into two pairs of worksheets. For any
Mastercam workstation, you should only need to complete one work-
sheet from each pair. From each set, choose the worksheet that
matches your situation.
Choose a Libraries and Settings worksheet based on which
version of Mastercam you are upgrading from. The migration
procedures are different if you are not running Version 9.
Choose a Posts and Machine Definition Worksheet based on
where you will be getting your initial machine definitions and
posts, either from your reseller, or generated from your
current posts with the UpdatePost utility.
Complete one set of worksheets for each Mastercam X workstation. If
you need more copies, the worksheets are available in printable form
in a PDF file, Migration_Worksheets.pdf, which is installed in the
\Documentation folder where you installed Mastercam X.
Revisions to this versionThis revision includes section 3.1.6, Inch
and metric machine definitions. This is the only change.
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2 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

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For sections with separate M-L-R columns, repeat each procedure for each installed product (Mill/Lathe/
Router). Sections marked All only need to be completed once even if you upgrade more than one Mastercam
product.
I. Installation M L R
1. Are you installing to a new PC? Identify current libraries (page 11) and
posts (including .TXT files) that you want
to move to the new workstation.

Copy them to a working folder on new PC.

2. Install Mastercam. See the Mastercam X Installation Guide. (All)

II. Migrate libraries
Convert only those libraries you want to use with
Mastercam X and skip the others. Use File, Import directory function. M L R
1. Convert operation defaults (.DF9). See Section 2.2.1.1 on page 14.

2. Convert tool libraries (.TL9).
2a. Convert libraries. See Section 2.2.2.3 on page 18.

2b. Convert custom tool geometry. See Section 2.2.2.2 on page 18.

3. Convert materials libraries (.MT9). See Section 2.2.3.1 on page 22.

4. Convert operations libraries (.OP9). See Section 2.2.4.1 on page 24.

5. Edit configuration files to use converted
libraries.
5a. Edit inch configuration files. See Section 2.2.5 on page 27. (All)

5b. Edit metric configuration files See Section 2.2.5 on page 27. (All)

III. Select the proper Posts and Machine Definition worksheet
My reseller will supply my posts and
machine/control definitions.
Complete Worksheet C.
I will automatically create machine and
control definitions when I update my posts.
Complete Worksheet D.
I will use/modify the generic posts and
definitions supplied with Mastercam.
See online help for Machine Definition
Manager and Control Definition Manager
to learn more.
Libraries and Settings Worksheet Page 1 of 1
Upgrading from Version 9.x Workstation ID: ______________
A
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For sections with separate M-L-R columns, repeat each procedure for each installed product (Mill/Lathe/
Router). Sections marked All only need to be completed once even if you upgrade more than one Mastercam
product.
I. Installation M L R
1. Are you installing to a new PC? Identify current libraries (page 11) and
posts (including .TXT files) that you want
to move to the new workstation.

Copy them to a working folder on new PC.

2. Install Mastercam. See the Mastercam X Installation Guide. (All)

II. Migrate libraries
Manually convert those libraries you want to use
with Mastercam X and skip the others.
M L R
1. Convert operation defaults. See Section 2.2.1.2 on page 16.

2. Convert tool libraries.
2a. Convert library. See Section 2.2.2.4 on page 20.

2b. Convert custom tool geometry. See Section 2.2.2.2 on page 18.

3. Convert materials library. See Section 2.2.3.2 on page 23.

4. Convert operations library. See Section 2.2.4.2 on page 26.

5. Edit configuration files to use converted
libraries.
5a. Edit inch configuration files. See Section 2.2.5 on page 27. (All)

5b. Edit metric configuration files. See Section 2.2.5 on page 27. (All)

III. Select the proper Posts and Machine Definition worksheet
My reseller will supply my posts and
machine/control definitions.
Complete Worksheet C.
I will automatically create machine and
control definitions when I update my posts.
Complete Worksheet D.
I will use/modify the generic posts and
definitions supplied with Mastercam.
See online help for Machine Definition
Manager and Control Definition Manager
to learn more.
Libraries and Settings Worksheet Page 1 of 1
Upgrading from Version 8 & earlier Workstation ID: ______________
B
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Complete the steps on this worksheet if your reseller is supplying your initial set of machine and control defini-
tions and posts.
I. Copy files to your workstation (All products)
1. Copy to \CNC_MACHINES folder in your
Mastercam installation folder.
Copy machine and control definitions for
all products into same folder.

M L R
2. Copy posts to \POSTS folder. Each product has its own \POSTS folder.

II. Edit machine and control definitions to use migrated libraries (All products)
These steps are optional. Complete them if you want your machine and control definitions to
use the libraries you migrated from your current Mastercam workstation.
1. If desired, edit machine definition to use
migrated libraries as defaults.
Repeat for each machine definition.
1a. Set default tool library for machine. See Section 3.1.4.2 on page 42.

1b. Set default material library for machine. See Section 3.1.4.2 on page 42.

2. If desired, edit control definition to use
migrated libraries as defaults.
Repeat for each control definition.
2a. Set default toolpath defaults file
(.defaults).
See Section 3.1.4.4 on page 45.

2b. Set default operations library
(.operations).
See Section 3.1.4.4 on page 45.

III. Edit configuration files
These steps are optional. Complete them if you want Mastercam to automatically load
selected machines by default. Repeat this section for inch and metric .config files.
1. Select default machine to load when
starting Mastercam.
See Section 3.1.4.5 on page 46.

2. Select a default machine for each product. Section 3.1.4.5 on page 46.

IV. Convert setup sheet files M L R
1. If desired, convert setup sheets (.set files). See Section 3.1.5 on page 53.

Youre now ready to convert your current parts
and machining jobs!
See Section 4.1 on page 56.
Posts and Machine Definition Worksheet Page 1 of 1
Supplied by Reseller Workstation ID: ______________
C
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Complete the steps on this worksheet if you will be using the UpdatePost utility to convert your existing posts
and automatically generate machine and control definitions.
I. Preparation (All products)
1. Locate and organize the posts you want to
convert.
Organize them in folders by product type
and version. For each post, include the
PST/PSB and TXT files in the same folder.

2. Start UpdatePost. See Section 3.1 on page 29.



II. Enter UpdatePost settings See Section 3.1 on page 29. M L R
1. Select product type and version number for
posts to convert.

2. Select target folder.

3. Select posts to convert. You can select several posts, from differ-
ent folders. However, they must be for the
same product and version.

4. In File Creation section, select options to
create machine and control definitions.
These will automatically be written to
\CNC_MACHINES folder, not the target
folder for your posts.

5. Select options to create and display log
files.
Creating and reviewing a log file is HIGHLY
recommended.

6. Convert posts. Click OK to convert posts and exit, or click
Apply to continue converting other posts.

7. Open the log file and save to a unique
name.
Mastercam will overwrite the original log
file the next time it writes the log.

III. Review log and correct post errors See Section 3.1.2 on page 33.
1. Review log file and resolve error condi-
tions.

Repeat for every converted post. You must review the log for errors and resolve them before using the post!
IV. Convert setup sheet files M L R
1. If desired, convert setup sheets (.set files). See Section 3.1.5 on page 53.

(Continue on next page)
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V. Edit machine and control definitions
Complete each task that is appropriate for your machine or machines. All users should review
Section 3.1.1.1 on page 32. M L R
(Lathe users only)
1. Create necessary axis combinations.
See Section 4.1.3.3 on page 61.
Typically applies to machine definitions for
high-end multi-spindle/multi-turret lathes.

2. Are you creating a VTL? See Section 4.1.3.4 on page 63.



(Router users only)
3. Convert aggregate heads, multi & piggy-
back heads, and block drills.
3a. Convert .HD9 files to component
libraries.
See Section 3.1.4.6 on page 49.

3b. Add components to machine definitions
with Machine Definition Manager.
See Section 3.1.4.6 on page 49.

(All products) (All products)
4. If desired, configure custom coolant
options.
See Section 3.1.4.3 on page 43.

5. If desired, edit machine definition to use
migrated libraries as defaults.
Repeat for each machine definition.
5a. Set default tool library for machine. See Section 3.1.4.2 on page 42.

5b. Set default material library for machine. See Section 3.1.4.2 on page 42.

6. If desired, edit control definition to use
migrated libraries as defaults.
Repeat for each control definition.
6a. Set default toolpath defaults file
(.defaults).
See Section 3.1.4.4 on page 45.

6b. Set default operations library
(.operations).
See Section 3.1.4.4 on page 45.

V. Edit configuration files
1. If desired, edit configuration file to point to
your new machine & control definitions.
Repeat for inch and metric .config files.
1a. Select default machine to load when
starting Mastercam.
See Section 3.1.4.5 on page 46.

1b. Select a default machine for each
product.
See Section 3.1.4.5 on page 46.

