Thread: CAM Software for lathes
I've got to say I'm not convinced by easymill.
I've briefly looked at some CAM packages for turning (I'm in a similar position to the original poster), and Dolphin partmaster is the one that I'm favouring if they run another one of their hobbist deals, but for most of what I need to do for now, I think I'll get by with the Mach3 built in wizards.
I got my milling machine second hand for £320 (new £800 ish). Stepper motors and drivers cost £266. Transformer etc <£30. That's £616.
Granted I didn't buy ballscrews, but even with that it's probably less than £800.
For me spending £375 on a CAM package just isn't happening. So far I've got along fine with a)writing gcode manually, b)writing my own programs (pulleys, wind turbine blades), c) cambam free edition and using the denford QuickCAM pro at school every so often.
You can do a lot with the cambam free edition with a bit of effort. Using that and CNCtoolkit and you'll be able to do most things. Turbine blades too....
VisualMILL 6.0 STD Windows-based 2½ and 3 axis solid/surface/STL manufacturing system. Includes VisualMill 6.0 CAM engine, DXF & IGES translator, other CAD imports (SolidWorks translator: Extra Cost Item) and configurable post-processor. $999
That's a 3 axis program for the equivalent of £625
John S.John S -
Yes it is possible to make a very low cost CNC machine, as you have.
Depending on what you are going to use it for, you can get away with not using ball screws - if you can accept and remember to program in the backlash.
This is the lowest cost machine I have seen - Unless someone knows of an even lower cost machine.
I would not want to make repeatable items on this - probably just my prejudice :-)
My second hand mill - a Denford TRIAC PC - cost me £1500 complete. It claims to be repeatable to 5 microns, not that I would know!
But the original question was not milling but turning - Easymill.co.uk does have a separate package for turning. I have not used it yet as my Lathe is manual only at this time! But I may get to use it on the mill as the axes translate over.
BTW - Easymill.co.uk did have a special offer over the Christmas period as an introduction to the UK market, the Hobbycam version was £50 instead of £375 for a limited time - maybe they will do that again?
- A 4 or 5 axis machine is one that moves with 4 or 5 distinct axis, with each controlled independently to each other.
- 3+2 axis - 5 axis machine where two axis are used for positioning, not moved at the same time as the main 3.
- 3 axis - obvious
- 2.5 axis - 3 axis but with Z only 'up' or 'down', possibly some in between but generally making 'flat stuff'.
I'm not sure how you could confuse that software with 4 or 5 axis. The terms are well defined.
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