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Leadhead
09-01-2016, 10:19 AM
I find it curious that I have never, after more than a few years, come across any hobby CAD/CAM users or enthusiasts in my local vicinity. (Central South) Are we an exclusive set or just conservative shedheads down here?
I have joined the local "Mens Shed" but nobody is practicing?
I know quite a few excellent hobby engineers, but no Cadcammers!
Where are you guys?

komatias
09-01-2016, 11:06 AM
Well a bunch of us here use CAD and Cam a lot professionally and as a hobby. What may be lacking are the funds to actually investing in high end programs. Considering that Creo, Solidworks etc will set you back a few grand and Mastercam many grand, many choose to use fusion360 which is "OK" for basic stuff and 3D modeling but not great for draughting.

Did you have any specific questions on CAD/ CAM?

magicniner
09-01-2016, 11:17 AM
I use CAD/CAM but as a means to an end an construct only what's required to generate the tool paths to make parts.
I kinda like the big complex rendered 3D models but it's the actual making of things which interests me,

- Nick

Leadhead
09-01-2016, 01:39 PM
Gentlemen my object was to see if there was anyone in my vicinity. I am a retired Solidworks designer of many years, and have run CNC toolrooms. Not seeking assistance but would like to meet fellow homers for exchange of ideas and inspiration.
Are you guys local?

magicniner
09-01-2016, 01:52 PM
Central South, that varies just as does North, depending on where you're standing, for me "Southern" starts somewhere around Leicester ;-)

Leadhead
09-01-2016, 01:54 PM
South Hants. North of Portsmouth.

magicniner
09-01-2016, 02:13 PM
I hadn't heard of "Mens Sheds", from the look of the general facilities you may find more kindred souls at a "Makerspace" if there's one local to you,
Regards,
Nick

Neale
09-01-2016, 03:16 PM
I'm a member of the local model engineering society (South Devon) and amongst 40-50 members, I seem to be the only one with a CNC interest. I know of one other member who is trying to get to grips with 3D CAD, but this seems very much a minority interest in the hobby/home machining community. I suspect that Fusion360 and OnShape, free for home users, might well change this over the next year or two although in my experience many model engineering types are not that quick to pick up new technology. Don't know about woodworkers - not an area that I'm part of. So, the chances of stumbling over someone who shares what seems to be very minority interests are pretty low! That's why, I suspect, this forum is a great chance to exchange ideas with others who actually understand what we're talking about.

magicniner
09-01-2016, 04:39 PM
I used to be a member of my local Model Engineering Society but left once it became evident that it was a place for people to grow old, build steam locomotives, savagely under-pay widows for engineering equipment and Nothing Else! ;-)

Leadhead
09-01-2016, 08:16 PM
I can share that experience!

suesi34e
09-01-2016, 10:59 PM
I am on the Isle of Wight if that counts. I wish I was better with CAD and CAM no very good with either. I wish I was better with CAM as it would mean I could do a lot more on my mill.

If your ever in the area your welcome to get in contact

Thanks

Steve

Leadhead
10-01-2016, 08:07 AM
Steve - Thanks for contact. Likewise if you happen to be over here.
Currently switching to Fusion 360 and with an SW grounding (and Y/Tube) it is becoming an excellent resource. Happy to help if a discussion would be of value. Even a "calm down" chat can be very effective in my experience? Perhaps you know what I mean??
Running Mach3 50/50 metal and wood. Benchtop Router, Mill and Lathe.

komatias
10-01-2016, 12:05 PM
Leadhead
Since you mentioned SolidWorks. The next of kin to that program is OnShape. It is written buy the same people. If you have time it may be worth having a look at it. I did not migrate to that because of some of their policies. Also working Fusion as one of my clients still draws in Autocad and fusion adapts models very easily from dwg files. Fusion also have a very good native CAM module.

