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TCGliderguy
10-19-2007, 09:53 AM
Is there any kind of rational approach to choosing software to run a Joe's 2006 or 4x4 hybrid machine?

The choices are overwhelming..... every kind of animal... Rhino, Dolphin, etc. Mach (can you really cut at the speed of sound?), Sheet, Bob,Desk,Turbo etc. etc. etc.

I see lots of references around here... to everybody's favorites, but how does somebody who has never cut anything make a reasonable first choice?
Obviously, a lot of these are specialized, for different types of cutting.... but what is a good, inexpensive choice to just drive the steppers around, and get started making chips?

-Taylor

joecnc2006
10-19-2007, 11:05 AM
V-Carve Pro, and if you can get thier suite, all three programs are great, and the forums they have is very helpful, as far as a support, And tony is very active here also. not to mention phone suport if you need it, but very few do have to call, because the programs are very easy to learn and use, does most the work for you.

That would be my choice, but like you said depends on what you want to do with the machine.

Joe

ger21
10-19-2007, 11:28 AM
You need to break it down into groups.

1) Control software. You must use control software to control the machine. You have several options. Mach3, TurboCNC, DeskCNC, CNC Zeus, and a few other more expensive ones. Most use Mach3, because it's inexpensive, it runs in windows, and most would say it's more powerful than the rest.

2) CAM software. Unless you want to write all your g-code by hand, you'll want to use CAM software. Inexpensive CAM software usually falls into 2 categories 2D (or 2.5D) and 3D. Mach3 includes a 2D CAM program, LazyCAM, for free. SheetCAM is a good 2D CAM program. And you can always use Ace converter for free. Vcarve Pro does 2D CAM plus V carving, and has the best raster to vector conversion I've ever used. For 3D CAM, look at Vectrics Cut3D or MeshCAM.

3)CAD or design software. You'll need some thing to create your designs and/or models you'll need to send to your CAM programs. You have a ton of options here, from Corel Draw to Expensive 3D CAD like Solidworks, and everything in between. Cheap CAD programs like DesignCAD and TurboCAD give a lot of bang for the buck. There's also Rhino, which can model just about anything in 3D, and does 2D as well.

It really comes down to what is your budget, and what you want to do. I recommend trying everything before buying anything. I've seen a lot of people buy software that just wasn't right for them, or the work they were doing, and end up buying something else later.

TCGliderguy
10-19-2007, 11:46 AM
O.K.... so let's take this from the simplest level. Let's say that I just want to cut out 2D parts (like could be done by hand with a scroll saw).

I draw up my part in a CAD program...(I happen to have VectorWorks, TurboCad, and a couple of others that I can't even remember). I export the drawing as a DXF file.....

So now it needs to be converted to G Code, right? If Ace Converter (for free) will do the job, then why would I need anything more sophisticated? (Based on my simple, 2D example....)

Once converted, the G Code goes into Mach3.... and it controls the steppers, right?......

I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around the options... Kinda like "I need to buy a new vehicle".... So what does a Ferrari do, and what does a dump truck do? "

Thanks for the help!

-Taylor

calgrdnr
10-19-2007, 02:09 PM
Hello Taylor,

From this CAD idiot. I decided the quickest and easiest way to get my router up and cuting was to buy Mach3, V-Carve pro and PhotoCarve.

I am real happy with all three. The vectric software is about as simple to use as you can get. Compared to what I've read and seen on prices of other software that can do as much, it is cheap compared to them. If i had it all over to do agian there is somthings I would change about my router. But none in the choice of software I made except maybe getting 3D carve as part of the package to save little money. but I will still buy it soon, and I am sure it will be worth every penny.

I do have Autocad and a few other cad programs. I would like to learn them. But at this stage I can not think of anything I want to do that I can not do with V-Carve Pro.

Kent

bp092
10-19-2007, 05:05 PM
vcarve pro and mach 3 go hand in hand, I use them along side autocad, but mach3 and vcarve are perfect for beginners and allow function advanced enough to do anything you need to do

ger21
10-19-2007, 06:19 PM
O.K.... so let's take this from the simplest level. Let's say that I just want to cut out 2D parts (like could be done by hand with a scroll saw).

I draw up my part in a CAD program...(I happen to have VectorWorks, TurboCad, and a couple of others that I can't even remember). I export the drawing as a DXF file.....

So now it needs to be converted to G Code, right? If Ace Converter (for free) will do the job, then why would I need anything more sophisticated? (Based on my simple, 2D example....)


Lots of reasons.
1)Say ACE may want to cut in a certain direction, but you want to cut in the opposite direction. A CAM program will let you switch with a simple click or two.
2)ACE will program the tool so that the center of the tool follows the lines you've drawn. So you'll need to offset the lines in your CAD program 1/2 the tools radius, in order to get your parts the right size. CAM programs will create the correct toolpath automatically.
3)ACE will plunge the tool straight down into the work, which is bad for your router bearings as well as for the tool. CAM will let you ramp in gradually, and even give you several options for ewntering the cut from outside the actual part, to prevent gouging that may occur from the entry into the part.
4)Pocketing. Sure, you can pocket with ACE, but you'll have to draw all the toolpaths to clean out the pocket yourself. CAM can do pocketing with only the pocket border being drawn.
5)Drilling. ACE doesn't do drilling, but most CAM programs do.

Basically, with ACE, you need to actually draw the toolpaths that the tool will follow. Wherever you want the tool to cut, you draw a line (or arc).

With CAM software, you draw the part and let the software create the toolpaths.





Once converted, the G Code goes into Mach3.... and it controls the steppers, right?......


Sort of. Mach3 controls the stepper drives, which actually control the steppers.

BobF
10-19-2007, 07:15 PM
TCGliderguy,
For what its worth. Since I was waiting on my kit, I spent time in the last few weeks playing with Mach and Sheetcam. I took the drawings Joe posted and was able to generate G-code that looks like it would cut parts for the machine on the Mach screen. Can't cut much yet.

TCGliderguy
10-20-2007, 08:09 AM
Thanks..... The fog is starting to clear......

-Taylor

ger21
10-20-2007, 11:44 AM
Here's another free 2D CAM program you might want to check out.
http://www.gsimple.eu/index.html

TCGliderguy
10-22-2007, 08:23 AM
Dennis,

Thanks for the info..... your system looks very interesting.

I do have one question, though...... With your hardware/software combination, does that eliminate the possibility of using any other CAM software (for 3D contouring, for example?)

TCGliderguy
10-22-2007, 06:46 PM
Dennis,

I spent quite a bit of time looking over your tutorial videos, and I am very impressed with what I see. (One small glitch... I can't get the "Using DXF Files" video to play... I just get a blank, white screen....)

