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View Full Version : VCarve Pro as a CAM software for Knifemaking



pearldiver
04-01-2012, 04:13 AM
Hi, I'm recently got a Sieg X3 with a Mach3 controller and I currently deciding on a CAM software to use for my knifemaking business. My application would be mostly cutting knife blanks (http://www.bushmonkeyknives.com/IMG_0885bw.jpg) which are Stainless Steel and Titanium plates.

As of now it would be a Sieg x3, but later on I plan to buy a full size CNC milling machine ( like bridgeport, Haas,....) which are more capable. Now my question is would this VCarve Pro be still be suitable once I upgrade my machine?

Gundawg
04-01-2012, 11:57 AM
I use Aspire which is an upgrade from Vcarve Pro both are Vetric products I used Vcarve Pro for several years before I upgraded. I have a CNC router table and the software is designed for router tables. I recently bought a CNC bed mill and I use my Vetric software. The problem with using the Vetric software for me is some of the features that would be nice are not available like thread milling or threading or using the mill as a lathe. I wrote them about these issues when using the software for milling and I was told that milling is not their focus and they did not plan to address those issues. I love my Vetric software it is so easy to learn and outside those problems for milling it works great for me.

On a side note I had a problem with the Fanuc post processor for my Proto Trak AGE3 controller and they wrote a new post processor for me free of charge. I think Vetric is a great company but I wish they would expand to be more milling machine friendly.

I had a look at Sprutcam and it just confused me the Vetric software is much easier to learn. If the few issues I described do not affect your intended use I would recommend their software. The main reason I brought this up is you intend to buy a VMC later.

A disclaimer I am not an expert machinist or Cad/Cam guy so do some research and do not use what I say to make your decision.
Mike

louieatienza
04-01-2012, 01:27 PM
VCarve Pro only does 2.5D. You'd need to get Cut3D to do a 3D surface, like in a knife handle, to import into VCarve Pro. Of course, if your cuts are only going to be flat this may be fine, you can even use Cut2D.

The other thing, if you do 3D milling with Cut3D, you're not foing to have much control over your toolpaths or surface finish. You would need a CAM solution that can handle 3D geometry, not just a surface mesh like STL files. You might want to look at VisualMill, BobCAM, OneCNC, or such...

allennella
04-05-2012, 12:24 AM
Cut2D Mach3 Post works without issues and would work for profiling the Blades. I have used Cut3D for milling the Blade's Edge but it takes some imagination.

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh251/allennnella/th_DSC_1412.jpg





Hi, I'm recently got a Sieg X3 with a Mach3 controller and I currently deciding on a CAM software to use for my knifemaking business. My application would be mostly cutting knife blanks (http://www.bushmonkeyknives.com/IMG_0885bw.jpg) which are Stainless Steel and Titanium plates.

As of now it would be a Sieg x3, but later on I plan to buy a full size CNC milling machine ( like bridgeport, Haas,....) which are more capable. Now my question is would this VCarve Pro be still be suitable once I upgrade my machine?

Gundawg
05-04-2012, 11:56 AM
VCarve Pro only does 2.5D. You'd need to get Cut3D to do a 3D surface, like in a knife handle, to import into VCarve Pro. Of course, if your cuts are only going to be flat this may be fine, you can even use Cut2D.

The other thing, if you do 3D milling with Cut3D, you're not foing to have much control over your toolpaths or surface finish. You would need a CAM solution that can handle 3D geometry, not just a surface mesh like STL files. You might want to look at VisualMill, BobCAM, OneCNC, or such...

Vcarve Pro will do imported 3D but you can't create a 3D file with it for that you need Aspire. Aspire can create a 3D file but Vcarve Pro can do the cam from my understanding.

louieatienza
05-05-2012, 10:07 PM
Vcarve Pro will do imported 3D but you can't create a 3D file with it for that you need Aspire. Aspire can create a 3D file but Vcarve Pro can do the cam from my understanding.

VCarve Pro will NOT do the CAM for a 3D object, at least not per se. You could use line offsets to create a "topographical" map of sorts, and then use a profile pass on each chain and step each one down to create a 3D "profile." You could probably even do this by using a 3D slicing program like that used for RepRaps to get the height outlines...

There was also a guy on the Vectric forum that found a way to create "bowls" using the fluting option...