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New Guy...Need Help
« on: March 11, 2008, 10:25:11 PM »
Hey everyone. I can't seem to find any good tutorials for people just getting started with CNC. Plenty of stuff to make a machine and plenty of great tutorials on this website to teach you how to use mach3, but I can't find any that really detail the whole process.

I am comfortable with AutoCAD 2006 and I think i can get my way around Mach 3 ok, but I can't seem to get the hang of taking the item from one to the other.

Any suggestions, websites, guidance would be very appreciated.

Offline olf20

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Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 11:26:12 PM »
emtffkev,
I also found all the connections from one step to the other somewhat confusing. A
book called Easy CNC by David Benson was one of the best tools I have purchased. He starts off
at the beginning and steps you thru many phases.
Do a google, or I purchased mine from either Amazon.com or cncintro.com.
Hope this helps!!
olf20
Mach3, Atlas Knee Mill, 4th Axis, VcarvePro, ESS, Super PID.
Been Heating with corn since 1998
Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 12:37:49 AM »
I found the book that you are talking about. Looks like it has a lot of good info in it. I am going to order one right now and get it shipped out.

In the meantime, does anyone know of any good online tutorials to hold me over for now...I just got my machine finished and I am dying to cut something :)

Offline Sam

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Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 01:48:19 AM »
In addition to the cad software, your gonna need a cam software package that translates your drawings to g-code. Autocad might have a plugin for this, I do not know. Lazy cam thats installed with mach should work. I have never used it, so I really can't tell you the exact capabilities of it, but if your just wanting to press that "go" button, I'm sure it will suffice. I do believe it will import dwg, dxf, as well as other formats including pictures. Should keep ya busy for a while:) 
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."
Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 01:54:26 AM »
Well my software profile right now is this...

I am using AutoCAD 2006, LazyCAM, and Mach 3. LazyCAM and Mach3 are both the demo versions for now.

I have made a simple part in AutoCAD, when I try to import it into Lazycam, it just shows a blank page...I can't figure out why it won't import a part.

Do I need to draw the part with special layers or properties? I can't find any documentation on Lazycam online...I've tried rummaging around the Artsoft website and just can't seem to find anything.

Offline Chip

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Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 02:24:28 AM »
Hi, Emtffkev

 Edit: Just saw your last post, Try to use DXF ver. 12 export, your farther along than you stated I See., Chip

Just something real short.

If you don't have Mach3 Installed now, Install it The install will ask Where it should be, C:\Mach3     

Draw a square in auto-cad  in the Standard X-Y plane 2D,  2 x 2 inch's.

Save the File, Use, Save As, Select DXF, Name it  " Test1 "  save to  C:\mach3\Gcode  Folder,   then ACAD Ver 12, If asked.

Start up Mach3, Use the Mach3Mill Icon on your desk top.

After Mach3 opens Click on RESET Button, Bottom RT, Then, Top left of mach3 screen, Cilck on Files, then Clock on LazyCam name.

LazyCam Will Open, In the top left corner of LCam Find the "Open DXF" , In File OPEN Window find Mach3 folder Dbl Click on it.

Then find the GCode folder, Then Dbl Click on it, and you should see your Test1.DXF file.

May need to change "Files of Type"  to All though at the bottom of this window.

Click on the file and then Open button, You should see the Square, on the RT side of LCam, Click on "Clean" then "Optimize" Buttons.

Then The Post Code Button top RT.

Minimize LCam and Mach3 should show your Square. There won't be a correct Depth of cut because we dident set it up in LCam while we were there.

Just a Start "quick start", Hope I didn't louse you any where along the way. Getting late hear !!!

Have Fun See'ya Tomorrow, Time Permitting.

Hope this Helps, Chip
   

« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 02:31:00 AM by Chip »
Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 11:50:22 AM »
Chip,

That is exactly what I needed...but...I followed directions all the way up through the step to open the .dxf file in lazycam.

I clicked File -> Open DXF -> test.dxf
No errors or anything however when it went back to the lazycam screen, there was still just a blank page staring at me. For some reason it won't import the .dxf into lazycam.

EDIT:
I just tried opening one of the .dxf files that comes with mach 3 and it worked fine...seems to just be a problem with the files that I create myself.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:03:55 PM by emtffkev »

Offline Chip

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Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 11:56:13 AM »
Hi, Emtffkev

Post one of your DXF's hear, Use the "REPLY" Button then Attachment Options, "Browse" to Your file, Double click on it and Post.

Thanks, Chip
Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 12:07:40 PM »
Here ya go, the one like you suggested just a 2x2 square...

Offline Chip

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Re: New Guy...Need Help
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 12:47:30 PM »
Hi, Emtffkev

What version of mach3 and LazyCam are you using Click on Help About to see Version for both.

It works fine hear, I'm using Mac3hR3.037 and LazyCam ver. 3.00.2 hear.

Thanks, Chip