The REALLY scary part is that I think I understand what I am watching...

I've got a few questions.....

1) Does your CamPod USB interface take some of the load off the computer?
I know that there are some issues running Mach3 with a laptop.... with the stepper pulses competing with the graphics display performance. What computer configuration (for Windows XP) do you recommend?

2) I see that your system is compatible with a joystick. Do you know if it would work O.K. with a USB Contour ShuttlePro? I edit video professionally, so I already own a couple of them.....

3) Is there any sort of users group for your software?..... Misery loves company, and it would be nice to have some users to ask dumb questions....

4) I was considering the HobbyCNC controller and 305 ounce/inch steppers. Do you have a larger option for NEMA 23 motors... or will your MightyBox be happy with other stepper motors?

5) Do you think your software and USB interface, MightyBox, etc. would be a good match for the Joe's 2006 machine ( 29 x 45 cutting area.... 3 Axis, etc.)

Thanks!

-Taylor

Dennis Bohlke
10-23-2007, 04:36 PM
Taylor

Thank you for looking at the tutorials.

I checked the link to “Using DXF Files” and it seems to be ok. I went to a friend’s house and check to see if it worked there. Seems to be ok.

This is the direct link:
http://www.super-tech.com/root/flash/Import_DXF_Use_To_Engrave_Shamrock_640/Import_DXF_Use_To_Engrave_Shamrock_640.html

There are also some YouTube Videos
DXF to G-code File SuperCamXp Tutorial, 02:38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGDbULSvTEA

Engraving Shamrock from DXF file on Desktop Taig Mill, 06:18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORC4qnpk2ls

CNC Taig Mill Draw and Cut with SuperCamXp, 06:47
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1-mF14GYhU

As far as understanding how to use SuperCamXp with a machine, that generally takes about 20 minutes. If you have had any experience at all with a CAD program you will find it almost intuitive.

The CamPod does take a lot of the computing load off the host computer. As a matter of fact you can run multiple machines from the same computer all doing different things. I have found that you can run a machine with Mach3 while another machine is running with SuperCamXp through the USB port.

I have a Taig Mill running from this computer as I type, along with the CNCzone.com on explorer, Database for MIS, Outlook Express and the USB Camera focused on the mill. With the camera on the machine I can watch it from the screen, it’s nice to have a multi screen computer.

The minimum configuration of is a 1.2 ghz single processor computer. The windows Task Manager will show you on the Performance Tab if the computer can keep up with the requirements. When the CPU Usage is at 100% there can be problems.

The best configuration is a Duo processor as fast as possible. SuperCamXp is a true multi-thread application, one thread in background is responsible for motion control. It was developed on Pentium IV with HT option, 3.6ghz.

The Joystick to date is not fully implemented. It is just the development framework in place for using it. Moving an attached Joystick changes the numbers displayed. I am still not sure how I want it to interact with the machine. Your ideas are welcome on how you would expect it to work with a machine.

I do not use a joystick so I have no intuitive path to follow in how to use it. In short I haven’t figured it out yet.

I have left the Joystick in the program because I have visions of coupling it to the Camera command and adapting SuperCamXp to run a computerized gun, just a wild idea at this point. The mechanism could be fabricated on one of Joe’s machines.

The HobbyCNC controller with the 305 oz in motors would be a good match for Joe’s machine. The USB CamPod Brd URL: http://www.super-tech.com/root/grp.asp?p1=campodii can be made plug an play with their driver board. There is a blank socket setup for a DB25 Female on the CamPod board.

The Mighty box controllers use essentially the same motor drivers. They are assembled and tested and offer a no fuss solution for controlling one of Joe’s machines. They are either Parallel Port interface for Mach3 or the USB CamPod is embedded on the driver board.

The Mach compatible Parallel IO URL:
http://www.super-tech.com/root/grp.asp?p1=EMC-XYZMU

The USB with SuperCamXp URL:
http://www.super-tech.com/root/grp.asp?p1=PN_USB-XYZ-MUBX-K3

The Mighty box controllers will work with the 305 oz inch motors.

I do think my software and USB interface and the Mighty Box controllers are a good match for Joe’s machines. I guarantee it. If you are not tickled pink with what you can do with it, send it back in 30 days and I’ll refund your money. Super Tech Scouts honor!

As far as a users group for SuperCamXp, that does not exist yet. For the most part I am available 12/7 via a phone call for dumb or intelligent questions. My phone number is at the bottom of every one of my web pages. There is no misery to be had it works as advertised.

I am not quite sure what category it would fall into here on the CNCzone, it is both design software and machine control software. But it is not exactly CNC in the traditional sense either.

It might be a good suggestion to the CNCzone admin to start one. Since I advertise here it would probably be a shoe in to start one.

The combining of a CAD program with direct machine control is the way I thought it should be. It is cowboy cnc, not what you are going to find in the traditional world.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

TCGliderguy
10-23-2007, 06:13 PM
Dennis,

Thanks for getting back to me...... Since my last post here, I downloaded the demo and have played with it extensively. I successfully imported DXF, GCode, and HPGL files (both the ones supplied by you, and ones that I scrounged on the internet, and even DXF's that I created myself in TurboCad. It was all very much "seamless".... at least to run a simulated cut.

I'd prefer to get the HobbyCNC controller board and steppers, due mainly to my sense of loyalty to good vendors. I've got one of their CNC hot wire cutting setups, and am very pleased with it.... and I like their 305 ounce stepper motors.

One last "public" question, and I'll stop bothering you. You furnish a sample file of a an angel, with the background cut away in relief. What software created the tool paths for that one? I envision doing quite a bit of that type of work.....

Thanks!

-Taylor

Dennis Bohlke
10-23-2007, 09:02 PM
Taylor

The angel1.dxf originally came from Metal Working / General Machining Discussion / Share Your Files Part or Art thread.

The contributor was MikeGasMan, thanks.

I imported it into SuperCamXp, joined the lines and arcs.

Then I exported DXF, and imported it to CorelDraw, where I used the contour command to create the pocketing lines.

Then I exported it from CorelDraw and imported it into SuperCamXp again.

It was intended to be used with a 1/16 inch end mill.

It was a good test file because of all the gently sloped lines in the pocket cut out.

One cool thing about SuperCamXp is that you can import DXF and export it as HPGL, and visa versa.

I have used CorelDraw extensively with SuperCamXp. It is easy way of making cut letters and signs with raised lettering.

The simulate mode does not have motion blending in the simulation engine. So in fact the machine motion will actually be faster and smoother.

