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Tool Settings tab in Machine Group mastercam

Click on the Tool Settings icon for any machine group in the Toolpath Manager.

Tool Settings tab (Machine Group Properties dialog box)


Use this tab to control how Mastercam assigns tool numbers, tool offset numbers, and default values for feeds, speeds, coolant, and other toolpath parameters. Click on a topic below to learn about the options in each section of the tab.

  • Program numbers

Mastercam applies the Program # option to any operations created after you set the program number. If you change the program number, only new operations get the new program number.

To change the program number of existing operations, select an operation and right-click in the Toolpath Manager. Choose Edit selected operations, Change program number.

  • Default feed rates

Use this section to tell Mastercam how to calculate default feeds and speeds for operations created in this machine group.

  • Select From tool to load default plunge and feed rates from the tool definition for each tool, as stored in the Tool Library (click here for Lathe). Mastercam loads these values when a tool is selected for the operation.
  • You can also choose to have Mastercam calculate the feed rate based on the material characteristics as stored in the material library (click here for Lathe). Select From material to use this option. After choosing this option, make sure you select a material at the bottom of this tab.
  • Select From defaults to use the feed rate stored in the operation defaults file.
  • Select User defined to enter the default feeds and speeds on this tab. After selecting this option, enter the default values for each type of feed rate and spindle speed. These values are not associative with operations after they have been created. This means that if you change these values, it will not affect the feeds and speeds for any operations that have already been created.

The Feed section of the control definition contains important parameters about feed rates and how the control will interpret the feed rate values that are entered for each toolpath, including how to Adjust feed on arc move.

No matter what the default feed rate or spindle speed is for an operation or how it is calculated, you can always override it when creating an operation by simply typing in a new value.

  • Toolpath configuration and tool numbering

Use the options in this section to tell Mastercam how to assign tool numbers for the operations in this group. Click here to learn more about how Mastercam uses tool numbers.

You can also choose to override operation defaults for step, peck and coolant values with defaults from the tool definition.

  • Sequence numbers

Enter the starting sequence number and sequence increment in these fields. Use the NC Output section in the control definition to create defaults for more sophisticated sequence number formats, including decimal sequence numbers.

  • Advanced options

Typically the default values for clearance, retract, and feed planes are read from the operation defaults file specified on the Files tab. Use the options in this section to replace those defaults with modal settings from the operations in the group.

For example, the feed plane in the operations defaults file might be set to 3mm, incremental. If you choose to use modal defaults for the feed plane, however, every time you create an operation in the group, the default feed plane will be the feed plane from the previous operation, not 3mm.

  • Material selection

Use these options to tell Mastercam what kind of stock is being machined. Mastercam uses the material characteristics to calculate feed rates and spindle speeds; for example, the default feed rates will be slower for 440 stainless steel than for, say, aluminum. Mastercam includes extensive libraries of stock materials that you can edit, add to, or otherwise customize.

  • Choose Select to select a material definition from one that is already in use in the part, or from a materials library.
  • Choose Edit to change the characteristics of the currently selected material so that the default feeds and speeds meet your job requirements better.
  • If you are working with a mill/turn machine, you will see options to individually edit the parameters for each type of feed rate.

You do not have to choose a stock material. If you do select one, make sure you choose the From material option under Feed Calculation.

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