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True 4 axis milling
« on: July 15, 2010, 03:03:39 AM »
Hi All

Just a quick question (so much to learn)

I am just starting to get my 4 axis mill conversion up and running and I have started to use MeshCam to do some programming. Now it is is a very good program but it only seems to use the 4 axis to rotate the part before continuing with machining using the X,Y&Z i.e. no machining is done while the Rotary axis is moving.

The question is does anyone have examples of Mach3 machining with all 4 axis (3 linear and 1 rotary) moving and what CAM package did they use for this?

Thanks Brian

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 05:33:36 AM »
Hi Brian,

I think it's all related to the price you are willing to pay for the software.

'MeshCam' uses an indexed 4th axis toolpath and is very well priced whereas 'DeskProto' will allow the 4th axis rotation machining you mention but at a higher price.
(As with MC the DP software is available for limited trial so you can see if it will do the job you require before you buy).

Moving up in price 'Visual Mill' will also allow 4 axis simultaneous operation.

There are lots more out there but these are just the ones I have tried and used.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 08:00:52 AM »
Thanks for that.

It's just for the future and knowing what I might need if I meet a limitation with MeshCAM

Brian

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 08:33:17 AM »
Brian,

I have never found the need (yet) for more than 3 Axis at any one time and I am sure that with a bit of planning that is all that may be required. So It may not be a bad thing to stick with MC and save yourself a lot of, perhaps unnecessary, dosh.  ;)

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

Offline ger21

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 11:59:59 AM »
DeskProto is running a special for hobbiests at a greatly reduced price. When I get a 4th axis running, I'll be pressuring for Robert to add continuous 4th axis to MeshCAM. :) But I wouldn't count on it anytime soon.
Gerry

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Offline xaco

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 04:33:30 AM »
hi,i was in same situation as you when i bought MeshCAM,its great softwer for that  money but does only indexing as u mentioned...now i try to use ArtCAM for 4th axis,my other options were   MadCAM (if u use Rhinoceros) and DeskProto

Offline khalid

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:42:31 AM »
ArtCAM, Deskproto, VisualCAM are not true 4th axis programs.. They always generated gcode for 3-axes...
Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 11:36:56 AM »
ArtCAM, Deskproto, VisualCAM are not true 4th axis programs.. They always generated gcode for 3-axes...

Meshcam generates code for the 4th axis, the point is it will not generate code so that all 4 axis can be moving at the same time. Or is this not what you are saying?

The main reason for my question is so I can be a bit ahead with my planning. I have a possible requirement to reproduce small complex casting by milling from solid. As it stands at the moment it would seem Meshcam can cope with this but will I need a more sophisticated Cam package in the future, perhaps for speed or smother finished.
I will probably look at bit closer at 'DeskProto Full'

As I am new to Gcode programming what would a simple piece of Gcode look like that would have all 4 axis moving together in a non linear way; for that matter I don’t think I could do it in 3 axis. :)

Brian

Offline docltf

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 12:31:01 PM »
just type out a line of code.

g1 x-.655 y.165 z-.060 a15 f5.0

that is all 4 going at once,pretty simple.

Offline khalid

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Re: True 4 axis milling
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 12:42:03 PM »

Meshcam generates code for the 4th axis, the point is it will not generate code so that all 4 axis can be moving at the same time. Or is this not what you are saying?
Yes..Meshcam generate Gcode for 4th axis..but it is not true 4th axis..You are canabilizing one axis into Rotary motion...
The Gcode for true 4th axis is
g1 x-.655 y.165 z-.060 a15 f5.0
whereas Artcam,Meshcam and Deskproto will generate like
g1 x-.655 y.165 a15 f5.0



The main reason for my question is so I can be a bit ahead with my planning. I have a possible requirement to reproduce small complex casting by milling from solid. As it stands at the moment it would seem Meshcam can cope with this but will I need a more sophisticated Cam package in the future, perhaps for speed or smother finished.

I will probably look at bit closer at 'DeskProto Full'

Depends on the accuracy you needed... Some software only work with STL models and those STL models are not accurate representation of 3D models...  Deskproto or VisualMill will work for you... The VisualMill will be much better as it has Feature machining capabilities..

As I am new to Gcode programming what would a simple piece of Gcode look like that would have all 4 axis moving together in a non linear way; for that matter I don’t think I could do it in 3 axis. :)

Brian

See my simple 4th axis..its not a true 4th axis , i generate Gcode with Artcam
www.my-woodcarving.blogspot.com