Using Mastercam X6 to its Fullest #1 – Variable Roughing

Over the next several weeks we’ll be revisiting some of the new tools in Mastercam X6. This week we’ll focus on new specialized motion in Mastercam X6 Lathe.
We visit a lot of Mastercam users. It’s the source of some of the best ideas for new features in the software. Not too long ago we were visiting a shop in Sweden that specialized in “super alloys”. They do a lot of turning, and use ceramic button inserts due to the difficult material.
The problem was insert notching during roughing cycles. Because the rough passes all occurred at same depth, the insert contacted the material at the same point, again and again. This quickly creates an imperfection in the ceramic insert. It wasn’t uncommon for them to use 5 or more inserts on a single part.

So we sat down with them to figure out what would eliminate the issue.

The solution is variable depth roughing. The tool moves in at an angle on the first roughing pass, so the material contact point moves. Then the tool takes the second pass in a traditional horizontal cut, using the already angled remaining stock to again maintain variable contact. Repeat the process throughout the roughing cycle and the result is much longer insert life.

Mastercam Lathe X6’s variable depth roughing.

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