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aaron p
11-17-2008, 02:19 AM
Hi All,
I spent 2 years learning CNC and programing at a small high precision (titanium/inconell) shop doing oilfield work. My old boss let me learn 3axis milling on EZ-Cam running Fanuc controlled VMCs. Ive since left the shop to move to a bigger company making much more money. Well anyway, I have a buddy thats willing to give me a Mori-Seiki MV-35 VMC. Its a little rough, but it all works and has the Fanuc controll im used to. My questions are, can I import .jpeg images to create tool paths to engrave logos and such? Is there a way I can use different fonts do engrave text on EZ-Cam? I havent bought the software yet or even gotten the mill yet, but just trying to get some ideas in my head. Also, is it possible to machine O/D threads on a round male part on the 3axis? Heres a picture of kinda what im talking about.
http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/mrf-mp-6266_w.jpg

IF not, how would that part be made on a 3 axis or would it have to be 5axis of some sort?

nanopile
11-17-2008, 05:43 AM
Well, it wont look that good from a picture, you need the cad data.
You can propably import the picture to a cad program and then make some kind of heightmap and then use the cad data from it to generate G-code.

idaho psycho
11-17-2008, 05:54 AM
bobart, which is a part of bobcad, has an import feature that does that,
many other programs do also. I don't know anything about ez cam, but maybe you could open your file with a program like bobart, and then save it as a cad file to work with in ez cam. a friend of mine imports the file to his cad program and then basically traces the pattern manually (in the cad program) with lines and arcs to come close, works good on simple stuff, but a pain in the butt for complex work

harley4ever
11-17-2008, 05:55 AM
bobart=artCRAP

idaho psycho
11-17-2008, 06:28 AM
bob cad has some aspects that are definetly cheesy, but for the price of it, it is hard to knock, I have done a lot of work with it over the years and it has paid for itself many times over. if you call them you can purchase it for much lower than the prices they advertise in the magazines. it doesn't compare to the expensive ones (other cad programs), but it is good for beginners that don't want a hack copy of a more exotic one.

Paulo E.
11-17-2008, 06:47 AM
Aaron, look for a program that converts "RASTER TO VECTOR" that is the correct terminology. As someone pointed out bobcam I think may offer that feature, many others might do the same or better. I will attach a link that might help you. Some of this programs are free so dig in at your own pace. As for the threads, yes you can do them in a VMC as long as your cam software outputs the code or you can actually do it by had, there's nothing to it, really!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_raster_to_vector_conversion_software

Hope this helps you and good luck with your new machine

dradef
11-17-2008, 08:09 AM
Not sure if it is what you are looking for - I have used a very very basic software called "BMP 2 CNC" - it takes an image file (not just .bmp) and converts it to a "heightfield" using the grayscale of the image, then creates a toolpath directly in the software, no need to send to seperate CAM software.

For example, black can be set to the concave areas and white can be the high areas (or vice versa), then any shade of gray between black and white will be a height proportionally between the low and high based on how dark or light it is. For clarity, I will attach a picture I just took of my first example of a logo that was machined into a block of plastic using this software (posted to a haas machine, using a .0625" ball end mill, then sandblasted). I will also include a small example of the image file used to get these results.
<img src="http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-11/1327196/nicorr_small.jpg">
<img src="http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69814&stc=1&d=1226925701">
As you can see in this example I set the dark as the "high" and light as the "low". The elliptical shape surrounding the text has a gradient from dark on the left to light on the right which is translated into a smooth ramp from the light to dark areas. The details are also picked up, like the little horizontal lines that run through the large text and also how the main text is slightly darker than the elliptical surrounding shape making the text appear to sit on top of it.

Keep in mind it is very basic software. It is also very cheap (I think $20-30 to purchase the full, unrestricted version) so not much is to be expected. Some images will have better results than others. Sharply defined edges are a big plus.

