I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, thanks for joining us here and supporting your programs. From reading your post it felt like you may not be planning to realise a new version any time soon, would that be true. Do you have any plans for future realises or?
Most of the new features in v2.7 are still in the testing stage since I have not gotten much feedback about them, I did fix some issued when I upgraded from v2.6 to v2.7 those are:
1) Problem with Z axis home switch when axis go various directions addressed
2) Some issued in DANPLOT were fixed relating to odd tool path patterns I think...
3) Scanning was added to both DANCAM.EXE and DANPLOT.EXE v2.7 to enable automatic generation of tool paths, you use a probe the shape of the cutting tool with DANCAD.EXE and with DANPLOT.EXE you can use an optical sensor then use the OUTLINE command in DANCAD87.EXE to compensate for the cutter offset.
4) Cutting feed rate is now by the computer timing for more or less constant cutting along a vector, something many people asked about during v2.6 development.
5) G-code read and write was developed in DANCAD3D.EXE v2.7 with looping in G-code programs supported and several useful G-codes supported. Its mostly for simple G-code programs, the G-codes are all converted into vectors so you can see them before you cut the part in the CAM programs.
6) As I mentioned the NC sub-menu in the DANCAD3D.EXE drawing editor has several advanced tool path making commands, some can be used to interpolate surfaces others to make drilling cycles.
7) The CAM progarms can read "cycles" tool paths in the JOG menus to do semi-automatic machine work, like jog to point and do a drill cycle or a pocket cycle etc.
8) The CAM programs now support A/B Quadrature encoder input through the JOY-STICK pins which lets you put a crank wheel on your controller or machine and crank the axis selected to see the readout on the DRO display, its much nicer than joy-stick since you can crank quite fast on a fast computer and slow down to singel steps to get the position to 1/10000 etc. Any four pin 5V TTL encoder shold work, the Joy-Stick puts out several ma at +5V or you can use an external 5v supply, you hook up A/B to input button pins and ground then enable the feature in the setup menus.
There are many other advances from v2.6 here and there, the CAM programs calibrate the feedrates after you enter all the needed values, since it runs open loop most of the time you turn OFF the machine before you do the feed rate calibration to avoid running into the limit switches, see the current DOC files.
Once I get more feedback on what I have done so far, I can think about what direction to go in. New programs like EMC seem to have drawn many of the CNC users that were talking to me before, so I'm not sure what features in my system are still of interest. My system is non-standard and for some uses simpler to use than standard methods maybe, but I'm not sure who is interested in the CAM programs any longer, so mostly I have been working on Digital Cinema. I do have some ideas of things I would like to do in the CNC parts of the system, but I cannot talk about future plans at this point since that code is not at the Alpha Test stage yet...
You can check out ENC, and see that it is for a different market perhaps?
People with an interest in my programs can read some of the DOC on my web site and email me direct if they have a specific question about the commands in the menus of the current programs.
tempnulbox [at] yahoo [dot] com
P.S. Thanks Bill for remembering, a lot has changed in the 20 years since I released my first home CNC programs, and as they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery ;) My goal was to bring "freeish" CNC within the reach of anyone with a JUNK PC anywhere, and I seem to have succeeded, people using my programs saw how simple it was to use the parallel port to wire up a CNC controler, and all the other "me to" programs with advertising budgets helped spread the KISS principle to CNC world wide...
Last edited by Dan Hudgins; 13-02-2010 at 06:30 PM.