Youre now ready to convert your current parts
and machining jobs!
See Section 4.1 on page 56.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 11

Section 2:
Converting Settings and Libraries
Use this section as a guide to migrating your current settings and
libraries to your new Mastercam X installation. CNC Software under-
stands that many of our current users have invested a substantial
amount of time and energy in developing their tool and material
libraries, toolpath and operation defaults, and operation libraries to
meet their own preferences and customer requirements. To help
make this process as smooth as possible, Mastercam X includes a
migration utility to convert these files from Version 9. If you are
upgrading from Version 8 or earlier, this section includes procedures
for manually converting the libraries. It concludes with procedures
for setting up your configuration files to point to the converted
libraries instead of the default libraries that have been installed with
Mastercam X.
The procedures in this section have been designed to coordinate with
the Libraries and Settings worksheets found at the front of this
Guide. Follow the worksheets to ensure that you only complete the
procedures necessary for your workstation and that they are
completed in the proper order.
2.1 File types and locations
2.1.1 Libraries that can be migrated
The table below lists some of the libraries and settings files that you
can migrate to your Mastercam X folders to quickly reproduce many
of the customizations and preferences that you have created over the
years. If you are installing Mastercam X on a different computer than
your current Mastercam workstation, you can copy your current
libraries to a temporary folder on your Mastercam X workstation so
they can be converted.
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12 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

The rest of this chapter contains procedures and notes to help you
convert the files and configure Mastercam to use them instead of the
system defaults installed with Mastercam X.
2.1.2 Configuration files
Earlier versions of Mastercam typically had separate configuration
files for each Mastercam product. In Mastercam X, Mill, Lathe, Router,
and Design all share a common configuration file. The default loca-
tion for your Mastercam X configuration files is the \mcamx\config
folder.
You still need separate configuration files for inch and metric
operations.
Just like in earlier versions, you can still create as many
different configuration files as you want for special needs or
custom applications.
Table 1: Mastercam libraries and settings
File Type Version 9 Mastercam X
Toolpath and
operation
defaults
extension .DF9 .defaults
location \mcam9\mill\ops \mcamx\mill\ops
typical name Defaults.DF9,
Defaultsm.DF9
Mill_inch.defaults,
Mill_mm.defaults
Tool libraries extension .TL9 .tools
location \mcam9\mill\tools \mcamx\mill\tools
typical name Tools.TL9,
Tools_mm.TL9
Mill_inch.tools,
Mill_mm.tools
Material
libraries
extension .MT9 .materials
location \mcam9\mill\tools \mcamx\materials
typical name Matls.MT9,
Lmatls.MT9
Default.materials
Operation
libraries
extension .OP9 .operations
location \mcam9\mill\ops \mcamx\mill\ops
typical name Operat.OP9 Mill_inch.operations.
Mill_mm.operations
Configuration
files
extension .CFG .config
location \mcam9 \mcamx\config
typical name Mill.CFG,
Millm.CFG
Mcamx.config,
Mcamxm.config
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Converting Settings and Libraries 13

There is no way to automatically convert or migrate configuration
files from older versions of Mastercam, except by editing them indi-
vidually. The System Configuration dialog box (Settings, Configura-
tion) in Mastercam X includes many, but not all, of the configuration
settings from earlier versions of Mastercam. The following table
shows where to find all of your current configuration settings.
2.2 Migration Procedures
Most likely you will not need to complete all the procedures in this
section. Use the migration worksheets as a guide to point you to the
sections that apply to your situation.
Table 2: Configuration settings
Current configuration tab Mastercam X configuration topic
Allocations Not used in Mastercam X
Tolerances Settings, Configuration > Tolerances
topic
Communications Moved to control definition. Select default
communications package on Start/Exit
topic.
Files Settings, Configuration > Files topic
Plotter settings Not used in Mastercam X; use standard
Windows drivers instead
Pen attributes Settings, Configuration > Printing topic
Toolbar/Keys Moved to separate, expanded functions:
Settings, Customize to create and
edit toolbars, drop-down menus, right-
mouse menu
Settings, Key Mapping for key-
board shortcuts
Settings, Toolbar States to show/
hide toolbars for each product
NC Settings Settings, Configuration > Files topic;
some settings moved to control definition
CAD Settings Settings, Configuration > CAD Settings;
individual topics for drafting settings and
globals
Start/Exit Settings, Configuration > Start/Exit topic
Screen Settings, Configuration > Screen, Colors,
Chaining, Shading topics
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14 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

2.2.1 Toolpath and operation defaults
Read this section if you want to convert your existing toolpath and
operation defaults for use with Mastercam X. If you want to use the
.defaults files installed with Mastercam X, you can skip this section.
Mastercam X gives you a great deal of flexibility in how you use and
manage .defaults files:
When you create a new operation, the .defaults file that
provides the initial values is specified in the Files tab of the
Machine Group Properties dialog box:
In the Machine Group Properties, you can select a new
.defaults file or edit the existing one.
When you create a new machine group, the .defaults file is
specified in the control definition.
When you create a new control definition, Mastercam
includes the .defaults file which is specified in the .config file.
The procedures in this section will show you how to convert your
existing defaults files for use with Mastercam X. Later, on page 27, you
will learn about Updating configuration files to use the new libraries.
2.2.1.1 Converting Version 9 defaults (.DF9) files
This procedure converts both inch and metric .DF9 files at the same
time. Typically you would repeat it for each Mastercam product
because the defaults files for each are normally stored in different
folders.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 15

Converting Version 9 defaults files
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 Choose File, Import directory.
3 Select V9 default files (*.DF9) from the Import from files of
type list.
4 Click the From this directory button and navigate to the
folder that contains your current defaults files. (Typically this
is \mcam9\mill\ops, or the equivalent for Lathe and Router.)
5 Click the To this directory button and navigate to the folder
in which your Mastercam X defaults will be stored. (Typically
this is \mcamx\mill\ops, or the equivalent for Lathe and
Router.)
6 Click Import. Mastercam automatically converts all the .DF9
files found in the source directory, including metric files.
Note: If the target directory already contains files with the same
name as the files you are converting, they will be overwritten
without warning.
Later, you will edit your configuration and control definition files to
use your converted .defaults files instead of the system defaults.
Converting other products
Repeat the previous procedure for Mastercam Lathe and
Router, if you have installed either of them.
You do not need to start a new Mastercam session.
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16 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

It does not matter which Mastercam product you are
running or which machine definition is active.
2.2.1.2 Converting defaults files from earlier than V9
Operation defaults files from versions of Mastercam older than
Version 9 need to be converted manually. Complete these steps for
each library that you want to use with Mastercam X, for both inch and
metric files.
Converting Version 8 and older defaults files
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 From the Machine Type menu, select the factory default
machine definition for the product whose defaults files you
are converting.
MILL DEFAULT.MMD
LATHE DEFAULT.LMD
ROUTER DEFAULT.RMD
3 Select File, New from the menu to create an empty file and
machine group.
4 Select File, Open from the menu.
5 Select All files in the Files of type list.
6 Navigate to the folder that contains the defaults files that you
want to convert and select the desired file.
Note: Lathe users may see a dialog box about axis combinations.
If you do, click OK to close it.
7 After the file has been opened, you should see all the default
operations in the Toolpath Manager.
IMPORTANT: Do not try to edit them at this time.
8 Select File, Save from the menu.
9 Navigate to the folder where you will store your Mastercam X
defaults files. The factory setting is \mcamx\mill\ops,
\mcamx\lathe\ops, or \mcamx\router\ops.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 17

10 Type the name of the new file with a .defaults extension. For
example, haas.defaults.
11 Click the Save button to create the new file.
Repeat this process for each defaults file that you want to convert.
Make sure that each time you start out with a machine group of the
product that matches the defaults file you are converting.
2.2.2 Tool libraries
Complete this section if you want to convert your existing tool
libraries for use with Mastercam X. If you want to use the tool libraries
installed with Mastercam X, you can skip this section.
In Mastercam X, the default tool library is a property of the machine
definition. This lets you organize your tools for each machine or type
of machine in its own library which is automatically selected when
you create toolpaths for that machine.
When you first create a new machine definition, Mastercam
uses the tool library specified in the .config file.
You can edit a machine definition to use a different tool
library.
Once a machine group has been created, you can select a
different tool library as the default for operations in that
group.
Of course, when you are creating an operation, you can use the Tool
Manager to select tools from any library, just like in your current
Mastercam product.
2.2.2.1 Coolant options in Mastercam X
One of the differences between tool definitions in Mastercam X and
earlier versions of Mastercam is that Mastercam X lets you select a
default coolant option from a wider range of coolant types. When you
create or edit a tool definition, you can select a default coolant option
from any type of coolant available in the active machine definition. If
you later use that tool with a different machine (and if you choose to
get the coolant option from the tool definition), it is your responsi-
bility to make sure that it supports the particular coolant option
stored in the tool definition.
The conversion procedures outlined in this section use Mastercams
factory-default generic mill/lathe/router machine definitions, which
support the three coolant types from earlier versions of Mastercam
(thru-tool, flood, mist). If you wish to use more sophisticated coolant
options in connection with a machine-specific tool library, follow this
general outline:
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18 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

