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dudz
16-11-2012, 07:02 AM
I have got several downloaded demo versions of Cad/Cam software. Vectric cut2d seems initially to easiest to use, but all of them seem to lack a grid of metric measurements, so drill hole placings can be just created and moved via the mouse to the specific locations. They seem to have X and Y references, but this is very time consuming. Is this maybe because the demo versions are limited ?

Jonathan
16-11-2012, 11:44 AM
That's why I prefer to use a dedicated CAD program to do my drawings, then import them into the CAM program using the .dxf format. CAD programs tend to have better drawing tools so this system is generally faster.

martin54
16-11-2012, 12:41 PM
As Jonathan says what you already have downloaded is really just cam software to produce the G code, yes they have some basic cad functions but they are basic & if you are looking for something with better drawing tools then you need to look at a proper design or cad package.
Do the design work in a vector based drawing program then import into cam software as dxf, eps, ai, pdf or what ever file formats can be imported.
Generate the code in the cam package & export to Mach3

HankMcSpank
16-11-2012, 12:57 PM
I know all the Vectric softare is well received but it's a little bit too 'eye candy' for me & I soon got fed up with the constant mouse/windows selection actions & drop down boxes etc.

Cambam is perhaps a good 'middle ground' application for a new user ....it's got some basic CAD functionality, but it also is very good at CAM.

That said, whilst I use cambam for the CAM aspect, for my needs, it's CAD capabilities are still a tad lacking vs. a full blow CAD package & so I tend to create a DXF file in CAD then import it into CAM - but if you're just after basic CAD'ing then CAMing (& I think CAMBAM excels at the CAM aspect), then it's a good contender.

dudz
16-11-2012, 05:52 PM
Ok, I tried "E machine shop" as CAD, and then as CAM Vectric CUT2D. That was a lot easier . Although I couldn't export the Gcode to Mach3 as I only have the demo version of Cut2d. But I managed to make a simple rectangle with accurate pockets and drill holes in metric. Cambam seems a reel headache to me. (probably my age)

HankMcSpank
16-11-2012, 11:28 PM
Ok, I tried "E machine shop" as CAD, and then as CAM Vectric CUT2D. That was a lot easier . Although I couldn't export the Gcode to Mach3 as I only have the demo version of Cut2d. But I managed to make a simple rectangle with accurate pockets and drill holes in metric. Cambam seems a reel headache to me. (probably my age)


Well I'm no spring chicken! But having gone through a similar analysis phase about 18 months ago, i found Vectric to be very slick & pleasing on the eye....but then when I wised up I realised that all the eye candy 'window/GUI centric' approach was just a pain in the arse - especially when you need to do something very basic like move cuts about (not sure if an IT analagy would be appropriate, but normally when doing repetitive IT jobs, it's far easier/zippier to do things from a command line vs a windows driven approach).

Having trialled a lot of programs, I was blown away at how cambam sped up my workflow... I agree it's probably a bit of a learning curve (& you have to get into the mindset of the program!), but worth a couple of nights put by getting to know it.

martin54
16-11-2012, 11:43 PM
Well I'm no spring chicken! But having gone through a similar analysis phase about 18 months ago, i found Vectric to be very slick & pleasing on the eye....but then when I wised up I realised that all the eye candy 'window/GUI centric' approach was just a pain in the arse - especially when you need to do something very basic like move cuts about (not sure if an IT analagy would be appropriate, but normally when doing repetitive IT jobs, it's far easier/zippier to do things from a command line vs a windows driven approach).

Having trialled a lot of programs, I was blown away at how cambam sped up my workflow... I agree it's probably a bit of a learning curve (& you have to get into the mindset of the program!), but worth a couple of nights put by getting to know it.

Maybe it is an age thing, don't forget not everyone has the same sort of It background you do. I would imagine in your job software plays a big part so learning new software dealing with code is bread & butter stuff for you. I had a look at cambam & I am sure it is a very good program, if it wasn't there wouldn't be so many people using it but at the moment I don't have the time to sit down & spend the time learning it. That's not to say that I won't use it in the future but by then I will have a much better idea what I am doing when generating toolpaths so may find it easier to learn at that point.
Cut2d is a bit flashy I agree but if you are completely new to all this it is easy to use which is what I really need just now at an early stage.

dudz
17-11-2012, 10:16 AM
Is the Cambam demo version limited ? . I imported a DXF file (2d) from "Emachine shop" into Cambam / highlighted the vectors and created a gcode, but I cant find anyway to input drilling dimensions. When I run the gcode in Mach, the basic shape is there but the drilling seems corrupted.

