MechMate CNC Router Forum

Go Back   MechMate CNC Router Forum > Computing, Software & Programming > 80. Computer Hardware & Software
Register Options Profile Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old Sun 10 July 2011, 13:26
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
Software?

I'm confused on the software. I have included a image of the type of work I want to be able to do. I can't tell if there are any undercuts around the edges or not but the machine I want to build will only have 3 axes. It's just an example of the type of detail I want to be able to do. I just don't have a clue as to what software CAD/Cam/Controller to use. Price is an issue so I need something affordable. I heard alot of people are using vcarve but I don't know if I can do this type of work with it. I am completely new to this and am just trying to figure out all the details and do my research. Thought about purchasing the software so I can start to learn it as I accumulate the parts to build. Also this whole license deal with the software is a pain. I heard if you don't get the full license you are limited to how many lines of code you can do. I this true? For a hobbyist like myself not a commercial manufacturer is there a way around the big license fees. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Sun 10 July 2011, 15:14
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
License fee for Mach 3 is only about 129-159 dollars pending your reseller.
The only "free" CNC BOB engine alternative is EMC which is a fine alternative.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Sun 10 July 2011, 20:38
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
So mach 3 is the cam software correct? what kind of cad software would be compatible and affordable as well? This next question is probaly kinda stupid but what is a BOB engine? I keep seeing it on several different articles and threads but I don't know what it stands for. I probaly know what it is but maybe by a different name. Also could you give me a link to a mach 3 reseller?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Sun 10 July 2011, 21:13
shaper
Just call me: Jed
 
Perth, WA
Australia
CAM software is seperate to MACH3/EMC, these convert the CAD drawings to machine code (in this case G-code). Mach used to have a very basic CAM engine called lazycam (not sure if it's still around) but not part of mach3.

There are litterally thousands of CAD softwares out there some cheap (or free) some VERY expensive, google and see what you find, what is best depends on experience, budget, uses etc. your mileage will vary so have a look around and demo what you can. CAM is very similar so again look around see what works well with your CAD and Demo what you can

BOB eninge (Mach3 or EMC) turns the CAM inputs to electrical signals (step and dir in this case) and sends to BOB, BOB sends the seperate signals for each axis to respective driver which converts them to signals that will drive the motors.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 00:17
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
EMC2 is the Motion Control Software, it is the brain of the CNC machine.
You will still need CAD to draw & CAM to generate G-code of your choice.
Download a copy of EMC2, its free. Look up the manuals & there are good literature on what you are asking.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 12:56
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
I looked up mach3 and they still use lazycam. With yalls experience which is better mach3 or emc? Also anybody familiar with vcarve?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 16:26
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
RJ,

You can not go wrong with the Vectric group of products. I personally use Aspire and I cut what you want to cut. Also the price is very reasonable for the features they provide.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 18:21
jehayes
Just call me: Joe #53
 
Whidbey Island, Washington
United States of America
Re: Vectric

I agree with Nils; I bought the Vectric package and have been very happy. Never had any problems with the Vectric produced G-Code. Sometimes I use Turbocad to produce a DXF file to import into V-Carve and then to produce the G-Code. System works fine.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 21:41
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
Joe,

Do you use other products from vectric like cut3d? If so how does it differ form vcarve?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Mon 11 July 2011, 23:53
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
Send a message via Yahoo to Kobus_Joubert Send a message via Skype™ to Kobus_Joubert
I am with Nils. Aspire is the ultimate. I started with Cut2D then upgraded to VcarvePro...the problem you always want to do MORE and with Aspire I have not run out of ideas...still lots of things I still want to do that I know Aspire will be up to the task.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 02:07
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
That's great! I think am decided on aspire as well. What kind of cad software do you use.I'm trying to get a idea of what people are using most commonly expecially since your using aspire.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 02:46
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
If you want some thing free in 2d, try draftsight. Also go look at the vectric website, try the tutorials and download a copy.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 02:48
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
Send a message via Yahoo to Kobus_Joubert Send a message via Skype™ to Kobus_Joubert
Aspire can do a lot of CAD functions, but if you already are using some other cad program, you do your drawing in there and save as DXF. Then you import the DXF into Aspire and away you go
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 06:24
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
If you like a very simple and really affordable 2d CAD program, I recommend TurboCAD, it's about 50 dollars for a full license and has ooodles of features. (it plays nicely with other file types too)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 06:56
shaper
Just call me: Jed
 
Perth, WA
Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by shern_0711 View Post
I looked up mach3 and they still use lazycam. With yalls experience which is better mach3 or emc? Also anybody familiar with vcarve?
It's horses for courses really.

