CNC routing
#10
  
I am going to buy one of the entry level CNC router machines.  I have a cheap lazer that I use and it's easy to program and use.  How/where can I learn about 3d CNC?  I'm sure there are places I can search but you guys have already have done that and are using CNC's so I go to the better source. 

I use T2Lazer software for my laser.  It does have some 3d functions.  I will do more research on that - I have communicated with one of the developers so I think he maybe a great source of info. 

Any other software out there that is easy to use?   I don't know exactly what I will be using it for but I know it will be small stuff

TIA
John

Always use the right tool for the job.

We need to clean house.
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#11
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
I use Vetric Aspire on my CNC.  It is easy to use once I wrapped my brain around CNC way of thinking.  It is about $2K though.  They have a ton of videos on their website that explains how to do most anything that you would want to do.  Their forum is helpful as well.  With the videos and website I have learned everything I need to.
"There is no such thing as stupid questions, just stupid people"
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#12
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
I use Vectric Aspire also and you can download a trial and follow along with the videos.  The trail also will let you try sample files on your machine and if you purchase it the files you make will convert over to your version
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#13
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
(11-27-2020, 01:10 PM)John Mihich Wrote: I am going to buy one of the entry level CNC router machines.  I have a cheap lazer that I use and it's easy to program and use.  How/where can I learn about 3d CNC?  I'm sure there are places I can search but you guys have already have done that and are using CNC's so I go to the better source. 

I use T2Lazer software for my laser.  It does have some 3d functions.  I will do more research on that - I have communicated with one of the developers so I think he maybe a great source of info. 

Any other software out there that is easy to use?   I don't know exactly what I will be using it for but I know it will be small stuff

TIA

It really depends on which one your going to get.

If your going with a shapeoko or x-carve they have their own specific control software that you use to draw and cut.

I have used carbide create which is the software for shapeoko.  It is really nice and easy to use 2d drawing software  and its free.  I believe they also have or are planning a pro version that has some more 2.5d to 3D ability.  

Both of those machines are based on GRBL which is an arduino based controller, so although their proprietary software works, you aren’t married to it.


You can also use universal g-code sender to send the g-code, but for that you will need something to draw and generate g-code.

I bought a shapeoko used, and downloaded their software, to draw and run that machine.
At the same time, i bought a part of an x-carve and then built it up and built a home made controller to run it.  
I continued to use the carbide create to draw and generate g-code (since it generates GRBL g-code)
And used universal g-code sender to send the g-code to the x-carves home made controller.

That’s probably the least costly way to get into CNC.  



Since then, i have sold the shapeoko, sold the first x-carve, and bought and built controllers for and then sold 2 more of the x-carves.

I now have a few more machines in the arsenal and have discovered that CNC is a slippery slope.

I have gotten away from the GRBL based stuff and built a Mach3 based controller for a mill and CNC router table, a Centroid Acorn based controller for a 4x4 table, and a UCCNC based controller for a plasma table.

Those require a little more robust programming solution to generate g-code and you are either going to pay for software(read that as high dollar) or use the free for personal use of Fusion 360.

The good news, is that Fusion 360 is free for personal use(although that is always subject to change)
And it has lots of tutorial videos on YouTube that help learn it.

Fusion 360 also has post processors (essentially translators) so it can put out g-code that’s compatible with most g-code senders from GRBL, to Mach3, to UCCNC, to centroid acorn, to fanuc or most any of the commercial machines out there.

Fusion 360 is also able to draw in full 3D, so it requires a bit of computing power, and is more difficult to learn than any of the 2d software.

One last thought, 
When I started woodworking my first table saw was a bench top delta, then a Craftsman contractors saw, after that a Unisaw and then onto a Sawstop.
CNC is similar to that,
You can get the belt drive GRBL based router and do lots of good work with them, but they are like the bench top table saw, you will find that eventually your going to want more and have to decide if your budget, and space will support that desire.

Hopefully my rambling helps somewhat.

Also look up Myers woodshop on youtube, he has some really good videos on the shapeoko and its software, as well as comparison between it and the x-carve.
I learned a lot from his videos.

Now is a great time to be getting into CNC since there are so many great videos and the software has matured enough to make it workable at the home shop level.

Good luck 
Duke
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#14
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
Thanks guys.  I'm more confused but I'll get there.  The laser software and machine was very easy to do - 2d is.  I understand the x y z axis so at least I have a start.  Of course I did all my 3d stuff by hand.  I never used software to draw.  I'll get the hang of it I know. 

I am scaling back the size of things I am making - I'm 72 with some back issues.  So I am trying to do the smaller stuff like I did when I had a small basement shop.  I really enjoy the small stuff.
John

Always use the right tool for the job.

