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Suggestions for software.
« on: November 22, 2010, 08:40:19 AM »
Hello all, this is my first post and hopefully someone here can answer some of my questions.

I have just retrofitted my Bridgeport series 1cnc boss , with Mach 3. I use it quite often and the wizards are an easy way to get some simple things done very quickly.
I am amazed at the ease of use Mach3 has provided (compared to the BOSS).

I draw most of my parts in AUTOCAD and I have tried lazycam to get some gcode. Its pretty hit and miss and so I was wondering what the alternatives are?

Some packages are both cad and cam, these are quite expensive and I am happy to draw in Autocad.
So, what are your recommendations for my set up?

Bridgeport series 1 cnc.
3 axis (with option of a 4th later)
Something which is intuitive to use
Doesn't cost huge sums of money  (over a thousand bucks)

I have heard suggestions for edgecam, rhinocam etc, but unless you know exactly what each software suite is  its hard to compare these products.

Hopefully somebody out there can help.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Graham Waterworth

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Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 11:59:04 AM »
CAD & CAM work in many different ways and some suite some people better than others so the best thing is to try a few and find one that fits the way you work and think.

Try CAMBAM for a start, its free and very capable.

Graham
Without engineers the world stops

Offline BR549

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Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 03:58:24 PM »
Look at SheetCam.

(;-) TP

Offline RICH

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Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 05:37:35 PM »
 You already have CAD capability, both 2 and 3D, so you can save some bucks and just look for a 2 1/2 or 3D CAM program which
you like. I like to use whatever is the best and easiest for what i am after. If you are proficient on some CAD program then stay with it as you will only find it agrivating to learn a new CAD program in a lot of the others which inlcude one...but that's just my nickle!

AutoCAD / Microstation - CAD standards in industry
LazyCam - quick and easy for profiles or anything based on a dxf file and bridges the gap between the wizards and cam programs.
               cost is low for a pro license / $60?, but, a few of the others posted may be better for you.

CamBam - seems a lot of folks are using or trying it out
 
3D CAM
Vectric - Cut3D - limited to 3d cutting / $300 / easy to use
MeshCam - very similar to Cut3D / $175 for a short time offer  / as good or better than Cut3D ( I just purchased it )
                and is easy to use

You can generate 3D stl files from AutoCAD for use in the above.

Gerry has a AutoCad application that does what LC does and is free

Then you have the Lathe and say picture manipulation ..........thats another breed of software.
All depends on what you want or envision you will do and how much you want to spend.

RICH
Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 06:55:46 AM »
Thanks for your suggestions folks.

I am currently having a play with the Meshcam demo.

It looks pretty good, but the order of cuts is a little random and I am getting some errant cuts.

I'll have a play around with it, but first impressions is that its a pretty decent piece of software.

I'll report back when I have used it further.

Thanks
Tal.

Offline ger21

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Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 08:24:25 AM »
Try Vectric Cut2D for 2D work.

You shouldn't be getting errant cuts with MeshCAM. Post any issues you may be having on the MeshCAM forum. I'm also a moderator there, and I've been a MC user since the very first beta.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 04:35:39 PM by ger21 »
Gerry

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Re: Suggestions for software.
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 03:28:52 PM »
I bought SheetCam then meshcam. Sheet cam is good for flat stuff and mesh is more for 3d stuff. I like them both. Both are easy to use!