The next few weeks should bring the first public release of MeshCAM V6. It will be a bit more of a work-in-progress than other releases, with features being added over time rather than at the start, but the changes required to make MeshCAM work on a Mac were too invasive to keep it in the V5 path.
What’s new in V6?
The first big feature is that MeshCAM V6 will run on Windows or Mac with a single license code. If you buy it, you can run it on either system.
The second big feature is that MeshCAM Pro (more on that in a minute) will have built-in toolpath simulation. It won’t be animated like Cutviewer, but it will show you what you’ll get. Like Cutviewer, it will be 3-axis simulation so 2-side jobs and 4-axis jobs will only show the simulation at a single index point.
I’m sure some will ask about the fact that simulation is 3-axis only: I ended up writing a simulator that, with more code, could do 4/5 axis simulation but it was so slow compared to the 3-axis simulator that I had to abandon it for now.
The Pencil Toolpath code now includes an option for a Cutout Toolpath. The Cutout Toolpath is basically the Pencil Toolpath with all internal segments eliminated so it only traces the external boundary of the part. If the part has a nested boundary, like a donut, then the interior parts are cut first.
The initial release of V6 will also contain a number of bug fixes that have been done along the way.
MeshCAM Art becomes MeshCAM Pro
I have some advanced features that I’d like to implement for advanced users without complicating MeshCAM Standard. To enable this, MeshCAM Art will become MeshCAM Pro and be the home for these features.
Here is the upgrade policy for all versions:
If you bought in the last year, you’ll get a free upgrade to the latest version. If you bought Art, you’ll get a free upgrade to Pro V6. Standard V5 will get Standard V6.
There is a grace period built into the licensing so that you’ll still get a free upgrade if you bought one year plus one day ago. (The length of the grace period is not public but it’s generous)
If you need to buy an upgrade, it’ll be significantly discounted from the list price.
If you buy a new license today, you’ll automatically get an upgrade to V6 when it’s released.
When will it be released?
I hope to get the last few todo items done and then post a beta in the next couple of weeks.
All of those emails you’ve sent and surveys you’ve filled out have not been ignored- the first three features above come directly from user feedback.
The V6 todo list has a lot of great items waiting to be implemented. I’m eager to get V6 released and tested so we can move on and check some of those features off the todo list.