Introducing RhinoCAM 2023 and VisualCAD/CAM 2023: What 's New?

June 01, 2023 5 min read

Introducing RhinoCAM 2023 and VisualCAD/CAM 2023: What 's New?

Welcome to the latest Mec Soft CAM release, where a significant number of enhancements have been added, bugs fixed, and performance has been improved.

VisualCAD 2023 Enhancements


New Curve Modeling Commands
VisualCAD 2023 improves the ways to create Rectangles, Ellipses, and ways to Close and Split Curves.

Now, you can effortlessly create rectangles using the following methods:

  •  3 Points: Easily generate rectangles by specifying three points. 
  • Center & Corner: Construct rectangles by defining the center point and one corner. 
  • Vertical: Create rectangles with a vertical orientation, providing even more flexibility.


The new Ellipse commands allow you to draw an ellipse by selecting a center point and a horizontal diameter point. The Ellipse Diameter command allows you to draw an ellipse by selecting two horizontal Diameter points. A new Ellipse Foci command allows you to draw an ellipse that focuses about three points.

New Curve Editing Commands
Lose a curve automatically by adding a straight line between the two endpoints of the curve. Nested curves can now be split while maintaining the nested conditions.

Close Curve
A new “Close Curves” command allows curves that are nearly closed to be clamped shut by moving the endpoints or by the creation of a line segment between the end and the start points of such curves.

Split by Curve
With the new “Cut by line” command, cutting a closed shape with a line creates two closed shapes after the curves are trimmed at the intersection points and merged with the two lines

New Grid Positioning Options
New construction Grid options allow you to position the grid origin to the Center, Lower Left, Lower Right, Upper Left, Upper Right, and by picking a point.

New Curve Thickness Property
VisualCAD now allows you to control the line thickness of any curve or wireframe geometry. 

New File Import Function
You can now import multiple files into VisualCAD.

There are three main changes made to the Mill module.

  • File save action. These are the three new options for controlling file save action: Always load preferences from a file when opening a new file; Save Current Preferences to the Registry; Always save current preferences to file on file save. 
  • Edits made using the toolpath editor now mark the Machining Operation folder in the browser with different symbology rather than with a Red Asterisk as before.
  • Machining and object browsers are now disabled during the toolpath generation. This prevents crashes when objects used in operations are modified or deleted while toolpath generation is taking place.



Gouge Checking in 2½ Axis Profiling
The Profiling method has been enhanced to allow for checking the toolpath for interference with all selected profiles. In previous releases, a Profiling toolpath was created for each selected drive geometry independently.

Interior Sorting in 2½ Axis Profiling
Sorting is now applied to both the exterior cutouts AND the interior shapes of each drive geometry selected. Refer to the illustrations below.

Avoid Regions as Fixtures Enhancement
Profiling has been enhanced when Avoid regions are selected as fixtures, to back off by tool radius rather than stop at the fixture.

2½ Axis Knife Machining Enhancements
Profiling has been enhanced when Avoid regions are selected as fixtures, to back off by tool radius rather than stop at the fixture.

2½ Axis Saw Machining Enhancements
Saw Machining has been enhanced significantly to add multiple new options. Changes to Saw machining are as follows:

  • Cut Direction - Select Climb (Down Cut) and the tool will be maintained in a downward motion into the stock. Select Conventional (Up Cut) and the direction of the tool will be maintained in an upward motion out of the stock.
  • Cut Side - Use these parameters to determine which side of the control geometry curve to place the saw tool axis. 
  • Saw Face Location - These parameters control the position of the saw face in relation to the computed toolpath.
  • Cut Extents: Saw Center - Use this option if you want the center of the saw to extend to the end of the control curve.
  • Cut Extents: Saw Contact - Use this option when cutting a closed slot.



End Conditions for Curve Control Geometry
ON /TO / PAST tool conditions have been implemented for controlling tool position relative to Containment Regions, in all relevant 3 Axis Machining operations. This provides better control of your toolpaths in 3-axis finishing. In previous releases, this option was only available when surfaces were selected as Containment Regions.

3 Axis Horizontal Roughing with Clear Flats Enabled
Clear Flats Machining in Horizontal Roughing has been made more intelligent in that the tool now is prevented from plunging/ramping into uncut areas if there is at least one side open where an entry can be generated. 

Spiral Cut pattern in 3-Axis Project Pocketing
n a spiral motion, the tool is in constant contact with the material, with only one entry and one exit motion.  This toolpath method is available starting with the Professional configuration.


4-Axis Drilling Along Curves
The curves can be along, across, or diagonal to the part geometry. With this enhancement, you can also Tap and Bore along curves in 4 axis. This method can be used not only for drilling but as a plunge roughing toolpath using a milling tool. 

More 4 Axis Enhancements
4 Axis Head configuration toolpath computations have been enhanced to handle tool compensation for older machines that cannot compensate for tool length automatically.
4 Axis continuous toolpath computations for Local Coordinate output have been changed and made more robust.


Secondary Machine Rotation Angles
The machine rotation angles corresponding to the second solution are always computed and output for each 3+2 Setup orientation and each 5-axis continuous machining tool motion. In addition to this primary axis, angles are now computed taking into account the XY axes of the coordinate system instead of just the tool axis as was done in previous releases.

More 5 Axis Enhancements
A button to Reverse normal direction for CSYS Setups in the CSYS Setup dialog was implemented. New toolpath generation libraries for 5-axis machining have been integrated with the 2023 products. This implements bug fixes and performance improvements in 5 Axis continuous machining.


Machine Tool Simulation Enhancements
New Machineworks simulation libraries have been integrated with the 2023 product. These libraries fix various bugs as well as implement some performance optimizations.

The following enhancements were made to post-processing toolpaths:

  • The ability to add macros in legacy posts for First/Last G0/G1 Motions was implemented. This is shown in the post-process editor below;
  • Posting using the stored post-processor as a temporary file was implemented. This prevents existing posts on disk from being overwritten by the saved posts in the part file;  
  • Add ability to get values of the machining parameters in programmable posts was implemented;
  • Enhancement to add the machining definition as a variable for programmable posting;
  • New variables to get the alternative solution pair in 5-axis operations have been implemented;
  • A function to write data to post files directly from the python script was implemented;
  • [COOLANT_OFF] macro code is now triggered at the end of an operation to enable the output of macros when turning off the coolant.



  • The restriction of part geometry to touch the X-axis has been removed.
  • When machining using ID finishing operations, the tool now retracts to the front of the part after the operation is completed to prevent gouging.
  • Parting off toolpath now honors the program point defined in the parting off tool.




Feel free to call our experts at 866 362 8970 to find out more about VisualCAD/CAM, RhinoCAM or Rhino 7 or to request a quote.


MecSoft and McNeel Products 

VisualCAD/CAM 2023 - Standard

VisualCAD/CAM 2023 - Standard

RhinoCAM 2023 Standard

RhinoCAM 2023 Standard

Rhino 3D CAD 7 for Windows and Mac

Rhino 3D CAD 7 for Windows and Mac

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