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Author Topic: Looking for simulation that can load a STL or STEP model as the starting block  (Read 1562 times)

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Being new to CAM and my first CNC machine, I would like to be able to simulate the tool paths I create before I load them into the real machine.

I've looked around and most of them just start with a solid block and then this is machined, which pretty much covers most uses I guess.

What I have are some plastic enclosures and I want to machine the front panel for displays and include a pocket for the LCD on the backside of the enclosure.

I would like to find some CAM software that will load the STEP file of the enclosure and allow me to simulate my tool paths with this instead of the solid block. The reason for this is that the reference point is actually one of the screw fixing posts as they represent a good place to set the machines zero point. This of course is not at the same level as the face I will be cutting but the starting depth for the tool path takes care of this. The attached image show the enclosure with the fixings in each corner.

Does such a beast exist as I'd like to simulate this before I commit to running this on a real enclosure. ;D
I'm very sure it exists, but likely costs more than your machine and you cam program combined!  You could use your cam program to create code to machine the enclosure shape in a block and continue right on machining the cutouts you need thus simulating your box. Saving the code to machine the box you could then add it to the cam file for future boxes.
Have you tried doing this in Fusion360? You might need ReMake as well. My workflow for stl's is. Load in to ReMake - export as Quad mesh, load into Fusion 360 - convert to t-splines, convert to Brep. This allows me to work with some pretty massive meshes. Both Fusion and ReMake are free.