Convert the library according to the steps outlined in this
section.
Select the desired machine definition.
Select Tool Manager from the Toolpaths menu.
Right-click on the desired tool definition and choose Edit.
You will be able to access the machines coolant options on
the Parameters tab.
The section Editing a machine definition to use Mastercam X coolant
options on page 43 tells you more about defining coolant options in
your machine definition and supporting them in your post.
2.2.2.2 Custom tool types and tool definitions with custom
tool profiles
Tool libraries that contain custom tool types, or tool definitions which
use custom tool profile geometry, require additional manual editing
to function properly.
Locate the Mastercam files which contain the custom tool
geometry.
Convert these to Mastercam X format. Use the File, Import
directory feature if there are many files, otherwise it might be
easier to simply open the file in Mastercam X and save it to
the folder where your Mastercam X tool libraries will be
stored.
Note: The rules for custom tool geometry are the same in
Mastercam X as for Version 9.
Convert the library as described in the following procedures.
Open the tool library in the Tool Manager. Locate the desired
tool definition and edit it so that it references the new
Mastercam X file with the tool geometry. (Click the Help
button in the Tool Manager to learn more about editing tool
definitions.)
2.2.2.3 Converting Version 9 tool libraries (.TL9)
This procedure converts both inch and metric .TL9 files at the same
time. Typically you would repeat it for each Mastercam product,
because the tool libraries for each are normally stored in different
folders.
Converting Version 9 tool libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 Choose File, Import directory.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 19

3 Select V9 tool files (*.TL9) from the Import from files of
type list.
4 Click the From this directory button and navigate to the
folder that contains your current tool libraries. (Typically this
is \mcam9\mill\tools, or the equivalent for Lathe and
Router.)
5 Click the To this directory button and navigate to the folder
in which your Mastercam X tool libraries will be stored.
(Typically this is \mcamx\mill\tools, or the equivalent for
Lathe and Router.)
6 Click Import. Mastercam automatically converts all the .TL9
files found in the source directory, including metric files.
Note: If the target directory already contains files with the same
name as the files you are converting, they will be overwritten
without warning.
The section Updating configuration files to use the new libraries on
page 27 shows you how to edit your configuration and control defini-
tion files to use your converted .tools files instead of the system
defaults.
Converting other products
Repeat the previous procedure for Mastercam Lathe and
Router, if you have installed either of them.
You do not need to start a new Mastercam session.
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20 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

It does not matter which Mastercam product you are
running or which machine definition is active.
2.2.2.4 Converting tool libraries from earlier than V9
There are two main techniques for importing tool libraries from older
versions of Mastercam:
Convert the older libraries by opening them up in Mastercam
X and re-saving them.
Convert the tool library to a text file with your earlier version
of Mastercam and use Mastercam X to create a tool library
from it.
Each technique is described below. These techniques will also work
with Version 9 tool libraries, if you do not want to use the automatic
import feature.
Converting Version 8 and older tool libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 Make sure that you are running in the proper mode, inch or
metric. (Choose Settings, Configuration from the menu and
select the proper .config file.)
3 From the Machine Type menu, select the default machine
definition for the product whose tool library you are
converting.
MILL DEFAULT.MMD
LATHE DEFAULT.LMD
ROUTER DEFAULT.RMD
4 Select File, New from the menu to create an empty file and
machine group.
5 Select File, Open from the menu.
6 Select All files in the Files of type list.
7 Navigate to the folder that contains your current tool libraries
and select the desired library.
Note: Your Mastercam display will not change, since the tool defi-
nitions arent visible in the graphics window.
8 Select File, Save from the menu.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 21

9 Navigate to the folder where you will store your Mastercam X
tool libraries. The factory setting is \mcamx\mill\tools,
\mcamx\lathe\tools, or \mcamx\router\tools.
10 Type the name of the new file with a .tools extension. For
example, haas.tools.
11 Click the Save button to create the new file.
Repeat this process for each tool library that you want to convert.
Make sure that each time you start out with a machine group whose
product type matches the tool library you are converting.
2.2.2.5 Importing tool information from text files
As an alternative to manually converting libraries, you can also
import the tool information from text files.
Creating a Mastercam X tool library from a text file
1 If necessary, export your old libraries to text files. Right-click
in the Tool Manager in your current version of Mastercam
and choose Convert a library to text.
2 Start Mastercam X.
3 Activate either Mill, Router, or Lathe by selecting a machine
definition from the Machine Type menu.
4 Select Tool Manager from the Toolpaths menu to create a
Mill or Router tool library, or Lathe Tool Manager to create a
Lathe tool library.
5 Right-click in the Tool Manager window and choose Import/
export tools, Convert a library from text.
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22 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

6 Navigate to the folder which contains the desired text file and
select it.
7 Mastercam prompts you to enter a name for the converted
library. Mastercam will create a new library from the text file
instead of adding the tools to the currently open library.
TIP: Read the online help in the Tool Manager to learn how to
copy tools from one library to another.
8 Repeat this procedure for each text file that you want to
convert to a library.
9 Use the Tool Manager to open the new libraries and edit any
tool definitions.
2.2.3 Material libraries
Complete this section if you want to convert your existing material
libraries for use with Mastercam X. If you want to use the material
library installed with Mastercam X, you can skip this section.
Previous versions of Mastercam maintained separate versions of
material libraries for each individual product. In Mastercam X , a
single library (default.materials) stores Mill and Lathe settings, so that
all products can use the same library. If you want to use material
libraries migrated from your current Mastercam products, you can
handle this in either of two ways:
Convert one library (for example, Mill) and manually edit the
Lathe settings.
Convert each library and edit your configuration file and
machine definitions so that the default material library for
each product is different.
Mastercam Router installs its own material library, router.materials,
in the same folder as default.materials.
2.2.3.1 Converting Version 9 material libraries (.MT9)
This procedure converts both inch and metric .MT9 files at the same
time.
Converting Version 9 material libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 Choose File, Import directory.
3 Select V9 material files (*.MT9) from the Import from files
of type list.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 23

4 Click the From this directory button and navigate to the
folder that contains the desired material libraries. (Typically
this is \mcam9\mill\tools, or the equivalent for Lathe and
Router.)
5 Click the To this directory button and navigate to the folder
in which your Mastercam X material libraries will be stored.
(Typically this is \mcamx\materials for all products.)
Note: If the target directory already contains files with the same
name as the files you are converting, they will be overwritten
without warning.
6 Click Import. Mastercam automatically converts all the .MT9
files found in the source directory.
Repeat for each folder in which you have material libraries to be
converted.
You do not need to start a new Mastercam session.
It does not matter which Mastercam product you are running
or which machine definition is active.
The section Updating configuration files to use the new libraries on
page 27 shows you how to edit your configuration and control defini-
tion files to use your converted .materials files instead of the system
defaults.
2.2.3.2 Converting material libraries from earlier than V9
Converting Version 8 and older material libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
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24 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

2 From the Machine Type menu, select the factory default
machine definition for the product whose material library
you are converting.
MILL DEFAULT.MMD
LATHE DEFAULT.LMD
ROUTER DEFAULT.RMD
3 Select File, New from the menu to create an empty file and
machine group.
4 Select File, Open from the menu.
5 Select All files in the Files of type list.
6 Navigate to the folder that contains the material libraries that
you want to convert and select the desired material library.
7 Select File, Save from the menu.
8 Navigate to the folder where you will store your Mastercam X
material library. The factory setting is \mcamx\materials.
9 Type the name of the new file with a .materials extension. For
example, lathe.materials.
10 Click the Save button.
Repeat this process for each material library that you wish to convert,
in inch and metric. Make sure that each time you start out with a
machine group of the proper product.
2.2.4 Operation libraries
Complete this section if you want to convert existing operation
libraries for use with Mastercam X. If you do not need to convert any
libraries, you can skip this section.
The procedures in this section will show you how to convert your
existing libraries for use with Mastercam X. Later, on page 27, you will
learn about Updating configuration files to use the new libraries so
that the new libraries will be loaded by default.
2.2.4.1 Converting Version 9 operation libraries (.OP9)
This procedure converts both inch and metric .DF9 files at the same
time. Typically you would repeat it for each Mastercam product since
the operation libraries for each are normally stored in different
folders.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 25

Converting Version 9 operation libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 Choose File, Import directory.
3 Select V9 Operation Files (*.OP9) from the Import from files
of type list.
4 Click the From this directory button and navigate to the
folder that contains your current operation libraries. (Typi-
cally this is \mcam9\mill\ops, or the equivalent for Lathe
and Router.)
5 Click the To this directory button and navigate to the folder
in which your Mastercam X operation libraries will be stored.
(Typically this is \mcamx\mill\ops, or the equivalent for
Lathe and Router.)
6 Click Import. Mastercam automatically converts all the .OP9
files found in the source directory, including metric files.
Note: If the target directory already contains files with the same
name as the files you are converting, they will be overwritten
without warning.
Later, you will edit your configuration and control definition files to
use your converted .operations files instead of the system defaults.
Converting other products
Repeat the previous procedure for Mastercam Lathe and
Router, if you have installed either of them.
You do not need to start a new Mastercam session.
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26 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

