DXF instead of G code??

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Thread: DXF instead of G code??

  1. #1
    Member jmerson's Avatar
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    Default DXF instead of G code??

    Has anyone tried to input a job drawn in DXF into a mill that uses G code?? I've been trying for several years to find an easy way for a dumb senior to make parts on my mill without programing all of the moves myself. I made a really nice air cleaner a few years ago but i took me almost 8 months, off and on to finish the project. I have Back to Cad program and when i called the tech people to see if they had a post processor in their program he told me you don't need one. His statement was that DXF and G code are about the same. You have to go in a clean up the file a little but it will work. I found a program the will take a DXF and make it work with a G code machine. I"ll know in a few days when my super program arrives.

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    Default Re: DXF instead of G code??

    Wow I'm confused. DXF is a CAD language. G code is machine or CAM language. Unless I'm missing something, I doubt you're on the right track with this entire idea.

    Generally you use a dxf CAD drawing to help create a G code program using a CAD/CAM interface and post processor. All of them need some knowledgeable intermediary user input.



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    Default Re: DXF instead of G code??

    The short answer: you can't directly feed a DXF to a machine tool. It doesn't contain enough information.

    The long answer: DXF files contain the outlines of a part; but do not contain any information about how to go about making it out of something physically real. Missing information includes which side of the line is the inside or outside; what order to cut the features out in; how to perform any complex operations like peck-drilling or pocket machining; how fast to turn the spindle and how fast to feed the tool into the stock; coolant settings (if any); and where to change tools if needed (among other things).

    Usually, people don't write G-code files themselves by hand (lathes tend to be the notable exception - some experienced machine programmers do prefer to write it themselves because of the degree of control it gives them) - instead, the drawing is loaded into what's called a CAM program (note that some programs like Fusion360 include both a drawing module - CAD - and a machine programming module - CAM).

    There are some very basic programs that will take in a DXF and spit out G-code with no other input; but you end up stuck with whatever that program gave you (unless, of course, you open the G-code file and edit it by hand in a text editor). Usually this only works for really simple operations like plasma cutters and lasers where whatever lines you feed it in the DXF are where the cuts will be made; and the order of operations or other settings don't have an effect on the outcome.


    G code is machine or CAM language.
    Well, technically it's a numerical control instruction format... and it doesn't necessarily have to go into something that has a computer in it. Some really old systems read g-code off of a paper tape and processed it with no arithmetic going on whatsoever (no arithmetic == no computation == not a computer). These days, of course, the most practical and cheapest way to perform the task is with a computer - one capable of running a basic machine can be had for under a buck in quantity; and one capable of running an advanced machine can be had for under five bucks in quantity.

    CAM isn't really a language quite so much as it's a process (Computer Aided Manufacturing is what it stands for)... (yeah, I know, I'm nit-picking a little bit).



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    Default Re: DXF instead of G code??

    hy jmerson, i have imported dxf files into okuma's igf, thus there is a conversational program that can get it's toolpaths from dxf files:
    ... on a mill, you could specify the desired countour, and the initial shape, so the machine to rough between them, but you can not input complex shapes, at least as complex when using a cam
    ... on a lathe i had used dxf's to rough and finish
    * i tried this a while ago, because of curiosity, and it it worked, but it took too much time to do it and i no longer use this method; it was too time consuming to select and save the shape, then copy the file inside the controller, then select the file using a lasy interface, doing some shape selection, there are some dxf restrictions, etc

    faster alternatives :
    ... okuma's i-map : is a simpler conversational, just as simple as you can imagine, for basic operations ( it does not use dxf, but it requires only a few keystrokes to generate driling, face milling, pocketing, etc )
    ... custom dxf 2 g-code converter

    well, about you :
    ... you should look for dxf-g.code converters, or even better, for someone capable of customizing it, so to deliver nice code for your mill
    ... maybe you should look for other cams, with postprocessor editing capability and walkthrough, so to do it in 10 minutes, not in 10 months
    ... maybe i will be back to this thread one day, with a custom solution, but i don't know when / kindly

    ps : pls, will you share a photo/some details for that air-cleaner ?

    ... chip happens


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    Default Re: DXF instead of G code??

    I think the OP is headed for a disappointment,I also think the "technical advisor" who told him that dxf and Gcode are about the same is pretty clueless.To identify only one of the ridiculous errors;how will the machine know what size tool is being used and which side of the line to cut?Not only that,you have to be sure the drawing elements are joined and then put the toolpath parameters through a post processor to arrive at the Gcode.Does the OP have a mill or lathe that can accept a file?It would perhaps help if he found a nearby mentor to walk him through the various steps of the process as a little sound advice would show him that it isn't super difficult to master the technology and then become really productive.

    Perhaps a few minutes spent looking at https://mecsoft.com/freemill/ and the recommendations here: https://www.downloadcloud.com/cnc-cam-software.html might be useful.



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DXF instead of G code??

DXF instead of G code??

DXF instead of G code??