View Full Version : Mastercam X3?

Tue 25 November 2008, 14:14
Would Mastercam X3 be a good choice for software to contral a MechMate?:confused:

Tue 25 November 2008, 18:32
I don't know anything about Mastercam. I believe everyone here is using Mach3 to control our MMs. Various CAM programs are being used to produce gcode. SheetCAM is what I use and it seems to be pretty popular.

Tue 25 November 2008, 19:05
I have trying to learn Mastercam 8.11. It has done a great job creating the g code so far.

Tue 25 November 2008, 21:39
MasterCAM x3 is a great, fully functioning CAM software package. It's huge, big learning curve and used in most major manufacturing businesses where 25 tool selections and multiple axis' of operation are required (like a turret mill)
If your CNC needs require it, and your machine supports the functionality - then move forward with MCx3.

My personal favorites (this week anyway :) ) in personal order:
- Vectric 2d/3d (aspire is the newest part of the family)
- ArtCAM pro
- RhinoCAM wth 4th axis module is a tied second with Artcam
- Enroute Pro

- Lazy CAM - dead last. It works, but really bare bones.

My specific needs require a lot of 3d work, thus the reason for my CAM package selections.

Gerald D
Tue 25 November 2008, 22:38
Would Mastercam X3 be a good choice for software to control a MechMate?:confused:

Robert, I suggest you put Mastercam out of your mind for the time being . . . . .

To "control" a CNC router, you need to feed it a computer file containing G-code. All CNC routers want to see G-Code files as their input. Mastercam is one of the options of software that produce G-Code.

The actual "control" of the router, reading the G-Code and making the motors move, the program loaded on your router's PC, is something else completely. For us, the popular choice is the Mach3 program.

Wed 26 November 2008, 00:30
Well I have been given Mastercam X3 as a gift so I want to learn it. I also do a lot of 3D rendering in 3D Studio Max and most of our solid modeling is done in Solidworks or Inventor.

Whatever gets the job done is good.

Wed 26 November 2008, 00:33
Oh Yeah I have Mach3 too, it was left over for some other project for a Plasma cutter that never got built so it's available if I want it.

Now for carving Violin tops or Guitar tops like a Les Paul or Paul Reed Smith is that programmable with Mach3?

Wed 26 November 2008, 01:12
Nice gift! :)

I priced out Mastercam X3 Router and was quoted $3500 USD.

Gerald D
Wed 26 November 2008, 03:18
Now for carving Violin tops or Guitar tops like a Les Paul or Paul Reed Smith is that programmable with Mach3?

No, definitely not with Mach3, but it might be programmable with MasterCam.

Wed 26 November 2008, 12:52
$3500 wow!!!:eek:

There are some cool training CDs for Mastercam X3 so I'm going to learn it.

Wed 26 November 2008, 12:53
I ought to sel the Mastercam X3 to pay for my MechMate! :D

Wed 26 November 2008, 16:34
I use Mastercam X3 to program my Mach3 router, it's work very well.

Greg J
Thu 27 November 2008, 22:29
Rhino 4.0 is approx. $900
Cut3D is approx. $300

With these two programs and a MM, violin tops, guitar tops, "ANYTHING" is do'able. Not just "do'able", but easy, quick, and efficient.

Thu 27 November 2008, 23:16
I use 3D Studio Max, Lightwave, Solidworks and Inventor.

I was playing with the demo for Aspire it is quite awesome.

Robert M
Fri 28 November 2008, 05:44
Iíve been working with inventor for since V-6 and lately test driving MX-2.
If youíre agile with Inventor and able to get MX-3, Iíd say go for it, you love the ease to import you IPTís file & play with MasterCamís tool path. Itís a lot of fun and youíll discover as other MX users did, it's an amazing software !!
Amicalement, Robert ;)

Mon 12 January 2009, 15:33
I use Mastercam X3 to program my Mach3 router, it's work very well.

I have master cam 9.2. I am looking at buying Mach3 software. I know that Mach3 is the software i need to setup the cnc, set tool heights, ect. What I am looking for is what "post" in Mastercam do you use to write the G code? Thanks

Mon 12 January 2009, 18:05

When you generate the toolpath and save it, you are given a choice of what machine is going to use the toolpath. That is the point that the GCode is generated. You don't have to actually write GCode. The CAM program does it for you.

Gerald D
Mon 12 January 2009, 22:47
. . . . . you are given a choice of what machine is going to use the toolpath. . . ..

