Thread: Which Software
Let's weigh in here with an "off the shelf unit" which is an MDL-2-TR-UN from Kevin at World of CNC (Marchant Dice by another name). Yes I can cut ally'. Slow as in 300mm/min max cut speed and 4mm depth and using a hand held spray unit for mist with cutting oil to keep heat down. Spindle is a Kress 1050W standard model (have not slaved it to Mach3 yet) and yes Mach is the control software. Object and g-code generated by V23 BobCAD/CAM though have also used V21 to do similar work. Clean up is a pain and I hate cutting metals with it at present due to the noise issue and not having the spindle under full control except for the E-stop.
Software depends on what you are going to be using it for and how detailed you need to be. I am right now trying out T-Flex CAD/CAM package as BobCAD has moved to V24 and I am not interested in upgrade at present. So for myself and the fact that I am going to need to be able to generate drawings for some of the stuff I am designing, looking to move to a new more complete (for myself) package. Vector makes good software, very good to be honest, just for some reason I can't rap my head around how they do parts of their system.
Best suggestion is work with one of us to set up a design of a good ridge system (you can get that to large extent without high mass with modern materials).
Now a down side or two on the set up I have. There is .01mm variation in levelness that I have not been able to correct in the table along the short distance and even doing set up on a perfectly flat surface I have not been able to get that out completely. Trapezoidal Lead Screws have limits and ball screws are worth the up grade. you want a minimum of 100mm Z not the 50 mm this model comes with and personally would suggest 150mm as minimum but that is me. That also means you need the gantry to be extra ridge to reduce any chance of flex in Z (trust me you don't even want to go there).
So that is real life and what I have done. I cut mainly 3d objects the 2.5D method (set up, cut, flip, and cut other side). I have designed a clamp to allow me better centering though will be looking to get the Ally' to cut the pieces soon. Out side of software upgrades the next items on the list are getting the spindle under board control (going the DIYCNC equipment route) and a higher quality spindle that can handle lower rpm's (for cutting acrylic, to fast and it melts and don't have an coolant system set up yet).
Endmill's are from Sorotec out of Germany and they have a good bit of kit at reasonable prices (I have no interest in any of these companies mentioned). Current control boards are all DIYCNC equipment and very happy with them and extremely easy to set up.
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