Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: DaveS on January 12, 2016, 04:53:14 AM

Title: Creating G-Code
Post by: DaveS on January 12, 2016, 04:53:14 AM
ATM we are at ground Zero as we start building our machine.  In the meantime we want to get the basics of writing up G-Code.  We have a "cheat sheet" of the basic commands and understand the elements of how the code works.   We have looked at a couple of compilers, but they do not seem to work in W10 64Bit.   ReplicatorG and that apparently requires Python Interpreter.  downloaded it and installed, but all we are getting are error messages and RG keeps asking for Python Interpreter and cannot find it, It also changed the shortcut to Python to ReplicatorG shortcut (2) :(

No doubt a lot of finger trouble here and getting onto the first rung is a bit trying.  Whether this is because these programs at 32bit and Win10 gets its sox into a twist with anything that is  older than 6 months ago....:)

Anyone point us to some programs that do work in W10.   Otherwise we may dump using W10 and go for a linux OS or go back and instal a 32bit Win7 on out Dell 780 FFS
The example  files we have appear to run smoothly in Mach3   But before we buy an adapter to eliminate the parallel port issues in W8/10 I feel we need to resolve the software issues first before we invest in $200 adapter.

Cheers Dave & Mark
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on January 12, 2016, 05:04:46 AM
I am not sure if this answers your question but for such things as control panels etc. I would use a CAD/CAM program to create the design and automatically produce the appropriate Gcode using it's post-processor. Actually writing the Gcode manually would, I think, soon become a bit tiresome.

One of the (in my opinion) best, and easily learnt, CAD/CAM is Vectric


Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: fixittt on January 12, 2016, 05:49:23 AM
I guess the first question is, what are you wanting to do with the machine?
ReplicatorG is more of a 3D printer slicer, but yes it can be used to spit out 3 axis gcode from what I have seen. 

I would highly recommend that you look for actual cad/cam package.

If your looking at just 2D then cut2d from Vectric that Tweakie suggested is a good place to start.

use the googles, there are other softwares out there that are cheap/free/limited, but if your learning, then you will want something with a good solid user base.  Artcam express also comes to mind.
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: DaveS on January 12, 2016, 06:56:44 AM
Thanks for quick responses, both replies.  I have downloaded the "2DCut" program and quite impressed. As it certainly simplifies the creation of the commands that the CNC can respond to.  I would say that the $200 cost will be a good investment for our needs.

We have only a requirement for 2D milling.  A. to cut out panels for a Vintage Sega Arcade console & B. to accurately cut hull formers and decking for large scale model ships up to 2m LOA,  which is my main hobby ATM  The formers are cut from 3mm MDF and the decking from modelling ply, but as skills improve more intricate parts will be attempted.

Most of the plans I use are either bought or downloaded and then scaled up to full size on the computer and then printed out in a poster program.  The Hull lines are usually drawn on plans in a single graphic.  one half showing all the lines from the bow to midships the other half from the stern to midships, on average up to 20 - 25 formers which gives the hull its distinctive shape. These are then traced onto individual full width drawings.  They can be then scanned and converted to appropriate formats.

Doing this is a very laborious task resulting in a model taking up to a year to complete doing everything manually with a fret saw and a lot of elbow grease. My HMS Manchester took almost three years to complete and videos and photos of the model were use by a German dive team when the dived on the original wreck of Libya in the Med.

Thanks Dave n Mark.

Check my website in my profile.
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: ger21 on January 12, 2016, 07:11:21 AM
You might want to try a CAD program in combination with Cut2D. A lot of people like Draftsight, which is free.
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: magicniner on January 12, 2016, 07:13:03 AM
Before I got my CNC running I spent a couple of months of my spare time reading up on G Code.
I've found that it's good to have an idea what the code is doing but I've found it so quick and easy to use CAD/CAM for 2D stuff that I haven't felt the need to hand code,

 - Nick
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: DaveS on January 12, 2016, 07:20:13 AM
Thanks Guys.  This is really great.  This is a great forum    5stars  :)
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on January 12, 2016, 07:25:44 AM
5 Stars - wow!  ;D

Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: BR549 on January 12, 2016, 11:08:14 AM
OH MAN Tweakie will Never be able to wear his old hats now. His head will be too big.

 :D ;D >:D
Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on January 13, 2016, 01:34:06 AM
 ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: DaveS on January 19, 2016, 08:37:53 PM
Just a bit of an update on our progress. We have tried a number of the suggestions given and the old Dell 780 is performing quite well, I even picked up a somewhat improved video card with DVI/HDMI output that leaves the onboard VGA graphics walking backwards.  Not exactly a gaming card but well supported by AMD and works well.
Mark feels that running "LinuxCNC" would probable be better, as said he is the computer whiz and knows linux pretty well.  Discovered that there are 2 embedded versions of LinuxCNC.

1. Ubuntu, which appears to be an old cutdown version 10.  (Current is V15) It will not run as V10 is out of date and cannot find links for updating etc inside the app.

2. Debian, [which "Lubuntu is based on] this is an excellent version.  Easy to get and create an ISO and burn to disk.  The app runs well in both the "Live" and the "Install" options.  So have set up 780 with Debian.  ( I recall using Deb many years ago, not easy back then, mainly text based)

After installation the install updated to the latest add-ons etc. and auto checks each time its booted up.  Navigation is extremely smooth and all one has to do is use the Right button on the desktop to drop down a search panel.  Whilst the desktop has various icons to look for things the R-Click is much faster and cleaner.
Had no problems accessing my network, which includes a server and huge backup file system plus 4TB of data storage in a NASbox 340 (old)

Next week the build will begin, with a trip to my favorite store for an 8X4 sheet of MDF.  They have a large vertical and horizontal sheet cutting facility so the sheet can be cut to 4 pieces of 4'X2' as recommended in the book.  I am modifying an old "Work Mate" allowing a old GME circular saw to be fitted with adjustable guides to cut out accurately the many parts needed.  
This followed by the purchase of aluminum angle for the runners and the construction of the base board and gantry.  I have a supply of quality roller bearings and we have a local store "Searle Fasteners" who can supply just about every nut, bolt, or threaded device that was ever made - If they have not got it they can get it or it doesn't exist :)
<1 small step>

Cheers Dave & Mark.

Posted from the 780/Linux

Title: Re: Creating G-Code
Post by: garyhlucas on January 19, 2016, 10:26:54 PM
Take a look at CamBam too. $150 and 40 sessions free before you buy. Software is the Personal in PC so you may find a program every raves about not to be to liking. I'm like that with Autocad, use it almost every day for 15 years and I still hate that program!  CamBam user forum is absolutely top notch too.