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  1. #1
    Hi,

    Does anyone know where i can get some basic practice cutting programmes to practice using my new machine.

    JJ

  2. #2
    A little short of detail. However, I know from your introduction post that you're using Mach3, and therefore on a PC. This might not be what you expect or want to hear, but I'd suggest looking at whatever CAD/CAM software you have and just look at basic/primitive operations. If you haven't established your CAD/CAM workflow yet (and this is a big undertaking), then get hold of the evaluation copy of CAMBAM, and use that to create a couple of SIMPLE shapes, and get used to generating the CAM GCode for those - a simple 2-point line, or a 3-point triangle. You'll learn more from that than crashing a tool through an unknown pre-generated programme. And it's easier to help you out if there's issues along the way.

  3. #3
    Does Mach 3 still ship with the road runner outline to practice on? Or has that long gone ?

    If you want to go back to basics then another idea is:

    Manually position your cutter above a scrap piece of wood, say towards the lower left corner and zero your X and Y DROs on the Mach screen.
    Then slowly plunge down into the surface say 1 mm with the router running
    Then set your feedrate override to 5% on the screen setting (slow it down)
    Then in the MDI window type: G0 X20
    This will slowly machine a 20mm long line in your part in the X direction
    You can complete a small square with
    G0 Y20
    G0 X0
    G0 Y0
    (Return after each line) (The 0 is a zero not oh)
    This is just saying Goto X or Y position on the part.
    Then raise the Z and stop the spindle.

    I’ve left out the F word (not that one!) to keep it simple.
    Your first square shape (engraving)! Repeat with similar commands to cut things.

    Bored of typing commands? Then move onto Doddys idea and draw the shape in CAD or CAM and let the software create the gcode.

    You can view gcode in any text editor so draw a square in CAM and look at the code. It will create lots of setup fluff but you should be able to see the actual cutting bits in there now you know what to look for. You can google gcode list and see what each command does. There are M commands as well to start and stop things and F for feedrate and so on. There are commands for arcs and things called canned cycles and so on but leave those for another day. You can of course leave all the to the CAM software.


    P.s. Hover over the estop at all times when test cutting !
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by routercnc View Post
    Does Mach 3 still ship with the road runner outline to practice on? Or has that long gone ?
    Yes, it does and several others as well. However, they are all done in imperial G-code and display tiny when using metric units and new users often don't realize they can scale or just type G20 into the MDI to use imperial units.

    For the OP they are located in Mach3 folder inside a folder called Gcode.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Doddy View Post
    A little short of detail. However, I know from your introduction post that you're using Mach3, and therefore on a PC. This might not be what you expect or want to hear, but I'd suggest looking at whatever CAD/CAM software you have and just look at basic/primitive operations. If you haven't established your CAD/CAM workflow yet (and this is a big undertaking), then get hold of the evaluation copy of CAMBAM, and use that to create a couple of SIMPLE shapes, and get used to generating the CAM GCode for those - a simple 2-point line, or a 3-point triangle. You'll learn more from that than crashing a tool through an unknown pre-generated programme. And it's easier to help you out if there's issues along the way.

  6. #6
    Hi Doddy,
    Thank you for the answer, I am still getting to grips with all of this.
    I am looking at getting Vcarve pro, I was originally looking at Aspire, but it’s 3times the price and if i needed to upgrade in the future, it’s not too onerous.
    I also use a drawing package called Vectorworks Spotlight, although it is a few years old now it still works well for my requirements. I think as it’s a cad package it will import ok into Vcarve pro !
    I will follow your advice and get hold of the evaluation copy of CAMBAM.
    Kind regards,
    John

  7. #7
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 655. Received thanks 84 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    John,
    I've been using CamBam for several years and really like it. The learning curve is not too steep and the basic program can be greatly enhanced by the large range of free plug-ins available from the strong support group on the site linked below. It's also a 'pay once, updates for life' licence which makes it excellent value for money.

    http://www.atelier-des-fougeres.fr/C...ugin_menu.html

    Click on the flag icons to get the plug-ins menu in French, English or German.

    Kit
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Sparks View Post
    Hi Doddy,

    I will follow your advice and get hold of the evaluation copy of CAMBAM.
    Kind regards,
    John
    Absolutely follow your path for the toolchain that you want to use... but just until you get used to the basics, keep it simple, the learning curves can be steep and expensive. I'd stand by RouterCNC's suggestions as well - really useful to get to grips with GCode so that you can understand that back-end processing that drives the machine... then once that's firmly in your head start moving back through the toolchain the to more complex and interesting design activity. It all fits together in the end.

  9. #9
    Hi Doddy,

    Do i need to load the CamBam onto the laptop that has the Mach3 on it?
    This is a computer that isnt connected to the net, in my workshop.
    JJ

  10. #10
    It does not need to be on the same pc, but you would have to take the resulting gcode file from cambam to load into Mach3 - penstick our similar. If you can get CB onto the laptop it might be a more pleasant experience whilst you learn/iterate

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