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Author Topic: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted  (Read 8527 times)

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Hi all I'm sure you get this question every other time you exhale, but I tried a quick search and nothing came up.

What software do you recommend in the way of converting Dxfs to Gcode, I'm looking for 2.5d and simple... cheap is good too,
later on I'm sure i"ll buy something expensive and really 3d, but for now i want to spend my money on hardware not software. :)

I'm mostly going to do wood routing for now, At the moment i have a tiny Dremeltool driven setup for practice and I'm in
the "waiting for my darn thrust washers" phase on my larger one that's going to hold a bosch 1617 router.
 
I know Sheet cam is out there on the $200 range,

What's out there that's free, and what in the $200 and below range?

Thanks,

Eric-

Online Graham Waterworth

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 03:09:44 AM »
You get LazyCAM lite with Mach3, if you want the full version its $75.00

Graham
Without engineers the world stops

Offline budman68

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 04:55:23 AM »
I have to highly recommend Cut2D from Vectric software. It's under $200 and nothing comes close for ease of learning especially if you've never done much CAM work before.

I've tried quite a few and this was bar far the easiest and they have an excellent support site as well.

Dave
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Offline ger21

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 09:07:16 AM »
There's a free version of CamBam, there's G Simple, and ACE, for free.

If you're going to spend money, look seriously at Cut2D. You won't find anything easier.
Gerry

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 09:24:23 AM »
I use CamBam for dxf to GCode - it's also extremely good at creating the tool radius offset paths. Easy to use and fully supported by active forum and it's Free.

Tweakie.
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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 12:39:27 AM »

Grabbed the free coy of cam bam to start off with, thanks for the recommendations.


Can anyone point me to a reference on the different file types for Gcode, Silly me I assumed there was just one, but I noticed
Mach3 opens *.tap files, and CamBam exports *.nc files... As heinlein said, 2 is the sillys number, if there are two ther are lots...

so I guess that means i have a new bucket of learning to soak up.

Is there a good place to learn about all these and the differences and how to transform form one to another?

Thanks,

Eric-

Offline Chip

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 01:08:58 AM »
Hi, Eric

It will load, .tap, .nc, .ncc and .txt, There all basic text type file, Formatted/Structured G-Code.

Hears a Link to the Mach3Mill Manual,  http://www.machsupport.com/docs/Mach3Mill_1.84.pdf for a start, Just a Start.

Hope this Helps, Chip

Offline ger21

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 09:26:15 AM »

Is there a good place to learn about all these and the differences and how to transform form one to another?

Thanks,

Eric-

They're all the same, just text files with different extension names. Most CAm programs will let you choose the file extension you want to use.

When you open any given type in Mach3, that will be the default type it looks for, until you open a different type. But it'll open files with any extension you want to use.
Gerry

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 11:01:31 AM »
Take a look at SheetCAM at www.sheetcam.com.  There's a free evaluation (I think 30 days).  You can also download their new tool SheetCAMTNG for free for, I think 15 days.  TNG is very nice at this point.  Support on SheetCAM is really first-rate.  If you do find a bug, it'll usually be fixed within days.

Cut2D is nice as well, and has a nice 3D simulation capability, but some of its other capabilities are rather limited.  I can't recall off-hand what it was I found lacking, but I did compare it to SheetCAM, and it came out second.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.

Offline bowber

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Re: Software to convert Dxf to Gcode, aka CAM. Recommendations wanted
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 11:16:34 AM »
Second go at posting.

I use Sheetcam aminly, I've also used Cambam but not tried Cut2D.
For 3D I use Meshcam.
You'll find most common jobs use 2.5D.

Steve