Mastercam’s Feature Based Machining
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Mastercam’s Feature Based Machining

February 20, 2009Tolland, CT - With its release of Mastercam X3, CNC Software, Inc., introduced Feature Based Machining (FBM). FBM eliminates the manual processes involved in identifying features for programming milling and drilling operations on solid parts. By analyzing the part for specific feature types (shapes, size, location of holes, etc), FBM can automatically create the individual toolpaths needed to machine the selected features and intelligently design an effective machining strategy.

Mastercam X3 includes two types of FBM toolpaths - FBM Mill and FBM Drill. Both toolpath types use information derived from the part's features in combination with a stock definition to accomplish the following tasks:

-          Detect all features for the selected FBM toolpath type, based on selection criteria the user defines. The user can then review all of the identified machining features, and selectively modify or remove features from the list before generating toolpaths.

-          Select the appropriate tools, either from a preferred tools list or from specified libraries.

-          Create and assign boundaries needed to drive or constrain tools.

-          Automatically generate all of the toolpaths necessary to machine the features.


FBM Mill

FBM Mill analyzes a solid part, detects all machining features in a specified plane, and automatically generates all of the 2D milling toolpaths necessary to completely machine the selected features. FBM Mill machines closed, open, nested, and through pockets. For complex nested pockets, Mastercam defines a separate zone for each depth, and also creates the boundaries required to machine it. FBM Mill employs the following types of 2D toolpaths:
 -      Facing toolpaths when stock in the Z-axis is above the top of the part

-          Roughing and restmill toolpaths for each zone

-          Separate finish toolpaths for walls and floors in each zone

-          Outside contours when the stock extends beyond the part in the X and Y axes


FBM Drill

FBM Drill performs the following basic functions:

-          Detect holes in a solid based on specified criteria

-          Review the detected features list and edit or delete features

-          Preview toolpath operations and make additional changes before they are generated

-          Automatically generate a complete series of drill operations for the selected features


For more information on Mastercam's Feature Based Machining, please visit


About Mastercam

Developed by CNC Software, Inc., Mastercam is Windows®-based CAD/CAM software for 2- through 5-axis milling and turning; 2- and 4-axis wire EDM; 2D and 3D design, surface, and solid modeling; artistic relief cutting, and 2D and 3D routing. CNC Software is a privately owned corporation founded in 1984. The U.S.-based company provides Mastercam CAD/CAM solutions to more than 124,000 installations in 75 countries in industries including mold-making, prototyping, automotive, medical, aerospace, and consumer products. Mastercam runs under Windows 2000 and Windows XP and is compatible with all other CAD/CAM systems. For more information about CNC Software, Inc. and its Mastercam family of products, contact CNC Software, Inc., M - F, 8 AM - 6 PM EST at (800) 228-2877 or (860) 875-5006,    671 Old Post Road, Tolland, CT 06084. Or visit


Michelle Nemeth

Phone:  (860) 875-5006

 Fax:  (860) 872-1565