Hello Guest it is July 15, 2019, 04:53:17 PM

Author Topic: Cambam / gMax  (Read 18629 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kolias

*
  •  1,011 1,011
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 10:16:02 PM »
I know about the PITA effect RICH and I may waste my time with the free stuff.........

But I got to get a crack at it to find out IF I can do this stuff and IF I like it and so on. No point to spend money up front and then realise that I dont like to get involved with it.

What I like about Gmax/Gimp is that they both have a lot of tutorials. After I do a few of them, I should be able to decide if I like this type of work or not.
Nicolas

Offline kolias

*
  •  1,011 1,011
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2011, 11:50:28 PM »
Since GMax does not make dxf files I have started practicing in my Acad V14 and after a week or so I have made a good progress making various shapes and exporting the dxf to LC and making some nice cuts with Mach3.

However I think Acad, or at least the old version I have, is limited in making anything more than shapes. I mean if I wanted to draw up an animal or flower or some other artistic shape I find it difficult to do it with Acad and perhaps this is due to my limited experience with Acad.

Can someone tell me if Acad V14 is suitable for any artistic design? If not what is my alternative?

For now I’m interested in 2D and later of course I will venture to 3D
Nicolas

Offline ger21

*
  • *
  •  6,288 6,288
    • View Profile
    • The CNC Woodworker
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 12:44:56 AM »
Most people would have trouble drawing artistic things in any program. And a really good artist can probably use Excel to draw artistic things.

But realistically, you'd probably be better off using Corel Draw, Illustrator, or Inkscape for stuff like that. And if you do a lot of "drawing", you might want to consider a pen and tablet, which is about 100 times better than drawing with a mouse.

Fwiw, the 2D drawing tools in Acad 14 are pretty much the same as the ones in 2010, and even newer. Most of the changes from R14 to 2006 were productivity related, and from 2006-2010, a lot of 3D functionality was added. I haven't looked at 2011 or 2012 yet. :)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 12:47:51 AM by ger21 »
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline kolias

*
  •  1,011 1,011
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2011, 06:52:24 AM »
Thanks Gerry for the info and I agree but perhaps I should have clarified what I’m after.

I know about Corel Draw & Illustrator and the pen tablet, as a matter of fact I do have a pen tablet which I got it back in 2005 when I bought my Paint Shop AE7 but back then I didn’t know about CNC and I used my artistic skills to produce items with my printer just for fun.

Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think any of this software can produce dxf files which are needed by LazyCam. I know for fact that my Paint Shop can produce more than a dozen of different graphic files but dxf is not among them and the export function includes another half a dozen file formats but dxf is not there.

My experience is limited in this area but as far as I know I need graphics software which will produce dxf files since LazyCam can only accept dxf. Perhaps LazyCam is my limitation? If I had another CAM software I would have a wider choice of files than just dxf?

I’m sure that there must be a lot of CNC users out there who make and cut their own artistic drawings and I wonder what software they use. So if I want to make my own drawings in dxf format what would you suggest? And it doesn’t have to be free software.
Nicolas

Offline Tweakie.CNC

*
  • *
  •  7,838 7,838
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2011, 07:05:08 AM »
How about drawing with anything you already have (Corel X5 sounds good if you are looking for something new) then converting the drawing to .dxf format using Inkscape  http://inkscape.org/   ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline RICH

*
  • *
  •  7,340 7,340
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2011, 07:38:44 AM »
Nicolas,
What i do is draw the item freehand on a sheet of paper, scan the sketch and then bring the sketch ( bmp / jpg or whatever ) into CAD and draw over it.
This alows you to control the machining pathing and minimize machining time and you get a DXF for importing to LC. If your wanting to have it more automated or want 3d then you need different software.

RICH
 

Offline Tweakie.CNC

*
  • *
  •  7,838 7,838
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011, 07:46:48 AM »
Rich,

What CAD do you use to get your .dxf to import to LC  ?

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline RICH

*
  • *
  •  7,340 7,340
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2011, 08:23:46 AM »
Tweakie,
Autocad or Microstation but mostly Autocad and it's saved as a version 12DXF.

RICH

Offline ger21

*
  • *
  •  6,288 6,288
    • View Profile
    • The CNC Woodworker
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2011, 08:48:52 AM »
Quote
Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think any of this software can produce dxf files which are needed by LazyCam. I know for fact that my Paint Shop can produce more than a dozen of different graphic files but dxf is not among them and the export function includes another half a dozen file formats but dxf is not there.

My experience is limited in this area but as far as I know I need graphics software which will produce dxf files since LazyCam can only accept dxf. Perhaps LazyCam is my limitation? If I had another CAM software I would have a wider choice of files than just dxf?

Actually, they all can save .dxf files. With a couple of exceptions.
1) Don't use any gradients or fills, because sometimes they'll be saved as thousands of line segments that you'll need to remove. Use vector tools only.
2) The major one, is that a lot of them have very poor .dxf export. This is mainly due to the fact that these programs draw with splines, or bezier curves, which don't translate well to .dxf. But there are workarounds. If using Corel, there is a .dxf exporter specifically for CNC use. It's $60
http://www.coreldrawtools.com/standard/index.html
If using Inkscape, there are several .dxf exporters for CNC use that work much better than the built in one. I haen't used them, but this one is supposed to work good.
http://www.bigbluesaw.com/saw/big-blue-saw-blog/general-updates/big-blue-saws-dxf-export-for-inkscape.html
You can always export from Illustrator or Corel into Inkscape in a neutral format (.eps or .ai?) and use the free Inkscape export.

Personally, I do what Rich does, and use AutoCAD. Import an image, and scale it to the size I want it. Then use a combination of polylines, arcs, and splines to trace the image. For complex curves, I just trace a quick spline, and then drag the nodes around to get it where I want it. When done, delete the image, and save as .v12 dxf.

When using splines in AutoCAD, I prefer to use an AutoLISP program to convert the splines into polylines. This gives more control over the # of segments you'll end up with, allowing for smoother "curves" then what you can get when saving as .v12 dxf (which converts splines to  polylines during export).
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline kolias

*
  •  1,011 1,011
    • View Profile
Re: Cambam / gMax
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2011, 09:44:45 AM »
Some good ideas here and thank you all

Tweakie that was a very good idea because I didn’t know that Inkscape can convert to dxf. I checked my copy of Inkscape and it does export to dxf and so that is a very good alternative which I will investigate further. Don’t know why I didn’t see this before

RICH that is also a good idea and I do the same but in a different way !!! I draw my sketch in a transparent piece of paper, then I attach it to my screen with masking tape and then in Acad I use the Point command to mark X’s under the paper and then I use polylines to connect the X’s. It works well but it’s not perfect. My Acad can only open DWG or DXF files and under the Insert Menu I have 8 options to open different files but non works. But I just experimented and the Windows Meta File Option and it works and since my Paint Shop Program can export WMF I will also investigate this option also.

My Acad is an office controlled version which means that the IT people in the place I used to work they were installing software in our laptops depending in our function and since I was only needing Acad to just open and see the dwgs, I don’t have all the features of Acad. That is the reason in my Insert Menu most of the items don’t work and also I don’t have the Rendering and who knows what else LOL

Gerry I will follow your instructions but getting Corel will be my last option since I already have Paint Shop which I know fairly well and Inkscape which I have to learn. The links you provide sound good and thanks.
I try not to use splines in my Acad because when I try to edit the spline my Acad hangs and I loose all my work – don’t know why.
Nicolas