It does not matter which Mastercam product you are
running or which machine definition is active.
2.2.4.2 Manually converting operation libraries from earlier
than V9
Converting Version 8 and older operation libraries
1 Start Mastercam X.
2 From the Machine Type menu, select the factory default
machine definition for the product whose operation library
you are converting.
MILL DEFAULT.MMD
LATHE DEFAULT.LMD
ROUTER DEFAULT.RMD
3 Select File, New from the menu to create an empty file and
machine group.
4 Select File, Open from the menu.
5 Select All files in the Files of type list.
6 Navigate to the folder that contains the defaults files that you
want to convert and select the desired operation library.
7 You should see all the operations in the Toolpath Manager.
IMPORTANT: Do not try to edit them at this time.
8 Select File, Save from the menu.
9 Navigate to the folder where you will store your Mastercam X
defaults file. The factory setting is \mcamx\mill\ops,
\mcamx\lathe\ops, or \mcamx\router\ops.
10 Type the name of the new file with a .operations extension.
For example, drilling.operations.
11 Click the Save button to create the new file.
Repeat this process for each operation library for each Mastercam X
product that you have installed. Make sure that each time you start
out with a machine group of the proper product.
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Converting Settings and Libraries 27

2.2.5 Updating configuration files to use the new
libraries
After you convert all of the desired libraries from your current
Mastercam workstation, you can edit your configuration (.config) files
to point to them instead of the factory default files. By updating your
configuration files now, you ensure that when you create your first
machine and control definitions, they will use your new libraries.
If you do not want to use your converted libraries as the default
libraries for each product, you can skip the rest of this section.
Updating configuration files
1 Choose Settings, Configuration from the menu.
2 Choose Files from the list at the left of the dialog box.
3 In the File usage section, select the type of library that you
have converted.
4 In the Selected item section, select the converted library.
5 Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each converted library that you want
to use as a default.
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28 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

6 Click the Save button when youve selected all the libraries
that you wish to use as defaults.
7 Repeat this procedure for your metric .config file. (If you
normally work in metric, repeat for your inch .config file.)
2.3 C-Hooks
In general, your current C-Hooks will not work with Mastercam X.
Some of the key changes that C-Hook developers will need to acco-
modate include:
Microsoft Visual C/C++ V7.1 is now a requirement.
Access to Mastercam functionality is now provided through
.LIBs instead of .OBJs.
Many variable types have changed.
C-Hooks that use legacy Mastercam menus need to have
their interface rewritten to use modal or modeless dialog
boxes.
Mastercam X includes a C-Hook Wizard that you can use to build a
skeleton C-Hook, which can then be customized to meet your specific
needs.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 29

Section 3:
Posts and Machine Definitions
Use this section as a guide to upgrading your current post processors
so that they work with Mastercam X, and to understand some of the
many important differences introduced in the MP language. While
this is not intended to be a complete Mastercam X post reference, it
should help you understand some of the changes that occur when
your post is converted.
The UpdatePost utility that is supplied with Mastercam X can be used
to create a complete set of a machine definition, a control definition,
and a post from your current post. Many users will find this a conve-
nient way to get up and running quickly. Other procedures tell you
how to edit the newly created machine and control definitions to
work with the libraries that you migrated in the previous chapter, so
that as much as possible of your current Mastercam workstation is
transferred to Mastercam X.
The procedures in this section have been designed to coordinate with
the Posts and Machine Definition worksheets found at the front of
this Guide. Follow the worksheets to ensure that you only complete
the procedures necessary for your workstation and that they are
completed in the proper order.
A complete reference to the post parameters in Mastercam X is
installed in your \documentation folder when you install Mastercam.
It includes several examples of how to access the important new
parameters for machine definitions, control definitions, and machine
groups.
3.1 Updating posts
Use the UpdatePost utility to convert posts from earlier versions of
Mastercam so that they can be used with Mastercam X. As part of this
process, you can also choose to have Mastercam automatically create
a machine and/or control definition based on the original posts
settings. The converted posts will retain the name of the original post.
The original post will be saved with a backup extension.
UpdatePost runs as a C-Hook and is installed by default in your C-
Hooks folder.
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30 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

The following table lists the input and output files for different post
types.
Running UpdatePost
IMPORTANT: This procedure is only valid for MP-compatible
posts.
1 Organize the posts that you wish to convert.
After you run UpdatePost, the version X post will retain
the original file name, and the original post will be
renamed with a backup extension (for example, Post-
name.pst_v9). You may wish to copy your original posts to
a temporary folder or to your Mastercam X posts folder
before running UpdatePost.
Make sure you include any .TXT files used by the original
post.
UpdatePost can convert several posts at once, but only if
they are the same machine type (e.g. Mill, Lathe, Router,
Mill/Turn). If you have many posts to convert, you may
wish to sort them by machine type.
Consider whether you will need to create a machine and/
or control definition for each post, or whether you will use
the new posts with existing definitions.
UpdatePost will work with posts from Mastercam version
4 or later, including binary posts.
2 Start the UpdatePost utility.
Table 3: UpdatePost input and output files
Input files Output files
Mypost.pst,
Mypost.txt
Mypost.pst, Mypost.pst_v9
Optional: UpdatePostX.log, Mypost.mmd,
Mypost.control
Mypost.pst, Mypost.psb,
Mypost.txt
Mypost.pst, Mypost.pst_v9
Mypost.psb, Mypost.psb_v9
Optional: UpdatePostX.log, Mypost.mmd,
Mypost.control
Mypost.psm,
Mypost.txt
Mypost.psm, Mypost.psm_v9
Optional: UpdatePostX.log, Mypost.mmd,
Mypost.control
Router posts will output .rmd files instead of .mmd. Lathe posts will out-
put .lmd files.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 31

From the menu, choose Settings, Run User Application,
and select UpdatePost.dll.
3 Enter your conversion settings:
Choose the version number and type of the original posts.
Specify the target directory for the converted posts.
Tell Mastercam whether you need to create a machine
and/or control definition for each converted post.
4 Click Select Post(s) to select the individual posts.
Use Shift+click and Ctrl+click to select multiple posts.
They must all be the same type and version. You can select
posts from different folders, but they will all be saved in
the same target folder.
For each post, select only the .PST/.PSM file. However, all
the files associated with the post (for example, the .TXT
file or .PSB file) must be in the same directory as the .PST/
.PSM file.
5 Select your log file options. Creating a log file is strongly
recommended; it will list every error generated during the
conversion, plus any other instance where Mastercam could
not unambiguously figure out how to convert the original
post.
6 Click OK to convert the posts and close UpdatePost, or click
Apply to convert the posts and leave UpdatePost open so you
can convert more posts.
7 Review the log file (if you created one) for errors and other
notes.
If UpdatePost encounters any errors, it will not stop the
conversion process, and will create a finished post. All
errors will be noted in the log file and flagged in the
converted post. It is important that you review these and
make the appropriate corrections to ensure that the
converted post contains no critical errors.
If you think you will need to refer to the log later, make
sure that you print it out or save a copy to a different file.
Mastercam overwrites the log each time you run Update-
Post.
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32 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

3.1.1 Automatically creating machine and control
definitions from posts
Users who are upgrading from earlier versions of Mastercam can use
the UpdatePost utility to automatically generate a machine and
control definition from their existing post processor. The machine
and control definitions will be automatically configured to use the
converted post. When you are running the utility, simply select the
Machine Definition and/or Control Definition options in the Create
Files section of the UpdatePost dialog box.
Mastercam will automatically transfer information from your current
post to the new machine and control definition. For any information
that is not read from the post, Mastercam will use system default
values. Typically, most of the values read from the post will be written
to the control definition, while most of the values in the machine defi-
nition will be default values.
The control and machine definition will each have the same name as
the post. For example, if you convert a mill post called
HAAS_VR8.PST, Mastercam will create HAAS_VR8.CONTROL and
HAAS_VR8.MMD in addition to the post file itself. The machine defi-
nition will be automatically configured with the
HAAS_VR8.CONTROL and HAAS_VR8.PST.
Mastercam will convert all of the post numbered questions into
control definition settings. However, you will still see the numbered
questions in the converted post. This is for your information only
Mastercam will ignore them and use the control definition settings.
The new machine and control definitions will be automati-
cally saved to your CNC_MACHINES folder.
If you wish, you can use the CD_Compare utility to examine
the new control definition and see exactly which control defi-
nition settings have been read from the post and which are
system defaults. From the Settings menu, choose Run User
Application, open the CD_Compare folder, and choose
CD_Compare.
3.1.1.1 Machine definitions created by UpdatePost
When you run UpdatePost and automatically generate a machine and
control definition, virtually all of the custom information contained
in your current post is written to either the control definition or the
converted post. The machine definitions created by UpdatePost are,
for the most part, copies of Mastercams generic machines that are
renamed and which load your control definition and post. These
machine definitions will:
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Posts and Machine Definitions 33

