Migrating from Mastercam X6 to X8

Mike Small PicAuthor: Mike Steelman, Manager – Mastercam Support & Training, Prism Engineering, Inc.

Okay, you’re comfortable programming in Mastercam X6, but now you realize that you need to take the plunge and load the latest version., which is now Mastercam X8.

You may ask yourself, “What about my existing post processors?

If you’re using the generic post processors that are included with Mastercam X6, and you did not make any edits to those posts, you can use the matching generic posts that are available with X8. If you purchased custom posts, or modified posts yourself, you need to update those to Mastercam X8.

Don’t worry too much. It’s an easy process:

First thing to do is copy the X6 files from their current location into a folder you have easy access to:

STEP 1: Create a folder on your Desktop called X6.

STEP 2: Add a subfolder called CNC_MACHINES to X6.

STEP 3: Copy the custom Machine Definition files (.MMD-6) and the custom Control files (.CONTROL-6) from \Shared Mcamx6\ CNC_MACHINES and paste into the new \X6\ CNC_MACHINES folder you just created.

STEP 4: Add another subfolder to X6 and call it Mill.

STEP 5: Open the Mill folder you just created and add a new subfolder called Posts.

**(At this step, if you have Lathe, Router or Wire posts, you would create the Lathe, Router, or Wire subfolders and then the Posts subfolders)

STEP 6: Copy the custom Post Processor files (.PST) and their companion file (.PSB) from \shared mcamcx6\Mill\Posts and paste into the new \X6\Mill\Posts folder you just created.

X6 folders

You went through all of that folder creation in order to mimic the folder structure in X6. When you do the actual migration, the updated files will then automatically go where they belong.

STEP 7: Open Mastercam X8, go to the File menu and select Migration Wizard.

Migration Menu 1

Select the Advanced option.

Migration menu 2

STEP 9: Set the File Locations.

Check Migrate shared mcamx files.

Browse to the X6 folder on the Desktop and click OK.

Check the Include Subfolders checkbox.

Leave the destination to shared mcamx8.

Click Next.

File location

STEP 10: Set the File Types.

Pick Control definitions, Machine definitions and Post files from the File Types list.

Click Next.

file types

 STEP 11: Set the Version.

Click Next.


Click Next.

STEP 12: Click Finish.

The migration is complete and you will see an UpdatePost.log file open.

Close the UpdatePost.log file.

Click OK to see the results in the Mastercam Event Log.

Check in your \shared mcamx8\CNC_MACHINES folder and you’ll see the updated versions of your custom files.

Thank for reading. I hope you found the information useful. Please return to Prism’s blog for more great Mastercam tips and tricks, educational content, and updates.

UPDATE: Issue with SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP0 and SP1

Hello Prism Engineering Community,

We emailed you yesterday to inform you of a bug  discovered in SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP0 and SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP1. The bug is described as follows:

SPR#833247 – any file containing a custom property value consisting of a date value will decrement the date by 1 day every time the file is saved and reopened

Here is an example of how this would affect SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP0 and SP1 users:

A drawing has the custom property for DRAWNDATE.  This property TYPE is set to DATE.

This property is mapped to the SOLIDWORKS Drawing Title block.

When a user SAVES and CLOSES the drawing, then RE-OPENS the drawing, this DATE field decreases by 1 unit.

This bug has been resolved in SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP1.1, and SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP0.0 and 1.0 have been removed from the download page at

The Prism Engineering tech team recommends that any users of SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP0.0 or 1.0 upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP1.1 as soon as possible.


Today you will notice a dialogue box appear when you start SOLIDWORKS 2015:

bug 2015 sp1

This addresses the same issue. Download these instructions to learn how to install SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP1.1.

Thank you,

Toby Schnaars and the Prism Engineering SOLIDWORKS Tech Team

Toby Schnaars | SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer
Prism Engineering, Inc. | 655 Business Center Drive | Suite 100 | Horsham | PA | 19044
Phone: 215-784-0800 | Fax: 215-784-0945 | Highest Customer Satisfaction in North America

SOLIDWORKS | Mastercam | Stratasys 3D Printers

Mastercam Tech Alert: Construction Plane

Please be aware that Mastercam X8 may change the Construction Plane if you do the following:

  • Create a User defined plane
  • Set the WCS, Cplane and Tplane to the User defined plane
  • Put a dimension on the model

Untitled 1

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Please double check your Plane Manager if you dimension a model while in a User defined plane that’s set as the WCS.

