Need Help! Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!


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Thread: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

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    Default Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    Hi all,

    Long-time lurker here, first time posting.

    For those of you who don't feel like reading (and subsequently labeling me as a whiner): If you have a good, simple software workflow I'd love to know about it.

    I need help! Two years ago, I built a CNC router based off of the Momus designs. If you're curious, I made almost zero modifications from the original design with one exception: before I put down the bed of the machine, I put an array of tee nuts facing upwards. When I did the epoxy pass I made sure to have bolts in those nuts so that the holes were not plugged up by the epoxy. My idea was to have a way to secure things to the floor of the machine without having to screw into the bed.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I need help finding good software to use with the machine. When I built the machine, I was so excited to build something with my hands that I worked on it between 5 and 7 days a week, sometimes late into the night. I've never done any kind of machining or metal work before (but am quite handy around the house), and this was so much fun to build.

    ...then came the software. I'm a software engineer by profession, I've been working on and with software for 30 years now. That being said, every time I think about firing up my machine I think to myself that I'd probably rather stab my eyes out than sit in front of a PC to work with that toolchain again. The problem is that each tool I used has its own steep learning curve, and I could picture a profession based around each one of them -- first designing, then creating the tool path, then finally driving the machine. What I used is:

    AutoCAD
    MasterCAM
    Mach3

    I could never find a good way to configure MasterCAM for my machine. That would result in gcode that would either run way too fast or way too slow. I tried milling both wood and aluminum, and it took a while to get things to work even half well, and when I did, I felt like I was forcing in numbers where I expect much of this should be presets in that tool.

    Mach3 is also an antiquated interface. Granted, it does the job, more or less, but there are tricks and tweaks that are necessary.

    So after dropping a pretty penny building my machine, what I have built with it?

    1. Some test gcodes I wrote by hand. Arrays of points, circles, and a skull.
    2. A toy sword for my kids. Handle was fatter than I wanted it to be. I'm such a bad dad that I never redesigned it for them and printed new ones though it would have probably taken minutes. Now either the mill was too slow or the router was too fast, but that wood was smoking as it was being cut -- so the edges all have a nice, burnt smell.
    3. I milled new brackets for my router. Hand cutting the router mount for the momus build was the biggest challenge for me, and getting a nice curved surface was not really happening well. Rather than having a couple of nice smooth clamps attached to the router body, since it's a little jagged it probably is applying pressure on a few points only.

    ...and that's all. I could never motivate myself to learn the software better. It was all tricky and counter-intuitive (though I imagine once you master those tools you can work magic), that I dreaded the thought of touching it again. Even those router mounts (that had a small amount of chatter but otherwise were awesome compared to the ones I hand crafted) never even made it on my build! That's how turned off I got by the whole software process!

    So here I appeal to my fellow Momus CNC builders -- please help this sad (and honestly somewhat pathetic) dude get back into using his router. It's a good, solid build. I just need a simple software workflow that works rather well with the momus and I'll be all set. For those of you using Momus, what toolchain do you use? How did you configure it?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sauce

    Oh, and I thought I'd share some photos from my build:

    First, here's the underside of the bed showing the array of tee nuts I embedded into it so I could bolt things down




    Here's the finished enclosure. Like my color choices?


    Here's the gantry installed:



    And finally, here's the router mounted with my hand made brackets


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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    I use Vetric V Carve Pro with Mach 3



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    Nice looking machine. I picked a drab color for mine. After seeing yours I'm reconsidering my color choice.

    Anyway.... My tool chain:

    I start out with TurboCAD because I have it and know how to use it. Nothing really special about it. It's just something that was on hand and could export a DXF file.

    I then open the DXF file in CAMBAM. This allows me to select drawing objects or groups of objects and generate tool paths. It is trivial to use, and it works great. Once the tool paths are defined I can save out the G code and sneaker net it down to the garage where the CNC machine is set up. For the relatively low complexity of my work I could probably just use the basic drawing commands in CAMBAM and skip the TurboCAD all together, but I've been too lazy to learn how to use all the capability of CAMBAM.

    I use an old PC running Linux and LinuxCNC as the MOMUS machine controller. I believe there are variants of LinuxCNC that run on Debian and Ubuntu. It does a fair but not perfect job. I chose this because it is free. With the growth of various open source Arduino based machine controllers, I might chose to move away from LinuxCNC at some point, but for the time being the current set up is adequate.

    I have used the machine to cut items from .050 aluminum sheet and .23 acrylic for use in flight simulator projects. I cut wood feet for leveling the self made cabinet that the CNC now sits on. All of my recent work has been directed at making circuit boards for various radio projects.



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    Sauce, that is a really nice build you have there. The paint color is awesome and your craftsmanship is excellent.

    I understand your frustration with the necessary software to be able to make something. I started my Momus as a V1.0 and then got the plans for the V2.0, so my build is a little strange. I used Mastercam as a cnc machinist for several years. I also used BobCadCam when I had my own shop. My Momus is currently using an old pc with Linuxcnc installed. In order for me to machine something, I have to draw it and program it on my laptop, then copy the program to a thumbdrive, transfer it to the Linux box and them run it from there. I also built a Prusa i3 3d printer that has a controller built onto the machine. making 3d prints is as easy as drawing what I want, place the STL file into the slicer program and I get the program. I put the sd card into the printer controller and start printing.



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    Hi There, I use Vestric Aspire and Mach 3 on my home made CNC Router for the last 3 years. Vectric also run user days both in the USA and the UK.. This greatly helps to understand the software and meet other users which you can tap into their knowledge.

    Good luck Brian (UK)



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    For a really quick and surprisingly powerful CAD / CAM solution, try Rhino3d and Rhinocam. I used to use it when I worked building wooden boats.



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    I have to second CamBam.
    Most of my projects are pretty straight forward. (2D). The entire project is drawn and converted to Gcode using only CamBam.
    Also import drawings from other programs and again complete the project in CamBam.
    It does profiles, pockets, engrave, regions and even 3D.
    Plus tool changes and plenty of transforms.
    Everything in need for now.



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    I just resurrected my machine and got it running again.
    I use CamBam and Mach3 with the Mach3 2010 Screenset.



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    Default Re: Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

    An older thread awakens :-)

    Here is a plug for "SimplyCam" - easy to learn and use. Not free but very inexpensive and powerful. Supports many post-processors so works with a large number of controls and software like Mach-3. I use it with a RichAuto DSP handle and it works very well.



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Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!

Momus software toolchain/workflow -- help me resurrect my Momus build please!