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So I have been doing a lot of cnc work lately as those who follow my youtube channel will notice.  My computer crashed recently and I have been reinstalling software pondering if better stuff is out there so I decided I would poke around a bit for alternatives.

 

Now I love when trial versions of software is available and when its not I am not going to shell out $650 bucks for a program or more.  so this being said what is the most you have spent on software?

 

Currently I am just doing 2 and 2.5d on VcarvePro 6.0

 

I am tempted to try .

 

 

VCarvePro ShopBot Edition 9.0

 

VCarve Pro V9.0 ShopBot Edition provides a powerful but intuitive software solution for cutting parts on a ShopBot CNC Router. There are tools for 2D design and calculation of 2D and 2.5D toolpaths and along with the ability to import and toolpath a single 3D model (STL, OBJ etc.). There is also support to import multiple Vectric Clip Art 3D models (V3M) to create 3D assemblies.

The software can import 2D designs from other programs but also provides a full set of drawing and editing tools. The toolpath options cover all typical 2D routing operations such as Profiling, Pocketing, Auto-Inlays and Drilling as well as 2.5D strategies such as V-Carving, Prism carving, Fluting and even a decorative Texturing strategy. For 3D you can Rough and Finish the model and there are options to project 2D and 2.5D toolpaths onto the 3D surface. Each toolpath includes appropriate options to customize the settings and provide a high level of control for different types of operation. In addition all toolpaths can be previewed to show just how the part will look when it is actually cut, this allows instant feedback to allow toolpaths to be further optimized.

VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition includes the functionality demanded for complex work while remaining incredibly easy to use and affordably priced. The software is used by cabinet makers, wood workers, sign makers, prop makers, plastic fabricators, hobbyists and in many other applications.

Version 9 includes some very significant enhancements, including;

  • Two-Sided Machining - Allows you to create double sided jobs and visualize them in the same session. The software flips the geometry to the other side avoiding misalignment in X and Y, giving you the ability to view the parts in a multi sided environment.
  • Transform Keys - Allows for quicker vector creation and editing where values can be typed to create shapes, move objects and nodes.
  • Smart Cursor - A new and exciting way to draw and move objects in the software more efficiently, you can snap to line extensions that don’t exist in geometry, reducing the need to create construction geometry enabling you to accurately align drawings and objects to other areas of the job.
  • Vector Validator - Identifies problem vectors such as overlapping contours or intersections that may be preventing toolpath creation. This means that with only one click, you can check all the vectors for issues before getting to the toolpath stage.
  • Export to PDF – Gives you the ability to export drawings to PDF allowing you to print to scale.
  • Mirror Mode - Allows you to define a component level so that it mirrors all its components. One way of thinking is that you can place virtual mirrors in the center of your job, vertically and/or horizontally, enabling you to quickly and easily create mirrored compositions.
  • Array Copy Toolpath - Allows you to duplicate one or more toolpaths as a block copy. This makes mass producing one item much more efficient as you only need to edit your design on the original copy and it will be automatically updated on all the other copies of the toolpath.

PartWorks 3D (Cut 3D) is now integrated into the VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition program.

 

Autodesk Fusion 360™

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that combines industrial and mechanical design, collaboration, and machining in a single package. With Fusion 360 you can quickly iterate on design ideas with sculpting tools to explore form and modeling tools to create finishing features. Engineer your models to test fit and motion; create assemblies, photorealistic renderings, and animations. Fusion 360 also allows you to work in teams in a hybrid environment that harnesses the power of the cloud when necessary and uses local resources when it makes sense.

CAM for Fusion 360 includes 2-, 2.5-, & 3-axis maching so you can create toolpaths to machine your components or create prototypes. The CAM capabilities of Fusion 360 share the same proven CAM kernel as HSMWorks and Inventor HSM™, enabling you to quickly generate toolpaths that cut cycle times, reduce machine and tool wear, and produce the highest-quality finished parts. 2D strategies include drilling, contouring, pocketing, facing, and adaptive clearing. Additionally, 3-axis CAM offers parallel toolpaths, horizontal clearing, penciling, scallop/constant stopover strategies, and spiral/morphed spiral for more organic designs.

