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  1. #1
    As a sad git i have a vague ambition to get/build myself a 3D router/plasma table.

    Being a person with scale issues i normally go big as such there is not one single chance of one fitting in my current workshop.

    The foundations for the new workshop (the wife thinks its garage) have been laid

    So at some point in the next few years i should be starting out

    NOW

    Is it a good idea to get a 3D printer to help learn the principles of moving a tool around a 3D space and using CAD?


    I have a bridgeport manual mill so the idea of milling metal is not an alien one to me.

    And for most of the stuff i am making at home i use CAD (Chalk Assisted Design) on the big welding table i have so to have something which forces me to use proper CAD might be a good idea

  2. #2
    And for most of the stuff i am making at home i use CAD (Chalk Assisted Design) on the big welding table i have so to have something which forces me to use proper CAD might be a good idea
    Hi and welcome to the forum. Personally I would get my head around a decent cad cam package from the start, Fusion360 is free for hobby use and has cam built in it also is very powerful. There are plenty tutorials on the web.
    Have a look here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5bc9c3S12g
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  3. #3
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 14 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,192. Received thanks 85 times, giving thanks to others 58 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by thinfourth View Post
    As a sad git i have a vague ambition to get/build myself a 3D router/plasma table.

    Being a person with scale issues i normally go big as such there is not one single chance of one fitting in my current workshop.

    The foundations for the new workshop (the wife thinks its garage) have been laid

    So at some point in the next few years i should be starting out

    NOW

    Is it a good idea to get a 3D printer to help learn the principles of moving a tool around a 3D space and using CAD?


    I have a bridgeport manual mill so the idea of milling metal is not an alien one to me.

    And for most of the stuff i am making at home i use CAD (Chalk Assisted Design) on the big welding table i have so to have something which forces me to use proper CAD might be a good idea
    A 3D printer is a very lazy way to understand CAM. You will find that it works differently, takes little effort to slice a part to generate the code whereas on a mill, you have to do a lot more thinking.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Clive S View Post
    Hi and welcome to the forum. Personally I would get my head around a decent cad cam package from the start, Fusion360 is free for hobby use and has cam built in it also is very powerful. There are plenty tutorials on the web.
    Have a look here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5bc9c3S12g
    Okay

    Currently to design something i can either spend some time learning fusion 360 OR i can grab a lump of chalk and draw it out on the bench.

    I can work chalk perfectly

    I can use the draw, circle and delete functions

    Which is all of them

    I have no need for using fusion 360 apart from when i occasionally send stuff off to a lazer cutter which is rare as it is expensive and a pain in the behind.

    My thinking is if i have a 3D printer there is no shortcuts

    I need to use fusion 360

    So what else can i carry over from a 3d printer or is there no cross over whatsoever?

  5. #5
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 14 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,192. Received thanks 85 times, giving thanks to others 58 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by thinfourth View Post
    Okay

    Currently to design something i can either spend some time learning fusion 360 OR i can grab a lump of chalk and draw it out on the bench.

    I can work chalk perfectly

    I can use the draw, circle and delete functions

    Which is all of them

    I have no need for using fusion 360 apart from when i occasionally send stuff off to a lazer cutter which is rare as it is expensive and a pain in the behind.

    My thinking is if i have a 3D printer there is no shortcuts

    I need to use fusion 360

    So what else can i carry over from a 3d printer or is there no cross over whatsoever?
    Very little crossover.

  6. #6
    So stuff learnt in fusion 360 for 3d printing will be no use whatsoever for a router/plasma

    So what CAD package should i use as the 3D printing guys appear to like fusion 360

  7. #7
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 6 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 603. Received thanks 83 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    For 3D printing, you only need to use the CAD portion of Fusion 360.
    For routing or milling, you need to use both the CAD and CAM portions.

    For plasma, Fusion is overkill imo, as you really only need simple 2D CAD.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by thinfourth View Post
    So stuff learnt in fusion 360 for 3d printing will be no use whatsoever for a router/plasma

    So what CAD package should i use as the 3D printing guys appear to like fusion 360

    I'm not sure that's true - familiarity with the program counts for something, and on the CAD side beyond keeping in mind the limitations/strengths of the particular manufacturing technology there is no difference in the fundamentals of designing an object whether its going to be printer/lasered/waterjetted/milled/whatever.

    Sure the CAM side is redundant when using a 3D printer, but getting the hang of modelling I think it's a valid option... and designing the object in the first place is at least half the battle for people new to cad/cam. A workable if not stellar 3D printer can be had for not a lot these days and they are quite useful little beasts for jigs/fixtures in my experience.
    Last edited by Zeeflyboy; 26-07-2017 at 06:14 PM.

  9. #9
    That is my thinking

    That CAD is well CAD

    So if i learn CAD for a 3D printer i am one step towards CAD for a 3D router

    Unless folk are working on the assumption that everyone can use CAD

  10. #10
    That would be my personal opinion, that the skills you learn in the CAD side are very much transferrable. The CAM side of course is like chalk and cheese, but having got to grips with CAD at least that's one less thing to worry about.

    It's worth noting that it's not identical - certainly you have more freedom when making a design for 3D printing as it is very simple to print things with very complex shapes that would be a nightmare to machine on a 3 or even 4 axis, sometimes just impossible even on a 5 axis. Though your results are generally going to be much better if you design with an idea of how it will be printed and design accordingly regarding overhangs and angles to minimise use of support material or optimise strength.

    When designing for a router/mill, more thought needs to be given to how you are actually going to make it while you design. That's the main difference in my mind, but the actual process of getting what is in your brain out into 3D space is ultimately the same.

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