Benbox Laser Machines/CO2 Lasers/3D Printers

CNC => Mini CNC => Topic started by: Stonemull on August 24, 2017, 08:52:51 AM

Title: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 24, 2017, 08:52:51 AM
You will need some..

This is the most promising so far, I am yet to pay for it as I am still hoping there is a nice open source solution, I find it a little lacking in a few areas.

http://www.estlcam.com/

Mainly .. mill a hole and it comes out smaller than expected ? it may just be a setting I have wrong.
It does not work with grbl I dont think, it expects that you are using a grbl type board or a number of other boards and uploads its own firmware.

The photo shows the settings I am using..




Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Administrator on August 24, 2017, 09:13:51 AM
It's not open source. You have to pay for it.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 24, 2017, 09:40:48 AM
That is why I said I am still hoping for a nice open source option.

I am not sure it ever requires payment, mine has started nagging me with a reminder each time I fire it up but it still works.

I will pay for it if I find it does everything I want, the things I suspect are bugs are in fact not and I cannot find a better solution.
It annoys me in a few ways .. ie setting Z probe thickness you have to go into CNC settings each time, sometimes I use a 1.55mm thick pcb and sometimes I use the tool directly, it is annoying to change the Z probe currently. You also have to untick the X and Y prove each time or break your tool as I rarely use it but it defaults to on every time, so it will try and drive 5mm into the bed if I forget to turn it off.


Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Administrator on August 24, 2017, 09:42:14 AM
Sorry, I mis-read your statement the first time.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 24, 2017, 09:55:40 AM
Looking for freebie options .. I will likely try these and report back.

http://www.oncreate3d.com/

http://www.opensbp.com/

2.5D Pathcam https://github.com/xenovacivus/PathCAM  open source

2.5D MakerCAM https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/MakerCAM

3D https://mecsoft.com/freemill/

3D Pycam https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/PyCAM  ( I have this installed but not visited it lately, quite a learning curve)

3D this one needs openscad files, which is kind exciting for making parts but little use for engraving https://bitbucket.org/kosme/openscad2cnc


and a good video for 2.5D vs 3D  etc  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stcZAIy2xnE


oh .. if you want to visualise your gcode results then the best solution is probably http://camotics.org/  this used to be openscam mentioned above, I also installed this some time back but need to revisit it, it is not simple to use any longer :)


another one might be worth looking at is grblgru

go to the last post on this thread for dropbox download linkie ..

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/uncategorised-cam-discussion/311876-cnc-forum.html





Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Lob0426 on August 24, 2017, 11:32:21 AM
I tried Pycam but never could get it figured out. I did get it to generate paths, but had no control of the direction for the paths. I agree it has a steep learning curve.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Val on August 24, 2017, 11:39:33 PM
I've also found this one, maybe someone wants to give it a try:
http://www.vectric.com/products/aspire.html
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 25, 2017, 12:35:01 AM
I eliminated that one as it is a trial version and costs $1500 with no mention of what the 'trial' actually is.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Val on August 25, 2017, 06:14:33 AM
Oups! I haven't seen a price and the trial seemed free to download.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Administrator on August 25, 2017, 07:46:01 AM
I eliminated that one as it is a trial version and costs $1500 with no mention of what the 'trial' actually is.

You beat me to it...I was going to say, their software is very expensive...!!!

Unfortunately, there is very little affordable classic CNC CAM software. I did some research on this about a year ago. 90% of it is not cost-effective for our segment (low cost machines)  :(
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 25, 2017, 09:47:47 AM
No, I think it is only a matter of time though.
The mill itself by the way comes with 2 bits of software, one is an old copy of some quite powerful software that is worse than pycam to come to terms with and seems to be purely 2.5D, I did get some results out of it but it really just wants to engrave from dxf's.
The second bit of software for doing pcbs looked promising, then I found it is the demo version, old, and is limited to only 8 areas on a pcb.

Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Lob0426 on August 25, 2017, 12:38:11 PM
On top of the really high prices a lot of them want annual "maintenance" fees also.