Have a standard axis layout and orientation.
Include a tool changer group with automatic tool changer.
Mills and routers will include A/B/C rotary axes with coun-
terclockwise rotation.
Lathes will include left/right spindles and upper/lower
turrets, plus steady rest and tailstock.
Routers will include sample aggregate heads and drill blocks.
However, it is important to understand that if your current post
includes settings that are different from the default machine compo-
nents, your converted post willby designuse your converted
settings and not the default machine definition components. This is
because the primary goal of the conversion process is maintaining
maximum compatibility with your current parts and jobs so you can
be up and running as quickly as possible.
For example, if you are running an HMC, most likely your post has the
switch vmc=0. When you run UpdatePost, your new machine defini-
tion will show the X-Y-Z axes aligned for a VMC, but your converted
post will still have vmc=0, so your part will post the same way as
before.
To take full advantage of the machine definition in your post, first edit
the machine definition with the proper axis orientation and topology,
and delete any unnecessary components. Then, use the
pmachineinfo postblocks to access the machine definition settings
via parameters. (For example, axis orientation information is avail-
able to your post as parameters 1739017396.) See the Mastercam X
Post Parameter Reference, installed in the \Documentation folder in
your Mastercam X program folder, to learn more and see specific
examples.
3.1.2 Finding and fixing conversion errors
The UpdatePost utility incorporates several features that make it easy
to identify and fix errors and areas of concern in the converted post.
Because of the great variety in techniques used to customize
Mastercam posts, and because version X incorporates several impor-
tant structural changes, it is impossible for UpdatePost to predict with
100% accuracy the intent of the post writer.
You need to be concerned about two types of situations:
UpdatePost could not reliably convert a line or object in a
way that conforms to Version X standards, and recorded an
error condition instead of a complete line of code.
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34 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

There were several possible Version X conversion solutions,
and UpdatePost was not sure which to use. This means that
the converted post will work, but might not produce the
output that you expect.
The most important tool in evaluating the conversion results is the
UpdatePost log.
Mastercam writes this to the file UPDATEPOSTX.LOG in the destina-
tion directory where you are saving the converted posts. (Each time
you run the UpdatePost utility and save posts to the same directory,
the log is overwritten.)
In the log file, an error looks like this:
22 - 20 Apr 2005 01:12:59 PM - PST LINE
(1200,1200) - Label has not been defined[*30]
The LINE (x, y) block tells you the location of the error in the
original and converted post; in this case, line 1200 in each.
When you open the converted post, Mastercam displays the affected
code as a block of three lines:
the first line is the actual line of code created by UpdatePost.
the second line is the original line, commented out, and
preceded by the phrase CNC<<CONVERT>>.
the third line reproduces the error message from the log,
formatted as a comment, and preceded by the phrase
CNC<<MSG ... >>.
The following code shows a typical conversion error. In this example,
Mastercam knows that the line is supposed to be an else command,
but it cannot convert the other word because it has not been properly
defined:
else, #'nobrk' emulation option
#CNC<<CONVERT>> else, p_nobrk_emul #'nobrk'
emulation option
#CNC<<MSG-ERROR(1200,1200)>> Label has not been
defined[*30]
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Posts and Machine Definitions 35

There is a one-to-one correspondence between messages embedded
in your code and messages in the log file. Before using a converted
post, you should always review the log and the corresponding
message in the post and make any necessary corrections.
3.1.2.1 Uncertain variable type errors
Mastercam X is much more strict than earlier versions of Mastercam
in enforcing the type of a variable, whether it is a string or real vari-
able. When UpdatePost expects a variable to be a string but it finds a
real, or vice versa, it inserts a question mark in the code following the
variable name. It inserts a single question mark ? when it expects a
real variable, and a double question mark ?? when it expects a string
variable.
IMPORTANT: Because UpdatePost cannot properly process
the expression which contains the variable, these lines will not
produce the output that you intend. Review and correct each
instance before running the post.
3.1.3 Converting a V9 post: Example
The following sections illustrate some of the key differences between
Mastercam X post processors and posts from Version 9 or earlier.
These differences include new requirements and standards that posts
will need to meet going forward.
The Mastercam X post used in this example was automatically gener-
ated with the UpdatePost utility from a sample Version 9.1 post. It
illustrates some of the requirements and features by comparing the
actual code from the original post and the converted post.
The sample post is based on the MP_EZ post and a brief
selection of text entries in the .TXT file. The online help
includes the complete text of the original and converted
posts plus the conversion log.
Input files required by UpdatePost:
V9_POST.PST
V9_POST.TXT
Output files generated by UpdatePost:
V9_POST.PST (Mastercam X format)
V9_POST.PST_V9 (backup copy of original post)
UPDATEPOSTX.LOG (conversion log - optional)
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36 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

\CNC_MACHINES\V9_POST.MMD (machine definition -
optional)
\CNC_MACHINES\V9_POST.CONTROL (control definition -
optional)
The following sections briefly discuss some of the major post changes
that will be implemented in Mastercam X. Each section includes
some sample code from the posts referenced above.
3.1.3.1 New header line
A new header line is required to identify a post for Mastercam X. Do
not delete or modify it. UpdatePost automatically adds the header to
the converted post.
[POST_VERSION] #DO NOT MOVE OR ALTER THIS LINE#
V10.00 E1 P0 T1114629180 M10.00
# Post Name : MP_EZ
3.1.3.2 Pre-defined variables and post blocks end with $
Mastercam X posts require that all pre-defined variables and post
blocks end with a $ symbol. UpdatePost will automatically append it
to your variable and post block names when it converts your post.
skp_lead_flgs$ : 1
#Do NOT use v9 style contour flags
get_1004$ : 1
#Find gcode 1004 with getnextop?
rpd_typ_v7$ : 0
#Use Version 7 style contour flags/processing?
strtool_v7$ : 2
#Use Version 7+ toolname?
tlchng_aft$ : 2
#Delay call to toolchange until move line
cant_tlchng$ : 1
#Ignore cantext entry on move with tlchng_aft
newglobal$ : 1
#Error checking for global variables
getnextop$ : 0
#Build the next variable table
3.1.3.3 e$ (EOB) required at end of output lines
Mastercam X posts require that all output lines end with , e$. In earlier
versions of Mastercam, this was often assumed. In Mastercam X you
must explicitly include it. UpdatePost will automatically add , e$
where it thinks it is appropriate.
pcomment2 #Comment from manual entry
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Posts and Machine Definitions 37

scomm$ = ucase (scomm$)
if gcode$ = 1007, "(", scomm$, ")"
else, "(", scomm$, ")", e$
3.1.3.4 New parameters for fstrsel tables
String select tables now include two additional parameters.
The first new parameter is an integer which tells MP how
many of the values in the table are to be used. This lets you
use only a portion of the values in the table if you wish.
The second is a -1, 0, 1 code which tells MP how to handle
underflow or overflow values, that previously would have
resulted in an error condition.
UpdatePost will automatically set the first parameter to the number
of values in the table, and the second parameter to -1.
# -----------------------------------------
# General G and M Code String select tables
# -----------------------------------------
# Motion G code selection
sg00 G0 #Rapid
sg01 G1 #Linear feed
sg02 G2 #Circular interpolation CW
sg03 G3 #Circular interpolation CCW
sg04 G4 #Dwell
sgcode #Target for string
fstrsel sg00 gcode$ sgcode 5 -1
3.1.3.5 Characters "+", "-", and "." no longer allowed in
variable or post block names
UpdatePost will automatically convert plus signs "+", minus signs "-",
and periods "." to underscores "_" in variable and post block names,
since these characters are no longer allowed.
Sometimes this will result in an error when UpdatePost cant interpret
the rest of the line. The error will be reported in the log file.
Mastercam will insert a ? or ?? in the line where the error occurred
and terminate processing the rest of the line. It inserts ? if it expects a
real variable, or ?? if it expects a string.
The following sample shows two variables with illegal characters.
UpdatePost was able to process sg54.1, converting it to sg54_1, but
was unable to process G54.1P1, so it wrote ?? and reported an error.
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38 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

Original line from version 9.1 post:
sg54.1 G54.1P1
# Work coordinate system G code #7
Output from UpdatePost:
sg54_1 ??
# Work coordinate system G code #7
#CNC<<CONVERT>>sg54.1 G54.1P1
# Work coordinate system G code #7
#CNC<<MSG-ERROR(220)>> Illegal character(s)
encountered
3.1.3.6 Numbered questions no longer used
Mastercam X replaces all of the numbered questions from earlier
posts with settings in the control definition. If you tell UpdatePost to
create a control definition when it converts your post, it will automat-
ically transfer the settings from the numbered question to the appro-
priate control definition setting.
Mastercam preserves the numbered questions in your converted
post, but this is only for your reference. MP will ignore them when you
use the post.
3.1.3.7 New headers and organization for post text
Mastercam X introduces a new level of organization for your post text.
Post text that used to be stored in the .TXT file is now stored
in the .PST file.
Each .PST file can have several different text sections, one for
each control definition that the post has been configured for.
Each .PST file can include a section of default text values that
will be loaded automatically when you create a new control
definition with the post.
To take advantage of these new capabilities, Mastercam X includes a
new post text header, of the form
[CTRL_MACHINE | CONTROL FILE]
This identifies all the post text entries that are used for that control
definition. Mastercam writes a new header each time you configure
the post for a new control definition and appends it to the .PST file
followed by set of values. Within each section, Mastercam uses the
same category headers as earlier versions.
In the sample post, the text header reads
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Posts and Machine Definitions 39