Refine Your Mesh: Getting Useful Results from SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Sean O'Neill, Applications Engineer

Sean O’Neill, Applications Engineer

Author: Sean O’Neill, Applications Engineer, Prism Engineering, Inc.

I was recently solving an FEA study for a project I was assigned, and I found myself confronted with a seemingly terrifying responsibility: I must ensure, with a high degree of accuracy, that my product design will ‘fit the bill’ in production. The product itself will hopefully stick around for a long time, so it’s important that it’s useful and done well. If a product I sign off on proves to be faulty after its release in production, the proverbial finger of blame will be pointed in my direction.

Whether I’m using SOLIDWORKS Simulation to assist in calculating my FEA results or performing calculations by hand, the goal in both instances is exactly the same: to validate the integrity of the design in question. While I could certainly run the gamut of reasons why leveraging SOLIDWORKS Simulation’s linear statics capabilities simply makes more sense, the primary focus of this blog post will be on the topic of mesh density.

In the following real world examples, we’re going to look at why and how consideration given to mesh density directly affects actual product design changes and approvals.

2014-09-08 Refine Your Mesh - Getting Useful Results From SolidWorks Simulation Image 05

A friend of mine who works on the other side of Pennsylvania (I’d tell you his name, but he’s a Steelers fan) was recently asked to approve designs for hole-wielding aluminum plates intended to be featured and relied upon in his company’s job shop. The three designs above, as you can see, vary noticeably from design-to-design; the second is much wider than the first, the third much taller than both the first and second, etc. Using the configurations and multi-study capabilities of SOLIDWORKS, I’m able to compare the results of all three designs and their respective studies in a useful, quadrant-sectioned layout.

All three versions of the plate are subject to the same fixture conditions and the same applied forces. The left sides of the plates are fixed, and a 2,000 lb. pull force is applied to the opposite-side faces. The simulation is run with material properties derived from the SOLIDWORKS-provided listings for 1060 Alloy, which my friend wants to use because of its affordability and availability.

For example, in my initial run of the smallest plate design (the study in the upper left quadrant), I notice that my von Mises stress plot reports that I exceeded the yield strength of my material — around 3,999 psi for 1060 Alloy. After my first run of this study, it appears to only do so by a questionable margin, according to the plot. This begs the question: “Am I going to put all of my trust into this results plot?”

The answer is no. The mathematical model – comprised of my preset values of items like material properties, supports, and loads – has been reviewed and is sure to be accurate. The murky area resides in my mesh settings, which could quite possibly require refinements before we contemplate proceeding with any potential changes.

When performing FEA, situations like the one we encounter with version 1 of the holed plate have always struck me as intriguing. Initial returns report that I am over the yield strength of my material; to the untrained eye, this might be enough to say, “1060 Alloy is an awful idea. I need something better,” or “There is no way this plate will hold up with the hole intact; we need to add support material.” However, we are clearly very close to the yield strength of the material. I think we owe it to good old 1060 Alloy and the designer of this model (obviously a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE), based on the CAD-modeling prowess displayed in this part) to do some further digging.

In any FEA study with considerable ramifications, you certainly want to keep a keen eye on how you are defining your modular elements. Not doing so is careless, akin to solving complex, tight-tolerance equations while relying solely on your mental number-caching abilities as a solver. In the example below, you’ll see that, across the thickness of the model in question, we only have one solid element. If you’ve used any kind of FEA package in the past, you should quickly identify this as a major ‘no-no.’

replacement blog pic


Another thing I’ve noticed when I analyze the reported element level stresses in the given result, is that I’m seeing semi-drastic differences in localized stress areas. SOLIDWORKS Simulation presents this very clearly:

2014-09-08 Refine Your Mesh - Getting Useful Results From SolidWorks Simulation Image 01

Because the color difference from the pictured red-colored, cylindrically-mapped element is so different from that of its neighboring elements, I can conclude yet again that further mesh refinements are likely required to obtain assuring results.

As a function of refining my mesh, I am technically adding more degrees of freedom to my analysis. Because a finer mesh necessitates more elements, and more elements necessitate more nodes, we are bound to gather more specific displacement data in localized modular areas such as the cylindrical face pictured above. Since our heaviest stress area is rightfully assumed to be located within and around the crevice, this is very important.