We need to clean house.
Reply
#15
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
I really liked doing Lithophanes when I first started.
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#16
  Re: RE: CNC routing by JDuke ([quote='John Mihich'...)
(11-28-2020, 09:52 AM)JDuke Wrote: It really depends on which one your going to get.

If your going with a shapeoko or x-carve they have their own specific control software that you use to draw and cut.

I have used carbide create which is the software for shapeoko.  It is really nice and easy to use 2d drawing software  and its free.  I believe they also have or are planning a pro version that has some more 2.5d to 3D ability.  

Both of those machines are based on GRBL which is an arduino based controller, so although their proprietary software works, you aren’t married to it.


You can also use universal g-code sender to send the g-code, but for that you will need something to draw and generate g-code.

I bought a shapeoko used, and downloaded their software, to draw and run that machine.
At the same time, i bought a part of an x-carve and then built it up and built a home made controller to run it.  
I continued to use the carbide create to draw and generate g-code (since it generates GRBL g-code)
And used universal g-code sender to send the g-code to the x-carves home made controller.

That’s probably the least costly way to get into CNC.  



Since then, i have sold the shapeoko, sold the first x-carve, and bought and built controllers for and then sold 2 more of the x-carves.

I now have a few more machines in the arsenal and have discovered that CNC is a slippery slope.

I have gotten away from the GRBL based stuff and built a Mach3 based controller for a mill and CNC router table, a Centroid Acorn based controller for a 4x4 table, and a UCCNC based controller for a plasma table.

Those require a little more robust programming solution to generate g-code and you are either going to pay for software(read that as high dollar) or use the free for personal use of Fusion 360.

The good news, is that Fusion 360 is free for personal use(although that is always subject to change)
And it has lots of tutorial videos on YouTube that help learn it.

Fusion 360 also has post processors (essentially translators) so it can put out g-code that’s compatible with most g-code senders from GRBL, to Mach3, to UCCNC, to centroid acorn, to fanuc or most any of the commercial machines out there.

Fusion 360 is also able to draw in full 3D, so it requires a bit of computing power, and is more difficult to learn than any of the 2d software.

One last thought, 
When I started woodworking my first table saw was a bench top delta, then a Craftsman contractors saw, after that a Unisaw and then onto a Sawstop.
CNC is similar to that,
You can get the belt drive GRBL based router and do lots of good work with them, but they are like the bench top table saw, you will find that eventually your going to want more and have to decide if your budget, and space will support that desire.

Hopefully my rambling helps somewhat.

Also look up Myers woodshop on youtube, he has some really good videos on the shapeoko and its software, as well as comparison between it and the x-carve.
I learned a lot from his videos.

Now is a great time to be getting into CNC since there are so many great videos and the software has matured enough to make it workable at the home shop level.

Good luck 
Duke

CarbideCreate Pro is subscription based but due to Covid, you get 1 year free instead of 30 days. Clever and you can 3d carve from correctly prepped files. 2.5d stuff is native and works well. Decent Vcarve in the Pro version too.  All in all a toss up between CC Pro and the lesser Aspire sw. Get the top tier Aspire and it does have more features at much higher cost.

All of this can also be done via Fusion360, even the free version but as software goes, it follows the "give a man enough rope" theory of user experience. There is a learning curve...

Also, Fusion360 rearranged licence tiers lately so the free version lost some features. Nothing to stop a hobbiest but certainly upset some of the money making crowd. Suddenly they have to pay to play. It's like software developers need to eat too or something...
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
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#17
  Re: CNC routing by John Mihich (I am going to buy on...)
I've currently got a GarageworX 18x24 (designed and sold by Dave Gatton of Gatton CNC). I use Vectric VCarve Pro with the intent to upgrade to Aspire closer to retirement. I also run Mach3. I also have a Onefinity CNC on order that is due to arrive the week of 1/25. I can't decide if I'm going to sell the GarageworX or put a J-Tech laser on it when the other machine arrives.
Grant

"GO BUCKEYES"
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#18
  Re: RE: CNC routing by gad5264 (I've currently got a...)
(11-30-2020, 06:57 AM)gad5264 Wrote: I've currently got a GarageworX 18x24 (designed and sold by Dave Gatton of Gatton CNC). I use Vectric VCarve Pro with the intent to upgrade to Aspire closer to retirement. I also run Mach3. I also have a Onefinity CNC on order that is due to arrive the week of 1/25. I can't decide if I'm going to sell the GarageworX or put a J-Tech laser on it when the other machine arrives.
Hah! Like Gad I also have a Onefinity on order.

I'm taking the "crawl, walk, run" approach to this and selecting software accordingly.

I'm planning to use Carbide Create (free, not Pro) to get started, then maybe Fusion360. Lots of tutorials out on youtube re: getting started with CarbideCreate, e.g. see videos from Ben Myers, Winston Moy.

-Mark
If I had a signature, this wouldn't be it.
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