The motion blender algorithm in SuperCamXp hits all the nodes, it is not like in Mach3 where a small radius is imposed on each bend in the polylines.

What are the turns per inch on the lead screws used in your machine?

You can get a rough idea of just how fast or slow your machine will run if you put the proper parameters in the MCONFIG | Motors dialog window. The key variables are how far the machine moves in one revolution and how many steps there are per revolution. Then there is a step size calculator button that will set the step size parameters for each axis.

There seldom are issues with how accurate a machine is but there are often issues of how fast it will move. With the HobbyCNC boards you can adjust the steps per revolution of the drives to best match your machine and the CamPod.

Loyalty is a good thing.

Your postings are not a bother to me. It’s given me an opportunity to brag a little about my products.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

ger21
10-23-2007, 09:36 PM
The motion blender algorithm in SuperCamXp hits all the nodes, it is not like in Mach3 where a small radius is imposed on each bend in the polylines.



Then are you deviating between the nodes? If not, then you wouldn't be blending, right? Care to elaborate?

Also, does your software offer cutter compensation? On outside corners, compensation can get rid of those radius' you mentioned in Mach3, because the comped path can have a radius and still create sharp corners.

Dennis Bohlke
10-24-2007, 02:10 AM
Gerry

The SuperCamXp motion blending algorithms are superior to the Mach3 program in maintaining tool path accuracy and fidelity. The Mach3 program may indeed execute the tool path faster, but SuperCamXp will certainly be more faithful to the intended tool path.

For almost twenty years maintaining motion positional accuracy has been paramount to me. I choose not to elaborate on how it is achieved.

The core objective of motion blending for me was not to have to ramp down and up at each node. There is a slide bar on the MCONFIG | Delays dialog form that sets the maximum angle of deflection in which the blended motion algorithm is applied, therefore at sharp corners the motion blending algorithm is not applied.

The level of look ahead is infinite, well not exactly it constrained by the space available for the system swap file on the hard drive.

Currently there are no cutter compensation features implemented. There is the Offset command just like in most CAD programs though.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

TCGliderguy
10-24-2007, 10:35 AM
Dennis,

I'll be ordering 1/2" x 10 (2 start) acme lead screws later this week.... I believe that will give me 5 turns per inch.... ?

I've printed out your instruction manual, and am going to start digging deeper into learning the software (including setting up a simulation of my actual machine).

I am really impressed with how the interface is layed out.... so well that a complete, blundering newbie like me can figure it out, and actually get a simulation to run.

Look out... I think you are about to get me as a customer. (another good example of "being careful what you wish for"...)

-Taylor

Dennis Bohlke
10-24-2007, 12:24 PM
Taylor

I hope you are right about the lead screws being 5 turns per inch. That will make a really sweet running machine.

With the micro stepping controllers available, I have found it best to get the fewest turns per inch possible lead screws.

I made about a half dozen machines with 1 turn per inch lead screws. But that was years ago and I was using half step drivers.

Thanks for your comments about the interface layout. The last thing I wanted to be looking at was a replication of a traditional CNC control panel that really confuses me.

The user interface is modeled around the way Acad Version 10 was setup. With the addition of a small cross hair reticule representing the machine spindle/torch position.

When you want to move the machine around use the MoveTo command, on the sidebar menu, point and click with the mouse in the graphics area and the machine will move to the coordinates of the mouse click.

Some of the function keys work the same as in Acad such as grid, snap and ortho, on/off.

The bottom status bar has status panels related to the machine and the USB interface. Such as by clicking on the Relay A or Relay B panel you toggle on/off the associated relay.

SuperCamXp automatically turns the Relay A on/off. It is intended to control the spindle motor or plasma torch. It’s method of control is predicated by what type of mechanism is attached to the program, which is set on MCONFIG | Motors | Mechanism Type.

The Relay B has automatic modes for a dust vacuum, coolant control or automatic torch height control. The Relay B automatic options are on MCONFIG | Delays.

The clicks on the Select/Deselect panel will toggle motor drivers enable or disable.

The X, Y and Z panels display the status of the home limit switches.

The relay and motor enable/disable features are not going to be hardware present in the controller you intend to use.

The top status bar displays and controls the graphics interface. Such as clicking on the DrawUp panel toggles on/off the display of the rapid travel moves.

The Users Guide is still somewhat a work in progress for me. One command description that is missing is the Background command, it lets you put a drawing in background for fixtures and your hold down points on the table.

There are tool tips for just about every control in the program so in someways it is self documenting.

I look forward to seeing what you can do with SuperCamXp and one of Joe’s machines.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

TCGliderguy
10-24-2007, 01:38 PM
Dennis,

>One command description that is missing is the Background command, it lets you put a drawing in background for fixtures and your hold down points on the table.<

Now you're just teasing me..... I was going to ask if that was something that could be added on in a future version...... :-)

>I look forward to seeing what you can do with SuperCamXp and one of Joe’s machines.<

Not NEARLY as much as I am looking forward to it! :-)

I'm putting the finishing touches on the paint on the major components now.... and will be putting everything up on the tracks, probably tomorrow. I'm going to order the HobbyCNC controller and steppers from Mike Beck on Friday (because I need the steppers to do the drilling and tapping for the mounts)...... It's all coming together, and I am getting really excited about the possibilities with this machine!

-Taylor

P.S. - I'll throw out another question for anybody to answer. What would be the easiest way to leave little "tabs".... uncut areas... around the perimeter of small parts, cut from thin wood... so that they don't go flying around the router? Is there a way to add "gaps" to an outline in SuperCam XP.... or CorelDraw.... or somewhere else?

ger21
10-24-2007, 01:41 PM
The easiest way to add tabs is to buy V Carve Pro - it will automatically add them.

TCGliderguy
10-24-2007, 01:41 PM
Dennis,

I re-read your previous message, and saw your comments about the relay for motor control. Mike Beck tells me that "There are 6 pins available for direct acess. I'd suggest a breakout board, though. Isolates your computer for one thing. They run anywhere from about 20 bucks up to 120."

