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Author Topic: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!  (Read 16621 times)

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Offline microcnc05

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Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« on: March 30, 2011, 06:00:09 AM »
Just got our video made after a great race this last week. My almost 6 year old daughter programmed the back of the car. check it out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We1OgobWpSE

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Online Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 07:10:35 AM »
Brilliant work and very nice video - much more interesting than custom mixers.  ;D

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

Offline microcnc05

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 08:39:17 PM »
Ha ha tweakie :) Well in response I am still working on that. I've got the mold mostly finished and I've been writing the tutorial. But with 12hr days at work, a new CNC mill to retro fit, pinewood derby season and family I'm swamped. But it is the last project I'm working on for a bit so I'll be finishing it soon enough and updating the site.  wait a minute... what about your laser engraver when are we going to hear more about that???  :)
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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 01:36:50 AM »
Nice video. If I may ask how did you hold down the tail section when you machined it?
Thanks.

Offline microcnc05

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 05:50:27 AM »
The back of the car was made from urethane tooling board so it's easy to cut. I just held it down with a few drops of supper glue and then slid a knife under it to break the bond when finished.
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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 10:07:50 AM »
Thanks for the tip. I just recently ordered a small cnc router for my home. I'm trying to pick up on the many tips and tricks of the trade before I receive it. I have one more question for you if you wouldn't mind.

At my work we use Mastercam as our milling software. I also have had a lot of experience with Rhino, and very little with Alibre although I do own a seat in both. My question is I'm looking for a good milling package and have been eyeballing the mecsoft line. Now I understand they offer a rhino plug in as well as their own visual mill version and a alibrecam version. My question is given your experience with alibrecam, would you say having a solid understanding of solid models in alibre is a must? How hard would it be to set some toolpaths just to rip some lines? I'm leaning towards the Rhinocam plug-in since I'm the most familiar with it. But will probably download them all to see. But was really curious to get a actual users input.

Thanks

Offline microcnc05

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 01:22:27 PM »
Hmmm good question. I use Mastercam at work every day, I've been programming in it since version 6. There were a few things I contemplated when picking a CAM software. It depends greatly on what you are manufacturing and the speed at which it must be done. If I had 15k to blow on software I wouldn't hesitate to buy Mastercam.  But for my home business I chose Alibre as my CAD software because you just can't find that much power in a program for that price anywhere else. If you are designing complex molds and parting lines although it can be done in Alibre its more time consuming.  I liked the fact that with the Visual mill plug in you can machine in the CAD software you feel comfortable with. As far as creating free form nurbs based parts Rhino is great at it. But if you are creating Assemblies of any sort I would pick Alibre.

Since Alibre Expert now comes with Moi3D which was programmed by the guy who made Rhino, you can create anything with the two of them. So for me if I want to create a parting line quickly and split my model up I will use Moi3D and import in the model to alibre to machine.

As far as 2D machining in Alibre it's simple just like Mastercam. Create a 2d sketch and program it like any chained wire frame. Many people are coming at it from a nonprofessional side so they often will snub their nose at Alibre, or Rhino, .... or which ever system they are trying that month.  For a professional programmer in any industry you will get the hang of Mechsofts stuff if it's their stand alone software or plug in.  Like I stated most people aren't professional programmers so the down fall isn't they software as much as it is lack of knowledge on how to go about a job.

That being said I would pick what ever you feel comfortable with as far as your CAD system. Personally I feel Alibre Expert now offers more features on the whole then anything else because it comes with Moi3D. With that combination you can do anything you can do in Rhino and more.    Reply #1



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Offline microcnc05

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 01:32:16 PM »
Reply #2

As far as having a good understanding of solid modeling. If I import a model in from Rhino into Alibre you can import it as a solid or surfaces. You can only machine solids in Alibre though.  But you can import a single surface and machine it in Alibre. This is interesting because Alibre can't create a zero thickness solid like a sheet solid in Mastercam but you can import a single surface from Moi3d and machine it like a sheet solid in Mastercam.  So once you learn a system like Alibre or Rhino or what ever you'll be able to machine what ever you want. But like I've said I feel Alibre was the best choice for the money.  If you need extra help you can go to my website at  www.fendleyautomation.com I place tutorials on there when I can. I'm normally so busy I don't update much. I've got a new tutorial just about ready but haven't had time to finish.   You can contact me through my site though if you need further help.
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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 02:05:03 PM »
Thanks for the info, I've been using Mastercam since version 4 at my job but have never really utilized the power of it. I'm personally not a big fan of the software though. The most impressive thing we've ever done with it was this bed. http://piwcorp.com/custom/furniture/bed.jpg

Now, I'm looking for a software package for home for playing in 3d with my new cnc router, I don't want to break the bank but still want to retain many of the toolpath functionalities of a good cutting package. I'm hoping to further my machining skills and play alot. I do have a older alibre seat but never really had a need to use it. We never did a lot of solid modeling at our shop. But I have used Rhino for a long time and usually use it on a daily basis. I know the mechsoft software is pretty much tailored for each cad program but retains a similar user interface amongst them all. I was just curious about Alibre how it handled it being a solid modeler.   Thanks for the info, I can't wait to play once my cnc router arrives.

Offline microcnc05

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Re: Rocking out pinewood derby car with Mach3!
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 09:00:36 PM »
Cool, the bed looks nice. Most of the stuff I cut is fairly advanced stuff. I'm in the pattern making trade and our bread and butter is aerospace stuff so the castings we make are wild.  Yes there is more power under the hood of Mastercam then Mecsoft visual mill but then again it costs 3X as much. You get what you pay for. But if you are using Rhino on a daily basis I would highly recommend staying with that and getting the CAM package for it. In this manner you would only be learning the interface to the CAM side of things. If you went with Alibre CAM or even VisualMill you would have to learn and become proficient at the CAD side before you could really make good uses of the CAM. No matter what system you were to chose you can always import a model in to machine it. So if you find Alibre, Mastercam,Moi3d,Solidworks... or any other system you like to design with you can always export the model and import it into Rhino if you start with that.  Now as far as mid grade CAM systems are concerned I really feel Mecsoft system, weather plugin or Visual Mill is one of the best. I know people that use BobCad and don't like it at all, there are others that will swear by it.  I've done some tests with BobCad and Mecsoft on large models. Mecsoft was a clear winner on tool path generation when it comes to speed. It took 10 minutes to generate a huge tool path with Mecsoft and over an hour with BobCad. That was on the same machine, same file, same programming stepdowns.

So If money is tight go with the Mecsoft plugin for Rhino, I have a friend that uses that on his router and he likes it.  He's not a professional programmer or anything he just does it for hobby, so when he is having trouble programming something I go over to help out. The cool thing is that even though I don't know Rhino, I know the CAM system because it's the same as mine in Alibre so I can tell him what todo.  Any way, I hope this helps some. I know it's always a tough decision on what CAD or CAM system to chose when your shelling out $$ for it but I think you will be pleased with Mecsoft, it's fairly easy to adapt to if you've been programming in Mastercam.
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