At the time of a ShopBot tool purchase you will receive a code to register and activate your Autodesk Fusion 360 FREE 1-year commercial account. After the 1 year free commercial subscription ends you will be prompted to identify yourself as a hobbyist/maker or a professional. For hobbyists the subscription will remain free. Professionals will need to pay for subscription (rates published by Autodesk) at the time the 1 year subscription is complete.

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that combines industrial and mechanical design, collaboration, and machining in a single package. With Fusion 360 you can quickly iterate on design ideas with sculpting tools to explore form and modeling tools to create finishing features. Engineer your models to test fit and motion; create assemblies, photorealistic renderings, and animations. Fusion 360 also allows you to work in teams in a hybrid environment that harnesses the power of the cloud when necessary and uses local resources when it makes sense.

CAM for Fusion 360 includes 2-, 2.5-, & 3-axis maching so you can create toolpaths to machine your components or create prototypes. The CAM capabilities of Fusion 360 share the same proven CAM kernel as HSMWorks and Inventor HSM™, enabling you to quickly generate toolpaths that cut cycle times, reduce machine and tool wear, and produce the highest-quality finished parts. 2D strategies include drilling, contouring, pocketing, facing, and adaptive clearing. Additionally, 3-axis CAM offers parallel toolpaths, horizontal clearing, penciling, scallop/constant stopover strategies, and spiral/morphed spiral for more organic designs.

At the time of a ShopBot tool purchase you will receive a code to register and activate your Autodesk Fusion 360 FREE 1-year commercial account. After the 1 year free commercial subscription ends you will be prompted to identify yourself as a hobbyist/maker or a professional. For hobbyists the subscription will remain free. Professionals will need to pay for subscription (rates published by Autodesk) at the time the 1 year subscription is complete.

 

So since autodesk fusion 360 also comes with it which means another upgrade to since using sketchup right now for 3d modeling....does it make it better to swallow  650 dollars?

 

Well I am not sure where I am going to be going with this but its looking to be the best solution wish there was a better alternative tho.  Anyone else have any suggestions for 3d relief software?

So, today I started getting things going further after planning out my route of attack on the SAMA5D2.

So right now its almost 1am and I am now installing a virtual machine because windows 10 so far and linux have been a headache to get things to co-operate correctly.

 

Now I will install a few other operating systems in the morning because would like to find out further if its os related or software itself acting up.  Have managed to get it connected to the computer tho but no access it yet since either one half or the other half of the software works or wrong versions only work which don't support the board.

 

Currious if anyone else has had a rough time with the SAMA series in the past or not.

 

And yes I spend a good 8hrs messing with software trying to get it to connect properly but windows 10 and Linux just didn't like me tonight.

what ya all doing? hmmm?

 

I am just procrastinating on getting to my bench tonight....heading there after this but...one of them days.   Maybe ill just chill with a IDE tonight.

gam3t3ch

Just a...

Posted by gam3t3ch Aug 16, 2017

So I thought I would share as I know sometimes people want to build something but they are not sure what or just need something for prototyping I came up with some blocks that fit on 3/4 inch EMT Conduit, 23.5mm as I have a ton of it left over from my MPCNC and when I have worn out conduit I need to do something with it so why not make it useful.

 

IMG_20170801_183416_054.jpg

 

I just wanted something that would fit together so I could prototype my projects quicker and then be able to do a final design after with the correct dimension after.   So I get to reuse these blocks over and over again making it a great addition to the shop I cut a bunch of conduit at certain lengths and tossed them into a box for storage.  Works great!