So apparently, I can get spindle control as well........ :-)

-Taylor

joerom
10-24-2007, 07:23 PM
hello everyone,I am a novice at cnc,and I have a Supertech system on my Grizzly gear head bench mill.It can be seen on the zone at benchmills,title being,Converting my Grizzly mill to CNC.I just finished my conversion a short time ago,and I am still very much learning.I can easily say that Super Cam is about as easy as it gets for making parts,whether converting other files or making your own.Everything that I tried so far,has been successful,which I think is excellent,because I know about nothing as far as programming.If you want easy,here is what I got so far,and remember,this is my first experience with cnc.When I received the system(model-EMC-XYZ-GBX-KB3,with 1200 oz motors)I took it out of the box,and plugged everything into my computer,and I was able to control the motors immediately,by making a circle on the screen,how is that for fast.I also have mastercam 8 that I was given,and the only thing I could do,because of lack of knowledge was to take one of the sample programs and convert it to DXF and send it to Supercam,which it then ran.I also then converted it to G code in Supercam,and it ran.Again,I know nothing,but yet I was able to cut some metal.I first used the Supercam in Windows ME.I have an older Dell Dimension 8800,pentium 4,with only 256 memory.I wanted a laptop for my new system,but money was holding me back.So,I put in Windows XP in the computer,and added a little more memory,and a new video card,and for $200.00,I have a good computer again.Now I added the Campod,with Supercam XP,and I like it much better,because it is more like what I am used to with windows type graphics.You should not hesitate to use any of this product on your machine,because if it works for me,imagine what an expert can do with it.I would like to see this type of thread continue,because I could use all the help I can get.

Brunotg
10-24-2007, 09:09 PM
Dont hesitate to try supercam software.I have been using it for the past 8 years and once you get to know all the features, nothing out there can compare. I have installed supercam on 3 plasma cutting table that i built and 2 routing tables one is a retofit and one oxy Acty cutting table,they handle up to 6" thick steel plates. I will be glad to answer any question and the best part is Dennis is always there to help.By the way i dont have any shares in supercam i am just a satisfied customer. I also use Vectric softwares for sign designing.

joecnc2006
10-24-2007, 11:31 PM
Well my opinion is that i will not switch from the v-carve suite, for the money it has the best user inerface and simplicity with professional results which i love, plus the suport on here, their forum, phone etc. you can get awnsers to questions just about 24/7 from users all over the world. You can not beat the true picture simulation you get and can send to a client or save for yourself in a picture format.

Don't get me wrong I am not knocking SuperCam I'm sure it has its advantages and those who have used it for years are acustom to it, so that is what they know so no need to change. I just have not heard to much about it on here and those who are posting about it are fairly new or few post here, so just makes me wonder how widely it is used in the DIY World, but for me I like V-Carve pro, PhotoCarve and cut3d is best bang for the buck, and it rivals much much more expensive programs.

But you have to ask yourself again, "What am I looking to do and want to do in the future", Dont plan for the moment plan for your vision of where you want to go and then you should be able to make up your own mind.

Which ever program or programs you chose "you and only you" have to be satisfied with it for your own piece of mind.

Joe

jte65
10-25-2007, 12:00 AM
You Might want to check out Supercam,I have been using it for the last 6 years on my mill and lathe. I like the engraving part it allows you to fit the textinto spaces and you dont have to figit with sizes and you can change fonts without rewriting the text. If you can draw the item you can machine it
I have 2 screw machines and use the mill And lathe for second operation work.
I have tried many software programs and havent found one yet to replace it
and for the price you cant go wrong.
Jim Beggerow

Tony Mac
10-25-2007, 06:53 AM
Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to clarify that the Vectric Software products - VCarve Pro, PhotoVCarve and Cut3D - are used for design, preview and 2D / 2.5D toolpath generation. Additional software such as Mach3, DeskCNC, FlashCut, TurboCNC, Supercam, WINCNC, WIN-PCNC etc. is required to link the PC to the CNC controller and these products can all open / import toolpaths from the Vectric software.

The Vectric software products include options for converting vector geometry - DXF, EPS, AI, PDF + images jpg, bmp, tif and gif + 3D Meshes STL, OBJ, 3DS, VRML, 3D DXF to CNC Code that will run on most CNC routing, engraving and milling machines (GCode, HPGL, PLT, XYZ etc. configurable postprocessor).

Tony

TCGliderguy
10-25-2007, 09:43 AM
Since I'm the one who started this thread, I'm going to comment.... with the disclaimer that I have not yet cut even a single chip with my Joe's 2006.

I am having a hard time understanding why the world hasn't beaten a path to Dennis' door to get SuperCam XP. I'm sure that VCarve, BobCad, and many others are great, very sophisticated packages. And I plan to buy VCarve in the very near future.

But starting with SuperCam XP doesn't appear to limit me in any way..... it will import G-Code, DXF, and HPGL files, and give me the easy-to-understand, quick interface for cutting any file. But it also gives me the capability to do "quick and dirty" work. I'm pretty sure that if I already owned VCarve... and Mach3.... I would add SuperCam XP anyway.

Take six minutes and watch Dennis' "Draw & Cut" video....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1-mF14GYhU

I think having this degree of instant gratification is pretty amazing.... without giving up any of the capabilities that more sophisticated programs will offer.

Can anybody shoot holes in my logic here? I've don't "have a dog in this fight".... no connection to Super-Tech, or anyone else, for that matter. I'm just impressed with being able to actually draw files, import files, and simulate cutting.... without tying my brain in a knot.

Back to assembling a gantry..... Oh yes, I promised pictures for my Joe's in Albuquerque thread, so I'd better go find my camera...

-Taylor

ger21
10-25-2007, 11:23 AM
I am having a hard time understanding why the world hasn't beaten a path to Dennis' door to get SuperCam XP. ....................

But starting with SuperCam XP doesn't appear to limit me in any way..... it will import G-Code, DXF, and HPGL files, and give me the easy-to-understand, quick interface for cutting any file.

Mach3 does pretty much the same thing for less than half the price, and doesn't need the extra hardware. Mach3 doesn't have any basic drawing tools, but it does have wizards, which let you quickly do a variety of tasks without needing a CAD program. Mach3 also has over 10,000 registered users, so just about anyone building joe's machine can help you with a problem, since just about everyone uses it.

Not knocking SuperCAM, just pointing out why Mach is more popular. Although I am a bit curious as to why 2 people posting there first post here are praising SuperCAM. :confused: Which they both have been using for several years, but just decided to chime in now.

joecnc2006
10-25-2007, 11:50 AM
Not knocking SuperCAM, just pointing out why Mach is more popular. Although I am a bit curious as to why 2 people posting there first post here are praising SuperCAM. :confused: Which they both have been using for several years, but just decided to chime in now.


Ger21, I was wondering the exact same thing as i mention in last post.

BUT:

TCGliderGuy, Looks like your well on your way now, If SuperCam gives you the warm fuzzy then buy all means follow your gut.

