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Re: [taigtools] Problems with CAM

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  • Tom Benedict
    DOH! Forgot to send you the URL: http://www.imsrv.com Fred Smith has been seriously helpfun in answering my many many questions. Tom
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 7, 2003
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      DOH! Forgot to send you the URL:

      http://www.imsrv.com

      Fred Smith has been seriously helpfun in answering my many many questions.

      Tom

      On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Tom Benedict wrote:

      > I like Vector. There's a new rev of it that'll do STL files, but I
      > haven't tried it yet. They've got something like a 60 day demo you can
      > download.
      >
      > If you get the Vector demo and try it with your Rhino files, let me know
      > what it's like. I'm working for an educational entity now, so Rhino's
      > actually affordable.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      > On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, mmurray70 wrote:
      >
      > > Just curious as to what CAM software you people are using? I tried
      > > DeskCNC, just one single step to create the code. I was thinking it
      > > was too good to be true and it turned out that it was. Roughing
      > > seemed ok but the finishing pass just wiped out everything that was
      > > left in the roughing phase. Also picked at MasterCam at school and
      > > was completly lost by that. Couldnt figure out anything in that
      > > interface.
      > >
      > > I'm using Rhino and for now am saving as STL files because they seem
      > > to be commonly accepted. Any tips of other software to try? I'm
      > > mainly looking for free or trial software for now. I want to find
      > > something I like before buying. Thanks.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > To Post a message, send it to: taigtools@...
      > >
      > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: taigtools-unsubscribe@...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Let the chips fly!
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Parker, Darcy
      I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER). I recommend trying Pro/Desktop Express. It is free.
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 8, 2003
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        I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER).

        I recommend trying Pro/Desktop Express. It is free.
        See: http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201 <http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201&num=1&show=y&keyword=355> &num=1&show=y&keyword=355. If you click the "Learn and Try" tab, you will see the option to download the express version (which is the free version.) I don't know of another CAD system that is free (or less than 1000) and comes close to the functionality in Pro/DESKTOP express.

        Darcy

        -----Original Message-----
        From: mmurray70 [mailto:mmurray70@...]
        Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 7:24 PM
        To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [taigtools] Problems with CAM


        Just curious as to what CAM software you people are using? I tried
        DeskCNC, just one single step to create the code. I was thinking it
        was too good to be true and it turned out that it was. Roughing
        seemed ok but the finishing pass just wiped out everything that was
        left in the roughing phase. Also picked at MasterCam at school and
        was completly lost by that. Couldnt figure out anything in that
        interface.

        I'm using Rhino and for now am saving as STL files because they seem
        to be commonly accepted. Any tips of other software to try? I'm
        mainly looking for free or trial software for now. I want to find
        something I like before buying. Thanks.



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      • Parker, Darcy
        Sorry, I don t know how I got the first link in there. Ignore it. See:
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 8, 2003
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          Sorry, I don't know how I got the first link in there. Ignore it. See:
          < <http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201&num=1&show=y&keyword=355> http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201&num=1&show=y&keyword=355>

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Parker, Darcy
          Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 8:45 AM
          To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [taigtools] Problems with CAM


          I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER).

          I recommend trying Pro/Desktop Express. It is free.
          See: http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201 < http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201 <http://www.ptc.com/appserver/it/icm/cda/icm01_list.jsp?group=201&num=1&show=y&keyword=355> &num=1&show=y&keyword=355> &num=1&show=y&keyword=355. If you click the "Learn and Try" tab, you will see the option to download the express version (which is the free version.) I don't know of another CAD system that is free (or less than 1000) and comes close to the functionality in Pro/DESKTOP express.

          Darcy

          -----Original Message-----
          From: mmurray70 [mailto:mmurray70@...]
          Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 7:24 PM
          To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [taigtools] Problems with CAM


          Just curious as to what CAM software you people are using? I tried
          DeskCNC, just one single step to create the code. I was thinking it
          was too good to be true and it turned out that it was. Roughing
          seemed ok but the finishing pass just wiped out everything that was
          left in the roughing phase. Also picked at MasterCam at school and
          was completly lost by that. Couldnt figure out anything in that
          interface.

          I'm using Rhino and for now am saving as STL files because they seem
          to be commonly accepted. Any tips of other software to try? I'm
          mainly looking for free or trial software for now. I want to find
          something I like before buying. Thanks.