In fact, I could tell SOLIDWORKS Simulation to apply a denser mesh in the revealed areas of concern (namely, the crevice area). By applying specific mesh controls to entity areas of interest (i.e. by splitting the body into two with the Split command), we can lessen the density of the mesh in areas I’ve shown to be less important in predicting stress behavior. More importantly, we can assign the mesh in the crucial regions to be much denser. This will provide more specific results:

2014-09-08 Refine Your Mesh - Getting Useful Results From SolidWorks Simulation Image 02

As stress is dependent on displacement, we can deduce that as our displacement metrics increase in reliability, stress-level accuracy can be expected to rise as well. In many cases, stress results will rise more noticeably. After applying a finer mesh to this plate, I am able to examine elemental stresses in the area of concern once again:

2014-09-08 Refine Your Mesh - Getting Useful Results From SolidWorks Simulation Image 03

In my new results, I am able to get a more exacting look at the stress in the localized max-stress area. Whereas my result plot reported a maximum stress of approximately 4,560 psi in my initial study, I’m now seeing a maximum stress of 4,670 psi. After refining my mesh further, I start to see more convergence in my results, which leads me to reliably evaluate that this part cannot withstand the allotted pull it will regularly fall subject to in Mr. Pittsburgh Steelers fan’s shop. He might have to spend a little more money in the way of extra or different material, but he was able to pick this up in about 10-15 minutes. This was time and cost-efficient.

With this initial model, the test results that were first reported were far closer to the yield strength of material. Through mesh refinements and study result-comparisons, we came to realize that while the first results validly reported that the part could not withstand the load, they misleadingly informed us that we were closer to meeting the yield strength than we actually were. The results I ultimately drew were much closer to 4,700 psi than 4,500 psi. This exemplifies why exercising mesh refinement techniques is so beneficial and important – it leads us towards convergence of stress results, a huge indication that we’re getting the right answers to our analysis questions.


NEW! Stratasys 3D Printer Additions


NEW! Announcing 12 Stratasys 3D Printers

Announcing powerful new additions to the Stratasys 3D Printing line available for purchase TODAY!

Stratasys announces 12 additions to its 3D printing line, including the Objet30 Prime, Eden260 VS, Objet260 Connex 1, Objet260 Connex2, Objet260 Connex3, Objet350 Connex1, Objet350 Connex2, Objet350 Connex3, Objet500 Connex1, Objet500 Connex2, Foruts 380mc, and Fortus 450mc.
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WEBINAR: Want to learn more about the new 3D Printers?


Join Prism Engineering to learn more about the exciting new additions to the Stratasys 3D Printing line. New Connex solutions bring you multi-material, mulit-color capabilities in various sizes. Need a faster, more streamlined FDM solution? You’ll find the Fortus 380/450mc a welcomed addition. Tune in to learn about the enhancements & benefits of all 12 new 3D printers during this 30 minute webinar.

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The new Objet260/350/500 Connex1, Connex2, and Connex3 printers harness the power of TRIPLE-JETTING TECHNOLOGY to combine multiple materials with ease resulting in fine resolution, durable models.

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Objet30 Prime_Left_closed


The Objet30 Prime is the most VERSATILE desktop 3D printer available on the market today. Building on the PolyJet technology of the Objet30, the Objet30 Prime broadens the material capabilities of the desktop offerings, enabling printing of soft-touch models and bio-compatible parts.

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380 450 infographic 10-14 2 PDF

Fortus 380/450mc

Harness the tough, reliable qualities of FDM technology in record build time with the Fortus 380/450mc 3D Printers. These printers represent the latest enhancements to the FDM technology.
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SOLIDWORKS 2015: Design Competition

Prism Engineering “Inspiring Innovation” SOLIDWORKS 2015 Design Competition

Enter to win a 3D printed model of your 3D CAD model! The design that “inspires innovation” will be the winning submission; winners will be selected at Prism Engineering SOLIDWORKS 2015 Launch Events. Some restrictions apply.

Enter your design at Prism Engineering’s “INSPIRING INNOVATION” SOLIDWORKS 2015 Design Competition

Watch Toby’s “INSPRING INNOVATION” SOLIDWORKS 2015 Design Competition Video below:

Tech Alert: Tool Radius/Chamfer Updates Unexpectedly in Mastercam X8

A number of users have brought an issue to our attention where the corner radius or chamfer dimension of a milling tool updates unexpectedly in Mastercam X8.

When you are creating or editing a tool that has either a corner radius or chamfer, the Tool Manager automatically updates that dimension whenever you change the Cutting diameter.

Define End Mill

The problem is that even if you have manually entered a different radius or chamfer dimension, Mastercam overrides it if you subsequently change the tool diameter.

The values can also change when editing the tool even if you do not actually enter a different tool diameter. Because the Cutting diameter field has focus when you first enter that dialog box, the radius or chamfer might update as soon as focus changes, even if you do not type anything in the Cutting diameter field.