Joe

cncnick
10-25-2007, 02:36 PM
Hi Guys
I would like to express my opinion for SUPERCAM after having a eight year experience with it.
I Have built 2 big routers 1 big laser 3m x 2m and 2 smaller machines 1m x 1m long
The most easiest and most straight forward software for step pulse generation
at its price is defenetly SUPERCAM.
And Dennis is always there to help .

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PItytNBhxT0

Dennis Bohlke
10-25-2007, 03:28 PM
Gerry & Joe

The subject of customer loyalty was crossed in previous posts. It’s a good thing.

It seemed odd to me to be bragging about such a fantastic program, SuperCamXp, without anyone here knowing about it, without any loyal or disgruntle customers ever making any postings in the CNCzone.

So, Yesterday I let a few(5) users know about the CNCzone. I asked them to input their experience with my products in this thread. Some of them did not know about this cyberspace place. I assure you there are more where they came from, I have a database of thousands of customers, granted most are not users of SuperCam. I also sell the complete line of Taig products with on line ordering.

It is a point of pride to me that my customers have not needed the resources presented in CNCzone. For the most part they haven’t a clue what G-code files are, yet they are running machines and making money with them.

I just wanted to belay any fears that SuperCam and SuperCamXp is some kind of vaporware. It is real and just because you may not have heard about it before doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been around. It is a viable means of running machine tools.

For the most part I have experienced an ample demand for my products. I have been selling SuperCam and Motor Controllers commercially since 1995. I sold the very first twenty Computer Controlled Taig Mills, they were run by SuperCam. SuperCam was around before there was a release of the EMC program.

SuperCam is such a complicated piece of work it took me almost four years to port it over to the Windows Xp and Vista environments thusly creating SuperCamXp. I give credit to Mariss at Geckodrive, because he was the one that gave me the overview of the USB interface chip and the processor that I use in the USB CamPod. What I do with software he chooses to do with hardware.

Unlike some developers I choose not to start bragging about a product until I am totally satisfied with it. With good reliable products customer support is a breeze, anything less than that and life becomes a nightmare for me.

SuperCamXp has now been working to my complete satisfaction for more than six months. I use it myself. I am still finding DXF files with unexpected formats so there will soon be another dated SuperCamXp release with up grades to the DXF interpreter part of the program. The USB CamPod firmware lock down date is 12-08-05, no changes needed since then or will there ever be it is firmware.

On October 18th, I began running paid advertising here on the CNCzone.

I do not have a big fancy public relations agency or marketing staff. I have to bear complete responsibility for the total lack of marketing activity in the last few years.

The combining of a CAD interface to machines is like a sea change. It is like going from an electric typewriter to a word processor, like US mail to Email, like pencil and paper drawings to using a CAD program. I wanted to own the idea out right, so I kept it a poorly guarded secret until now.

If the world wants to beat a path to my door they are now welcome. A couple of years ago they would have been met by a very grumpy programmer.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

PS. Thanks to my posse for their input.

joecnc2006
10-25-2007, 04:27 PM
I hope you did not take offence to any of the comments, It was not intended to come accross like that.

I for one have seen your webpage before about 2 yrs back, as sure others have, but at 1st glance it looked in disarray / outdated so (maybe my fault) I did not look to close at the program, Just the look of the program made me think of old software, I for one like user inerface "Curb appeal so to speak if you will" and just dive in no manual type of Guy. Like some i like instant gratification.

When I look at the demo's to download it looked like no demo for my type of DIY machine, Once again this is at a glace, I do not want to sit and study a webpage to figure out where things are.

So once again please do not take offense to any post, As you have enlightened some people here about your program, And i'm sure you are continuing to work on the program to better it as other people have. Mach3 has done alot towards their window based program. I tried the EMC and EMC2 but one again was not appealing to me so i bought Mach3, made the machine run smoother than EMC.

Joe

Dennis Bohlke
10-25-2007, 05:53 PM
Joe

Absolutely no offence taken. I could see how it looked odd that my pals showed up like that.

You are one of my heroes along with Art.

It does not make my candle burn any brighter to blow someone else’s out.

The Mach3 program is a wonderful program. As a whole machine motion is indeed very impressive. From my point of view Art with his Mach3 program has done a wonderful job of plowing the field for me.

You are right about how crappy my web page was a few years ago. It’s still not up to snuff if you ask me.

And the SuperCam user interface at first looks DOS clunky. And it certainly does not appear to have much to do with machine control, as you would expect it to.

A couple of years ago I was in manic mode being an asocial programmer. I was half on and half off the horse and it was moving. No excuses, just the way it was.

But that was then, the mission did get completed. I invite you to take another look at SuperCamXp.

As a matter of fact there is a screen shot of one of your drawings on the cover of the Users Guide for SuperCamXp. If that gives you any angst just let me know I’ll put something else there.

Your DXF files almost import perfectly into SuperCamXp, some of the text comes in the wrong size and orientation. That’s one of the things I need to work on. But as a whole they are good to go and you could make parts straight away with them. Having points in the middle of the drill holes would make them perfect.

I would be happy to send you a USB CamPod and SuperCamXp, just give it a whirl. I am certain you will find it a real treat to run one of your machines with it.

Sincerely

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

joerom
10-25-2007, 08:54 PM
Hello again,first I must say that I am in no way connected with Supercam in any way.I paid my money to get my controller and such.I am absolutely new to this cnc stuff,so I search out the internet to find out what I need to know.I have posted on the CNC Zone before,but not on this thread.I have no experience with any product other than Supercam.But,what I liked and saw on the website of Supertech,was the tutorials.These showed me how easy it was to get into immediate machining with my mill and Supercam.All the other systems and software I looked at,seemed very complicated to me.This is why I praise Supercam and the system that went along with it.No other reason.I am also very happy with my ballscrews I got from Roton,and I said how I also was very happy with that.So,all I am saying,is that I have a good product that works for me,and at the same time,I tell others to at least look at it,and then make up there own mind.

joecnc2006
10-25-2007, 10:52 PM
Joe

Absolutely no offence taken. I could see how it looked odd that my pals showed up like that.

You are one of my heroes along with Art.

It does not make my candle burn any brighter to blow someone else’s out.

The Mach3 program is a wonderful program. As a whole machine motion is indeed very impressive. From my point of view Art with his Mach3 program has done a wonderful job of plowing the field for me.

You are right about how crappy my web page was a few years ago. It’s still not up to snuff if you ask me.

And the SuperCam user interface at first looks DOS clunky. And it certainly does not appear to have much to do with machine control, as you would expect it to.

A couple of years ago I was in manic mode being an asocial programmer. I was half on and half off the horse and it was moving. No excuses, just the way it was.