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        • Robin S.
          ... also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER). I almost choked on my dinner when I read that. What, about $35K (Canadian) for one licence? I think the original
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 8, 2003
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            --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Parker, Darcy " <dparker@p...>
            wrote:
            > I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I
            also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER).

            I almost choked on my dinner when I read that. What, about $35K
            (Canadian) for one licence?

            I think the original poster was refering to CAM software. I don't
            believe either Pro/D or Pro/E do CAM (or at least without some add-
            on software).

            I tried to learn Pro/D a while ago. It's got a wee bit of a learning
            curve to it!

            Regards,

            Robin
          • Parker, Darcy
            Hi. I am the original poster. (I am also Canadian.) Pro/ENGINEER is a CAD/CAM package. You can do modeling, design molds, create machining NC sequences (3
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 9, 2003
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              Hi. I am the original poster. (I am also Canadian.)

              Pro/ENGINEER is a CAD/CAM package. You can do modeling, design molds, create machining NC sequences (3 axis, 4 axis, 5 axis milling and 2 & 4 axis turning, and 2 & 4 axis EDM) and post them to the g-code flavour of your machine. There's a lot of other functionality too... a sales rep could tell you more.
              Pro/ENGINEER's pricing has changed significantly. Today, you can get this functionality for significantly less than 35,000 CDN. The new Wildfire Foundation Advantage package is now $5000US as an example. You are correct though, it is still not for the average hobbiest.

              Pro/DESKTOP Express does not do CAM, but it is free, and is a good modeler for hobbiests. I don't think a hobbiest will find another package that comes close - and they need the modeler to begin. Next, they will need to find an appropriate program to generate the NC sequences and then post-process them. I don't have advice on these next stages.

              Darcy

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Robin S. [mailto:lasernerd@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 6:33 PM
              To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [taigtools] Re: Problems with CAM


              --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Parker, Darcy " <dparker@p...>
              wrote:
              > I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I
              also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER).

              I almost choked on my dinner when I read that. What, about $35K
              (Canadian) for one licence?

              I think the original poster was refering to CAM software. I don't
              believe either Pro/D or Pro/E do CAM (or at least without some add-
              on software).

              I tried to learn Pro/D a while ago. It's got a wee bit of a learning
              curve to it!

              Regards,

              Robin



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            • Fred Smith
              ... it ... was ... If you wiped out everything with the finishing pass in DeskCNC, you probably set your tool wrong. I suggest you check that your tool plan
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 9, 2003
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                --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "mmurray70" <mmurray70@n...> wrote:
                > Just curious as to what CAM software you people are using? I tried
                > DeskCNC, just one single step to create the code. I was thinking
                it
                > was too good to be true and it turned out that it was. Roughing
                > seemed ok but the finishing pass just wiped out everything that
                was
                > left in the roughing phase.

                If you wiped out everything with the finishing pass in DeskCNC, you
                probably set your tool wrong. I suggest you check that your tool
                plan geometry matches the actual tool used and retry.

                There is a user support forum at

                http://www.imsrv.com/discus/messages/1004/1004.html

                Feel free to post your questions there.

                For $300 US you will not be able to find another CAM that is
                comparable.

                You can use the STL output form Rhino or ProDesktop and generate CNC
                code that is more than adequate for use with your mill.

                Fred Smith - IMService
                imsrv.com THE source for low cost Cad-Cam
              • sikn1gh7
                $5k is about right for a CAD package - that s about how much a seat for Solidworks cost, with a few plug-ins. At $5k, if Pro-E can do tool-path generation,
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 13, 2003
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                  $5k is about right for a CAD package - that's about how much a seat
                  for Solidworks cost, with a few plug-ins. At $5k, if Pro-E can do
                  tool-path generation, it's actually a BARGAIN. MasterCAM - one of
                  the best CAM software packages out there, goes for about 10k a seat.

                  I use Solidworks - it's the standard CAD package used at the Univ. of
                  Washington, and it's what I teach to my guys on my robotics team.
                  It's learning curve is fairly gentle - and the tutorials are
                  excellent. When I took a Solidworks class 2 years ago, the book that
                  I bought, "Inside solidworks", came with a free educational copy of
                  the software. It is full featured and except for a nag watermark
                  that says "Not for professional use" printed accross every drawing,
                  it does everything that a professional seat will do.