Quite correct, and MechMate definitely is not on MasterCAM's list of machines, nor is Mach3 likely to be a choice. But there is usually a generic machine (maybe a Fanuc) for which the G-Code is interchangeable with Mach3 (and hence MechMate).

Tue 13 January 2009, 00:26
I'm learning mastercam and it is amazing software for creating G code for Mach 3.

Thu 05 February 2009, 01:07
I have Mastercam and mach3 my question is how do you export from mastercam to mach3

Thu 05 February 2009, 03:40

Did you look at Gerald's previous post in this thread? Or did you not understand what he was talking about. I don't use MasterCam but CAM programs out put the GCode. They don't have MechMate or Mach3 as one of the output types so you have to use some thing that is close which will work fine.

I hope that helps.

Wed 25 February 2009, 13:43
I have Mastercam and mach3 my question is how do you export from mastercam to mach3

guess that with a .txt file.
Just a comment you could either draw inside Mastercam or Import Drawing from other software (AutoCad or others). Mastercam is a CAD/CAM software not only CAM

Rad Racer
Thu 26 February 2009, 21:59
I have Mastercam and mach3 my question is how do you export from mastercam to mach3

Mastercam requires a post processor (g-code generator) that is compatable with your machine control software. For the MechMate, most builders use the MACH3 control software.

The ArtSoft website (home of Mach3), has a MasterCam post processor that is compatable with Mach3. It's located in the download section.


hope this helps,

Sat 02 January 2010, 15:14
hello, am a new bee. even i do not know how to make a new message.
sotty for that..

anybody know how to cenveret an image to 3D, gcode with mastercam x3 ART? may be a pdf...
thanks a lot in advance


Sat 02 January 2010, 18:49
Hi Rob , I can help you out , but I am not clear on what you are asking. Art in Master Cam will output in STL or DXF format. Master cam will take a picture and convert it to a 3D form, but you will be lucky to get much from it unless you have a very good picture and you stay around .040"

Gerald D
Sat 02 January 2010, 23:22
If you want to convert from flat picture to 3D, you must understand that there is not a single program that can do it automatically and instantly. You will always have to supply that program with a lot of personal (artistic) choices.

Sun 03 January 2010, 08:32
hello, thanks for all you,
yes i would like to convert from flat picture to 3D, I have mastercam x3, but i can not use it.. is there any pdf to help? step by step in order to convert it to 3D..I searched on the web but there is no use...
thankx Rob

Sun 03 January 2010, 12:23
Hi Rob , You should have a PDF help file from your install that will walk you through this. Then you just select a photo decide if you want grey scale or by color or by math, Then select how high and your scale settings. But more than likely you will need to spend a few hours working on the photo in Adobe, to get any good results.

Fri 08 January 2010, 15:58
Thankx again, I tried to work with a flat picture, spent some hours, but the result is not good at all...
Anybody has a file(flat picture) done with mastercam x3, that may help me, I guess...I can compare and make mine as the file itself..
Thanks a lot

Sun 17 January 2010, 17:00
Is Mastercam mainly cam, or does it create drawings as well. I read somewhere that it didn't accept Autodesk files?

Mon 18 January 2010, 13:00

I guess it creates drawing as well,... I bought an old pc from ebay, and found it alrealy installed..

Mon 18 January 2010, 16:24
Master Cam can be used for drawing 2D and 3D and output your G code. You will still need Mach to run your machine .

Tue 19 January 2010, 06:47

I have my own CNC and I have to use three programs to run it. First use a cad program like solid-works or autocad to draw your part. I personally use autodesk. It is a lot easier then doing it in Mastercam. You can draw in mastercam but you will pull less of your hair out doing it in some other software. After that's all done save your drawing and open MasterCam. Go through the window options and open your cad drawing. Mastercam can open just about any file you can think of. You name it, it can take it. Then do you cnc programing. After you are all done post your file to match your cnc operation software. I use Linux or Mach3. They both have there own special post that you need to select. refer to the manufacture. After that's all done transfer your G-code to that software. Once your cnc is all setup then you can begin to run you program. There is a lot of jumping around, but in the end you will be set to go.

Good luck

Mon 15 February 2010, 15:11

So I've been trying to setup our machine definition and control definitions in mastercam X3

and its very confusing to me, the documentation is terrible, does anyone here know specifics about the machine and control definitions setup process?

are there online rescources that better explain the process than the documentation?

this is for a 5" X 10" mechmate table.