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2.5D vs 3D milling

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Rangatang, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Rangatang

    Rangatang Well-Known
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    Hey guys,

    I've been wondering, do any of you guys use your machines for 3D milling, and if so, what software and hardware do you run.

    2.5D from my understanding is only 2 axis' can move at once, while 3D can move all 3.

    When describing a 3,4,5 axis controller, does that mean that all of them can move at the same time?

    I'm searching for hardware currently and want to make sure that what I buy can support 3D milling. Specifically looking at the G540 thanks to recommendations from another thread in the electronics section.

    Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    You have a misconception of 2.5D milling. It's not about number of axes so much as it is about how much of the carved object is accessible. What the majority of the machines on this site (Ox, C-Beam, etc.) do is what is referred to as top-down milling. They carve from the top and go downward from there. But at best they can only carve a vertical edge, they can't carve at an angle to get underneath an edge. Top-down milling is referred to as 2.5D milling because it is more than 2D but can't produce a complete 3D image like say, a horse figurine because it can't reach under the belly. True 3D carving generally requires a 5 axis machine with sufficient articulation to reach a bit in from any angle. I don't believe any working examples of such a design have as of yet been posted on the forum.
     
  3. Rangatang

    Rangatang Well-Known
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    Thanks for your input!

    I suppose what I mean is not manipulating the workpiece, but, instead say milling a "3D" picture into wood. That would require moving the x,y,and z motors at the same time. I know old old machines can only move the x and y at the same time, then stop, move z to the next height, and continue. Or with "hobby" controllers are we limited to straight top down cutting.

    A good example would be milling a circle on an incline plane!
     
  4. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    My CNC, as well as all the CNC routers I have seen built here have the ability to move all 3 axis at once. Vectric makes some powerful software for carving pictures into wood. Vectric Store If you look at the photos at the end of the C-beam build you can see 3D milled items in aluminum and wood. C-Beam™ Machine - Plate Maker
     
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  5. Rangatang

    Rangatang Well-Known
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    Perfect!

    I watched the whole c beam video and read everything but somehow forgot about those pieces! That is exactly the capability I'm looking for. Most projects won't need that but...the ones my girlfriend wants to do definitely needs that .

    Thank you much.
     
  6. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    No problem. You are welcome. I haven't done it yet myself, but I would like to give that a try, but the software is a bit pricey.
     
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  7. Rangatang

    Rangatang Well-Known
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    There has got to be an alternative. It looked like it was $700-$800!

    I wonder if you can do things like mill a circle on an incline in mach 3.
     
  8. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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  9. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    2.5d has no undercuts.
     
  10. JordanMoss

    JordanMoss Well-Known
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    Generally speaking, any 3 axis CNC machine can do 3D machining. You are correct - 3D essentially means all three axis move at once. It is also known as 3 axis simultaneous. You do not need 4-5 axis to do 3D machining. In truth, routers often produce 3d machining by only moving one axis plus the Z simultaneously.

    However, to do complex 3D machining, you will need more axes. And you also need CAM software capable of producing multi axis continuous G code.
     

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