Thread: Another Noob!
Yes, I'm another Noob who felt it was a good idea to join!
I'm Graham from Cornwall, and we run a small toolroom and plastic injection moulding co. We have several machine tools, from really old basic stuff right through to a new VMC, [not yet commissioned!]
We have been running basic CNC for sometime, but now need to get into CADCAM, HSM etc which we'll be largely learning as we go along!!
I finished building my cnc router a few weeks back and I have been teaching myself CAM programming since then, after trying a few different ones I have found that I prefer FeatureCam as it accepts models straight from my CAD software (Solid Edge) and now I have got my head round it is fairly easy to work, once you get it configured correctly!
I used to have a VMC and cnc lathe a few years back and always programmed them by hand, in some ways I was looking forward to writing programs for my router as I always found it a bit of a challenge. But, since I have been running it I have not written one single program by hand, I have done them all by CAD/CAM.
Do you have any 3d Cad software / experience as this may be a benefit or do you get your models from your customers??
What I am tending to do if I get a 2d drawing is to model it up in Solid Edge first, this makes it a lot easier to produce the program for the router using FeatureCam.
It does depend on what type of work you will be doing on the VMC though and how much you want to spend as to which software will suit you best. Do you have any examples of what you intend to be making on the machine and I will be happy to to give you my opinion.
I've started using onecnc XR3 Pro, which has handled everything my customers have thrown at us so far. I'm slowly learning how to produce drawings and solid models etc but have not been brave enough to try the CAM stuff yet!!
Ultimately, we hope to be producing complete mould cavities, cores and electrodes of all shapes and forms on the VMC, as well as other bits and pieces. I suspect that I need a bit more experience yet and possibly will need to upgrade to XR3 expert at some stage too!
Not tried onecnc but just had a look round their website, looks like a pretty good package and nice and easy to use.
If you can get your head round the CAD side of things then the CAM side should be pretty easy in comparison.
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