[CTRL_MILL|V9_POST]
The first part of the header comes from the Control type field in the
Control Definition Manager:
The second part of the header matches the name of the .control file in
which the control definition is stored:
The post text defaults are stored under a similar header with
DEFAULT as the control name:
[CTRL_MILL|DEFAULT]
This lets you store a set of default text values for each control type.
When you convert a post with UpdatePost, Mastercam creates the
control definition header and copies the information from your orig-
inal .TXT file to it. Your .TXT file is no longer used and will not be
copied to the destination folder. Mastercam also creates a DEFAULT
header populated with your original post text entries, so that they will
be the defaults for any new control definitions you create with the
post.
To edit the post text, use the Text page in the Control Definition
Manager.
[CTRL_MILL|DEFAULT]
[misc integers]
1. "Work Coordinates [0=G50,1=HOME,2=G54's]"//2
2. "Can Cycle G101 - G103 [0=OFF, 1 and -1=ON]"
3. "Reference Return [0=G28, 1=G30]"
10. "Y axis, over center [0=OFF, 1=ON]"
[simple drill]
1. "Drill/Counterbore"
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40 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

...
8. "Bld on"
9. "bLd off"
10. "Text10"
[CTRL_MILL|V9_POST]
[misc integers]
1. "Work Coordinates [0=G50,1=HOME,2=G54's]"//2
2. "Can Cycle G101 - G103 [0=OFF, 1 and -1=ON]"
3. "Reference Return [0=G28, 1=G30]"
10. "Y axis, over center [0=OFF, 1=ON]"
[simple drill]
1. "Drill/Counterbore"
7. ""
8. ""
Note: In the Work coordinates lines, the //2 at the end of the
line is a default value. See the online help for the Misc Int/Real
Values page in the Control Definition Manager to learn more.
3.1.4 Configuring machine and control definitions
The topics in this section introduce you to customizing machine and
control definitions to use libraries that you have migrated from your
earlier Mastercam workstation. This makes it easy for you to create
and use tool libraries, operation defaults, and other settings that are
customized for a specific machine; whenever you select the machine
to create an operation, the associated libraries and defaults are auto-
matically activated.
The topics in this section are not a comprehensive guide to creating
or editing machine and control definitions. Please access the online
help from the Machine Definition Manager or the Control Definition
Manager for more comprehensive information.
3.1.4.1 Using Mastercams default machine and control
definitions with your converted post
If you do not want to create machine or control definitions with
UpdatePost, you can use one of Mastercams default machine defini-
tions. You can manually configure it to use your converted post. If you
wish to take this approach, consider the following points:
The control definition created by UpdatePost is customized
with all of the numbered questions from your existing post. If
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Posts and Machine Definitions 41

you use Mastercams default definitions, you will need to
recreate this manually.
If you are modifying one of Mastercams default machine or
control definitions, it is a good practice to save it with a new
name instead of overwriting the default definition. (Use the
Save As function inside the Machine Definition Manager or
the Control Definition Manager.)
To use one of your converted posts with a different machine and
control definition, follow this general outline.
Adding a post to a machine and control definition
1 Use the Control Definition Manager to load the post. (Click
Post Processors, then Add files, and select the new post
from the Post processors drop list.) Mastercam automati-
cally creates a new control definition.
IMPORTANT: The new control definition does NOT read any
values from the numbered questions or pre-defined variables.
The only way to transfer information from the numbered ques-
tions to the control definition is with UpdatePost.
2 Make any desired changes to the control definition settings
or post text.
3 Save the new control definition in a .control file. You can
choose to save it in its own .control file by itself or you can
select an existing .control file.
4 Exit the Control Definition Manager and open the Machine
Definition Manager. Open the desired machine definition.
5 Select the .control file with the new control definition.
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42 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

6 Select the post and save the machine definition.
See the topic Configuring a post to work with a control definition in
the online help for more detailed information.
3.1.4.2 Editing a machine definition to use tool and material
libraries
Complete the steps in this section to edit a machine definition to use
the tool and material libraries that you migrated from your previous
Mastercam workstation.
If you automatically created your machine definitions with Update-
Post, they will already point to your migrated libraries if you added
them to your .config files as described in Updating configuration files
to use the new libraries on page 27. In that case, you do not need to
complete this procedure.
Typically, this procedure would be performed if you were editing one
of the Mastercam default machine definitions.
Editing a machine definition to use tool and material libraries
1 From the Machine Type menu, choose Machine Definition
Manager and open the desired machine definition.
2 Click the General Machine Parameters button on the
toolbar.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 43

3 Select the Tool/material libraries tab.
4 Click on a library type in the File type window.
5 Select the library to use as the default from the drop-down
list.
6 Repeat the previous 2 steps for inch and metric tool libraries
and the material library.
7 Click OK twice to close the dialog box and save the machine
definition.
3.1.4.3 Editing a machine definition to use Mastercam X
coolant options
Mastercam X greatly expands your flexibility for creating and
selecting coolant options. You can:
Define up to 10 coolant options.
Turn on each option individually and in any combination.
Customize the name and states of each option.
Users with sophisticated machines can also define options that
control other peripheral devices besides coolant. All of the defined
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44 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

options will be available to the user with the Coolant button on the
Toolpath Parameters tab:
Version 9 (and earlier) posts had a predefined post variable,
scoolant, which stored the coolant statetypically, either Flood,
Tool, Mist, or Off. In Mastercam X, this has been replaced by a set of
parameters that can be accessed with the new pmachineinfo post
block. (See the Mastercam X Post Parameter Reference or the online
help for more information.)
To maintain compatibility with earlier posts, Mastercam X includes a
V9-style coolant mode based on the scoolant variable. When you
automatically create a machine definition with UpdatePost, this
mode is turned on by default. Follow these steps to deactivate this
mode and take advantage of Mastercam Xs expanded coolant capa-
bilities. This procedure is entirely optional, though.
IMPORTANT: Customizing a post to support new coolant
options is a sophisticated task that should only be undertaken
by experienced post writers.
Defining Mastercam X coolant options
1 From the Machine Type menu, choose Machine Definition
Manager and open the desired machine definition.
2 Click the General Machine Parameters button on the
toolbar.
3 Select the Coolant commands tab.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 45

4 Deselect the option to Support coolant using coolant value
in post-processor. This is the option which enables compati-
bility with earlier posts.
5 As soon as you deselect this option, Mastercam enables the
text entry fields for all the other event labels. Enter the name
of each of your coolant (or other) options, and the name of
their on and off states.
6 You can also set several other options:
Change the name of the Coolant button. For example, in
the default Router machine definitions, it is labeled
Options instead of Coolant.
Choose to turn off all coolant options when one is shut
off.
7 Click OK to close this dialog box, and click OK again to save
the machine definition.
8 Edit your post to implement the new options:
Each coolant event label is stored in a post parameter that
can be accessed with pmachineinfo.
Read the state of the V9 compatibility flag with parameter
17102. True means that the V9 compatibility mode is
active and you should use the scoolant value to control
the coolant.
See the Mastercam X Post Parameter Reference or the online
help for more information.
3.1.4.4 Editing a control definition to use operation defaults
and libraries
Complete the steps in this section to edit a control definition to use
the operation defaults file and operation libraries that you migrated
from your previous Mastercam workstation.
If you automatically created your control definitions with Update-
Post, they will already point to your migrated libraries if you added
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46 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

them to your .config files as described in Updating configuration files
to use the new libraries on page 27. In that case, you do not need to
complete this procedure.
Typically, this procedure would be performed if you were editing the
Default.control file installed with Mastercam.
Editing a control definition to use operation defaults and
libraries
1 From the Machine Type menu, choose Control Definition
Manager and open the desired .control file.
2 Click the Existing definitions button and select the desired
post/control definition.
3 Choose the Files topic.
4 Click on the type of file that you wish to select.
5 Click the file cabinet button and choose the desired file.
6 Repeat these steps to select an operation library and an oper-
ations default file, for both inch and metric.
7 Click OK to close the Control Definition Manager and save
the control definition.
Note: The same operation library or defaults file can be used by
several different controls.
3.1.4.5 Selecting your default machines
Mastercam lets you use default machine definitions in several
different ways.
You can specify which machine (if any) will be loaded when-
ever Mastercam is started.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 47

