Need Help! CAD/Gcode for hobbyist


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  1. #1
    Registered itolond's Avatar
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    Unhappy CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Hi Forum,

    I have been using SW and CW4SW and I find these very good - esp in the design and assembly aspects. However, that being said I am a hobbyist armed with simple CNC lathe and mill from Sherline and i face quite a few challenges 'dumbing down' the g code for sherline via mach3.

    over my intermittent efforts, I have learnt much (not enough but much more than when I started out) but alas for my use it gets complicated when I need to strip out code because something does not work at the mill side.

    so after that I quite familiar with CAD so I am looking for recommendations for a simplified CAD/CAM program that better meets my needs. Specifically, my mill has a 4th axis which I have not used yet (as above) but would like to.

    any pointers would be of great assistance.

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    Registered he1957's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Athough it is 2.5 D software, have a look at SimplyCam from MR-Soft Nc Software Tools

    It suppports Mill, Lathe, and CNC Tables, is easy to use, very powerful, flexible and very inexpensive.

    It includes Postprocessors for a large number of targets including Mach. The Postprocessor is highly customisable and after running it invokes an editor where you can add/strip code that you know doesn't suit your target. You could probably customise multiple copies of the same Postprocessor files to suit your target machine by selecting the processor just before creating the code

    If you combine this with G-Code Ripper from G-Code Ripper you can convert code to support a 4th axis.


    Cheers,

    HarryE.



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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    You might take a look at DeskProto (which we sell). It can write code from your 3D mesh files (STL, DXF, WRL) that will run your Sherline mill, including live 4-axis routines (not just indexing). There's special pricing for hobbyists that makes the cost quite reasonable.

    Andrew Werby
    computersculpture.com

    [FONT=Verdana]Andrew Werby[/FONT]
    [URL="http://www.computersculpture.com/"]Website[/URL]


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    *Registered User* metalmayhem's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    take a look at dolphin cad/cam . it's pretty hard to beat their basic packages and they are quite functional



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    Registered Bob La Londe's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Fusion360 is free to hobbyists. Its an online cloud based system, but it has a lot of CAD and some impressive CAM capabilities. I don't know how long it will remain. I use it from time to time for stuff my regular CAD/CAM might struggle with.

    I have looked at price and practice with many different CAD and CAM products including some of those mentioned in this thread. I don't sell or have a vested interest in any of them. Some I demoed and atleast one I bought and gave up on.

    Here is the next program to consider as a hobbyist. FreeCAD. It was a buggy piece of (sh@!t) the first time I tried it years ago, but it has slowly developed into a usable CAD program. I sometimes use it for its mesh repair tools.

    Primarily I use ViaCAD 2d/3d Pro for my primary 3D CAD program. Of all the CAD programs I tried I found it to be the hands down easiest to learn. Its not free. I think the latest version is almost $300 dollars. Its actually the lower of two main CAD products by the same company. I use this one every day in my business and its rare I can't find a way to model the part I need to make with it. Someday I may give Shark a try (their higher end product), but ViaCAD is pretty powerful.

    For CAM I mostly use CamBam. Its a brute force 2.5D CAM program with a fair number of 2D and 2.5D CAD tools built in. It has some very limited 3D mesh creation capabilities and works quite well with 3D mesh programs created by other programs. It doesn't have any HSM strategies built in, but there are one or two plugins created by users that help with that. I think there is a very limited 2D "rest" plugin, but I do a lot of 3D work. If I really need rest I'll create just that portion of the CODE with Fusion and then add it to the CamBam project file. It does that quite nicely. I find that Fusion will do most things CamBam will do, but CamBam gives me much greater control and a more intuitive interface. Is also not free. I believe it costs about $150. I use it every day in my business. I've been using it for about 11 or 12 years now. I am constantly learning more about it that makes my job easier.

    Ultimately you are going to have to try some programs and see how they work for you. Download a demo and use it right away. See if you can do some basic work right away or if you need to get help to do even the simplest stuff. Sometimes a program is great, but it doesn't sync with the way you think. regardless you can't take the word of company shills ever. They will say, "We have lots of happy customers." They won't tell you how many people tried it and walked away from their product. You have to try it for yourself.

    Good luck. I mean it.


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


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    Registered itolond's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    You might take a look at DeskProto (which we sell). It can write code from your 3D mesh files (STL, DXF, WRL) that will run your Sherline mill, including live 4-axis routines (not just indexing). There's special pricing for hobbyists that makes the cost quite reasonable.

    Andrew Werby
    computersculpture.com
    whats the damage for hobbyist?



  7. #7
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    $250

    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)


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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Maybe think outside the cad/cam box and go conversational.
    Fill-in-the-blank programming that's Mach3 compatible.
    Kipware CNC PROGRAMMING Software



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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    $250
    so how to buy?



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    Gold Member dertsap's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    google deskproto

    A poet knows no boundary yet he is bound to the boundaries of ones own mind !! ........


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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    Get in touch - I'm an authorized DeskProto distributor.

    Andrew Werby
    computersculpture.com

    [FONT=Verdana]Andrew Werby[/FONT]
    [URL="http://www.computersculpture.com/"]Website[/URL]


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    Default Re: CAD/Gcode for hobbyist

    viacad is hands down one of cleanest and most powerful 3d cad programs out there. a few bugs if you depend on part tree after a few to many saves, but note many. I used to use acad and inventor at work; now, only to open huge dwg files to purge, then to viacad pro. Bossmen even got solid works, almost comparable for drawing on...almost. The g3 commands make seamless blending on par with rhino, only maintain nurbs which are just better. The spline to arc is a wonder command for 2d gcode for laser and plasma. no little facets on parts from polylines.



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