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  1. #13
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    how much is smartcam?

    their website is support only and no sales or pricing anywhere



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    One that works well? There isn't. It's either thousands on a pro package or one of the part timers who develop it as a hobby. Not that that's a bad thing, it just isn't what business is looking for. The first guy who comes along and makes a simple dxf to gcode package that doesn't have thousands of extra gadgets will sell a lot of it.

    I'm on my third consulting gig in a year for small shops new to cnc. These guys usually don't need or want to spend ten grand on cadcam and they can't afford a full time programmer. They also don't want to bother with the learning curve needed for camworks etc.

    Most of these shops new to cnc just need simple turning, drilling boring. After all, they have been doing it manually until now.

    Well, I guess it's good for me as I still get to teach programming and set up DNC systems



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    Registered Tkamsker's Avatar
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    Hi
    Did you look at heeks cam?
    Its simple and free and still a Lot left to teach ...



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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    Have there been any developments or new pieces of software released in the last couple of years?

    I'm looking for something free or cheap for hobby use.

    I use Vectric VCarvePro for my CNC router and have found it to be excellent. Unfortunately they don't offer any turning software.



  5. #17
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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    I use Dolphin and have had it for several years. Once I got the post processor exactly like I wanted it, it produces perfect code for my lathe every time.
    I still use the older version. I saw no need to upgrade. They do have a newer version out now. They also offer hobby pricing. Just discuss it with them and see what they offer. I did get a good deal on mine. I think it was about 40% off the $500, but that was years ago.

    Lee


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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    If anyone is still Interested, The latest version of Ezilathe (version 1.4) is available from the downloads/others section of CNCZONE.

    Ezilathe is a free program including many useful functions for the CNC lathe including a DXF to Gcode processor, that produces toolpaths directly from DXF profiles.
    Also included is a quick and simple to use G76/G32 thread processor.



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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stutank View Post
    If anyone is still Interested, The latest version of Ezilathe (version 1.4) is available from the downloads/others section of CNCZONE.

    Ezilathe is a free program including many useful functions for the CNC lathe including a DXF to Gcode processor, that produces toolpaths directly from DXF profiles.
    Also included is a quick and simple to use G76/G32 thread processor.
    I am reading the manual right now. If it lives up to the brags in the manual it looks like a very powerful program for the small shop or hobby lathe user.

    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com


  8. #20
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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    I like Ezilathe, and don't want to put down the huge effort Stutank is putting into it for free, but... I want one more feature, to cut LRLRLR , instead of one way then retract back and cut the same way every pass, too many wasted moves. I am good at coding for my router, and am just learning the lathe. I can't understand why the lathe convention is to cut in an "XZ" plane and not"XY" like the router? I code by hand, but complicated profiles get...complicated.
    So I drew a simple cone I had to turn, as a 2d line drawing, top view, Y vertical in the drawing (north/south), and X horizontal. The part axis is on the Y, and the side I'm going to cut is in the bottom left quadrent, that gives the - values my lathe wants. Then I offset the line I want to cut, a number of times, the distance of the "depth of cut/pass". I trimmed and connected where needed, and in effect had a drawing of my desired tool path.
    I then used the engrave function in my Gcode processor and created the code. The code now is XY not XZ, but the +- are good ( I deleted the Z moves with notepad).
    Then with notepad I replaced all "Y" with "Z", now I have good code that runs the lathe, cuts LRLR...
    The view in the drawing is mirrored L to R as if the tool was on the far side of the spindle axis, so is a bit of a mind bender to correlate the drawing with the actual code tool path, but not too bad once you get used to it.
    I can think of 2 ways to make this easier. Find a way to rename the axis in cad ( I use Rhino and so far can't find a way). Or rename the lathe axis in the lathe cam system, ( the Lathe is AHHA, router is Mach) seems that would make the most sense and may be easiest??



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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    My understand was that the spindle axis was always supposed to be Z; on vertical machines like most mills and routers Z would be up & down; horizontal machines like most lathes or horizontal mills/boring machines would have it be towards/away from the spindle, which would be along the same direction as X or Y on a vertical machine.

    Coming from a background in computer graphics, it seemed odd to me at first, too.





  10. #22
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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    G'day Planebuilder. I find Bi-directional cutting for my usage not commonly helpfull, as most of the tools that I use are not bi-directional cutting.
    This, and no one has asked for it is why it is not in Ezilathe.

    However, when I wish to do it (Rare, but happens), I use Ezilathe's Followpoly function, and do the work in CAD.
    Draw finished profile as a Polyline.
    Offset or Copy or Array the other cuts as required. Possibly truncate the Outer Roughcuts to avoid "Aircutting".
    Starting at the chuck end of the finishcut, add a joining line to the adjacent rough cut, then add joining lines at alternate ends, to form 1 continuous path.
    Edit all to a single Polyline, following this sequence.
    In Ezilathe Select OD Turn Operation and followpoly. Select the polyline from the Polyline Select box and Check Reversed.
    Settings for Rough cut and Finish cuts not used, Just Delete all cuts except finishcut.
    This Should give you what you want. (For a Standard ZX Lathe).
    You can use the built in function editor to rename the axis and Shift and mirror as required.

    __Britt. ZX plane is Standard for common 2 axis lathe (Almost set in Stone). Cannot say I know why, XY Plane would suit me, but There you go.
    When I Use my Lathe Spindle as a rotary indexing axis, I use Axis "A" as this common to Mills with a 4th axis.



  11. #23
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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    Planebuilder

    This can be added in some form or another if required.
    1) Simply enter Finish cut depth as Zero, to bypass generation of all but finish cut using the multiple cuts from cad (And adjust feed etc to suit).
    2) A new function that lays out the LR RL cuts similar to the cad work noted (Arraying the cuts, and truncating as required).

    Option 1 is simple, take 5mins to add to the latest version (with much other work already done). Option 2 more work, but not too bad.



  12. #24
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    Default Re: Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

    I drew the toolpath as you said and joined the lines, saved it as a DXF. When I open it in Ezilathe the lines are no longer joined, no problem on a simple part, I just manually selected each line in the DXF Processing window. Don't seem to be able to drag a window around an area to select all contents at once. It creates Gcode with the X values +, (because it only allows me to select lines on the +X side?) so I edit in notepad, replace X with X-. and deleted the rough cut code.
    It also gives some random moves in air?? I can delete those, but it may become tedious in large codes.
    I tried suggestion "1)" , when I put 0 I get the popup " Required Value Missing, (White Edit Boxes)".



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Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?

Free (or cheapest) turning CAM?