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  1. #1
    hi there, im looking to upgrade my machine with a 4 axis .
    i am curreently using aspire from vetric witch i found to be very easy to work .
    i looking for a sofware to work with the 4th axis , but i want something easy to work.
    ive tried mastercam, meshcam, powermill but all of them are very complex i think.
    hope someone can help
    thanks very much

  2. #2
    4th Axis work is complicated by it's very nature !

    I've installed a servo driven 4th axis on my Beaver Partsmaster which uses a Heidehain TNC355 controller, and it works very well when I hand code stuff for it. Getting a good working post processor is another matter all together. I'm at the stage where I can 'wrap' text and the like around cylinders, but can only machine features by indexing the axis - so no continuous rotating machine as yet. I've been using FeatureCAM (an old version let it be said) but as I type this I am upgrading another PC to 64 bit operating system ready to download Fusion 360 which I hope will let me progress further.

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  4. #3
    thanks for the reply.
    i cannot program nothing manually , im using aspire and i wonder if there is a software as easy as aspire to start with 4 axis machining...
    my machine is a a simple 3 axis router that i built in home .
    i cut mostly parts for motorcycles in aluminum and it does the job very nice, but i want to step up and move to 4 axis

  5. #4
    If you don't need continous movement for more than 3 axis, you can make separate programs for each a-axe position. In most cases you have 4*90
    so the different programs are not really difficult to handle.
    It's more important, wher your zero point is. The best position is in the centre of the round axe. So you have always positive Z- values, except you drill or mill a hole through the complete part.

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  7. #5
    thanks for the reply
    i know that i can make 4 separate toolpaths , but i want to make small figurines, and i really need to have a revolving A axis

  8. #6
    The first trial job I did with my 4th was text wrapping "TEST TEXT" on 2 lines around a 20mm stainless bar using the Mach3 post processor shipped with my software, luckily Mach3 is based on a common industry standard controller.

    CAM software is inherently more complex than non-users expect.
    Imagine my surprise when I found that not only does it not work out for itself what the job needs or what you're thinking but that once you've decided on your machining strategy and tooling you then will often need to extract existing and/or create additional geometry for the CAM software to use in creating the tool paths you want.

    You should work through guides and tutorials for the CAM of your choice, ideally there should be a wealth of tutorial videos for the software you choose, but expect to work and study hard to become proficient.
    Join a forum for the software of your choice and read through previous queries/search for answers to your questions and ask your question if there isn't already an answer to it,

  9. #7
    alboy's Avatar
    Lives in Roscommon, Ireland. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 87. Received thanks 8 times, giving thanks to others 3 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    If you use aspire then you already have software that will use a 4 axis machine. Aspire will let you wrap/unwrap and can handle turned work and figurines, plenty of examples on youtube.

  10. #8
    Deskproto is a reasonably priced package. Been trialling it for some time for 4 axis stuff. It is good for most applications if a bit simple for my needs. Hobby licences cost around 250 which is pretty good considering.
    Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers

  11. #9
    I notice from their web site that Deskproto that they have a delayed millennium bug which is potentially going to cause issues:

    Delayed Millennium Bug
    A serious error has been discovered in both DeskProto V6.0 and V6.1
    Due to a bug in the protection software the program can not be started in 2016 or later !
    This applies to programs with a Build date (see the About box) before November 2015.
    Download your bugfix release at the Buildhistory page.

  12. #10
    OK I gave up with Fusion 360. Good package, obviously excellent price (free) but also obviously not written by machinists - getting things working on my hardware was a nightmare.

    I've bought CAMBAM and cannot praise it enough. Fairly basic, but very adequate drawing package but you can import models if you wish. But for my 4th axis they have a 'wrapper' plug in rather like CNCwrapper. It wasn't perfect (too many digits after the decimal point for my Heidenhain controller). I sent a message to the author and within 24 hours he had amended the plug in embedding controls to allow choice of not only the number of digits after the decimal point in the 'wrapped G code' but also allowing suppression of comments, which my controller had objected to. When it came to fine tuning my post processor, again lots of help from the CAMBAM forum resulting rapidly in a working solution.

    Yes I'm a happy bunny :)

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