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AlexBanich
14-02-2009, 11:30 PM
I found this interesting free little cad program called DanCAD3D. Its suppose to be free but during installation I got side tracked and then everything went down the tubes since its a somewhat but not really complicated install procedure. SO in short does anybody have any experience/input on it? I understand its free and won't be a super program, but I'm just looking to see if its a useful program for home users. I already have mastercam and rhino so I'm not looking for another CAD/CAM just curious to its quality. Thanks

Smiler
15-02-2009, 11:57 AM
Hi Alex,

That has to be the single most horrible website that has ever scarred my retinas.

Having said that I'll download a copy and run it against Solidworks to see how it stacks up.

Lee Roberts
15-02-2009, 02:15 PM
I'v just downloaded it will be taking a look, check out the Vectric (http://www.vectric.com/) site Alex, Cut3D (http://www.vectric.com/WebSite/Vectric/cut3d/c3d_index.htm) is quite good.

I'm about to buy Cut2D i think, you can download fully working demos of each and see what you think.

John S
15-02-2009, 02:37 PM
Vectric products are nice.
They do exactly what they say and their forum is very helpful. I have met Tony at shows and Vectric's commitment is very evident.

John S.

Lee Roberts
15-02-2009, 03:15 PM
YEa i have been running the ArtCAM demo and have got quite good using it, when i went on a search to learn how to do somthing in artCAM a user on cnczone suggested that the vectric guys used to work at ArtCAM, so strate away i went and had a look on the website, Cut2D seems to be VERY much like ArtCAM but with a diffrent user interface to it, and for 95 i think it was seems like it would be just what i would be looking for, as for the most part i will only be machining 2D parts.

Let me think 95 for Cut2D or $7,500 for ArtCAM ? heheh, think i know what one i will be going for. I apprecate ArtCAM probly has allot more to it for the money but will i ever use those.

Smiler
15-02-2009, 06:36 PM
Let me think 95 for Cut2D or $7,500 for ArtCAM ? heheh, think i know what one i will be going for. I apprecate ArtCAM probly has allot more to it for the money but will i ever use those.

Artcam express costs circa 700 +VAT. You were probably looking at Artcam Pro + maintenance. Even so, if Cut2D will do all you want it is a steal at the price.

Jeff.

Lee Roberts
15-02-2009, 08:16 PM
Your right Jeff it was ArtCAM Pro i was looking at.

AlexBanich
15-02-2009, 11:35 PM
Did anybody else decide to give DanCAD a try?

Dan Hudgins
12-02-2010, 09:22 PM
I am the author of DANCAD3D.EXE (tm) and www.DANCAD3D.com (sm).

If anyone here has questions about my programs they can read the EULA at my web site then read Section: 8 and then send me an email.

I have a few guidelines about support questions since too many people were contacting me with questions about building their own CNC machines that were not directly related to the commands in my programs menus.

My CAM program DANCAM.EXE (tm) is for 3D machine work such as a vertical mill.

My CAM program DANPLOT.EXE (tm) is for mostly 2D machine work such as plotting layout or cutting plate and sheet, or drilling patterns such as PCB.

My program DANCAD3D.EXE (tm) and DANCAD87.EXE (tm) have an "NC" sub-menu in the drawing editor that has some comands for making tool paths. There are also load and save G-code commands, and a teach as you go G-code output from the drawing editor.

The CAM programs also have teach and save and playback modes in their JOG menus so you can make tool paths without using G-codes, and you can use the DRO display to do semi-manual machine work such as drilling.

The CAM programs were one of the first that used the Parallel Port to make a junk PC into a machine controller, at one time I had a manual of circuits for stepper and servo circuits to go with those programs, but those have not been revised yet for the WEB site.

Most of my development now relates to Digital Cinema, the CAM programs were written to do some machine work related to Movie cameras and post production equipment, such as to engrave control pannels and such, other people who helped test the programs did various other projects with them, at one time there was a video showing some content people sent about their CAM projects, and there were some web sites with photos of machines running off my Programs. There were also some magazine articles written about my programs.

My CAD/CAM programs are best used under Windows ME rescue boot floppy (looks like DOS) and maybe FreeDOS (tm).

I got an email from a long time CAM user a few weeks ago, so there may be some people still using the programs, if you find any bugs follow the guidelines at the web site and report them by email, if you have problems emailing Yahoo try the same username at gmail (I do not check that one as often).

