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Thread: Sketchup success in CNC?

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    Sketchup success in CNC?

    Well I,ve been trying out over 2 dozen cad programs. I have found Sketchup to be the only one that quickly and easily gets what I have pictured in my mind to the screen in minutes. Followed by V-Carve and Rhino. The rest of the cad software crowd will have you bogged down in learning curves. A simple test to see how easy a cad program is to use is just draw a rectangle and try rounding off the corners. So anyway I was wondering has anyone tried Sketchup Pro? And have you been able to create a part and get it thru a cam program and machine the part?

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    Other than the drafting/drawing software that was designed by some college kids for their thesis (drawing a total blank on what it's called or who it's by...) this has to be hands down, the most intuitive "cad" type software I've ever played with. AutoCad changes it's toolbars at least once a year. And by the time you get comfortable (ish) with the version you're using, it's outdated and time to jump into the latest, greatest crapfest they're selling. Maybe you could save your Sketchup file as a PDF and upload it to Vectric V-Carve Pro...? Or maybe I should put the pipe down...and back away from the keyboard...



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    I've exported an .stl from the free sketchup and created g-code with MeshCAM. I'd imagine that exporting 2D .dxf's from the pro version would work with 2D CAM packages. One limitation is the way sketchup segments arcs. You have to make sure you up the segment count while modeling.

    Gerry

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/2010.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    You know I mentioned Sketchup and the other free cad programs to our head cnc machinist. I was having a problem with(not sketchup) one of the other free cad programs. Anyway he said there's a reason they(free cad programs) are free and that I should try to get Mastercam or Solidworks. So maybe I,ll give up on Sketchup as far as cnc goes. Its still a great design tool. I was just wondering if anyone has tried to make something with it.



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    Quote Originally Posted by ZipSnipe View Post
    A simple test to see how easy a cad program is to use is just draw a rectangle and try rounding off the corners.
    I played around with Autosketch in the brief period my router was running and found it to be quite usable for my CAD challenged brain, it is just a cut down AutoCad and works a treat for all the 2D stuff I wanted to do. Rounding corners on a rectangle was a breeze.

    It may not be free but it is pretty cheap.

    Russell.



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    Have you thought about GMAX ??

    Hi there

    having read of your CAD issues related to rounding rectangles etc I wondered if you'd thought of trying GMax. Which is VERY powerful but also FREE.

    GMax is derived from AutoCAD going WAY back to the early days of CAD and 3D Design. For 2D layouts and outline cutting it's pretty hard to beat. Functions like rounded corners on rectangles are about as simple as you can get.. you just stipulate the amount of rounding required when you make the rectangle and GMAX will do the rest...

    If you add Rab Gordon's CNC_Toolkit plugin then GMax will spit out the GCode straight off your outline.. there's no need even to make 3D geometry for outline type work.

    If you'd like to investigate further then there's a GMax/CNC_Toolkit guide up at the group in my sig.. which details step by step use for all 3 Axis applications. It might be just what you're looking for...

    GMax is a pedigree application...it's based on over 20 years development and millions of dollars spent in R+D on it's more well known software relatives like AutoCAD and 3DSMAX. It does have a few limitations because it's free.. but there are easy workarounds...

    Danny (aka Yohudi)

    What one man can do another man can do..
    BitMaps to Models, 3D2Relief, tutorials and FREE CNC Software http://cnc4free.org


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    Thanx guys for your replies. Just wanna update ya, I have figured out with Cad Proge how to round the corners and it was fairly easy and I,m in the process of getting an older version of Mastercam. They use mastcamX at work and I figured it wouldn,t hurt to get and use Mastercam as long as the price is right.



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    Free Sketchup to gcode (PHLATSCRIPT)

    Here is a free plugin that works in the free version of Sketchup!
    Its called the Phlatscript and was designed for the Phlatprinter cnc machine but can be used on any cnc machine
    The guys over here have created a tone of really cool Sketchup files that you can download and cut as well for free
    Have fun
    www.phlatforum.com
    Mark



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    There are a few proffesional packages out there that you could use which are free. SolidEdge gives away its 2D drawing package, It will save the files in .dwg, .dxf and its native file format as well as other common file formats. It is a very easy package to use.

    Here is the link to SolidEdge's package.

    http://www.plm.automation.siemens.co...2d/index.shtml

    The other one that I found was from Delcam.

    http://www.delcam.com/intlresp/power...sp?from=PSHAPE

    I have not used this one and know nothing about it, but might be worth a try.

    Good luck and I hope that the above prove useful for you.

    Regards,

    Neil...



  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ZipSnipe View Post
    Thanx guys for your replies. Just wanna update ya, I have figured out with Cad Proge how to round the corners and it was fairly easy and I,m in the process of getting an older version of Mastercam. They use mastcamX at work and I figured it wouldn,t hurt to get and use Mastercam as long as the price is right.
    Just wondering how does one buy an "older version of Mastercam" at any price? Been wondering about that a lot lately, but so far haven't found a way to make it happen...

    Thanks,

    Tom



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    Google sketchup to cnc

    I was able to get a google sketchup "basic" carvings to my CNC. I had to export the sketchup carving as an .stl file and then I was able to bring it into artcam.

    I only really use artcam for relief carvings and stuff mainly because I find my other cam software much faster (currently enroutewood)

    The real trick to machining 3d items is simplt getting the model. For any basic machining I don't model the part (unless it has been require for some other aspect of the job/drawing)

    If I wanted to cnc a square block with a dado through the middle I would draw a rectangle and draw the dado as a closed loop (the exact dado but extended beyond the square block...this would also be a rectangle) Then in my tool pathing software I would select the geometry and asign it from there.



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