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cooliced
11-02-2011, 11:13 AM
Now then all,

So after getting the machine all set up and working properly! im after CAM software with a decent post processor for either EMC or Mach3.

My lathe is the Boxford TCL 125

Any help is much appreciated.

El$syd
17-03-2011, 01:00 PM
Now then all,

So after getting the machine all set up and working properly! im after CAM software with a decent post processor for either EMC or Mach3.

My lathe is the Boxford TCL 125

Any help is much appreciated.

Have a look at the Easymill, there is a turning package with that - the hobbyist version is 375. The commercial package is the same functionality but costs more - see RDLVLtd.weebly.com for more info and prices.

M250cnc
18-03-2011, 05:58 PM
Have a look at the Easymill, there is a turning package with that - the hobbyist version is 375. The commercial package is the same functionality but costs more - see RDLVLtd.weebly.com for more info and prices.

It is not 3D capable nor will 4 & 5 axis be available in the future according to their own website

Phil

El$syd
18-03-2011, 07:11 PM
Actually it does 4 and 5 axis right now using 2.5D.
3D is to be released later on.
The majority of machinists work using no more than 2.5D systems.
Most hobbyists want 3D - but very few actually need 3D, 2.5D is probably sufficient for the majority of the work.
When I was looking for A CAM package I wanted a 3D capable system because that is what most people talked about - but most of the stuff I do uses no more than 2.5D, and a lot is only 2D.
I don't do Jewellery design which needs 3D, turbine blades for jet engines (yet! lol) which also needs 3D, and sculptures as I cannot sculpt - and as I don't have a 3D scanner (yet) I can't reproduce a sculpture.
There are a number of professional machinists who still program their CNC machines by writing g-code at the console! And many hobbyists too! A CAM package such as Easymill provides machinists with greater efficiency and ease of use. It takes me a couple of minutes to launch Easymill, modify my design and generate new g-code. And, if I don't use it for a while, I don't have to go through another tuition class to relearn it.

John S
18-03-2011, 08:53 PM
Is this that program where you pay per use ?

El$syd
18-03-2011, 08:59 PM
Is this that program where you pay per use ?

For hobbyists the version of the software is called Hobbycam - there are 150 post processing tokens per year - to my knowledge no one has yet run out!
The commercial version has unlimited use, unlimited number of machines and unlimited tools used for machining cycles.

John S
19-03-2011, 12:50 AM
For hobbyists the version of the software is called Hobbycam - there are 150 post processing tokens per year - to my knowledge no one has yet run out!



So you get issued with 150 tokens at the start of a year ? Does every edit use a token up ?

El$syd
19-03-2011, 07:38 AM
So you get issued with 150 tokens at the start of a year ? Does every edit use a token up ?

Only to post process, you can edit as much as you want.
To reassure you - hobbyists have not run out of tokens - commercial organisations would very quickly, that is why there is a commercial and a hobby version. They are the same product, so the hobbyist gets a professional product at an affordable price. The commercial organisation gets a faster turn around, as they do not have to connect to the internet etc.

I hope to post some more of my designs before too long - Easymill is quick to use, but I don't always have the time to use it and get to the workshop to cut my parts!

John S
19-03-2011, 10:06 AM
So the hobbyist has to be connected to the internet to post process ?
How does that work when the machines is in a workshop with no internet connection ?
One supplier of CAM software has already made this mistake and had to back pedal and move to a different system because of this problem.

So no internet connection, at either end, or a lack of continuity from the sellers end could mean you are out on a limb with a program you can't run.

Sorry not for me, at 375 there are better offering out there for what is a basic 2.5D program

El$syd
19-03-2011, 01:16 PM
Yes -the internet connection is required for PP.

Most hobbyists use MACH3 - so the buffer for the g-code is held within the PC. When I was researching how to drive my machine the advice was to have a dedicated PC driving the CNC mill/lathe. The reason is that Windows is non deterministic which could mean delays in driving the CNC machine. If you have a large g-code file which would result in several hours of cutting time - I would not want any interruption in the machining cycle because windows decided it had better things to do. I think that priorities may be programmed into Linux - but I don't really know as I don't use Linux.

