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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by silyavski View Post
    Nobody mentioned Rhino,which i believe may be the best program money wise/feature wise.
    I think you are correct, it's what I use now.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  2. #62
    Hi, if you register with your local school/college then Auto Desk will let you have a licence for 3 years to use all their software for free as long as you are not using it for business use.

  3. #63
    Looking for a suitable CAM software, of coarse no one gives any price information without registering or mailing them all.
    .... Anyone with some recent quotes or prices lists? Looking at 3 axis Mill/router.
    CAD is latest SolidEdge ST7, the integrated offering, Cam Express, from Semens is about 4K+
    I'm not worried if it's not free, but I'd like to test the water before one day before haggling a deal on the integrated option.

  4. Magic CAD/CAM Sweet consisting of DesignCAD 3D MAX and ContourCAM

    I should like to suggest the Magic CAD/CAM Sweet consisting of DesignCAD 3D MAX and ContourCAM, a complete 2D drafting and 3D solid modeling CAD/CAM combo @ 129.95.

    It's one of the easiest systems to learn and use, with a wealth of features, and you can download and use it for free for 15 days.

    You may learn more about it here:

  5. #65
    Autodesk Fusion 360 looks amazing and quite easy to learn from a complete novice perspective. Free and fully functioning for hobbyists and startups. Computer died yesterday so I'll get it when I get a new poota.
    I had been learning CAD with Onshape which was pretty easy also but doesn't have integrated CAM. Am looking forward to playing with Fusion 360.

  6. #66
    Washout's Avatar
    Lives in Bewdley, Worcs, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 366. Received thanks 24 times, giving thanks to others 63 times. Made a monetary donation to the upkeep of the community.
    I've just started messing with Fusion 360 - looking good so far although the design/modelling side is a little awkward in places due to the AutoCAD heritage (lots of hidden key press shortcuts and non-standard modifiers that probably go back to the DOS days) and my own lack of knowledge especially in organic shape modelling i.e I'm still at the lower end of the learning curve.

    The included CAM looks really good with 2D and 3D both having "Adaptive/HSM" options, although along with many CAM packages its a case of setting various wide parameters and hoping the results come out the way you expect, but again that's probably due to only just starting with it.

    I will have a couple of videos going up soon when I get the time to try out some of the toolpaths I've generated and see how they go.

  7. #67
    Ger21's Avatar
    Lives in Detroit, United States. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 313. Received thanks 40 times, giving thanks to others 0 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    As someone who's used AutoCAD daily for nearly 20 years, I don't think there's anything in Fusion even remotely related to AutoCAD.
    As for the shortcuts keys, there's a list of shortcuts on the Fusion 360 Blog.

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Ger21 For This Useful Post:

  9. #68
    I'm not sure if its been mentioned but I have just found OnShape, it is a free cloud based cad package, I have not had a chance to play with it yet but thought I'd mention it while it was stil fresh in my mind.
    Cheers, Charlie

  10. #69
    I've been playing with both OnShape and Fusion 360 recently. Previously I've used things like TurboCAD for 2D drawing and although I've tried using the 3D features, I've found it very difficult to use. These two new tools are a breath of fresh air. I'm sure that long-term professional users will know all this already, but if you've never tried it, the sketch-and-extrude, parameter-based approach makes things much easier to draw and much easier to modify and update. On balance, OnShape is probably the easier to use as they have worked hard at simplifying the user interface while F360 is a better established and more powerful tool. F360 also has the "sculpt" tools for more fluid shapes (might be what Washout was referring to) although I've stuck to just the straightforward geometric tools so far. It's been useful for both mechanical engineering type drawings (my new router is being drawn in F360 as it gets built) and for models for 3D printing.

    It's difficult to describe the difference in approach between conventional 2D CAD and these newer applications, but it's a bit like the difference between a power-assisted old-fashioned drawing board, and the ability to scribble on the back of an envelope, add a few dimensions, and watch the 3D structure appear in all its glory. Hit a couple of buttons and 3D objects appear as a set of 2D drawings, ready for manufacture. Can't believe that applications like this are available free to the hobbyist.

  11. #70
    Washout's Avatar
    Lives in Bewdley, Worcs, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 366. Received thanks 24 times, giving thanks to others 63 times. Made a monetary donation to the upkeep of the community.
    Thanks for that link Gerry - that list is most useful and perhaps some qualifying statements are in order:

    I should have said AutoDesk rather than AutoCAD perhaps ;-) - Its not big deal things, but more from a non-CAD user's perspective, stuff that you take for granted in "normal" windows programs that don't always translate well e.g. reversed zoom on middle mouse wheel (can change in options) and selecting multiple objects using shift rather than ctrl to name a couple. Whilst they are not game breaking in themselves (other CAD/CAM uses similar) can be a little tiresome to start with.

    As Neale pointed out the T-Spline sculpt tools are a little unpredictable and especially as I was trying to work out a smooth multi-axis blend between two parametric drawn bodies (guitar headstock to neck and heel to neck transitions). No matter what I tried I couldn't get them to match up correctly using the functions provided in the t-spline sculpt and had to resort to some funky lofting and then merge/intersecting to get something close I can then sand to shape after cutting.

    I fully admit that these are probably down to my inexperience with the software and maybe I'm expecting too much and too soon.

    Similarly the CAM side is wonderfully featured and I've just cut my first test in plywood of an adaptive clearing routine before going onto Aluminium, which ran fine although it needs some tweaking. I do have an issue at the moment where I have an irregular shape (guitar neck) that I am trying to do something simple like a cut out pass, once all the flashy 2D and 3D shaping stuff has run and for the life of me I can't seem to work out how to just select the outline of the shape, as Fusion 360 keeps selecting faces which are under all the nicely 3D'ed stuff above it - like I said it will likely be some option I've missed, but its strange it doesn't just have that for a 2D contour operation from the get go....

    I'm definitely going to persevere though, as the advantages of having combined CAD and CAM (and very good examples at that) in terms of being able to change things in the model and have that change flow through to the CAM can't be underestimated. I also appreciate that documentation and application refinement using "in house" resources for a "free" application is not very cost effective and Autodesk are taking a similar approach to Microsoft and Windows 10 in this instance.

    Given Fusion 360 is likely to become very popular maybe a separate forum area would be best rather than clogging up this thread, as I'd love to share experiences with other Fusion 360 users (hint, hint Lee ;-) )

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