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Old 10-28-2014, 08:05 PM
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Cooper Cooper is offline
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Default Cnc questions

Hey guys, cnc questions,,,

Two years ago is when I got a mill/lathe combo, last year I got a bf20 mill. I never touched a mill or lathe before that so my learning was self taught and my dozer build is a good show of what I'm capable of. By no way a machinist but a good grasp of what I like to accomplish. I'm entertaining the idea of retrofitting my mill to cnc. Yup hoss has done it again!! Great info there. My questions may be sophomoric but I really don't have a clue yet. I found that Mach software seems to be the standard. What I don't get yet is how does a part made from autodesk or solid works get to the mill table? The gcode? Do you have to program every part and every too path, every .02" cut for every pass? Or does the software send the code (shape of part) to the computer (mill) and you just program parameters or tool changes? Again I'm green . I'm just now getting the knowledge of what to do to transform machine. And I'm sure I can handle that. The computer stuff is what challenges me. I've made a bunch of parts for the 3d printer. If I had a cad made part would I transfer the file to the cutting software or would I just have to remake the part in g code? For every line of cut, and every cut path? Or does it somewhat take over and you tell it depth of cut and tool changes?
Always wasting money, as the wife says.
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Old 10-29-2014, 03:01 AM
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PaulNZ PaulNZ is offline
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Default Re: Cnc questions

Hi Cooper

you need to get "CAM" software, this will convert your drawing file into Gcode for you, you then load that into Mach3 and set the machine in motion.

This is where people come unstuck.

What software are you using for your drawing, I use Solidworks and I use HSMXpress, its an add-on that was designed to work with Autodesk but then also developed fro Solidworks. I like it because its just another tab and part of your drawing in the file.

Using this software you create a "Job" and from there you tell the software how you want to mill the material, chose the area, tool, depth, speed etc etc

you can get it for free if you have a full licence for Solidworks or Autodesk and then there is a Pro version that just does a whole lot more, but you have to pay for that

good luck, and PM me if you want to ask me anything, I am also self taught and have found most issues and a way to work them out, there are plenty of videos on u tube also

have fun
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