Please post here if you are using Visual Mill
I just got it and looking for other users...
I have had VM5.0 for a few months. I am liking it more as I become familiar. The documentation is weak, especially for a wannabe machinist like me. I was thinking about going to Miami n June for a combined Rhino class and VM5 class. I have taken the Rhino intro class here in Seattle and it was a big help. The only VM5 class I can find is in Miami. My first project was a tail rotor drive box for my RC helicopter. It was very similar to the flashlight tutorial. So I was able to use it as a guide.
Regions are not explained very well for the novice. I have now found that creating my regions in RHino is much easier than in VM and with the cam plug in for VM it loads with one click.
I'm using VisualMill 5. I find the program pretty intuitive, and it works pretty well for me. But I too am new to this CNC stuff.
I am driving a 4 axis Taig desktop mill with a Flashcut CNC system. I have been doing my modelling in Rhino and Pro/Desktop Express. Then I import these into VM.
I wish I had more tutorials and training materials on VM. Each project I do ends up being a learning experience, which is to be expected. But I suspect I am missing many things. In the end I've been very pleased with the results I've gotten from the whole setup.
- Richard Lawler
I am using Visual Mill, still on version 4, but it is working well for me. I have a 3 axis wood working router and I am making musical instruments. I use Visual mill in the 4-axis mode and rotate my stock 180 degrees down the y axis by hand.
I have not figured out how to use regions yet (I have not tried too hard) as I think I have fallin into the pattern of learning enough to do what I need to, then not going any further. I create my tool paths, then use the tool path editor to clean up the tool path to fine tune my job. I really like the simulator.
I am using VM5, also with good results. I also have a 3 axis router, also make instruments, and also rotate manually to use the 4th axis.
I like the way I can just draw a couple of lines or even just one and quickly use it to make pockets without bothering to draw a model. Makes me more likely to use it for one off jobs, which in turn makes my fixtures more accurate, etc.
I see lots of newbies complaining that the documentation for many of the cadcam softwares is being classed as "weak". In fact, I've heard this so often that I'm beginning to not believe it.
If you jump into the middle of any new field unprepared (by previous experience), it is going to take a while to get familiar with the tech speak in that field. The processes involved from CAD to finished part includes tens of thousands of "tips" that is going to take a while to acquire.
I highly doubt that any crash course will prepare you adequately, as it simply takes time (and sleep) for your brain to absorb and categorize the new info.
Its better to get started, go as far as you can (reading the available help, etc), even if its only one step Then, look for forum help somewhere for whatever it is.
Don't be overwhelmed by the flood of new info, thinking you can take it all in at one go by simply hearing the words from a teacher. You're not ready to learn until you are really in the thick of something, that's when you are really ready to learn it.
The repetition of doing your first part over and over may seem frustrating, but its how you get proficient with the rudiments of using your CAD, the CAM and your machine.
Don't cheat yourself by milling that square pocket on your manual mill. Make yourself do it completely in cadcam. If you don't practice on the simple stuff that you completely understand, you'll get nowhere when the going gets tougher.
First you get good, then you get fast. Then grouchiness sets in.
(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
I've found that buying the books used at universities and other schools give a good entry level information. (Surprize surprize!) Is there any such for CAD/CAM that you could suggest?Originally Posted by HuFlungDung
Hey Mr. Dung! What do you know about my brain?I highly doubt that any crash course will prepare you adequately, as it simply takes time (and sleep) for your brain to absorb and categorize the new info.
Ooh. I did my first pocket in G-code with a pocket calculator, a piece of paper and a programmer's editor. I know, in business that would be a sure way to bankrupcy, but hey this is a hobby. And when learning to make web pages I started handwriting them in HTML, and that has really helped me debug the screwups that Microshaft tools can do to a page. So I figure the same may apply to G-code, that it's useful to understand it even if you really do your work on a higher level.Don't cheat yourself by milling that square pocket on your manual mill. Make yourself do it completely in cadcam.
I must admit this simplistic way of learning so far have cost me two 5mm endmills. But I think I learned from that too. Don't wing it if you think it just may be fine. That's what you could call a crash course.
Your statements about gaining experience through trial and error are vaild, and of course you learn more if you get your hands dirty and ruin a bunch of blanks. But I still say the VisualMill Documentaiton is weak. This is a relative statement made with respect to the great majority of other software products on the market today. The standards are high and so are customer expectations today when most software manufacutres who bring a software product to market do so with complete and detailed documentation. The Adobe software products are a good example of excellent documentation. I think that some smaller software companies spend too few dollars on the tech publication end of their business. When I pay thousands of dollars for a software product I kinda expect to get at least a hundred dollars worth of manuals. Am I out of line? Am I asking for too much.
VM5 is a REAL improvement over the earlier versions.
I have been using VM for quite some time. It is a very capable program, but there is a lot of random personal discovery involved in mastering it for your particular needs.
It does so many routines specific for different machining disciplines, you should make sure the training class you are considering focuses on what you need to know to make YOUR product. Many classes focus on one size fits all training. This can be a very expensive and frustrating error.
Best of luck, Phill
I have to say my local reseller is an experienced VMC operater and I have been super happy with his 1 on 1 training at my shop on my machine.
Very good help and reasonable.
Hi, Im from Aegrentina, ive been serching for a prog to generate G-code for my homemade mill, and i tried many softs but this was the easiest to get it working. I still got a lot to learn, but fortunately i did run into cnczone, lots of good willing teachers here.