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Offline caddy

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newbie question
« on: December 26, 2009, 10:16:21 AM »
Good Morning Gents
I'm not sure this is the correct place for this post but thought a greater exposure would be here.
A basic question:
I have noticed that Mach will allow imports from numerous cad/cam programs. I have a VERY OLD Auto Cad program and have been trying to decide if it is up to the task. I have had a friend recommend "Inventor" as a good program as well. I am soliciting your input as to what programs you all like and trying to see which will work well. I'm going to have to learn how on some program so I would prefer to purchase one that will be suitable as well as user friendly.
Thanks for the input
 
Re: newbie question
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 10:40:28 AM »
Greetings Caddy and welcome to the forum.
I use an old CAD too. ACLite 98 and it exports well into LazyCam, Sheet Cam and Vectrix very well.
I wouldn't recommend LCam for a raw beginner but SheetCam and Vectrix products are pretty cheap, EXCELLENT forums/support and VERY user friendly.
If you use the search engine here, it will reference many posts on this subject.
They say the sky's the limit....actually, it seems to be your pocketbook when it comes to CAD/CAM.
Re: newbie question
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 10:51:54 AM »
I prefer Rhino over Autocad and inventor for drawing, but that's just because I've spent more time on Rhino so that's what I'm comfortable with.  Neither will generate a toolpath which makes them CAD programs, although there is a CAM package for Rhino.  Not sure about Autocad.  There are CAD/CAM programs that do both.  Take a look at the links page.  There are a number of them listed.  

My favorite CAD/CAM is Artcam.  There is also another company called Vectric that has something very similar for a fraction the price.  It is so similar to Artcam, I'm almost certain is was created by the same programmers.  If I were after a very good, cost effective CAD/CAM, I'd go with Vectric.  It's still a good deal even if you use it only as CAM and draw in Rhino or Autocad.  

Offline ger21

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Re: newbie question
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 11:10:30 AM »
Just save your files from AutoCAD in .v12 .dxf format. If you're AutoCAD is older than v12, then save it in it's newest .dxf format.

Inventor is about $5000, and will require more work than drawing it in AutoCAD. LazyCAM, SheetCAM and Vectric's Cut2D and V Carve Pro all accept 2D .dxf files. With AutoCAD, you draw the part and export the file. With Inventor, you need to create a 3D model of the part first. Then, Inventor creates your 2D drawings from the model. Then, you can export the drawings.
Gerry

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

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

Offline ger21

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Re: newbie question
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 11:11:24 AM »

My favorite CAD/CAM is Artcam.  There is also another company called Vectric that has something very similar for a fraction the price.  It is so similar to Artcam, I'm almost certain is was created by the same programmers.

I believe that it was. :)
Gerry

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

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