Introduction to Mastercam 4-Axis Toolpath

This blog will give you the basic concepts for creating a 4-axis toolpath in Mastercam

This style of programming is available to all mill levels, you will need a 4-axis compatible post.

Mastercam uses the angular relationship between your WCS and your Tool and Construction planes in your tool path parameters to create a rotary move. You will need to position your part, so your WCS origin represents the center of rotation. Your T/C plane origins can be the same as the WCS origin or it can be in some other location based on your process needs.

Mastercam looks at the WCS and the T/C plane in your toolpath parameters and can determine what angle is needed. Below is an example that will produce a 45 degree Rotary move.

open file with yellow cells for measurements

Common plane creation issue to keep in mind when creating a 4-axis toolpath

Your T/C plane’s X positive direction should match your WCS’s X positive direction.

X direction is correct

X direction is correct

X direction incorrect

X direction incorrect

Basic Plan setup for HMC milling Centers

When programming a HMC you will want to set up your WCS to be normal to the top face of your tombstone or B axis.

Then for T/C plan’s you will create them normal to the work piece.

This is the basic concept for creating a 4-axis toolpath using Mastercam.

Aric Duprey

Aric Duprey is a Client Success Analyst with MACDAC Engineering / TriMech
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