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Messages - mp2008

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41
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Choosing a CAM Software!?
« on: February 14, 2012, 10:19:32 AM »
I'm to the point to where I need to purchase a CAM program but I'm having troubles deciding.  I've read a few threads about choosing one but haven't gotten the answers I want.  If you guys could help me choose, it'd be appreciated.  There are a few things I'd like to know about any CAM(preferably RhinoCAM, Vectric's Cut 3D, and MeshCAM unless something else comes up).
1. How good is the toolpathing and how does it compare to others?
2. Made for the hobbyist level, small business level, or any other level?
3. User friendly(easy to pick up on or very complicated)?
4. Speed>as far as generating the toolpathing and G-code?
5. Compatibility with files types and software?
6. Worth the Cost?
7. Anything else you may want to add?

Thanks for the help!

42
General Mach Discussion / Re: Newbie needs help!
« on: February 13, 2012, 10:50:58 AM »

Another thing that I'm having problems with is Meshcam, my z's are always positive in my g-code so its cutting above the stock.  I'm sure its because I'm not really familiar with Meshcam yet and I'm on the 30 day trial period.  Anyone familiar with Meshcam or know where I could find help for this software?  

Make sure you're using a Mach3 post, and also make sure you set Z zero to the top of stock or top of model.
There's a MeshCAM forum here. http://www.grzsoftware.com/forum/

Where in Michigan are you?
Ya, that was my problem with my positive z-axis(z-zero) and I did happen to find that forum.  Starting to cut out some nice STL models just need to learn how to finish them up nice and clean.  I'm in central MI about a half hour north-east of Big Rapids.  You?

43
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 12, 2012, 01:41:36 PM »
That would probably be the wiser choice.  Cause If I ever did want to get rid of the old comp., I would just have to buy the SS to have the machine work with my newer computer.  Thanks for the advice.  You've helped a lot!

44
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 12, 2012, 11:57:56 AM »
If you had a choice would you upgrade the computer to a 64-bit with more RAM and buy a SmoothStepper or upgrade the RAM on the 32-bit and keep using the same parallel ports?

45
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 12, 2012, 10:45:23 AM »
The RAM is most likely the issue. You really need 2 GB to use MeshCAM and have it be reasonable fast. My PC is about 5 years old, and would probably create the code in less than 1 minute with those settings.

If you uncheck 3D roughing, it should be quite a bit faster.
Thanks for your help!  I'll try unchecking 3-D roughing but I most definitely will be upgrading to a better computer.

46
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 12, 2012, 10:30:02 AM »
As for my tolerance setting I believe it is at .01 in. Should it be any lower?

If you're working in mm's, try .02 or .03
How large is the model?
What is your stepover?
Id it the roughing, or finishing that takes so long?
What kind of processor is in your PC?

The printer ports are on the Smoothstepper. But they aren't the same as real printer ports. Mach3 sends the commands to the Smoothstepper via ethernet, and the Smoothstepper sends the signals out of it's "printer ports". The reason you can't use Mach3 on a 64bit OS with printer ports is that the printer port driver won't work. The SS doesn't need the printer port driver, because the PC isn't using a printer port.

That makes sense.  I have a feeling I'll end up using a SS.  As for your other questions
I'm using inch
My model is 10x8 inches
My stepover is .1inch on a .125 inch round tipped bit
It is the roughing that takes so long
My processor is a Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.4 GHz and my RAM is only 248 MB if that helps. 
My Feedrate is 50 inches/min and it estimates this certain model to take 84 minutes.

Thanks for the help!

47
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 12, 2012, 12:27:16 AM »


If it helps...  Right now I have a DynaCNC 1000 RTR controller with 2 parallel ports running to my computer.


48
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: Meshcam Help!
« on: February 11, 2012, 11:54:24 PM »
Try reducing the tolerance setting in MeshCAM. I've never had anything take more than 5 minutes or so.

But yes, you can copy files from one PC to the Mach3 machine. If you use a SmoothStepper, you can run Mach3 on the 64bit machine as well.
I started reading about SmoothStepper but I can't quite get my head around what it does exactly and how it would make me able to run mach 3 on my 64 bit system with my CNC controller using printer ports?  Can you help explain what it does? I'd be grateful because it sounds promising.

As for my tolerance setting I believe it is at .01 in. Should it be any lower?

49
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Meshcam Help!
« on: February 11, 2012, 09:53:06 PM »
The computer I have Mach 3 on is really slow and is in 32-bit.  When I go to generate the toolpath for a STL file in Meshcam on the same computer, it takes a half hour+ to generate all the code.  I'd like to change or upgrade the computer all together but my CNC controller uses printer ports and was told I couldn't?   My question is:  Can I use a faster, 64-bit computer for my CAD/CAM programs and save the g-code as a .nc or .txt and transfer on usb thumb drive to mach 3 on the 32-bit slow computer?  or Can I upgrade my computer altogether to a faster 64-bit and use adapters to USB? 

50
General Mach Discussion / Re: Newbie needs help!
« on: February 11, 2012, 09:22:47 PM »
Quote
Anyone familiar with Meshcam or know where I could find help for this software? 


Cambam can do 3D but the pathing options are not as good as MeshCams.
Cambam does not provide tool definiton for ball endmill use and others, and you may need that for work you will be doing.
Go to MeshCam and Cambam site's, download the manuals and READ them, look at the tutorials, videos, etc.

I like both of them :D

Hmm.... Mach, Meshcam, Cambam, 3d drawing / CAD programs.........enjoy the learning curve, ;)

RICH

Sure will! Thanks for the help everyone!

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