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Offline smav

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Recommended CAM Software
« on: November 22, 2018, 10:16:49 PM »
 ???I know this question may have been asked before on here and I have researched the internet some but I was hoping some of you with experience with CAM and 4 axis machines might be able to give me a little direction. I have tested or trialed a few cam programs and i am looking for the least inexpensive one that handles 4 axis machining. As I type this I am running a project that I used DeskProto 7 on and found that the Y axis is basically disabled. Although it did cut my piece ok it would have been much more desirable if it could have just done some of the cutting on the x,y axis instead of the x,a axis. Other than that I would probably pick DeskProto if I had to make a snap decision and get one. i also tried out fusion 360 but with all the annual licensing that it appears you have to subscribe and pay for annually along with it being not very intuitive compared to a couple others I read about and like DeskProto I don't see that one as a very feasible option either. If the y axis in deskproto wasn't disabled during rotational functions I would be completely satisfied with it. I am strictly a hobby guy so that is why I am looking for something that is practical in functionality and price as well for my use.
Any comments, suggestions on any that have used a specific brand of cam software with maybe a short pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks....    

Offline ger21

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Re: Recommended CAM Software
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2018, 06:35:09 AM »
You're not going to find anything that uses all 4 axes together without spending a lot of money.

MeshCAM will do indexed 4 axis, where the X and Y are doing the cutting, but not the A? I would think the DeskProto method would be better, as you are not recutting areas as you would be with indexing.

If you register Fusion 360 for a hobby license, it's free. But it doesn't support continuous 4th axis either.
Gerry

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Offline smav

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Re: Recommended CAM Software
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2018, 12:17:25 PM »
Thanks ger21 for the reply. I kind of figured what you said may be the consensus.

When I first got my mill last winter I came across what appears to be some older beta version of freeware that was called CNC-toolkit that runs as a max script under an older version of gmax. It was somewhat cumbersome to learn and appears to not have been totally finished by whoever originally created it but it does run all 4 axis simultaneously, meaning that does generate gcode for all four axis and you the machine of course actually will run all four at the same time when called in the code. I have used it quite a bit as that is all I really could find but as I stated it is somewhat cumbersome to learn and navigate but it does work.

Meshcam was the other one I really looked in to and plan on trying out the trial version when I have some time next month as it only has a 15 day trial and I want to be able to make sure I have the time with no interruptions to test it out.