At this time I still use the dedicated controller within the mill and have an RS232 cable between the mill and the PC. When I get my 4th axis (a axis) working I hope to convert it to MACH3, the upgrade cost for my mill for a 4th axis is too expensive for me.
So I use an old XP PC, dedicated machine to my mill - not connected to the internet or running any other software other than that required for driving the mill. I also have an all singing and dancing multi GHz, fast graphics etc. PC for my CAD/CAM work. I transfer g-code to my milling PC via a USB stick.

The commercial version of Easymill is 2500 and competes with the 'heavyweights' Delcam etc. but at a fraction of their prices.
There a re a number of commercial organisations who successfully use Easymill as their CAM software - and they do not consider it 'basic'. The sophistication is in the software itself - Are there other lower cost CAM software that eliminate chatter when cutting curves? Also for a 'basic' system it generates sub routines (if one wants to) in order to keep the code short and manageable, many of the 'heavyweights' do not do this, and I am not sure whether lower cost systems are capable of doing this ?
There are many parameters that may be programmed into Easymill to achieve desired goals - but not all are needed when starting to learn Easymill.
At a basic level it is quick to learn - about 2 hours, quick to boot up and modify a design, and if not used for a couple of months can be quickly remembered.

I had bought a 200 CAM software package for my mill, it was OK but it is very basic. I quickly outgrew it, Easymill will see me through for quite a long time.

If a hobby mill costs 3-7K (KX1/3 at 3-4K, Syil at 3-4K+, Tormach at 5-7K, home made 2K+) then 375 price for a CAM package would not be an unreasonable cost. After all one buys the best tools to achieve the best results - cutters etc. and one spends as much on required tools as one has spent on buying the machine e.g. DTIs, verniers, vice(s) (Kurt... v.expensive!), parallels, angles,

Mostly I find you get what you pay for ... (mostly! :-)

M250cnc
19-03-2011, 02:59 PM
The commercial version of Easymill is 2500 and competes with the 'heavyweights' Delcam etc. but at a fraction of their prices.

I had bought a 200 CAM software package for my mill, it was OK but it is very basic. I quickly outgrew it, Easymill will see me through for quite a long time.

If a hobby mill costs 3-7K (KX1/3 at 3-4K, Syil at 3-4K+, Tormach at 5-7K, home made 2K+) then 375 price for a CAM package would not be an unreasonable cost. After all one buys the best tools to achieve the best results - cutters etc. and one spends as much on required tools as one has spent on buying the machine e.g. DTIs, verniers, vice(s) (Kurt... v.expensive!), parallels, angles,

Mostly I find you get what you pay for ... (mostly! :-)

But EasyMilll cannot compete as it doesn't have the capability to do 4 & 5 axis as can be seen on the picture from their own website It's only 2.5D.

Phil

3858

m_c
19-03-2011, 06:48 PM
I've got to say I'm not convinced by easymill.

I've briefly looked at some CAM packages for turning (I'm in a similar position to the original poster), and Dolphin partmaster is the one that I'm favouring if they run another one of their hobbist deals, but for most of what I need to do for now, I think I'll get by with the Mach3 built in wizards.

Jonathan
19-03-2011, 10:31 PM
If a hobby mill costs 3-7K (KX1/3 at 3-4K, Syil at 3-4K+, Tormach at 5-7K, home made 2K+) then 375 price for a CAM package would not be an unreasonable cost.

I'm not sure about buying a CNC mill, but I think 2k+ is a bit much for a CNC mill.

I got my milling machine second hand for 320 (new 800 ish). Stepper motors and drivers cost 266. Transformer etc <30. That's 616.
Granted I didn't buy ballscrews, but even with that it's probably less than 800.

For me spending 375 on a CAM package just isn't happening. So far I've got along fine with a)writing gcode manually, b)writing my own programs (pulleys, wind turbine blades), c) cambam free edition and using the denford QuickCAM pro at school every so often.

You can do a lot with the cambam free edition with a bit of effort. Using that and CNCtoolkit and you'll be able to do most things. Turbine blades too....

John S
20-03-2011, 01:22 AM
Yes -the internet connection is required for PP.




