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dirtdiggler
06-11-2009, 11:31 AM
Hey guys,

I've been looking into CAM software for my recently retrofitted 3 axis BP series 2 knee mill. I'm going to be making prototypes mostly out of plastic, and occationally some runs with aluminum.

Can CUT3D make fairly tight tolerance 3D cuts? I know it works from a mesh but is this an issue for tolerance of the finished piece?

I see that a lot of people are using router type machines with this software. Is there anybody out there that uses a heavy duty machine with Cut3D that can chime in with feedback?


Thanks,

Kirk

Switcher
06-11-2009, 01:41 PM
You might want to contact Tony from Vectric.com, maybe he will help you with a sample project to see if you like the software.

The trial comes with a few samples, but I understand what your saying, none are really based on holding a tolerance.

dirtdiggler
06-11-2009, 04:19 PM
Thanks Switcher.

I'm intrigued by this software because I did a few tests on some of my highly detailed CAD models and it did a great job on screen.

The support is also great as well.

Of course I can't test out my G code because I'm using the demo version. I guess a lot of the tollerance's comes down to the accuracy of the machine too which I haven't established. I wonder if making my mesh super tight would help with accuracy?

I've been comparing this program with Meshcam and I really like this a lot more in terms of flow, only thing I see that MC has that this does not is the indexing output.....

-Kirk

Tony Mac
06-12-2009, 04:24 PM
Hello Kirk,

The quality of the toolpaths calculated by Cut3D is primarily controlled by
the tolerance used to create the original 3D mesh, the smaller the tolerance
the smoother the surface finish.

Let me know f you have any further questions or we can help in any way.

Tony

dirtdiggler
06-16-2009, 01:24 PM
Thanks for your response Tony,

I'm giving a serious try at MeshCam and Cut3D and like both products for different reasons. Cut3D seems to be giving me a much quicker work flow, easier interface, and to be honest I can't tell which of the two produces a more accurate toolpath. Are they both going to give a similar toolpath resolution with the same file? I understand Meshcam has a tolerance adjustment. Is Cut3D already optimized for the best tolerance possible?

Is there any chance there might be 4th axis index support in the future for Cut3D?

Sorry for all the Q's. I'm very close to pulling the trigger on CUT3d and just thought I would ask.

Thanks,

Kirk

Tony Mac
06-16-2009, 07:07 PM
Hi Kirk,

Cut3D does attempt to optimize the toolpath calculations to ensure both fine detail and smooth surfaces are reproduced on the CNC machine, and I believe the quality of toolpaths are likely to be virtually identical , with the accuracy of the CNC machine probably being the limiting factor.

Cut3D will do automated 4 sided machining but does require a manual 90 index to be applied before running the associated toolpaths. We do plan to look at additional index machining options in the future but afraid I can't give you a time frame for this. If indexed machining is important for your projects I would recommend going with one of the alternative solutions.

I hope this helps,

Tony

dirtdiggler
06-30-2009, 02:42 PM
Hi TM,

I have a couple of more questions if you don't mind.

For the 4 sided cut feature: Lets say I have a rectangular shaped stock and I want to mill a cell phone shell out of the center of the stock, with tabs. Is there a way to rotate the stock 90 degrees each time without a rotary table? What would be the normal process here to do this?

Also, is there a way (or alternative) to enter in the length of the cutter to avoid cutting deeper than it's length and to avoid crashing into the stock?


Thanks,

Kirk

Tony Mac
06-30-2009, 03:45 PM
Hello Kirk,

The easiest way to do 4 sided machining is to use an indexing device that can be rotated manually through the 90 degree increments.

However, it is also possible to do this type of work by machining the material to be exactly the required dimensions. Plus using a hard stop / 90 degree angle to locate the corner of the material block against when cutting each face. You need to ensure that the material is larger enough that the corners are not machined away otherwise it will be very difficult to locate accurately.

Afraid Cut3D assumes that you are using a cutter that is long enough to complete the job without crashing into the tool holder.

If tool holder collision checking is important then I would suggest looking at some of the alternative solutions.

I hope this helps,

Tony