Fixing Graphics Issues in MasterCAM

(Update: I no longer work at the school referenced below, but will continue to keep this article up as long as it seems helpful to somebody.)

MasterCAM is an excellent CAD/CAM package that my school uses in a variety of classes including Drafting, Precision Machining, and Wood Products Manufacturing.  Unfortunately, graphics problems have plagued MasterCAM for as long as I can remember.  We’re currently using Mastercam X4 and these problems present themselves in a variety of ways.  One example is the absence of visual cues when a tool snaps to a particular point.  Another is the missing “selection box” when you try to click and drag on your drawing to select a particular set of points.

This problem can usually be solved by disabling Hardware Acceleration (Windows XP). If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you’ll have a hard time finding the Hardware Acceleration window because, as far as I can tell, it no longer exists. Luckily newer versions of MasterCAM allow you disable hardware acceleration for MasterCAM only.  To disable MasterCAM hardware acceleration, follow the following steps.

  1. Within MasterCAM, select Settings, Configuration.
  2. Click Screen on the left-hand side of the window to display the screen and video settings.
  3. Under Graphics Support, check the Disable Hardware Acceleration option.
  4. Apply settings and restart MasterCAM.

If you follow the steps above and still have strange graphics issues, you may need to tweak your video driver.  On a number of PC’s which have Intel integrated graphics cards we had to roll back our drivers to a previous version to solve our video problems in MasterCAM.