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For those with CNC routers, which program?

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  • For those with CNC routers, which program?

    So this is a question for those with a CNC router. I recently purchased a Shapeoko 3 XXL and Iā€™m ready to start carving speaker baffles! Which program is somewhat easy to learn/use and also gives many options as far as cutting goes. Iā€™m currently using what carbide 3D has for the Shapeoko and that is called Carbide Create. Curious what others are using.

    Dan

  • #2
    did it come with any software - cause the sw cost many '000 of dollars. The really good and really expensive one is Vcarve Pro.

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    • #3
      You might look at Fusion 360. It has been available free, and from what I've seen has very good video training support. It offers a remarkable array of well integrated tools. A friend successfully used it with the Haas CNC machine we have in the school shop. He prefered it as he uses a Mac. I use KeyCreator and Key Machinist, and have used these with the Haas, as well as a Precix CNC router.

      I don't know if the Shapeoko requires the tool path G-code be posted with a proprietary post processor. The Precix, for example, can be set up to ignore all but the essential lines of code for milling. In other words, I can run the Hass code in the Precix.

      Another possibility is Coolterm (?). G-code is typed or pasted into a text editor. It's basic, but worked well, once set up, and is also free.

      If you need G-code, I can send you some samples.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ani_101 View Post
        did it come with any software - cause the sw cost many '000 of dollars. The really good and really expensive one is Vcarve Pro.
        The "really good one" is Aspire. Does all the stuff V-carve does but adds 3D surface capability too. I've been playing with it for a few years now. Very nice program.

        The screenshot below is after a simulation run on the model surface I made using parts that don't exist, like 8" diameter roundovers. I then took that idealized surface, turned it into a model that the program will follow. This surface results from a final pass by a .25" bull nose bit every .05". You can see the individual passes in the waveguide portion.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	3D baffle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	181.0 KB ID:	1378905
        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

        Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


        95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
        "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

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        • #5
          Welcome to CNC land. You will find that your cad abilities determine your success, more so than the cnc you have. I vote for V Carve Pro. Had it for years, intuitive to use, probably the easiest to learn of the vast bunch. As Pete says, Aspire is more capable but I'd start off with V Carve, once you're hitting the limits of it.....and it takes a while, your can upgrade via Vectric's very liberal upgrade path.

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          • #6
            Ive used Vcarve pro ($700 and aspire ($1500). I would love to try fusion360 i had a 1 yesr commercial subscription with my cnc but it lapsed and i never used it. I actually cant even get the free one now which really sucks as im not a commercial business.

            did you get limit switches etc?

            Just some friendly pointers- never set anything down on the machine you don't want to cut.
            Its important to always reference all home whenever you start the machine, every time you crash it or hit the e-stop. Look into feeds and speed rates for the unit, get a dust collection vacuum setup asap. Make sure your work is clamped down securely and square even a tiny movement will skew your work.

            i think the stock stuff is fine for the general speaker stuff. Its literally just circles and squares you dont need to draw a 3d model to cut it out.
            My Build Thread's
            Carrera's / Finalist TL's / Speedster TMM's / Speedster MTM Center / Overnight Sensation Surrounds

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zephyr View Post
              Welcome to CNC land. You will find that your cad abilities determine your success, more so than the cnc you have. I vote for V Carve Pro. Had it for years, intuitive to use, probably the easiest to learn of the vast bunch. As Pete says, Aspire is more capable but I'd start off with V Carve, once you're hitting the limits of it.....and it takes a while, your can upgrade via Vectric's very liberal upgrade path.
              V-carve is very nice. These baffles were cut using V-carve to create the cut file. They fit perfectly on the PE .75cf TM cabinets. You can see the raw result on the right. The elliptical version on the left resulted from hand sanding a total of 10 minutes. I had to create each cut path manually by entering in the diameter for each regular depth change. And because the guide is not conical, but circular in its profile, I had to enter calculated values for diameter or height/width for the elliptical. It was a time consuming task, but the result was definitely worth it. It was easy to sand off the last of the tool marks and the resulting guide was smooth and easy to prep for paint.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	round and elliptical.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	118.4 KB
ID:	1378918
              R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

              Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


              95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
              "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

              Comment


              • #8
                Artcam. Only $150. There ate also online free cloud ones
                Just another hobbyiest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rhino5 as a modeler.
                  RhinoCam Pro as a tool path generator.
                  Mach3 as a driving software.
                  http://www.diy-ny.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The software selected needs to be based upon what you intend to do with it. All of the Vectric products are excellent including cut2d, cut3d, vcarve, photovcarve and aspite. With cut2D, files from Autocad, Turbocad, or any 2-1/2D CAD software can be used to generate tool paths as long as there are no features like a wave guide in the Z axis, cut 3D uses files from a 3D modeler like Autodesk Fusion, solidworks, and other true 3D modelers and can create geometry with features in the Z axis, again like a wave guide.Vectric Aspire does it all including the modeling but is a bit pricey. Check out the Vectric Software galleries and you can get an idea of what each package is capable of. Vectric offers free trials and bundle pricing. I used cut2D at work before retiring 3 years ago and loved it, simple and effective.

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                    • #11
                      I've been using Vcarve Pro for several years and am very happy with it. I've recently been learning Fusion360 though and 98% of the stuff I do in Vcarve I could do in Fusion360 and its free vs $700 for Vcarve Pro.

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                      • #12
                        How are people getting the free version of fusion 360? My just says my trial has expired and i can't use it anymore. Should i try to make a new account?
                        My Build Thread's
                        Carrera's / Finalist TL's / Speedster TMM's / Speedster MTM Center / Overnight Sensation Surrounds

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike220 View Post
                          How are people getting the free version of fusion 360? My just says my trial has expired and i can't use it anymore. Should i try to make a new account?
                          I am wondering the same thing! does Fusion 360 creates G code for mach 3 using Mac? That sounds too good to be true!

                          I currently use V-Carve and Aspire. I have been very happy with them.

                          I like the above advice about "referencing home" I always drill a hole where X and Y zero lives on the jig and when possible
                          a hole right in the center of the work piece, especially when working on both sides of the material I make a separate tool path
                          for this center hole, that way I can run it and stop the machine when it gets to that location and manually lower the Z axis,
                          re clamp the part, works every time anything gets wack!
                          Guess xmax's age.

                          My guess: 15. His grammar is passable. His trolling is good.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts

                            Here is a link to Fusion 360 post processors including Mach.

                            The Shapeoko info indicates it runs on generic G-code, which probably means G-code generated using various post processors are compatible.

                            I can't speak for others, but perhaps some forum users would send you G-code to try. I can send tool paths I've used for various waveguides and baffles. These would provide an inexpensive way to try tool paths generated in different programs, for example, the linked photo should fit in the Shapeoko:
                            ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹https://flic.kr/p/DZkE6m

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TN Allen View Post
                              https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts

                              Here is a link to Fusion 360 post processors including Mach.

                              The Shapeoko info indicates it runs on generic G-code, which probably means G-code generated using various post processors are compatible.

                              I can't speak for others, but perhaps some forum users would send you G-code to try. I can send tool paths I've used for various waveguides and baffles. These would provide an inexpensive way to try tool paths generated in different programs, for example, the linked photo should fit in the Shapeoko:
                              ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹ā€‹https://flic.kr/p/DZkE6m
                              Those are great looking speakers, I like the taller 2 way towers too!
                              Guess xmax's age.

                              My guess: 15. His grammar is passable. His trolling is good.

                              Comment

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