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Lazy Cam Evaluation
« on: April 29, 2007, 08:39:38 PM »
Brian,
Great start on a nice software package. I am a product development engineer and design reviews can be tough because people tell you what is wrong and tend to forget all that is good. I'm new at this - no preconceived ideas. I purchased the license last week and have tried a couple of projects. I have a lot of feedback for you and your team. Again, its design review comments on what can be a great product.

Lazy Cam Evaluation

1.   I do not understand inside and outside offsets. When is it an inside and when is it outside? Not intuitive. I have to guess and see if I am right.

2.   It would be nice if adding an offset should ask you if you want to disable cutting the reference chain. I am not sure what would happen if I did not disable it – would it cut both? Guess so – I have a depth of cut on the original layer. Seems that one of my first projects outlines something at 0 depth so I guess that was why.

3.   ‘Offset’ is using the tool diameter as a tool radius. Math error caused me a few board-feet of material to find out.

4.   Pocketing doesn’t work well on the only test I did – a rather complex pocket but one that Sheet Cam fully understood. I had letters in a rectangle and wanted to reverse-cut them. The pocketing program ignored the letters and just cut them away. Just had a big rectangle.

5.   Making offset lines the same color as the original lines means that you can not figure out if the program put the offset on the correct side. Wouldn’t it be nice if it put the offset in a different color and brought up an ‘Accept?’ dialog box? This would also fix some complaints that will follow, below.

6.   Each time I enter a new offset it creates a new layer. I constantly am updating depth, feed, pass information. It would be nice if the system had a global tool data it used and all I had to do was to set the depth – which it defaulted to from the previous cut. Maybe a button that said “Copy from previous layer” – that would be great! See #26, below.

7.   Entering feed, depth numbers, etc. into the boxes isn’t as easy as it could be. If you click-out instead of hitting enter you have to start over.  Sometimes it looks like it kept the minus sign just to find out it did not. It is not easy to click and select all the numbers. Just some ergonomics needed here.
 
8.   I created an x-y ½ inch tick mark program. The path generation for the horizontal ticks was ridiculously laid out. It wanted to make the ticks a ‘stack’ instead of a dashed line. Manual manipulation required me to select each tick in a row (one-by-one)  to send to a new layer. From there it was any one’s guess how the new cut path would turn out – unless I put each tick on its own layer. There is no ‘window selection’ and the aperture is pretty small. I blew lots of selections and became fairly frustrated – get 15 dashes selected and miss the 15th and you have to start over.

9.   Most of the buttons on the right side I have no use for. Not sure what they are good for.

10.   I delete a layer: It stays in the stack – just says deleted. I have 3 of these. I go to enter all the cut data on the layers and forget those are disabled AFTER I already entered the data. A laborious waste of energy. If they are deleted, please, just remove them from the stack and erase all memory of it ever having been there.

11.   Why no ‘undo’ button? I have to start over a lot.

12.   Will not import an oval drawn from my Autocad 14 translated to dxf.

13.   There is no way to measure modifications. Seeing what I have seen I am not trusting LC. Without a ruler I am in the dark.

14.   The window is too tall. My screen is sized OK for Mach 3 but cuts off the bottom of the screen of LC. Can’t see what is down there. If I make the dialog box (purpose yet to be determined) smaller then I can see ‘Start Depth’. On another computer I resized the screen and see Tool Number too. Screens are already too small. No reason LC should make me do this…. Plenty of room.

15.   When writing a G-Code file I wish that it would give me an option to overwrite an existing one instead of generating one with a new number. I have 10 files of the same thing on my drive. A great addition would be an automatic ability to edit the program before saving to enter revision data in a header line.

16.   I have a router that plunges. Lead ins would be nice, some times, but I’ll be dang if I can figure that one out. Guess I could draw them in but the LC wouldn’t let me pick them first anyway. I’m sure that there is a way to get them – its just not obvious.

17.   When I pick up and move the 0,0 reference mark I can’t get it nudged just where I want it. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just double click on it and enter the point where I want it?

18.   Have not figured out why ‘stock size’ is part of this. Doesn’t seem to feed back into anything else. Not like you could pocket the outside of a drawing… not that I can see.

19.   I can change numbers in the Extents box. Even put garbage in there. Get File Creation error. Can’t figure out why I can overwrite them and get an error. The error doesn’t tell you why the error was generated. These should be protected.

