View Full Version : pulling my hair out with cam

08-04-2015, 02:57 PM
hi all, thicky is back again :/, ive designed my machine bed on sketchup and exported it to .dxf file, the only cam software i have for the foreseeable future is cambam and lazycam, but with neither i have the brains to figure out what settings i need to be putting in to generate a working tool path or g code. can anyone give me some advice, im really stuck with this part of the software

08-04-2015, 04:14 PM
Haven't usdd cam bam for many years so can't be specific-

General process for any CAM is

Select geometry - the lines which form the shape to cut
Select MOP (machining operation) profile drill pocket etc
For profile select inside the line, outside the line, or on the line
Select depth to go down to
Select tool to use - 6mm end mill etc
Create gcode for that MOP - text file
Repeat for all geometry
Open text file in Mach3 or other software and start cycle

If cambam is still defeating you then Vectric Cut2D for about 100 is very simple to use with a more logical graphical user interface. Arguably slightly less capable than cambam (no rough pass option which I seem to remember Cambam has for example)

09-04-2015, 09:12 AM
This may seem like a daft question but have you searched for and run through some of the online tutorials and videos for cambam?

09-04-2015, 09:52 AM
i have yes, i just cant seem to get my head round it, maybe ive done something wrong in designing it with sketchup, this is all very new to me, i got on ok with sketchup and seem to have got my head round mach 3, its just the cam part. i make bird houses as a hobby (i do have copyright to make these), they have lots off differant shapes that make them up, i have been cutting these on a scroll saw but decided to try the cnc route to speed cutting time. i was thinking about paying someone to take the scanned shape files and let them take them threw to gcode for me, im assuming that for someone who knows what they are doing this would be a fairly simple and fast process? please see attached for finished product and example of a shape scan, i make 6 different bird houses with aprox 8 shapes each, would also require them to be grouped per differant birdhouse (so i can cut all the shapes for that 1 bird house in 1 go out of the same piece of wood) i have all the sizes wrote out and they all would need to be cut 18mm thick (im guessing in 5 or 6 passes) so if anyone would be interested in giving me a rough idea price wise to do this, at least i could get cracked on untill i get my head round it

Clive S
09-04-2015, 12:44 PM
Can you put up the dxf file for the above I could then do a tool path in CamBam if you say what cutter you have and a pic of your machine to guestimate what doc it might be able to do. ..Clive

09-04-2015, 01:27 PM
I'll code them for you for Free don't pay anyone. It will take me 10mins do all of them so not a big deal.
Think You have my number so give me a ring and we'll speak about how you want them coding. I'll also try to talk you threw the procedure in Cam.

Things I need to know from you are.

Material type.
Tool size and number of flutes.
Depth of cut.
Max feedrate your machine is capable of running at.

09-04-2015, 01:41 PM
From looks of your original file opened in Cambam, Sketchup may have made a less than ideal job of exporting the DXF, will need to merge the lines I think into complete holes, Cambam forum is very helpful.

Have to remember that CB is a 2D enviroment and Sketchup is a 3D one, have found 3D objects built in SU import to Meshcam just great but cutting a 2D object is better handled by CB.

For tracing shapes into 2D , Inkscape, freeware, is worth a look, has Potrace built in which can trace an outline from bmp,jpg etc then export to DXF sometimes its better with a xport plug in: