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Author Topic: 3D Routing from AutoCAD .STL or DXF files  (Read 3137 times)

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3D Routing from AutoCAD .STL or DXF files
« on: July 01, 2012, 12:52:41 PM »

I'm new to this so I apologize if this question has been asked many times. I have combed the forums looking for an answer but I have not come up with a complete solution for this. I just purchased a Chinese TS 3040 4 axis engraver with a lathe attachment for the fourth axis. It is coming tomorrow YAY! I am using AutoCAD to design 3D models for the pendents that I plan to making, they are reversible, so one side would be the mirror of the other. Is it better to design the model using layers in AutoCAD to and have LazyCAM (even though it is no longer supported) handle the tool paths per layer, insert an A Axis rotation of 180 degrees and then have the mirror gcode routed on the backside until the piece is completed. Or should I spend the money and purchase a post processor that will handle the process and tool paths for me, (and any other 3D prototyping model that I need to make). If the solution is the later, what post processor's have you met with success with that will handle true 3D tool path generation, and that will do 3D pockets? I'm not looking to spend thousands but a couple hundred would be ok. The only one that I have found in that price range so far is CUT3D. Are there others? Most seem to handle 2.5D or have a plugin that will simply do a spin or wrap for 3D. I would simply like to have the most flexibility and I really only want to have to learn a couple of programs, MACH3, GCODE, and the post processor program if at all possible, (ie. not have to do a trial by error of 4 different post processing programs to find the one that works for me).

Aaron Rehm

Offline ger21

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Re: 3D Routing from AutoCAD .STL or DXF files
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 05:32:42 PM »
LazyCAM can not import 3D models.

I use MeshCAM to create g-code from .stl files from AutoCAD. It can also use 3D .dxf files, but it only supports 3D faces in .dxf's. If you model with solids, use .stl's.

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Offline RICH

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Re: 3D Routing from AutoCAD .STL or DXF files
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 06:47:41 AM »
I echo what Gerry replied and also use MeshCam for 3D work. The learning curve should be rather short if your
proficient in 3D Autocad.
Re: 3D Routing from AutoCAD .STL or DXF files
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 07:25:31 PM »
Thanks guys,

If two moderators of the MACH3 forums tell me MeshCAM, than MeshCAM it is. Just purchased it and will learn it as soon as I finish building the computer.