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Hey, new, just a question
« on: December 02, 2007, 03:18:44 PM »
Hallo everyone , i'm newly interested in learning how to CnC program

I was wondering if anyone knows if it's possible to create a 3D Model in Maya (i use Maya 7 for my 3d models) and export a Gcode that can be imported into a Mach program and then cut out

I've just been watching the video tutorials to get familiarized with the layout and gonna have to find some E-books on cnc to learn a bit more


anyway, thanks in advance and very much for any information about my question (I was wondering if anyone knows if it's possible to create a 3D Model in Maya (i use Maya 7 for my 3d models) and export a Gcode that can be imported into a Mach program and then cut out)

Offline zealous

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Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2007, 04:05:57 PM »
I'm not sure of your application or tools available to you....but here are two ways that I know of that works best.

If you are making molds:
If you are exporting objects that are complex with under cuts your going to want to use a 3d printer. There is a volume of information on Zbrush. Check these links http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/search.php?searchid=1422335

If you are using a 3 axis milling machine:

Artcam is very expensive...but... worth every penny if your serious about selling a product. I create a base model in 3d Max export it and add the fine details in Artcam and finally export toolpaths.

You can also import 3ds and STL into Rhino Mastercam and a number of other programs(cant remember when they made the change but I believe Maya 7 in plug'ins can activate "export 3ds")...but the files can be huge and CPU intensive...I've found Artcam to be the best at making the bridge, next best would be Rhino.

Rhino handles these files great if you don't try to modify anything and just produce the toolpaths.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2007, 04:07:42 PM by zealous »

Offline ger21

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Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2007, 05:22:26 PM »
Two inexpensive programs that would work are Vectrics Cut3D and MeshCAM. Cut 3D supports more file formats.

www.vectric.com
www.meshcam.com
Gerry

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http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 05:38:38 PM »
checking out Artcam now , the program itself dosnt seem to be as complex as Maya but still, not knowing the GUI makes it a bitt ough

seems like it uses vectors and stuff  :-\ not to knowledgeable about those just yet

thanks for your help

now i just gotta play around with it and figure out what to do :)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2007, 05:48:21 PM by WH33LS »

Offline zealous

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Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2007, 08:01:40 PM »
I help on the Artcam Forum if you need any post over there.

What you'll want to do is just simply import your models and create toolpaths...if there any details that need to be enhanced they have "Brush's" to carve in or smooth out details..
Another approch which has woeked out very well is to import "Alpha" images.. I've posted about it here: http://forum.artcam.com/viewtopic.php?t=3810

Offline zealous

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Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2007, 09:08:18 PM »
I've taken alook at  Vectrics Cut3D and MeshCAM and they both look very good...I'll have to download the demo's and try them out.
Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007, 07:27:56 AM »
hey thanks much for the help, i'll look into those a bit more, "What you'll want to do is just simply import your models and create toolpath"

Do you know if this program supports models in .mb format(Maya) to be imported?

and ive been reading through some books and i was wondering about which programming function would be used most .. incremental or absolute?

Incremental - all dimensions are taken from the previous point 
absolute - all dimensions must be taken from the XY zero at the top left-hand corner of the part


I assume, that if i had 1 big piece of material that i needed to cut out so many pieces of the exact same piece, i would be better off using incremental programming. Done by programing a full line (horizontal or vertical) of the material and then copy and paste that code but with a + of so many points to move the bit ahead to the next row. Instead of using absolute programming where the programmer would have to program the full sheet piece by piece because everything is in relation to the chosen Zero point.

would i be correct in thinking this?

Again Thanks for the help in advance and I apologize if this is a very basic question, my 2nd day reading about cnc :)

Thanks again


Edit:

I also had another question,

I was wondering if there was a feature in Mach 3 that will let you create a layer (add an image to a plane or a new layer) on top of the work area (like a stencil) so you could basically program the outline/feature by Tracing the object

Example of what i mean with basic shape in Maya


(with Xray shader turned on)


Thanks

« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 08:26:04 AM by WH33LS »

Offline zealous

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Re: Hey, new, just a question
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2007, 01:28:39 AM »
Hey WH33LS,
Actually Mach will do more but you just want to use Mach to run your Gcode after importing it to Vectrics Cut3D and MeshCAM.
So what you would do is build the model in Maya export as a Object or 3ds or Autocad file and import it into Vectrics Cut3D and MeshCAM. You don't have to worry too much about actual size in Maya either, once you import your model you can scale it about to meet the requirements (I create simple parts that need high accuracy in side of Artcam and export back to 3d Max). After you get the model placed and scaled inside of your CAD program then you will create your Gcode to send to Mach. Decide on the tooling you'll need. Export the toolpaths as Gcode and load it in Mach. Inside of Mach you really only want to run the machine...try to do as little to no modification to the model in Mach. You really only want to change speeds and feeds.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 01:32:12 AM by zealous »