Thread: Software question
I have got several downloaded demo versions of Cad/Cam software. Vectric cut2d seems initially to easiest to use, but all of them seem to lack a grid of metric measurements, so drill hole placings can be just created and moved via the mouse to the specific locations. They seem to have X and Y references, but this is very time consuming. Is this maybe because the demo versions are limited ?
That's why I prefer to use a dedicated CAD program to do my drawings, then import them into the CAM program using the .dxf format. CAD programs tend to have better drawing tools so this system is generally faster.
As Jonathan says what you already have downloaded is really just cam software to produce the G code, yes they have some basic cad functions but they are basic & if you are looking for something with better drawing tools then you need to look at a proper design or cad package.
Do the design work in a vector based drawing program then import into cam software as dxf, eps, ai, pdf or what ever file formats can be imported.
Generate the code in the cam package & export to Mach3
I know all the Vectric softare is well received but it's a little bit too 'eye candy' for me & I soon got fed up with the constant mouse/windows selection actions & drop down boxes etc.
Cambam is perhaps a good 'middle ground' application for a new user ....it's got some basic CAD functionality, but it also is very good at CAM.
That said, whilst I use cambam for the CAM aspect, for my needs, it's CAD capabilities are still a tad lacking vs. a full blow CAD package & so I tend to create a DXF file in CAD then import it into CAM - but if you're just after basic CAD'ing then CAMing (& I think CAMBAM excels at the CAM aspect), then it's a good contender.
Ok, I tried "E machine shop" as CAD, and then as CAM Vectric CUT2D. That was a lot easier . Although I couldn't export the Gcode to Mach3 as I only have the demo version of Cut2d. But I managed to make a simple rectangle with accurate pockets and drill holes in metric. Cambam seems a reel headache to me. (probably my age)
Well I'm no spring chicken! But having gone through a similar analysis phase about 18 months ago, i found Vectric to be very slick & pleasing on the eye....but then when I wised up I realised that all the eye candy 'window/GUI centric' approach was just a pain in the arse - especially when you need to do something very basic like move cuts about (not sure if an IT analagy would be appropriate, but normally when doing repetitive IT jobs, it's far easier/zippier to do things from a command line vs a windows driven approach).
Having trialled a lot of programs, I was blown away at how cambam sped up my workflow... I agree it's probably a bit of a learning curve (& you have to get into the mindset of the program!), but worth a couple of nights put by getting to know it.
Cut2d is a bit flashy I agree but if you are completely new to all this it is easy to use which is what I really need just now at an early stage.
Is the Cambam demo version limited ? . I imported a DXF file (2d) from "Emachine shop" into Cambam / highlighted the vectors and created a gcode, but I cant find anyway to input drilling dimensions. When I run the gcode in Mach, the basic shape is there but the drilling seems corrupted.
For me the fantastic thing about cambam is the speed with which you can hide/show 'groupings' of your design - either in the drawing iteself or the machining aspect (eg hide some of the cuts, hide the drilling routines, or show only the design outline etc) ...sure such functionality is normally available within other cad/cam apps ...but it's nowhere near as quick to manipulate (for example mastercam - complete nightmare to rename different levels of your drawing quickly ...and that costs more than a family car!)
Last edited by HankMcSpank; 17-11-2012 at 01:45 PM.
Last edited by dudz; 17-11-2012 at 02:19 PM.
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