Hope this helps.

bk1955
11-17-2008, 08:19 AM
I used EZcam for years to make clicker dies for various labels. I used a software called Image Invect. I don't even know if it is still around. You have to use something to scan the drawing and then use a software to convert it fom raster to vector. It was actually raster to dxf format. The thing is that most of those conversion programs work well with a skinny line, but not with bold or wide lines. I have done this lately once with another conversion program called Cutting Shop, but I didn't use it enough to get good at it. The bottom line is that you can't put something in and have it spit out what you need. You will have to edit it and it will take some time.

jetpig1
11-17-2008, 10:38 AM
Well anyway, I have a buddy thats willing to give me a Mori-Seiki MV-35 VMC. Its a little rough, but it all works and has the Fanuc controll im used to.

Wow, now that's a REAL buddy !

My questions are, can I import .jpeg images to create tool paths to engrave logos and such?

No, you need some sort of CAM program to do this on a Fanuc.

Is there a way I can use different fonts do engrave text on EZ-Cam?

Not sure on Fanuc, FADALs have some, again a CAM software package with vector tool paths. Vectors are just a direction and a magnitude, meaning which way, and how fast. Engraving is very common and very simple on a multitude of CAM packages. Pictures can be imported, although in this case I don't think you need it, and a raster to vector routine would be used to get toolpaths. Most employ high/low geometry from light/dark areas of a bitmap.

I havent bought the software yet or even gotten the mill yet, but just trying to get some ideas in my head. Also, is it possible to machine O/D threads on a round male part on the 3axis?

Sure, a threadmill can do that operation, basically machines a helix around the material. Clearance could be an issue.

IF not, how would that part be made on a 3 axis or would it have to be 5axis of some sort?

3 axis would be enough, with some creative fixturing, perhaps a 3 or 4 stage setup could get ya there....Good luck, and thank yer buddy for the nice toy...

-jetpig1@aol.com

VWSatOz
11-17-2008, 10:57 AM
to make threads on a VMC I have used the SPIRAL milling function of Fanuc on a OMA control. This required each thread whirl full circle to have its own line of program, ie a G02 or G03 plus the Zdepth increment =pitch of thread ( for a vertical down spiral )
I was in effect "tapping" into drilled holes in a very hard bronze type material using a single point fly cutter made from solid carbide, small enough in diameter for the tip not to hit the other side. I called it thread whirling. Tools are now available with full thread form of various pitches. These were internal threaded holes.
To mill three external studs as your picture shows you would need to hold the work upwards & mill around to create the male shape using mills & angled form cutters for the tube flares to seat onto. Then thread whirl around the outside male round to cut very accurate threads. (or use a die nut in a floating holder and the tapping cycle).
You would then have to index the part to the next leg of the Y and repeat all above.
The engraving can be done using EzCam & tablet but I have never been able to import data so it takes a lot of work. I made my own set of letter & number fonts and move & enlarge rotate to suit, very laborius! I have an old version of 2D EzCam on 8" floppies! runs on 1983 NEC HO3 PC that I still use and love it!

Of course a lathe would be much simpler! with index fixture on a face plate?

kdhBOSS5VRAM
11-17-2008, 12:34 PM
Wow, I'm glad to hear someone still uses that old EZCam system. I wish I had one. That's what I learned on in the early 80's, in fact I still have the 8 inch floppies in my toolbox. As far as engraving, what I've used is Bobcad's BobArt because I can scan a logo and then use BobArt to make a geometry file. From there I import that into EZCam and make a path out of that from the geometry file. There are probably a lot easier methods, that BPM 2 CNC one looks interesting and I think I'll try that. I know EZCam has a program, I think called EZText that you can do all of it on but we don't have it, just a demo. With the newer versions of EZCam you can do simple text easily but can't alter the fonts, good for basic lettering but not much else. Beats trying to draw each letter out though.

Kevin

aaron p
11-17-2008, 01:14 PM
Not sure if it is what you are looking for - I have used a very very basic software called "BMP 2 CNC" - it takes an image file (not just .bmp) and converts it to a "heightfield" using the grayscale of the image, then creates a toolpath directly in the software, no need to send to seperate CAM software.

