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Workflow with Mach
« on: July 22, 2009, 10:11:12 AM »
Hi,

As my post count shows, I am new here and just in the beginning stages of learning CNC/Mach3. I wanted to list out what I *think* my workflow should be and see if I am on track. This is a very high level view of the workflow.

I am using TurboCAD, Vectric Cut2D, and Mach3.

1. Create design in TurboCAD, save to DXF format.
2. Open DXF in Cut2D, assign tools and generate toolpaths.
3. Save toolpaths to Gcode.
4. In Mach3, open first toolpath (for objects with more than one toolpath) and run job.
5. Toolpath complete - change out tool (calibrate Z axis)
6. Open second toolpath and run job
7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 as needed for more toolpaths.

Am I missing anything? I realize that some of these steps will have quite a few sub-steps, but I am thinking "big picture" at the moment.

Also, when I assign a tool in Cut2D, should that information be passed along to Mach3 or do I still need to adjust the tool settings in Mach3? For example, if I assign a end mill with .25 diameter for toolpath 1 and a half round 30 degree cutter for toolpath 2, should the code Cut2D generates provide that information or do I need to specify it in Mach3 also.

Thanks!

Dave




Offline ger21

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 11:15:45 AM »
Looks about right.

If you're not using tool offsets, then Mach3 really doesn't need to know what tool you're using. I'm pretty sure Cut2D doesn't use radius comp (G41,G42), but it may use height offsets (G43). If so, you may need to at least have the tool length in Mach3's tool table. Not exactly sure, though.
Gerry

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 11:23:01 AM »
OK, thanks for the reply. I'll look through the code Cut2D is creating and see if I spot that code any where.

Dave

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 12:01:27 PM »
Won't Cut2D generate code with Tool changes? That would be a whole lot easier than having one file for each tool
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 12:26:22 PM »
I am not sure. When I was playing with it earlier, it would not let me save all the toolpaths to one file if different tools were being used. Just assumed by that, each toolpath (requiring a different tool) would need to be loaded and run separately.

Someone correct me if my assumption is wrong on this (will ask at Vetrics forum too).

Dave
Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 12:31:01 PM »
Yep, just verified. States right in the program when trying to save toolpaths using different tools that "automatic toolchaging is not supported in this program".

Couldn't I just paste all the code from each file into one file and then insert code to perform a manual tool change?

Dave

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 01:00:39 PM »
That is just goofy. I suppose they did that to add some distinction between products. What a PITA to have to manually run several programs or manually edit them just to add a T1, T2 etc.

One way to do it would be to save each file with the tool number specified: part1_T1.nc, part2_T2.nc. That would make it easier to manually edit them.

Here is another alternative: http://www.cambam.co.uk/, download the free version and see how that works for you. From reading the Cut2D specs it look like they have similar features. The 'plus' version is the same price as Cut2D and has some enhanced 3D stuff. I have access to several big$ CAM programs through my employer but CamBam was the best 'hobbyist' priced product I could find (that did not do silly things like limit tool changes, or only do 2D or only do 3D.) to offer on my own website: www.soigeneris.com.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 01:14:14 PM »
Thanks Jeff! I'll check that out.

Dave

Offline olf20

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 02:33:53 PM »
Most of the time we import cut2d into VcarvePro, from there you can post your code
to mach3 using ATC. Works Great!!!
olf20 / Bob

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Offline ger21

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Re: Workflow with Mach
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 04:59:05 PM »
Cut2D is Vectric's entry level product. If you want tool changes, you'll need to upgrade to V-Carve Pro.

Bob, why go through the trouble of creating tolpaths in Cut2D and importing them into V-Carve, when you can just do them in V-Carve Pro? Or, so you mean Cut3D?
Gerry

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