You can specify a default machine for each product type. This
is the machine that will be loaded when you select Default
from the Machine Type menu.
For example, if the only mill in your shop is a Haas VR8, you might
want to make that your default mill instead of Mastercams generic
mill machine definition so that it is automatically selected whenever
you run Mastercam Mill.
These preferences are stored in your configuration (*.config) file.
Complete the following procedures if you want to use any of your new
machine definitions as defaults.
Setting your start-up machine
1 Choose Settings, Configuration from the menu.
2 Select the desired configuration file from the list. Remember
that in Mastercam X you are not required to have separate
configuration files for each product.
3 Select the Start/Exit topic.
4 Select the Default machine option, and select the desired
machine definition from the list.
You can select a machine from any Mastercam product type
that is installed on your system. For example, if you have
installed Mastercam Mill, Lathe and Router, your default
machine can be any of those types. The type of machine that
you choose determines which Mastercam product will load
when you first start Mastercam. For example, if you select a
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48 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

lathe as your default machine, whenever you start
Mastercam, you will be running Mastercam Lathe with a
lathe machine group in the Toolpath Manager.
5 Save your changes.
Click OK to close the System Configuration dialog box
and be prompted to save the changes.
Or click the Save button to save the changes and keep the
dialog box open to work on a different *.config file.
Selecting a default machine for each product
1 Choose Settings, Configuration from the menu.
2 Select the desired configuration file from the list. Remember
that in Mastercam X you are not required to have separate
configuration files for each product.
3 Select the Files topic.
4 In the File usage section, select the desired machine type.
5 In the Select items section, select the desired machine.
6 Repeat the previous two steps for each installed product.
7 Save your changes.
Click OK to close the System Configuration dialog box
and be prompted to save the changes.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 49

Or click the Save button to save the changes and keep the
dialog box open to work on a different *.config file.
3.1.4.6 Migrating aggregate tooling components for router
Mastercam Router version 9 supported aggregate tooling compo-
nents for block drills, aggregate heads, and multiple (piggy-back)
heads. These were stored in .HD9 files. In Mastercam X, aggregate
tooling components are defined in the machine definition.
Mastercam X includes a C-Hook, HD9toGMD.DLL, which converts
your .HD9 file into a component library whose elements can be
added to a machine definition. To use your current aggregate tooling
components, you must first run this C-Hook to create the component
library, and then add the components to your router machine defini-
tion.
Converting your .HD9 files
1 From the Settings menu, choose Run User Application.
2 Select HD9toGMD.dll.
3 Select the desired .HD9 file, and enter the name of the
component library you want to create.
4 Choose OK to create the library. Mastercam tells you what
components it found and converted. In this example, the
.HD9 file contained one drill block and one aggregate head.
5 Click OK to close the message box. Your components are now
available to be added to any router machine definition.
Adding the components to a router machine definition
Follow these steps to add your converted aggregate tooling
components to your router machine definition. The examples
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50 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

shown here assume that you are working with a machine defini-
tion that has been created with UpdatePost from your current
Router post, but the general process applies to any router machine
definition, no matter where it comes from.
1 Open the Machine Definition Manager from the Machine
Type menu. (Start the Machine Definition Manager this way
even if you already have a router machine group in your file.)
2 If necessary, open the desired router machine definition.
3 The left side of the window lists the component groups from
the default component library. Click the Open button in the
Component File section.
4 Open the .GMD file created from your .HD9 file. Mastercam
will have automatically copied it to your \CNC-MACHINES
folder when you ran the C-Hook.
The new library and its components should display like in
the following picture.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 51

5 Typically, aggregate tooling components will be added to a
Head group in a machine definition. Click on the + sign to
expand the Router Head Group.
The machine definitions created by UpdatePost include a
complete set of axis components organized in a typical
layout. They also include sample default aggregate compo-
nents. Notice how they are attached to the other router
components:
Drill blocks are attached to an axis via a Drill block
connection point.
Aggregate and piggy-back heads are attached directly to a
Router spindle component.
6 Delete the sample aggregate heads and drill block. Right-
click on each one and choose Delete from the menu.
Do not delete the Router spindle group.
Do not delete the Drill Block Connection Point.
7 To add your converted components, drag them from the
component window to their proper place in the machine
definition tree. When the component is positioned over an
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52 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

allowable location, the cursor shape changes as shown in the
following picture.
Drag the drill block onto a connection point.
Drag aggregate or piggy-back heads onto a router spindle.
You can make your own Drill block connection point.
Right-click on an axis and choose Add component,
Miscellaneous, then change its name to Drill block
connection point.
It does not matter if your converted tooling is inch or
metric.
8 Click OK to close the Machine Definition Manager and save
the machine definition when prompted.
Using your aggregate tooling
Once your converted tooling components have been added to the
machine definition, you can select them as part of the toolpath
creation process.
To use a drill block, select Toolpaths, Block Drilling Toolpath
from the menu. Then, in the Toolpath parameters tab, right-
click and choose Get block drill.
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Posts and Machine Definitions 53

To use an aggregate head, select your toolpath and geometry
as you normally do. Then, in the Toolpath parameters tab,
right-click and choose Get aggregate.
To use multiple or piggy-back heads, select your toolpath and
geometry as you normally do. Then, in the Toolpath parame-
ters tab, click the Multi Heads check box and button.
3.1.5 Converting setup sheets
Since a setup sheet (.set) file is basically a type of post processor, you
can also use the UpdatePost utility to convert .set files to Mastercam X
format.
Start the UpdatePost utility by selecting Settings, Run User Applica-
tion from the menu, then choosing UpdatePost. Then follow the
same procedure as for converting posts.
Note: After clicking the Select Post(s) button, select All files (*.*)
from the Files of type list so that you can select the .set files.
Setup sheets in Mastercam X still use the .set extension, so your new
setup sheet will have exactly the same name as the old one.
Mastercam will create a backup copy of your original file with a
different extension.
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3.1.6 Inch and metric machine definitions
Just like any Mastercam part file, machine definition files are recog-
nized as either inch or metric, depending on the units that were active
when they were created. This means that, if you are working in metric
units and you use the Machine Definition Manager to open an inch
machine definition, you will be alerted that the units are changing:
However, this only affects the Machine Definition Manager session.
When you close the machine definition, Mastercam switches back to
the units you were using when you were working on your part. Your
part is never converted.
As a convenience to our users, Mastercam X includes a complete set
of both inch and metric machine definitions. This lets you use
machine definitions that are created in the units you typically work
with, but it is important for you to understand that you can cut metric
parts with inch machine definitions, and vice versa.
If you typically work with metric units, or your machine tools native
dimensions are metric, you might wish to create the machine defini-
tion as a metric file, so that you are not prompted to change units
whenever you edit it; but this does not affect how your parts are
machined. Each machine definition by default includes both inch
and metric parameter values which are automatically used by
Mastercam to machine parts in either units:
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Posts and Machine Definitions 55

Follow these guidelines:
If you are using the UpdatePost utility to automatically create
machine definitions, set Mastercam to the desired units
before running it. For example, if you want to create metric
machine definitions, make sure you are running in metric
mode first.
You do not need to create separate inch and metric versions
of your machine definitions. You can select an inch machine
definition as the default machine in your metric .config file,
and vice versa. In general, if you only have one machine on
your shop floor, you should only need to create one machine
definition for it.
To create part geometry in either inch or metric units, select
the proper .config file in the System Configuration dialog
box. The active machine definition or machine group has no
effect whatsoever on the units in which your geometry is
created.
Control definitions (.control files) and post processors do not have
units associated with them. Inch and metric machine definitions can
each use the same .control files and posts. However, because the
control definition is where you select the .defaults file that automati-
cally loads when a machine definition is selected, Mastercam installs
separate control definitions that point to inch and metric .defaults
files. This is done simply for your convenience.
You can configure any control definition to point to either an
inch or metric .defaults file.
In the properties for any machine group, you can select
either an inch or metric .defaults file.
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Section 4:
Updating parts and machining jobs
Mastercam X is designed to smoothly import and convert your
current parts so that you can easily keep working on your current
jobs. It includes an import utility (File, Import directory) that lets you
convert parts in batch mode, or you can import individual files.
However, many users will find it more convenient to convert parts
one at a time, as they are required.
The most important part of importing a part from an earlier version of
Mastercam is creating a machine group to hold the toolpaths and
assigning a machine and control definition to it. The following
sections tell you more about how this is done and issues that might
arise.
4.1 Converting parts
The following sections describe what happens when Mastercam
converts a file, how to convert files in batch, and some examples of
how Mastercam validates your current operations against the
machine definition in the converted file.
4.1.1 What happens when you convert a file?
Mastercam performs the following tasks when you import or convert
a part file from earlier versions.
Mastercam reads the product type (Mill, Lathe, Router) and
units (inch/metric) from the source file. Based on this, it
looks up the proper default machine definition from the
.config file.
It creates a machine group in the new file based on the
default machine. This also determines the control definition
and post assigned to the new file.
Most of the current Job Setup information, such as the stock
model and material selection, is written to the machine
group properties.
Inside the machine group, Mastercam creates toolpath
groups which correspond to the toolpath groups in the orig-
inal file.
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Updating parts and machining jobs 57