But that was then, the mission did get completed. I invite you to take another look at SuperCamXp.

As a matter of fact there is a screen shot of one of your drawings on the cover of the Users Guide for SuperCamXp. If that gives you any angst just let me know I’ll put something else there.

Your DXF files almost import perfectly into SuperCamXp, some of the text comes in the wrong size and orientation. That’s one of the things I need to work on. But as a whole they are good to go and you could make parts straight away with them. Having points in the middle of the drill holes would make them perfect.

I would be happy to send you a USB CamPod and SuperCamXp, just give it a whirl. I am certain you will find it a real treat to run one of your machines with it.

Sincerely

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

I downloaded the demo, wonder if it can run mt new CNC 4x4 Hybrid i build and redesigning, it has 4 axis one slaved. i only see three in your demo.

like to see it in action sometime.

Joe

Brunotg
10-26-2007, 05:36 AM
I am using both and Supercam,s strenght is mostly in controlling a cnc machine and Vectric is designing and creating a g code. Both are very powerful and match well together what a team. With Supercam you can see on the screen whatever is going on on the cnc table and you can work without gcode if you so prefer. I find it very handy to have the cad software in Supercam so you dont have to move to another software and transfer to gcode and move it to supercam When all is at you finger tips and just hit plotitem and enter and there you go its working for you and its fast and precise.Dennis and Tony at Supercam and Vectric makes quite a team
keep it up you guys.

TCGliderguy
10-26-2007, 08:41 AM
>I downloaded the demo, wonder if it can run mt new CNC 4x4 Hybrid i build and redesigning, it has 4 axis one slaved. i only see three in your demo. <

O.K... I need to fill in the gaps in my knowledge base..... What is a "slaved axis"?

Are you talking about running two steppers on one "channel".... or is this something else?

-Taylor

joecnc2006
10-26-2007, 08:47 AM
>I downloaded the demo, wonder if it can run mt new CNC 4x4 Hybrid i build and redesigning, it has 4 axis one slaved. i only see three in your demo. <

O.K... I need to fill in the gaps in my knowledge base..... What is a "slaved axis"?

Are you talking about running two steppers on one "channel".... or is this something else?

-Taylor

Yes a slave drive is to sync one motor (drivers) with another one, in the case of my 4x4 hybrid the Y-axis has two leadscrews i slave the motors (drivers) together to keep them with exact rotation with each other to ensure the gantry stays square with machine, I also couple them together with a belt for added safety.

You can acomplish this two ways, either slave in software or use the same setp direction pin for two drives, in which I am doing now and which might work in SupercamXP situation.

Joe

commander45
10-26-2007, 07:59 PM
I have been a "SUPER CAM" user for ten years and have not found ANY reason to change.
Supercam works very well for the types of machining that i do.
It IS intuitive for first time users or for any one that has no experience with g-code.
I am the pattern and mold prototype maker for a multi national fiberglass stock company here in Phoenix , i also make the fixtures for the machining centers in our shop , seven haas 20 hp 3 axis mills.
I am also one of the people who bought the first taig cnc mills , mine is number 15.
I have retro fitted two full size vertical knee mills with Dennis`s controllers and software , VERY SUCESSFULLY i might add.
I have the capability to do any andall machine operations that the haas mills in the shop are capable of.
Including being able to run any of the programs that are our bread and butter at the shop.
Supercam is infinitely capable of being configured to ANY step size , ratio or lead scerw ratio there is.
The first mill i retro fitted was an old stepper driven "bandit" , the second was an apache mill, servo driven.
In short i could talk for hours on the advantages of a g.u.i. interface as in supercam but , you all should really look closer for yourselves .
Tom

joerom
10-27-2007, 08:28 PM
hello Tom,you are right about Supercam for first time users.I am able to post directly from Mastercam to Supercam,and I am an abssolute beginner.But,I must say here,that with all I heard about Mach3,I gave it a try,because it was a free download,and I wanted to see what it was all about.I just can't get Mastercam to post to Mach3.I must be doing something wrong,but I don't know what,because they say it should.But,the thing is,that with Supercam I did not have to do anything special,so,I don't see any reason to get some other software.Am I wrong,Joe.

commander45
10-27-2007, 11:06 PM
Hi Joe........
I am presuming that you are the Joe building the machine.
And again i am assuming that your question relvolves around ease of use and configurability to hardware.
Let me assure you that Dennis designed the software to work in concert with Autocad and Corel draw , "notice how Supercam looks like autocad ?" even down to the commands and drop down menus.
He also created the software to be infinitly configurable with any step size or encoder count.
As an example the stepper mill i retro fitted is direct driven with a 5 to 1 lead screw , and the servo mill i retro fitted is driven with a 6.2 pulley and belt to a 5 to 1 lead screw .
When setting supercam up for these two dissimilar ratoi`s i used a starret last word tenths indicator to a repeatability of a tenth !.
Oh, by the way supercam allows you to compensate for backlash as well allowing this precision.
Do the math , supercam allows you to define stepper size or encoder count and the resulting ratio`s to sixteen places to the right or left of the decimal point , far better than the mechanical resolution of 99% of the machines out there.
I have put many many hours on these mills with little problems either with the controllers or the software.
O`h did i tell you that with his classic version you can "digitize" objects , very usefull when making molds.
I have digitized many items , supercam out puts the digitized item as g-code.
One of the files is 90 megs long, lets see a haas digest that !
This file when converted to dxf face comes out to a little over 500,000 points.
I also use the bmp import to make lithophanes and photo engravings.
Dennis is puting this version out to the public to market it make no mistake , and i don`t think you would go wrong with his controller or his software , again by the way , you can use many different controllers with parallel port imput as long as you can give him the proper pin out for step and direction signals for supercam to send to the controller.
I have known Dennis for ten years , he taught me how to build and use computers and other wizardry as well .
Hope this helps you make a decision.
Tom

