hobby CAD/CAM software


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 12 of 24

Thread: hobby CAD/CAM software

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    croatia
    Posts
    106
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default hobby CAD/CAM software

    hey, i need some help and advice. i need software to run my machine. i have already tried kcam, and i like it, it's simple. i got accustomed to sketchup, and use it fairly easy. now, sketchup free can't export dxf or stl without plugin. kcam can't import stl. when i try to convert one into another, that's where the problems kick in. every object is either incredibly large, or displays just outlines, edges (such as a line where two faces of a rectangle meet). free mill can't cut or mill circles, arcs or curves. i have downloaded gsimple, but it doesn't work like i want to.
    where i am going wrong? are there any combos that work good together, or do i need to experiment further? and please, if possible, take price into account, open source would be more than perfect.
    thanks in advance!

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Registered johnmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    380
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Have you tried Ace Converter? I don't use it, but I think it's free.

    John



  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    7948
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    A lot of us have started out with CamBam's free trial, which imports STL and dxf files. It has 40 fully functional uses, after which it will only generate 500 lines of gcode. It will last a while at full function if you open it and don't close it until you are finished with it for the day. If you never turn off the computer, it will last much longer. If you buy a license it is just $149.

    Download it and see if you like the way it works.

    CarveOne

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    849
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Have you looked at

    cnc4free.org homepage

    It has a lot of free resources, some quite sophisticated.

    BTW : As far as I know FreeMill is for relief files only.

    Cheers!



  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5325
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lamesh99 View Post
    hey, i need some help and advice. i need software to run my machine. i have already tried kcam, and i like it, it's simple. i got accustomed to sketchup, and use it fairly easy. now, sketchup free can't export dxf or stl without plugin. kcam can't import stl. when i try to convert one into another, that's where the problems kick in. every object is either incredibly large, or displays just outlines, edges (such as a line where two faces of a rectangle meet). free mill can't cut or mill circles, arcs or curves. i have downloaded gsimple, but it doesn't work like i want to.
    where i am going wrong? are there any combos that work good together, or do i need to experiment further? and please, if possible, take price into account, open source would be more than perfect.
    thanks in advance!
    Some SketchUp guys have been using PhlatScript, which is a g-code plugin for ShetchUp. For ease of use, I think Cut2D is near the top. CamBam does have 3D tool strategies, but the learning curve may be steeper; there's a guy making wristwatches in the CamBam forum!



  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    244
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    You might want to try MeshCAM Art. It is a great program for newbies, particularly if you don't have a lot of CAD experience, because it can work with bitmap images. I think there is like a 30 day trial, to download and use the software FREE without any limits. You can do 3D carvings with this program- I use it all the time to create custom wood carvings from simple (or even complex) artwork I have created in Corel Draw. Just check out the carvings on my facebook page, click on the Photos link to see some of the carvings I have done. Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More These were ALL done using MeshCAM Art! Note: the toolpaths generated by MeshCAM Art can be loaded into another program called CNC Wrapper, which will allow you to carve things on a 4th axis (if your machine is so equipped).



  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    US
    Posts
    91
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    +1 on Meshcam.

    My machine came alive when I got it. Great for lithophanes. Also plays well with Sketchup STL exports.



  8. #8
    Registered JerryBurks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    942
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    I have used Vectric 3-DCut for a few parts. It works well and, fully wizard based is very easy to learn.

    Since I am upgrading to a 4th axis soon, I got a trial version of DeskProto. That has dual interface (wizard as well as normal parameter windows) and can do native 4-axis machining with continuous rotary axis or n-sided (actually can do limited 5-axis). I have not cut a part with it yet but created several tool paths and I am very impressed. With all the features it is obviously a bit more difficult to learn. Manual and tutorials are excellent. At Euro 250 for the full featured version to hobby customers I think very reasonable and has a 30-day trial without restrictions. It can do bitmap carving (like lithophanes, even as embossing on 3D surfaces) and some 2-D work but for the latter I prefer Vectric VCarve.

    Last edited by JerryBurks; 01-27-2012 at 12:45 PM.


  9. #9
    Registered Tkamsker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    1189
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Try heeks or look at reprap cut.py or such ( i am now on vacation) so it is off my mind cu Thomas



  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    croatia
    Posts
    106
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    thanks for the input. i downloaded meshlab, which exports dxf from stl (sketchup) really well (using kcam as a ref. point). i even found gsimple, but i dont like it, it says, when dxf imported, 0 dxf entities found. heeks cnc looks pretty solid, but i need to dig in some more. vectric seems a great choice, as well as mesh cam. meshcam is simpler, but keep getting stuck at some point, as i only get the code for surface milling. i mean, i need to cut an object from a block of material. ok, i import the stl file into meshcam, start generating the toolpath. i only get the toolpath for surface machining, on top of the object (pics later). to cut an object from a block i need to make a plane under the object, but then it generates path that is too deep for my machine; if an object is 10 mm high, it generates 10mm deep cuts. it would probably work on foam, or styrofoam, but on anything more dense, (soft plastic, soft mdf) no way. i am probably missing something here, so any help is more than appreciated. vectric is good, but the trial doesn't allow me to save toolpaths made from my own objects, so. i'll do some tests with sample files from vectric, and see how it behaves

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hobby CAD/CAM software-kvadar-meshcam-jpg   hobby CAD/CAM software-kvadar-plane-jpg  


  11. #11
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    33102
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    meshcam is simpler, but keep getting stuck at some point, as i only get the code for surface milling. i mean, i need to cut an object from a block of material. ok, i import the stl file into meshcam, start generating the toolpath. i only get the toolpath for surface machining, on top of the object (pics later). to cut an object from a block i need to make a plane under the object, but then it generates path that is too deep for my machine; if an object is 10 mm high, it generates 10mm deep cuts. it would probably work on foam, or styrofoam, but on anything more dense, (soft plastic, soft mdf) no way. i am probably missing something here, so any help is more than appreciated.
    First, you need to increase the stock size, as MeshCAM will not create toolpaths outside of the stock.

    Second, you need to do a roughing past to remove most of the material. YOU Can specify the depth per pass for roughing passes.

    You're only using a finishing pass.

    For the finishing pass, MeshCAM will cut the full depth (up to the flute length in the tool table).

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  12. #12
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    croatia
    Posts
    106
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    First, you need to increase the stock size, as MeshCAM will not create toolpaths outside of the stock.

    Second, you need to do a roughing past to remove most of the material. YOU Can specify the depth per pass for roughing passes.

    You're only using a finishing pass.

    For the finishing pass, MeshCAM will cut the full depth (up to the flute length in the tool table).
    well, there's your problem. i should've known it's something THAT simple. by stock size, do You mean the size of the object, or the block the object is machined from?



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

hobby CAD/CAM software

hobby CAD/CAM software