20.   Instead of the idea of Cut # - wouldn’t it be nice if it just cut the layers in the order of the stack – from top to bottom – I could drag-and-drop to shuffle the stack to get the cut order I want.

21.   Too much green coloring in the stack. I can not tell which layers I have selected where… confusing.

22.   In my layer stack I have layer 5 selected (for example) and I go to enter the numerical cutting information. The layer 5 selection goes weird – looks like layer 0 and layer 5 are partially selected. It should not do that to confuse me. Then change the federate and hit enter – you have no record of which layer you were on. Have to hunt down the next one.

23.   What the heck is Overhang? (On the pocketing screen). I can not figure that out. Hitting the help button doesn’t help. Has this something to do with the question on offsets and pockets, below?

24.   I went to make a production part. Laid out 24 items in Autocad. Brought it up in Lazycam. Without thinking I said ‘Oh my God – I’m going to be here all night’. Having to enter the cut data for 24 offsets looking at 25 layers. Yuck.  Ok – I am appending this after about 20 minutes and writing number 26 – I gave up. I didn’t complete the job.

25.   Select a layer in the stack. Use the down arrow key to scroll down through the stack. Watch the cutting information – it does not update to the information for the stack that you have scrolled to. It keeps the prior one.

26.   Somehow it seems that I was able to change a lot of layers all at once. I was on layer 8 of 25 playing around. All had federates of 60. I put in 40 on 8 and played scrolling through and the subsequent layers changed to 40. Hmmm… wish I knew how to do that trick again. *** No, false alarm. They are 60. They just were not changing for some reason. Now I know that when I was looking that I double clicked on some of the layers…. Hmmm.. Ok – I figured it out. I set the federate and do not click out of the federate box…. I just entered 40 and hit return. As I scroll through the layers the federate appears to stay at 40. If I click out of federate (to pass depth, for example) then the federate changed from the apparent 40 to the actual 60. The chore is so laborious that I copied 40 into the buffer and wanted to go down the 24 layers and paste it and then come back and do depth, etc.

27.    OK. Let’s work through this one. I want to pocket. Do I have to create an offset before I pocket? Or will pocket automatically do the offset? I am confused here. Will LC outline the chain first and then pocket?

28.    I select my chain. One click and the entire chain lights up. It is a closed-chain drawn with a continuous P-line in Autocad. I hit Outline. Nothing happens. Try again. Nothing. No clue, nothing. Just a couple of extra empty layers in the layer stack that I can not delete. I go back to Autocad and find that Autocad now thinks these are a bunch of discrete lines instead of one P-line. Ok – so I manipulated the item and destroyed something. But LC knows it’s a single chain – it will not Offset it for me. What do I do now?

Cudos and
Best Regards,
Bill
Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2007, 10:26:40 PM »

Lazy Cam Evaluation

1.   I do not understand inside and outside offsets. When is it an inside and when is it outside? Not intuitive. I have to guess and see if I am right.

This is to have you cut on the inside or outside of a closed chain... we are thinking about open chains at this time

2.   It would be nice if adding an offset should ask you if you want to disable cutting the reference chain. I am not sure what would happen if I did not disable it – would it cut both? Guess so – I have a depth of cut on the original layer. Seems that one of my first projects outlines something at 0 depth so I guess that was why.

We are thinking about just turning the "parent" chain off

3.   ‘Offset’ is using the tool diameter as a tool radius. Math error caused me a few board-feet of material to find out.

Fixed

4.   Pocketing doesn’t work well on the only test I did – a rather complex pocket but one that Sheet Cam fully understood. I had letters in a rectangle and wanted to reverse-cut them. The pocketing program ignored the letters and just cut them away. Just had a big rectangle.

This should also be fixed

5.   Making offset lines the same color as the original lines means that you can not figure out if the program put the offset on the correct side. Wouldn’t it be nice if it put the offset in a different color and brought up an ‘Accept?’ dialog box? This would also fix some complaints that will follow, below.

That is a cool idea... or you could mouse to the right and left side and when you see what you like you click on the screen :)

6.   Each time I enter a new offset it creates a new layer. I constantly am updating depth, feed, pass information. It would be nice if the system had a global tool data it used and all I had to do was to set the depth – which it defaulted to from the previous cut. Maybe a button that said “Copy from previous layer” – that would be great! See #26, below.