                  For CAM, I've heard that SurfCAM 2D works quite well. I havn't had
                  first hand experience using it. There is also deskproto, which
                  allows a 30 day free trail. The g-code it generates quite honestly
                  sucks, but in a pinch it'll get the job done.

                  -=- Terence

                  --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Parker, Darcy " <dparker@p...>
                  wrote:
                  > Hi. I am the original poster. (I am also Canadian.)
                  >
                  > Pro/ENGINEER is a CAD/CAM package. You can do modeling, design
                  molds, create machining NC sequences (3 axis, 4 axis, 5 axis milling
                  and 2 & 4 axis turning, and 2 & 4 axis EDM) and post them to the g-
                  code flavour of your machine. There's a lot of other functionality
                  too... a sales rep could tell you more.
                  > Pro/ENGINEER's pricing has changed significantly. Today, you can
                  get this functionality for significantly less than 35,000 CDN. The
                  new Wildfire Foundation Advantage package is now $5000US as an
                  example. You are correct though, it is still not for the average
                  hobbiest.
                  >
                  > Pro/DESKTOP Express does not do CAM, but it is free, and is a good
                  modeler for hobbiests. I don't think a hobbiest will find another
                  package that comes close - and they need the modeler to begin. Next,
                  they will need to find an appropriate program to generate the NC
                  sequences and then post-process them. I don't have advice on these
                  next stages.
                  >
                  > Darcy
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Robin S. [mailto:lasernerd@h...]
                  > Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 6:33 PM
                  > To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [taigtools] Re: Problems with CAM
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Parker, Darcy " <dparker@p...>
                  > wrote:
                  > > I use Pro/ENGINEER, however it is expensive for a hobbiest. (I
                  > also work at PTC who makes Pro/ENGINEER).
                  >
                  > I almost choked on my dinner when I read that. What, about $35K
                  > (Canadian) for one licence?
                  >
                  > I think the original poster was refering to CAM software. I don't
                  > believe either Pro/D or Pro/E do CAM (or at least without some add-
                  > on software).
                  >
                  > I tried to learn Pro/D a while ago. It's got a wee bit of a
                  learning
                  > curve to it!
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Robin
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  >
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                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Let the chips fly!
                  >
                  >
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                  <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
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                  >
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                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Leon Heller
                  ... From: sikn1gh7 To: Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:13 AM Subject: [taigtools] Re: Problems with CAM
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 14, 2003
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "sikn1gh7" <ttstam@...>
                    To: <taigtools@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:13 AM
                    Subject: [taigtools] Re: Problems with CAM


                    > $5k is about right for a CAD package - that's about how much a seat
                    > for Solidworks cost, with a few plug-ins. At $5k, if Pro-E can do
                    > tool-path generation, it's actually a BARGAIN. MasterCAM - one of
                    > the best CAM software packages out there, goes for about 10k a seat.

                    They used CATIA at BAe Military Aircraft, when I worked for them some years
                    ago. CATIA is very expensive, very complex, and probably the ultimate CAD
                    package. I did a course on it, and had a CATIA terminal (based on a
                    MicroVAX) on my desk. I never used it though, as the budget for the project
                    had been used up by the time we got everything sorted out. It took me
                    several weeks just to get the terminal to work properly. Most aircraft
                    manufacturers use CATIA.

                    Leon
                    --
                    Leon Heller, G1HSM
                    leon_heller@...
                    http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller
                  • Andrew Werby
                    Message: 3 Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:55:46 +0100 From: Leon Heller Subject: Re: Re: Problems with CAM ... From: sikn1gh7
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 14, 2003
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                      Message: 3
                      Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:55:46 +0100
                      From: "Leon Heller" <leon_heller@...>
                      Subject: Re: Re: Problems with CAM


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "sikn1gh7" <ttstam@...>
                      To: <taigtools@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:13 AM
                      Subject: [taigtools] Re: Problems with CAM


                      > $5k is about right for a CAD package - that's about how much a seat
                      > for Solidworks cost, with a few plug-ins. At $5k, if Pro-E can do
                      > tool-path generation, it's actually a BARGAIN. MasterCAM - one of
                      > the best CAM software packages out there, goes for about 10k a seat.

