Supporting Multiple Steady Rests

Mastercam 2023 extends the steady rest support in Mill-Turn to include multiple standalone, machine-mounted steady rests. Mastercam's modular machine definition architecture means that you can organize your steady rests in several different configurations.

Using Multiple Standalone Steady Rests

Large CNC mill-turn machines often include multiple steady rests that can be individually positioned. These can support individual work pieces at multiple points. This configuration is represented in Mastercam by two separate steady rest components each attached to their own linear axis components, letting you program and position them independently.

An example of multiple standalone steady rests.

You are not limited to two steady rests; machine developers can create as many as needed to support very long parts. Developers can also select in which stream the commands for each steady rest will be output.

Using Tandem Steady Rests

Tandem steady rests are another common configuration; these consist of several steady rests mounted so that they move together. This configuration is represented in Mastercam with multiple steady rest components connected to the same linear axis components. Even though the steady rests move together, while programming your part you can still clamp/unclamp each steady rest independently with individual steady rest operations for each component.

An example of tandem steady rests.

An example of tandem steady rests.

Using Multiple Tandem Steady Rests

Mastercam's modular architecture means that even more complicated applications can be supported. For example, you can include multiple tandem steady rests.

An example of multiple tandem steady rests.

An example of multiple tandem steady rests.

Again, organizing the components in Mastercam's machine definition is straightforward. In this case, create multiple sets of linear axis components and link multiple steady rests to each one. This lets you move each set of tandem steady rests independently of the other.

Programming Multiple Steady Rests

Machines with multiple standalone steady rests use the same steady rest operation introduced for single steady rests in Mastercam 2022. However, the interface has been enhanced in a couple of ways.

The Driven Component list lets you select which steady rest is being programmed when multiple steady rests are available.

The "Steady Rest" dialog box.

Once you select the primary steady rest for the operation, you can select additional steady rests that are linked to the primary steady rest and move with it. Mastercam automatically detects the available steady rests and displays them here. You can select as many as eight linked steady rests.

"Linked Components" in the "Steady Rest" dialog box.

Steady rests that are output in the same stream can be programmed in this way. If the steady rests are in different streams, the operations can be synced in the Sync Manager.

Incorporating Multiple Steady Rests in Operation Strategies

Mastercam 2023 also lets machine developers incorporate multiple steady rests in Mill-Turn part handling strategies. The interface for adding steady rest operations to a part handling strategy has been enhanced so that developers can select which steady rest will be driven by the operation as well as any linked steady rest components. Developers can select steady rests from any stream. The Operation Strategies editor has also been enhanced with a new Active Spindle setting; see Setting a Base Spindle for Steady Rest Operations.

End users can access these same settings when they select the strategy while programming their part. The initial settings come from the strategy but the user can edit them if desired:

The "Pickoff" dialog box.