EMC is cheap and it works but there is no where near the support for it either here or elsewhere on the net so you have to be prepared to go the learning curve yourself to some extent. If you know or are familiar with linux it's not a bad option. Though I haven't finished (not even close at this point) my build I've played with EMC a good deal and am using it on my converted lathe without issue and when I started I'd never even looked at linux or machine control software.

Mach is the other side of the coin, plentyof support both here and elsewhere, basically it's a known quanitity and you'll have any one of about 100 guys here that can give good advice.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 07:45
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
EMC2 does lack behind Mach3 in the support department but even a software idiot like me can figure it out... Tried both & these are some of my opinion
EMC2
1) I can use top class software for free legitimately
2) Simplicity when it comes to operation, no frill controls
3) motors sound smoother, very smooth...
4) No short cut, forces one to learn everything there is to know (more then just the software) to maximise the power of CNC machining.
5) You gotta spend time to understand & learn up coding before writing own customised features, but there are enough information in the net for the purpose, just need time & brain juice to get them...
6) it runs on Ubuntu or other Linux OS (all free by the way) & they run on any old obsolete crappy PC (which you can get for free normally) that you can throw at them...
Go for it if you like to tinker with stuff or needed an excuse to have a go at simple coding.


Mach3
1) no brain-er installation
2) utility wizard all over the place
3) The screen is jam packed with all the bells & whistle, even with those that never interest me...
4) There isn't much I can do to customise... almost everything were done for me... but they all come with a price to pay...
5) This software is picky with its PC, some PC (such as my Dell) just won't max out the prowess of the software... & you need Win XP SP5 for best performance... no win7 won't cut it.
Go for it if you succumb to the fear of learning or you just want to get the machine working ASAP with as much hand-holding as possible.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Tue 12 July 2011, 21:25
Red_boards
Just call me: Red #91
 
Melbourne
Australia
RJ,
You can install a demo version of Mach 3 free and use it to learn how to drive your motors when they arrive.

I understand your confusion on CAD software. The problem is that there is simply too much choice! I am in the same position.
I already have a couple of design packages that are specific for surfboards, which are complex 3D shapes), so I just need to convert the dxf they produce to G-code and set up things like tabs to keep my work in place, so I'm thinking Cut3d (another Aspire product) will do it for me (although I know already that the CAD packages do not necessarily export well-formed dxfs).
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Wed 13 July 2011, 06:06
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Red,
If you haven't used Cut3d yet, you will like it. The best feature is it's ability to take VERY high polygon count models/solids and still form a cutting profile with code.

I found that in some instances where Rhino would crashout due to memory allocation when Cut3D didn't and finished the job.

Personally, I love Cut3D - I just wished it had a 4th axis module! (...and it's just the right price - affordable)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Wed 13 July 2011, 17:02
shern_0711
Just call me: RJ
 
Louisiana
United States of America
Thank you all for your help. I am still in the infant stages and have a ways to go. I'm stocking piling information I guess...lol
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Fri 15 July 2011, 21:10
ger21
Just call me: Ger
 
Detroit, MI
United States of America
Quote:
I'm confused on the software. I have included a image of the type of work I want to be able to do.
If you want to create something like that dragon from scratch, then Aspire is the cheapest option for that type of work. You won't need a separate CAD program, everything can be done in Aspire.

Be aware, though, that there's no magic button labeled "Dragon". Something like that takes a lot of skill, and potentially hundreds of hours of practice.

If you just want to buy 3D models and carve them, VectorArt3D has free CAM software that works with their models. It's actually a custom version of Cut3D.

An alternative to Cut3D is MeshCAM. Either of these will create code to cut models you've purchased or downloaded.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Register Options Profile Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which is the easiest software to.. coinhunter 80. Computer Hardware & Software 19 Tue 26 March 2013 05:36
DXF Software jpalttala The Market Place 0 Wed 21 July 2010 00:42
Computersculpture.com for 3d scanners, CAD software, CAM software, and Desktop Mills awerby The Market Place 7 Mon 04 May 2009 09:23
Indexer software Art Archives 6 Tue 15 July 2008 09:43
What software do I need for 5-axis capability? joepardy Archives 7 Mon 05 November 2007 23:43


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:03.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.