                      [I don't think you get CAM capabilities with the $5k version of Pro-E. PTC
                      does offer various CAM modules, but they cost a lot more.]

                      They used CATIA at BAe Military Aircraft, when I worked for them some years
                      ago. CATIA is very expensive, very complex, and probably the ultimate CAD
                      package. I did a course on it, and had a CATIA terminal (based on a
                      MicroVAX) on my desk. I never used it though, as the budget for the project
                      had been used up by the time we got everything sorted out. It took me
                      several weeks just to get the terminal to work properly. Most aircraft
                      manufacturers use CATIA.

                      Leon
                      --
                      Leon Heller, G1HSM
                      leon_heller@...
                      http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller

                      [In the old days, (up to about 5 years ago) $10k was a good price for a CAM
                      package, and $5k was a bargain for CAD. But nowadays, since high-powered
                      computers became ubiquitous and a mass-market began to emerge, there are
                      some much more cost-effective alternatives. If you're not a defense
                      contractor, but are trying to set this up with real-world constraints on
                      your budget, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check out some CAD programs
                      like Rhino ($590) and Innovate ($450) and CAM programs like VisualMill
                      ($1450) or DeskProto ($1300). These are not only cheaper than the
                      heavyweight competition, but they're a lot easier to use. Prices get even
                      better if you buy CAD and CAM at the same time. See my site for details on
                      various CAD/CAM alternatives.]

                      Andrew Werby
                      www.computersculpture.com
                    • sikn1gh7
                      ... for a CAM ... powered ... there are ... constraints on ... programs ... VisualMill ... get even ... details on ... I concur - most people on this board
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 15, 2003
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                        > [In the old days, (up to about 5 years ago) $10k was a good price
                        for a CAM
                        > package, and $5k was a bargain for CAD. But nowadays, since high-
                        powered
                        > computers became ubiquitous and a mass-market began to emerge,
                        there are
                        > some much more cost-effective alternatives. If you're not a defense
                        > contractor, but are trying to set this up with real-world
                        constraints on
                        > your budget, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check out some CAD
                        programs
                        > like Rhino ($590) and Innovate ($450) and CAM programs like
                        VisualMill
                        > ($1450) or DeskProto ($1300). These are not only cheaper than the
                        > heavyweight competition, but they're a lot easier to use. Prices
                        get even
                        > better if you buy CAD and CAM at the same time. See my site for
                        details on
                        > various CAD/CAM alternatives.]

                        I concur - most people on this board probably don't have a SGI or Sun
                        box (correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's even an X86
                        port of CATIA!). There are definately CAD packages out there that
                        costs an arm and a leg, and I'm sure you get what you pay for, but
                        even today, in industry, Windows/x86 based CAD/CAM packages are the
                        way to go. There *is* a reason why you don't see more SPARC and MIPS
                        boxes out there - software and hardware costs are insanely expensive,
                        and it requires special expertise to sysadmin properly. (You
                        wouldn't do your own oil change on a Ferarri, would you?)

                        I've dabbled with Rhino. It is a good deal for the money, but not
                        really a mechanical design package in my opinion. Useful for
                        creating sculptures and freeform shapes, and repairing IGES files,
                        but lacks a lot of important functions for CAD designs. Not being
                        able to make assembly files is one huge minus.

                        I've used DeskProto before - the GCode it generated for me *sucked*.
                        When given a part with a circular feature, it did a " dot matrix
                        printer mode" to cut the circle feature. Completely inefficient,
                        since a hand written piece of code could cut a circle pocket in about
                        2 lines of code using circular interpolation. If it's because I was
                        missing something, someone please point it out.

                        Here's a place for you to get a free non-commercial version of
                        Solidworks:

                        http://www.solidworks.com/html/3dskills.cfm

                        Happy chips,

                        -=- Terence
                      • Andrew Werby
                        Message: 7 Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:48:57 -0000 From: sikn1gh7 Subject: Re: Problems with CAM ... for a CAM ... powered ... there
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 15, 2003
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                          Message: 7
                          Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:48:57 -0000
                          From: "sikn1gh7" <ttstam@...>
                          Subject: Re: Problems with CAM

                          Andrew Werby wrote:

                          > [In the old days, (up to about 5 years ago) $10k was a good price
                          for a CAM
                          > package, and $5k was a bargain for CAD. But nowadays, since high-
                          powered
                          > computers became ubiquitous and a mass-market began to emerge,
                          there are
                          > some much more cost-effective alternatives. If you're not a defense
                          > contractor, but are trying to set this up with real-world
                          constraints on
                          > your budget, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check out some CAD
                          programs
                          > like Rhino ($590) and Innovate ($450) and CAM programs like
                          VisualMill
                          > ($1450) or DeskProto ($1300). These are not only cheaper than the
                          > heavyweight competition, but they're a lot easier to use. Prices
                          get even
                          > better if you buy CAD and CAM at the same time. See my site for
                          details on
                          > various CAD/CAM alternatives.]

                          I concur - most people on this board probably don't have a SGI or Sun
                          box (correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's even an X86
                          port of CATIA!). There are definately CAD packages out there that
                          costs an arm and a leg, and I'm sure you get what you pay for, but
                          even today, in industry, Windows/x86 based CAD/CAM packages are the
                          way to go. There *is* a reason why you don't see more SPARC and MIPS
                          boxes out there - software and hardware costs are insanely expensive,
                          and it requires special expertise to sysadmin properly. (You
                          wouldn't do your own oil change on a Ferarri, would you?)

                          I've dabbled with Rhino. It is a good deal for the money, but not
                          really a mechanical design package in my opinion. Useful for
                          creating sculptures and freeform shapes, and repairing IGES files,
                          but lacks a lot of important functions for CAD designs. Not being
                          able to make assembly files is one huge minus.

                          [You might take a look at Inovate or Alibre, both of which I'm currently
                          selling for $450. These are both more oriented to mechanical design than
                          Rhino.]

                          I've used DeskProto before - the GCode it generated for me *sucked*.
                          When given a part with a circular feature, it did a " dot matrix
                          printer mode" to cut the circle feature. Completely inefficient,
                          since a hand written piece of code could cut a circle pocket in about
                          2 lines of code using circular interpolation. If it's because I was
                          missing something, someone please point it out.

                          [No, that's the way it works. It's oriented towards cutting 3d prototypes in
                          a rastering mode. If you want to the tool to follow linear features like
                          your circle, it's not the tool for you. VisualMill will do that sort of
                          thing, although it doesn't use circular interpolation (G2 and G3 codes) but
                          breaks down the circle into a lot of short linear moves. It will send the
                          tool around in a circle, but there's a lot more lines of code. If that
                          bothers you, TurboCadCam does use G2 and G3 for circles and arcs.
                          VisualMill also offers a Basic version for $500 that works similarly to the
                          full version, but has fewer remachining features. ]

                          Here's a place for you to get a free non-commercial version of
                          Solidworks:

                          http://www.solidworks.com/html/3dskills.cfm

                          Happy chips,

                          -=- Terence

                          [I'm not sure you'll make any chips with that. It seems to be just a demo,
                          which won't save files in any format you could export to a CAM program, or
                          even open in a non-crippled version of Solidworks. Please correct me if I'm
                          wrong about this...]

                          Andrew Werby
                          www.computersculpture.com
                        • Tom Murray
                          ... prototypes in ... like ... sort of ... codes) but ... send the ... Andrew and all: In VisualMill there is a feature that will replace short linear moves
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 17, 2003
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                            --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Werby" <drewid@a...> wrote:

                            > [No, that's the way it works. It's oriented towards cutting 3d
                            prototypes in
                            > a rastering mode. If you want the tool to follow linear features
                            like
                            > your circle, it's not the tool for you. VisualMill will do that
                            sort of
                            > thing, although it doesn't use circular interpolation (G2 and G3
                            codes) but
                            > breaks down the circle into a lot of short linear moves. It will
                            send the
                            > tool around in a circle, but there's a lot more lines of code.

                            Andrew and all:

                            In VisualMill there is a feature that will replace short linear
                            moves with G2 and G3 codes, where appropriate. From the VM help file:

                            "Arc or circular motions can be fitted to point-to-point toolpath
                            motions in the toolpath editor. This serves to reduce the size of
                            the post-processed toolpath as well as to improve surface finish."

                            Check it out, it really works!

                            -Tom Murray
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