Most of the free stuff is bits and pieces. A piece to engrave, a piece to CAD another for CAM. None of these pieces work well together.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Val on August 29, 2017, 05:48:27 PM
Had anyone tried this Easel?
https://www.inventables.com/technologies/easel
Only for 2.5D and it's browser based, but free to use and maybe less complicated than others(?). I don't have the machine yet to test it. It allows svg imports, but I cannot tell if it works with Chinese cncs as well, as they have their own (more expensive) machines to sell.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on August 30, 2017, 07:32:14 AM
I've also found this one, maybe someone wants to give it a try:
http://www.vectric.com/products/aspire.html

If all you need is 2D which will nicely do pockets and outlines, then Cut2D from Vectrics is great at $150. It is a subset of their expensive software and therefore is much better than the products built from the ground up for amateurs. It will chain multiple pockets and outlines so you get 2.5D performance. It also allows you to draw basic shapes rather than import DXFs if you want.

I've been using it for years.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Val on August 30, 2017, 02:42:51 PM
Yes, it will mostly be 2D cutting in the beginning. Thank you!
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on August 31, 2017, 09:02:28 AM
Everyone does know that Fusion 360 is free to amateur use and includes a good 3D CAM capability, yes?
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on August 31, 2017, 08:12:17 PM
I did know but not yet tried it, it is a plug in isn't it?

Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on September 01, 2017, 08:59:27 AM
No, it is a 3DCAD program that runs at least partially on their servers.

As they describe it, "Fusion 360TM is the first 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool of its kind. It connects your entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on both Mac and PC."

It can, I think, even be run on a tablet and phone. Older operating systems are not supported though IIRC. It is my backup if my current software, Alibre Design, ever fails in one way or the other.

Go take a look: https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview?mktvar002=698238&mkwid=sfZbQCulc|pcrid|193265048612|pkw|fusion%20360|pmt|e|pdv|c|&&gclid=CKjb-buthNYCFRK1wAod5XkA5A
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on September 01, 2017, 08:33:38 PM
Yeh, I have a thing with avoiding cloud software. Might be worth a look if nothing else out there though, too busy working atm to have fun.

I remembered after I postedactually, I was thinking of FreeCad, that has a CAM plug-in, I think it is 2D though, not tried it.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on September 01, 2017, 10:16:47 PM
Actually, the Cloud is much more reliable than your local computer for data safety.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Stonemull on September 01, 2017, 11:46:09 PM
For sure, I love dropbox, no issues with uploading data to the cloud. Just cloud based software makes me squirm. I know we are all going to end up stuck with never owning software and paying usage fees or annual subsciptions to MS, google, steam, FB and clans.
I'm just weird like that.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on September 02, 2017, 09:50:55 AM
I pay Adobe $50 per month to have access to all of their programs and all of the updates plus full support, etc. The annual $600 fee is not as much as renewing InDesign and Photoshop and Illustrator. Plus I get all of the video and sound editing software. It is a bargain. And I can switch it off on one of the two licensed computers and run it on another if I want. I also pay Microsoft $10 per month for Office 365.

Since I can write these costs off as business expenses, they are great. I don't have to amortize the software purchase prices over several years which is a real loser.

Cloud storage, if you get the right one, will store your data in multiple locations around the world and encrypt it from the time it leaves your computer until you call it back and it arrives.

Cloud storage is the only permanent storage available. CDs, DVDs, memory chips all have finite lives. Only M-disks are estimated to have a lifetime in the thousand year class.
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: Lob0426 on September 02, 2017, 11:38:25 AM
I don't like annual fees either. I want to buy and own. Being retired I need to NOT be paying monthly fees out.

And I do not use these machines monthly. I paid a lot to buy my Sherline machining package. It came with EMC2. I have upgraded it to LinuxCNC. But I own it (it's free). No monthly fees. To then turn around a pay $3000 plus for something like Solid Works and $1200 in maintenance fees per year is just ridiculous, for a hobbyist. The cost of the software would very quickly equal, or exceed, the equipment cost. I do not get to write these costs off. I don't make money from the use.

I did not play World of Warcraft because I did not like their "business model". Pay for the software at each upgrade plus hand them $180 per year to play on their servers. Either software costs or game cost would have been fine, not both!
Title: Re: CAM software
Post by: mrehmus on September 02, 2017, 11:55:35 AM
If you are a U.S. or Canadian military veteran, Solidworks is just $20. It does not include CAM though.