For example, black can be set to the concave areas and white can be the high areas (or vice versa), then any shade of gray between black and white will be a height proportionally between the low and high based on how dark or light it is. For clarity, I will attach a picture I just took of my first example of a logo that was machined into a block of plastic using this software (posted to a haas machine, using a .0625" ball end mill, then sandblasted). I will also include a small example of the image file used to get these results.
<img src="http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-11/1327196/nicorr_small.jpg">
<img src="http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69814&stc=1&d=1226925701">
As you can see in this example I set the dark as the "high" and light as the "low". The elliptical shape surrounding the text has a gradient from dark on the left to light on the right which is translated into a smooth ramp from the light to dark areas. The details are also picked up, like the little horizontal lines that run through the large text and also how the main text is slightly darker than the elliptical surrounding shape making the text appear to sit on top of it.

Keep in mind it is very basic software. It is also very cheap (I think $20-30 to purchase the full, unrestricted version) so not much is to be expected. Some images will have better results than others. Sharply defined edges are a big plus.

Hope this helps.


Thats exactly what im looking for. Where can I purchase that software? I like the Dark/Light setup. Makes it easy to see. If I can get it to a .dxf format, I can load it into ez-cam and write a tool path. Does this software have a post processor?

aaron p
11-17-2008, 01:16 PM
Also, where can I get a die holder with a floating head for CAT 40? I think using a die on a threading cycle would be easiest as long as the machine could thread up to 1.062"-12TPI thread.

dradef
11-17-2008, 01:59 PM
Thats exactly what im looking for. Where can I purchase that software? I like the Dark/Light setup. Makes it easy to see. If I can get it to a .dxf format, I can load it into ez-cam and write a tool path. Does this software have a post processor?

The software is from a company called MR-Soft and can be found at <a href="http://www.mr-soft.net">www.mr-soft.net</a>

I think I counted 38 post processors in the most recent release. They are all included in the download so you don't have to search for the one you need to add on. I know they offer a functioning demo, but it will only output a maximum of 150 lines of code.

The BMP 2 CNC software can't save the resulting heightfield as a dxf. It is solely to turn picture files into g-code. So, if what you are saying is that you want to use your own CAM software to make the g-code program you might look into their other sotware called "R2V" (this is a raster to vector converter, like has been mentioned by others. i don't think this method gives 3d results though.) R2V specifically states that it can save as dxf.

I looked up the newest prices. They are both around $44.00

I don't think I paid that much about a year ago when I decided to get it. There might be cheaper alternatives.

aaron p
11-17-2008, 08:47 PM
awsome. Thats exactly what im looking for. Ill pick it up and play around with it untill I get my mill setup and such.

aaron p
11-18-2008, 01:09 AM
Just got the software and allready made a bunch of NC files. Now, how can I convert that .nc file to .txt or something that I can put on a floppy and send to the machine to read? Its a fanuc O-M control I believe.

dradef
11-18-2008, 08:19 AM
Just got the software and allready made a bunch of NC files. Now, how can I convert that .nc file to .txt or something that I can put on a floppy and send to the machine to read? Its a fanuc O-M control I believe.

You can put the .nc files on a floppy. On our Haas machines you would just have to enter "yourfilename.NC" when loading the program.

If your control requires it to be a .txt file extention you can open the .nc file in notepad, then select "save as", then next to 'save as type' select "all files" then in the 'file name' box add ".txt" to the end of the file name.

Also, these types of contouring programs tend to get larger than a single floppy can hold. If your control has enough memory to hold the entire program then there are some very easy tricks to work around loading chunks of the program from multiple disks and still running seamlessly (even if the control can't hold the whole program it can be done, just not <i>quite</i> as easily).

Let us know.

VWSatOz
11-18-2008, 09:27 AM
The EzCamII on old NEC APC pcs are a monster, so heavy can barely lift w/out the back popping! Have 1 at work & spare at home, but home1 has blown the high tension transformer on the VDU board and having lots of trouble getting mates to try & fix it or hooking up to different screen altogether, have been given an NEC multisync to try this way later if I'm game. Used to be able to program at home late at night & take 8" floppy to work and mill away! & need the 2 antiques as backup as wont run on anything else.

aaron p
11-18-2008, 12:03 PM
You can put the .nc files on a floppy. On our Haas machines you would just have to enter "yourfilename.NC" when loading the program.