HankMcSpank
17-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Is the Cambam demo version limited ? . I imported a DXF file (2d) from "Emachine shop" into Cambam / highlighted the vectors and created a gcode, but I cant find anyway to input drilling dimensions. When I run the gcode in Mach, the basic shape is there but the drilling seems corrupted.

To set a drilling routine, after importing your DXF file, highlight the points on your design that you wish to drill (they need to be points - it they aren't points on your dxf, just goto menu 'draw' then 'point' & click points on your design where you wish to drill), ok, now with these points selected, then click on the browny/orange 'drill' icon at the top of the page (2nd from the right icon ...or alternatively from the menu 'machining then 'drill') ...immediately after doing this, you'll get a new table entry created on the bottom left hand side of your screen called drill (under machining)...you set all the parameters for that partiular drill routine in there (depth, drill size, plunge rate etc).

For me the fantastic thing about cambam is the speed with which you can hide/show 'groupings' of your design - either in the drawing iteself or the machining aspect (eg hide some of the cuts, hide the drilling routines, or show only the design outline etc) ...sure such functionality is normally available within other cad/cam apps ...but it's nowhere near as quick to manipulate (for example mastercam - complete nightmare to rename different levels of your drawing quickly ...and that costs more than a family car!)

dudz
17-11-2012, 02:06 PM
...immediately after doing this, you'll get a new table entry created on the bottom left hand side of your screen called drill (under machining)...you set all the parameters for that partiular drill routine in there (depth, drill size, plunge rate etc).


I get nothing here. I do as you instruct, press the "Drill" button, then on the left column the Drill shows under machining. I cannot get anything that lets me alter depth,drill size,plunge rate. I double click on the "drill" on the left hand column, but nothing happens.

HankMcSpank
17-11-2012, 04:45 PM
I get nothing here. I do as you instruct, press the "Drill" button, then on the left column the Drill shows under machining. I cannot get anything that lets me alter depth,drill size,plunge rate. I double click on the "drill" on the left hand column, but nothing happens.

Sometimes I've noticed that the drill 'settings' has shrunk down to the bottom of the screen (left hand lower part of your screen) & needs you to go & drag that part of the view up with your mouse....

http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/4499/drillg.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/818/drillg.jpg/)

dudz
17-11-2012, 09:48 PM
Yes, I found it now....thanks. Spent hours today on it. Got some good results. I produced a design with 5 milling profiles. I produced the tool-paths, and then made the g-code. Opened Mach3 and imported. Only once out of around 20 times did all the profiles show in mach. I have no idea why or how I managed to get all of it to work in Mach once and not the other times. I'm sure I did not change anything. I have only "Profile 1" and "Profile 4" that now actually shows up in mach.
Any ideas please ?

HankMcSpank
17-11-2012, 11:39 PM
Yes, I found it now....thanks. Spent hours today on it. Got some good results. I produced a design with 5 milling profiles. I produced the tool-paths, and then made the g-code. Opened Mach3 and imported. Only once out of around 20 times did all the profiles show in mach. I have no idea why or how I managed to get all of it to work in Mach once and not the other times. I'm sure I did not change anything. I have only "Profile 1" and "Profile 4" that now actually shows up in mach.
Any ideas please ?


Not sure (I don't use Mach3 as I prefer CNC-USB)....you could try going to 'system' (top of the screen), then clicking on post processors & then selecting Mach3? Else you could try asking the forum....

http://www.cambam.co.uk/forum/ ...I'm sure someone will know there (it's worth persevering with the teething troubles...IMHO it really is a great piece of software - & I've trialed a lot of different CAD/CAM apps!)

zen11777
03-02-2013, 11:24 PM
Dolplhin PartMaster CAM and CAD modules both have a 'Pattern' feature which provides for
the definition of a Rectangular or Bolt Hole pattern of Holes which can then be subsequently
submitted to the Drill operation. Details can be found at Dolphin Hobby Cad Cam Software, PartMaster, CNC (http://www.hobbycadcam.com)