Leadhead
10-01-2016, 01:20 PM
George - Yes I use F360 for design, programming, and postprocessing to Mach3. Only needs an occasional tweak to suit my gear.
Very successful and could not be cheaper.
Still struggling with your SS however!!!

komatias
10-01-2016, 04:24 PM
Oh dear... The offer of help is still there to get it working even if it is not the smoothsteppers fault

suesi34e
10-01-2016, 09:05 PM
Steve - Thanks for contact. Likewise if you happen to be over here.
Currently switching to Fusion 360 and with an SW grounding (and Y/Tube) it is becoming an excellent resource. Happy to help if a discussion would be of value. Even a "calm down" chat can be very effective in my experience? Perhaps you know what I mean??
Running Mach3 50/50 metal and wood. Benchtop Router, Mill and Lathe.



Thank you very much Leadhead.
I have Fushion 360 and have watched lots of videos on it. I have not used it yet or my CNC mill for about 6 months for that matter. I will be even more rusty when I get back to it sometime this month! I use my mill for plastic but hope to have a go at some aluminum sometime. It is good of you to offer to help with a chat that could well help me a lot. It is the CAM side I get a bit flustered with the most!
I look forward to making a start the basics using Fushion360

All the best

Steve

AndrewMawson
16-01-2016, 12:49 PM
Well I'm in East Sussex, and have been playing with CNC and hence CAD/CAM as an interest for more years than I care to think about. Been retired many years now, and have spent my time resurrecting 'beyond economic repair' industrial CNC machines.

As well as a fairly comprehensive manual machine setup I have:

A/ A Beaver Partsmaster CNC mill with Heidenhain TNC355 controller

B/ A Fanuc TapeCut Model M Wire EDM machine with a Fanuc 6M controller

C/ A Traub TND350G 5 axis dual spindle lathe with a TX8F controller

All the above have been dragged back into life having got close to being scrapped - the Traub being the one that was the greatest challenge (it weighs 4.5 tons !!!!!!)

Fortunately when I retired I fulfilled my ambition to create the 'ultimate workshop' so have room to squeeze them in :)

Leadhead
17-01-2016, 08:05 AM
Andrew - You seem to be my closest neighbor. I had a Beaver Partsmaster in one of my toolrooms. (back in the day) I am also retired and only using small size equipment at home these days. It would like good to to make your acquaintance if the opportunity should arise.

AndrewMawson
17-01-2016, 09:45 AM
Leadhead, - you'd be more than welcome to come and play :) Kettle's always on and it's nice to put faces to names. If you had Partsmasters you probably met Mike Coltron, the chap who used to look after them.

charlieuk
17-01-2016, 08:51 PM
I'm over near brighton however I'm struggling to find a program that i can get my head around. I grew up using 2d auto cad as that is what my farther used for architecture. I have down loaded a few trial versions of software but have not had much luck at all. At the moment i only use my cnc for cutting surfboards which has its own program and you basically design it in the 3 views and it does the rest, i think if i could find a program more like that i would stand a lot better chance of picking something up. I have so many things i want to draw up but just can't seam to figure how to model them in 3d.

AndrewMawson
17-01-2016, 09:16 PM
I started with Autocad 2.6 in the mid 1980's, and still only really do 2 1/2 D at best! I'm going to put my toe in the water with Fusion360 which will be quite a different kettle of fish being 'proper' 3D ! At the moment I'm using an old version of FeatureCAM but my CNC'ing is relatively simple stuff.

I suppose your surf boards are going to be the merging of various curved surfaces extruded from 2D ?

charlieuk
17-01-2016, 09:26 PM
i tried fashion360 but couldn't get my head round it on my own so let me know if you have any luck!

the surfboard i do i draw a outline in the plan view then a side profile to get what we call the rocker and then insert slices down the board to give the shape of the top, bottom and rails. it then takes that and turns it into a 3d drawing and then even creates the g code to cut it out so its a all in one package.It is called Shape3d. I have used it to do various other things but its is a bit restricted to single sided symmetrical stuff. I wish i could find a similar program to do other things on.