The commercial version of Easymill is 2500 and competes with the 'heavyweights' Delcam etc. but at a fraction of their prices.



You jest surely ?

VisualMILL 6.0 STD Windows-based 2 and 3 axis solid/surface/STL manufacturing system. Includes VisualMill 6.0 CAM engine, DXF & IGES translator, other CAD imports (SolidWorks translator: Extra Cost Item) and configurable post-processor. $999

That's a 3 axis program for the equivalent of 625

John S.

El$syd
21-03-2011, 11:50 AM
But EasyMilll cannot compete as it doesn't have the capability to do 4 & 5 axis as can be seen on the picture from their own website It's only 2.5D.

Phil

3858

Aahh.... It seems there is another Easymill - the one I was referring to was www.easymill.com (French) or www.easymill.co.uk (English).
That one does do 4 and 5 axis in 2.5D.

El$syd
21-03-2011, 12:06 PM
I'm not sure about buying a CNC mill, but I think 2k+ is a bit much for a CNC mill.

I got my milling machine second hand for 320 (new 800 ish). Stepper motors and drivers cost 266. Transformer etc <30. That's 616.
Granted I didn't buy ballscrews, but even with that it's probably less than 800.

For me spending 375 on a CAM package just isn't happening. So far I've got along fine with a)writing gcode manually, b)writing my own programs (pulleys, wind turbine blades), c) cambam free edition and using the denford QuickCAM pro at school every so often.

You can do a lot with the cambam free edition with a bit of effort. Using that and CNCtoolkit and you'll be able to do most things. Turbine blades too....


Yes it is possible to make a very low cost CNC machine, as you have.
Depending on what you are going to use it for, you can get away with not using ball screws - if you can accept and remember to program in the backlash.

This is the lowest cost machine I have seen - Unless someone knows of an even lower cost machine.
I would not want to make repeatable items on this - probably just my prejudice :-)

My second hand mill - a Denford TRIAC PC - cost me 1500 complete. It claims to be repeatable to 5 microns, not that I would know!

But the original question was not milling but turning - Easymill.co.uk does have a separate package for turning. I have not used it yet as my Lathe is manual only at this time! But I may get to use it on the mill as the axes translate over.

BTW - Easymill.co.uk did have a special offer over the Christmas period as an introduction to the UK market, the Hobbycam version was 50 instead of 375 for a limited time - maybe they will do that again?

M250cnc
21-03-2011, 12:15 PM
Aahh.... It seems there is another Easymill - the one I was referring to was www.easymill.com (French) or www.easymill.co.uk (English).
That one does do 4 and 5 axis in 2.5D.

http://www.easymill.com (http://www.easymill.com/)
http://www.easymill.co.uk (http://www.easymill.co.uk/)

www.easymill.com"] ("http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/[url)Yes those were the sites i was referring to, maybe you need some lessons on the differences between 2.5D and 3D/5 axis machining.

Phil

Phil

John S
21-03-2011, 12:34 PM
Aahh.... It seems there is another Easymill - the one I was referring to was www.easymill.com (French) or www.easymill.co.uk (English).
That one does do 4 and 5 axis in 2.5D.


How can you do 4 and 5 axis in 2.5D ?

If you can't get the facts correct what credibility do you have ?

To do 4 / 5 axis the program has to have the ability to work with A and B axis, can Easymill do this

El$syd
21-03-2011, 04:45 PM
http://www.easymill.com (http://www.easymill.com/)
http://www.easymill.co.uk (http://www.easymill.co.uk/)

www.easymill.com"] ("http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/[url)Yes those were the sites i was referring to, maybe you need some lessons on the differences between 2.5D and 3D/5 axis machining.

Phil

Phil

So... elucidate!

I have seen a lot of 'definitions' on the web - what is your definition?

Jonathan
21-03-2011, 04:57 PM
So... elucidate!

I have seen a lot of 'definitions' on the web - what is your definition?


A 4 or 5 axis machine is one that moves with 4 or 5 distinct axis, with each controlled independently to each other.
3+2 axis - 5 axis machine where two axis are used for positioning, not moved at the same time as the main 3.
3 axis - obvious
2.5 axis - 3 axis but with Z only 'up' or 'down', possibly some in between but generally making 'flat stuff'.


I'm not sure how you could confuse that software with 4 or 5 axis. The terms are well defined.

El$syd
21-03-2011, 05:05 PM
How can you do 4 and 5 axis in 2.5D ?

If you can't get the facts correct what credibility do you have ?

To do 4 / 5 axis the program has to have the ability to work with A and B axis, can Easymill do this

Yes Easymill can rotate parts in 4 and 5 axes - but not while cutting.

I am surprised by your response - you say 'what credibility do you have ?' yet you do not explain what you mean - from my web research there seems to be confusion between rotation axes and 2D/2.5D/3D.

And more specifically a great deal of confusion as to what constitutes 2.5D!


With Easymill as far as I am aware the axis is rotated but doesn't cut while rotating.
When the part has been rotationally positioned, the cutting starts in 2.5D.

Isn't 5 axis work holding and machine stability beyond hobbyists' budgets? So why is 5 axis an issue for hobbyist software?

I need many clamps just to hold the small pieces I do in x,y,z - so with 5 axes I am not sure how the work pieces would be securely held - unless I get a very expensive machining centre.

Jonathan
21-03-2011, 05:13 PM
Yes Easymill can rotate parts in 4 and 5 axes - but not while cutting.

So it's 2.5+2 axis then I suppose, not true 5 axis software as you implied earlier. You could do what easymill does with the A/B axis yourself without too much thinking!

M250cnc
21-03-2011, 05:15 PM
So... elucidate!

I have seen a lot of 'definitions' on the web - what is your definition?

Not my definition but industry definition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.5D_%28machining%29


With Easymill as far as I am aware the axis is rotated but doesn't cut while rotating.
When the part has been rotationally positioned, the cutting starts in 2.5D.

Isn't 5 axis work holding and machine stability beyond hobbyists' budgets? So why is 5 axis an issue for hobbyist software?

I need many clamps just to hold the small pieces I do in x,y,z - so with 5 axes I am not sure how the work pieces would be securely held - unless I get a very expensive machining centre.

So it is 2.5D

Phil

M250cnc
21-03-2011, 05:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LCaRqQ8Qf8

Have a look and you will see why the software is expensive

Phil

El$syd
21-03-2011, 05:23 PM
A 4 or 5 axis machine is one that moves with 4 or 5 distinct axis, with each controlled independently to each other.
3+2 axis - 5 axis machine where two axis are used for positioning, not moved at the same time as the main 3.
3 axis - obvious
2.5 axis - 3 axis but with Z only 'up' or 'down', possibly some in between but generally making 'flat stuff'.


I'm not sure how you could confuse that software with 4 or 5 axis. The terms are well defined.

You say the terms are well defined - yet when I see responses on various forum sites and software manufacturers' sites I find different definitions - specifically between 3 axis and 3D - which you call obvious. It does appears to be - x,y,z. If you limit your definition to axes, as you have, then your definition is very clear - however where is the definition for 2.5D and 3D? This is what is confusing!

e.g. - is a 3 axis machine capable of 3D? i.e. can you cut a 'true' 3D object with only 3 axes?

My machine has 3 independent axes - but I can only cut in what most people call 2.5D, I would need an A axis to rotate the part and cut all around it.

El$syd
21-03-2011, 05:28 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LCaRqQ8Qf8

Have a look and you will see why the software is expensive

Phil

That was impressive - thanks for finding it and posting.
I had seen a number of other videos but this one is excellent!

M250cnc
21-03-2011, 05:29 PM
e.g. - is a 3 axis machine capable of 3D? i.e. can you cut a 'true' 3D object with only 3 axes?

My machine has 3 independent axes - but I can only cut in what most people call 2.5D, I would need an A axis to rotate the part and cut all around it.

No you need 3D software which easymill is not, if you had an A axis as well you would have 4 axis but you need the software to do 4 axis machining.

Phil

El$syd
21-03-2011, 05:40 PM
Not my definition but industry definition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.5D_%28machining%29



So it is 2.5D

Phil

Reading that wiki definition is still not clear!

e.g.
This statement in wiki is very clear - In machining, 2.5D refers to a surface which is a projection of a plane into 3rd dimension - although the object is 3-dimensional, there are no overhanging elements possible.
This statement in wiki is confusing - A 2.5D machine possesses the capability to translate in all three axes but can perform the cutting operation only in two of the three axes at a time.

It seems to be saying that a 2.5D machine can only cut with 2 axes in operation, and the third fixed.
Yet the first statement indicates that it can cut at full 3D as long as there are no overhangs.

I'm probably misunderstanding - but feel the definition could be clearer.

John S
21-03-2011, 08:30 PM
Yes Easymill can rotate parts in 4 and 5 axes - but not while cutting.

I am surprised by your response - you say 'what credibility do you have ?' yet you do not explain what you mean - from my web research there seems to be confusion between rotation axes and 2D/2.5D/3D.





By credibility you are selling a piece of software that you don't even know how it works.

Long short is the full version is 2500 for what others are selling for 250 to 350, as I pointed out you can buy a full blown industrial 3D program for $999 with support for users and the company.

Kai
25-03-2011, 12:41 AM
So was there ever an answer to the software for lathes?
I am having fun lol not with lazyturn and miniture tank barrels everything was going well then mach3 just froze and lost the last tool path then decided to part the job
with a vcmt insert not a happy bunny right now and running out of scrap ally to play with grumble grumble

cooliced
25-03-2011, 09:47 AM
I am using DolphinCADCAM, (Partmaster)

It works very well with Mach3 and EMC2 (download the windows 7 patch and the PP files are in there)

I havent had any issues with this program and do recommend it, worth the buy imo

M250cnc
25-03-2011, 10:43 AM
I tried a demo of Partmaster, but i absolutely hated it.

They do do deals for hobby users in which the price is quite reasonable.

So try the demo

Make sure STOP SPINDLE WAIT FOR CYCLE START is ticked in general config TOOL CHANGE

Phil

John S
25-03-2011, 01:13 PM
I use Dolphin Partmaster for mill but hardly for lathe, for lathe most of what I do I can get by with using the wizards in Mach 3.
These will be updated shortly so you can add to them, i.e stack them up so you can do a face operation, then turn, then screwcut.

Ron Ginger who's in charge of Wizards reckons he'll have them done for the CNC show in the US in June or July.

Partmaster is a two part program, CAD and CAM. CAD absolutely sucks, it's terrible and not intuitive at all. CAM is very good and if you bring files in as DXF's it works well.

M250cnc
25-03-2011, 01:18 PM
Partmaster is a two part program, CAD and CAM. CAD absolutely sucks, it's terrible and not intuitive at all. CAM is very good and if you bring files in as DXF's it works well.

I never got past the CAD side.

Phil


Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk

John S
25-03-2011, 04:38 PM
Phil,

I think if I'd have gone the CAD route first I would have thought the same but many of my jobs come in as DXF from the customer so I bypassed that.

Also I have a CAD package I'm happy with and had it in various versions for years, so it's more productive to me to alter a drawing in my CAD program, then bring it into Dolphin as a DXF.

M250cnc
25-03-2011, 06:00 PM
John, I can understand your reasoning. I didn't have a CAD program hence the route i took.

I went with OneCNC and it's a joy to use.

Phil

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk

John S
25-03-2011, 08:35 PM
Phil,
PM sent

Kai
03-04-2011, 03:04 AM
M250 any chance you can put up a video of the proces to turn somthing that looks somthing like a small tank barrel from the cad throught to the cam and Gcode I have asked onecnc to get in touch but no joy so far and I know you use it and like it so I thought what the hell see if you would be so king to give me a look see.

M250cnc
03-04-2011, 12:43 PM
M250 any chance you can put up a video of the proces to turn somthing that looks somthing like a small tank barrel from the cad throught to the cam and Gcode I have asked onecnc to get in touch but no joy so far and I know you use it and like it so I thought what the hell see if you would be so king to give me a look see.

Kai do you have Skype ? as i believe i can give a one 2 one demo using it "Skype" you can see my desktop on your machine, i haven't tried this so don't know how good it would work

Phil