Hello Guest it is April 15, 2021, 07:13:30 AM

Author Topic: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model  (Read 922 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« on: February 25, 2020, 10:19:22 PM »
Hello long-suffering gcode newbies everywhere  :)
Please forgive the ignorance level of my question.
I have really tried to get my old brain around a way to convert my simple Tinkercad models into the correct format for Mach3.
When I export the file as .stl, .svg or whatever, it just seems to be impossible to graft a working file format into the G Code window of Mach3.
For this reason I have not been able to establish a working system using the tutorials available to me.

Firstly, I have absolutely no idea what .tap means, nor do I know anyone who does. This seems to be the only file tag to appear in the 'Load G Code' window.
Secondly, I have tried umpteen so-called conversion programs, trying to make .stl, etc., into .tap files, but with no success.
Thirdly, my Mach 3, 4 axis CNC Mill running on Windows 7 32 bit runs the Road Runner test cut as it should, except that it is very much smaller scale than expected.

So, you can see the level of ignorance I'm trying to overcome. If any kind person can point me towards the best file converter and/or tutorial I would be extremely grateful (and really amazed) because I have been trying to fix this for far too long.

Thanks in advance for any assistance. I really want to learn this process  ;)

Scintilla.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

*
  • *
  •  8,693 8,693
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2020, 01:39:19 AM »
MeshCAM is probably the popular choice for converting .stl files to Gcode and it does have a 'try before you buy' option.

When loading files into Mach3 you can select 'Files of Type' so you are not limited to the .tap file extension.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2020, 08:22:12 PM »
Hello Tweakie,
Thank you for you rapid response and helpful attachment.
I like your comment regarding pressing on in spite of endless setbacks. It gives me some encouragement  :)
Mind you, we Australians regard Winston's (mis-) handling of Gallipoli as no great eventual triumph, just a disaster dressed as a victory. But back to the topic...

I have tried your suggestion regarding 'Save Files of Type' by running my Tinkercad .stl file through Meshmagic and then their Spin 3D mesh converter.
I pasted the file, in various file type suffixes, into the Load GCode window and all I find in the display window (appropriately a really gloomy black place) and all I have ever been able to find, is a group of lines with no resemblance to the model.
I don't see any lines if GCode in the window, either.
When I run the Road Runner .tap file I can (just) see the dark blue lines on the black background and the tool path trace in green when I run it. It seems to work only for .tap files.

I just don't get it. Why would a CAM program be so hostile to loading a simple mesh model. I 3D print stuff all the time and my Anycubic machine with Repetier + Slic3r, etc. and it works seamlessly and reliably. It's even intuitive!
I will try remove and reload the Mach3 program and start again from the proverbial 'square 1' , just in case there's a dud file lurking somewhere.

I have trawled through Wikipedia, etc., to try to discover the attributes of .tap files but the silence is deafening. This is amazing, considering the number of Mach3 users who (presumably) know all about it and don't need to sort out this file compatibility problem. Am I the only person with this gap in my knowledge?

All comments gratefully received, as always.

Scintilla.



Offline Tweakie.CNC

*
  • *
  •  8,693 8,693
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 01:19:55 AM »
Hi Scintilla,

Sorry but I did not explain well enough (I am better at doing than I am at explaining)  :(

A .tap file is a text file containing Gcode, just the same as .nc, .txt, ncc, etc. It is just a convenient file extension.

You can only load Gcode files into the current version of Mach3.

If you try using MeshCAM you will be able to convert most .stl files into Gcode which can then be loaded into Mach3.

Hope this is a better explanation.

Tweakie.

KEEP SAFE !
Re: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2020, 08:46:06 PM »
Thanks again, Tweakie,
So would I be correct in thinking that I should just run the .stl file through Meshcam and cut and paste the resulting file into the GCode window of Mach3?
The only file extensions shown in the resulting output of Spin 3D appear to be .3dp, 3ds, .3mf, .ply and .obj. It doesn't show an obvious plain GCode file extension such as just plain old .gcode.
Is it possible to just rename a *.stl file as *.tap or *.3dp. etc., and expect it to load into the Mach3 GCode window and run?
I have reloaded the latest version of Mach3 and now it seems to have widened the frame and doesn't leave space for the MPG panel on the right hand side. I can sort this out at another time, I just want to be up and running.
I will try to run these versions to see if I can get a version to set up my model in the Tool window.

Did I mention that I'm slow with this?  :-[


Offline Tweakie.CNC

*
  • *
  •  8,693 8,693
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: Simplest way to convert .stl to .tap from Tinkercad model
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2020, 01:08:03 AM »
Quote
So would I be correct in thinking that I should just run the .stl file through Meshcam and cut and paste the resulting file into the GCode window of Mach3?

It requires some user interaction but yes that is correct.

Quote
Is it possible to just rename a *.stl file as *.tap or *.3dp. etc., and expect it to load into the Mach3 GCode window and run?

No, that would not work.
(Use Windows Notepad to view a Gcode file (Mach3 / Gcode folder) and you should then be able to tell the difference between a Gcode and .stl, etc. files).

Quote
Did I mention that I'm slow with this? 

No worries there. We all started at the beginning and I am still learning as I go.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !