Recommended CAD-CAM route

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28 Sep 2015 17:27 #63126 by Micromet
As a complete newbie, is there a recommended CAD-CAM route for beginners to Linuxcnc and CNC in general. There are many possible open-source option paths in both the CAD and CAM camps. And as a long-term free software advocate and user, I know this request may generate many personally championed recommendations. But I have an enormous amount to learn and a simple road-map from design to manufacture would be very useful. I'm only interested in 3-axis 2.5D production and may even limit myself to 2D engraving in the first instance. I'm capable with GIMP, Inkscape, Dia, QCad and have past professional experience with code writing from Assembler to Object-Orientated programming.
But any recommendation needs to have as a priority the ability to go from CAD to CAM to Linuxcnc with the minimum of glitches. If things go wrong - I need to know it's what I have done wrong rather than a foible of the software. If this means in the first instance, very simple solutions with limited capability or options then fine - I can explore and become familiar with the whole process and then move into more sophisticated options as I progress.

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28 Sep 2015 17:42 - 28 Sep 2015 17:50 #63128 by Rick G
Replied by Rick G on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
Have you looked here...
wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Cam
linuxcnc.org/docs/html/index.html

For simple 2 / 2.5 work you might want to look at Ace Converter.

Rick G
Last edit: 28 Sep 2015 17:50 by Rick G.
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28 Sep 2015 18:51 #63135 by Micromet
Replied by Micromet on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
Hi Rick - thanks for the link. Previous to my post I did look at your recommended site but was overwhelmed by the number of possible programs. And I looked at Blender CAM, CamBam and dxf2gcode as possible solutions. But ran into difficulties with getting Inkscape and some other graphic packages to output DXF files that could be read by dxf2gcode - this may very well be a problem with my current knowledge of the dxf format (I generally don't use it). I couldn't see how to link Blender CAM into Blender and CamBam just refused to work.

Which is why I posted the topic - to reduce the number of possible solutions to a few that had a decent chance of success. As such I will follow up your recommendation of ACE Converter - although Wine applications can occasionally prove problematic.

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28 Sep 2015 21:10 #63148 by cncbasher
Replied by cncbasher on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
take a look at cammill if it's simple 2d cam you need
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29 Sep 2015 13:24 #63180 by bevins
Replied by bevins on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
Try vectric software. Aspire being the top of line for them.

That has cad and cam built in. Really easy software to use. I use it sometimes on my machining center running LinuxCNC.

aspire does 3d, 4th axis etc....

Vcarve pro does most of what Aspire does except no 3d.

I dont work for nor have any affiliations with Vectric, its just their stuff is easy and fun.

IF you already have a cad app in mond then you can use Vectrics cut2d.

Just a thought that you might want to look at..
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29 Sep 2015 17:57 - 29 Sep 2015 17:57 #63203 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
For 2D work you might want to look at the G-Code Tools plug-in for Inkscape, that lets you create G-code without an intermediate DXF step.

wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Extensi...epository#gcodetools
Last edit: 29 Sep 2015 17:57 by andypugh.
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29 Sep 2015 22:10 #63208 by Micromet
Replied by Micromet on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
Hi Andy,

Thanks for that pointer to the gcode extension for Inkscape - have downloaded and installed - no problem so far. Need to try it out now on something simple like a circle.

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29 Sep 2015 22:19 #63209 by Micromet
Replied by Micromet on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route
From a purely ethical point of view, I always try to go down the open-source route for software. Generally, free software (as in free speech) will be more user orientated rather than company orientated, and prepared and able to respond to users requirement - just look at the debacle when Microsoft tried to impose Windows 8 onto Windows 7 users.
So while I thank you for pointing out the Vetric software - I will not be going down that path.

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30 Sep 2015 01:28 - 30 Sep 2015 01:28 #63218 by bevins
Replied by bevins on topic Recommended CAD-CAM route

Micromet wrote: From a purely ethical point of view, I always try to go down the open-source route for software. Generally, free software (as in free speech) will be more user orientated rather than company orientated, and prepared and able to respond to users requirement - just look at the debacle when Microsoft tried to impose Windows 8 onto Windows 7 users.
So while I thank you for pointing out the Vetric software - I will not be going down that path.



Sorry, I re-read your post and it slipped by me your looking for opensource.
Last edit: 30 Sep 2015 01:28 by bevins.

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