Solidworks 2014/SolidCAM 2013 with LinunxCNC

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18 Jan 2014 10:57 #42951 by jonesturf
Hello, I'm new here. Will probably be posting up a couple of noob questions in the upcoming weeks.

I am currently acquiring a BP Boss and will be converting it over to LInuxCNC (or mach3...undecided). I like a lot of things about LinuxCNC though...no Windows (although I'm not used to Linux), rigid tapping, great support, ever evolving, free, etc. Plu si like learning new things.

I've currently been using SW with Solidcam and want know know before I commit to LCNC and probably Mesa boards if I'm going to have any problems with the post processor? I see references to just running a Fanuc post or similar and it usually works but I would love to here from anyone who uses this and can confirm it won't be too much of a hassle. If someone can point me in the right direction I would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
JJ

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18 Jan 2014 10:59 #42952 by jonesturf
Just noticed there is a CAD/CAM forum. If someone wants to move this it's ok. Bad first post.

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18 Jan 2014 18:08 #42965 by cncbasher
you should not encounter any problems with solidcam , linuxcnc is essentialy to fanuc gcode , their are postprocessors set up for linuxcnc in the wiki , although they may not be currently up to date , it's rarely a problem with post processors , and in any case the post processors are editable .

i use Solidcam and not had any major problems , although i tend mostly to use Camworks and Mastercam

the biggest problem you will have is in setup , idealy the best way is to make a null value tooltable in linuxcnc
and use the database within Solidcam .
The following user(s) said Thank You: jonesturf

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20 Jan 2014 11:29 #43022 by jonesturf
Cool. Will keep that in mind. Haven't done much with solidcam yet. Mostly just do solidworks. I also have mastercam x5 I think but not sure if it will work with 2014. Would you say mastercam is easier if I can get it working?

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20 Jan 2014 11:52 #43023 by jonesturf
So does that mean everytime I load a new program I have to touch off tools or will solidcam/linuxcnc figure that out?

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20 Jan 2014 12:09 #43024 by jmelson

jonesturf wrote: So does that mean everytime I load a new program I have to touch off tools or will solidcam/linuxcnc figure that out?

If you have a way to home the machine, then you can retain all offsets even when
shutting the system down and booting up the next day. You can touch off your
tools and put the offsets into the tool table. You certainly never need to
touch off when just loading a new program. Tool offsets would not be in
the CAD/CAM system, it just knows part coordinates. When you first
mount a workpiece in some fixture on the machine, then you may need
to touch off on that to establish the coordinates of the work. Workpiece
offsets and tool offsets can be kind of blurred here, but you can have
a rigidly established coordinate system if you want to.

Jon

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20 Jan 2014 12:21 #43025 by jonesturf
That makes sense. I think I got confused since we were talking about post processors and the previous poster said to have a null tool data in linuxcnc. I'm still a little confused since I'm not a pro in CAM. Once I get rolling with it I'm sure it will all come together.

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20 Jan 2014 13:11 #43026 by jmelson

jonesturf wrote: That makes sense. I think I got confused since we were talking about post processors and the previous poster said to have a null tool data in linuxcnc. I'm still a little confused since I'm not a pro in CAM. Once I get rolling with it I'm sure it will all come together.

Yes, what cncbasher said didn't make a lot of sense to me. If anything changes, you have to regenerate
the whole G-code from CAD. There are cases where that is required, but that is usually 5-axis
machining. I don't use cutter radius and lenght offsets much for the simple work I do, but
when you do use them, it makes a lot of adjustment possible right in the middle of the
program. I used to use it some to make roughing and then finishing passes on
complex shapes. You just make the tool appear larger in the tool table than it actually is,
and when using cutter radius compensation, this makes the cut outside the desired part
outline. After roughing, you reduce the tool diameter setting, and the cut approaches
the part, until you get the desired size.

Jon

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20 Jan 2014 18:16 #43028 by cncbasher
perhaps it would have made more sense for me to say , make sure you end up using only one database for tools and not end up adding or subtracting the solidcam entrys with the linuxcnc tooltable entrys
and making a hash of things ! ..

i tend to use the tooltable just for tweaks and tool wear, but it's a major problem if your using manual tools , i can appricate .

i tend to tweak my solidcam database entrys and keep them up to date , so it generates correct toolpaths , and then keep reseting the linuxcnc tooltable back to zero entrys
or if your not on top of it , you end up with the linuxcnc tooltable fighting against what is generated , as the solidcam database includes more information than just offsets

but i suppose it's what you get used to , i tend to regenerate the code , as it's not always easy to keep track of the tooltables for every job .

Mastercam you'd need X7 for solidworks 2014

but dont get me wrong , i'm all for an easy life ! .

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21 Jan 2014 01:51 #43037 by jonesturf
Since I haven't used SolidCAM yet I was watching some videos on setting up tools. SolidCAM looks really powerful in that aspect. I think I know what you mean as long as I keep everything up to date in SCAM there is more power there than LinuxCNC. And if I only use that to process then I should be fine using just SCAM but if I have both setup then they will fight each other. Makes sense.

Have to see how things work out once I get rolling. SolidCAM won't be in the shop so it may be easier for me just keep the LinuxCNC tool database up to date. Thanks for the info though, something to think about.

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