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  #31  
Old Fri 10 April 2009, 10:13
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Hi Kobus maybe you can try freemill for your 3d it will import stl .
http://www.mecsoft.com/Mec/Products/FreeMill.shtml
Normand
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  #32  
Old Sun 12 April 2009, 12:24
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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Thanks for the link Normand, will go and have a look
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  #33  
Old Mon 20 April 2009, 04:34
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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Feedback on FreeMill....well as my dad used to say....Son, Nothing is for Free....

I tried it, and maybe I am not using it correctly, but it is of little use as it is. I had a STL file...loaded it into FreeMill, but then found out that I cannot change the size of my object. Looks like this program can only take a design and then generate the G-Code for it. I would like to Size and Position it where and how I want. FreeMill cannot do it.

Secondly there is no Post Processor for Mach3. I used several options and the GENERAL one seems to be the best.

The other problem I encountred was my FEEDRATE. I set it up to my liking....when it generates the code it either have F=1 or even slower (F=0.4). Maybe I am doing something wrong, so if somebody else could have a look, please indicate where and what I am doing wrong. I did manage to EDIT the file to a Feedrate that would move my BBB, but this is not the ideal situation.
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  #34  
Old Mon 20 April 2009, 19:17
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Hi Kobus
Here is the page for the post http://www.mecsoft.com/DownloadPosts.shtml
I use the full version but maybe it work the same in freemill ,you drag the mach3 post into " C:\Program Files\MecSoft Corporation\FreeMill\Posts" some info from administration http://www.mecsoft.com/phpbb/viewtop...light=freemill or http://www.mecsoft.com/phpbb/viewtop...light=freemill do a search on free mill on the forum

Dont expected it to scale or rotate mirror or any cad stuff ,just cam. I download and try it ,I see it only raster no rough . It is confusing like driving an automatic car after driving manual all your life.
Normand
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  #35  
Old Mon 20 April 2009, 20:00
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Kobus you can use www.rhino3d.com for your scaling and cad need .You can save 25 times with it
Normand
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  #36  
Old Mon 20 April 2009, 23:51
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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Thanks Normand will have a nother look and see if the post proc. makes any difference.
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  #37  
Old Thu 30 April 2009, 01:18
cnctoybox
Just call me: cnctoybox
 
Vancouver
Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobus_Joubert View Post
Feedback on FreeMill....well as my dad used to say....Son, Nothing is for Free....

while I can normally agree with that statement this time I would have to disagree
there are a great number of free programs out there that can assist in creating some really cool stuff
freemill can be a great program under the right circumstances , I generate a lot of models from bitmaps and other stuff with gmax then I use freemill to generate the code , the two programs combined which are both free have generated 2.5d images that many pro softwares can struggle to produce ,
this is another program that is currently under developement bmp bender http://www.twmessenger.com/index_files/Software.htm . it produces high quality stl reliefs from bitmaps but there is no scaling at this point of time so I use meshlab http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/ to translate the size by scaling it up or down , I've done a few cuts with models that were generated from that software and they came out great
one thing about downoading and installing bmp bender is you have to be very patient if you don't have the latest net frameworks installed , the install will then be painfully slow but well worth the wait

Last edited by cnctoybox; Thu 30 April 2009 at 01:22..
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  #38  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 07:33
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I alway keep Gerald's advise, Look up CAM ASAP is one of them, so now that I managed to get the motors sing, I feel its time to look here.
Appearently, Aspire is came highly recommended & the number keep growing despite of the price.
I agreed with Kobus's father that nothing comes for free. With Aspire, we can "buy" learning time.... But its really really expensive! may have to do some serious meditation over this...
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  #39  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 08:10
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Ken,

You don't have to buy learning time. There are fee tutorial videos for Aspire.
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  #40  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 10:36
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenC View Post
I alway keep Gerald's advise, Look up CAM ASAP is one of them...
I can't even remember hearing of CAM ASAP and I have definitely never used it.
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  #41  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 10:53
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
ASAP = As Soon As Possible. Translation: "Google 'CAM' early in your project and learn all you can about it".
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  #42  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 11:01
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
I tough vetric was free lunch since it come free with many cnc router. Maybe the reason for the hygrade complex
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  #43  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 11:09
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Thanks Brad! Sometimes I wonder why I cannot remember things.
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  #44  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 19:34
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald D View Post
I know that this comment will get up Kobus' nose, but he will take it in the spirit it is intended . . . . . .

Sorting out your CAM tools, and climbing that learning curve, is something that should ideally be done before you mount the router. Even before, you buy steel. . . . . . . heck, even before you commit yourself to spend a cent.

For all the armchair readers out there: start figuring out how you are going to talk to your beast one day. It is a pretty dumb animal and it will only do exactly what it is told to do . . . including errors and missing instructions.

When you have your kitchen table motors turning, run a couple of your own files (signs, typically) past those motors and see if it looks right. If it looks wrong at that point, it is going to look far worse when 200 pounds of gantry make the same wrong moves.

This thread subject of CAM, should be getting a lot more attention than what we have seen so far. The physical building of the machine is a passing phase......after that it is CAM every day for the rest of its life.
Gerald, you had gave one too many sound advice for yourself to remember....

I'm to blame as well, my "English" is weird.... and thanks Brad & Normand for clearing things out.

Nils, in"buying time" I meant Aspire is easy to pick-up & use, others takes deeper learning to get to the same results.

