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Please help a newbie with cad
« on: September 16, 2010, 05:14:43 PM »
         I own a small 7x14 metal lathe. A couple years ago i converted it to cnc and purchased Mach 3. ( very happy) Since then I've made some interesting parts. Recently a buddy of mine asked me to make him some hand grips for his motorcycle. He sent me a picture and i began to do some research. Since Mach 3 does have some wizards on metal removal, i tried to produce a program that can cut out the large radius in the center of the handgrip.( check out picture). Sad;y i couldn't get it to work. I reviewed some topics on this for and stumbled across the Lazy Turn Software. I did some reading about it and it says i need to start off with a .dxf file from a cad drawing. That is where i hit the brick wall. I know nothing about Cad or how to use it. I am very eager to learn and am determined to make these hand grips. My question to everyone is what kind of software can i download/buy/trial or even get for free that will make me sleep a little easier at night. It needs to be easy to use as I am a beginner. Any other suggestions with also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,
Mike

Online Graham Waterworth

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 05:47:23 PM »
Have a look at the links page and follow the cad/cam links, there are many free programs that will produce DXF files.

Graham
Without engineers the world stops
Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 05:50:42 PM »
thank you, i will have a look now.

Offline RICH

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 05:56:38 PM »
Mike,
To use the lathe module in LazyCam you will need a pro license and that would give you Gcode for the finished profile.
Lazy Turn, in current state, will not do a finish pass yet. You can however get the code for a rough / finish pass, and with some hand work have a smooth surface.

Can you provide a dimensioned sketch of the handle and post it?
Then maybe someone wil quickly draw it in CAD and generate the Gcode for you.

Just a heads up on the LT and LC software.

I know folks in here are using free / shareware CAD programs, I don't use them, so surely you will get a recomendation.

Have fun during the learning curve,

RICH

 

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 06:01:22 PM »
BTW Mike,
Suggest you have somebody pre drill / bore / ream the handle before doing the outside contour.

RICH

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 06:47:14 PM »
mike,
Just a little  something to get you get going.
 RICH
Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 08:20:08 PM »
Thank you very much for the responses. I was planning on doing the outer contour for the last step and i'm glad you reminded me . Right after i posted this thread i did some more searching on the forum and was thinking of maybe another route. Is there a wizard out there for large profile radius on an outer diameter? Should i make another topic in Mach Gen Discussion about someone having such a wizard or should i continue on my learning path to cad?

Offline RICH

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 08:51:37 PM »
Mike,
Take the time and learn a little CAD......
Learn the following:
How to draw a line, a circle, and an arc.... and be able to connect them together and save them as a dxf. Don't care what program you choose
That's basicaly all you need.
I don't know of any wizards that get you a profile since most wizards are meant for a specific machining task and need to be pieced together.

You will be hard pressed to find anything worth a hoot for free relative to the lathe and if you do let me know as i have yet to find it.

Hopefully LT will have a finish cut available by the time you come up to speed. There is a manual for LT in Members Docs covering the entire thread on LT.

FWIW,
RICH
Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2010, 04:20:59 PM »
Rich, Here is where i stand. I searched yesterday on the links page for some cheap or free cad programs and the one that caught my eye was the VectorEngineer Cad Software. Its only $30. I will most likely buy that one unless you disagree. Now looking at your drawing that you have send me, do I draw everything in cad as if it was getting machined in its position. Meaning I start at Z0 X0 and work up and to the left. Sorry for the rookie question but now ya got me hooked on making something on cad haha

Offline RICH

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Re: Please help a newbie with cad
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2010, 05:04:20 PM »
Quote
VectorEngineer Cad Software
Just took a quick look at the site and seems like it will do what you need, if purchased, since  the free one dosn't save files  as a dxf.
Other than that i know nothing about it. I use Microstation or Autocadd and nothing else here.

Quote
machined in its position
Just draw the profile with the center line of the face at X & Z =0. There are a few rules which are all covered in the LT manual along with other tips, see Appendix "B".

RICH