That is done in the new rev as well

7.   Entering feed, depth numbers, etc. into the boxes isn’t as easy as it could be. If you click-out instead of hitting enter you have to start over.  Sometimes it looks like it kept the minus sign just to find out it did not. It is not easy to click and select all the numbers. Just some ergonomics needed here.
 
Also fixed int the new rev

8.   I created an x-y ½ inch tick mark program. The path generation for the horizontal ticks was ridiculously laid out. It wanted to make the ticks a ‘stack’ instead of a dashed line. Manual manipulation required me to select each tick in a row (one-by-one)  to send to a new layer. From there it was any one’s guess how the new cut path would turn out – unless I put each tick on its own layer. There is no ‘window selection’ and the aperture is pretty small. I blew lots of selections and became fairly frustrated – get 15 dashes selected and miss the 15th and you have to start over.

We are working on this as well ... this will not be in the next release, but we are working on it

9.   Most of the buttons on the right side I have no use for. Not sure what they are good for.

and that is why they are gone (new release)

10.   I delete a layer: It stays in the stack – just says deleted. I have 3 of these. I go to enter all the cut data on the layers and forget those are disabled AFTER I already entered the data. A laborious waste of energy. If they are deleted, please, just remove them from the stack and erase all memory of it ever having been there.

DONE!

11.   Why no ‘undo’ button? I have to start over a lot.

We are looking to add this but at this time we can not do it :( when we have the software just about done that will be added (I will use it all the time as well)

12.   Will not import an oval drawn from my Autocad 14 translated to dxf.

That is a spline (I think) and we are working on that as well... not in the next release but will be soon

13.   There is no way to measure modifications. Seeing what I have seen I am not trusting LC. Without a ruler I am in the dark.

We also have been thinking about that... I am thinking about a tool that you can snap from one point to an other and see the dist and the XY components

14.   The window is too tall. My screen is sized OK for Mach 3 but cuts off the bottom of the screen of LC. Can’t see what is down there. If I make the dialog box (purpose yet to be determined) smaller then I can see ‘Start Depth’. On another computer I resized the screen and see Tool Number too. Screens are already too small. No reason LC should make me do this…. Plenty of room.

The new interface should work better for you in the new release :) (Others had the same problem)

15.   When writing a G-Code file I wish that it would give me an option to overwrite an existing one instead of generating one with a new number. I have 10 files of the same thing on my drive. A great addition would be an automatic ability to edit the program before saving to enter revision data in a header line.

I like that idea.. hmmm ... I think that could be done. As for adding the edit option... I think that may have to wait.

16.   I have a router that plunges. Lead ins would be nice, some times, but I’ll be dang if I can figure that one out. Guess I could draw them in but the LC wouldn’t let me pick them first anyway. I’m sure that there is a way to get them – its just not obvious.

Lead ins in Lcam are not that bad.. you need to double click on the arrow at the start of the chain. Open chains are a problem and we are looking into a good way to fix them.
 
17.   When I pick up and move the 0,0 reference mark I can’t get it nudged just where I want it. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just double click on it and enter the point where I want it?

I am going to change all that (may be tomorrow) I think I am going to make it snap to the entities on the screen

18.   Have not figured out why ‘stock size’ is part of this. Doesn’t seem to feed back into anything else. Not like you could pocket the outside of a drawing… not that I can see.

It tells you the size of the Stock that your program uses...

19.   I can change numbers in the Extents box. Even put garbage in there. Get File Creation error. Can’t figure out why I can overwrite them and get an error. The error doesn’t tell you why the error was generated. These should be protected.

fixed in the new rev

20.   Instead of the idea of Cut # - wouldn’t it be nice if it just cut the layers in the order of the stack – from top to bottom – I could drag-and-drop to shuffle the stack to get the cut order I want.

We are looking into adding this... will not be in the next rev but will be soon

21.   Too much green coloring in the stack. I can not tell which layers I have selected where… confusing.

This is fixed as well (it is not there anymore)

22.   In my layer stack I have layer 5 selected (for example) and I go to enter the numerical cutting information. The layer 5 selection goes weird – looks like layer 0 and layer 5 are partially selected. It should not do that to confuse me. Then change the federate and hit enter – you have no record of which layer you were on. Have to hunt down the next one.

we should have this fixed but is related to #20

23.   What the heck is Overhang? (On the pocketing screen). I can not figure that out. Hitting the help button doesn’t help. Has this something to do with the question on offsets and pockets, below?

