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  1. #1
    Is fusion 360 the most used on here or is there better? This is based on importing 3d model to desired software and toolpaths created and then off to the cnc machine. I ask because I'm watching tutorials for different software.


  2. #2
    What machine are you talking about - lathe, mill, router, plasma?? And what sort of part are you making - 2, 3 or 4 axis? The "best" s/w will depend on what you are planning to do with it.

  3. #3
    Fusion is highly used.
    Solidworks is probarbly similarly highly used but needs a 3rd party cam such as Mastercam or HSMworks.

    I use inventorHSM.
    Haven't imported other file formats to it but says it supports many.

  4. #4
    Librecad for 2D drawings & CamBam for gcode

  5. #5
    Fusion achieved a strong presence by the expedient of giving away a level of capability that had previously cost a lot of money.It hooked a lot of users and weakened the business of the other developers and sellers of similar products.Which hindered the development of alternatives and led to the position where Autodesk could limit the functionality of the hobby version and begin to charge a modest amount for access to the extended capabilities of Fusion.Is it the best?No idea,because I don't use it but there are lots of professional users making parts with other software and even paying healthy annual charges to do so.Which might be an indication that the others do a solid job.If your anticipated use extends no further than cutting 2d shapes with the occasional hole or pocket,there are a few utterly free ways to do so.I use Freecad on my hobby machine because it means I don't have to export a file in a different format and any adjustments can be re-calculated almost instantly.It isn't the most intuitive but does have a range of post processors.It seems to be progressing faster since a proportion of disgruntled former Fusion freeloaders have moved across.

  6. #6
    Like Muzzer says a lot depends on the type of materials and machine you are using because some software has tool-paths that are more suited, like Vectric software mostly caters to wood and plastic users so as dedicated tool-paths like V-carving, Inlay's, etc. Fusion can do this or be made to do this but it's not as simple or optimized as Vectric software.

    Likewise, Fusion and Solid works are really better suited to milling rather than routing so they offer tool-paths that are better suited to this task with more options than say Vectric software would provide. It's horses for courses really.

    Personally don't like Fusion and prefer SW, my son Jared, who works with me now loves Fusion and he does nearly all our cutting now, so I design them in SW send him the model which he Cams up in Fusion. Whatever gets the job done works.! Plus Fusion is way cheaper than SolidCam so I don't mind.

    Like most things with CNC what works best isn't always straightforward and often several ways to get the same job done. One man's method is another man's nightmare, we each have restrictions or budgets that come into play so what works for some doesn't for others.
    Hobby users have different needs or restrictions to business users, time is a big factor for business users which often isn't for hobby users. Then you have to ask your self are you starting as a hobby user with the intentions of turning into a business.?

    If so then you may want to look at digging deeper and buying more capable software because when I mention time being important to business users I'm not just meaning the cutting time.? You have to factor in the time to actually Cam the parts, the programming of parts can take hours, and here again, the machine type plays a part.?

    For instance, a milling machine has a relatively small table size compared to say an 8 x 4 router, so you'll program a low number of parts to fill the table which will obviously take less time than it would an 8x4 table. So software which as features like nesting can save hours of time for users with large machines.

    But in general, if you are going to turn a hobby into a business think about the time savings the software can offer in Both camming up and cycle times, also think about the learning curve associated with each software.?
    For instance, I'm a Wiz with SW and can produce parts and models in a very short amount of time and because Fusion is very much like SW you'd expect I could do the same with it but I've spent weeks trying to bond with it and just can't or don't get on with it, why.? I don't know! ... We just don't fit.!
    So you need to factor this into the mix if you are going to chop n change, no point starting with hobby-level software if you are going to be a business because the learning curve could be massive.
    This is why Vectric software is a good choice for hobby wood users looking to expand or upgrade because they learn the same controls and methods as the higher-end software so the learning curve is small, it's only the cost that stings!
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: [email protected]

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  7. #7
    Hobby to start with just until I'm comfortable and learned all the basics then into a business. I am the same with solidworks Dean, I've tried other cad software but I just learn easier and feel comfortable with solidworks. I'm just looking for that software where you know it feels comfortable to use. I do all my 3d designs in 3ds max they also do autodesk powermill but guessing that's not for routing. I was watching some videos last night and it took the guy over an hr to get it ready for routing yet the model took 5 mins to design. Now I understand why some companies charge through the roof when asking for custom designs to be made because of all the crap they have to do before hand.

    So what is the higher end software to vertical?

  8. #8
    When it comes to CAM. I thought I was just rediculously slow at programing it.
    I guess not!.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by reefy86 View Post
    So what is the higher end software to vertical?
    Not sure what you mean with Vertical.? If you meant Vectric then their top-level software is Aspire V11

    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: [email protected]

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  10. #10
    My software budget is close to zero, so I have been trying out various free packages.

    First of all I have to state that my current interest is 3D printing:-

    SketchUp - Okay for banging out a quick design, but very rectilinear and hard edged. Nothing is organic or flowing. When they went cloud based, I went elsewhere.

    conFusion360 - I don't like as it is cloud based and need internet access. As your designs are in the cloud, you could have the plug pulled on you and lose all your work. Also, this afternoon, I have been trying to export some designs to pick them up in my current software and ended up just redrawing in Solid Edge. (see below).

    FreeCad - I can't remember why I dropped this, apart from the fact it was buggy and feature poor.

    Solid Edge - my current software - hard to learn for an old sod like me, It is one of those programs that uses the mouse a lot and what it does changes depending on where you are and what you are doing. I am getting into it though.

    I use Simplify3D as a slicer, and I like it better than MakerBot (which also went cloud-based, I think).

    For CNC router work I have used LibreCAD, and EstilCam to generate Gcode, but as my machine has been waiting 2 years due to an office revamp, that may be subject to review when I switch on again.

    Click image for larger version. 

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