 

here is a link to the files on thingiverse  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2449585

 

The great thing is conduit is cheap its about 9 bucks Canadian for 10ft to me you can't beat that.  plus the great things about the blocks as you can just scale them as well if you have different sized tube that you want to use possibly would only suggest going smaller but would be good for bigger as well depends on how much you want to use.

 

I also posted my design on Shapeways.com not sure if any will sell but they are there and also my new version is going up on there in the next few days as well since I wanted to cut the filament usage down and looks like I did a decent job at that so quite happy about that.

 

here is the link to the shapeways.com items if you want to see the new version in the next few days. https://www.shapeways.com/shops/gam3t3ch-electronics-hobby-house

actually here is the google sketchup of it as well.

 

v2.png

print time is alot less on this version and seems to be just as good as the version 1.   the 3d model of it tho will be on shapeways.com to get a better look at it tho.

 

Now I know they are not perfect but have to start somewhere  now that I have use these it was easy to print up my final design for my MPWire Stripper I just have to print the left side of it then will put it up as well as I think its pretty sweet for custom manual wire stripper.   Which I have the design for a motor mount in the works but want to find out some low torque motors that would be good for the project first before I send it out to the world.

 

 

Now why am I posting this?  Because I want your feedback as I am always looking to be better and do better so no holding back if you want to direct message me feel free to but please honesty would be great as I appreciate the good and the bad so please criticize  my work. lol

 

Thanks guys.

 

Oh I guess I should show you the MPWC design that I have as well here is sample once again from google sketchup

 

mpwc.png

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So I have been working on the final design on my MPWire Stripper today so much work on this project cant wait to see it running. 

 

Anyways so prototyping went well so I decided time to get final design done and printed out.  Using google sketchup a few of my parts it didn't matter what I did I couldn't figure out how to repair them properly I tried running it through software and repair tools and manual editing of the parts nothing was working.

 

This is what I came up with just before I was about to give up.

 

export the stl from google sketchup

upload it to repair on https://tools3d.azurewebsites.net/

one its done open it with 3D Builder (should be auto installed on win10) to check it out then click on save as in the menu and save it as a stl

Now open up google sketchup and go to the warehouse and search for sketchup STL

Install it

Then go to file import and then select .stl from the file time in the drop down on the bottom right.

Now select your stl to import and open it

now edit the few parts that need to be hole opened up and so on. (might have to right click on it and select explode to edit correctly)

Finally export .stl and then open with your printer software and now it should render correctly for printing.

 

I know there is a ton of methods out there I have tried a lot over the last while and I found this to be my tried tested and true method.

Man some of these contests are killer,  the prizes on this one are off the chart.   I would love to take part in it but wow have a feeling I would have to sell my soul to get anything near as good as anyone else lol

So I am still working on my project putting a ton of time in it but since I am not working at the moment I have the time to immerse myself into my projects a bit before the wife gets after me so if you have seen my previous blog posts you know what I have been working on for those who haven't feel free to check them out and let me introduce you to my new little friend the MPWireStripper well almost its just a thing at this point until I can figure out the cutter to get  more down pressure I have a redesign with a piece of conduit that will go through it instead of only 8mm on each side but the motor I have is a bit fast so I might have to come up with something else if I don't get the torque I want with a speed controller or gearbox.  which I think will be my next step I figure I will make a non motorized version as well will help me better understand it a bit more I feel so I am not constantly trying to figure out the electronics then move on to it.....talk a but run on sentences.  I printed a few more guide wheels hopefully one of them will work a bit better I don't have pics of them but would be nice to use a metal roller but don't have anything that small to use on it.  Was hard enough finding the 4 screws I needed around the shop.. lol.

 

IMG_20170801_183416_054.jpg

here is the unit so far with the motor laying below I wanted to add more strength to it so added another to the other side to help with the stability wasn't hooked up tho just to see if it would help and here is the result.

 

 

So ya printing out the new middle assembly for starters and have the new rollers but will have to make a new motor mount just for testing as the cutter will be forward more now with the new design once I get that finished printing I will toss up a picture of it below here.

