Unified: Your Go-To Multi Axis Finishing Toolpath
Changes were made to the Unified Multi Axis Toolpath in Mastercam 2023! Here is how these changes will improve your programming workflow in Multi Axis.
By Callie Morgan and John Stauffer
Tuesday, June 28th, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT
If you have experience programming in Multi Axis in previous Mastercam versions, you will notice that in Mastercam 2023, four toolpaths appear to be missing from the Multi Axis menu. Rest assured, these toolpaths have not been removed! They have been consolidated as cut pattern options under the Unified Multi Axis toolpath in Mastercam 2023.
The Unified Multi Axis toolpath was actually introduced with Mastercam 2022. However, in 2023, the four toolpaths: Morph, Parallel, Along Curve, and Project Curve, were made no longer visible in the toolpath menu outside of Unified.
Unified may seem like a minor cosmetic update for the Multi Axis toolpath menu. In reality, this consolidated toolpath is more than an interface update; Unified is huge for programming efficiency. We will explain how using Unified will revolutionize your programming workflow in Multi Axis, while addressing concerns you may have about how Unified functions.
Will I Need to Reprogram an Older Part if it Uses Morph, Parallel, Etc.?
If either Morph, Parallel, Along Curve, or Project Curve is used in Mastercam files made in earlier Mastercam versions, you will not need to reprogram them in Mastercam 2023. These toolpaths will be automatically converted to the Unified toolpath when the file is opened in Mastercam 2023.
When programming with Unified, you first select the geometry you want to cut, then determine the best pattern for that cut. When Unified is used, the operations menu will display the toolpath as “Unified” in front of the pattern type so you can tell which Unified pattern is being used. For example, for a Morph pattern, it will list it as “Unified Morph”. If you were to use Along Curve (the style selected is "Guide Curve") it will list the toolpath as “Unified Guide”).
Does Unified Change How These Toolpaths Function?
There are no differences in the way Morph, Parallel, Along Curve, or Project Curve behave in the Unified menu, versus how they did as individual toolpaths in previous versions.
Does Unified Take Longer to Program?
With four toolpaths now listed as cut patterns in a single menu, Unified makes toolpathing much faster and more flexible. Unified is especially great for situations where you are having difficulty deciding on which cutting pattern to use for your geometry.
For example, if you were to choose a Morph pattern for your toolpath when it actually requires a Parallel, you can simply return to the Unified menu and switch patterns without having to delete the toolpath operation and completely start over.
Unified Encourages Good Programming Practices
Between the flexibility of the Unified toolpath and the new behavior of the Apply button for Mill and Router toolpaths in 2023, you can now program a toolpath and try several options for cut patterns, stepovers, and any other setting all without having to close the parameters for the toolpath.
The Unified toolpath is an example of an iterative NC programming approach. Iterative is an approach we love when it comes to programming for Multiaxis, and we actually discussed it in our 3-5 Axis Programming Efficiency Presentation. It’s the process of building a toolpath from the basics, with a focus on getting the base cut pattern correct, before employing options to improve efficiency and tightening stepovers and cut tolerances.
If you would like to learn more about the Unified Multi Axis toolpath, watch our two lessons on Unified in the Mastercam 2023 Library with a Pro account or register here for our New Feature Series Presentation on Multi Axis, premiering live on Thursday, July 28th.
For access to more in-depth Mastercam training content, sign up for a Streamingteacher account here!