Archive for month: September, 2018

September 28, 2018
28 Sep 2018

MecSoft Releases VisualCAMc – Production CAM for Onshape!

For Immediate Release: MecSoft releases VisualCAMc – production CAM for Onshape!

Irvine, CA, Oct 1, 2018: MecSoft Corporation, the developer of computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software solutions, announces the commercial release of VisualCAMc for Onshape, its cloud-hosted, fully integrated CAM add-on app for Onshape. After an extended beta testing period, where the product was fine-tuned to meet the demanding requirements and expectations of users, it is now ready for production use. The VisualCAMc application can be added to your Onshape account by browsing the Onshape App Store and selecting VisualCAMc in the CAM category of applications.

VisualCAMc leverages the legendary manufacturing capabilities of MecSoft’s desktop-based VisualCAM product running remotely across the internet on a server, allowing this product to be used from any computer, anytime and anywhere in the world.

Features of this product include:

  •  Fully cloud-based – no downloads required
  •  Runs as a tab inside the Onshape environment
  •  Browser interface allows use from any computer, anytime, anywhere
  •  Uses MecSoft’s industry-proven, production-level CAM technology
  •  Includes 2 ½ Axis, 3 Axis milling and 3+2 milling

We are very excited to be releasing VisualCAMc commercially. We have worked hard with our beta users to make sure that VisualCAMc fulfills the promise of being the only production-level CAM companion application for Onshape running fully on the cloud. This is one of the most important product releases for MecSoft in its 20-year history.” stated Joe Anand, President of MecSoft.

For Onshape users who require industrial-strength CAM, VisualCAMc represents a major milestone. Like Onshape, VisualCAMc was developed from the ground up as a true cloud application. VisualCAMc requires no installation, no updates, and is platform-independent. VisualCAMc tool paths are fully associative to the Onshape model. Industrial-strength, professional CAM is what Onshape users require.” says Jon Hirschtick, CEO and co-founder of Onshape.

To learn more, please visit or call (949) 654-8163.


About MecSoft Corporation

Headquartered in Irvine, California, MecSoft Corporation is a worldwide leader in providing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software solutions for the small to mid-market segments. These solutions include products VisualCAD/CAM®, RhinoCAM™, VisualCAM for SOLIDWORKS®, AlibreCAM® and VisualCAMc for Onshape®. These software products deliver powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for users in the custom manufacturing, rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, mold making, aerospace, automotive, tool & die, woodworking, and education industries. For the latest news and information, visit or call 949-654-8163.


About Onshape

Onshape is the only company in the world 100% focused on cloud and mobile CAD, offering the first professional 3D CAD system that lets everyone on a design team work together using any web browser, phone, or tablet.

As the leading CAD platform for Agile Product Design, Onshape helps companies design better products and bring them to market faster, offering real-time deployment, real-time data management and real-time analytics and controls. Using full-cloud CAD, engineers, designers and manufacturers get secure and simultaneous access to a single master version of their designs without the hassles of software licenses or copying files.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Onshape includes key members of the original SolidWorks team, plus elite engineers from the cloud, data security and mobile industries. For more information, visit

September 11, 2018
11 Sep 2018

3D Mesh Editing & Machining

This article describes the use of two different modules in RhinoCAM, RhinoCAM-MESH and RhinoCAM-MILL. The RhinoCAM-MESH module contains an Inspect & Modify menu (shown below) with commands that allow you to Inspect your mesh models using various reflection and curvature comparison techniques. More importantly, the menu contains Mesh modification commands such as Reduce Mesh, Re-Mesh and Smooth Mesh. The Reduce Mesh command is very useful when working with models from programs like ZBrush that produce millions of facet triangles during the course of the sculpting design process. 

Using the Reduce by maximum deviation option provides better results than mesh decimation tools in either ZBrush or Rhino, says Jim Lohmann, Owner/Operator of Lohmann Woodcarving Company, in Covington, MI.

