Solidworks 2014/SolidCAM 2013 with LinunxCNC

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21 Jan 2014 02:53 #43041 by JR1050
Relying soley on a cad/cam system to generate your G code is wrought with disaster. If you cant manually program a simple part, you really need to learn. If you can drive a car ,you can already program most G code. I havent used Solidcam, but I have used Camworks, and it is not as easy as the tutorial videos make it look. Mastercam is not really any easier, especially with solids. It is terrible at importing SW models, most of the time you have to convert them to IGES. Getting accurate and concise G code takes practice, and some machining back round.Knowing what tool to use when and where is invauleable, the best software rarely makes the right choice and none of them are EVER close with the feeds and speeds. Do you really want to clean out a 6x6 inch pocket with a 1/4 end mill?

Using length offsets is nessecary when using mutiple tools. Knowing when use to use sub routines is helpful also, they keep your program length to a minimum, which makes finding snafu's much easier. There are lots of beginning tutorials on the net about G code, Start with wriitng a program for a square, add a hole in the middle, drill 4 holes in it off each corner.

Programming software is a tool, it is not a replacement for metalworking knowledge, even though there seems to be a push to put all the knowledge into software, cutting the human factor out. You might start with some of the freeware G code generators that use dxf files, write some thing simple, load it into Emc and see where the graphics take you. Th emc uses fairly generic G code. The macro/subroutines are more Okuma/Cincinnatti then Fanuc. Using a Fanuc or Yasnac post should get you 90% there.

Im not trying to be mean spirited, but learning the skills of a machinist takes time, just like any other trade of profession. A cnc machine and software just make the job easier........

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21 Jan 2014 06:11 #43043 by jonesturf

JR1050 wrote: Relying soley on a cad/cam system to generate your G code is wrought with disaster. If you cant manually program a simple part, you really need to learn. If you can drive a car ,you can already program most G code. I havent used Solidcam, but I have used Camworks, and it is not as easy as the tutorial videos make it look. Mastercam is not really any easier, especially with solids. It is terrible at importing SW models, most of the time you have to convert them to IGES. Getting accurate and concise G code takes practice, and some machining back round.Knowing what tool to use when and where is invauleable, the best software rarely makes the right choice and none of them are EVER close with the feeds and speeds. Do you really want to clean out a 6x6 inch pocket with a 1/4 end mill?

Using length offsets is nessecary when using mutiple tools. Knowing when use to use sub routines is helpful also, they keep your program length to a minimum, which makes finding snafu's much easier. There are lots of beginning tutorials on the net about G code, Start with wriitng a program for a square, add a hole in the middle, drill 4 holes in it off each corner.

Programming software is a tool, it is not a replacement for metalworking knowledge, even though there seems to be a push to put all the knowledge into software, cutting the human factor out. You might start with some of the freeware G code generators that use dxf files, write some thing simple, load it into Emc and see where the graphics take you. Th emc uses fairly generic G code. The macro/subroutines are more Okuma/Cincinnatti then Fanuc. Using a Fanuc or Yasnac post should get you 90% there.

Im not trying to be mean spirited, but learning the skills of a machinist takes time, just like any other trade of profession. A cnc machine and software just make the job easier........


That wasn't mean at all. I completely understand what you are saying and actually have been working on examples every night. It's not hard to understand G code and I'm a tweaker anyway. The more I understand what the CAM is doing the better off I am.

I plan on getting into some interesting parts so I'm just looking right now for the best way to get me there. I know SolidCAM is pretty powerful and it's what I have on hand. I like the fact that it integrates in Solidworks, which I use 90% of the time. I keep hearing about Camworks so I may look into that as well.

I started out with manual machining (much more lathe than mill) so I could understand what's involved before jumping into CNC and I know everyone doesn't do it that way but I'm sure glad I did. Makes it a lot easier to understand things. I appreciate everyone's help. Like some of my other noob posts I have a plan but I'm just trolling for info specific to what I want to do in case there a known problems with my plan. That way I don't have to wait and hit it myself and can decide how to maneuver around it.

Keep it coming.

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21 Jan 2014 06:13 #43044 by jonesturf
I forgot Camworks worked inside Solidworks too. Which version works with 2014? Would I need the newest version?

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21 Jan 2014 06:27 #43046 by jonesturf
What about Delcam for Solidworks? Anyone use that?

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21 Jan 2014 16:44 #43050 by cncbasher
idealy use the more up to date 2014 versions of solidcam and camworks etc , or you may get compatability issues between solidworks
as has been said , theirs no easy fix , you are far better sticking with one cam system and learning it , and find it's deamons , then find a way around the problems , non of them are plug in and run , i have spent months fine tuning them to suit , and running examples .

theirs more tutorials for solidcam than anything else so if i was to go back , i'd stick with that

personaly solidworks or camworks i find far easier than Mastercam overall , i'm lead to believe the same underlying cam engine is used in both deep down , but how right that is , is debatable , my total preference is camworks , although it's a pain with the post processor as it's a compiled program so not easily changed without resorting to the postprocessor editor and recompile , where as solidcam is directly editable .

i have used Delcam but not to the extent of the other two , and i dont fancy learning yet another processor , but they all work in a similar fashion.

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22 Jan 2014 23:45 #43084 by jonesturf
I will probably stick with SolidCAM I guess althoguh Camworks and Delcam for SW do look pretty nice. I just want to learn one and stick to it.

Are any of those better for 4 axis machining or ven 3d vs 2.5d? I'm going to be running a rotary table 4th axis at some point sooner than later I hope.

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