Anyone got some ideas please feel free to toss them my way lol would love to get something going here in the next day or two well before the weekend for sure.

so thought I would show another picture here so far printing is taking more time then I would like but who doesn't want instant 3d prints?

Here is my sketchup of the unit so far not all items are on the image yet missing the rear roller assembly and wire roller assembly and the motor mounts and control box.

 

mpwcdemo.png

All  Made with 3/4 inch Conduit 23.5mm and my Conduit connector set that I made for prototyping.  only real custom parts are not displayed besides the main cutter assembly in the center.

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So after playing with the Infineon DC Motor shield I thought well its time to get into more things motors for fun.   But I didn't want to do anything normal so today I am starting making a automatic wire stripper.   I have seen some designs out there for this but found it wasn't what I was looking for.  I wanted something for recycling copper wire and that could be unattended and only need attention when inserting new wires into the machine.   So 3d printer time,  design time and hopefully get something working here shortly will be using 3/4 inch conduit for the frame design as I have lots of it and I made some cool blocks for prototyping on thingiverse for such occasions.

 

After getting this completed I will get back to my Mostly Printed Sander build having a few issues with that but have a feeling I will get that sorted out sooner then later just a back burner project which would be cool to have.  I love building tools and things that would cost a arm and a leg on a consumer side even if its not pretty but functional I am happy.   I remember my first usb powered parts tumbler from a old printer that was fun but not something that gets used a lot so making it vs buying is great.

 

Hope everyone is having a great day and everyone is playing safe.

 

Also just wanna say thanks to element14 for the recent roadtest review opportunity was a lot of fun and will definitely grow from my experience with it in future ones.

 

I know there is some parts I could have done better but from where I started to this I am happy with the result.

Let me know what you think any input would be appreciated.

gam3t3ch

And I am back.....

Posted by gam3t3ch May 14, 2017

I just got back from a small few day vacation so much going on... And while on vacation I get the email notification I got in on one of the Road Tested I applied for.... Super stoked about it!

 

So going to have fun with that once it arrives on the 17th of May here.

 

I got a email yesterday as well from a cad/slicer cloud company that wants me to do a review on their product for youtube.  Which is not a problem but doing it for free on a trial software license doesn't sound good in my book.  I would need more then 30 days with any given software due to my time consumption in other projects.

 

What's anyone's thoughts of doing reviews for other companies that well basically get the review for free with no real compensation for you? unlike the road test where the product is basically yours to mess about with.

 

Would be interested in if people pursue these companies or if you would avoid them?

 

Well back to work just took a quick break here.

gam3t3ch

Youtube is the Devil

Posted by gam3t3ch May 2, 2017

So after 7 years of video uploading and creating content I finally decided to go through all of them and start editing them all so they might get more traffic.  I tell you its been the most boring longest part of it yet.  Creating tags and editing descriptions is so not on my fun factor list.

I wont post my link  here but I am slowly getting more and more proud of the channel I am even starting doing some interviews and podcast style stuff which is a ton of fun talking with other makers and creators.

 

Anyways back to editing just taking a coffee break and making sure I don't stop posting to my blog here.

 

Have a good day eh!

I decided I was too cheap to buy them one but I will spend the time to design and make it go figure eh?

With a little help from the CNC Machine and V-Carve Pro I most of the battle is done.  I see tons of these on the internet not sure why I don't see

anything special about them but hey the kids wanted some so why not was a fun project to play with tomorrow I finish up the stain and clear coat just have

to design some bearing caps which I will make on the CNC machine as well. I thin I could have done it a bit different and made the bearing hole .3 mm smaller.

Just to add a bit more pressure but I hope the stain an clear coat will help swell the bearings into place a bit better ill add a bit of glue tho.  Will probably

change the size on my next ones tho.

 

20170418_161206.jpg

Managed to get alot accomplished today even got some cnc work done. 20170414_202635.jpg