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Newbie Question on software path

Discussion in 'CAM' started by Chip B, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. Chip B

    Chip B New
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    Hi,

    Thinking of building an OX but wanted to get a better handle on the software path. From what I understand, you first create your model in a CAD program (ie FreeCAD) and then you export the file to a format for CAM. The exported file is typically converted to GCode which is then sent to the stepper controller which drives the OX.

    My question is what programs are used to take the exported CAD model (in what format?) convert it to GCode and send to the stepper controller?

    Thanks for your response,

    Chip
     
  2. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    Well there are tons that do both, you can do CAD and 3D modeling then create toolpaths and save the Gcode, then there are ones that do just specific jobs like CAD, then another converts to Gcode.. Best bet is try free Sketchup make and download the free SketchUcam plugin to create toolpaths and Gcode..

    http://www.openbuilds.com/resources/sketchup-make-free.8/
    http://www.openbuilds.com/resources/sketchucam.1/

    Seems like everyone here uses and posts files in sketchup anyway so you'll have alot of support !

    There are lots of choices out there, free and paid.
     
    #2 Hytech2k, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  3. Chip B

    Chip B New
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    Hyteck2k,

    Thanks for the reply. I see that sketchucam will generate GCode, but I'm wondering where it goes from there. Will sketchucam also send the GCode to my stepper controller? Do I need separate software to run my stepper controller?

    Thanks again,

    Chip
     
  4. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    Well there is software to actually control the machine, like me I use Mach 3 alot of others here use something called GRBL, I believe it's opensource control software, maybe some of these guys with more experience with it will chime in. The machine software reads the GCode and processes it into actual movement on the machine.

    Usually the software to run the machine is separate from the design software..

    Look at this control board in the Openbuilds store, there are some links to good start up guides...

    http://openbuildspartstore.com/cnc-xpro-controller-stepper-driver/
     
    #4 Hytech2k, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  5. lucas dew

    lucas dew New
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    Can you use the xpro with mach 3?
     
  6. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    I don't believe so, XPro is design for use with Grbl...
     

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