The 6”x6” rosette sample shown below was designed in ZBrush and totaled over 1.87 Million facet triangles when it was opened in Rhino. The RhinoCAM-MESH module removed over 1.3 Million face triangles from the original mesh model. The accuracy of the original model was also maintained to within a maximum deviation of 0.0015”. Jim was better able to manage the reduced mesh that RhinoCAM-MESH produced without sacrificing quality or precision. Have a look at the images in the table below. The actual rosette, machined from mahogany, is shown in the image above.

The RhinoCAM-MESH Browser and Reduce Mesh options dialog


Original 6”x6” Mesh from ZBrush opened in Rhino contains 1.87 Million Facet Triangles.


The mesh was reduced by 70% to 0.57 Million Facets using RhinoCAM-MESH with a mix deviation of 0.0015”.

Benefits of RhinoCAM-MESH

The following benefits were realized during this project by utilizing the RhinoCAM-MESH module:

  1. Greater Performance Saves Time: Mesh models ARE resource intensive for downstream applications that work with mesh data. The Reduce Mesh by Max Deviation command removed 70% of the original mesh’s density, allowing the part to be more easily manipulated and processed by both Rhino and RhinoCAM.
  2. Achieves a High Degree of Accuracy: The Reduce Mesh by Maximum Deviation command allows you to define the amount of deviation that is acceptable for your part and your machining process. In this case, a maximum deviation range of 0.0015” was used.

The RhinoCAM-MILL Toolpath Strategy

The 6” rosette mesh model was machined using the following toolpath strategies found in the RhinoCAM-MILL module. The Machining Job tree is shown here on the right. Each toolpath strategy is also shown in the images below:

  • 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing: Roughing was performed using a ⅛” flat end mill at a cut feed rate of 14.667 inches/minute, leaving a stock allowance of 0.025” on the part. An offset cut pattern was used with a mixed cut direction at a stepover of 40% of the tool diameter or 0.05” for cavity/pocket areas and 25% for core/facing areas. The stepdown was set to 0.125” with depth first cut level ordering and a ramp entry of 10 degrees with arc fitting enabled. Note that the arc motions are shown in blue in the toolpath image below.
  • 3 Axis Spiral Machining: Finishing begins with a 3 Axis Spiral strategy using a 1/16” ball mill with a stock allowance of zero, a climb cut direction and a stepover of 0.01”. This strategy is best suited for parts with circular features and maximizes material removal on the near horizontal areas of the part.
  • 3 Axis Horizontal Finishing: A secondary Horizontal Finishing strategy is used that is best suited to maximize material removal at the near vertical areas of the part. Again, the stock allowance is set to zero, cut direction is set to climb with a stepover of 0.01”


(Left) The reduced mesh (Right) The stock model


(Left) The 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing strategy (Right) The cut material simulation in process


(Left) The 3 Axis Spiral Machining strategy (Right) The cut material simulation in process


(Left) The 3 Axis Horizontal Finishing Strategy (Left) The cut material simulation in process


(Left) The sculpted 3D model in ZBrush (Right) The actual 6” machined part from RhinoCAM toolpaths. 

Note: The rosette that Jim designed here in ZBrush was reproduced with permission from the collection of Decorators Supply of Chicago.


More About Lohmann Woodcarving

Jim Lohmann has been practicing woodcarving by hand for the past 45 years, getting his start in the Boston area, and then moving to Chicago. Today, Jim works from his shop in Covington, Michigan, where he has been practicing his craft for the past 30 years. For more information about Jim and Lohmann Woodcarving we invite you to visit him online at and these additional links:


September 6, 2018
06 Sep 2018

The 2018 VisualCAD Companion!

As a companion to our recently released 2018 VisualCAD Exercise Guide, MecSoft Corporation is proud to announce the release of The 2018 VisualCAD Companion, a FREE 300-page guide to VisualCAD, MecSoft’s free CAD program! VisualCAD can be download as part of VisualCAD/CAM 2018, MecSoft’s flagship Computer Aided Manufacturing Software. This guide includes descriptions, command prompts and basic procedures for EVERY VisualCAD command! Easily access the command information you need to be in production with VisualCAD 2018!