If your control requires it to be a .txt file extention you can open the .nc file in notepad, then select "save as", then next to 'save as type' select "all files" then in the 'file name' box add ".txt" to the end of the file name.

Also, these types of contouring programs tend to get larger than a single floppy can hold. If your control has enough memory to hold the entire program then there are some very easy tricks to work around loading chunks of the program from multiple disks and still running seamlessly (even if the control can't hold the whole program it can be done, just not <i>quite</i> as easily).

Let us know.

Worked like a charm. And you aint kiddin about programs getting long. I was playing around with a detailed logo and it was around 28,000 G-code lines. A 2,300 line program is only a 120KB file in note pad. Not a problem for the controll. thanks a ton guys!

kdhBOSS5VRAM
11-18-2008, 12:40 PM
We used that old EZcamII V2.4 system for a lot of years, even back then we had a spare terminal I had to scavenge parts from. I really liked using it and I remember it was a big step to go to a PC with Version 6. We currently use Version 14.5. Are you able to even still get them 8 inch floppies and have you tried the newer versions of EZCam?

Kevin

aaron p
11-18-2008, 11:54 PM
What is the best tool yall have used to do fine detail engraving? I dont want the edge of the tool hitting a wall or something like that. Im thinking a .0625" ball endmill or a #1 centerdrill. Most of the material ill be working with is aluminum.

fredhh47
11-19-2008, 11:20 AM
If you're just looking for older version(s) of EZ-Cam software, do a search for it online, as I think there are several hacked versions floating around that are free or very cheap. I still use my Version 6 EZ-Cam for about 99 % of my shop work, been using EZ-Cam for nearly 25 years, since Version 1 came out about the same time I bought my B'Port Boss 9. The 386 computer that came as part of the package was "State of the Art" at the time, now is a dust collector. The whole package, computer and all was over $6k, but the time savings over hand writing programs was incredible. We upgraded as far as version 6, tried "Feature Mill" and hated it, went back to Ver 6 and still use it daily. If anyone has programming questions about Ez-Cam (up to Version 6) let me know as there is very little about it I haven't figured out. BTW, would that generous fellow be interested in giving me a small cnc Lathe? LOL
As long as this thread is talking about some old hardware and software, when we got our first Boss 5 cnc, it came with a teletype machine to make and save programs. Now that was a pain! After the second teletype went up in smoke (really), I hacked an old data terminal that I bought for $50 out of the back pages of the old Computer Shopper (when it was still printed on newsprint) and used a series of them until I got a used 386 pc and set it up, I'm still running Windows 3.11, using the terminal program for editing. Works like a charm and old computers are a dime a dozen, so why switch? I even have a copy of EZ-cam on the "terminal" computer for quick updates, and an RS-232 link back to the "program" computer to exchange files. Beats "sneaker net".

Klem
11-19-2008, 11:27 AM
I also have been using e-z cam for 25 years, but suddenly have had a problem downloading programs to my tnc 145 controlled bridgeport. pc is good controller is good, cables are good, even downloaded software into another pc and tried that. Have you ever had any probems with utilites? checked baud rate, comport there too.

fredhh47
11-19-2008, 11:56 AM
Klem,
I don't know about the tnc 145 controller, but my B5, and B6 machines are notorious for developing all sorts of weird problems when the boards get dirty. If you haven't checked them recently, I'd start there. A very tiny bridge of oily, dusty residue across two pins on one of the dozens of ic's can throw the control into a tizzy. Maybe a bridge has formed that changes the baud rate (even though, at least on the B'port control, that is set by real switches), or the com protocol, or whatever. Dirt is the absolute enemy. I clean mine about every three months.
Fred

yalcin
11-21-2008, 02:42 PM
Hello! I'm glade to be a member of that forum and soon I will come with news about my CNC project! Sorry for my english.

jonharoy
11-22-2008, 07:59 AM
http://www.mr-soft.net/