Monday, February 13, 2012

Using the Zip2Go Utility

The Zip2Go utility (Help>Zip2Go) first appeared with the release of Mastercam X. The utility creates a single compressed file with all of the information we need to analyze and resolve issues or problems.

When the user has a part file open and selects Help>Zip2Go from the menu, the following dialog box appears:

  • The Machine Group types area displays the product types (or machine group types) that exist in the current file—for example, a part might contain only Mill machine groups, as shown above, or it might contain Mill and Lathe machine groups, or any combination of Mastercam products.
  • Users should use the File Options section to select which types of files to include in the Zip2Go package. Typically all of the options should be selected, with the exception of ATP files (unless of course the problem is an ATP issue).

When the user clicks the Create Zip2Go button, Mastercam gathers all the files and compresses them into a single file with a .Z2G extension. The user can select the file name and path. In Mastercam X5 and newer, Zip2Go files are saved in the user’s My Documents folder by default, but they can be saved anywhere the user chooses (select Configure from the Zip2Go menu).

Zip2Go log files
The picture below shows the list of files inside a typical Zip2Go file, including the part file (in this case, T.MCX-6). You can also see four text files at the top of the list.

  • The first file, Zip2Go_ (filename).TXT contains information related to the part file. Among other things, this file indicates whether the part is in inch or metric units, was created on a 64-bit or 32-bit operating system, and which version of Mastercam it was created with.
  • The second file, Zip2Go_ SystemReport.TXT, provides information on the system that the user is running, including operating system, graphics card and driver version, and the registry settings for Mastercam. 
  • The Zip2Go_FileReport.TXT file lists of all of the Mastercam-related DLL and EXE files including their version and date.
  • Finally, the Zip2Go_HASP.TXT file lists the products that are enabled on the user’s SIM, with their SIM number, Maintenance expiration date, etc.

Adding extra files
In addition to the standard file types, Zip2Go also lets you add any files that might be important. These can include an STL file, a document explaining the situation, screen captures, or video clips. Select Command > Add Files from the Zip2Go menu.

Submitting your file
Once the Zip2Go file has been created with all the necessary files, send it directly from inside the Zip2Go dialog:

Users should follow these steps:
  • Select File > Mail Archive from the menu (or press Ctrl+M).
    • The users’ default email program will start with a blank new message.
    • The .Z2G file is automatically attached.
  • Enter the proper destination address—for example
  •  Include a short description of the problem.
  • Send the message.

In this way, the entire package of information will be delivered, with no need to go hunting for all the files that are needed to explain the situation. By using Zip2Go, we can get 99% of the information that we need to investigate the situation and resolve it as quickly as possible.