Leadhead
18-01-2016, 08:18 AM
I guess most 3D Cad/Cam programmes are a big learning curve. However using a fully integrated Cad, Cam and postprocessor really simplifies many of the stages. I am all Mach3 and F360 does this job admirably. Couple up to the support videos,forums and zero purchase price. It became a no brainer to me.
If you begin simply and resist the temptation to get ahead of yourself you will be fine. Cut some primitive shapes, then modify them. Perhaps engrave a little text etc. Jumping prematurely into "useful" work will probably burst a few blood vessels.
Take it slowly you will get there and still have some hair left.
You can always ask on here too!!

charlieuk
18-01-2016, 10:00 AM
I guess most 3D Cad/Cam programmes are a big learning curve. However using a fully integrated Cad, Cam and postprocessor really simplifies many of the stages. I am all Mach3 and F360 does this job admirably. Couple up to the support videos,forums and zero purchase price. It became a no brainer to me.
If you begin simply and resist the temptation to get ahead of yourself you will be fine. Cut some primitive shapes, then modify them. Perhaps engrave a little text etc. Jumping prematurely into "useful" work will probably burst a few blood vessels.
Take it slowly you will get there and still have some hair left.
You can always ask on here too!!

i will have to give it another go i tried just using google sketch up the other day and that got me no were. I did down load f360 but the trial ran out even though i did as it said to get the free version so will have to try again. I don't mind paying for a program if it was as easy to use as my surfboard one which although was a lot it makes life so easy!

komatias
18-01-2016, 10:55 AM
i will have to give it another go i tried just using google sketch up the other day and that got me no were. I did down load f360 but the trial ran out even though i did as it said to get the free version so will have to try again. I don't mind paying for a program if it was as easy to use as my surfboard one which although was a lot it makes life so easy!

Charlie,

I use fusion as a Second pass program. As I am very well versed in Creo/Pro-e and Inventor, it makes sense to work in those to build the 3D models.

Fusion allows the import of so many file types it is very easy to bring a model in and then just use the CAM side of it.

For your application, you may benefit from learning how to build free form surfaces in Fusion if you want to use it as cad. This is not as difficult as it sounds it just takes time and knowing what to look for. You can also use the flexible modeling elements where you create nodes on a primitive (eg, sphere, box, torus) and pull them into a known shape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt7mD8ErvJY

With your existing CAD, can you export a 3d DXF file? If so, you may be one step ahead of the game.

There also is the option to create "loft" features between strategically placed sketches. You create sketching planes at known distances from each other and place a x-section sketch on each one. you then extrude between them. Not sure if it gives you full control over the final object but it can be a start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJCtZ0-St_I

Then the cam stuff is simple in comparison.

charlieuk
19-01-2016, 09:36 AM
Charlie,

I use fusion as a Second pass program. As I am very well versed in Creo/Pro-e and Inventor, it makes sense to work in those to build the 3D models.

Fusion allows the import of so many file types it is very easy to bring a model in and then just use the CAM side of it.

For your application, you may benefit from learning how to build free form surfaces in Fusion if you want to use it as cad. This is not as difficult as it sounds it just takes time and knowing what to look for. You can also use the flexible modeling elements where you create nodes on a primitive (eg, sphere, box, torus) and pull them into a known shape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt7mD8ErvJY

With your existing CAD, can you export a 3d DXF file? If so, you may be one step ahead of the game.

There also is the option to create "loft" features between strategically placed sketches. You create sketching planes at known distances from each other and place a x-section sketch on each one. you then extrude between them. Not sure if it gives you full control over the final object but it can be a start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJCtZ0-St_I

Then the cam stuff is simple in comparison.

i believe you can turn files to dxf but it is a part of the program i do not have and it is quite i belive, its not like a normal cad program though i can't i can basically only push and pull the out line of the surfboard and change cross sections and it has to be symmetrical like a surfboard.

think i may need to look for a course or something a a local college, maybe it would make it a lot easier.

many thanks

charlieuk
21-01-2016, 10:22 AM
does any one use rhino? looks like it has that 3 view way of drawing things I was after

terry1956
16-02-2016, 03:54 PM
I am in Yeovil somerset, and a member of a few model engineering clubs. there is little or know interest in any of the them. would be nice to meet up and talk about cnc projects. I am new to all this. I have solidworks for design and mashcam for g code and mach3. but only just begaining to get my head round the cnc bit.

If anyone in the area, please get in contact. thanks. michael