We are going to take that out as you don't need it at this time

24.   I went to make a production part. Laid out 24 items in Autocad. Brought it up in Lazycam. Without thinking I said ‘Oh my God – I’m going to be here all night’. Having to enter the cut data for 24 offsets looking at 25 layers. Yuck.  Ok – I am appending this after about 20 minutes and writing number 26 – I gave up. I didn’t complete the job.

I am thinking that we need to add an output array :) that way you can get all the parts from one drawing.

25.   Select a layer in the stack. Use the down arrow key to scroll down through the stack. Watch the cutting information – it does not update to the information for the stack that you have scrolled to. It keeps the prior one.

Fixed in the new rev

26.   Somehow it seems that I was able to change a lot of layers all at once. I was on layer 8 of 25 playing around. All had federates of 60. I put in 40 on 8 and played scrolling through and the subsequent layers changed to 40. Hmmm… wish I knew how to do that trick again. *** No, false alarm. They are 60. They just were not changing for some reason. Now I know that when I was looking that I double clicked on some of the layers…. Hmmm.. Ok – I figured it out. I set the federate and do not click out of the federate box…. I just entered 40 and hit return. As I scroll through the layers the federate appears to stay at 40. If I click out of federate (to pass depth, for example) then the federate changed from the apparent 40 to the actual 60. The chore is so laborious that I copied 40 into the buffer and wanted to go down the 24 layers and paste it and then come back and do depth, etc.

should be fixed

27.    OK. Let’s work through this one. I want to pocket. Do I have to create an offset before I pocket? Or will pocket automatically do the offset? I am confused here. Will LC outline the chain first and then pocket?

You have to add a finish pass if you would like one (I think that is what you are asking)

28.    I select my chain. One click and the entire chain lights up. It is a closed-chain drawn with a continuous P-line in Autocad. I hit Outline. Nothing happens. Try again. Nothing. No clue, nothing. Just a couple of extra empty layers in the layer stack that I can not delete. I go back to Autocad and find that Autocad now thinks these are a bunch of discrete lines instead of one P-line. Ok – so I manipulated the item and destroyed something. But LC knows it’s a single chain – it will not Offset it for me. What do I do now?

That had to do with a chain tolerance... fixed in the next rev..

As you can see many things have been fixed and we have been working :)

Thank you for the input
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com

Offline Chip

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Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2007, 12:13:57 AM »
Hi, Bill, Brian

I just wanted to see the 25 layer DXF, Cutting something like this doesn't sound Lazy to me.

Post your 25 layer DXF (Sounds like a can of worms, Don't take the lid off), Use the reply button more options there,

You wearing me out reading all this, Chip
« Last Edit: April 30, 2007, 12:24:06 AM by afn09556 »
Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2007, 09:36:59 AM »
I can tell you that making that reply took me a ton of time :) O well I think that it needed to be done... Others had the same questions and requests ...
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com

Offline klmark

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Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 11:21:51 AM »
Hi all
Another nice feature would be on the zoom part Yes you can zoom now but it would be even better if you could like the CAD systems with the mouse you draw a box around the part you want to zoom in it is realy slick but I don,t know how hard work that would be to make it work Just my 2 cents   Thanks again for your hard work
Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 07:12:39 PM »
Sorry guys - didn't mean to over load you all. The 25 layers was from a 1 layer dxf: 25 layers came after I offset cut on 24 parts. So Lazy cam had 25 layers. It was just step-and-repeat but I didn't know how to do that the right way so...
I really like this program so don't let the comments on the tough points fool you.
Trying to figure out where to download the latest rev from. The main mach3/plug ins/lazycam just has the one I have now from March. Maybe I'll find it in a couple minutes but feel free to tell me. Thanks guys!
Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2007, 07:31:19 PM »
I can't find new software to download. I see notes about an FTP server so I am guessing that I need to be told how to access it. Can I ask for one of the administrators tell me how to get the new version? Thanks!

Offline ardor

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Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2007, 07:49:18 PM »
I think that when you download the latest rev of Mach, the latest rev of L-Cam is included.

If that's not correct, then somebody else wrote it. ;D

Ashby
There is no approved dental use for WD40
Re: Lazy Cam Evaluation
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2007, 09:54:36 PM »
The newest version only Art and I have ;)

Should be out at the end of the week...

Thanks
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com