What’s Inside The VisualCAD Companion:

Here is a description of each section included in this guide:

1. Table of Contents
Includes a complete Table of Contents with links to every command topic.

2. Welcome to VisualCAD
Covers the user interface and customization tools.


3. VisualCAD Main Menu
Covers EVERY main menu command, as well as all of the VisualCAD System Options and how to access the VisualCAD Online Help system.

4. The VisualCAD Ribbon Bar
Covers EVERY command on each of VisualCAD’s 10 ribbon bar tabbed menus: Home, Display, Modeling Aids, Curve Modeling, Surface Modeling, Mesh Modeling, Dimensions, and Modify/Transform.

5. The Status Toolbar
Covers every element on VisualCAD’s status toolbar, including the Object Snaps, Visual Aids, Properties editor and Layer Manager. 

6. Index
Includes an extensive 10-page index with links to EVERY VisualCAD command!

How to Download this Guide

The 2018 VisualCAD Companion is available as a FREE download to ALL MecSoft users! To download this guide, just select the link below:


More Information

For more information about each of MecSoft’s CAM Module products, including data sheets, videos and other resources, we invite you to visit the following product pages:


September 4, 2018
04 Sep 2018

Restoring George Washington

Jim Lohmann of Lohmann Woodcarving Company has been practicing woodcarving by hand for the past 45 years, getting his start in the Boston area, and then moving to Chicago. Today, Jim works from his workshop in Covington, Michigan where he has been practicing his craft for the past 30 years. For centuries, the “tools-of-the-trade” of a master woodcarver have been and still are pencil & paper, hand-forged chisels and unmatched artistic craftsmanship.

Jim still carves by hand & chisel but has also evolved his craft with the use of state-of-the-art digital technology. Today, you are just as likely to find Jim 3D sculpting in ZBrush, 3D modeling in Rhino and cutting 3 and 4 axis toolpaths in RhinoCAM!

Jim is often called upon to perform restoration work in and around the New England area. This restoration project is for the west arch of the gates of Washington Square in Salem Mass. The original bust was carved by the famed federal style architect Samuel McIntire (January 16, 1757 – February 6, 1811) who carved many likenesses of George Washington during his lifetime. The Arch has the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on one side and a large 42” tall bust of president George Washington on the other. The original bust, currently housed in a Salem museum, was scanned with a 3D scanner (3D part is shown here). Jim cut the half-size proof of concept prototype shown below in high density foam.

“I find RhinoCAM very user friendly. Setting up a part to machine is very easy and intuitive. RhinoCAM has done everything that I have ever asked it to do and it does it well – it just works!”

Jim Lohmann, Owner/Operator,
Lohmann Woodcarving Company, Covington, MI


The Machining Job

In the top right image of the RhinoCAM display shown below, we see a 3 Axis Parallel Finishing toolpath being simulated on the 3D scan relief of President George Washington. The 3D scan of the original carving contained over 1.8 million facet triangles. The 3 Axis Parallel Finishing toolpath shown below is performed using a ⅛” ball mill, mixed cut direction, a cut angle of zero degrees and a stepover of 0.005”. The entry and exit are linear motions with straight cut connections. The finishing cutter path contains 1.9 million GOTO motions.

(Center) 3D Mesh scanned bust relief of president George Washington, 1.8 Million Facet Triangles showing a 3 Axis Parallel Pre-Finishing toolpath. (Left) The RhinoCAM plug-in with the Machining Browser and Toolpath Editor displayed. (Right Top) Close-up of 3 Axis Parallel Finishing with tool displayed. (Right Bottom) Actual machined bust in high density foam.


Close-up of the Scanned Mesh Model

3 Axis Parallel Finishing Toolpath

Close-up of the actual machined bust in high density foam

The RhinoCAM Toolpath Editor

Also part of this project, here is the 3D Scan displayed in Rhino 6 of the Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This seal appears on the gates of Washington Square in Salem Mass, opposite the bust of George Washington shown above.


More About Lohmann Woodcarving

Jim Lohmann has been practicing woodcarving by hand for the past 45 years, getting his start in the Boston area then moving to Chicago. Today Jim works from his shop in Covington, Michigan where he has been practicing his craft for the past 30 years. For more information about Jim and Lohmann Woodcarving we invite you to visit him online at and these additional links: