Thread: stl to toolpaths
I got that cheap Alibre for $99 3d drawing package, but the freeby CAM is a bit naff, only does parallel lines, much too steppy, want to cut watermarks. Been looking for software that does that, doesn't seem to be there :nope:
So I emailed my brother, gave him a stinky stl file and pointed him at Wikipedia where stl is explained.
Took him approx 3/4 hour to read the file, put it on screen as a wireframe and let me turn it in all 3 planes.
He's gone away to shade it so it will look solider.
He says toolpaths are dead easy, ball nose not a problem, anti-collision easy, it's 'only' vectors. Basically I can have what I like
So any ideas what I should ask for? What do the big boys do that is so freaking miraculous?:heehee:
I want to cut injection tooling in 7075 T6 alloy.
I think spiral roughing with a depth increment, CW round lumps, CCW round pockets is a good idea?
Watermarks for finishing upright faces, flat nose cutter for finishing horizontals and something clever in the corners where they don't quite meet up.
Output as something a bit more compact than G-code perhaps, maybe I should let him talk to the steppers?
talking direct to steppers isnt a good idea, IMHO, unless he replicates a lot of the capability of Mach3, e.g. acceleration control, limits, homing, etc...
I've developed my own software for converting STL to GCode (hence the name of my milling machine - STLCutter).
It's not too difficult; my challenge was that I needed a large object cut up into a number of blocks, and each block is cut individually.
I've also written a number of algorithms that are designed to give different qualities of cut depending on the complexity of the object being cut.
For example, the original algorithm would do a scale model cut of the car I'm building in just over 2 hours - a new algorithm which is more suited to smooth objects has cut this to 28 minutes. There's one other algorithm which I'd like to get working, but it's a very complex algorithm to work out.
The accuracy I've put into it isn't terribly high (1mm), but it's just numbers to the computer - higher resolutions can be easily created.
If your brother wants to contact me, send me a PM - I can give some help if he needs it.
The only slight thing is that I've done my software in Mac OS (with Objective-C), since it's my main platform (at home) for development. However, it originated in standard C on a BSD box.
By alan2525 in forum Computer SoftwareReplies: 4Last Post: 07-04-2010, 08:33 PM