Mastercam is currently working on a solution it expects to publish shortly. Mastercam will issue a HotFix through the Update Service and also make it available as a download.

In the meantime, the workaround is to make sure you check the radius or chamfer value whenever you are in this dialog box, and manually edit it if it has changed.

For more information, please read this thread on the Mastercam Forum or contact Prism Engineering’s Mastercam Technical Support Department.

Check back soon for the updated HotFix

Prism Engineering Opens Region’s Largest 3D Printing Additive Manufacturing Lab

Prism Engineering Announces Grand Opening of the Region’s Largest Additive Manufacturing Lab

August 21, 2014-Philadelphia, PA-Prism Engineering, Inc., the Mid-Atlantic’s most trusted & preferred source for CAD, CAM, and 3D printing solutions, announces the grand opening of the region’s largest Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) Lab. Prism’s Additive Manufacturing Lab includes seven Stratasys 3D printers, featuring production-level machines down to tabletop units.

The Prism Engineering Additive Manufacturing Lab brings the region the only industrial show room equipped with Stratasys 3D printers available for 3D printing demonstrations. The region now has direct access to preview Stratasys 3D printers available for purchase. Additive Manufacturing with 3D printers is moving the design-to-manufacture process away from traditional machining and subtractive manufacturing methods, saving many engineers & manufacturers time and money.

On September 10, 2014, Prism Engineering will host a Grand Opening Event at its Additive Manufacturing Lab in Horsham, PA from 10 AM – 7 PM. 3D Printing presentations, complete with prize raffles & industry examples, will be followed by tours of the Additive Manufacturing Lab. Prism is also entering all attendees into a drawing to win a MAKERBOT 3D PRINTER!

In addition, Prism will unveil its Applications Engineers’ designs to “3D Print a Better Work Day” at its Grand Opening on September 10, 2014. Join us to learn how 3D printers are changing not only the design & manufacturing industries, but also day-to-day life.

To learn more about Prism Engineering, Inc.’s technical support, subscription service, and other products & services, visit

About Prism Engineering, Inc.:
Prism Engineering is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading provider of SolidWorks 3D CAD software, Mastercam CAM software, and Stratasys 3D Printers. In addition to these products, Prism offers a host of complementary Training and Support Services at its regional facilities and Certified Training Centers located in Horsham, PA, Allentown, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Harrisburg, PA, Elkridge, MD, and Lynchburg, VA. For more information, demonstrations, and news about products and services, please contact Prism at 888-441-9696 or visit


Contact: Elizabeth Shovlin, Prism Engineering, Inc., 888-441-9696,

Using Mastercam’s FindOverlap Command

Have you ever tried to chain a contour in Mastercam and it stops at a Branch Point where you know there shouldn’t be one? Me neither. But it could happen, right?


There’s no reason I should be seeing a Branch Point where I’m seeing a Branch point. So I select Delete Duplicates from the menu and Mastercam tells me there are no duplicates. Perplexed? Perhaps. Stymied? Not a chance.

I go to Settings on the Main Menu and select Run User Application. The Open dialog opens and I pick FindOverlap.dll winexplorer

I’m asked to pick the geometry I want check. I usually pick all wireframe and end selection. If I have any overlapping, entities I’ll see this dialog box:Dialog box

If I cared about which was first or last or previous or next, I could click on the appropriate button. Mostly I just want the mess cleaned up, so I click on cleanup and I get the following:


I need to Repaint and check for gaps because I don’t get to pick the overlapping entity that gets deleted. If I have a gap I need to trim to fix it.

You can view a quick tutorial video on how to use Mastercam’s FindOverlap command below, or you can copy & paste the below link into your browser:

FindOverlap is a handy tool to help you clean up bad geometry that you inadvertently created or that you imported from some other CAD system.

Toby’s Tech Talk Episode 31 posted on YouTube

Hello Prism Engineering Community,
In episode 31 of Toby’s Tech Talk we discussed the use of BACKUP and AUTO RECOVERY settings to help if you ever end up with corrupted files. The most common indication of a file becoming corrupted is a dialog box with a message similar to this:




After this lesson we got into a great discussion regarding ROUTING – PIPING AND TUBING during which we demonstrated how easily we can create a pipe route similar to the one in this image, with a BOM and PIPE LENGTHS for all components:


Take a look at the video on Prism’s YouTube page where you can learn about BACKUP, RECOVERY and ROUTING FUNCTIONS in SolidWorks. The video is also posted below for your convenience!

Please enjoy and feel free to comment or post any questions below.

Take care,
Toby Schnaars