Last edited by KenC; Fri 29 January 2010 at 19:41..
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  #45  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 20:25
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
(easy to pick-up & use, others takes deeper learning to get to the same results.) if it could be that easy
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  #46  
Old Fri 29 January 2010, 20:53
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Normand, sounds like you have some sound advice that I can use. Please fire away, I'm all ears.
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  #47  
Old Sun 31 January 2010, 10:15
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Hi Ken
What would be the best cad cam for you is like what would be the best car for you.
What is it you want to make with your MM ?

anyway I would not suggest toyota for a while
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  #48  
Old Sun 31 January 2010, 17:50
riesvantwisk
Just call me: Ries #46
 
Quito
Ecuador
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I think a quick sum-up would be:

a) Are you a designer, or b) are you only accepting files?


For a) you need to take a look what industry you are in

- There are excellent programs to design kitchen furniture and they save you a hell lot of time then doing it yourself in Autoklad. E cabinet is such an example of a design tool, but there are many others.
- If you are in the sign industry, then artcam or vectric is a good start, there are also some others, but they are hidden in the dark areas of the internet
- If you do more of custom in 3D, one off's, or create the same items but in different sizes/types (not sign related) then using a free form CAD tool might be better for you, they often (but not always) come with CAM tools build in, to name a few inventor, Pro/E, SolidW, they are complicated. They are parametric and if you change 'something', often the CAM files are changed accordingly and you don't have to re-do your CAM work. Ideal if you make items under some design, but allow your customer to change the width, hight, length of the item in question.
- If you do a lot of 2D cutting, then autocad/qcad might be better for you with a simple dxf2gcode converter, there is no need to get a complex 3D tool if you do mostly cutting.

b) If you just accept files to get, but don't do any designs, then you need to make very sure you work with a CAM program that can accept many file types, and understand the customers requirements, understand the limitations of your MM and understand the CAM tool to implement them as such in a timely manner (time is many, right?) the better you can create cut files in terms of time vs cut quality, to more jobs you can do in a day. PS, see what tools your customers use a lot, and get a copy of that yourself so you can always open the file in question in there CAD tool... If you have the $$$

So, it depends what your business is and what the ROI is going to be.
It also helps that you are comfortable with a specific tool, for myself I could never get used to Autoklad, I tried 3D once in Autoklad and got angry after 1 hour of working. That said, on the shipyard we had a lisp tool that could properly calculate 3D hulls with cutout/flatten calculations, very nice...

Also, look around you what friends/companies are using and what is supported by a local reseller, it's not very efficient to use tool XYZ that is amazing, but nobody uses, so when you have question you are stuck, it's always good to have buddies you can ask to...

Just my 1 cent..

Ries
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  #49  
Old Sun 31 January 2010, 21:22
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Ries, thanks for the insight, opens up my horizon... will spend some effort to find out what others are doing around here & give more thought into what I'll need & getting into.
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  #50  
Old Tue 30 March 2010, 16:47
VoltsAndBolts
Just call me: V&B
 
Henniker
United States of America
I started with ACE Converter as a free CAM solution but eventually moved to CUT2D.
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  #51  
Old Wed 31 March 2010, 13:45
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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I believe you will not be dissapointed with CUT2D, but once you start using the machine more and more, you would like to do more, but will be limited by the software. I started with CUT2D as wel and eventually ended up buying Vcarve Pro. Now I need Aspire to satisfy my needs....where will it stop.
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  #52  
Old Thu 01 April 2010, 06:23
VoltsAndBolts
Just call me: V&B
 
Henniker
United States of America
Yes I can see myself moving to Vcarve Pro sometime in the future.
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  #53  
Old Thu 01 April 2010, 16:43
PEU
Just call me: Pablo
 
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobus_Joubert View Post
I believe you will not be dissapointed with CUT2D, but once you start using the machine more and more, you would like to do more, but will be limited by the software. I started with CUT2D as wel and eventually ended up buying Vcarve Pro. Now I need Aspire to satisfy my needs....where will it stop.
What are the features of aspire that you want the most being a vcarve customer?
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  #54  
Old Fri 02 April 2010, 00:01
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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3D work and now that the latest Aspire and Vcarve have the indexer function, (wrapping) and the EASE of using Vectric programs.
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  #55  
Old Fri 02 April 2010, 08:07
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Hello Kobus
Looking at the way you been going I dont think you will be stopping soon. Get ready to buy lot of software or/and get some free one. After you done your wrap you will be wanting to do real 3D 4axes indexing work and then more

Where I think that there is no free lunch is in the EASE of use . I do not know many programs but I figure it is pretty much the same idea for most of them, for ex. few years back rhino 4 came out, it had over 600 new commands and now has load of plugins like this http://wiki.mcneel.com/labs/panelingtools
Are they easy or hard ? Are the nedded or wanted
And that is just the cad part .
Add up the price and learning time of all the sw you buy or borrow ,and compare to sw that would do the same and more in one environement, and all that you learn is alway used not changing from 1 sw to the next
With that apetite of your's I think you will never stop wanting more , I would suggest someting big and filling with extras, and doggy bag for later.
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  #56  
Old Fri 02 April 2010, 08:14
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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I am sure Aspire will fill me up just OK..
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  #57  
Old Fri 02 April 2010, 08:54
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Bon Appétit mon ami!

Last edited by normand blais; Fri 02 April 2010 at 08:57.. Reason: Girl friend corrected my french
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  #58  
Old Sat 03 April 2010, 00:37
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Dalview
South Africa
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Or ArtCam Pro..
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  #59  
Old Sat 03 April 2010, 05:34
normand blais
Just call me: Normand
 
montreal
Canada
Art cam is not realy a 3D Software ,but a fancy highfeild bitmap and raster to vector software great for relief work
if it is not to expensive ...
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  #60  
Old Sat 03 April 2010, 20:30
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I tested the Vcarve trial & really like it a lot.
Seriously thinking where I can find the money...
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