Mastercam’s Quick Part Series Opens Doors for Students

As more and more high school students are being funneled toward four-year degrees, CNC Software is laying down stepping-stones toward rewarding careers in manufacturing. Mastercam’s new Quick Part Interface and Quick Part Series build marketable skills in young users and get them excited about machining.

The Quick Part Interface is a free separate install for any educational license of Mastercam 2020. Once installed, when a user launches Mastercam, two options will be presented to them: Standard Mode or Quick Part Mode. The main difference between the two is the amount of options within the interface. New users will have access to the power of the software without being overwhelmed.

“The offering we’ve put here is a good starting, fundamental step for any new student to be able to come in and start learning Mastercam in a much less intimidating way than seeing 1,200 functions right when they open the software,” said Chief Experience Officer Russ Bukowski at the 2019 Mastercam Reseller Conference.

Education experts and instructors worked with CNC Software to choose which features should be included in the interface. The result is a simplified workspace with all the most common features a new user will need. In Mastercam 2021, every seat will have the Quick Part Interface available so that students and professionals can learn in a safe, simple environment.

Teachers can help students take advantage of the Quick Part Interface through the Quick Part Series of curricula. These project-based tutorials are meant to spark interest in young students and to teach them hands-on machining skills. Each project comes with an introductory video, sample part files, and PDFs for instructors and students. Teachers can obtain the Quick Part Series projects from the Mastercam website.

The Quick Part Series helps remove any barriers that may exist for teachers and schools to provide Mastercam instruction in the classroom. The Mastercam Educational Suite is affordable, with a simplified interface option and project-based tutorials. The first two projects in the Quick Part Series are available to instructors free of charge.

Students who are wary of, or uninterested in, machining will encounter easy to follow instructions on how to machine things like fishing lures, spinning tops, and acoustic music amplifiers for their phones. One project is a chocolate mold — made with just two roughs and two finishes — that the students can take home.

Each project comes with clearly outlined objectives to describe the skills the students should gain, like programming a rough toolpath, eliminating undercuts, applying a containment boundary, exploring the tool library, and designing a mold. Quizzes at the end of every chapter reinforce the technical information while the machining brings everything together.

The instructor guides point out opportunities for teachers to discuss more advanced concepts as well. Instructors can talk about recognizing the qualities in good and bad designs, reducing cycle time, avoiding excessive tool wear, and handling material shrinkage.

Plus, the learning doesn’t stop at the end of the project. “One of the best parts of this series is the self-guided assignments at the end of each project-based learning tutorial,” said Bukowski, “We’re going to challenge students to take the knowledge that they’ve earned and create something on their own.”

Students are able to import a model from their favorite online source into Mastercam and build it themselves. Not only will they be reviewing their newly forged skills, they will be discovering for themselves how much creative power they have using Mastercam. This confidence in their own abilities can carry them into fulfilling careers in a booming industry.

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