joecnc2006
10-28-2007, 04:00 PM
Hi Joe........
I am presuming that you are the Joe building the machine.
And again i am assuming that your question relvolves around ease of use and configurability to hardware.
Let me assure you that Dennis designed the software to work in concert with Autocad and Corel draw , "notice how Supercam looks like autocad ?" even down to the commands and drop down menus.
He also created the software to be infinitly configurable with any step size or encoder count.
As an example the stepper mill i retro fitted is direct driven with a 5 to 1 lead screw , and the servo mill i retro fitted is driven with a 6.2 pulley and belt to a 5 to 1 lead screw .
When setting supercam up for these two dissimilar ratoi`s i used a starret last word tenths indicator to a repeatability of a tenth !.
Oh, by the way supercam allows you to compensate for backlash as well allowing this precision.
Do the math , supercam allows you to define stepper size or encoder count and the resulting ratio`s to sixteen places to the right or left of the decimal point , far better than the mechanical resolution of 99% of the machines out there.
I have put many many hours on these mills with little problems either with the controllers or the software.
O`h did i tell you that with his classic version you can "digitize" objects , very usefull when making molds.
I have digitized many items , supercam out puts the digitized item as g-code.
One of the files is 90 megs long, lets see a haas digest that !
This file when converted to dxf face comes out to a little over 500,000 points.
I also use the bmp import to make lithophanes and photo engravings.
Dennis is puting this version out to the public to market it make no mistake , and i don`t think you would go wrong with his controller or his software , again by the way , you can use many different controllers with parallel port imput as long as you can give him the proper pin out for step and direction signals for supercam to send to the controller.
I have known Dennis for ten years , he taught me how to build and use computers and other wizardry as well .
Hope this helps you make a decision.
Tom

Well everything you mentioned above I already have it in Mach3, bmp import, backlash comp. plus leadscrew mapping, import dxf, etc. etc.

No i am not the one building the machine, I designed it for others to build in the DIY world. I have all my software in place so I'm not the one who needs to make a diecision.

As far as the autocad look to it, I never cared for the old style dropdown menus, thats why i always cusomized and utilized the two letter key comand in autocad, that style went away over 8 years ago, I have used, acad 2000, 2000i, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and now 2008, this was one thing that made me think the old feel of supercam was not for me.

I know you guys have used the program for many years, but I would work on updating the programs look to be competative in the market if that is your plan, I guess those who have used it has not owned other software and tried others because you do not know the other software's capability,

If you like SupercamXP and comfortable with it, then thats good to stay with it.

Joe

Ed Cairns
10-30-2007, 09:16 PM
I have taught Technology Ed. in a High School environment. When my daughter was taking an AutoCad course in High School I realized the disconnect that existed between what was on the computer screen and actual fabrication.
To bridge this gap I designed and built a relatively inexpensive XYZ table in my garage. With a background in electronics I was also able to design and build microstepper drives for the table.
The key to all of this was to find software that would sit between AutoCad and the XYZ table. On the internet I found the SuperCam software and purchased a copy.
It was easy to set up to my design and its similarity to AutoCad's command structure made it an almost seamless interface between AutoCad itself and the XYZ table. It's dollar value I believe puts a powerful software package within easy range of High School budgets.
This should provide for a powerful education tool that allows the students to connect their AutoCad design to actual fabrication.

joecnc2006
10-31-2007, 09:34 AM
This Thread aprears to be taking over by 1st time posters for the sole reason to promote SuperCam, This thread was started to give Ideas for different software which is available not a discussion for SuperCam.

Can a moderator close the thread, and move it to the proper Software section where i feel it belongs. that way if people want to post about the software they can do it in its proper place.

Joe

Ed Cairns
10-31-2007, 10:16 AM
Joe,

Yes I am a first time poster - but as you can see from my previous photos I obviously have some ability to fabricate both the hardware and the electronics as well as write the code that controls the microsteppers.
As for the Supercam product - it does what I need at a price that schools can afford. Yes there are other options for CNC control out there such as http://www.linuxcnc.org/ but I do not believe that this would be as easy to adapt to a classroom environment. Other software packages tend to be very expensive when working within a limited budget. If you know of a reasonably priced software package to drive an XYZ table, I'd be interested.

ger21
10-31-2007, 11:14 AM
I'm not going to close the thread, but, unfortunately for Dennis, I actually think these guys are actually going to deter people from trying it.

vcooney
10-31-2007, 02:16 PM
Fine...I'm sold on V-carve pro

Ed Cairns
10-31-2007, 09:41 PM
I am new to this CNC zone and I am intrigued by all of the collective experience within this site. The idea of building your own CNC machine from a mechanical and electronic point of view is no small task. It's interesting to see how other people have solved various technical problems.

And yes, alot of individuals have indicated there software preferences I guess dependent on their own requirements and budgets.

But to ask for a thread to be closed because individuals have expressed a specific software preference in response to a general request for suggestions on which software to drive Joe's table is dissapointing. One does not encourage debate on a subject this way.

Do other people have suggestions on software packages and can they give reasons what they like or dislike about a given package?

I would imagine if this is a thread for "Do it yourself" types that cost will be a factor?

The school district that I'm working with is planning to build there own XYZ routers for use within the Technology Ed program.

This will allow for service and support of the tables to exist within the classroom as well as significantly lowering the cost of importing this technology into the classroom.

Different machine designs, electronics drive units as well as software will be evaluated for use within the classroom.

ger21
10-31-2007, 10:04 PM
If you know of a reasonably priced software package to drive an XYZ table, I'd be interested.
By far the most popular control software used by members here is Mach. Over 10,000 registered users and only $159.
Fully customizable and unbelievably powerful.
http://www.artsoftcontrols.com/artsoft/index/index.htm

Ed Cairns
10-31-2007, 11:48 PM
By far the most popular control software used by members here is Mach. Over 10,000 registered users and only $159.
Fully customizable and unbelievably powerful.
http://www.artsoftcontrols.com/artsoft/index/index.htm

Gerry,

Thanks for the suggestion. I took an albeit fairly quick look at the site. How much knowledge of CNC code do you need to use this package? Is there a Graphic interface? Supertech looks like AutoCad so students (and myself) take to it very quickly. Would this be true of the Mach Product? Again, in a do it yourself world we all have expertise in different arenas, mine is electronics. CNC code I may learn but the Mach screen images at the Mach website are somewhat overwhelming?

Would this be a good startup software package for DIY designed XYZ table?

joecnc2006
11-01-2007, 08:13 AM
But to ask for a thread to be closed because individuals have expressed a specific software preference in response to a general request for suggestions on which software to drive Joe's table is dissapointing. One does not encourage debate on a subject this way.



Well i may have mis spoken in saying can you please close the thred, It just seemed to me this thread was getting off course from the, "Software for Joe's Machines" and seemed to be getting to a point of debate or promotion of SuperCam, I do not disagree with promoting it, it does seem like a good program for a solution for some. I just wanted to possibly Have SuperCam open up a spot in the Software section here and it can be discussed further there for those interested in learning more about the program, No doubt he has put alot of work into the program.