Dan Hudgins
tempnulbox [at] yahoo [dot] com
http://www.DANCAD3D.com (sm)
San Francisco, CA 94114 USA

Dan Hudgins
12-02-2010, 09:30 PM
I found this interesting free little cad program called DanCAD3D. Its suppose to be free but during installation I got side tracked and then everything went down the tubes since its a somewhat but not really complicated install procedure. SO in short does anybody have any experience/input on it? I understand its free and won't be a super program, but I'm just looking to see if its a useful program for home users. I already have mastercam and rhino so I'm not looking for another CAD/CAM just curious to its quality. Thanks

I'm not sure why you would want to use my programs if you have commercial software, although I guess there are some that have because I got a letter from a guy who told me he got a commercial program only to find it did not do what my freeish program did so he went back to using my programs, I thought that was funny since the other company may some money selling a program that was not used, and I got nothing but my program was used... Mostly its used for the special cases where it is easer to get the job done, I got an email once about a special job making a engraved guitar for a well know famous rock group from the UK, they did not have time to use the shop tools so the guy took it home and did the work on his DIY machine running off my programs, at least he said...

Why do you ask, what need do you have that is not filled by the programs you are using now?

Dan Hudgins
tempnulbox [at] yahoo [dot] com
http://www.DANCAD3D.com (sm)

BillTodd
12-02-2010, 11:16 PM
Good to hear from you Dan.

:toot:For those who don't know, Dan here is the Grand-Daddy of DIY cnc - He's probably done more for the subject than anyone :cool:

He's certainly responsible for my interest the subject :smile:

Lee Roberts
13-02-2010, 12:28 AM
Hi Dan,

I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, thanks for joining us here and supporting your programs. From reading your post it felt like you may not be planning to realise a new version any time soon, would that be true. Do you have any plans for future realises or?

Thanks,
Lee

Dan Hudgins
13-02-2010, 07:17 PM
Hi,

Most of the new features in v2.7 are still in the testing stage since I have not gotten much feedback about them, I did fix some issued when I upgraded from v2.6 to v2.7 those are:

1) Problem with Z axis home switch when axis go various directions addressed

2) Some issued in DANPLOT were fixed relating to odd tool path patterns I think...

3) Scanning was added to both DANCAM.EXE and DANPLOT.EXE v2.7 to enable automatic generation of tool paths, you use a probe the shape of the cutting tool with DANCAD.EXE and with DANPLOT.EXE you can use an optical sensor then use the OUTLINE command in DANCAD87.EXE to compensate for the cutter offset.

4) Cutting feed rate is now by the computer timing for more or less constant cutting along a vector, something many people asked about during v2.6 development.

5) G-code read and write was developed in DANCAD3D.EXE v2.7 with looping in G-code programs supported and several useful G-codes supported. Its mostly for simple G-code programs, the G-codes are all converted into vectors so you can see them before you cut the part in the CAM programs.

6) As I mentioned the NC sub-menu in the DANCAD3D.EXE drawing editor has several advanced tool path making commands, some can be used to interpolate surfaces others to make drilling cycles.

7) The CAM progarms can read "cycles" tool paths in the JOG menus to do semi-automatic machine work, like jog to point and do a drill cycle or a pocket cycle etc.

8) The CAM programs now support A/B Quadrature encoder input through the JOY-STICK pins which lets you put a crank wheel on your controller or machine and crank the axis selected to see the readout on the DRO display, its much nicer than joy-stick since you can crank quite fast on a fast computer and slow down to singel steps to get the position to 1/10000 etc. Any four pin 5V TTL encoder shold work, the Joy-Stick puts out several ma at +5V or you can use an external 5v supply, you hook up A/B to input button pins and ground then enable the feature in the setup menus.

There are many other advances from v2.6 here and there, the CAM programs calibrate the feedrates after you enter all the needed values, since it runs open loop most of the time you turn OFF the machine before you do the feed rate calibration to avoid running into the limit switches, see the current DOC files.

Once I get more feedback on what I have done so far, I can think about what direction to go in. New programs like EMC seem to have drawn many of the CNC users that were talking to me before, so I'm not sure what features in my system are still of interest. My system is non-standard and for some uses simpler to use than standard methods maybe, but I'm not sure who is interested in the CAM programs any longer, so mostly I have been working on Digital Cinema. I do have some ideas of things I would like to do in the CNC parts of the system, but I cannot talk about future plans at this point since that code is not at the Alpha Test stage yet...

http://www.linuxcnc.org/

You can check out ENC, and see that it is for a different market perhaps?

People with an interest in my programs can read some of the DOC on my web site and email me direct if they have a specific question about the commands in the menus of the current programs.

Dan Hudgins
tempnulbox [at] yahoo [dot] com
http://www.DANCAD3D.com (sm)

P.S. Thanks Bill for remembering, a lot has changed in the 20 years since I released my first home CNC programs, and as they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery ;) My goal was to bring "freeish" CNC within the reach of anyone with a JUNK PC anywhere, and I seem to have succeeded, people using my programs saw how simple it was to use the parallel port to wire up a CNC controler, and all the other "me to" programs with advertising budgets helped spread the KISS principle to CNC world wide...