3D CAM Tool Poll

Which CAM Tool do you use?

Hand-coded G-Code
7
9%
Tool-specific plug-in (specify)
1
1%
MakerCAM
17
23%
HeeksCNC
3
4%
PyCAM
6
8%
GCAM
0
No votes
EstlCAM (commercial)
0
No votes
CamBam (commercial)
27
36%
Other Opensource (specify)
2
3%
Other commercial tool (specify)
11
15%
 
Total votes : 74

3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby WillAdams » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:30 pm

Vote early, vote often, change your vote as needed.
Shapeoko #364 (rebuilt) w/ ¼″ drive shaft, aluminum spacers, double MakerSlide (375mm) X-Axis, Acme Screw Z-axis, 1M Y upgrades, Harbor Freight ¼″ Trim Router spindle.
Shapeoko 2 #3005 stock, to be upgraded to include 3D printer and X5 Smoothieboard.
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Re: 3D CAM Tool poll

Postby twforeman » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:53 pm

I use CamBam mainly for 2D work - pockets and profiles. The couple of times I tried to import an STL file it just seemed to lock up.

I'm currently trying out MeshCam for 3D and I like it. I've also used FreeMill for some 3D work and it seemed to work out alright.
ShapeOko serial number 1357 with 1000mm Y Axis rails, dual Y motors, GT2 belts and pulleys, and a Rigid trim router.
All of my ShapeOko related blog posts.
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Re: 3D CAM Tool poll

Postby DanMc » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:28 pm

I've been using CamBam too, no problems yet with it on STL files.

I have been wanting to try out DeskProto next. It generally gets good reviews on CNCzone
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby AnthonyB » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:11 pm

I was pretty underwhelmed with the software that's on offer for CAD/CAM. To me all the available options seem to be either too hard to use, or incredibly buggy, or half-arsed, or some combination of all three.

I started out hand coding g-code, quickly got bored, and started to roll my own "meta" gcode generator, using python (I'm a python programmer by trade): https://bitbucket.org/anthonyb/python-gcode

Currently it can do lines, rectangles (profile and pocket), drilling, 'dogbone' rectangles and circles (again, profile and pocket). Still alphaware-ish, but some might find it useful.

My CAD program is graph paper ;)
Shapeoko #1501 - dual-y axis (so far)
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby WillAdams » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:27 pm

Yeah, I spent the entire weekend struggling w/ pyCAM and I'm about to give up --- even some things which I'd thought would be simple for it (milling out a cylinder intersecting the side of a cube), it got wrong (the sides of the rectangle separated by the cylinder weren't lined up).

I wonder if there isn't some CAD technique exporting successive .dxf files which would be workable --- but I'll probably go back to Macromedia FreeHand and see what I can do about getting something running which will convert PostScript to G-Code.

Wouldn't be too bad if I could:

- work up a standard way to draw in layers
- script exporting each layer to a separate .ps file
- script converting the .ps file to G-Code
- script concatenating the G-Code (guess I'd have to work out a way to add plunge commands between layers and to lift it out of the pockets)
- open the combined G-code in a previewing tool and refresh

Drawing in FreeHand could be more immediate if I work up a script which will:

- dupe a drawing
- convert each layer to an isometric view stacked <layer height> apart

for a quick preview.

Asymptote does do 3D renderings --- wonder what the internal representation is like. I really wish I could get ImplicitCAD running.

William
Shapeoko #364 (rebuilt) w/ ¼″ drive shaft, aluminum spacers, double MakerSlide (375mm) X-Axis, Acme Screw Z-axis, 1M Y upgrades, Harbor Freight ¼″ Trim Router spindle.
Shapeoko 2 #3005 stock, to be upgraded to include 3D printer and X5 Smoothieboard.
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby WillAdams » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:24 pm

Shapeoko #364 (rebuilt) w/ ¼″ drive shaft, aluminum spacers, double MakerSlide (375mm) X-Axis, Acme Screw Z-axis, 1M Y upgrades, Harbor Freight ¼″ Trim Router spindle.
Shapeoko 2 #3005 stock, to be upgraded to include 3D printer and X5 Smoothieboard.
WillAdams
 
Posts: 2200
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania --- south of the Turnpike, East of US-15

Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby TonyB » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:51 pm

I figured I'd make a post; maybe it will help me or someone else.

I origionally was using Inkscape and MakerCAM (like everyone else, I think).

I'm just now getting into the need for a 3D tool, both CAD and CAM.

After doing some research and experimenting, I currently have PyCAM installed (this seemed like one of the only CAM Mac solutions?) and I have AutoCAD 2013 installed (though I've been having a really hard getting anything 3D to export as an .stl). I ended up giving up on AutoCAD (for now) and tried TinkerCAD, which worked wonders! It took me like 2 hours to get it figured out; I spent at least 6 hours experimenting with AuotCAD. A friend mentioned that AutoCAD 2013 is ment more for 2D? But that AutoCAD Inventor was ment more for 3D?

I'd like to hear some of the other Mac solutions and people's success. I recently got my PC back (let a friend who didn't have a computer borrow it for a couple months). So maybe I'll do all my CAD work on my Mac, then throw the .stl in my Dropbox folder, walk out to the garage (and have my PC dedicated to the CNC), then pull the file open, recomfirm all my measurements, generate the gCode and run it.

Anyhow, still making progress! Slowly...
Tony
MegaSquirted 62mm 7m @ 20psi on 91 octane
410whp/411ftlbs

Build Thread
Image
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby Will Winder » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:46 pm

TonyB wrote:I'd like to hear some of the other Mac solutions and people's success. I recently got my PC back (let a friend who didn't have a computer borrow it for a couple months). So maybe I'll do all my CAD work on my Mac, then throw the .stl in my Dropbox folder, walk out to the garage (and have my PC dedicated to the CNC), then pull the file open, recomfirm all my measurements, generate the gCode and run it.


I installed CamBam on a Windows VM on my Mac.
Last edited by Will Winder on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ShapeOko #367: Dual-Y drive, Belt on outside, 1000mm Y-Axis, DW660 Spindle, Nema-23 X/Y motors.

Primary developer on Universal Gcode Sender.
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby zerblatt007 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:11 pm

I started with pycam and gave up after a short time.
Tried different CAMs and ended up with Cut2D & Cut3D on a VirtualBox W8 VM on my Mac, as I would like to do cutting with minimal fuzz instead of wrestling with software.

Was hoping for a FOSS solution, but in the mean time I would like to do some cutting.. :)
Shapeoko #958: Dual-Y drive, Double-X, Belt on outside, 1m Y-Axis, Acme Z, Opened up and boxed in. Kress 1050 Spindle.
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Re: 3D CAM Tool Poll

Postby Llamas » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:16 pm

I've been using FreeCAD and Heeks CAM. Heeks, simply because it was what the tutorial used, and FreeCAD because it pissed me off less than the other potions that also allowed 3D modeling. Actually, OpenSCAD is less frustrating and crash prone than FreeCAD 0.13, but I like the parametric modeling.

I had no prior experience with CAD/CAM.

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