Joe

joecnc2006
11-01-2007, 08:23 AM
Gerry,

Thanks for the suggestion. I took an albeit fairly quick look at the site. How much knowledge of CNC code do you need to use this package? Is there a Graphic interface? Supertech looks like AutoCad so students (and myself) take to it very quickly. Would this be true of the Mach Product? Again, in a do it yourself world we all have expertise in different arenas, mine is electronics. CNC code I may learn but the Mach screen images at the Mach website are somewhat overwhelming?

Would this be a good startup software package for DIY designed XYZ table?


Mach is a controlling software not a cam package, it does have wizards built in, and also comes with LazyCam, which is a simple Cam package.

Also there is a plugin for GMax if anyone is interested called CNC_Toolkit, I have not look to much into it but they do have a yahoo group and webpage.

I use V-Carve Pro, PhotoCarve and Cut-3D for all my needs, yes it is a little more than some simple programs, But it does provide alot of Power to the DIY world which i would compare to alot of features ArtCam (its my understanding one of the programers came from DelCam). for the price and all the features you get with V-Carve pro its hard to beat for the price.

Joe

ger21
11-01-2007, 09:04 AM
Would this be a good startup software package for DIY designed XYZ table?

I would say that over 90% of the homebuilt machines you see on this site are using Mach3 to control them. It may look a bit overwhelming, but it's very simple to use. There are a series of tutorial videos on their website to help get you going as well. Also, the screens are fully customizable, and in your environment, it may be worthwhile to create simplified screens for your students.

TCGliderguy
11-01-2007, 04:59 PM
As the guy who started this thread, I would definitely agree about >But to ask for a thread to be closed because individuals have expressed a specific software preference in response to a general request for suggestions on which software to drive Joe's table is dissapointing. One does not encourage debate on a subject this way.<

I don't think there is even a debate going on here.... I asked about software. Dennis stepped up and offered what (for me) is a very appealing solution... .and some other folks stepped up and said they use SuperCam XP and they like it.....

If it is possible to get a separate section started for SuperCam... I'm all for it. What does it take to make that happen? I'd certainly enjoy a place to ask dumb questions, specifically about SuperCam.

Taylor 'who should have steppers turning leadscrews by next week' Collins

Dennis Bohlke
11-01-2007, 05:58 PM
Taylor

I just did what it takes to sponsor a forum for SuperCamXp. I emailed a purchase order and promised to pay for it.

The new forum will be under: Machine Controllers Software and Solutions

The title will be: Super Tech Controllers, SuperCam & SuperCamXp

The text will be: CAD combined with Machine Controllers

That’s where we can have in-depth discussions on how to use SuperCamXp and other solutions I have to offer.

Dumb questions will be allowed and welcomed.

I didn’t mean to sing the virtues of SuperCamXp to loudly and cause a ruckus.

Apparently combining CAD with machine control really is a new idea to many.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

TCGliderguy
11-01-2007, 06:03 PM
That's great news, Dennis. I'm not sure where the "ruckus" came from. You stepped up and offered a solution to exactly what I was asking about. Some of your customers stepped up and said they like your products....

No puppies were kicked, no bad language was used.... and my stress level about CNC software was greatly reduced. I have every confidence that I am going to be able to cut basic shapes, engrave text, and control my new machine from the get go. As my needs become more sophisticated, I'll buy the VCarve package, and continue to use SuperCam.

See you on the new forum!

-Taylor

Ed Cairns
11-01-2007, 11:12 PM
Any of the software suggested within this thread will drive an XYZ system. All of them seem to be very polished products. The software that an end user selects is going to be a function of what that user wants to do with the machine.

In my case its very important that the human interface to the software is intuative and able to generate results quickly. (High School students tend not have a long attention span.)

So to be able to go seamlessly from AutoCad to actual fabrication is a real strength of SuperCam. In most cases the students are already familiar with AutoCad.

The other software packages, from what I have learned by visiting their respective websites, have strengths as well, but for my application within the school system, SuperCam seems to be a good solution.

To those who have responded to my posts thanks for the different points of view and the web links.

joecnc2006
11-02-2007, 12:50 AM
Taylor

I just did what it takes to sponsor a forum for SuperCamXp. I emailed a purchase order and promised to pay for it.

The new forum will be under: Machine Controllers Software and Solutions

The title will be: Super Tech Controllers, SuperCam & SuperCamXp

The text will be: CAD combined with Machine Controllers

That’s where we can have in-depth discussions on how to use SuperCamXp and other solutions I have to offer.

Dumb questions will be allowed and welcomed.

I didn’t mean to sing the virtues of SuperCamXp to loudly and cause a ruckus.

Apparently combining CAD with machine control really is a new idea to many.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com

Dennis its great to hear you starting the new forum section, you will definately get more hits in the section, and look forward to seeing more of the software and discussion.

Joe

dertsap
11-02-2007, 03:20 AM
mach is the closest thing to the real deal , its a well setup and professional software ,they didn t miss a punch with it , it accepts subs ,macros , the spectrum of gcodes is excellent , the interface is that of a professional system and looks like a professional software .it's a lot of software for the price .
emc2 is free and becoming a killer software as well , the software is smooth at high and low feeds , well interfaced and a fair assortment of gcodes , with the use of "crossover " alot of windows software such as bobcad can be run on ubuntu (many still don t yet) , ive reinstalled the latest emc on my system and i love it

though i admire Joes build i had done my own thing but within the same type of budget
the is a wealth of free or cheap stuff out there and google is the greatest one of all .i find it impossible to carry the idea in my head that i would spend a fortune on software when i was able to build a system so inexpensively.

i never buy from someone who knocks on my door ,

unless its girl guide cookies

BobF
11-02-2007, 11:23 AM
Ed,
Mach has a free downloadable demo. It is the complete program, but limited to 500 or 1000 lines of G-code. You can download it and see if it has any application in your environment.
I am brand new to CNC. I am in the process of building Joes machine. I downloaded Mach and SheetCam and was able to create the G-code files needed to cut parts for Joes machine from the drawings he provided. I believe the drawings are in an Autocad format (DWG or DXF).
I don't have a running machine yet so I cannot verify that the G-code works, but I can tell you it makes the motors spin in synch with the screen display of the cut path.

Ed Cairns
11-06-2007, 05:34 AM
Bob,

Thanks for the information. I will download the Mach demo and see how easy (or hard) it is to configure to my 3 axis machine!

Ed

Dennis Bohlke
11-07-2007, 07:32 PM
Ed

Here is a link to a Mach3 configuration XML file for the pin assignments I have been using.

http://www.super-tech.com/root/products/emc/emc-xyzb/emcxyzb.xml

This config file is set for 400 steps per revolution.

The motors should move and then you just have to set the steps per unit.

Dennis
http://www.super-tech.com