Quick & Easy Guide to Install a Mastercam Post Processor
Whether you’re a new user obtaining your first post or you had an existing post modified, this process will aid you in installing a Mastercam Post Processor and Machine File.
Step 1: Download the Files
The best source for obtaining a post processor is your reseller (hi there!). Many free or low-cost post processors are available for a variety of machines. More advanced or customized post processors may have a cost associated with generating or customizing them to fit your needs. Request a copy of the Post Processor Request Form from your local representative to gather the necessary machine information to find out more.
Post files usually arrive by email and for convenience, we like to save the files from the email to a temporary folder on a computer before getting started. Post processors usually consist of 4 individual files. If they are in a .zip file, right click to extract all files to a folder before starting.
Step 2: Confirm Shared Data Folder
You need to make sure you know exactly where your “Shared Data Folder” is; this path is stored in the software. For Mastercam, go to File > Configuration > Files, and select the “Shared Data Folder” path. For individual users that path will go to your local public documents folder “C:\Users\Public\Documents\shared Mcam2019\”. For Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS, the default shared data path is “C:\Users\Public\Documents\shared McamForSW2019\”. Mastercam 2020 and above uses a merged shared data folder that is by default located “C:\Users\Public\Documents\Shared Mastercam 2020”. Users that share files across multiple computers will likely see a server path so the files are shared across multiple installations. Note that the shared folder is different from the “my mcam2019” folder in your personal documents folder.
Step 3: Copy Files
Browse to the Shared Data Folder and into the CNC_MACHINES folder. Drag and drop or copy and paste all downloaded machine and control files to this folder; they will have file extensions like .mcam-LMD/RMD/GMD or .mcam-Control. If this is an updated post you’ll be overwriting the old version, if it is a new post it will simply be added to the folder.
Browse back to the Shared Data Folder and find the machine type folder for the post you are installing. For example, a mill post will be placed into the Mill folder. In this example we have a mill, so we’ll go into the “mill > Posts” folder and copy the post files there. These file extensions will usually have the word POST in them somewhere or at least start with the letter P.
Step 4: Update Machines List
Now that the files are located in the correct folders, the software must be updated to make the machine available for post processing. For Mastercam, go to the Machine tab > Machine Type drop-down > and Manage List.
For Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS, go to Tools > Mastercam 2019 > Machine Type > Manage List.
If the machine files were placed in the correct folders you’ll see the name of the machine you just added (Something wrong? Go back to Step 2.) Select the new machine name, choose ‘Add’, then click ‘OK’. If this is simply an updated post, this step is not required.
The new machine will now be available to use! You can confirm the machine and post files are coming from the correct place by applying it to a project, go to Files, and see both paths listed.
In Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS you may need to restart the software or unload and reload the add-in to see the machines list update correctly.
About the author
Bo, a Mastercam Applications Expert with MLC CAD Systems, brings real-world machining expertise to the table through his previous experience in production shops in addition to positions held in the oil and gas, aerospace, and medical industries. Bo specializes in multi-axis mills and tooling from R&D settings to full-on production projects.