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  1. #25
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by OLG View Post
    Without the same precision as true CAD you also have 3d art software. Blender 3d (Free) is a monster to learn but has amazing capabilities for making STL, OBJ and bas relief depth map/gray scale images that can be ported to cnc software. I've been using it for 6 years and really enjoy making cnc patterns with it.
    Yeah, Blender is a monster to learn, but ultimately probably worth the effort.

    There are a few guides on this site which show you how to model involute gears ( properly ) and even hypoid bevel gears. They are more attuned to 3D printing them but I guess once you have the 3D model you program it to GCODE too. Though some of those hypoids would probably need a 4th axis to cut.

    In any case the renditions are outstanding.

    Otvinta.com -- Involute Gear Calculator



  2. #26
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by reg.miller View Post
    Yeah, Blender is a monster to learn, but ultimately probably worth the effort.

    There are a few guides on this site which show you how to model involute gears ( properly ) and even hypoid bevel gears. They are more attuned to 3D printing them but I guess once you have the 3D model you program it to GCODE too. Though some of those hypoids would probably need a 4th axis to cut.

    In any case the renditions are outstanding.

    Otvinta.com -- Involute Gear Calculator
    For me it was completely worth the effort. It's also a ton of fun.

    The program is complete overkill but once you master the modeling basics, all sorts of possibilities open up. Here are a few examples of patterns I have made using Blender. After 6 years I literally have over a 1000 patterns in library that I personally made. And a few are even not bad.

    I've never been disappointed with what the program can create. Any limitations were my own.

    Given what I know now, Blender would not have been my first choice to do CAD work with, but it did open up the world of 3d modeling, image/graphics rendering and 3d animation along with the ability to make woodworking cnc patterns. So having said that, I am glad I did learn the software.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CADs for free comparison-cw-winged-heart-acanthus-leaves-png   CADs for free comparison-cw-dragon-frame1-jpg   CADs for free comparison-cw-grumpy-old-man-png  


  3. #27
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Thanks, you certainly seems to have mastered using blender. I particularly like the head.

    How do you get tool paths once you have the 3D model?



  4. #28
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Unfortunately, I cheat. I don't do any tool paths. I have a Carvewright CNC machine. Totally a hobby cnc with a lot of plastic and a proprietary pattern format but machine calculates the tool paths automatically. I throw my patterns into the machine and just hit go. Not very fast and for me not completely accurate but it has carved masterpieces for me. I only use it for bas relief carvings. Here are two of my favorites. The first one is a 3d scan of the Signe Tegner Sepulchral Monument. Scan shared on Blend Swap website but it was also shared on several other sites by Geoffrey Marchal. I tweaked the geometry so it would work for me.

    The second one is a clock I made. All the patterns on this one are mine and the design is mine. So truly a one of a kind. Best part is it is loud (Tubular Quad Chime Quartz Clock Movement).

    I export STL format from Blender and import into the CW software and it automatically generates all needed CAM data in the background. I don't even see any of it. Good and bad.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CADs for free comparison-img_5228-small-jpg   CADs for free comparison-signe-tegner-carving-small-jpg  


  5. #29
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Thanks, very nice results.

    I looked at Blender but the examples I was following were for 3D printing and put the Blender model through a slicer. I never found out how I could get cnc tool paths. The tutos were based on a slightly older version of Blender and some things were not as described. It just look like I'd need to take a sabbatical year off just to learn how to use it so I dropped it.

    I'm using FreeCAD right now which has some holes and bugs but does get the job done. There's experimental 4 axis capability coming together. Hopefully it will be useable by the time I have a 4th axis.



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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    I find Freecad very good for most basic operations.I enabled the experimental features to bring 3D surfacing into use and that still needs a few tweaks;they disabled waterline machining a while back due to bugs and it would be really nice to see it fixed.The inbuilt postprocessor for linuxCNC is really useful and I enjoy not having to export and import file types with another program.That gets even more appreciation if a small adjustment needs to be made as you can go back to the original sketch and make the change then recompute.



  7. #31
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    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    I like Freecad. I made a tutorial to cut(gcode) /design one part, copy those, then make a change to all the copies by only changing one: it saves a ton of time when cutting lots of the same parts!




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