It updates the NCI file name for each operation in the orig-
inal file to become the NC file name for each operation in the
new file. The path for the new NC file is specified in the
control definition.
The post selection in the original file is discarded. The new
post selection will be the post assigned to the default
machine definition.
Mastercam validates each operation against the default
machine definition. (See Machine compatibility on
page 58.) For Lathe parts, Mastercam automatically assigns
axis combinations based on the turret and spindle settings in
the source file.
Your original parts are completely unchanged.
4.1.2 Converting files in batch mode
Mastercam lets you convert single parts by simply opening them with
the File, Open function. Use the File, Import directory function to
convert parts in batch.
If you have many parts to convert, think about how to organize them
so you can convert them as efficiently as possible:
The import function automatically converts all the files in a
folder, so make sure the folder does not contain any parts
that you do not want to convert.
Consider creating different folders for parts of the same
product type that are cut on different machines. For example,
if some Mill parts will be cut on a 5-axis machining center,
and others on a 4-axis HMC, consider placing them in sepa-
rate folders. Before converting each set of parts, you can
select a different default machine in System Configuration so
that each part will be assigned the proper machine.
In the same way, you can create folders for parts based on
which post processor they require. If you have configured a
machine definition with multiple posts, for example, you can
update the machine definition to use a different post
between conversion runs.
Each conversion session can mix inch and metric parts. If
you edit your machine preferences between sessions, make
sure you apply the same changes to both inch and metric
configuration files.
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58 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

IMPORTANT: If you are converting parts with toolpaths, it
doesnt matter which product is running or what the active
machine group is. However, if you are converting parts that
have just geometry and no toolpaths, you should make sure
that you are running in Design mode with no machine group
visible in the Toolpath Manager.
Converting parts in batch
1 Choose File, Import directory from the menu.
2 Select the version number of the files to import.
3 Select the source folder.
4 Select the destination folder and click OK.
5 As each part is converted, Mastercam displays messages
about compatibility issues between the specified machine
definitions and the operations in the file. Review these
messages and print/save them as they are displayed.
4.1.3 Machine compatibility
Whenever you convert a file, Mastercam creates a machine group
based on a default machine definition. As part of this process, it vali-
dates each operation against the machine definition to ensure that
the toolpath can be run on the machine as it is currently
programmed. There are several levels of compatibility:
Severe incompatibility, in which the toolpath physically
cannot be cut on the machine. This typically results from the
toolpath referencing axes or other components that are not
present in the machine definition.
Minor incompatibility, in which one or more toolpath
parameters fall outside the limits set by the machine defini-
tion.
Complete compatibility, in which the operation is converted
with no action required by you.
In addition, as part of this process Mastercam also assigns axis combi-
nations to the converted operations and validates them. (This mostly
affects lathe parts.)
In each case, Mastercam implements routines to trap the incompati-
bility and notify you so you can isolate and resolve the problem. The
following sections describe each of these situations in greater detail.
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Updating parts and machining jobs 59

Mastercam performs all of these checks in the following circum-
stances:
When you import files in batch mode.
When you open and convert single files.
When you select a new machine definition for a machine
group.
When you move or copy an operation from one machine
group to another.
4.1.3.1 Severe incompatibility
When Mastercam is physically unable to perform an operation on the
selected machine, it displays the following message:
Click the Details button to learn more. Mastercam displays a report
similar to the following. In this case, it tells you that the selected
machine definition is not configured with the correct rotary axes. This
would be displayed if you tried to import a part with multi-axis tool-
paths using a machine definition for a simple 3-axis mill.
If you are converting many files, print this report or copy it to another
document so you can refer to it later. Close this dialog box and the
Replace Group Machine Warning dialog box to proceed with the
conversion.
When Mastercam creates the machine group for this file, it will not
use the incompatible machine definition. Instead, it creates a special
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60 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

machine group based on its system defaults. Note that no post has
been assigned:
Your original operations are contained within this group. Before
resuming work on this part, click the Replace button to select a
proper machine definition. If you try to edit the machine or control
definition, you will not be able to configure a post or save any changes
to your hard drive.
4.1.3.2 Minor incompatibilities
In the case of a minor incompatibility, Mastercam creates the
machine group with the selected machine, and then edits the opera-
tion as necessary to conform with the machine definition. The opera-
tion will be marked dirty and you can review a status report which
tells you exactly which values have been changed.
You will first see the following message while converting the file.
It gives you several options:
Click OK to have Mastercam edit the operation.
Click Cancel to abort the conversion.
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Updating parts and machining jobs 61

Or click Details to see a report which tells you exactly which
changes Mastercam will make:
In this example, the spindle speed of the imported operation
exceeds the maximum specified in the machine definition. If
you accept the change, Mastercam will reduce the operations
spindle speed to the machine definition maximum.
If you are converting a batch of files, preserve this error
report so you can return to the operation later. You can print
it, save it, or copy it to another file or text editor.
If you accept the changes, the file will be converted and the operation
will be marked dirty in the Toolpath Manager:
Click the Parameters icon to review the changes, then click the
Regenerate button on the Toolpath Manager toolbar to regenerate
the toolpath.
4.1.3.3 Axis combinations
For machines that have multiple axis combinations in their machine
definitions, Mastercam automatically tries to select the best one for
each operation as it converts it. Axis combinations are used most
often with multi-spindle/multi-turret lathes, so Mill and Router users
will rarely have to deal with this, although it is possible to create axis
combinations for some sophisticated milling applications.
As each file is converted, Mastercam will display a message like the
following picture. The highlighted operation shows where Mastercam
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62 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

has selected a different axis combination based on the tooling, turret,
and spindle selections in the source file:
The axis combinations in Mastercams default lathesand in any
lathe machine definition created by UpdatePostare designed to
mesh closely with the tooling and machine setup features in
Mastercam Version 9, so the axis combinations that you see displayed
in this dialog box should match the turret and spindle selections in
your source Mastercam file.
If you have installed a sophisticated lathe machine definition with
Mastercam X and wish to change the axis combinations displayed
here, you can to do that on an operation-by-operation basis as
decribed below.
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Updating parts and machining jobs 63

Selecting a new axis combination
1 In the Toolpath Manager, click on the Parameters icon for
the desired operation.
2 Click the Axis Combos button on the Toolpath parameters
tab.
3 Select the new axis combination and choose OK.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that the spindle, turret, and
mounting orientation of the tool used in the operation are
consistent with the new axis combination. Right-click the tool
and choose Edit tool, then click on Setup tool to review this.
4.1.3.4 Vertical turret lathes (VTLs)
In Mastercam X, support for vertical turret lathes is found in the
machine definition. Because of this, when you import a VTL part from
earlier versions of Mastercam, the converted part will not be set up on
a VTL unless the default lathe machine definition is a VTL. However,
you can easily recreate the same VTL functionality of earlier versions
of Mastercam by simply selecting a VTL machine definition in the
machine group properties.
The first procedure in this section describes how to create a
lathe VTL in the machine definition.
The second describes how to select it in the machine group
properties.
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64 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

Creating a VTL machine definition
Follow these steps to convert a horizontal lathe to a VTL. In partic-
ular, you need to perform these steps if you have automatically
created a lathe machine definition with UpdatePost and want it to
be a VTL.
1 From the Machine Type menu, choose Machine Definition
Manager and open the desired lathe machine definition.
2 Click the General Machine Parameters button on the
toolbar.
3 Select the Op feed rate limits / axis motion / orientation
tab.
4 Select the Vertical turret lathe option and choose OK.
5 Save the machine definition.
From this point forward, whenever you select this machine,
Mastercam will automatically adjust the part display and tool/
construction planes to reflect the VTL orientation.
Selecting a VTL machine definition
Follow these steps if your part has been converted with a horizontal
lathe and you want to use a VTL instead.
1 Open the part in Mastercam.
2 In the Toolpath Manager, click on the Files tab in the
machine group properties.
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Updating parts and machining jobs 65

3 Click the Replace button in the Machine section.
4 Select a lathe machine definition that has been set up as a
VTL, as described in the previous procedure.
5 Choose OK to close the Machine Group Properties dialog
box.
4.1.3.5 Home positions in Mill/Router parts
In previous versions of Mastercam, defining a home position for Mill
and Router toolpaths was optional. You could activate or deactivate it
by selecting the check box on the Tool parameters page for each oper-
ation. In Mastercam X the home position is always active. When you
convert a part whose operations do not have a home position
defined, the operations in the converted part will have a home posi-
tion of 0,0,0.
Typically, this does not affect your NC output. However, Mastercam X
includes a backplot option to show the home position. In these cases,
you might wish to disable that option so your tool doesnt appear to
move to your part starting from 0,0,0.
Turning off the home position display
1 After starting backplot, click the Options button.
2 Deselect the Show Mill/Router Home Position option.
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66 MASTERCAM X / Transition Guide

Changing the home position
Mastercam lets you set, manage, and change home positions in
several places.
Each machine definition includes a home position setting.
This is set as part of the axis combinations, so each axis
combination can have a unique home position.
The control definition tells Mastercam whether to use the
machine definition or the operation defaults as the source of
the default home position. Set this on the Tool page in the
Control Definition Manager.
Use the Toolpath parameters tab for each operation to edit
the home position directly or change its source.
UG_TransitionGuide.book Page 66 Wednesday, July 6, 2005 6:54 PM

Mastercam X Transition Guide 1-883310-44-X
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Transition Guide