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Bill Grant
07-10-2008, 11:17 PM
Can you define what the cutter looks like in NCPlot?

Can you shade the tool?

cadcam
07-11-2008, 12:34 AM
No as it is a just a basic backploter. as the difference of say Predator editor you can define the tool and stock and see it cut the part. but no collision checking.

Bill Grant
07-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Doesn't the backplotter in Mastercam shade the tool and show the tools shape? Isn't that helpful to you?

tobyaxis
07-11-2008, 10:06 PM
Doesn't the backplotter in Mastercam shade the tool and show the tools shape? Isn't that helpful to you?

NC Plot is more for checking programs that are hand written IMPO. You can change the color of the Cursor in the parameters but I forgot how to do that. LOL only changed it once.:o

cadcam
07-12-2008, 01:07 PM
the bottom line is the backplot in Mastercam is before code and this is done using the NCI which is pre-posting Binary code.

the NCplot is a in expensive editor and G-code ploter that actully uses the g-code to backplot. I use Predator editor for the simple backplot of changed code or Predator Virtual for full verification checking.

Bill Grant
07-12-2008, 02:20 PM
the bottom line is the backplot in Mastercam is before code and this is done using the NCI which is pre-posting Binary code.

the NCplot is a in expensive editor and G-code ploter that actully uses the g-code to backplot. I use Predator editor for the simple backplot of changed code or Predator Virtual for full verification checking.

So why can't you describe the cutter shape(import a dxf file if no basic drawing tools are provided)and have a shaded tool simulate in NCPlot? All wireframe makes things hard to see don’t you think?

Andre' B
07-12-2008, 09:09 PM
I can't find a price for the Preditor software mentioned but I would not be surprised if it is at least an order of magnitude higher, and comes with a stiff software maintenance fee to get bug fixes.
Also likely requires a lot more computer to get the same amount of work done before the end of the day.

Stated another way the benefit/cost ratio of all those pretty pictures is very low compared to the B/C of the simple wire frame.

As already stated if you are checking multi megabyte 3D surfacing programs out of a CAM system you will probably want more then NCPlot has.
But if you want to debug hand optimized G-code and macro B stuff written by hand you will be hard pressed to find anything better.
If you have never done it before debugging a macro on a machine just sucks, and is a major waste of spindle time.

tobyaxis
07-12-2008, 09:26 PM
I can't find a price for the Preditor software mentioned

You will have to contact sales for a Quote and I could be mistaken but it's possibly $1000 per Axis. Mine is licensed through BobCAD/CAM and a lot cheaper.

Bill Grant
07-12-2008, 10:02 PM
$500 from a dealer. Cutter shape and shaded tool included.

http://www.nwdesigns.com/images/ScreenShots/DynamicBackplot1024.gif

tobyaxis
07-13-2008, 01:37 AM
$500 from a dealer. Cutter shape and shaded tool included.

http://www.nwdesigns.com/images/ScreenShots/DynamicBackplot1024.gif

Well I would probibly want the Full, so $2500 is a bit steep right now, maybe in 2010.

My PVCNC Ran $700 for the STL Stock, Fixtures, Machine Specifics and full 5 Axis:eek:

BTW: Have a few more pics of Predator Virtual CNC

Bill Grant
07-13-2008, 01:44 AM
Seems like it would be easier and smarter if these small improvements were added to NCPlot.

tobyaxis
07-13-2008, 02:01 AM
Seems like it would be easier and smarter if these small improvements were added to NCPlot.

There is a lot more Technology in Predator Virtual CNC and MCU than NC Plot. What your asking for I have discussed with Scott Martinez the Creator of NC Plot. He is working on new stuff for his software all the time.

To add this functionality would significantly raise the price of NC Plot, and this is of coarse up to him.

You never know what may happen in the future though.

Maybe a request from customers will inspire these additions, we can only ask, and it couldn't hurt.

Bill Grant
07-13-2008, 02:01 PM
"To add this functionality would significantly raise the price of NC Plot, ..."

Would it? How do you know?

"Maybe a request from customers will inspire these additions, we can only ask, and it couldn't hurt."

Good point. I'm asking.

What makes Mastercam backplot (a Metacut .dll) so helpful is:

It backplots the toolpath over your existing shaded or unshaded geometry so you can see things very clearly like if you are going too deep with a spot drill. What I don’t like is it doesn’t work on the machine code and can be wrong.

Adding support for a shaded tool and being able to import my geometry into NC Plot and shade it (or not) would really be very helpful and give me a better solution than Mastercam backplot.

I see the pretty pictures you put up from Preditor Verify but I don’t see them as being as helpful to me as laying wireframe toolpath over my existing geometry. I use backplot in Mastercam a lot more than solid verify. Solid verify doesn’t show me what I need to see and it’s too slow.

tobyaxis
07-13-2008, 03:33 PM
Well PVCNC will show Gouges using an STL Model Comparison, plus show you if Crashes using the actual G-Code File where an NCI file can't be read by a CNC.

I like Solid Verification and True G-Code because that is exactly what the Control is going to read, not an NCI Software Macro. That is useless in an NC Control in my honest opinion.

NCI is kind of like using Mazatrol to program complex surfaces on aerospace parts, Hit, or Miss. Believe me you do not want to destroy an $800 shell mill in Material that has to be ordered from California when you live in NY.

G-Code Verification is Reliable, NCI may have a problem, but lots of people use it and have few problems, but those problems can still exist.:)

Bill Grant
07-13-2008, 04:24 PM
I only needed one problem at the machine with a backplotted NCI file to understand the need for checking my machine code file rather than some intermediate file! It's clear from what you post that you understand this. I would like to stop using Mastercam backplot (metacut.dll) and instead use NC Plot.

tobyaxis
07-13-2008, 04:33 PM
I only needed one problem at the machine with a backplotted NCI file to understand the need for checking my machine code file rather than some intermediate file! It's clear from what you post that you understand this. I would like to stop using Mastercam backplot (metacut.dll) and instead use NC Plot.

Well personally I use NC Plot often due to the fact that I will not put my PVCNC on a work PC or take the Dongle there. NC Plot is a good tool and worth the money.

BTW: If you have a CNC Lathe it will backplot that as well, including the canned cycles, plus up to Full 4 Axis which is COOL.


Good luck with it:)

cadcam
07-13-2008, 04:34 PM
Bill Grant, this Dll that you picked out of the system (a Metacut .dll) is from the software Metacut. this is what you want. the full blown software is waht I use to sell and does all you want at a great savings in cost. go here Neal http://www.nwdesigns.com/ the owner now rights the backplot for MC and much better then we have had in a long time.
I caount on the backplot much more then I do Varify. but I have been using the software for 20 years now.

tobyaxis
07-13-2008, 04:58 PM
I see the pretty pictures you put up from Preditor Verify but I don’t see them as being as helpful to me as laying wireframe toolpath over my existing geometry. I use backplot in Mastercam a lot more than solid verify. Solid verify doesn’t show me what I need to see and it’s too slow.

PVCNC will show the tool path on the actual solid but I do not use that function. I'll see if there is one already done. Until then you can check this out.

Predator Software
(http://www.predator-software.com/index.htm)