1. #1
    Hi All,
    As said in my new member intro, I hope to get my workshop built,fitted out and up and running this year sometime, fingers crossed,anyway the mechanical side of things I should be fine with,the dark area for me is the software side,I have downloaded a few cam programs to have a look at and I think cut2d is the one I will go for as it suits my needs,plus my brain(easy to use).My first question as I don't have a machine here to try it on,is could someone please tell me when exporting from cut2d to mach does everything seem ok?.Then next thing I wanted to ask about is cad,I have had a look at a few 2D ones and after a struggle I manage to get my head round them, and this is all I need for the machining I will be doing,however I would like a 3D cad program for sketching out ideas for myself and posting on forums etc,have downloaded viaCAD 3D but find it a bit hard to get my head round,is there anyone who could point me in the right direction for a easy to use 3D cad program,something like cut3d's step by step approach but for 3d cad would be nice,or a 2D to 3D cad converter program maybe, if such a thing exists.

    Steve.

  2. #2
    Cut2D exports to Mach fine, although I have a few cad / cam programs I use cut2D for a lot of simple stuff like panel cutouts because it's so quick.

    As regards 3D programs, there isn't an easy one because it's a frame of mind and you have to see and think in 3D.
    There is no proper 2D to 3D converter because how does it know the profile of the Z or vertical shape from a 2D drawing.
    Most 3D programs however do work very similar to this in that you darw a shape [ 2D ] and extrude it into 3D.

    Alibre has a free downlaod of a working program called Alibre Expres, the starter version is about 99 which believe me is cheap, Solid Works, the industry leader, is about 5K
    John S -

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John S View Post
    Cut2D exports to Mach fine, although I have a few cad / cam programs I use cut2D for a lot of simple stuff like panel cutouts because it's so quick.

    As regards 3D programs, there isn't an easy one because it's a frame of mind and you have to see and think in 3D.
    There is no proper 2D to 3D converter because how does it know the profile of the Z or vertical shape from a 2D drawing.
    Most 3D programs however do work very similar to this in that you darw a shape [ 2D ] and extrude it into 3D.

    Alibre has a free downlaod of a working program called Alibre Expres, the starter version is about 99 which believe me is cheap, Solid Works, the industry leader, is about 5K
    Thanks for the reply John,I will have a look at Alibre.on the converter side of things, I was thinking maybe there was a program that you could draw in 2D then pull the Z up to were you want it.

    Steve.

  5. #4
    If it's a simple shape, box etc then that's how Alibre works but if it's say a curved surface like a wing shape it doesn't know where to get the curved surface from.

    If you are a complete beginner it's best to learn to use 3D from the start, then you can automatically get 2D from it for a CNC etc.

    Going from 2D to 3D is a lot harder because you have to unlearn a lot of how you work and learn new ways, old dog , new tricks etc.

    .
    John S -

  6. #5
    Presuming you're after 2.5D rather than 3D.

    Alibre does it as a series of parallel cuts, moving the tool vertically as it goes. Good for making pretties but I prefer something that will follow an edge.

    Gsimple is free and, well, simple. Not without vices and insists on cutting outlines uphill, inlines downhill. Does excess removal but assumes a rectangular block.

    CamBam has a steeeper learning curve and insists on you redefining the tool for every single blooming cut, lots of potential for error if you want to change your mind on the tool size. Cuts uphill/downhill as you like but I haven't managed to figure out excess material removal yet.

    BobCAD seems popular but the learning curve is alarming. So is the price, but if you download the demo a salesman will call some time later and offer you a amazing deal.

    There are a lot of them out there but they never quite seem to do everything I want

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  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John S View Post
    If it's a simple shape, box etc then that's how Alibre works but if it's say a curved surface like a wing shape it doesn't know where to get the curved surface from.

    If you are a complete beginner it's best to learn to use 3D from the start, then you can automatically get 2D from it for a CNC etc.

    Going from 2D to 3D is a lot harder because you have to unlearn a lot of how you work and learn new ways, old dog , new tricks etc.

    .
    Thanks John,looks like I have already done it the wrong way round then :-( ,downloading and having a look at the Alibre training vid's now.
    Steve.

  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hewitt View Post
    Presuming you're after 2.5D rather than 3D.

    Alibre does it as a series of parallel cuts, moving the tool vertically as it goes. Good for making pretties but I prefer something that will follow an edge.

    Gsimple is free and, well, simple. Not without vices and insists on cutting outlines uphill, inlines downhill. Does excess removal but assumes a rectangular block.

    CamBam has a steeeper learning curve and insists on you redefining the tool for every single blooming cut, lots of potential for error if you want to change your mind on the tool size. Cuts uphill/downhill as you like but I haven't managed to figure out excess material removal yet.

    BobCAD seems popular but the learning curve is alarming. So is the price, but if you download the demo a salesman will call some time later and offer you a amazing deal.

    There are a lot of them out there but they never quite seem to do everything I want
    Thanks Robin,looks like am going to have a few late nights with this!

    Steve.
    Last edited by steve123; 13-02-2010 at 01:16 PM.

  10. #8
    Steve, Have a look at ContourCam magicsystems.com

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  12. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    Steve, Have a look at ContourCam magicsystems.com
    Thanks Peter.
    Steve.

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